One of the best ways to spend a beautiful summer day is to just get in the car and take a drive with the windows down. If you want an amazing coastal journey, you can head to Florida and cruise down Highway A1A, but if you prefer hillier terrain, the Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains provide an unbelievably scenic backdrop. From start to finish, the Blue Ridge Parkway spans 469 miles in Virginia and North Carolina, with nearly half of that distance being spread through Virginia. Hop on the road around Waynesboro, and travel south to Galax to see what the state has to offer.
Blue Ridge Cultural Sites
Early on during your trip from north to south you will encounter Humpback Rocks. You will be able to enjoy plenty of hiking and explore mountain farms of the 19th century.
The Blue Ridge Music Center
Enjoy music of the region – including tunes from the ancient fiddle and the banjo – by making a stop at the Blue Ridge Music Center. In addition to great music, you can also tour The Roots of American Music museum to brush up on your music history.
Blue Ridge Hiking
Hop out of the car and enjoy the summer weather by taking a hike somewhere along your journey. The amount of paths to traverse on your journey is too numerous to name them all here, but be sure to check out this list of Virginia hiking trails along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Blue Ridge Water Activities
Who doesn’t want to spend some time during the summer near water? Along the Blue Ridge Mountains, you can soak in the sun by spending some time fishing or splashing through the water with a refreshing swim. Two awesome places to visit for this purpose are Sherando Lake and Cave Mountain Lake.
- Sherando Lake is in the George Washington National Forest and offers a nice swimming area with a beach. You can also hop in a boat or a kayak and test your fishing skills.
- Cave Mountain Lake is a man-made lake that was constructed in the 1930s and cost $5 per vehicle per day. This is another body of water that provides a beach perfect for swimming or fishing.
A Few Select Registry Properties along the Way
Virginia is filled with 20 Select Registry properties, so here are just a few that would make for the perfect place for you to relax amid your Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains road trip.
- The Iris Inn – Waynesboro, VA
- The Iris Inn was built specifically to be a bed and breakfast instead of being repurposed. The entire architectural design was based around giving guests the best view of the mountains from each room.
- Sugar Tree Inn Bed & Breakfast – Vesuvius, VA
- At 2,800 feet elevation, guests have an amazing view of the Shenandoah Valley. At breakfast, you’ll get to enjoy your food in a dining area that has been carved into the mountainside.
- Doctor’s Inn Virginia – Galax, VA
- Built around 1913 and renovated in 2002, the Doctor’s Inn Virginia is on the Virginia Landmark Register and the National Register of Historic Places. Head there to check out one of the six luxurious rooms.
Photo courtesy Jim Lukach