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Blue Ridge Parkway A Scenic Summer Route

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Getting there is half the fun with a drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway. NY1's Valarie D'Elia filed the following report.

Spanning nearly 500 miles between two national parks, Shenandoah in Virginia and Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina, the Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the most scenic drives in America.

"We don't have street lights, we don't have traffic lights it's just 469 miles of road, overlooks, tunnels and beautiful wilderness," says Blue Ridge Parkway Assistant Chief Ranger Deborah Flowers.

Driving about a third of it, heading north from Asheville to Blowing Rock, North Carolina, I caught a fleeting glimpse of a deer, but managed to steer clear of any bears and homosapiens.

"Due to the curves and other traffic, we have a lot of hikers, bicyclists, you need to pay attention to the road if you want to stop and look, you need to use the overlooks," notes Flowers.

Keep an eye on your gas tank as well because there are no filling stations on the parkway.

"I'm enjoying the beauty and the roads so much that I actually have a little meter on my tank that tells me if I'm running low on fuel and I know how far I can go on my tank so I can get off, exit and refuel," says Wilson Ross Mejias, a motorcyclist.

Many of the hotels along the way are reasonably accessible from the parkway's exits. With a maximum speed limit of 45 mph, you might want to set aside about four days to drive the entire length.

Visitor centers along the route are convenient pit stops for restroom breaks and to learn about sites along the way.

Besides the gorgeous views, you might want to lookout for an epiphany or two.

I'm not an overly religious person, but I can tell you that God was in a good mood when he made western North Carolina, it's just absolutely beautiful.

As is common practice in the travel industry, Travel With Val often receives complimentary travel or reduced "media" rates at hotels, resorts and attractions, including those that may be featured in these reports. Such consideration is not taken in exchange for any express or implied promise or understanding of any nature, particularly regarding the content of these reports. These reports only feature travel providers personally recommended by Valarie D’Elia in the exercise of her independent editorial judgment, and do not represent the endorsement of Time Warner Cable or any third party. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP