12 Most Beautiful Places in the Blue Ridge Mountains to Visit

by Lynnel Backup
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Are you thinking about visiting the Blue Ridge Mountains this year? Here are some of the most beautiful places to visit in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Get ready to be wowed by these incredible destinations and panoramas.

Ah, the Blue Ridge Mountains—a haven where the sky kisses the peaks and the valleys cradle life like a lullaby. If you’ve ever dreamt of escaping the mundane to find yourself amidst rolling hills, cascading waterfalls, and vistas that stretch as far as the eye can see, then you’re in for a treat. This mountain range, part of the larger Appalachian Mountains, is not just a geographical marvel; it’s a soul-soothing sanctuary.

Picture this: you’re driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway, often dubbed “America’s Favorite Drive,” with every bend in the road revealing a new, breathtaking view. The air is crisp, filled with the scent of pine and wildflowers. It’s not just a drive; it’s a journey through nature’s art gallery, where each masterpiece is more awe-inspiring than the last.

But the Blue Ridge Mountains are more than just pretty landscapes. They’re a hub for adventure seekers and solitude searchers alike. Whether you’re into hiking, mountain biking, or simply sitting by a secluded lake to pen down your thoughts, this place has something for everyone. And let’s not forget the charming small towns that dot the landscape, each with its own unique culture and history.

So, buckle up your hiking boots and grab your camera. We’re about to embark on a journey through the most beautiful places the Blue Ridge Mountains have to offer. Trust me; this is one adventure you don’t want to miss.

The top places to visit in the Blue Ridge Mountains right now

The Most Beautiful Places to Visit in the Blue Ridge Mountains   

Eager to explore the most stunning spots in the Blue Ridge Mountains? Situated along the eastern United States, this mountain range has something to offer for every type of traveler. Continue reading to unveil the breathtaking landscapes that await you in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Whether you’re drawn to vibrant cities and cultural landmarks or you’re yearning for a tranquil escape amidst nature, the Blue Ridge Mountains have got you covered. Here are the must-visit locations in the Blue Ridge Mountains you won’t want to miss:    

1. Asheville

Ah, Asheville—a city where art meets adventure. Often overlooked, this gem is actually one of the most beautiful cities in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Picture cobblestone streets lined with historic architecture, vibrant murals, and a food scene that rivals cities twice its size. Asheville is a feast for the senses, and it’s not just about the urban vibes.

Take a short drive, and you’ll find yourself surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains beauty. The city serves as a gateway to some of the region’s most stunning landscapes. Whether you’re a fan of hiking, mountain biking, or simply soaking in panoramic views, Asheville offers easy access to it all.

Asheville is a vibrant city nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.
Asheville is a vibrant city nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.

The city is also a cultural hotspot. From the renowned Biltmore Estate to the plethora of art galleries, Asheville is a haven for history buffs and art enthusiasts alike. And let’s not forget the craft beer scene; with more breweries per capita than any U.S. city, it’s a paradise for beer lovers.

So, when you’re visiting Blue Ridge Mountains, make sure Asheville is on your list. It’s a city that seamlessly blends natural beauty with urban sophistication, making it a must-see destination in this mountainous region.

2. Craggy Gardens

Imagine standing atop a mountain, enveloped by a sea of rhododendrons and wildflowers. Welcome to Craggy Gardens, a spot that easily ranks among the most beautiful places to visit in the Blue Ridge Mountains. This natural wonder offers an ethereal landscape that changes with the seasons, each one painting the gardens in a different hue.

A short hike leads you to an overlook with jaw-dropping vistas. Here, you’re not just a spectator; you’re part of the panoramic art that is the Blue Ridge Mountains scenery. The place is a photographer’s dream, offering endless opportunities to capture the essence of mountain beauty.

Craggy Mountains, part of the Blue Ridge range near Asheville, North Carolina, paint a rugged and picturesque scene.
Craggy Mountains, part of the Blue Ridge range near Asheville, North Carolina, paint a rugged and picturesque scene.

Adventure calls in Craggy Gardens, especially for those who love to explore on foot. Numerous trails wind through the area, each promising its own unique set of views and experiences. And for the romantics, the gardens provide the perfect backdrop for a sunset that seems to set the sky on fire.

When you’re pondering where to go in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Craggy Gardens should be high on your list. It’s a place where nature puts on a show, and trust me, you’ll want a front-row seat.

3. Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Step into a world where misty mountains meet lush forests. Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a treasure trove of biodiversity and undoubtedly one of the most scenic places in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The park is a sanctuary for both wildlife and humans, offering a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

Here, you can hike through ancient forests, explore hidden waterfalls, and even catch a glimpse of black bears in their natural habitat. The park is a year-round destination, with each season offering its own unique charm. Come autumn, the foliage turns into a riot of colors, making it one of the prettiest places in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park—a true gem straddling the border between North Carolina and Tennessee.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a true gem straddling the border between North Carolina and Tennessee.

Outdoor enthusiasts will find no shortage of activities here. From challenging hikes to leisurely picnics, the park caters to all kinds of adventurers. And if you’re into photography, the opportunities for capturing stunning landscapes are endless.

When considering Blue Ridge Mountains destinations, don’t overlook the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It’s a place where you can reconnect with nature while indulging in a variety of outdoor activities. Trust me, it’s an experience you won’t soon forget.

4. Horseshoe Bend Park

Ever dreamed of casting a fishing line into a river that mirrors the sky? Horseshoe Bend Park is where this dream comes to life. This tranquil spot is a hidden gem among the best places to visit in the Blue Ridge Mountains. With the Toccoa River meandering through, it’s a paradise for anglers and nature lovers alike.

The park is more than just a fishing spot; it’s a canvas painted with shades of green and blue. Kayaking and tubing are popular activities here, offering a different perspective of the Blue Ridge Mountains beauty. And if you’re not into water sports, no worries—the park has picnic areas and hiking trails that promise a day well spent.

Horseshoe Bend Park is a name that hints at a scenic curve in a river, perhaps with sweeping views and natural beauty.
Horseshoe Bend Park is a name that hints at a scenic curve in a river, perhaps with sweeping views and natural beauty.

What sets Horseshoe Bend Park apart is its accessibility. It’s family-friendly and perfect for a day trip. The park even has a playground for the little ones, making it a complete package for a family outing.

When you’re making your list of places to see in the Blue Ridge Mountains, be sure to include Horseshoe Bend Park. It’s a slice of serenity where you can unwind and enjoy the simpler things in life.

5. Julian Price Memorial Park

Unplug and breathe in the fresh mountain air. Julian Price Memorial Park is a sanctuary for those looking to escape the digital world. Situated along the Blue Ridge Parkway, this park is one of the most beautiful places in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It offers a diverse range of activities that allow you to immerse yourself in nature fully.

The park is home to Price Lake, a serene body of water perfect for kayaking, canoeing, or simply sitting by the shore with a good book. The lake reflects the surrounding mountains, creating a picture-perfect setting that’s a must-see in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Julian Price Memorial Park is known for its serene lake, scenic trails, and the embracing beauty of the surrounding mountains.
Julian Price Memorial Park is known for its serene lake, scenic trails, and the embracing beauty of the surrounding mountains.

Hiking trails? They’ve got them. From easy walks to more challenging hikes, Julian Price Memorial Park offers trails that cater to all levels of outdoor enthusiasts. Each trail provides a unique experience, whether it’s walking through a forest of giant hemlocks or reaching an overlook with panoramic views.

When you’re planning your next mountain getaway, Julian Price Memorial Park should be on your list of destinations. It’s a place that offers both relaxation and adventure, making it a versatile choice for any traveler.

6. Linville Gorge Wilderness

Get ready to be swept off your feet by the grandeur of Linville Gorge Wilderness. Known as the “Grand Canyon of the East,” this area is a highlight among the most beautiful places of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The gorge is carved by the Linville River, which snakes its way through the rugged landscape, creating a dramatic setting that’s a feast for the eyes.

Adventure is the name of the game here. With miles of hiking trails that offer varying levels of difficulty, Linville Gorge is a hiker’s paradise. Each path leads to a new discovery, be it a hidden waterfall or an overlook that offers sweeping views of the Blue Ridge Mountains scenery.

Known as the "Grand Canyon of the East," it's a haven for hikers and nature enthusiasts seeking breathtaking views and challenging trails
Known as the “Grand Canyon of the East,” it’s a haven for hikers and nature enthusiasts seeking breathtaking views and challenging trails

What makes Linville Gorge truly special is its untouched beauty. Being a designated wilderness area, it’s one of the few places where you can experience the Blue Ridge Mountains in their most pristine form. It’s a haven for wildlife, so don’t be surprised if you encounter a deer or even a black bear during your visit.

