How Long Does It Take To Drive Blue Ridge Parkway?

How Long Does It Take To Drive Blue Ridge Parkway?

If you were to drive Blue Ridge Parkway non-stop, the drive would take between 12 and 13 hours.

Are you considering driving Blue Ridge Parkway and want to know how long it will take? Maybe you are considering a road trip and want some guidance? Or are you curious and want to know more?

Whatever the reason is that brought you here, we have the answers for you!

Finding out how long it takes to drive Blue Ridge Parkway can be tricky, especially if you have never done a long drive like that before.

You head online for some guidance but are met with pages and pages of conflicting and confusing answers. Frustrated and disappointed, you wonder if your road trip dreams are on pause.

Well, no more! Today, we are here with the answers for you! Keep reading to find out how long it takes to drive Blue Ridge Parkway and everything else you need to know about driving Blue Ridge Parkway!

What Is Blue Ridge Parkway?

Before we dive in, let’s have a quick recap for those that need it. Blue Ridge Parkway is a National Parkway and All-American road, known for its beautiful views and scenery. It is the longest linear park in America and spans a whopping 469 miles.

The Parkway runs through 29 North Carolina and Virginia, with links to Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Shenandoah National Park. It’s the perfect Parkway to enjoy as part of a road trip!

The views are sensational, with long-range vistas, waterfalls, beautiful flora and fauna, and plenty of places to stop and explore!

No matter the time of year you go, the drive is full of beautiful colors and breathtaking views. We do love the drive during the fall when the leaves begin to change color.

And depending on the time of day you are on the road, you can enjoy breathtaking sunrises, sunsets, or even both!

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The drive on Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the most popular road trips in America and it is no wonder why!

Alongside the views, there are plenty of attractions, restaurants, and places to stay that allow you to turn the drive into a week-long road trip!

Now that we have briefly established what Blue Ridge Parkway is, let’s dive in to see how long the drive takes.

How Long Does It Take To Drive Blue Ridge Parkway

How Long Does It Take To Drive Blue Ridge Parkway?

If you were to drive Blue Ridge Parkway non-stop, the drive would take between 12 and 13 hours.

This time doesn’t take into account stopping for a restroom break, stretching your legs, or any traffic you might encounter along the way. All of these factors do impact the driving time of Blue Ridge Parkway.

If you tried to do the drive in one go, you are looking at spending all day, and part of the night in your car. You could start the drive before sunrise, see the sunrise, and set, and still be driving!

If you enjoy driving and are up for the challenge, then Blue Ridge Parkway can certainly be done in a day.

Just make sure you take regular breaks while driving and stop to stretch your legs, take in some fresh air, and have some food and drinks.

Completing the Blue Ridge Parkway drive in one day is an impressive feat and is one that is likely to put you off driving for a few days!

A more common way to drive Blue Ridge Parkway is to turn it into a road trip. Instead of spending all day in the car, take anywhere from a few to seven days to complete the drive.

Doing so spreads the drive over a few days, making it more manageable. It also allows plenty of time for you to enjoy the view.

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After all, what’s the point in driving Blue Ridge Parkway if you aren’t soaking up the spectacular view?

How To Do A Blue Ridge Parkway Road Trip?

For the ultimate Blue Ridge Parkway, we recommend taking seven days to complete the drive. You can stay along the route, have plenty of time to stop and take in the scenery, and even plan a few hikes!

It is more enjoyable for the driver and passengers to complete the drive like this. So to help you plan it, we have a few tips you can use to plan your trip!

Check out our brief list now.

  1. Do your research beforehand. Plan a few stops you want to take and attractions you want to visit along the way. There are plenty of museums, waterfalls, and wildlife spots to check out!
  2. Plan your overnight and food stops. Make a note of the exits so you can plan your stops without veering too far off course.
  3. Know where the restrooms are! There are several picnic areas and visitor centers on the Parkway with restrooms, but make sure you know how far away from one you are.
  4. Take a paper map, just in case. There are parts of the Parkway that don’t have cell phone reception!
  5. Pack for the weather! The weather can change drastically along the drive, so make sure you are prepared for rain, snow, winds, and everything in between!
  6. Make use of visitor centers. They are staffed by locals who often provide invaluable advice. You can check the opening times of visitor centers online before heading off.
  7. Consider when you are traveling. Weekends and holidays can be extremely busy, whereas early morning or traveling during the week tends to be quieter.

Final Thoughts

And there you have it! If you drove nonstop, the 469-mile drive on Blue Ridge Parkway would take you roughly 12 hours.

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However, if you planned to make a road trip out of the drive, you could spend a week enjoying the wonderful views, exploring towns and cities along the way, and having a fun-filled road trip with plenty of breaks from driving!

Why not make Blue Ridge Parkway your next road trip?

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