The Blue Ridge Parkway is a "window" to the region and provides access to scores of communities, with cultural and natural sites that help define this region of the country. A full Parkway experience involves getting into these communities and enjoying the people and the local flavor that is so much a part of a visit to the area.
Other National Park Areas and US Forests
The Blue Ridge Parkway connects Great Smoky Mountains National Park to the south and Shenandoah National Park on the northern end. Just east of Roanoke, VA, visit Booker T. Washington National Monument where the noted educator was born into slavery. Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site east of Asheville, NC preserves the poet and author's home. The Parkway passes through four US Forest Service areas, the George Washington and Jefferson in Virginia and the Pisgah and Nantahala in North Carolina.
Part of the experience on the Parkway is stopping to visit local towns and communities along the way. The NC Division of Tourism and Virginia Tourism Commission have web sites that will help you find out what is available. Visit the Boone, Asheville, Roanoke, or Bedford web sites for information as well.