50 Epic Things To Do in the Blue Ridge Mountains

There are so many things to do in the Blue Ridge Mountains, it would be impossible for us to cover all of them here, but we're sure going to hit on the big ones for you.  

Things to do in the Blue Ridge Mountains include hiking, viewing wildlife, scenic drives, finding waterfalls, swimming, rafting, visiting attractions, and much more. When visiting the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains, you will find tons of things to do for everyone!

To give you just a few ideas of things to do in the Blue Ridge Mountains, here are our top 50 picks for things to do in the Blue Ridge Mountains this summer!

Things to do in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Table of Contents

Things to do in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Things To Do in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Looking for a mountain escape but feeling overwhelmed by all the "must-do" lists? We hear you.

The Blue Ridge Mountains are awesome, with something to do for everyone (whether you're an adrenaline junkie or just want to kick back and relax).

Forget about the stress and check out this awesome list of 50 things to do in the Blue Ridge Mountains, whether you're a hardcore hiker or simply here for the breathtaking views (and maybe some scrumptious apple cider donuts).

Brace yourself for breathtaking scenery, adorable towns, and plenty of outdoor fun to keep you occupied all day (or night).

 So, grab your hiking boots, your sense of adventure, and let's explore the Blue Ridge Mountains together!

1 - Hike to the top of Mount LeConte

Top of Mount LeConte

Mount LeConte, in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, is the quintessential Smoky Mountain Hike, offering a challenge, incredible views, and lots of scenic variety.  

How often do you have time to hike up to the top of one of the tallest peaks on the east coast and visit a remote lodge?

If you're a hiker, this is a must do activity, and be sure to get you an exclusive t-shirt that is only available at the very top!  >> See our guide for details!

2 - Drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway

Fall Color at Linn Cove Viaduct

Cataloochee Valley Guide – Explore the History and BeautyOne of the most beautiful and scenic drives in the world is along the Blue Ridge Parkway through Virginia and North Carolina. The views along the 469 mile long Blue Ridge Parkway, from Skyline Drive in Virginia, to Cherokee the western border of North Carolina.   

The Parkway is full of scenic views, historic stops of interest, waterfalls, hiking trails, and wildlife. 

This is one drive everyone should do, and should be on the top of your list! 

>> See our Blue Ridge Parkway guide for details!

3 - See the Elk in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Bull Elk in Cataloochee Valley

Bull Elk in Cataloochee Valley

Hundreds of years ago, people commonly saw Elk in the Blue Ridge Mountains, but they eventually hunted them out and caused their extinction. In 2003, officials reintroduced them into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Cataloochee Valley, and they have prospered.  

Today, you can find them in Cataloochee Valley, Maggie Valley, Cherokee, and Bryson City.

They are amazing to watch from a distance, especially in the Fall during Rut Season.  

>> Learn more about the Elk in our guide!

4 - Hike to the top of Clingman's Dome

Clingmans Dome Observation Tower

The Highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park at 6,643 feet never fails to deliver. The drive to Clingmans Dome is an adventure itself, at 7 miles to the parking area.

For even better views, you can hike up the steep .5 mile trail to the concrete observation tower from the parking area, providing stunning views in every direction.

Clingmans Dome is close to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge TN.

The weather can be very unpredictable at "the dome", so dress in layers, and don't be too disappointed if it's fogged in. While there, take a quick side adventure on the Appalachian Trail that runs right next to the Observation tower!

>> See our Clingmans Dome guide for more information

5 - Stand on the top of North Carolina's Highest Mountain

Mount Mitchell Observation Deck

Mount Mitchell, at 6,684' in elevation, is the tallest mountain in North Carolina and the highest point east of the Mississippi. Mouth Mitchell State Park is located off the Blue Ridge Parkway, north of Asheville NC.

Mount Mitchell State park is beautiful, and offers incredible views, dense evergreen forest, hiking and recreation areas.

