Blue Ridge Parkway
Experience America's Favorite Drive
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History

Blue Ridge ParkwayCelebrating its 75th anniversary in 2010, the Blue Ridge Parkway is a product of the New Deal’s efforts to provide jobs to the unemployed of the Great Depression. Construction began in September 1935 at Cumberland Knob near the North Carolina and Virginia state line.

The idea was to create a link between the Shenandoah National Park to the edge of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Completed in 1983, the Parkway’s history has been highlighted by documentarian Ken Burns in the six-part “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea” series originally aired on PBS.

For an in-depth history, visit the official Blue Ridge Parkway 75th anniversary Web site

Calendar

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Smoky Mountain Tunes & Tales

Monday, July 28, 2014, 6:00 pm

"Miss Saigon"

Saturday, July 26, 2014, 8:00 pm

Nature Photography Exhibit: Our Spectacular Southern Appalachians

Monday, July 28, 2014, 9:00 am

Live Glassblowing Demos

Monday, July 28, 2014, 10:00 am
29

Smoky Mountain Tunes & Tales

Tuesday, July 29, 2014, 6:00 pm

"Miss Saigon"

Saturday, July 26, 2014, 8:00 pm

Nature Photography Exhibit: Our Spectacular Southern Appalachians

Tuesday, July 29, 2014, 9:00 am

Live Glassblowing Demos

Tuesday, July 29, 2014, 10:00 am

Historic Marian Tailgate Market

Tuesday, July 29, 2014, 3:00 pm
30

Smoky Mountain Tunes & Tales

Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 6:00 pm

"Miss Saigon"

Saturday, July 26, 2014, 8:00 pm

Live Glassblowing Demos

Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 10:00 am
31

Smoky Mountain Tunes & Tales

Thursday, July 31, 2014, 6:00 pm

Marion Mountain Music

Thursday, July 31, 2014

"Miss Saigon"

Saturday, July 26, 2014, 8:00 pm

Live Glassblowing Demos

Thursday, July 31, 2014, 10:00 am

Woodsy Owl’s Curiosity Club

Thursday, July 31, 2014, 10:30 pm
   

Highlights & Happenings

  • Craggy Gardens, MP 364
  • These high elevation summits are home to spectacular floral displays. June and July are usually prime times to view the pink and purple blooms of rhododendron, but don’t despair if you miss the peak bloom. Violets, blackberry, May-apple, a
  • Peaks of Otter, MP 86
  • With stunning views, natural beauty, and the surrounding Jefferson National Forest, it’s no wonder the Peaks of Otter area has attracted people to the region for more than 8,000 years.
  • Folk Art Center, Milepost 382
  • Open year round, the Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway showcases the finest in traditional and contemporary craft of the Southern Appalachians.
  • Mount Pisgah, MP 408
  • Mount Pisgah’s spectacular views, hiking trails, camping and the Mount Pisgah Inn make this area a popular destination for visitors along the Blue Ridge Parkway. The mountain and thousands of surrounding acres was originally purchased by indust
  • Cumberland Knob, MP 217.5
  • Located near the Virginia state line, Cumberland Knob is the site where construction of the Blue Ridge Parkway began in 1935. It was the first recreation area opened to the public and remains a favorite destination for both locals and visitors. The m
  • Waterrock Knob, MP 451.2
  • An ideal spot for watching sunrise and sunsets across the rugged mountains, Waterrock Knob Visitor Center sits at almost 6,000 feet elevation. Exhibits, book sales, and a trail leading to the summit of Waterrock Knob await visitors. The last hik
  • Rocky Knob & Mabry Mill, MP 169, 176.2
  • These Parkway treasures offer many opportunities for visitors including hiking, camping, picnicking, and one of the most-photographed structures along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
  • Nearby Accommodations
  • Explore the quaint towns and vibrant cities that the Blue Ridge Parkway weaves through, and a variety of lodging choices.
  • Attractions, Dining, Shopping & More
  • From fine arts to fun, experience the best places and activities to enhance your visit to the Blue Ridge Parkway region.
  • Fall Color - Tips for Leaf Season
  • Tips for planning your scenic drive or vacation to see the fall color along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
  • Camping
  • Camping is one way visitors traveling through the Blue Ridge Parkway can spend the night under the stars in one of America’s most beautiful natural settings.
  • Parkway Road Conditions
  • An open Parkway is a safe Parkway. Be sure to check road conditions online or by phone before you travel and during your visit.
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