The classic Blue Ridge Parkway day trip always includes a roadside picnic. Major picnic areas line the route, often situated by scenic streams or lofty vistas. Grills or fireplaces, water fountains, picnic shelters, refuse disposal/recycling facilities, and restrooms are all on hand. Larger sites accommodate groups (many mountain families, churches, and civic groups target the Parkway for gatherings). Picnic areas often have single tables situated off alone, as do overlooks, parking areas, and some trailheads. Or just pull off the road onto a grassy shoulder and throw a blanket by the car in the shade!
Picnic where the Parkway was born in 1935. There are 33 sites and restrooms in the picnic area. Additional tables line the contact station parking lot path to Cumberland Knob's gentle summit and its picnic trail shelter.
Fifty-six sites sprawl east of the Parkway overlooking Bluffs Lodge. From the end loop, a short meadow walk and left on the Bluff Ridge Trail leads to a log cabin picnic shelter with fine views.
Great valley views, restrooms (closed in 2013/portable toilets only), and thirty picnic tables flank the Cascades Parking Overlook, the start of a wonderful, 1.2-mile waterfall walk.
Located between Price Lake and Price Campground, 100 picnic sites and restrooms line a meandering stream at the start of the strenuous 4.9-mile Boone Fork Trail loop.
This picnic spot's 100 sites and restrooms lie along the banks of the Linville River above Linville Falls.
South of Crabtree Meadows Campground, the 82 picnic sites and restrooms overlook an airy vista.
Just off the Parkway in Bear Pen Gap, Craggy Gardens' 86 sites are cool and breezy at 5,220 feet. The Craggy Gardens Trail quickly leads to a kiosk lunch site and on to meadow views and a rustic Civilian Conservation Corps picnic shelter.
Zoom in close on the map below (use the plus sign and directional arrows at upper left, or repeatedly double click near, but not on, the map symbols). You can literally see the parking lots for Parkway destinations in this guide. Click any map symbol and information packed balloons pop up to describe locations all along the route. In the map balloons, click "Directions" to add your address and get step-by-step directions to Parkway locations from wherever you are. Start in the north, follow the road south, for a local's introduction to your own Boone-area Parkway adventure.