Best Stops on the Blue Ridge Parkway From Boone To Asheville

Known as one of the most beautiful drives on the East Coast, the Blue Ridge Parkway has make its way on many bucket lists. With hundreds of miles of scenic roads, knowing where to stop can be hard. In this guide, we are including the best stops on the Blue Ridge Parkway from Boone to Asheville, NC, that you need to see!

Roam NC Blue Ridge Mountains

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What is the Blue Ridge Parkway?

Founded initially as the Appalachian Scenic Highway when Franklin D Roosevelt was president, the Blue Ridge Parkway is 469 miles of road that runs from Virginia all the way through North Carolina.

The Parkway is America’s longest linear Park and also dubbed America’s favorite drive. It also hosts some of America’s most popular National Parks, including The Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Shenandoah National Park.

However, that is not all that resides here. In the Spring, find blooming wildflowers if you, hiking trails, breathtaking waterfalls and camping spots that are buzzing with life.

Likely due to the vast amount of activities and locations along the way, this parkway remains one of the most visited Parkways since 1946.

Plus, there is no admission fee for visiting the Parkway.

Here are the best locations to visit.

Blue Ridge Parkway Fun Fact: Did you know the Blue Ridge Parkway sees more visitors than any National Park?

Best stops on the Blue Ridge Parkway from Boone to Asheville - valley in Boone at sunset

Price Lake

Milepost 297 of Blue Ridge Parkway will lead you to Julian Price Park, where you will find the iconic Price Lake. This 47-acre lake is a stunning stop point to rewind and relax.

When passing through this milepost, you will more than likely see large picnic areas, visitors camping, boating, and even people fishing in the lake. A short walk away, you can also find mountain hiking trails to take you to the most panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.

Some of the facilities available here seasonally include restrooms, nature walks, picnic areas, and evening campfire programs.

Due to the lack of obstruction, this is also the perfect location to camp under the stars during the summer.

Price Lake in Boone NC on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Wilson Creek Valley Overlook

Closest to Boone, NC, Wilson Creek Valley Overlook is located by Grandfather Mountain and offers panoramic vistas.

This overlook offers stunning views year-round, although the fall months are especially beautiful, as is the rest of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

This destination is perfect for cute photo opportunities with endless views of mountain tops with an elevation of 4,356 ft. It is an easy pull-off from the highway on the left-hand side if you’re driving south.

Near Milepost 302

Wilson Creek Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Rough Ridge

This is easily one of the most popular hiking trails along Blue Ridge Parkway.

Rough Ridge, during the peak of the fall and autumn season, is buzzing with locals and tourists. With that in mind, visitors that would like to spend a lot of time here should arrive early as parking fills up quickly.

Rough Ridge from the Tanawha trail is about 4.7 miles out and back which takes a little over 2 hours. However, from the parking lot, you can take the trail that is just about 0.8 miles up, making it a much easier hike.

The hike offers amazing views of Grandfather Mountain and Linn Cove Viaduct, and at the top, you will see one of the best-outcropped views.

Remember to wear hiking shoes that are ideal for hiking along tricky terrains. This is especially important in the winter, as the route may become slippery.

Milepost 302.8

Rough Ridge is one of the best outlooks and stops on the Blue Ridge Parkway
Credit: sepavone/depositphotos

Stack Rock Parking Area

One wouldn’t normally think a parking lot is the place for views, and technically this one is not. However, right next to this parking lot, you will find one of the best views on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Have a look down the open valley and mountain peaks in the distance, which are even more incredible in during the fall.

You will also find the Tanawha Trail here. It will take travelers through the Beacon Heights parking area all the way to Julian Price Park.

Altogether, the path is 13.5 miles that span across North Carolina. Along the way, there are also shorter trails to be discovered.

Located between Mileposts 304 & 305

Stack Rock Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the best stops

Linn Cove Viaduct

Milepost 304, Linn Cove Viaduct’s primary function is to protect the habitat of Grandfather Mountain, but it is also one of the best stops on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

This famous Viaduct was completed in 1987. The popularity comes from being one of the largest construction projects within the Blue Ridge Parkway and the fact that it was around $10 million to be built. It is also incredibly photogenic!

