|The road past the south lawn at the Inn on Mill Creek B&B|
|Sourwood in full color at the Inn on Mill Creek B&B|
|Pleasant spot for viewing Bernard Ridge and the apple orchard at the Inn|
The Orchard at Altapass: Take a pretty drive on Highway 70 east to Highway 221 North to reach the Blue Ridge Parkway, which remains OPEN despite the federal government shutdown. Then travel south on the Parkway to the Orchard at Altapass. [A nice overlook along the way is the Chestoa View overlook at Milepost 320. At the parking area, take a set of stairs to the right down to a gorgeous stone wall overlook that shows off Linville Gorge.] The historic Orchard at Altapass is at Milepost 328.3 in Spruce Pine. The Orchard is more than just apples: They feature hayrides, music on the weekends, fudge, and more. It's a great little piece of mountain history, with beautiful mountain views all around.
The Blue Ridge Parkway near Grandfather Mountain: The tree species at Grandfather Mountain are quite diverse, making it one of the most colorful areas this time of year. The best time to visit Grandfather Mountain is in the middle of the week as Saturdays can bring delays in getting through the gates. If you want to explore the Blue Ridge Parkway around Grandfather Mountain, take Highway 221 then head north on the Parkway, which will take you around Grandfather via the Linn Cove Viaduct at Milepost 304.
|Linn Cove Viaduct [Photo via LEARNNC.org]|