When you’re wondering where to go in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Linville Gorge Wilderness should be high on your list. It’s a place that promises adventure and solitude in equal measure, making it a must-visit for any nature lover.

7. Long Creek Falls

Feel the mist on your face as you stand near a cascading waterfall. Long Creek Falls is a hidden oasis that deserves a spot on your list of most beautiful places to visit in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The waterfall is the star of the show here, plunging into a pool that’s surrounded by lush greenery.

Getting to the falls is part of the adventure. A moderate hike through a forest filled with the sounds of chirping birds and rustling leaves leads you to this natural spectacle. Once you arrive, it’s like stepping into a postcard. The falls offer a tranquil setting that’s perfect for meditation or even a picnic.

Long Creek Falls is a picturesque cascade adding to the beauty of the region.
Long Creek Falls in the Blue Ridge Mountains is a picturesque cascade adding to the beauty of the region.

Long Creek Falls isn’t just a summer destination. Visit during the fall, and you’ll be greeted by a kaleidoscope of colors as the leaves change, adding another layer of beauty to one of the prettiest places in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

When you’re compiling your Blue Ridge Mountains top sights, don’t overlook Long Creek Falls. It’s a spot that offers a perfect blend of adventure and tranquility, making it a must-visit for anyone looking to experience the natural beauty of the region.

8. Mile High Swinging Bridge

Elevate your Blue Ridge Mountains experience—literally. Mile High Swinging Bridge offers an adrenaline rush like no other. Suspended a mile above sea level, this engineering marvel is one of the most scenic places in the Blue Ridge Mountains. As you walk across the bridge, you’ll feel like you’re floating above the clouds.

The bridge is part of Grandfather Mountain, a nature reserve that offers a plethora of outdoor activities. From hiking trails to wildlife habitats, there’s something for everyone. The area is particularly popular among birdwatchers, as it’s home to over 200 species. It’s a must-see in the Blue Ridge Mountains, especially for nature enthusiasts.

Suspended high above the rugged terrain of the Blue Ridge Mountains, it offers breathtaking views and a touch of adventure.
Suspended high above the rugged terrain of the Blue Ridge Mountains, it offers breathtaking views and a touch of adventure.

The panoramic views from the bridge are nothing short of breathtaking. On a clear day, you can see for miles, with the Blue Ridge Mountains serving as a stunning backdrop. It’s a view that you’ll want to capture, so don’t forget your camera.

When you’re considering places to visit in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Mile High Swinging Bridge should be at the top of your list. It’s not just a bridge; it’s a gateway to unparalleled views and unforgettable experiences.

9. Mount Mitchell State Park

Reach for the sky at Mount Mitchell State Park, home to the highest peak east of the Mississippi. This elevated paradise is among the most beautiful places in the Blue Ridge Mountains, offering vistas that stretch as far as the eye can see. The summit is accessible by car, but if you’re up for a challenge, hiking trails await.

The park is a haven for flora and fauna, featuring a diverse range of ecosystems. From spruce-fir forests to subalpine meadows, the natural beauty here is awe-inspiring. It’s a Blue Ridge Mountains beauty that you have to experience to believe.

Mount Mitchell State Park—a majestic haven in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, home to the highest peak east of the Mississippi River.
Mount Mitchell State Park is a majestic haven in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, home to the highest peak east of the Mississippi River.

Winter transforms Mount Mitchell into a snowy wonderland, ideal for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. But no matter the season, the views from the summit are always spectacular. On a clear day, you can even see the skyline of Charlotte, North Carolina in the distance.

When you’re brainstorming places to see in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Mount Mitchell State Park should be a priority. It’s an all-season destination that offers a mix of adventure and serenity, perfect for anyone looking to experience the Blue Ridge Mountains in all their glory.

10. Pisgah National Forest

Imagine a place where waterfalls, rivers, and mountains converge to create a natural playground. Welcome to Pisgah National Forest, a sprawling expanse that’s undeniably one of the most beautiful places in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Covering over 500,000 acres, this forest is a treasure trove of outdoor activities and scenic beauty.

The forest is home to the iconic Looking Glass Falls, a waterfall that’s as mesmerizing as its name suggests. It’s a must-see in the Blue Ridge Mountains, especially for photographers seeking that perfect shot. The forest also boasts some of the best mountain biking trails in the region, offering an adrenaline-pumping experience for thrill-seekers.

