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Blue Ridge Parkway Tours

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Blue Ridge Parkway
The Blue Ridge Parkway is one of America’s most scenic road trips—a slow-paced drive through connecting Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the south to Shenandoah National Park in the north. Along the way lie stunning long-range vistas and close-up views of the parkway’s namesake: the rugged Blue Ridge Mountains. 

The Basics
The Blue Ridge Parkway is a peaceful escape from hectic urban life. Get off the grid by heading out on a road trip, or take a day trip from Asheville, North Carolina, on which you can hike through the Appalachian wilderness and visit scenic waterfalls. Artistically inclined visitors can hone their photography skills on a small-group photo tour of the parkway and capture wild landscapes under the guidance of a local Asheville photographer. If you travel to the southern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway, make sure to stop off at Great Smoky Mountains National Park for a guided nature and history tour, rafting trip, or scenic helicopter flight. 

Things to Know Before You Go
  • The parkway’s speed limit never exceeds 45 mph (72 kph). Due to steep roads and occasional wildlife crossings, careful driving is essential. 
  • There are plenty of stops along the way to sightsee, hike, or picnic—many travelers take four or five days to complete the whole route. 
  • The weather along the parkway can vary greatly due to changes in elevation, so dress in layers. 

How to Get There
The Blue Ridge Parkway runs 469 miles (755 kilometers) through the Appalachian Highlands between North Carolina and Virginia. You’ll find markers along every mile of the parkway, and it’s best to carry a map to determine where you want to go, as GPS directions often do not understand the milepost system. 

When to Get There
While the parkway is open 24 hours a day, visitor services (picnic areas, visitor centers, and restrooms) may be limited during evening and night, and are closed from November through April. The road closes only due to inclement weather, which occurs most often in winter. Summer brings balmy temperatures in the lower elevations; temperatures can remain cool higher up. Autumn weather can vary, but by mid-October the landscape is drenched in red, orange, and yellow, making this a superb time for leaf-peeping.

Exploring Asheville, North Carolina 
The Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center near Asheville is a popular place to start an Appalachian road trip. Nestled away in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, the city of Asheville is known for its vibrant arts scene and historic architecture, including the 19th-century Biltmore Estate, a massive historical mansion built by George Vanderbilt. Don’t miss the downtown Art District, which is filled with galleries and museums, and the nearby River Arts District, where former factory buildings house artists’ studios. There are also numerous hiking trails in the area, along with a cheery nightlife scene of hip craft breweries. 

Practical Info

The speed limit on the Blue Ridge Parkway is only 45 mph at most, and there are many points along the way to stop and sightsee, hike, or picnic – so taking 4 to 5 days to travel the whole thing isn't unheard of. Careful driving is essential, especially with the steep roads and occasional wildlife crossings.
Address: Blue Ridge Parkway, USA
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10 Tours and Activities to Experience Blue Ridge Parkway

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Blue Ridge Parkway Waterfalls Hiking Tour with Transportation from Asheville

Blue Ridge Parkway Waterfalls Hiking Tour with Transportation from Asheville

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264
Hike the best of the Blue Ridge Parkway on this guided day trip to three scenic waterfalls from Asheville. Take in views of the mountains as you tour the classic road in a comfortable van and hear stories about the area’s natural history and culture from your local guide. Watch for blooming laurels and rhododendron as you walk the easy to moderate trails through lush oak and hickory forests. Enjoy light refreshments along the way with plenty of time to relax by the falls before returning to Asheville.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$97.00
From
$97.00

Blue Ridge Parkway & Waterfall Hike - Private Tour From Asheville

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Blue Ridge Parkway & Waterfall Hike - Private Tour From Asheville

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45
On these Private Waterfall Tours, you will get to enjoy the falls up close and with ease. We specializes in taking tours to hidden gems and locally-known waterfalls, uncluttered by foot traffic and crowds.
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  • 3 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$112.50
$150.00
$37.50 savings
Price varies by group size
From
$112.50
$150.00
$37.50 savings
Price varies by group size

Waterfalls and Blue Ridge Parkway Hiking Tour

Waterfalls and Blue Ridge Parkway Hiking Tour

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67
Featured in Southern Living Magazine and MSN News, discover the authentic beauty of the Blue Ridge Parkway with a naturalist guide to show you the best vistas, photo spots, and waterfalls that make Asheville famous. This intimate, small-group tour makes it easy to get to know your experienced, expert guide and learn more about the region. -Learn about the area’s history, plants, and wildlife from your naturalist guide -Visit famous waterfalls and ones that most tourists miss -See the best of the Blue Ridge Parkway’s many, expansive views
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  • 4 hours 45 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$101.54
From
$101.54
Taking safety measures

