Blue Ridge Parkway is a famous destination in the US.

It is well-known for its scenic views and breath-taking sites.

Tourists and locals alike go on this iconic road trip frequently for a nature escapade.

What makes the place more special is that it is the longest national park in the US.

It runs from Virginia to North Carolina for over 469 miles!

Along the way, you’ll find a number of milestones markers so you get a sense of how far you’ve travelled.

But where are the best milestone stops?

Here are some awesome milepost stops that can make your Blue Ridge Parkway the best drive yet.

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1. The Natural Bridge

The Natural Bridge is a good place to start for a holistic experience.

This mighty natural arch stands 215-feet high and 90-feet wide.

Appreciate nature at its finest with lush forests, meadows, and mountains as backdrops.

It also offers 6 hiking trails for those who want to explore the area.

Interestingly, the Natural Bridge lets you learn more about its history, too.

It used to be a sacred site for the Monacan Indian Tribe centuries ago.

After you’ve taken a few photos of the natural arching bridge, take part in history programs and check out exhibits.

You can delve deeper and interact with the Monacan Indian Tribe in the village.

  • Milepost 61.6
  • Fees: Adults $8; Kids $6
  • Opening Hours: Daily 9am-dusk

2. Peaks of Otter lodge

Peaks of Otter Lodge is a 3-Star hotel along Blue Ridge Parkway.

It sits atop a phenomenal mountain peak and overlooks the serene town of Bedford, Virginia.

The hotel has 63 rooms in total – all with a grand view of the Abbott Lake and Sharp Top Mountain.

Aside from a lovely stay, you can also enjoy their dining, shopping outlets, nearby museums and wineries.

They also have 5 hiking trails if you’re feeling more adventurous.

Whether you’re out to celebrate an occasion or to simply relax, Peaks of Otter Lodge is an amazing stop for a short break.

  • Milepost 86
  • Star Rating: 3-stars 
  • Address: 85554 Blue Ridge Pkwy, Bedford, VA 24523, United States

Official site

3. Mabry Mill Restaurant

The Mabry Mill is an icon on Blue Ridge Parkway.

This flour mill has been around for more than a century already, known to all the locals within the vicinity.

They eventually branched out and opened a restaurant and gift shop.

Open daily, Mabry Mill Restaurant takes pride in their country-style menu.

Enjoy all-day breakfast favorites and feast on lunch and dinner signatures.

Recommended items are the Blueberry Pancakes, Chicken Pot Pie, and Blackberry Cobbler.

  • Milepost 176.1
  • Address: 266 Mabry Mill Rd SE, Meadows of Dan, VA 24120, United States
  • Opening Hours: Daily 7:30am-5pm

Official site

4. Primland Resort

For a more luxurious overnight stay, check in at Primland Resort.

This sweet escape offer various exciting packages for everyone.

Those who seek some adrenaline rush can try archery, air rifle practice, horseback riding, RTV trail riding, and more.

Relaxation and rest await people who like yoga & meditation and spa.

They even have a stargazing observatory for a cosmic wonder!

After a long day, enjoy their world-class facilities and have a deep slumber in the hotel.

You may opt to go for an upscale room at the hotel or a remote mountain cottage.

Truly, they stick true to their promise of being “the ultimate retreat”.

  • Milepost 177.7
  • Star Rating: 5-stars 
  • Address: 2000 Busted Rock Rd, Meadows of Dan, VA 24120, United States

Official site

5. Blue Ridge Music Center

The Blue Ridge Music Center is where music meets tradition.

People come to appreciate traditional music ranging from folk to country blues.

Live performances from the best musicians in the region play regularly.

You can check out their events calendar online.

Be sure to stop by the visitor center and museum when you visit, too.

You’ll be introduced to the wonderful mountain music and learn its deeply-rooted history.

If there are no events on, it’s still worth spending at least an hour at this unique museum along Blue Ridge Parkway.

  • Milepost 213
  • Address: 700 Foothills Rd, Galax, VA 24333, United States
  • Opening Hours: May to October, daily 10am-5pm

Official siteEvents

6. The Blowing Rock

The Blowing Rock is a fascinating landmark that you shouldn’t miss.

It is a cliff viewpoint that is 4,000 feet high and is overhanging the Johns River Gorge.

The rock got its name from the the strong wind pressure blowing from the gorge.

Some say that the air pressure can be so strong that it returns light objects dropped from the cliff.

Rumors also mentioned that it once saved a falling Cherokee by pushing him upwards!

The Blowing Rock is a popular spot for taking photos with a glorious mountain landscape in the background.

Several shops have opened for leisure and commercial enjoyment, too, including hotels.

It is advisable to do a 1-day trip to enjoy the Blowing Rock in full.

  • Milepost 291.9
  • Address: 432 The Rock Road, Blowing Rock, NC 28605
  • Opening Hours: Daily 9am-5pm

Official site

7. Moses H. Cone Memorial Park

Located along milepost 294, this massive colonial manor is one of the more popular historical sites in the area.

The Moses H. Cone Memorial Park is a vast land developed by Moses and Bertha Cone back in the 1890s.

It was used for their textile business with a 23-room mansion as their main retreat house.

Each aspect of the land was well-thought of.

They build carriage roads, man-made lakes, and even an apple orchard there.

Now, people go there to re-live a time of grandeur and opulence.

It also became a recreational hub for hiking, horseback riding, and cross-country skiing.

