Blue Ridge Mountains

For those who love the outdoors and landscape views of the mountain peaks, the Blue Ridge Mountains are the place to be. The mountains got their name from the way the peaks appear to always be blanketed by a soft blue haze. Stretching from Georgia to North Carolina and even into Virginia, the Blue Ridge Mountains offer a wide range of opportunities for nature lovers to soak up the beauty and take part in a variety of outdoor activities. Ideally, the best time of year to visit the mountains is during spring or fall when the colors are rich and vibrant.

Asheville, North Carolina, Blue Ridge MountainsWhat to Do in the Blue Ridge Mountains

The Blue Ridge Mountains are a real treat for those who enjoy hiking, and there is much to be seen in the way of natural landscapes, waterfalls, fauna, wildlife, gorges and even canyons. Some of the most popular hiking destinations in the Blue Ridge include the Appalachian Trail, Grandfather Mountain, Devil's Courthouse and Tallulah Gorge. There are hundreds upon hundreds of miles of hiking trails that will bring enjoyment to both beginning and advanced hikers. And if you don't feel up to hiking the trails, take a scenic and relaxing drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway and catch a glimpse of the many mountains in the area along the 469-mile stretch of highway.

For those less interested in hiking and more interested in relaxing beneath the view of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the many wineries and vineyards throughout the Blue Ridge are prime tourist destinations for wine lovers and many offer outdoor wine tastings with panoramic views of the mountains. Popular vineyards and wineries that may interest travelers include: Thistle Meadow Winery – Laurel Springs, North Carolina, Breaux Vineyards – Purcellville, Virginia, The Winery House at Round Peak Vineyards – Mount Airy, North Carolina

Believe it or not, there is much more to be seen when traveling in the Blue Ridge than the mountain peaks themselves. Nestled in the heart of the mountains in Western North Carolina is the city of Asheville, a favorite vacation spot of President Obama and his family. Travelers often visit to tour the Biltmore House and botanical gardens, while others enjoy venturing downtown where the streets are lined with chic little boutiques, restaurants, museums and nightclubs.

In Virginia, Roanoke is a popular destination for travelers seeking to take in the natural beauty of the mountains. While offering plenty of opportunities for camping, swimming, hiking and picnics, Roanoke is also home to the Booker T. Washington National Monument as well as the Vinton Historical Society Museum. Whatever the occasion, the Blue Ridge Mountains offer plenty of memory making opportunities for people of all ages and walks of life.


South Carolina, United States

The state of South Carolina, sits on the border of the Atlantic Ocean in the southeastern region of the United States. It is rich with history and diverse communities. It is home to the Blue Ridge and Appalachian Mountains, the Atlantic Intracoastal waterways and Atlantic Ocean beaches.

When in the northwest corner of South Carolina, travelers can visit the Blue Ridge Mountains. South Carolina Highway 11, also known as the Cherokee Foothills National Parkway, runs through this area and gives travelers access to around eight state parks. Table Rock, Devil's Fork and Caesar's Head are a few of the parks equipped with campsites, cabins, mountain trails, lakes and waterfalls, and scenic highway over-looks for nature enthusiasts on any level.Sun setting in a marina in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

The city of Greenville, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, offers a more urban feel as the state's sixth largest city with the third largest urban area. It is known for activities and attractions based in the visual arts, ballet, theater and music. In the same region of the state of South Carolina, Spartanburg could be a stop for travelers looking to learn more about the history of this state that was the first to secede from the Union in 1860. Spartanburg maintains several historical sites such as Walnut Grove Plantation, The Seay House and The Price House.

Interstate 95, the sixth longest in the United States, running along South Carolina's eastern border and touching 15 states total, can take travelers to routes leading to Myrtle Beach, Charleston, Beaufort, and Hilton Head Island each on the Atlantic coast of the state. Myrtle Beach is a popular beach traveler's spot with hundreds of shops that make this town South Carolina's largest shopping destination. Charleston is known for its richly restored historic districts with Civil War Era mansions and an eclectic mixture of Old South, French, English and West African cultures. Also on that list for Charleston is world-renowned seafood cuisine, art, premier shopping and leading educational institutions such as The Citadel. Beaufort is a quaint historic town in the Low Country where popular movies like Forrest Gump have been shot on location.

In the center of the state is Columbia, the capital and also the largest city. With restored historical areas, art galleries, unique shops, a business district home to multiple Fortune 500 companies, and the University of South Carolina's main campus known as a world-class research and technology school, Columbia is home to an extremely diverse community of people.