Lonely Planet Experiences: Private Excursion to Blue Ridge Mountains

Lonely Planet Experiences: Private Excursion to Blue Ridge Mountains

The Blue Ridge Mountains are one of the oldest ranges in the world, arising from tectonic plates colliding hundreds of millions of years ago. With misty mountains, winding roads, and sprawling green vistas, the blue mountain parkway is one of America's most beautiful drives. The Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina are stunning no matter the season - with fresh blossoms in the spring, rushing waterfalls in the summer, rusty autumnal colours in the fall, and peaceful snow cover in winter. On your private excursion, your guide will take you through the mountains on the Blue Ridge Parkway, where you will enjoy several scenic highlights and have the opportunity to hike, should you wish to. You will stop for lunch in a quaint town, where your guide will recommend a place for the best Southern food and hospitality. After a day spent exploring the towns dotting the highway and the striking geological features of the ridge, your guide will drive you back to your hotel in Asheville.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$185.00
Price varies by group size
From
$185.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Scenic Driving Tour of the Blue Ridge Mountains

Scenic Driving Tour of the Blue Ridge Mountains

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1
The Blue Ridge parkway Scenic driving tour is chauffered by a certified Naturalist that can tell you all about the flora, fauna an history of the parkway. He will stop at great vistas for photo opportunities and for some short hikes if the guests would like to.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$128.21
From
$128.21
Taking safety measures

Guided Horseback Ride through Flame Azalea and Fern Forest

Guided Horseback Ride through Flame Azalea and Fern Forest

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10
Horseback riding through the Blue Ridge Mountains is a beautiful way to explore the area’s natural attractions. Trot through fern groves, past rows of wild flame azaleas, and into a white pine forest on well-trained, gentle horses. This tour includes a safety training, too, making it a good choice for beginner horseback riders and children.
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  • 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$92.26
From
$92.26
Taking safety measures

Elk & Waterfall Photo Tour w/ Photography Lessons

Elk & Waterfall Photo Tour w/ Photography Lessons

Need a guide to help you find the elk in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park? We’re offering just that! We currently have a 100% success rate in finding the elk! For our private Half-Day Elk & Waterfall Photo Tour, we put a lot of effort into thinking about what would be the most enjoyable half-day winter tour we could possibly put together. What we came up with is a trip that takes you about an hour west of Asheville out to Great Smoky Mountain National Park to see the elk herds in Cataloochee Valley and visit a couple of waterfalls. Our Elk & Waterfall tours are very adventurous and sure to please! We know when and where to find the elk We can get you (safely) close to the animals! We’ll make sure you have the right settings to capture the elk! Things we'll cover on this tour: - Long exposure settings for getting smooth, silky waterfall effects - What filters to use and why - The best settings to use for wildlife - And so much more!
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$160.00
From
$160.00

Vistas & Waterfalls - Full-Day Photo Tour (Small group up to 6)

Vistas & Waterfalls - Full-Day Photo Tour (Small group up to 6)

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3
All photo tours include hands-on coaching and instruction to help you improve your photos both artistically and technically. Most tours include two guides, a husband and wife team who are skilled, award-winning Nature & Fine Art photographers. You get lots of personal attention and guidance, and tours are customized to the types of photography and natural locations that interest you the most.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$240.00
From
$240.00
Taking safety measures

Mountain Top Tour at Sunrise with Fresh Brewed Coffee

Mountain Top Tour at Sunrise with Fresh Brewed Coffee

star-5
11
You will get to see an amazing Asheville sunset from our favorite "secret" spots. Our founder grew up in Asheville and has found the greatest places to catch a sunrise!
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$75.00
From
$75.00
Taking safety measures

Private Family-Friendly Guided Waterfall Tour with Transportation from Asheville

Private Family-Friendly Guided Waterfall Tour with Transportation from Asheville

star-5
13
The greatest family experience in Asheville! Our Private Family Waterfall Tour allows you to see some of the most beautiful waterfalls around Asheville! Our guides are permitted, licensed and trained to make sure your family is safe and has the greatest possible experience! AND we donate 10% of every dollar we make to help end human trafficking.
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  • 3 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$99.00
From
$99.00
Taking safety measures

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Blue Ridge Parkway?

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