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Plateau Region: Day Trip Sample

A slow-paced, one day trip from Roanoke, Virginia (Milepost 120) to the North Carolina state line (Milepost 216) is highlighted by intensive exposure to the Blue Ridge cultural landscape. The rural experience on the Parkway and on adjacent lands highlights mills, music, and agriculture, demonstrating how people have interacted with the landscape over time.

Morning

Leave Roanoke early in the morning and drive the four mile loop around Roanoke Mountain (Milepost 120.4) for some great views of the region and a stroll along the Summit Trail (.1 mile) before heading south. Climbing up onto the flat plateau of the Blue Ridge, pull into overlooks at Cahas Knob (Milepost 139) or Devil’s Backbone (Milepost 143.9) where you can look off of the steep escarpment and across the east to the piedmont.

Arrive at Mabry Mill (Milepost 176) for lunch and a leisurely stroll through Ed Mabry’s mill and blacksmith shop. Demonstrations of Appalachian and Blue Ridge crafts are often highlighted here.

Mid – Late Afternoon

Your destination is the Blue Ridge Music Center (Milepost 213), but along the way, there are a number of attractions worthy of a short stop. At Groundhog Mountain Picnic Area (Milepost 188.8) there is a display of the many kinds of wood fences that you may have admired along the Parkway. Just a mile further down the road at Puckett Cabin (Milepost 189.9), the story of the mountain midwife who delivered 1,000 babies in the region.

Late Afternoon – Early Evening

Arriving at the Blue Ridge Music Center (Milepost 213) you can perhaps catch Mountain Midday Music or an outdoor concert (fees may apply) featuring the best bluegrass, old time, and gospel music in the region. At the visitor center, “The Roots of American Music” exhibition provides a thorough historical introduction to the music that is so much a part of the regional experience.

Galax, Virginia is ten miles away with lodging, restaurants and its extraordinary collection of bluegrass and old time music traditions providing a memorable evening.

