A trip up to Asheville from Greenville is always an enjoyable one – especially when the fall leaves are in full force. And when in Asheville one of the many things on the to do list in the fall always includes a drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway. It’s a stunning, well travelled road that has more black bears than exists (on purpose) and winds through the ridges of the Blue Ridge Mountains in western North Carolina.
We always pick up the Parkway near downtown Asheville and head northwest up toward Craggy Gardens – one of the highest points on the parkway at over 5,000 feet above sea level! If you’re afraid of heights, you might enjoy this as much as some people, but the views are so worth it.
The only problem we have with driving on the Parkway is our urge to stop around every bend to take photos or just soak up the views. I’m always surprised that the next view is just as good or better than the one before it. It always has me wishing that we could spend days driving the parkway instead of just an afternoon.
We decided to drive up to the Craggy Gardens visitor center (which is closed on Saturday) but offers spectacular views and a pretty large parking area. It was just about golden hour when we reached Craggy Gardens so after a few minutes of snapping photos and taking tourist photos we headed back down (down is a relative term here) the Parkway and stopped at a few locations for the sunset.
And then we ended the day back down in Asheville at our favorite restaurant in the city – Farm Burger. A farm to table burger joint with the best sweet potato fries ever!
So here’s a couple of tips if you’re looking to take a trip to Asheville or the Parkway:
- Don’t get on the parkway right at sunset. Because the sun sets behind the mountains it’s hard to catch the sunset. Get on at least an hour before and drive until you catch the sun shining right on your face.
- Don’t expect to find parking in Asheville if they have special events going on and it’s a holiday (Halloween).
- Do take a camera with you. Even if you don’t get the Parkway Asheville is a city full of photo-worthy moments.
- Do wear comfy clothes and shoes. You never know if you’re going to be hiking halfway down a mountain to get “that shot”. Doing it in heels is never a fun experience. 🙂
Thinking about our neighbors to the north in North Carolina today. Praying everyone stays safe from the wildfires!