January 26, 2015

The Blue Ridge Parkway - Nelson County, VA

Sometimes, you've just got to take a drive.

Last weekend I decided to fight off the mid-winter, cabin-fever, is-spring-ever-gonna-come blues by hopping in the car and heading west.  With a friend sitting shotgun, a cheap Sheetz sandwich on the dash, and the aviator sunglasses on, we ignored the 18̊ thermometer reading and set out for a good old-fashioned, mini road-trip down the Blue Ridge Parkway of Nelson County, Virginia!

The Blue Ridge Parkway is 469 miles of breath-taking scenery and has been the most visited "national park" of the U.S. National Park system since its inception in 1936 (it's an unofficial national park, hence the quotation marks and why I wasn't able to get a stamp in my NPS passport).  The park's northernmost point is just west of Charlottesville, VA, where it connects with the Skyline Drive*, and it stretches south to Cherokee, NC, near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  While the dead of winter admittedly doesn't afford the best temperature for enjoying the scenic overlooks, it does guarantee less people and more open roads.  Plus the winter scenery was actually quite beautiful:

Frozen, anyone?

Sadly, we were not able to drive the entirety of the park (we'll save that for another day!).  Besides, we had a date with some breweries and cideries in the area, and a cold pint in hand was becoming infinitely preferable to a cold nose on the face.

"From the Blue Mountains we come,
From the mountains, ah, so far from here,
On the backs of our horses we ride round the earth,
From the Blue Mountains we come. ..."
(Translation of "Den Blauen Bergen" [a German folk song] by yours truly)


Have you visited the Blue Ridge Parkway?

Linking up with Bonnie Rose for #TravelTuesday!

* Although Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway are similar, there is a charge to visit Skyline Drive (ranging between $10-15 per carload depending on the time of year), but the Blue Ridge Parkway is free!


  1. Apart from the "Frozen" thingy ;) it looks more like very early spring to me rather than winter. The views are breathtaking. I like visiting places off season, when there are fewer people eager to do so :)

    1. I was just going to say the same thing! Beautiful :)

  2. We did visit the Blue Ridge Parkway, last summer! From where Skyline ends down to Roanoke - I think some of the views are actually prettier. it's nice to see pictures from a different season.

    Anabel at Anabel's Travel Blog

  3. Hello Katrina!! I hope you are well :) I LOVE those photos. I always find such beauty in winter, and this looks like it was a beautiful and perfect winter's day.

  4. I need to do more winter hiking... these photos are gorgeous!

  5. I need to do more winter hiking... these photos are gorgeous!

  6. It is! You should definitely visit Virginia sometime. We've got a lot to offer. :)

  7. Thanks! Most of the pictures were taken from just outside the car since we were not prepared to hike in 18' weather! But there are some great hikes in the general area: Old Rag, Crabtree Falls, etc.

  8. It really was! It was a little nippy, but it kept the hordes away. :)

  9. That's right! I remember seeing your pictures. I really need to visit in the summertime for some good green scenes.

  10. Oh, trust me, the temperature definitely didn't feel like early spring! Our winters don't get too much more brown than this, though, since we don't get the cold as harshly or as often as Poland. In fact, we really haven't had any snow yet (very disappointing!).

  11. It was! It's got some great views. I wish people were allowed to enjoy a beer or mulled wine while up there, but it's Federal land which means no fun allowed. ;)

  12. Dangit. I need to get home to VA. These photos are making me crazy! So beautiful!


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