Here are our “Top 10 Places to See Along the Parkway” in the Asheville area, beginning north and traveling south on the super-scenic Blue Ridge Parkway:
- Grandfather Mountain: Drive to the top for beautiful vistas from a rocky summit and the Mile High Swinging Bridge, plus see interesting environmental habitats.
- Linn Cove Viaduct: This 1243-foot famous bridge snakes around the slopes of Grandfather Mountain. Stop at the Visitor Center to read about the construction and hike underneath it.
- Linville Falls: See five viewpoints of the most photographed waterfall in North Carolina via trails that begin at the Visitors’ Center.
- Mt. Mitchell: Drive to the summit of the highest point in the eastern United States, and hike a short paved trail up to the observation deck for panoramic mountain views.
- Craggy Gardens: Park at the visitor center for great views to the east and to the west. Enjoy the crisp air, summer rhododendron, and easy to moderate hiking trails, including Craggy Pinnacle that offers beautiful 360-degree mountain views.
- Folk Art Center: See and buy the finest in traditional and contemporary craft of the Southern Appalachians with a wonderful craft shop and exhibitions.
- Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center: Learn about the entire Pakway with high-tech interactive exhibits that includes a 22-foot interactive I-Wall map.
- North Carolina Arboretum: Stroll through a variety of gardens, on peaceful hiking trails, and don’t miss the wonderful bonsai exhibit.
- Pisgah Inn: Stop for lunch and enjoy the views from 5,000 feet at the this restaurant.
- Graveyard Fields: This very popular hiking spot features two waterfalls in a mile-high valley filled with wildflowers and surrounded by 6,000-foot peaks.
For more things to do along the Blue Ridge Parkway, see the comprehensive vacation guide that covers the 170-mile section near Asheville at http://www.romanticasheville.com/BlueRidgeParkway.htm.