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Can you drive the Blue Ridge Parkway from south to north in one day?

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My family is visiting the region and is wondering. Also, is the North Carolina or Virginia part better?


Do you *want* to do that? Idk.

I haven't been on the BRP in VA, so I can't legitimately answer the NC vs VA question, but in general the Appalachian mountains in NC are "better" than in VA.

Maybe on one very long day, but it would be a tremendous waste, since you wouldn't be able to stop anywhere to do it.  Too much to see and do.

If you're including Skyline Drive, the drive through Shenandoah National Park is spectacular.

Speed is strictly enforced, used to be 35 mph.

The parkway is 469 miles long, and the maximum speed limit, which I understand to be fairly well enforced, is 45 mph. That leaves a minimum of 10 hours and 25 minutes to drive its full length. Whether that's enough for you, I can't say.

That said, while I've never driven the Blue Ridge Parkway, I have driven on the the Natchez Trace Parkway, a similarish sort of road in that it is also a part of the National Park Service. It took me 3 hours to go 88 miles, for an average speed of a smidge less than 30 mph. A similar pace for the whole length of the Blue Ridge Parkway would take about 15 and a half hours.

I've done roughly 25 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway and 2/3 of Skyline Drive, all in Virginia, and from that experience my answer would be no.

As others have noted, it might be technically possible, but you're going to want to stop at some of the scenic overlooks, and that tends to be time consuming.

Skyline Drive, though, is definitely doable in a day and that has pretty good scenery.. IMO once you've seen Skyline Drive, the Blue Ridge Pkwy is kind of just more of the same and yes it's scenic, but it's quite curvy and hard to make up time, so it's a lot more wearing than cruising down the interstate, especially in the late afternoon/evening hours.


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