a VirtualTourist member from Connecticut
Hi! I am road tripping to Tennessee yet again, I take 81S the whole way and usually drive straight through about 16hrs from Connecticut. I am looking to take it a little easier this time and have always dreamed of traveling the Blue Ridge Parkway. I am looking to spend a day on the parkway and stop somewhere along the way to spend the night. Does anyone have any suggestions as to my most efficient route? Suggestions to my start and end points? I am open to switching between the parkway and 81S. What are some sections of the parkway that I should not miss? I want to make some stops along the way to enjoy the scenery. I think I'm definitely interested in stopping to visit Mabry Mill. I am quite the nature enthusiast and explorer. I am also open to the option of driving through the N. Carolina section of the parkway to Gatlinburg as I am familiar with the area and could travel west into Tennessee that way. Also any suggestions where to stay overnight? I will be traveling the first week of April. Thank you so much for any feedback!
My wife and I spent a couple of days just off the Blue Ridge Parkway in Waynesville, NC. Nice little town with a great B & B if that's your style. Other hotels as well.
There's so much on the parkway in NC that its hard to pick one section not to be missed. But a couple of my favorite spots along here are Linville Falls, about 20 miles south of Blowing Rock (MM 316), Linn Cove Viaduct (an engineering marvel constructed to route the parkway around Grandfather Mountain with minimal damage to the environment) around MM 305, and Mount Mitchell, the highest point in the eastern US at MM 355. If you are looking to camp, there are tons of campgrounds along the Blue Ridge Parkway located every few miles or so and they should be open by April. One that I usually stay at Julian Price Park (MM 298) and watch the sunset over the lake in the evening. If you're looking for hotels, Boone and Blowing Rock are towards Virginia and Asheville is more towards Tennessee. Any of these towns will have plenty of hotels.
Meant to add this link before with a couple of tips and pictures on Waynesville.
[original VT link]
We drove the southern part of the Blue Ridge Parkway in two days last year, starting from Roanoke VA & finishing at Cherokee NC, with an overnight stop at Black Mountain NC. For us, that paced it just right, giving time to stop at attractions on the way, such as Mabry Mill (well worth a visit), the Blue Ridge Music Center, etc. & to stop at various overlooks along the roady to take photos & just admire the scenery.
If you only want to spend one day on the Parkway something like Roanoke to Asheville would be ideal, as it would allow you to visit Mabry Mill.
. . . and this year we're starting at Roanoke & going north!