Your Guide to Breathtaking Overlooks of the Blue Ridge Parkway

blue ridge parkway nc

The vastness of the Blue Ridge Parkway is what makes it a staple of the High Country and a popular tourist attraction. Because there are so many places to stop for scenic views, planning a trip can be daunting. We (obviously) love the Mile High Swinging Bridge and overlook at Grandfather Mountain, but both can get crowded, especially during peak season. We made you a list of the must-stops on the Linville side of the Parkway, so you can make the most of your weekend.

blue ridge parkway overlook

Elk Mountain Overlook
Milepost: 274.3
Elevation: 3,795
Located in Watauga County, this spot is a little far from Linville Land Harbor. Don’t let the 50-minute drive deter you, though. The trip is scenic the whole way and the view into Yadkin Valley is not one to miss. The observation deck at Elk Mountain has little obstruction of trees and brush, so you get an uninterrupted view of the Parkway.

raven rocks overlook blue ridge parkway

Raven Rocks Overlook
Milepost 289.5
Elevation: 3,810
If you’re in search for an untraditional date night out or just enjoy a good sunset, Raven Rocks is your go to. This view is commonly known to be one of the best spots along the Blue Ridge Parkway to watch the sun go down. There’s plenty of space for parking and picnic tables available, so pack a romantic dinner and set out right before sunset. Raven Rocks is also a popular spot for rock climbers if you’re more of the adventurous type.

thunder hill overlook

Thunder Hill Overlook
Milepost 290.4
Elevation: 3,795
Blowing Rock, NC
|While Raven Rocks is a sunset spot, Thunder Hill takes the cake for best sunrise, because it provides an expansive wide-range view of the Piedmont. It’s also popular amongst tourists and one of the most visited spots along the Parkway. You may even be surprised to see a fireworks show from Tweetsie Railroad in the evening.

blue ridge parkway views

Sim’s Creek Overlook
Milepost: 295.3
Elevation: 3,447
Marion, NC
Sim’s Creek Overlook is a great view in itself, but the secret is to do the hike along Green Knob Trail. It is a moderate-to-strenuous 2.3-mile trail providing scenic views of Grandfather Mountain and Price Lake along the way. Sim’s Creek is known to bring out the amateur photographer in its visitors, especially when the magnolias bloom.