Call 1-866-433-5594 for Reservations
or Click Here
Regardless of the time of year (or time of day, for that matter), Asheville is alive.
Take a Scenic Springtime Drive Around Asheville, North Carolina
April 08, 2008
Category: Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountain Vacation
Most people associate scenic mountain drives with the fall, however, spring activities abound in Asheville, NC and getting to and from them can be half the fun! Just like the autumn, springtime delivers a plethora of beauty.
The Blue Ridge Mountains are world renowned for their various types of plant life and many areas are easily accessible by car. So, whether you live here or are visiting and staying in one of the many Asheville, North Carolina’s hotels or luxurious mountain getaways, one of these drives is a must.
The Blue Ridge Parkway gets most of the attention when people think of beautiful drives in the Western North Carolina area. It’s true that this famous parkway has tons of spectacular sites along its miles of winding highway, so that’s why several spots are listed below:
Linville Gorge: The Blue Ridge Parkway offers many breathtaking views, but few are as spectacular in their design as the Linville Viaduct. Perhaps one of the most photographed sections of the Blue Ridge Parkway, it was completed in 1987. Its design was born out of the need to protect the environment that surrounds this area of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
To get there, drive north from Asheville on the Parkway to mile marker 304; it takes approximately three hours. Or take I-40 east to Marion, then US 221 to Linville Falls. This way is not as scenic, but it is faster. Due to closures on the Parkway during the 2008 season, the second way is suggested.
Graveyard Fields Overlook: This view is very different than any other you will see on the Blue Ridge Parkway. This stop has many unusual vistas and also provides easy access to beautiful waterfalls. This area abounds with wildflowers and is surrounded by 6,000 foot peaks. The area got its name from tree stumps that resemble tombstones.
From Asheville, drive south on the Parkway to mile marker 418.8; it’s approximately 36 miles from downtown Asheville. This area is so beautiful that it can be crowded at times. Arrive early to beat the crowds. Sunrise is also a must see.
Highway 251 to Marshall, NC: This scenic highway easily offers the best view of the French Broad River in the area. This road winds alongside one of the world’s oldest rivers in the U.S. -- the French Broad. As you travel north from Asheville, so does the river. There are many areas to pull off and to enjoy the cliffs that surround this ancient river. The trip will take you into the quaint town of Marshall. Marshall is steeped in history and dates back to the Civil War. It is currently experiencing a rebirth and has a few new businesses for visitors and locals to enjoy. They include Zuma Coffee and The French Broad Taqueria. The town is also home to a Bluegrass music hall.
Take US 19/23 north from Asheville to Weaverville. Then, take US 25/70 to Monticello Road. Take Monticello road three miles and it will end at 251. Turn right and follow 251 North to Marshall. Drive carefully -- it’s a windy river road.
Hickory Nut Gap (Dover Road scenic Byway): This area is full of facts and myths. It was considered sacred ground to the Cherokee and the Catawba Indian tribes. The settlers used this route to deliver livestock over the Hickory Nut gap. This is one of only two gaps in the Blue Ridge Mountains and visitors will enjoy glimpses of trillium and mountain laurel (regional flowers).
It is also said that sirens (mythological women) tempted travelers to venture off the beaten path -- many were never seen again.
So, if you choose to venture, start on US 74A in the town of Fairview, NC. As you travel toward the town of Bat Cave, you will see many of the larger peaks in western North Carolina. The byway ends in Bat cave. This route is full of twists and turns, so drive carefully.
Find an Asheville Hotel that Can Help You Plan
If you choose to visit the area and to take one of these scenic adventures, make sure that you choose an Asheville hotel that can help you to plan, provide directions and helpful maps.
One such hotel, The Residences at Biltmore, provides a personalized concierge service. If visitors choose to stay there, they are provided with all the necessary assistance for outdoors activities. For example, hotel concierges can arrange for picnic lunches; arrange rental bicycles; can book a massage after a day of driving and hiking; and more.
The Asheville Chamber of Commerce can also help in planning your stay. So, grab your map and partner, and visit Asheville in the spring. You’ll be glad you did.