The best part of your visit will be the summit and observation deck, where you can see a complete view of the surrounding mountains from all angles. We also recommend hiking on the nature trail as well.  

>> Visit the website for more information

6 - Visit one of the most iconic structures on the Blue Ridge Parkway, Mabry Mill

Mabry Mill, Blue Ridge Parkway

Mabry Mill, Blue Ridge Parkway by Kay Gaensler

One of the most, if not the most famous historic structure on the Blue Ridge Parkway, is Mabry Mill at Milepost 176 on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia near Floyd Virginia. This operating and historic mill has been an attraction for visitors for many years, and is a favorite stopping point along the Parkway.

You can visit the mill, see cultural demonstrations, and see the decades-long tradition of Sunday afternoon music and dancing. Be sure to stop by the restaurant and gift shop as well.

>> Learn more about Mabry Mill

7 - Watch a sunset at Waterrock Knob

Sunset at Waterrock Knob on the Blue Ridge Parkway

One of the highest points on the Parkway, Waterrock Knob provides stunning views of the surround Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains, from the parking lot.  

One of the unique aspects of this observation area is that it provides both sunrise and sunset views.

You'll often find Parkway visitors here in the evenings to enjoy a sunset, while the kids play in the fields in the middle of the parking area. Located close to Maggie Valley NC.

For a more brisk adventure, hike up the short but steep trail to the top. There are restrooms and a gift shop here as well.  >> See our Waterrock Knob Guide for more information

8 - Drive down the back mountain, Heintooga Round Bottom Road

Heintooga Round Bottom Road

One of the best and most beautiful back mountain roads you can drive is Heintooga Round Bottom road, which winds its way down the mountain sides for 14 miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway to Cherokee.

The road is gravel, and often rough in some locations. Along the way, you'll see wildflowers, scenic views, creeks, waterfalls, and wildlife.

While a 4x4 isn't required, we recommend it just for ground clearance.

>> See our Heintooga Round Bottom Road Guide for more information

9 - Ride the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad in Bryson City NC

Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

All aboard, the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, departing daily from Bryson City NC. This wonderful tourism railroad offers both steam and diesel train rides to various locations and lengths. All of them offer beautiful views of the surrounding Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains, and are fun for the whole family.

They also offer several unique event excursions for holidays, dinner trains, and more.  

>> Learn more about the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, on their website.

10 - Stand on top of the Chimney, at Chimney Rock State Park

Chimney Rock State Park

Visitors have been attracted to Chimney Rock State Park since it originally opened to the public in the late 1800s. 

The massive chimney, that you can stand on top of, provides incredible views of Lake Lure NC and the surrounding mountains. Chimney Rock provides hiking trails, an incredibly beautiful waterfall, and mind-blowing views.

The park makes for a great weekend destination, with surround accommodations in Chimney Rock and Lake Lure NC.

  >> See our Chimney Rock State Park Guide for more information.

11 - Buy fresh ground corn meal at Mingus Mill, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Fall at Mingus Mill

One of the most technologically advanced mills during its time, Mingus Mill, near the Oconaluftee Visitor Center, makes for a wonderful historic visit.

This operating (during the summer) mill is not only beautiful, but fascinating to watch. The mill operates daily, and you can purchase ground cornmeal in the mill itself.   

Bring the family and spend some time in the creek and hike around the mill itself.

>> Learn more about Mingus Mill in our guide.

12 - Go swimming in the crisp and cool waters of Midnight Hole

One of the most beautiful and popular swimming holes is located in the Big Creek area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Midnight Hole provides crisp, cool and clear waters to cool off in on a hot summer day. "The hole" also provides large rocks you can jump off of and plunge into the deep waters.

To reach Midnight Hole, it's a 3 mile round-trip hike, and well worth it.  

>> See our Guide to Midnight Hole for more information

13 - Walk behind a waterfall, at Dry Falls

Dry Falls

Dry Falls, NC

Dry Falls, contrary to its name, is anything but dry.  Dry Falls is located off Highway 64 hear Highlands NC, and is a beautiful, heavily flowing waterfall you can actually walk behind. There is a short trail from the parking lot that takes you down to the falls, and under and behind it.  

