The Visitor Centers located along the Blue Ridge Parkway serve to illuminate, educate, and guide visitors to all the Parkway has to offer. Learn about the Parkway’s history, listen to mountain music, enjoy exhibits of folk art, take in high vistas and engineering marvels, watch living history demonstrations, listen to ranger talks, and purchase books, maps, and gifts.
Southbound, this “first stop” offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and cultural history.
Peaks of Otter
A major developed area of the Blue Ridge Parkway, Peaks of Otter features a living history farm, camping, hiking, lodging, and plenty of natural beauty.
Virginia’s Explore Park
Just off the Blue Ridge Parkway at Milepost 115, Explore Park features hundreds of acres of rolling hills, pristine woodlands, hiking trails, river frontage, historical buildings and a visitor information center. Whether you’re looking to bike, hike, canoe, picnic, or learn more about all Roanoke County has to offer, Explore Park is your destination for exploration!
Rocky Knob, an area of exceptional beauty, is a must-see.
Blue Ridge Music Center
Learn about traditional mountain music at the Blue Ridge Music Center and enjoy live performances during the summer.
In 1935, Cumberland Knob was the site where construction of the Blue Ridge Parkway began.
The open meadows of this park are some of the best locations along the Parkway for viewing wildlife, and the area is rich in preserved Appalachian history.
Northwest Trading Post
The shelves of this Trading Post are full of local color, home-crafted by talented Blue Ridge Mountain artisans.
Moses H. Cone Memorial Park
A jewel of the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Moses H. Cone Memorial Park and Mansion are a must-see that reflect Gilded Age splendor.
Linn Cove Viaduct
Recognized internationally as an engineering marvel, the Linn Cove Viaduct preserved the beauty of Grandfather Mountain by curving naturally with the Mountain’s contours.
Linville Falls is a beautiful series of dramatic falls that drop to a deep gorge, accessed by a trail lined with rare virgin stands of white pine and hemlock.
Museum of North Carolina Minerals
See educational and exciting exhibits about the geology of the region and the history of mining in the Spruce Pine, NC area.
June and July are the months to visit this spectacular showplace of Catawba rhododendron and other late-blooming wildflowers.
Folk Art Center
This extensive building contains exhibits, an informative visitor center, a library, an auditorium, and a variety of crafts, jewelry, and art.
Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center
The Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center, located at milepost 384 near Asheville, opened in 2008. In this newest of the Parkway’s Visitors Centers, high-tech and innovative exhibits entertain and inform.
An ideal spot for watching sunrises and sunsets across the rugged mountains, Waterrock Knob Visitor Center sits at almost 6,000 feet elevation.
Oconaluftee Visitor Center
This area was the ancestral home of the Cherokee, and it s Visitor Center has a Pioneer Homestead exhibit, which includes a farm house, barns, and a mill.
Additional information centers can be found online or in the towns & cities adjacent to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Find these resources in our travel directory.