2 - 3 Hours
One Per Car
At Your Own Pace
Welcome to the Blue Ridge Parkway Scenic Drive Tour
Experience the southeast’s most beautiful sights along the famous Blue Ridge Parkway! Cruise from the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to historic Roanoke, Virginia, on this scenic, one-of-a-kind highway bathed in blue mist. Snap photos from jaw-dropping overlooks, spot incredible wildlife, and uncover the fascinating history and legends of the Cherokee as you drive. This self-guided driving tour reveals the parkway’s best sites and the hidden history behind them all!
About the Tour
You’ll head first to Ballhoot Overlook, where you’ll get your first taste of the majesty found in this mountain range. Then it’s on to the Big Witch Overlook, where you’ll learn the ancient art of Cherokee medicine.
Next, you’ll arrive at Soco Gap, the site of a major battle between the Cherokee and a rival tribe. Then, you’ll hear the truth about the infamous Trail of Tears.
On your way to Roy Taylor Forest Overlook, you’ll also get the complete history of the parkway’s grueling construction.
Then there are the hiking trails for Cathedral Falls and French Broad Falls, a pair of can’t-miss waterfalls. Plus, you’ll find another trail leading to the summit of Black Balsam Knob.
Next up is the trail to Skinny Dip Falls, a fantastic swimming spot, followed by the phenomenal birding overlook of Cherro Cove.
Those looking for a truly perfect view of the mountains will find it next at Pisgah Inn and Observation Deck. From there, you’ll continue toward Asheville and learn about its history, music, and the city’s wealthiest resident.
As you leave Asheville, you’ll pass even more incredible overlooks and trails, including the ever-popular Craven Gap Trail, which connects to a legendary 1,200-mile trail stretching across the state. Right after that is Lake Pinnacle Overlook, a perfect spot for a quick photo.
After ascending to the Craggy Gardens Visitor Center, you’ll come to one of the best views on the parkway: Glassmine Falls Overlook. After a rainstorm, this 200-foot waterfall is quite a sight!
Next, you’ll cross through the lush Mount Mitchell State Park before arriving at Green Knob Overlook, which was used for the establishing shot in Last of the Mohicans.
Beyond a few more fabulous overlooks, you’ll reach the trail for Crabtree Falls—well worth a detour. Then you’ll pass the quaint towns of Emerald Village and Little Switzerland, home to some seriously peculiar and fascinating history.
More viewpoints and trails await you ahead, as do some Civil War history and a few ghost stories. You’ll also have the chance to visit the breathtaking Mile High Swinging Bridge.
After passing through the legendary skiing town of Blowing Rock, you’ll come to another set of unbeatable overlooks and learn just what makes this mountain ecosystem so unique. Then you’ll see Brinegar Cabin, a restored homestead packed with history.
Past Little Glad Mill Pond (a perfect picnic spot), you’ll cross the Virginia border and head straight through the Devil’s Den Nature Preserve. Keep those binoculars close, birdwatchers!
Then there’s Puckett Cabin, once home to a hugely famous midwife, and Mabry Mill, dating back over a century!
At last, you’ll arrive in Roanoke’s bustling town and learn about its name’s haunting mystery. The tour will conclude here.
Regular Tour: Oconaluftee Visitor Center
Reverse Tour: Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center
What You'll See
Welcome - Oconaluftee Visitor Center
Blue Ridge Overlooks
Ballhoot Scar Overlook
Thomas Divide Overlook
Big Witch Overlook
Bunches Bald Overlook
Plott Balsam Overlook
Thunder Struck Ridge Overlook
Waterrock Knob Visitor Center
Yellow Face Overlook
Roy Taylor Forest Overlook
Cowee Mountain Overlook
Rough Butt Bald Overlook
Cathedral Falls And French Broad Falls
Black Balsam Knob
Skinny Dip Falls Trail Head
Cherry Cove Overlook
Fryingpan Mountain Lookout Tower
Pisgah Inn and Observation Deck
Mills River Valley Overlook
Bad Fork Valley Overlook
French Broad Overlook
Preview the Tour
Stop 5 - Ancestral Cherokee
Stop 15 - Waterrock Knob Visitor Center
Stop 25 - Roy Taylor Forest Overlook
Stop 27 - Cowee Mountain Overlook
Stop 44 - 44 Milles Valley
What do we do?
Well simply put, Action Tour Guide is an audio guide, map, and tour book – all in one app! We are a GPS-enabled app-based tour that narrates information based on your location right on your phone. You can experience our driving and walking tours at your own pace and literally at any time of the day!
Changing travel date? No worries! All individual tours come with lifetime validity.
No Network Needed
The tour works offline which means you do not need your phone network to enjoy the tour. However, we do suggest you download the tour at your home, hotel, visitor center, etc before you head out for a completely immersive experience.
This is not an entry ticket. Please visit https://www.recreation.gov/ for more info on entry/admission tickets.
How many tours should I purchase?
Since this is a driving tour, you only need to buy one per car.