For those who cannot walk or hike down, there is a very nice viewing area that provides a beautiful view of Dry Falls.  

>> See our Dry Falls Guide for more information

14 - Shop at Mast General Store

Mast General Store Valle Crucis

No visit the mountains of North Carolina is complete without a visit to one of the many Mast General Store locations.

The original store opened in Valle Crucis in 1883, and quickly became the largest general store in the area. Since then, the store has expanded to many other locations, including Waynesville, Asheville, Hendersonville, Boone, and other locations.

Each store still keeps that old-time store feeling, with lots of merchandise for sale, old-time candy barrels for the kids, and outdoor clothing and food items.

>> Learn more about Mast General Store

15 - Have dinner at the famous Daniel Boone Inn in Boone NC

Daniel Boone Inn

The Daniel Boone Inn in Boone NC has been serving home-cooked meals, just like Grandma used to make, for over 50 years.  

The popularity of their family-style meals attracts many visitors, and the Inn is considered a must-stop for good eats in the Boone and Western NC areas of the Blue Ridge Mountains. 

>> Learn more about the Daniel Boone Inn

16 - Visit Dollywood

When most people think of the mountains, the name Dolly Parton often comes to mind. In addition to singing, Dolly really knows how to create a wonderful amusement park that provides fun for the whole family.

Dollywood is in Pigeon Forge TN, and is the go to amusement park for the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains.

The park features thrilling rides, live shows, a water park, accommodations, excellent food, and is just absolutely beautiful, with its mountain theme.

>> Learn more about Dollywood

17 - Have dinner at the Old Mill, in Pigeon Forge TN

Old Mill Restaurant

One of our favorite places to eat when visiting Pigeon Forge TN is The Old Mill restaurant.  

The Old Mill is exactly what it is - a 200-year-old Mill that was converted into a really excellent family restaurant and set of associated shops.  

The restaurant serves hearty Southern classics in a family-style and beautiful historic setting. The food is delicious.

While waiting, you can explore the mill grounds, go down by the water, and shop.  

>> Learn more about the Old Mill Restaurant

18 - Explore underground at Luray Caverns

Luray Caverns

Luray Caverns is one the largest and most beautiful underground caves in the Eastern United States.  The caverns are located just outside of Luray Virginia, in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley.

Visit Geology’s Hall of Fame. Tours along lighted, paved walkways lead visitors through cathedral-sized rooms with ceilings 10-stories high, towering stone formations, and natural wonders at every turn.

>> Learn more about Luray Caverns

19 - Ride the Blue Ridge Railroad in Blue Ridge GA

Blue Ridge Scenic Railroad

Another wonderful train ride in the southern Blue Ridge mountains is the Blue Ridge Scenic Railroad, in popular Blue Ridge GA. The train has multiple excursions through the surrounding mountains and countryside of Blue Ridge, GA.  

The train has a 2-hour layover in a town that sits on the border of TN and GA, so you can stand in two states at once!

>> Learn more about the Blue Ridge Scenic Railroad

20 - Visit a natural bridge in Virginia

Natural Bridge Virginia

Natural Bridge State Park is in Natural Bridge Virginia, and is a popular destination for those visiting the Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains. 

The park is the 37th state park in the United States and features the 215-foot tall Natural Bridge. Cedar Creek, which flows below it naturally carved the bridge.   

You'll also find beautiful forest, scenic views, hiking trails, a waterfall, an Indian village, and visitor center.  

>> Learn more about Natural Bridge State Park

21 - Zipline through the tree tops

Zipping through the forests and mountains of the Blue Ridge is an experience that is beyond exhilarating, and an experience we would highly recommend. 

Fortunately, there are several places you can visit.  

