BRP 75

Glidewell's Restaurant

Sarah E. Kucharski photo

A walk down Main Street in Blowing Rock is an exercise in pleasant distraction. Though only three square miles, the town is home to more than 100 shops, about two dozen restaurants, and nearly 20 hotels and inns. Read more

Cycling team

Photos courtesy of Houck Medford and the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation

When Houck Medford was a volunteer on the Blue Ridge Parkway in the late 1990s, his job was to rove from one overlook to another offering directions to visitors, suggest trails, share the names of peaks, and offer tidbits of Parkway history. Read more

Wildcat Rocks

Courtesy of Blue Ridge Parkway archives

As soon as the federal government endorsed the Parkway under the New Deal in 1933, a raging debate broke out between North Carolina and Tennessee over which state would win the scenic road. Read more

George Ivey, the author of the novel Up River, will quickly tell you that the Blue Ridge Parkway has been a part of his life and an inspiration to him since childhood. He grew up only two miles from the Parkway and trained as a cyclist there. Read more


Richland Balsam

Michael Meissner illustration

The Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina leads to many gems, but I mostly know it for guiding me to Richland Balsam, my favorite mountain. It looms over a pullout that marks the highest point on the entire Parkway. Read more


Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center

Jeff Greenberg photo

It’s the most visited national park unit in the U.S. with more than 17 million annual visitors riding along the 469-mile ribbon of roadway that snakes through Virginia and North Carolina. It’s also one of the most loved. Read more


Craggy Tunnel

Courtesy of Blue Ridge Parkway archives

The Blue Ridge Parkway means many things to many people. It’s a place where memories are made. Here, our readers share their own personal accounts of favorite Parkway memories. Read more


Devil's Courthouse

Vicki Dameron photo

Official Blue Ridge Parkway literature will tell you that more than 100 trails are part of the official trail system. Part of the allure of the Parkway, though, is that many of those trails link up with other trail systems. Read more


The Orchard at Altapass

Sarah E. Kucharski photo

Located along the Blue Ridge Parkway at milepost 213, just a few miles from the North Carolina-Virginia border near Galax, Va., the Blue Ridge Music Center has become a major attraction for fans of traditional fiddle and banjo music. Read more


Moses Cone manor

Ben Blair photo

Atop of Rich Mountain where the 360-degree view includes Grandfather and Beech Mountains, you are at the peak of a private world that textile baron Moses Cone created more than a century ago. Read more

Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center

Ben Blair photo

When Dan Brown returned to the Blue Ridge Parkway as superintendent after a 20-year hiatus from his early days as a ranger, it seemed time had stood still. Couples lounged in chairs at overlooks and families gathered around Sunday picnic spreads. Read more

Sherrill Cove Tunnel

Courtesy of Lou Harshaw of The Asheville Chamber of Commerce

When the natural contour drops too steeply or turns too sharply, tunnels, like bridges, avoid jarring curves that would otherwise occur. Read more

McLeods at sunset

Scott McLeod photo

The Blue Ridge Parkway may be made for the automobile, but the unbelievable scenery always makes me want to get outside to touch, smell and see things up close. The best way to do that is to load up the backpack or the car and go camping. Read more


Pisgah Inn Restaurant

Photo courtesy of Pisgah Inn Restaurant

Enjoy Southern hospitality and fine cuisine as you look out over waves of mountain ranges with wisps of mist. From just about any seat in the Pisgah Inn Restaurant, you’d think you were on top of the world—especially if you arrive just before sunset. Read more

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Folk Art Center

Michael Booher photo

The Blue Ridge Parkway not only provides panoramic views of nature. If you take the time, you will get a glimpse into the very soul of mountain culture through its rich arts and crafts traditions. Read more

, Art+Music

Wiseman’s View

C.E. Westveer photo

Welcome to Smoky Mountain Living’s 75th anniversary issue on the Blue Ridge Parkway. We’re proud to bring you this special, keepsake issue packed with historic photos and fascinating interviews celebrating America’s Favorite Scenic Highway. Read more


Fire Pink

Don Casada photo

An avenue of asphalt winds its way along hundreds of miles of ridge lines forming a world of natural wonder. The Blue Ridge Parkway offers a bounty of blessings, and perhaps nothing quite matches the breathtaking beauty of the Parkway’s wildflowers. Read more


Groundhog Meadow

Photo courtesy of Houck Medford and the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation

The sheer number of Parkway overlooks is staggering: 260 in 469 miles. Many were built into the design at the outset, luring drivers to depart from their cars and bask in the vistas. Some were a case of sheer necessity. Read more


North of Buena Vista

Pat & Chuck Blackley photo

The Blue Ridge Parkway unravels gracefully across the landscape, at times suspended from high cliffs and etched into rocky crags, then skimming over hayfields and past log cabins bound by split-rail fences. Read more