Part 2 in our series of Creating Unique Vacation Memories in Asheville, NC
One of the first questions visitors ask is… Where can we see the best views? Everyone wants to see long range mountain views and in Asheville, NC there are many views; it all depends on HOW you want to see them.
Here’s 3 ways to see spectacular mountain views:
Spectacular Views While You Cruise
The most popular way is to cruise the Blue Ridge Parkway which is open! This 469 mile paved pathway will take you along the most scenic drives winding through Virginia and North Carolina and of course, right through Asheville. You can cruise in your car for the breeze, get on foot and hike the trails or chase the water features on the BRP. Whether you’re heading to Mt. Mitchell, the tallest mountain peak east of the Mississippi, or trekking along the Mountains to Sea Trail, you’ll find never-ending adventure up and down the BRP.
We highly recommend downloading the ‘All Trails’ App on your smartphone for easy trail searching. Find what trails to discover, read reviews and get GPS driving directions to the trailheads and download trail maps.
Most of the Parkway is open but restrooms, campgrounds, picnic areas & other facilities remain closed. Visit the NPS closures, real-time road map and operating hours pages to determine what is open and remember to follow CDC guidelines when visiting. Paving project info is here. As of 5/28/20, rhododendrons are blooming at higher elevations in VA and just barely starting to bloom at Craggy Gardens, with more blooms South of Asheville.
Spectacular Views without Breaking a Sweat
If you don’t have the time or simply want to see the views without breaking a sweat and perhaps also get great gourmet food, then we highly suggest The Montford Rooftop Bar in downtown Asheville. It is open Wed. – Sun. and is a stellar experience watching the color fade into the sunset. In fact, make sure you get there early because this small space gets very busy at Sunset. Of course, during COVID-19, they are taking extra precautions which means you need to do extra planning to ensure your seat. This is one of the most popular spots to get a picture with your bestfriend or sweetheart and of course, many Instagram photos are taken here. Search @themontford on Instagram and you can get a preview of the food and the views!
Spectacular Views worth the Sweat
If you have time for a short day trip, then we highly recommend taking the winding, forested roads that lead to Chimney Rock State Park. You will be driving through film history as you see where Last of the Mohicans and Dirty Dancing were both filmed. Once there you can enter the Park and hike it up, straight to the Rock. Make no mistake, this rock is no joke. Depending on how difficult (or how much you want to sweat), you choose the 499 step stairs or the 330 step stair path.
It takes about 30 minutes to get there and roughly 1 hour to 1.5 hours to hike it up. It’s the perfect day trip. On the way back, many relax by the river with a picnic of their own or dine in one of the many quaint restaurants of Chimney Rock and Lake Lure.
Chimney Rock State Park is open Friday – Tuesday!
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