Driving the Blue Ridge Parkway

Asheville, North Carolina

We woke up early this morning and, after checking out of the Inn, made our way to the Blue Ridge Parkway. This 469-mile highway, which originates in Rockfish Gap, Virginia, is the most visited attraction in the United States National Park System. Much of the scenic road hugs the Blue Ridge Mountains, which are part of the Appalachian Mountains.

The weather was perfect so, with windows down and sunroof open, we entered around mile marker 388. Passing scenic overlooks along the narrow road, we made our way to Mt. Pisgah, named after the Biblical mount from which Moses first saw the Promised Land (according to a sign at the base). A steep 1.5 mile trail that gained about 700 feet took us to the summit from which there were panoramic views of western North Carolina.

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Thoroughly sweated up, we happily returned to the car and continued along the scenic parkway. Numerous tunnels brought us through the mountain side and provided appropriate photo opportunities for BMW’s next ad campaign.

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After a couple of hours, we exited and made our way back to Asheville, stopping for some lunch in nearby Biltmore Village. We checked into our hotel, the Bohemian Grand, which was located just outside the gate to the Biltmore Estate. It was furnished to resemble a trendy German hunter’s lodge, complete with stuffed animal heads lining the rustic wood-paneled walls.

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Our king room was on the fourth floor, with the decor of the lobby continuing upstairs. Which is to say, lots of wood, leather and stone.

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Showered up, we made our way into downtown Asheville, checking out the Grove Arcade and Woolworth Walk. Along the city’s restored Art Deco buildings, musicians played on street corners and strung out hippies parked their amazing hand-painted vehicles.

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We opted for dinner at the hotel’s Red Stag Grill, enjoying our steaks, brie mac & cheese and truffle french fries. Perhaps most impressive, however, were the back-lit menus — the first time either of us have seen such a thing.

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Finishing up a bottle of German pinot noir, we agreed. There’s a reason that this small city in western North Carolina has been ranked one of the best places to live in the U.S.

And it’s well deserved.

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Comments

  1. So glad you enjoyed AVL. It truly is a great place to visit and living here ain’t so bad either!!

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