The Blue Ridge Parkway is "America's Favourite Drive" with mile after mile of outstanding scenery. It runs for 469 miles from North Carolina to Virginia. There are no billboards and no lorries and great picnic spots. The Biltmore Estate in Asheville is a must see. Allow at least a day to tour the 250-room French Renaissance chateau - a National Historic Landmark - and to explore the gardens, winery and River Bend Farm. To the south is the Cherokee Indian Reservation. Here live the descendants of these native Americans who have created a vibrant society in touch with their past and alive to the present. The Great Smoky Mountains Railway takes you through river gorges, fertile valleys, and tunnels cut out of mountains. Chimney Rock Park provides some spectacular views. You can reach the top of the mountain in about 30 seconds! That's the time it takes to ride the 26-storey lift built inside 500 million-year-old rock.
Blowing Rock is an immense cliff overhanging John’s River Gorge. The phenomenon is so called because the rock walls of the gorge form a flume through which the northwest wind sweeps with such force that it returns light objects cast over the void. Take a scenic cruise on Lake Lure and discover why National Geographic selected this lake as one of the "Ten most spectacular man-made lakes in the world." Enjoy the dramatic subterranean splendour of Linville Caverns or cross Grandfather Mountain's famous Mile High Swinging Bridge. Back in Asheville you can shop at Biltmore Village with its tree-lined streets, brick sidewalks and open air dining, all combined with amazing collections of one-of-a-kind merchandise. In downtown Asheville itself sample the arts and crafts, the music, the Southern friendliness, the street cafes and restaurants, and discover its interesting Art Deco architecture.
- Spend a day at the Biltmore Estate
- Shop at Biltmore Village
- People watch at one of Asheville’s street cafes
- Ride on the Great Smoky Mountains Railway
- Visit the Cherokee Indian Reservation
- Climb the steps at Chimney Rock
- Take a cruise on Lake Lure
- Cross the swinging bridge at Grandfather Mountain