Pisgah National Forest—a vast expanse of natural beauty in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina.
Pisgah National Forest is a vast expanse of natural beauty in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina.

But Pisgah isn’t just for the adventurous. If relaxation is what you seek, the forest has numerous campgrounds where you can unwind under the stars. The sound of the river flowing and the wind rustling through the trees make for a soothing backdrop.

When you’re compiling your list of destinations to visit in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Pisgah National Forest is a no-brainer. It’s a place that caters to all types of travelers, from adrenaline junkies to those in search of peace and quiet.

11. The Biltmore Estate

Step back in time and into luxury at The Biltmore Estate, a place that combines historical elegance with natural beauty. Often overlooked among the most beautiful places to visit in the Blue Ridge Mountains, this Asheville gem is America’s largest privately-owned home. Built by George Washington Vanderbilt II, the estate is a marvel of architecture and design.

The mansion itself is a spectacle, but the grounds are equally captivating. Acres of meticulously maintained gardens offer a colorful display of flora, making it one of the prettiest places in the Blue Ridge Mountains. From the Italian Garden to the Walled Garden, each section has its own unique charm.

The Biltmore Estate—a grand and opulent mansion nestled in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Asheville, North Carolina.
The Biltmore Estate is a grand and opulent mansion nestled in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Asheville, North Carolina.

Wine enthusiasts will be thrilled to know that the estate also features its own winery. Take a tour and enjoy a tasting session featuring some of the finest wines produced on-site. It’s an experience that adds a touch of sophistication to your Blue Ridge Mountains adventure.

Visiting Blue Ridge Mountains without a stop at The Biltmore Estate would be a missed opportunity. It’s a destination that offers a blend of history, luxury, and natural beauty, making it a must-see for anyone exploring the region.

12. Toccoa Falls

Imagine standing in front of a 186-foot waterfall, its roar filling the air as mist lightly sprays your face. Welcome to Toccoa Falls, a hidden gem that’s undeniably one of the most beautiful places in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Located on the campus of Toccoa Falls College in Georgia, this waterfall is a sanctuary of natural beauty.

The falls are accessible via a short, easy walk, making it a perfect destination for families and those looking for a less strenuous adventure. Once you arrive, the sight that greets you is awe-inspiring. The water cascades down a sheer rock face into a serene pool below, offering a tranquil setting that’s ideal for reflection or a romantic moment.

Toccoa Falls—a serene and breathtaking waterfall cascading gracefully near Toccoa Falls College in Georgia.
Toccoa Falls is a serene and breathtaking waterfall cascading gracefully near Toccoa Falls College in Georgia.

Photographers, bring your cameras! The falls provide a stunning backdrop that you’ll want to capture. It’s a Blue Ridge Mountains destination that’s both Instagram-worthy and soul-soothing.

Toccoa Falls is not just a sight to see; it’s an experience that captivates your senses and calms your spirit. When considering where to go in the Blue Ridge Mountains, don’t overlook this enchanting waterfall. It’s a slice of paradise that’s waiting to be discovered.     

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Visiting the Beautiful Places in the Blue Ridge Mountains   

Looking to expand your knowledge about the most scenic spots in the Blue Ridge Mountains? Here are some common questions I get a lot about the best Blue Ridge Mountains attractions.

What is the prettiest part of Blue Ridge Parkway?

The section of the Blue Ridge Parkway that winds through North Carolina’s Pisgah National Forest is often hailed as the most stunning. This stretch is a feast for the senses, offering iconic landmarks like Craggy Gardens and the Linn Cove Viaduct. The panoramic views, the scent of spruce and fir, and the tranquil atmosphere make it a transcendent experience.

The Blue Ridge Parkway—a scenic ribbon of road winding through the Appalachian Highlands, offering breathtaking views, lush forests, and access to the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The Blue Ridge Parkway is a scenic ribbon of road winding through the Appalachian Highlands.

What is the most visited town in the Blue Ridge Mountains?

Asheville, North Carolina, is the most visited town in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Known for its vibrant arts scene, historic architecture, and the sprawling Biltmore Estate, Asheville serves as a gateway to the Blue Ridge Parkway and Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Its eclectic downtown, craft breweries, and outdoor activities make it a magnet for tourists.

Where is the best place to get on the Blue Ridge Parkway?

