Blue Ridge Parkway Photo Gallery

 
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Known to many as America's Favorite Drive, the Blue Ridge Parkway winds 469 miles through Virginia, Tennessee, and North Carolina, starting at Shenandoah National Park and ending in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This scenic route offers a perfect escape for travelers wanting to take a week or two and experience the entirety of the road, or for those who prefer to spend a few days driving on one section of the parkway, stopping to admire the views and visit the attractions along or near the road.  
Credit: Cameron Davidson/Virginia Tourism 
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A number of scenic trails pepper the Blue Ridge Parkway, many offering waterfalls along the trail or as the destination. Upper Doyles Falls (near milepost 81) is one of the smaller waterfalls in Shenandoah, but it offers a scenic, peaceful spot in the park where visitors can stop and take in the natural beauty of the surroundings.  
Credit: John F. Mitchell/NPS 
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Wintergreen Resort makes the perfect overnight—or longer—stop for families, couples, or groups traveling the parkway. The resort has everything from golf to pools, a spa, hiking trails, horseback riding, mountain biking, fishing, children's programs, and more activities. Accommodations range from hotel rooms to seven-room suites with a kitchen and deck. Wintergreen functions as a ski resort in the winter, with plenty of downhill and cross-country trails.  
Credit: Wintergreen Resort 
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Standing 215 feet high—about 20 stories—and 40 feet thick, Virginia's Natural Bridge (milepost 61.6) formed when a cavern collapsed. Take a tour of the landmark, a spiritual spot for Monacan Indians back 300 years, once surveyed by George Washington, and purchased by Thomas Jefferson. Take the tour and learn about the history of this stunning landmark.  
Credit: Photodisc 
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Sharp Top, Flat Top, and Harkening Hill make up the Peaks of Otter (milepost 86), an area written about by Thomas Jefferson and Robert E. Lee that features a beautiful, natural setting with a lake, hiking trails, a visitor center, restaurant, picnic grounds, and more. Stay for a night or two at the Peaks of Otter Lodge or in the campground.  
Credit: Cameron Davidson/Virginia Tourism 
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The National D-Day Memorial (milepost 87) was placed in Bedford, Virginia, because the town experienced the highest D-Day losses per capita in the United States. The memorial pays tribute to the Allied forces that participated in the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944, the largest land, sea, and air operation in history. The 45-minute guided tour of the site provides valuable information about the memorial and its history, enhancing the experience. Visitors may also walk through without guides—the memorial is a peaceful place to stop and reflect.  
Credit: Erika Lloyd 
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The most photographed spot on the Blue Ridge Parkway, Mabry Mill (milepost 176) gives visitors a true appreciation for rural Appalachian life. The water-powered mill, built in 1910, continues to operate and runs daily demonstrations in the grist mill and blacksmith shop. Stop by Mabry Mill Restaurant for breakfast and try some of its famous buckwheat pancakes made from flour produced in the mill—or buy some of the mill's buckwheat flour in the gift shop and try making your own Mabry Mill pancakes.  
Credit: Cameron Davidson/Virginia Tourism 
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The roots of ancient bluegrass music of North Carolina and Virginia can be traced back to the meeting of the African banjo and the European fiddle. Celebrate the history of bluegrass music and local musicians by attending one of the regular concerts from June to September at the Blue Ridge Music Center, an outdoor amphitheater. The site also features an exhibit exploring the roots of bluegrass music.  
Credit: Cameron Davidson/Virginia Tourism 
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The Overmountain Victory Trail retraces the route of patriot militia in 1780 tracking down the British through Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Part of the U.S. National Trails System, it begins in Abingdon, Virginia, and travels 330 miles to Kings Mountain Battlefield, where the patriots won the battle—the turning point in the Revolutionary War. Parts of the trail are open to the public.  
Credit: Wikimedia 
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The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, located in North Carolina and Tennessee, sits on one end of the Blue Ridge Parkway with 507,168 acres of nature—mountains, waterfalls, wildlife, wildflowers, overlooks, and more. Stay in this area for a while and camp, hike, bike, fish, ride horses, or tour by auto.  
Credit: National Park Service 
 
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