A Breathtakingly Beautiful Fall Drive
There’s no shortage of great scenic drives to take in the country. Whether you choose to travel down quiet country roads near you or venture out onto epic drives like the famed Kancamagus Highway and the Blue Ridge Parkway, we’re here to help you enjoy the very best of the upcoming fall season.
The Blue Ridge Parkway stretches from the northern part of Virginia near Shenandoah National Park, south to Cherokee, North Carolina, near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is truly one of the most stunning fall drives in the country. Everyone should complete this trek at least once in their lifetimes!
Though the Blue Ridge Parkway is a leisurely and beautiful drive, it’s also so much more than that. Driving through this area is a wonderful way to experience the Spanning of the southern and central Appalachians. The Blue Ridge Parkway offers an exceptional glimpse of the regional flora and fauna in the central and southern Appalachians. As rich as the area is in biodiversity, it’s also a culturally distinct and interesting area worth exploring.
Along the way, the Blue Ridge Parkway passes through some truly remarkable towns, themselves worth visiting. And, of course, in these incredible towns, you’ll find some of the best Select Registry Bed and Breakfasts, each offering a welcome respite for those seeking romantic and welcoming accommodations.
Explore the Blue Ridge Parkway
The Blue Ridge Parkway traverses 469 total miles between Virginia and North Carolina. The drive can be divided into 4 different sections: The Ridge, The Plateau, The Highlands, and The Pisgah. It’s a pretty beautiful drive to take at any time of year, truly, but it’s never more magical than under the gentle glow of autumn’s fiery hues.
Though part of the joy of traveling along the Blue Ridge Parkway is just admiring the scenic beauty outside your window, there are so many wonderful things to do and see along this stretch of road as well. From hiking and biking to learning more about this region’s history and culture, you won’t run out of things to do along this scenic stretch of highway.
There’s no shortage of natural wonders to explore as you drive the Blue Ridge Parkway, including the highest mountain peak in the eastern United States, the highest waterfall east of the Rockies, and the deepest gorge east of the Grand Canyon. But that’s certainly not all! Below, we’ve highlighted 10 of the best things to do on this marvelous stretch of highway.
- Hike to one of the many beautiful waterfalls along the Blue Ridge Parkway. There are many great ones, including Crabtree Falls, Hickory Nut Falls (from the movie Last of the Mohicans), Looking Glass Falls, and so many more.
- Speaking of waterfalls, don’t miss Linville Falls, which flows into Linville Gorge – the deepest canyon east of the Grand Canyon.
- Climb to the top of Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park.
- Go underground at one of the many caves along the Blue Ridge Parkway, including Grand Caverns, Shenandoah Caverns, and The Lost Sea, home to the largest underground lake.
- Head to Humpback Gap Overlook, where you can access the Humpback Rocks Trail. The 7.8-mile roundtrip hike includes Humpback Rocks and Humpback Mountain, where you’ll find spectacular views stretching out below you.
- Visit the Peaks of Otter area, one of the most popular sections of the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia. The Peaks of Otter Lodge is worth visiting, but here you’ll also find great trails in the area around Abbott Lake, which features a stunning view of Sharp Top Mountain.
- Don’t miss your chance to visit the Mabry Mill, considered by many to be one of the most iconic destinations on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
- Visit the Blue Ridge Music Center, which is part of Crooked Road, Virginia’s heritage music trail. If you can catch a live concert here, the outdoor music venue is unbeatable.
- Visit Mount Mitchell State Park, home to the tallest peaks in the eastern United States. Access to this park is only along the Blue Ridge Parkway, and you can drive pretty close to the summit – though to actually reach the top, you’ll need to finish the final 0.3 miles on foot. The views from there will take your breath away.
- Mount Pisgah is one of the most beautiful parts of the Blue Ridge Parkway – and the setting is particularly magical when fall foliage starts to arrive.
If you’re looking for those iconic photos from the Blue Ridge Parkway, don’t miss the Linn Cove Viaduct at Milepost 304. It’s pictured above and is arguably one of the most famous views from the Blue Ridge Parkway.
More to do Near the Parkway
Of course, seeing the stunning natural beauty of the Blue Ridge Parkway is one of our favorite ways to enjoy this beautiful drive, but it’s not the only way. This part of the country is also home to some truly wonderful towns worth visiting.
Asheville, North Carolina, is perhaps one of the most well-known cities near the Blue Ridge Parkway, known for its thriving arts and music scene, as well as its delicious southern cuisine. In the area, enjoy top attractions like George Vanderbilt’s onetime home, The Biltmore Estate.