Calendar

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The Polar Express™

Tuesday, November 25, 2014, 6:00 pm

Common Threads: Five Influential Women and their Legacies

Tuesday, November 25, 2014, 10:00 am

Battle of the Brushes Exhibit

Tuesday, November 25, 2014, 10:00 am

Blow your own holiday ornament

Tuesday, November 25, 2014, 11:00 am

The Polar Express

Tuesday, November 25, 2014, 5:00 pm

Christmas by Candlelight Tours

Tuesday, November 25, 2014, 6:30 pm
26

The Polar Express™

Wednesday, November 26, 2014, 6:00 pm

Thanksgiving Family Festivities at Fontana

Wednesday, November 26, 2014, 8:00 am

Common Threads: Five Influential Women and their Legacies

Wednesday, November 26, 2014, 10:00 am

Battle of the Brushes Exhibit

Wednesday, November 26, 2014, 10:00 am

Blow your own holiday ornament

Wednesday, November 26, 2014, 11:00 am

The Polar Express

Wednesday, November 26, 2014, 5:00 pm

Christmas by Candlelight Tours

Wednesday, November 26, 2014, 6:30 pm
27

The Polar Express™

Thursday, November 27, 2014, 6:00 pm

Marion Mountain Music

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Fashions for Evergreens

Thursday, November 27, 2014, 7:00 am

Thanksgiving Family Festivities at Fontana

Thursday, November 27, 2014, 8:00 am

2014 Union Drumstick DASH

Thursday, November 27, 2014, 9:00 am

Common Threads: Five Influential Women and their Legacies

Thursday, November 27, 2014, 10:00 am

Battle of the Brushes Exhibit

Thursday, November 27, 2014, 10:00 am

Turkey Day Crafts

Thursday, November 27, 2014, 10:00 am

Blow your own holiday ornament

Thursday, November 27, 2014, 11:00 am

Thanksgiving Day Buffet

Thursday, November 27, 2014, 11:30 am

The Polar Express

Thursday, November 27, 2014, 5:00 pm

Christmas by Candlelight Tours

Thursday, November 27, 2014, 6:30 pm
28

The Polar Express™

Friday, November 28, 2014, 6:00 pm

Christmas in the Park & Lighting of the Town

Friday, November 28, 2014

Fashions for Evergreens

Friday, November 28, 2014, 7:00 am

Thanksgiving Family Festivities at Fontana

Friday, November 28, 2014, 8:00 am

27th Annual Hard Candy Christmas Arts & Crafts Festival

Friday, November 28, 2014, 10:00 am

Common Threads: Five Influential Women and their Legacies

Friday, November 28, 2014, 10:00 am

Battle of the Brushes Exhibit

Friday, November 28, 2014, 10:00 am

Blow your own holiday ornament

Friday, November 28, 2014, 11:00 am

Holiday Arts & Crafts Market

Friday, November 28, 2014, 11:00 am

Free Guided Walking Tours of Historic Lexington

Friday, November 28, 2014, 3:00 pm

The Polar Express

Friday, November 28, 2014, 5:00 pm

Christmas by Candlelight Tours

Friday, November 28, 2014, 6:30 pm

Old Fort Mountain Music

Friday, November 28, 2014, 7:00 pm

Woody's Original Mountain Music

Friday, November 28, 2014, 7:00 pm
29

The Polar Express™

Saturday, November 29, 2014, 6:00 pm

Christmas in the Park & Lighting of the Town

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Fashions for Evergreens

Saturday, November 29, 2014, 7:00 am

Thanksgiving Family Festivities at Fontana

Saturday, November 29, 2014, 8:00 am

Saturdays with St. Nickolas

Saturday, November 29, 2014, 10:00 am

27th Annual Hard Candy Christmas Arts & Crafts Festival

Saturday, November 29, 2014, 10:00 am

Common Threads: Five Influential Women and their Legacies

Saturday, November 29, 2014, 10:00 am

Annual Thanksgiving Kiln Opening

Saturday, November 29, 2014, 10:00 am

Battle of the Brushes Exhibit

Saturday, November 29, 2014, 10:00 am

Blow your own holiday ornament

Saturday, November 29, 2014, 11:00 am

Fall Stroll Around the Lake

Saturday, November 29, 2014, 2:00 pm

The Polar Express

Saturday, November 29, 2014, 5:00 pm

Santa by Rail

Saturday, November 29, 2014, 5:00 pm

Christmas by Candlelight Tours

Saturday, November 29, 2014, 6:30 pm

Music at the Star

Saturday, November 29, 2014, 9:00 pm
<W
30

The Polar Express™

Sunday, November 30, 2014, 6:00 pm

Fashions for Evergreens

Sunday, November 30, 2014, 7:00 am

Saturdays with St. Nickolas

Sunday, November 30, 2014, 10:00 am

Common Threads: Five Influential Women and their Legacies

Sunday, November 30, 2014, 10:00 am

Battle of the Brushes Exhibit

Sunday, November 30, 2014, 10:00 am

Blow your own holiday ornament

Sunday, November 30, 2014, 11:00 am

Informal Jam on the Porch

Sunday, November 30, 2014, 2:00 pm

The Polar Express

Sunday, November 30, 2014, 5:00 pm

Christmas by Candlelight Tours

Sunday, November 30, 2014, 6:30 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
  • 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
  • Humpback Rocks, MP 5.8
  • Located at the northern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway, Humpback Rocks is an area rich in history, scenic beauty, and abundant hiking trails. Early European settlers forged a living from the native materials that flourished in the Appalachian Mountain
  • Blue Ridge Music Center
  • The Blue Ridge Music Center is a state-of-the-art performing arts facility built to preserve and promote the historic music of Virginia and the Blue Ridge. The Blue Ridge region has produced more old-time and bluegrass musicians per capita than any o
  • Doughton Park, MP 240
  • Renew your senses amid this landscape of open meadows. Doughton Park is one of the best places along the Blue Ridge Parkway to view white-tailed deer, raccoons, red and grey foxes, and bobcats.  Flowers burst on the scene in late spring and crea
  • 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.
  • Fall Color - Tips for Leaf Season
  • Tips for planning your scenic drive or vacation to see the fall color along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
  • Hiking Trails
  • A journey on the Blue Ridge Parkway offers motorists spectacular views of Southern Appalachia’s diverse beauty for 469.1 uninterrupted miles.
  • 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.
  • Nearby Accommodations
  • Explore the quaint towns and vibrant cities that the Blue Ridge Parkway weaves through, and a variety of lodging choices.
  • 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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