The viaduct is 1,243 feet long, and when driving along this bridge, visitors are subjected to panoramic views of the mountain that change with the seasons.

Linn Cove Viaduct on the Blue Ridge Parkway at sunset
Credit: sepavone/depositphotos

Beacon Heights Lookout Point

The Beacon Heights trail which leads to the Beacon Heights Lookout Point is a relatively easy trail and another one of the top stops on the Blue Ridge Parkway. This trail can be accessed by people of all ages and even pups!

The trail is .6 miles out and back and takes approximately 20 minutes to complete. Many hikers and runners will incorporate this trail into their day for a refreshing atmosphere.

The best time to visit this lookout is during the months of May to July. This is when you will find Carolina Catawba and Rosebay blooming. Or head here in the fall when the mountains are oranges and golds.

Both sunrise and sunset are lovely in this spot and often less crowded than Rough Ridge Lookout.

Just after Milepost 305

Beacon Heights Viewpoint is one of the best stops on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Linville Falls

Undoubtedly, one of the most popular waterfalls along the Blue Ridge Parkway, Linville Falls is a must-see. Located at milepost 316, to reach the waterfall, there is a short and scenic hike.

Known as “Grand Canyon of the Southern Appalachians,” you can expect crowds at this very popular site.

The waterfall carries its water from the slopes of Grandfather Mountain and falls almost 2,000 ft towards the gorge.

There are two hikes to get a glimpse of the falls. The easier of the two is Erwin’s View Trail (1.6 miles) and offers 4 overlooks. If you want a more challenging hike with more overlooks, then make time for Linville Gorge Trail (1.4 miles round trip) and rated stenuous.

Additionally, visitors can spend a night sleeping under the stars at their 70-site camping ground or eat lunch in their designated picnic areas.

Fun Fact: Linville Gorge hosts the deepest gorge in the Eastern United States

Linville Falls on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Chestoa Viewpoint

When driving the Blue Ridge Parkway, you may realize there are a plethora of pulloffs, but stopping at all of them would be madness. However, you should mark your map for Chestoa Viewpoint.

Just a short two-minute walk from the parking lot, there are spectacular views of the mountains and even the infamous Sugar Mountain resort which has gained a less-than-positive reputation. Many local, western North Carolina locals still have a bitter taste about this building that was placed amongst the Blue Ridge Mountains.

This is because, when the resort was first planned, it was supposed to be five stories. However, when completed, the resort was much larger. Many people agree that it ruined the natural beauty that resides here.

That being said, the vistas are still spectacular. Additionally, there are short hiking trails and picnic tables to enjoy.

Between Mile post 320 & 321

Chestoa Viewpoint on the Blue Ridge Parkways

Mt. Mitchell

At a vast 6,684 feet high, Mt. Mitchell is the highest mountain peak east of the Mississippi River. This mountain is located just about half way from both Boone and Ashville.

Once arriving, take the short/steep walk up the paved sidewalk to the observation deck. Around it, you will provided with breathtaking views that are made even better on a clear day.

Also, along the mountains, there are many hiking trails to discover – which I highly recommend as these high altitude forests are quite unique.

When coming down from the observation deck, you will see a trail to your right called Mt. Mitchell Loop. I’ve only hiked about .5 miles of it but the whole loop is 6 miles, and it was really nice from what I did see.

Plus, there is an almost overwhelming but delightful smell of Christmas trees everywhere.

Keep in mind, Mt. Mitchell is a part of the black bear country. Here are some, bear safety tips that visitors should know before attending.

Observation deck at Mt. Mitchell on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Craggy Gardens

Ten miles north of Mount Mitchell, and about 40 minutes from Asheville, you will discover Craggy Gardens, one of my favorite spots on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Not only will you find spectacular views from just the pull-off, but the hike through the twisted craggies, which is where it gets its name.

Around June, locals and tourists come to see these floral blooms, but even if you miss them, this high elevation viewpoint offers tons of additional blooms including violets, blue berries, and Catawba rhododendrons

There is also a 20-minute walking trail here which leads up to 360° views of the Craggy Pinnacle, which is highly recommened.

The main feature of this area though, is that it’s a great area to spend either a lunch (picnicking in the large open fields) or ending your day here and watching the sunset with an obstructed view of the mountains.

