Photo Credit: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock
Stretching 469 miles through the mountains of Virginia and North Carolina, the Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the most scenic drives in America. Road trippers who make the journey are rewarded with breathtaking overlooks, epic hiking, unique cultural opportunities, and a bevy of brewehries, cideries and wineries.
Autumn is the perfect time to explore the Parkway as the trees come to life in beautiful colors. If you’re looking to make the journey this fall, here are six spots you won’t want to miss—plus hotel suggestions to make the most of your stay.
Milepost 0: Shenandoah National Park
Where to stay: Hampton Inn by Hilton Waynesboro/Stuarts Draft is located near the beginning of the Parkway, as well as many local wineries, making it the ideal place to stop after a day full of fun.
Milepost 120: Roanoke, Virginia
As you twist and turn through the Blue Ridge Mountains, you’ll soon find yourself in Roanoke. Make your way to the city’s most iconic landmark, the Mill Mountain Star. This beacon is a sight to behold at any time of day, but especially at sunset as the city is awash in hues of orange and the illuminated star is brought to neon life.
Where to stay: Once the sun goes down, settle into a historic room at The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center, Curio Collection by Hilton.
Milepost 213: Blue Ridge Music Center
Where to stay: After a day of musical exploration, head into downtown Galax to check out a show at the Rex Theater before checking into Hampton Inn by Hilton Galax.
Milepost 297: Blowing Rock
North Carolina’s oldest attraction, Blowing Rock, was once heralded by Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! as “the only place in the world where snow falls upside down.” While an autumn visit will likely prove to be snow-free, when you’re standing on Blowing Rock you’ll definitely be aware of the sensation that wind is blowing upward from the rock, which hangs over Johns River Gorge at a height of 4,000 feet above sea level.
Where to stay: After admiring this stunning marvel of nature, head to nearby Boone where you can enjoy more mountain views and a stay at Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Boone.
Milepost 384: Asheville, North Carolina
Where to stay: Marvel at the grandeur of America’s largest home on a tour of Asheville’s castle-like Biltmore Estate, and explore its stunning gardens before checking into the nearby Hilton Garden Inn Asheville South.
Milepost 462: Oconaluftee Indian Village
As you near the end of the Blue Ridge Parkway, be sure to stop at the Oconaluftee Indian Village. Here you can travel back to the 18th century as you learn about the Cherokee people and their way of life in the North Carolina mountains. Guided tours provide an educational look at crafting demonstrations, special shows and traditional dance performances.
Where to stay: Schedule a stay at the nearby Hampton Inn by Hilton Cherokee before finishing your drive or continuing into Great Smoky Mountains National Park for even more adventure!
When planning your fall road trip, remember that Hilton Honors members can earn up to 5,000 Points and save on qualifying car rentals from Alamo, Enterprise and National. And if you rent a car for five or more days between Aug. 15, 2022 and Oct. 5, 2022, you’ll receive 1,000 Bonus Points on top of the Points you already earn.