We have visited several Zipline venues and really enjoyed Canopy Ridge Farm in Lake Lure NC (featured in our video above), and Navitat Canopy Adventures north of Asheville NC. Both provide great guides, wonderful scenery, and great courses.

22 - Go white water rafting

Rafting in the Blue Ridge Mountains

An incredibly popular outdoor activity in the Blue Ridge Mountains is whitewater rafting.

You get to experience the thrill of going over the rapids, enjoy the incredible scenic views, and marvel at the surrounding mountains and crystal clear water.  

There are literally hundreds of wonderful rafting companies in the Blue Ridge Mountains, but our favorites are: The Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC) and Wildwater Pigeon.

23 - See the triumphant story of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians

Unto These Hills, Cherokee

Over six million people have seen and loved the heart-wrenching action and soaring triumph of this historic Cherokee story.

“Unto These Hills” has shared the tale of Cherokee life from 1780 to the twenty-first century with visitors.

>> Learn More about Unto These Hills

24 - Go on a Safari in the Virginia mountains!

Virginia Safari Park

You wouldn't think you could go on a family Safari in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, but you sure can!

This 180 acre property is a drive-through Safari, where you can see the animals run with abandon.

You can take your time as you drive through the 3-mile safari, and even feed the animals through your vehicle windows!  >> Learn more about Virginia Safari Park

25 - Visit the waterpark at Massanutten in Virginia

Massanutten Waterpark

Massanutten water park, in the massive 6,000 acre mountain retreat of Massanutten Resort, is both an indoor and outdoor water park in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.  

The resort has accommodations and many activities, beyond just the water park. The park includes many slides, pools, and water activities for all ages.  

>> Learn More about hotels and cabins near Massanutten

26 - Go tubing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Deep Creek Tubing

Tubing in the Blue Ridge Mountains is always popular in the warm summer months.   What makes tubing in Deep Creek a little different is that you're in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.   

The water is crisp and cool. You're surrounded by natural mountain forest and scenery, and it's very inexpensive.

There is a campground in Deep Creek, and Bryson City NC is nearby for restaurants, hotel and cabin options.

 >> Learn more about Tubing in Deep Creek

27 - Go tubing in Helen GA

Helen GA Tubing

Shoot the 'Hootch! Helen GA is a popular destination in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Georgia. The town is famous for its Bavarian architecture and culture, as well as being nearby to several attractions. Helen is full of restaurants, shops, hotels and cabins.

Helen is also a popular spot for tubing, where you can enjoy hours of tubing along the Chattahoochee River through Helen.

>> Learn more about tubing in Helen GA

28 - Visit an old Mountain Farm

Located just outside of Cherokee NC, at the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, is the Oconaluftee visitors center, which features a historic mountain farm museum. During the summer months, the museum is very active with displays and live animals.  

The structures are original, and brought in from various locations in the national park. Be sure to explore the beautiful Oconaluftee River while there and visit nearby Mingus Mill.

>> Learn more about the Oconaluftee Visitor Center

29 - Walk across the mile high swinging bridge

Near the top of Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina, visitors have been walking across the "Mile high swinging bridge" for decades.

The bridge opened in 1952, and is at an elevation of 5,305 feet, between two peaks near the top of the mountain.

Grandfather mountain also features hiking trails, gift shops, a zoo, museum, and other activities.

>> Learn more about Grandfather Mountain

30 - Go horseback riding in high elevations of the Blue Ridge

Take a horseback ride through the Blue Ridge and/or Great Smoky Mountains for a unique way to see these beautiful mountains, and explore them. Riding is available for everyone, and for different skill levels. 

Many of the stable options provide various riding options, including mountain top rides for incredible views.

>> We highly recommend Smokemont Ridging Stables in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

31 - Explore the abandoned Daisy Town resort 

Elkmont Daisy Town

Elkmont – Great Smoky Mountains National ParkLocated in the historic logging area of Elkmont, Daisy Town was a mountain getaway for the more affluent from nearby Knoxville. The famous Appalachian resort closed down with the formation of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the 1930s, and today, Daisy Town is literally a ghost town in the mountains.  