A little farther north, you’ll find the town of Blowing Rock, a town filled with abundant mountain charm. It’s a great place for hiking and chasing waterfalls, and come winter. It’s a wonderful place for a ski vacation.
Further north still in Virginia, you’ll find the charming towns of Staunton and Lexington, both well-known for their food, arts, and a wide variety of things to do. These cities are great places to base your adventures on, not just the Blue Ridge Parkway but in Shenandoah National Park as well. You’ll also find plenty of attractions worth visiting, like the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and the American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriar Playhouse.
Whatever it is you choose to do while you’re exploring the Blue Ridge Parkway, know there are some amazing Select Registry Bed and Breakfasts nearby, ready to offer you the luxurious home away from home you crave. Each of our properties meets rigorous industry standards and pledge to provide exceptional hospitality to their guests. Experience the difference staying Select can make, and book a room at one of these fine inns today!
Lodging Near the Blue Ridge Parkway
Steeles Tavern Manor
Tucked into the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains on 50 picturesque acres, is Steeles Tavern Manor. Situated midway between the historic towns of Staunton and Lexington, guests can visit many attractions such as Crabtree Falls and the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Brierly Hill Bed and Breakfast
The Spectacular Panoramic Views of the Shenandoah Valley, Blue Ridge & Appalachian Mountains are breathtaking. Our Inn is located less than 2 miles from Historic Lexington’s Shops, Restaurants & attractions, including access to the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway.
The Esmeralda Inn, Restaurant, & Spa
The Esmeralda Inn is a historic Inn, Restaurant & Spa. It is a secret retreat nestled within the Blue Ridge Mountains just outside of Chimney Rock and Lake Lure, near Asheville, North Carolina.
Albemarle Inn Bed and Breakfast
Enjoy gracious hospitality and Southern comfort at our 11 room classic turn-of-the-century mansion. We’re located minutes from Asheville, Biltmore Estate, and the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains.
Chestnut Street Inn
Our 8-guestroom property is located at the top of the historical downtown district of Chestnut Hills in Asheville, NC. We are a convenient 10-minute walk to downtown Asheville, a quick drive to the Biltmore Estate, and 15 minutes to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Offering classic amenities and modern comforts in addition to packages that allow you to try new experiences.
1900 Inn on Montford
The 1900 Inn on Montford, situated in the heart of the historic Montford district of Asheville, provides a luxurious bed and breakfast setting for guests to experience a sense of southern and Austrian comfort and Gemütlichkeit. Our Asheville bed and breakfast is eight blocks from historic downtown Asheville, and minutes from the Biltmore Estate, and the Blue Ridge Parkway
The Mast Farm Inn
An award-winning luxury inn in Valle Crucis Historical District of North Carolina. A proud member of Historic Hotels of America and on The National Register of Historic Places. The Inn offers historic farmhouse rooms and private cottages in the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area of Western North Carolina.
Lazy Bear Lodge
Nestled on a mountaintop and surrounded by the glorious sounds of nature with gently cascading waterfalls, birdsongs and the peaceful rustling of the breeze through the trees. The Lodge is centrally located and only minutes from Boone, Blue Ridge Parkway, Blowing Rock, and Banner Elk.
Gideon Ridge Inn
Gideon Ridge Inn has ten delightful guest rooms with mountain breezes, French doors, and stone terraces. Intimate walking paths through elegant gardens on the grounds and all the amenities you could ask for, all near the Blue Ridge Parkway and Blowing Rock.
Bed and Breakfast on Tiffany Hill
The Bed & Breakfast on Tiffany Hill is pleased to be the first B&B inducted into the Southern Living Hotel Collection. Casual elegance filled with Southern hospitality is reflected throughout the inn. Enjoy 6 acres of gardens and walking trails.
Oak Hill on Love Lane Bed and Breakfast
Located in the Smoky Mountains of Western North Carolina, halfway between The Great Smoky Mountain National Park and Downtown Asheville, the 1898 historic mountain view property has been meticulously maintained and updated to create a cozy relaxed atmosphere that combines original features of hand crafted workmanship with modern conveniences and comfort.
Andon-Reid Inn Bed and Breakfast
Come and experience the Andon-Reid Inn, a restored spacious 1902 family home with beautifully appointed suites. Our spectacular scenery and crisp, clean air are perfect for the outdoor enthusiast as well as the more relaxed traveler. Minutes away from the Smoky Mountains, Blue Ridge Parkway, and Pisgah National Forest you will have endless choices of things to do.