  • Milepost 294
  • Address: Blue Ridge Parkway, Milepost 294, Blowing Rock, NC 28605, United States
  • Opening Hours: Grounds around the house are opened daily. 

8. Linn Cove Viaduct

The Linn Cove Viaduct runs 7 miles long and is the last major segment of the Blue Ridge Parkway developed.

It plies around the Grandfather Mountain along Milepost 304.4.

This took more than 20 years to finish the entire bridge because of environmental issues.

However, it is now revered as an international engineering masterpiece.

Its intricate and sturdy structure set in a majestic scenery is recognized worldwide.

Apart from the view, there are other attractions such as the walking trail and bridge museum.

  • Milepost 304.4
  • Location: Grandfather Mountain, Avery County
  • Length: 1,243 feet

9. Switzerland Inn

For a true mountain retreat, the Switzerland Inn is your best bet.

This hotel in North Carolina emphasizes country comfort in idyllic setting.

There are 8 room types to choose from based on your preference.

There are quaint and rustic options from cottages to the A-Frames (loft-style).

You may also book extravagant suites exuding in homey atmosphere.

If you’re feeling peckish, there are four dining outlets to choose from.

Enjoy the Chalet Restaurant or the Terrace Dining for a fancy meal.

Follow a scrumptious meal by a nightcap at The Fowl Play Pub & Tap Room.

  • Milepost 334
  • Star Rating: 3-stars
  • Address: 86 High Ridge Rd, Little Switzerland, NC 28749, United States

Official site

10. Craggy Gardens

Despite the name, the Craggy Gardens is home to beautiful and abundant flora.

Drive (or hike) up the rocky terrain and you will be greeted by an impeccable panoramic view.

Expect picnic spots across the vast land filled with colorful display of flowers.

The breeze here is quite pleasant given that it is high up the grounds.

It will be 10 to 20 degrees cooler than normal.

The best time to visit The Craggy Gardens is around June.

This is when the famous pink and purple Catawba rhododendrons are in full bloom.

  • Milepost 364
  • Address: 364 Blue Ridge Pkwy, Black Mountain, NC 28711, United States
  • Visitor Centre Opening Hours: Thursday to Tuesday 10am-4pm

Official site

11. Chimney Rock

The Chimney Rock State Park is a “one-stop-shop” for nature lovers.

It displays sweeping mountain vistas overlooking the Lake Lure and the Hickory Nut Gorge.

The area also features several flora & fauna and several ecosystems.

This includes one of North Carolina’s highest waterfalls, the Hickory Nut Falls.

Besides walking to the top of Chimney Rock, there are other hiking trails that range from easy to intermediate level.

Admission fee is $17 for adults. Opening hours varies in season.

  • Milepost 384.7
  • Address: Chimney Rock, NC 28720, United States
  • Opening Hours: Ticket Plaza open daily 8:30am-4:30pm

Official site

12. Biltmore Estate

The Biltmore Estate will surely make you feel like royalty.

Spreading far with 8,000 acres of land mass, this family estate is America’s largest house.

It started off for residence, but has now opened its door to the public to share its well-preserved beauty.

At the Biltmore Estate, you will be welcomed as a special guest.

Stay in style at their hotel, cottages, and inns.

You may also take the time to wine and dine at their specialty restaurants and winery.

Complete your trip by shopping novelty items and unique crafts.

  • Milepost 388.8
  • Address: 1 Lodge St, Asheville, NC 28803, United States
  • Opening Hours: Daily 9am-5pm

Official site

13. Cherokee Museum

Cherokee Museum is the last milepost stop on your Blue Ridge Parkway road trip.

Dig deeper into the history of Blue Ridge Parkway at the Cherokee Museum.

Get to know how this tribe built itself in an engaging and astounding displays of art.

Understand the way of life of the thousand-year-old Cherokee culture through crafts & music.

The Cherokee Museum also conducts courses and workshops for interested individuals.

You’ll learn more about their language, genealogy, and more.

Tickets starts at $12.

  • Milepost 469.1
  • Address: 589 Tsali Blvd, Cherokee, NC 28719, United States
  • Opening Hours: Daily 9am-5pm 

Official site


How long is the Blue Ridge Parkway?

The Blue Ridge Parkway runs for over 469 miles or over 754 kilometers, making it the longest national park in the US.

It comprises of several milepost stops with various attractions and activities.

From hiking in glorious mountaintops to staying in style at colonial manors, you won’t run out of things to do at Blue Ridge Parkway.

Where is the best starting and finishing point on Blue Ridge Parkway?

It depends on what type of adventure you’re going for.

If you’re looking for a nature getaway, starting at the Natural Bridge (Milepost 61.6) and finishing at Linn Cove Viaduct (Milepost 304.4) is a wonderful itinerary.

If you’re on vacation and just want to relax, then any of the hotel choices above should be your starting point.

These overnight stays are like an all-in-one stop, so there would be plenty of activities to do during the day and you can unwind in your luxurious room at night.

Whats the best car to drive on Blue Ridge Parkway?

The main road itself is smooth, so most cars will be more than capable on this scenic drive.

Whether you take a standard Volkswagon, SUV, or a small compact car, the Blue Ridge Parkway roads are well maintained to suit all cars.

More importantly, pick a car that will comfortably fit the number of people you bring on your trip.

After all, the real highlight is what you see on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

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