We wrote this post in Blowing Rock. The heavy storms in North Carolina have made parts of the Blue Ridge Parkway impassable. So we had to avoid parts of it quite complicated. Blowing Rock is so far the most enchanting smallest place on the east coast. From the 3230 Feet high mountain village, surrounded by old deciduous forests and rolling meadows, we enjoyed the fantastic view over the Blue Ridge Mountains. In winter, the place serves as a winter sports paradise. Not to compare with the big ski resorts, but small and above all fine.
Many restaurants from classic American cuisine to Italian or Irish, invite you to linger with your terrace. The small town has its own brewery. On numerous walks the area is easy to explore. One of the two beautiful golf courses embedded in the landscape made our rusty golfing hearts beat faster. The price of 20 USD for a Twilight round convinced us, after 3 years again to play on the lush greens and the fairways dig so neat :-). It was fantastic. In the warm evening sun we played from hole to hole, over a few meadows, in forests, over bridges and bunkers, always on perfectly maintained lawns.
To drive at the Blue Ridge Parkway – Stop and Go. Not due to one or more traffic jams, but to the many vantage points that awaited us every few meters. Stop, enjoy the view, take a picture and drive on. At this speed you can spend weeks on the parkway. Fortunately, another part of the parkway was closed and so we had to avoid the highways over small roads and drive further north again.
Here are some highlights of the Blue Ridge Parkway north of Asheville:
Linville Falls is a three-tiered waterfall that joins the Linville Gorge, also known as the “Grand Canyon of the Southern Appalachians.” Open all year round from morning to evening, the parkway waterfalls are easily accessible. There are three trails that vary from one mile up to 1.6 miles and in difficulty levels: easy, medium and difficult.
For us the nicest place on the parkway. Definitely worth a visit.
Linn Cove Viaduct
This seven-mile section of the Blue Ridge Parkway – once the parkway’s missing link – was completed in 1987. It was postponed for twenty years when environmentalists, adjoining landowners, engineers and architects were looking for a design that would protect and live up to the fragile habitat of the adjacent “Grandfather Mountain”.
The Linn Cove Viaduct embraces the face of Grandfather Mountain and is internationally recognized as a technical marvel. This was the last section of the parkway that was completed. Unfortunately the viaduct was closed due to bad weather.
Floyd is a nice little village with about 400 inhabitants in Virginia, near the parkway. Floyd is known for its numerous concerts and events during the summer. The tourist office does its utmost to organize everything in the small town. We just stopped for a coffee and met two nice people from Nashville in that short time.
The Crooked Road – Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail
The Crooked Road meanders through nearly 300 miles of countryside in southwestern Virginia, including 19 counties, four cities and 54 locations.
The sounds of country music are strong in Virginia, especially in the Blue Ridge Highlands and in the heart of the Appalachian regions, joined by The Crooked Road – Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail.
One of the most photographed spots on the Appalachian Trail, McAfee Knob is on the Bucket List in the Roanoke Valley in Virginia’s Blue Ridge for hikers from around the world. With its stunning 270 degree panoramic views of the surrounding valley and mountains, along with its signature promontory, which has become a popular spot for photos, McAfee Knob should not be missed.
The Blue Ridge Mountains and Parkway do not end in Waynsboro. The Parkway gets just a new name – Skyline Drive – which leads shortly after Waynsboro into the Shenandoah National Park. The National Park, as well as the Blue Ridge Mountains, are sung in the memorable song “Country Roads” by John Denver, so with this song and open windows, we drove Skyline Drive through beautiful forests – all in our rolling cinema like ours call our new home so often.