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Road Trip along the Blue Ridge

Road Trip along the Blue Ridge
Written by Erin Byers Murray | Illustrations by Jasmine Agosti

From Asheville to Roanoke, we’ve rounded up 6 stops that will give you a taste of the Blue Ridge region

 

Like a long and winding ribbon, the Blue Ridge Parkway cuts its way along the ridges and hilltops of the Appalachian Mountains, making a path from North Carolina’s Great Smoky Mountain National Park to the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. The 469-mile stretch brings travelers along curving roads, through iconic tunnels, and into the small towns that dot the parkway like pinball targets along the way.

You could tackle the entire length of it, but for a few days of driving, tasting, and exploring, the stretch from Asheville, North Carolina, to Roanoke, Virginia, is an easier bite to chew—and provides plenty of great beer, wine, and snacks along the way.

 

Stop 1
Asheville, North Carolina

Start by fueling up at the Rhu, chef John Fleer’s bakery and cafe where cheese grits will fortify you in the morning and their picnic baskets, like the Mountainside filled with a baguette, pickled vegetables, and a selection of local cheeses, are just right for a day on the road.

 

Stop 2
Hendersonville, North Carolina

Take a sidestep from the Parkway to explore a few of the twenty-three breweries, wineries, and cideries in and around Hendersonville, North Carolina.

 

 

Stop 3
Chimney Rock State Park, North Carolina

The panoramic views at the top of Chimney Rock State Park will leave you breathless, while Hickory Nut Gorge Brewery provides a quaffable reward when you’re done.

 

 

Stop 4
Boone, North Carolina

Well-known for its ski mountains and snow tubing, Boone has that small, mountain-town charm that makes it worth stopping through yearround. Park yourself at the restored Horton Hotel and Rooftop Lounge set at the center of downtown, where fifteen polished rooms await.

 

Stop 5
Mount Airy, North Carolina

Besides being Andy Griffith’s hometown, and the model for the fictional Mayberry, Mount Airy and its surrounding Surry County is the birthplace of the fruit sonker, which you can taste along the Surry Sonker Trail.

 

 

Stop 6
Roanoke, Virginia

When it’s time to put the bow on this journey, Roanoke allows for a few final, tasty stops, like The River and Rail and Pop’s Ice Cream & Soda Bar.

 

For the full story and more great road trips, look for our Spring 2021 issue, on sale February 9.

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