The Old North State
Running along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains at the far western edge of the state, this route across North Carolina takes in some of the most beautiful scenery east or west of the Mississippi.
Though not as immense as the Rockies or other western landscapes, this part of North Carolina abounds with rugged peaks and deep valleys, pastoral meadows, and ancient-looking mountain villages, some dating back to colonial times. It’s all linked by the magnificent Blue Ridge Parkway, perhaps the country’s greatest scenic drive.
The region’s sole city, Asheville, is a proud old resort dominated by the ostentatious Biltmore Estate, the world’s largest private house, but everywhere else nature predominates—especially in the majestic Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the state’s far southwestern corner.