Fall in Asheville – Day 2

Hey Guys!

This post continues our time in Asheville.

Today, we planned on driving part of the Blue Ridge Parkway. This is a very popular drive especially during the Fall season.

Click here for a list of Fall festivals and must do Fall activities in NC

The Blue Ridge Parkway stretches 469  miles from Afton, Virginia south to Cherokee, North Carolina. Along the route every mile is marked by a Milepost, starting at 0 at the northernmost point and increasing as you travel south.

Click here for a milepost guide that includes each stop along the way

Last Dec, we drove part of the Parkway going southbound, this time we would be driving it northbound.

You could literally spend weeks driving this road if you made all the stops along the way!

Click here for 18 scenic drives near Asheville & click here for 40 cool small mountain towns near Asheville & here for 60 beautiful waterfalls near Asheville

We started our morning out with a delicious breakfast from Biscuit Head & a coffee from Starbucks!

The biscuits are huge!! And they have gluten free biscuits!

Biscuit Head has 3 locations in Asheville and one in Greenville, SC. They are only open from 8 am – 2 pm.

We ordered online & picked up our order at the front door.

After we ate, we headed to the Parkway….

I recommend you have plenty of gas, water & a picnic lunch because there’s not many options for food or gas on the drive…plus there are so many beautiful places on the Parkway to have a picnic!

The leaves were absolutely gorgeous! The colors were so vibrant!

And you know me, I couldn’t stop taking pictures!!

We stopped at a pullover but the views were obscured by the clouds….still beautiful though!

After this stop, we continued our drive.

My goal was to head straight to Rough Ridge,  then on to Grandfather Mountain, then Blowing Rock and then we would hit the stops on the way back..with Linville Falls being one of them…..however, due to us getting a late start, we didn’t get to do many of the stops that I had wanted to do.

Our GPS also took us the wrong way and we ended up in a nearby town….thankfully, it worked out because we needed gas!

After about a 30 min detour, we headed back to the Parkway. The leaves were a kaleidoscope of colors!

The leaves were definitely the highlight of this drive!

We headed through the Tanbark Ridge Tunnel…the first of many tunnels on the Parkway.

We had beautiful weather….blue, clear skies!

I continued my non stop photo shoot through the windshield!

The leaves here were definitely at their peak!

We stopped at a pullover to take more pics of the scenery…

After leaving here, we continued our drive…

Heading through the Craggy Flats & the Craggy Pinnacle Tunnels

Click here to read about the nearby Craggy Pinnacle hike…it’s only 1.4 mi roundtrip.

Our next stop was the Glassmine Falls Overlook….however, the falls was dry! 🙁

But the views were gorgeous!!

We continued our drive down the Parkway…taking hundreds of pics on the way!

Our next stop was near Old Fort….more incredible views!

Click here about the nearby Catawaba Falls hike & click here for a list of hikes by milepost in the park

There are many signs along the road that let you know when an overlook is ahead.

Exiting the Rough Ridge Tunnel..

Entering the Twin Tunnel

You exit the tunnel only to immediately enter another tunnel…

More shots of those gorgeous leaves!

Next was the Wildacres Tunnel and then you will come to the Little Switzerland Tunnel

Shortly after the Little Switzerland tunnel, you will pass the historic Orchard at Altapass.…it was very crowded so we decided to stop on the way back.

More leaves! 🙂

We passed this beautiful old bridge….you could exit the Parkway here and go to Pineola or Morganton.

As we arrived to the Linville/Grandfather Mountain area, the crowds became much worse..so we continued our drive down the Parkway.

You will pass the Linn Cove Visitor Center…this area was the busiest in the park!

Click here to read about the Linville Falls hike….the most famous waterfall in the Blue Ridge.

A shot of the bridge looking back…

We then headed to Blowing Rock...you have to exit the Parkway to get there.

Blowing Rock is not just an attraction, it’s also a town and it’s really cool! However, the place was so crowded that we headed straight for the rock.

Read about the history of the town here

Opening in 1933, the rock is the oldest travel attraction in North Carolina

Read about the legend of the Blowing Rock here

The cost to enter is $9 pp for an adult, $7 for seniors and $3 for children ages 5-12

See more about ticket pricing here & read reviews here 

There are a network of trails located here but they only take around 20 mins or so to walk.

The colors of the leaves were breathtaking!

The famous Blowing Rock!

Everyone wanted their pic taken on the rock so we had to wait our turn..

The colors here were the most vibrant of all the places we visited on our trip!

We walked out onto the skywalk for even better views

The views were incredible from every direction!

We spent some time walking along the trails taking pics of the views

If you zoom in on the pic below, you can see the “rock” above my hubby’s head 😉

A shot of the gift shop (this is also the building you pay your entrance fee)

A few more shots of the views

After leaving here, we headed to Rough Ridge to hike the 0.8 mile one way hike to another rock that is popular for pics….however, once we arrived, it had started raining.

We went ahead and parked and put on our rain gear but once we started hiking the trail, we felt it was too muddy so we turned back.

So, we continued our drive down the Parkway…at this point, we were now heading back the way we had came in….so heading southbound.

We stopped off at Little Bald Overlook…my hubby thought he should have his picture made with the sign.. 😉

The clouds were hovering just above the trees and made for some beautiful shots..(all of my pics are taken with my iPhone 8).

For a list of overlooks click here

After leaving here, we continued our drive….after driving just a short distance down the road, it stopped raining.

We stopped off at the Chestoa View Overlook….this is one of the most popular overlooks in the park and now I know why!!!

Also located here is a  6/10 of a mile easy trail with another view of Table Rock.  

It’s perfect for a forest stroll. At the end of the trail is a loop that takes you by several mountain views. We chose not to hike this since it was wet and muddy.

More shots of the views from the overlook

Click here for the top 10 best overlooks in the park

After leaving here, we continued our drive…

We made several stops on the way back…

We stopped back by at the Orchard but it had just closed when we arrived 🙁

The orchard has 30 different varieties of apples! You can either pick them yourself or purchase a bag in the store.

They also have the Apple Core Grill on site…it was also closed. The grill serves sandwiches and snacks. They also have a General Store where you can purchase all kinds of goodies from ice cream, to fudge to hot apple pie!

Read the history behind the Orchard here

We left here and continued our drive….heading back through the Little Switzerland Tunnel.

We made a quick detour off the Parkway to check out Little Switzerland...and it was just that, Little!!

All the shops/restaurants were already closed when we arrived…so, we snapped a few pics and headed on our way.

Heading through Wildacres Tunnel.….

Click here to see a list of all the tunnels on the Parkway

We stopped off at Deerlick Gap Overlook

Click here for trails to hike in this area of the park

We made another quick stop after seeing these beautiful, red plants!

After leaving here, it started to rain again..

I spotted the most amazing view ever and quickly had my hubby pullover….even though it was pouring down rain, I got out of the car to take this shot!

I was soaked but it was worth it!

It started to get super foggy and we could barely see the road.

But we pulled over again to try and take a pic of the sunset….my pictures didn’t turn out that great.

After this stop, we headed straight back to our hotel...it took us a while to get back due to the fog being so thick.

Once back at the hotel, we called it a night.

That’s all for Day 2….stay tuned for Day 3 where we spend our day at the beautiful Biltmore Estate.

Read Day 1 here.

Read about my other trips to Asheville here and here.

Thanks for reading!!