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.


West Virginia, United States

West Virginia is a very mountainous United States in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains. The state’s slogan is “wild and wonderful,” so as you can imagine, many people who travel there do so for outdoor recreation. Cold winters and warm summers enable people to enjoy the outdoors in the state throughout the year.

One of the most popular activities in the state is skiing. Snow is plentiful during winter thanks to the state’s high elevation. That and an abundance of mountains make for great skiing conditions. Popular resorts include Snowshoe, Winterplace, Canaan Valley and Timberline among others.
New River Gorge Bridge in West Virginia
Many locations average more than 100 inches of snow annually. As a result, resorts are able to open earlier in the season and close later in the season than other resorts in the southeast and mid-Atlantic states. While mountains are plentiful, they aren’t as high as those in the western United States, so don’t expect as large a vertical drop within a resort. Most resorts do, however, have plenty of terrain to keep you entertained.

Another popular outdoor activity is whitewater rafting. A very popular spot to do this is the New River Gorge. Despite its name, the river is one of the oldest in North America. It features class III, IV and V rapids. Numerous outfitters offer guided trips on the river and they range from hour-long to all-day trips. Due to the wild nature of the river, participants are generally required to sign waivers before any guided trip.

The gorge itself is hundreds of feet deep and has exposed rock that is millions of years old. A bridge carries US Highway 19 over the gorge 876 feet above the river. Fayette county holds “bridge day” the third Saturday every October. The bridge is closed to traffic and many people enjoy rappelling and BASE jumping.

The state also has many mountain resorts. The Greenbrier, located in White Sulfur Springs, hosts a PGA Tour golf tournament every summer, attracting some of the best golfers in the world.

West Virginia has many other travel destinations and historical sites. Also, with the mountains and natural beauty, simply driving through the state can be a trip by itself.