The Biltmore

Last but not least, located in Asheville and the largest privately owned property is the Biltmore Estate. This property is owned by no other than the Vanderbilt family and has around 8,000-acres perched up within the Blue Ridge Mountains.

You must purchase a ticket on their website in order to visit their stunning gardens and a self-guided tour in the mansion.

The Biltmore offers something to do during every season. Plan to spend at least half the day visiting. Tickets should be purchased ahead of time here.

Asheville Biltmore Estate

Blue Ridge Parkway Road Trip Tips

Some tips to keep in mind when driving the Blue Ridge Parkway include:

  • Driving the speed limit – there are sharp and winding turns.
  • When visiting during the busy season, start early.
  • Download offline Google Maps in case you lose cell service.
  • Make sure to pack water and snacks in the car.
  • Some paths will be muddy and or slippery.
  • Bring a small first aid kit.
  • Practice Leave No Trace – take out all trash you brought in.
  • Do a quick car inspection – make sure everything is in working order.
  • Blue Ridge Parkway Map (National Geographic Destination Map)

Where to Stay on The Blue Ridge Parkway

Now that you know some of the best stops on the Blue Ridge Parkway from Boone to Asheville, here are some places to stay along the way. There are many local hotels and resorts nearby to The Blue Ridge Parkway. Here are a couple of the best venues to stay at.

Where to Stay in Boone

Chetola Resort at Blowing Rock (Lodge)

The Chetola Resort at Blowing Rock is a 78-acre resort located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

This resort is perfect for those searching for a quiet escape within the mountains, as they have mountain lodging and comforting food. Plus, it is conveniently located nearby to multiple attractions.

The attractions include the Blue Ridge Parkway and the village of Blowing Rock.

The resort also hosts seasonal activities such as paddle boating, kayaking, fishing, and lakeside bonfires on the weekend.

 Courtyard by Marriott Boone

If you’re looking for a little more luxury, Courtyard by Marriott Boone is a great hotel. Within the hotel, you will find amenities such as an indoor hot tub, balconies, and modern rooms.

Where to Stay in Asheville

 The Omni Grove Park Inn

For spectacular views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and a more historic ambiance, head to the Grove Park Inn, which was built in 1913.

This iconic hotel is close to some of the most iconic Blue Ridge Parkway sightseeing spots and furnished with solid oak pieces, hydro showers, and a great breakfast that will ensure your stay is a comfortable one.

Some people even do day visits for their excellent spa and resturant.

 Doubletree by Hitlon Downtown

Located in Downtown Asheville, the Doubletree by Hilton is a great hotel is perfect if you want to be surrounded by the hustle and bustle of downtown with shops and resturants.

The Montford Rooftop Bar has great cocktails, delicious food, and incredible views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

 Crowne Plaza Resort

Another nearby hotel to the Blue Ridge Mountains attractions is the Crowne Plaza Resort, which is a hotel adorned with modern facilities. At the hotel, you will find swimming pools, a spa, and a cocktail bar.

This resort also hosts adventure-filled activities, including zip lining and mountain biking.

 Grand Bohemian Hotel Asheville, Autograph Collection

Located 3 miles from downtown Asheville, when looking for places to stay nearby to the Blue Ridge Parkway the Grand Bohemian Hotel is a serious contender. The hotel is just 15 minutes away from main attractions along the parkway and right next to the Biltmore Estate and has beautiful decor.

The hotel is highly rated online with on-site restaurants that serve local food, a gym, and a spa to indulge in.


Best Stops on the Blue Ridge Parkway from Boone to Ashevill Wrap-up

I hope you have enjoyed learning about some of the best places to make stops on the Blue Ridge Parkway from Boone to Asheville!

If you have any questions or have any favorite spots you have discovered, let me know below so I can add them to the list!

Nearby stops that we love beyond Asheville include Looking Glass Falls, Sliding Rock, Moore Cove Falls, Graveyards Fields Loop, Cherokee, NC, Soco Falls, and Catawba Falls Trail

You may also be interested in:

North Carolina Resources

  • Discover Cars for Car Rentals
  • All Trail App for offline hiking trails

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Stops on the Blue Ridge Parkway

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