Elkmont isn't far from Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge TN. Visit and explore this unique historic area, and walkthrough the restored old homes.

 >> Learn more about Elkmont

32 - Try to find the historic hidden cabin of artist, Mayna Treanor Avent

Avent Cabin on Jakes Creek Trail

The Black Bear NecessitiesMayna Avent was a famous artist, often spent the summer in her cabin, how located in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

For 20 years, she used this cabin, which was built in 1845 and purchased by the Avent family in 1918, as her summer art studio.   

Restored and maintained, the cabin is a historic site in the Elkmont area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and you can both visit and walk through it. 

Be sure to visit the small room off the main porch, which has a guest registry, copies of Mayna's artwork, and information on the cabin itself.

See our Elkmont Guide for information on how to access this beautiful old cabin.

33 - Plunge off the boulders at Midnight Hole

Nothing says summer fun for families, then Waterparks, and what's even better? Natural Waterparks. 

Look no further than Midnight Hole in the Big Creek area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. At Midnight Hole you can swim in the crisp, crystal clear waters of Big Creek, or for the more daring, jump from the tall rocks, and plunge into the deep waters.

This is an adventure your family and kids will remember, and will itch to come back to.   

>> See our Midnight Hole Guide for all the details

34 - Drive the 11-mile loop road through Cades Cove to see historic buildings and wildlife

The most visited area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and for good reason, is Cades Cove. This historic settlement area, in the Eastern TN section of the park, is full of history, wildlife, beautiful scenery ... and bears.

While there are black bears all throughout the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, your chance of seeing one in Cades Cove is significantly higher than any other area of the park.    

In Cades Cove you can drive the 11-mile loop road, to see the entire Cove, historic structures, wildlife, and to access the hiking trails, and the incredibly popular Abrams Falls. Be sure to stop at the visitor center at the half-way mark and tour the mill. Oh, and the ice cream at the Trading Company, at the beginning and end of the loop, is a MUST.

>> See our Cades Cove Guide for all the details

35 - Visit and ride the historic Tweetsie Railroad in Boone NC

Tweetsie Railroad

Visit the Carolina's first theme park and return to the wild west as you ride behind Tweetsie's historic narrow gauge steam engines, and experience the thrills of the amusement rides, live shows, food and family-fun!

For over 60 years, Tweetsie Railroad, in Blowing Rock NC, has been providing families with memories and Wild West Adventure.

The park is on the National Register of Historic Places and has something for the whole family to enjoy. Be sure to check-out their annual events as well, such as A Day Out with Thomas, Ghost Train, and Tweetsie Christmas!

>> Learn More About Tweetsie Railroad in our Tweetsie Guide

36 - See the tallest waterfall on the east coast, at over 800 feet tall

Whitewater Falls NC

Whitewater Falls is in Gorges State Park, near Sapphire and Highlands NC. It may surprise you to know that Whitewater Falls from top to bottom is over 800' tall AND the largest waterfall on the East Coast - Yes, taller than Niagra.

This stunning Falls is also Handicap accessible to the viewing deck (assistance is recommended), and the more adventurous can hike down to the base of the falls as well.

>> See our Whitewater Falls Guide for all the details!

37 - Slide down a natural rock water slide

Sliding Rock, near Brevard NC is one of the largest natural attractions in North Carolina. This natural roadside water slide attracts families from all over, who love sliding down the smooth rocks and plunging into the crisp and cool pool below.

Get there early, as the parking area fills up fast. There are lifeguards on duty during prime season and a small admission fee to enter. Trust us, your kids and grandkids will LOVE this place.

>> Learn More about Sliding Rock

38 - Take the kids mining for Gems

The Blue Ridge Mountains are full of gem mines, where kids and adults can pan the waters for hidden treasure and learn a little bit about geology while they're at it.  