The best place to access the Blue Ridge Parkway depends on what you’re looking to experience. However, a popular starting point is near Asheville, North Carolina, where you can easily access the parkway and immediately immerse yourself in some of its most breathtaking landscapes. Asheville provides a perfect blend of urban amenities and natural beauty, making it an ideal launching pad for your journey.

Which state has the best Blue Ridge Mountains?

Both Virginia and North Carolina offer exceptional Blue Ridge experiences, but many consider North Carolina to have the edge. The state is home to the highest peaks, including Mount Mitchell, the tallest mountain east of the Mississippi. The diversity of landscapes, from highland meadows to dramatic cliffs, adds to North Carolina’s allure.

Why is Blue Ridge famous?

Here are some of the reasons why Blue Ridge Mountains is famous:

  • Scenic Beauty: Known for its breathtaking landscapes, especially the iconic Blue Ridge Parkway, often referred to as “America’s Favorite Drive.”
  • Appalachian Culture: The area is a hub for unique Appalachian traditions, music, and crafts, offering a deep dive into a rich cultural heritage.
  • Outdoor Activities: A paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, offering hiking, fishing, kayaking, and more, set against a backdrop of stunning natural beauty.
  • Rich Biodiversity: Home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, making it a hotspot for nature lovers and researchers alike.
  • Historical Significance: Part of the Appalachian Mountain range, one of the oldest mountain systems in the world, adding geological importance to its list of attractions.
  • Tourist Magnet: Its accessibility and the blend of natural and cultural experiences make it a popular destination for tourists from around the globe.
  • Seasonal Beauty: Offers something year-round, from wildflower blooms in spring to vibrant foliage in fall, ensuring it’s a year-round destination.
  • Photographic Appeal: A favorite among photographers for its misty mountains, cascading waterfalls, and panoramic vistas that make for postcard-perfect shots.

Why is the Blue Mountains so beautiful?

Here are some of the reasons why Blue Ridge Mountains is so beautiful:

  • Unique Geological Features: The Blue Mountains boast a variety of geological formations like the Three Sisters, which add to its unique beauty.
  • Eucalyptus Atmosphere: The abundance of eucalyptus trees releases oil into the air, which, when combined with water vapor and sunlight, creates a distinctive blue haze, giving the mountains their name.
  • Diverse Ecosystems: The area is home to a wide range of flora and fauna, including rare and endangered species, making it a biodiversity hotspot.
  • Waterfalls and Rivers: The landscape is punctuated by stunning waterfalls and clear rivers, adding a dynamic element to its beauty.
  • Expansive Forests: The lush, dense forests provide a rich, green backdrop that contrasts beautifully with the blue haze.
  • Cultural Heritage: The land is of great significance to the Aboriginal people. This adds a layer of cultural beauty through ancient rock paintings and sacred sites.
  • Adventure Opportunities: The natural beauty is complemented by the range of outdoor activities it offers, from hiking and canyoning to bird-watching, enhancing the visitor’s experience of the landscape.
  • Seasonal Changes: The Blue Mountains offer different but equally stunning vistas across seasons, from snow-capped peaks in winter to vibrant wildflowers in spring.
  • Accessibility: Despite its rugged natural beauty, it’s easily accessible, allowing more people to experience its splendor.
  • Serenity and Isolation: The vastness of the area offers pockets of tranquility and isolation, allowing visitors to fully immerse themselves in its natural beauty.

Final Thoughts on Visiting Beautiful Places in the Blue Ridge Mountains

The Blue Ridge Mountains are more than just a series of peaks and valleys; they’re a sanctuary of awe and serenity combined. Envision yourself hiking through Craggy Gardens, where every turn unveils a vista that takes your breath away. Or imagine the sensation of standing atop Mount Mitchell, enveloped in the tranquility that only nature can offer.

But what truly elevates the Blue Ridge Mountains is not just the jaw-dropping scenery. It’s the genuine warmth of the locals that turns your adventure into a memorable experience. These welcoming communities make you feel as if you’ve found a second home amidst the hills and forests. Plus, you don’t have to empty your wallet to soak in all this beauty. The Blue Ridge region offers a variety of budget-friendly options. This allows you to explore its most captivating spots without financial stress.

So why hesitate? Grab your gear and set your sights on this mountainous haven. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or a soul in search of peace, the Blue Ridge Mountains have something to offer that will exceed your wildest dreams. It’s a destination that beckons you to uncover its countless marvels.

The most beautiful places to visit in the Blue Ridge Mountains for all types of travelers
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