(photo credit: Ava Roxanne)

For one of the nation’s most scenic road trips, those in the Atlanta area need not go far. A weekend road trip along the Blue Ridge Parkway is an amazing and easy way to have a delightful couple of days. This 469-mile stretch of lush scenic views is always breathtaking, but visit during the fall and see a canvas of exploding color worthy of any art gallery. The majesty of the mountain views will leave you in awe.

Getting There

The Blue Ridge Parkway begins in Cherokee, North Carolina and ends in Virginia. The enticing journey starts at just around 2.5 hours away from Atlanta in Cherokee. Go north on I-85 to I-985 which merges into US 23. A little ways down the road, it becomes US 23/441 which will take you through a few quaint North Carolina towns like Clayton, Franklin and Dillsboro. Just after you pass Dillsboro, take US 74 (also called the Great Smoky Mountain Expressway) and head west to Cherokee on exit 74.

Where To Stay

The Swag Country Inn
2300 Swag Road
Waynesville, NC 28785
(828) 926-0430

If you want to feel like you are staying right in the middle of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, stay at The Swag. Not only will you see jaw-dropping views from an elevation of 5,000 feet, you will feel like you have the park all to yourself. Everything here is pure luxury, so no hiking is necessary unless that is what you desire. If hiking is desired, the Inn can provide you with a gourmet backpack full of some comfort food for the journey. Also, if you want to add a little relaxation and refresh while at The Swag, you can get hour-long massages right on site during your stay.

Grand Bohemian Asheville
11 Boston Way
Asheville, NC 28803
(828) 505-2949

The Grand Bohemian Asheville will whisk you away to an authentic old-world ambiance. The hotel rests just at the gates of the famous Biltmore House. Luxurious amenities await your stay, but the highest-rated aspect of the Grand Bohemian is the Poseidon Spa. Also, although a masterpiece itself, this hotel boasts its own on-site art gallery. While basking in the past, this resort still maintains modern luxuries synonymous with any five-star hotel in the U.S.

Related: The Best Scenic Drives Around Atlanta

What To Do

Art in the Park
Blowing Rock Park
Blowing Rock, NC
(828) 295-7851

This is the 50th anniversary of Art in the Park. Many started attending this family-friendly event at a very young age and continue to return year after year. Not only does the series of events promise to bring you lots of art and crafts to view and purchase, but it is also a place for sunset strolls, musical events, a charity horse show and an art and antique show. For additional details about these various events throughout the season, please see the calendar.

Blowing Rock Art and History Museum
159 Chestnut St
Blowing Rock, NC 28605
(828) 295-9099

The Blowing Rock Art and History Museum just opened its doors last fall and has become a hub of activity in the Blowing Rock area. Not only does it house hard-to-get exhibits of artwork by those like Bob Timberlake, but it also hosts speakers, antiques and more. How about a yoga class or tai chi? Be sure to check out the calendar to see what is offered, especially in the high season.

Related: Getaway Guide: Weekend Road Trip to Pensacola, FL

Where To Eat

Old Rock Cafe
431 Main St
Chimney Rock, NC 28720
(828) 625-2329

If you just need a break, a snack or a sandwich, you will find those and much more at the Old Rock Cafe. Sit on the beautiful deck along the river to enjoy your meal with a view. Whatever you decide upon, Old Rock’s tasty meals and sandwiches will fuel you up for all of the activities to come.

Knife & Fork
61 Locust St
Spruce Pine, NC 28777
(828) 765-1511

Tucked into the quaint Spruce Pine region is the Knife & Fork. This restaurant is more than farm to table. It always considers its impact on the local environment, sourcing all local ingredients and materials to help the local economy. This is a theme that penetrates within the restaurant’s culture. All dishes reflect the local mountain traditions and most items are only offered seasonally. Be sure to read more about chef Nathan Allen here.

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Ava Roxanne Stritt is a travel writer and blogger from Atlanta with more than 20,000 Twitter followers. She is a luxury hospitality, spa and skincare industry consultant, as well as a writer, financial analyst, and a wife and mother. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.