See our favorite Gem Mines in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

39 - Visit an Apple Festival

Apple Festival Blue Ridge Mountains

When many people think of Fall in the Blue Ridge Mountains, they think of beautiful color, crisp cool temperatures, and apples. Yes, Apples. 

Mountain Apples in the Fall are a special treat and have been for centuries. In fact, many areas have been celebrating annual Apple Harvests for many, many years.

Apple Festivals have apples (of course), baked apple goods, apple treats, live music, arts, crafts, dancing, games, and much more. 

Two of the largest Apple Festivals are the annual Waynesville NC Apple Festival and the NC Apple Festival in Hendersonville NC.  Ellijay GA also has several Apple festival and events each year.

40 - Have a picnic, and watch the Sunset with 360 degree views

Doughton Park Picnic Area

Grab some take out, or stop by the grocery store to grab some food, and then head up into the higher elevations for a picnic and a sunset. 

One of our favorite spots is Waterrock Knob, near Maggie Valley NC off the Blue Ridge Parkway, but there are many others, including Doughton Park in North Carolina (pictured above).  

>> Top 20 Picnic Spots in the Blue Ridge Mountains

41 - Explore below the mountain at Linville Caverns

Linville Caverns

Blue Ridge Parkway Travel TipsVarious areas of the Blue Ridge Mountains have natural caverns that you can visit and explore. 

These underground caverns offer a unique way to see the mountains from a different perspective, and many have very interesting histories. For example, Linville Caverns has a bottomless pool and served as a Civil War hide-out for deserters.

Notable Caverns you and your family can explore include: Luray Caverns in Virginia, Linville Caverns in NC, and Forbidden Caverns and Ruby Falls in TN.

42 - Find the "Hiker's Tunnel" in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Hiker's Tunnel Clingmans Dome

Located under the road to Clingmans dome, this hidden tunnel, commonly called the "Hiker's Tunnel" is driven over my 10s of thousands of people per year. 

Most, don't even know it's there. The tunnel is historic and part of the remains of an old trail that used to go through the area until the park moved some roads for better accessibility.

Can you find it?

43 -Visit the most popular waterfall on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Crabtree Falls Blue Ridge Parkway

The most popular waterfall on the Blue Ridge Parkway, is at MP339.5, and just 1.5 miles down a trail. 

Crabtree Falls is a 70 foot, heavy flow waterfall is stunning and incredibly photogenic, making it a very popular destination for parkway visitors.

If you're traveling the Blue Ridge Parkway, or just love finding waterfalls, Crabtree Falls should be on the top of your list.

  >> Learn all about Crabtree Falls in our guide.

44 - Pick Fresh Mountain Apples

Pick your own apples

At #39, we talked about how mountains and apples just kind of go together. Well, did you know that not only can you visit and get fresh mountain apples in the Fall, but you can also pick your own at select Apple orchards?    

This is a great family activity, and will definitely help the kids realize that apples just don't grow on trees ... oh wait, nevermind ... 

Anyway, Apple Orchards in the Blue Ridge Mountains often have lots more to do, including games, hayrides, samples of baked apple products, and much more.  

Visiting a Blue Ridge Mountain Apple Orchard is a great way to not only bring home some delicious apples, but to spend some great family time in the mountains as well.    

Top Orchards we would recommend include: Mercier Orchards in Blue Ridge GA, The Orchard at Altapass, off the Blue Ridge Parkway, Stepp's Hillcrest Orchard in Hendersonville NC and Jeter Mountain Farm in Hendersonville NC.

45 - Ring the bell at the old Church in Little Cataloochee

Many have heard of Cataloochee Valley and have driven through to see the Elk. That part of Cataloochee Valley is called "Big Cataloochee", but did you know there is a "Little Cataloochee" as well?

There is, but you can't drive to it, you must hike. BUT the hike rewards you with breathtaking views and is worthwhile. As you make your way, you'll encounter several historic buildings that will transport you to another era.

The highlight of the hike is Little Cataloochee Baptist Church. This old restored church sits on the top of a mountain and has undergone a full restoration to its original state.

The church also has a historic graveyard with many old graves. The church even has a working bell you can ring, and the sounds of that bell echoing through the hollers of Cataloochee Valley will transport you to Sunday mornings, when everyone gathered at the church.

>> Learn more about Hiking to Little Cataloochee Valley

46 - Follow the Yellow Brick Road

Land of Oz

Did you know, that the remains of a very popular 70s theme park still opens a couple of times a year? 

Yes, you can visit the mountains of Western North Carolina, and follow the yellow brick road! The closed (but not open again), Land of Oz theme park, opens a few times a year for special events, that are well, just amazing.

The highlight event is Autumn in Oz, where you can visit the park, do the self-guided tour, visit Dorothy's home, have to run inside when the tornado arrives, and then appear in the Land of Oz. Once there, you get to travel the yellow brick road and meet all the characters, and then finally arrive in Emerald City to see the Wizard.

Visitors will find the park, which has been restored, simply beautiful and a real treat for both children and adults.

Land of Oz is located in Beech Mountain NC.

>> Learn all about the Land of Oz theme park

47 - Stand at the top of an old Fire Tower

Fire towers in the early 1900s were prevalent, and key to early identification of fires. In today's world, with the existence of aircraft, cell phones, and drones, most fire towers have disappeared, and the few that remain are not really used and are simply preserved as historical structures.

Fortunately, there are a few that remain in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and make for excellent adventures, and deliver spectacular views. One very popular one is Frying Pan Tower at MP450. The fire tower is visible from the Parkway, and about a 1.5 mile hike from the parking area.

The tower is open, and you can climb to the top for incredible 360 degree views of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains.

48 - Visit the largest privately owned home in the US

Biltmore Estate

The largest privately owned home in the United States is in Asheville NC.  

Biltmore Estate opened on Christmas eve in 1895, after nearly 6 years of construction. The estate comprised of 625,000 acres, most of it now Pisgah National Forest. George Vanderbilt built the home, and he selected Asheville because of his love of these mountains and the city itself.   

Today, the home and gardens are open to the public. The estate now has multiple restaurants, shops, a winery, and more. The house and grounds are simply gorgeous and offer visitors an exceptional experience.

>> See our Biltmore Guide for more information.

49 - Explore to Gorge in Georgia's Blue Ridge

We did not know there was a beautiful gorge and waterfall in North Georgia. We just happened to be driving back from a visit to Helen, GA and checked it out. Turns out, Tallulah Gorge is a great hike, an absolutely beautiful waterfall, and has a super cool suspension bridge that you can cross over.

Tallulah Gorge is definitely a place you should visit for beautiful views and a gorgeous waterfall. We visited in the Fall, and the colors and scenery were stunning.

>> Learn more!

50 - Climb to the top, where the Devil holds court

Devil's Courthouse, at MP422.4 is a popular stopping point along the Blue Ridge Parkway, because of the beautiful long distance views, and large rock faces of the mountain itself.

What many don't realize is that you can also make the short but steep hike up to the very top for more incredible views. The woods that you hike through on the way up are gorgeous, making this a nice hike that delivers fantastic views at the end.

The name of the mountain roots to Cherokee folklore, where they believed the Devil had court in the caves below the mountain.

>> Learn more about Devil's Courthouse

About the author

Larry Deane is co-owner of Blue Ridge Mountain Life. He has spent more than 20 years exploring the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains and has a deep passion for nature, history, storytelling, and adventure. Along with his wife Jenn, they combined these passions to create Blue Ridge Mountain Life, a travel guide to these stunning mountains they are fortunate to call home.

Larry has more than 20 years of experience as a writer and journalist, and has established himself as a leading voice and expert for Blue Ridge Mountains. He is also an avid hiker, photographer, and videographer. He loves sharing his mountain adventures and knowledge with more than 500,000 people per month on Blue Ridge Mountain Life.

Want to learn more?

Check out these articles below