There are many wonderful things to see and do in Virginia. Not only do we have some of the best wine in the world, some of the most incredible views on the east coast, a deep and rich history, phenomenal outdoor activities, dozens of state and national parks, and exceptional dining, but we also have some of the best motorcycle rides on the whole of the East Coast. Below are some of the best motorcycle rides in the state, if not the entire country! These range from being technically challenging rides to relaxing day trips, but in every instance you’ll experience some top-notch riding and extremely rewarding views of one of the most beautiful states in the nation. Continue reading to find out more.
What Are The 5 Best Motorcycle Rides In Virginia?
- Skyline Drive
- Blue Ridge Parkway
- Virginia State Route 16 – The Back of the Dragon
- Colonial Parkway
- George Washington Memorial Parkway
1. Skyline Drive
Total Drive Time: 3 Hour
Motorcyclists all over the world consider Skyline Drive to be a “must-ride” road. This 135-mile winding route winds its way through the Blue Ridge Mountains, providing some of the state’s most breathtaking views. The road starts in Front Royal, in the magnificent northern Shenandoah Valley, and then meanders south to Waynesboro, where it links with the similarly beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway. Skyline Drive gives spectacular views of the state in the fall. Skyline Drive has 75 distinct overlook sites that allow you to see the rolling hills that make up the Virginia Piedmont region, in addition to the heavy canopy surrounding the road changing into a sea of autumn hues. Skyline Drive leads to several major natural sights, including South River Falls near Stanardsville and Dark Hollow Falls in Luray, in addition to some of the best camping in the state.
Skyline Drive is one of the best motorcycle routes in Virginia because it is best enjoyed with short breaks that allow you to take in the breathtaking vistas while also focusing on the road. The route is littered with pullouts, making it simple to stop and take in the scenery. Otherwise, you should be able to travel the entire length of this road in a matter of minutes, since the surface is of good quality, well-maintained, and smooth, with a variety of curves, hills, and straightaways to keep the ride entertaining. One thing to keep in mind is that Skyline Drive has a maximum speed limit of 35 miles per hour, which helps to keep the trip time to around 3 hours from start to finish. As a result, if you want to get the most out of Skyline Drive, stop at one of the many convenient camping spots along the way.
2. Blue Ridge Parkway
Total Drive Time: 12 hours
The Blue Ridge Parkway, commonly known as “America’s Favorite Drive,” has long been regarded as one of the most pleasurable drives in the country.
In the United States, there are a lot of motorbike roads. The Blue Ridge Parkway spans for 469 miles across Virginia’s countryside, all the way to North Carolina’s Great Smoky Mountains. Because it is such a lengthy ride, bikers can choose from a variety of beginning sites. If you want to start at the beginning, travel north to Staunton, Virginia; if you want to start in the middle, take I-81 to Wytheville, VA, then I-77 to Fancy Gap, VA, and then follow the Blue Ridge Parkway signage from there. If you want to start in the south, you can start outside of Cherokee, North Carolina, or just get on the Blue Ridge Parkway from Asheville, North Carolina.
You’ll enjoy a somewhat relaxed pace while you’re on the Blue Ride Parkway, allowing you to take in some of the world’s most stunning scenery as you pass through the Appalachian Mountains. Along the trip, you’ll be treated to some of the most breathtaking panoramic views of the state. The road itself is well-kept and features a variety of curves, tunnels, broad sections of road, and tight parts of road that dangle precariously off the sides of mountains. The Blue Ridge Parkway’s average pace is around 45 miles per hour, but, like Skyline Drive, it offers so much to riders that you might want to consider breaking up the sections and spending some time at the many hiking trails, campsites, waterfalls, viewpoints, and historic sites along the way. Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, Peaks of Otter, and Mabry Mill, which is one of the most photographed sections of the route, are among the must-see sights. The Peaks of Otter Lodge also offers excellent accomodation and delicious dining.
3. Virginia State Route 16 – The Back of the Dragon
Total Drive Time: 1 Hour
Many consider Virginia’s State Route 16, or the Back of the Dragon, to be one of the best motorcycle roads in North America, with 32 miles of smooth, well-maintained, and enjoyable riding. The course itself includes over 430 turns and is regarded as one of the most difficult in the country. As you go from Marion, Virginia to Tazwell, Virginia, you will pass through three separate mountain ranges. There will be relatively little traffic on the trip, which will assist you manage the elevation changes, limited access, switchbacks, slaloms, hairpin corners, and more. Take in the incomparable beauty of the area as you bike, as Route 16 offers some of the most stunning views on the east coast.
You should begin this journey at Marion, Virginia. Take Highway 16 north for 32 miles through the forest until you reach Tazewell, Virginia. You’ll be close to two state parks, Hungry Mother State Park and Grayson Highlands State Park, in addition to gift shops, local dives, breweries, and rural eateries.
4. Colonial Parkway
Total Drive Time: 1 Hour
The Colonial Parkway is a magnificent 23-mile stretch of road that connects Virginia’s Historic Triangle of Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown. This section of road is completely devoid of any modern commercial development in order to maintain the visiting experience. Riders will be able to see the James and York Rivers, as well as the tidal estuaries and tunnels that flow through the area’s pine and hardwood forests, from this vantage point. The Colonial Parkway might be the appropriate road for you if you’re looking for a road that combines history with natural beauty. This route provides more than 6 different historic locations just off the road, as well as dozens of good food businesses along the way, in addition to enough to see along the way. There’s even a nearby theme park for those who didn’t have enough thrills on the route.
Regardless of the season, riders will discover that the Colonial Parkway is a fantastic ride. During the summer, the tree canopy provides ample shade for this short section of road. The same tree canopy takes on a range of autumn hues in the fall. When it’s cold outside, the 35-45 mph speed limit allows you to reach where you need to go without freezing. The Colonial Parkway is generally in decent shape, with a few places of rough pavement here and there.
5. George Washington Memorial Parkway
Total Drive Time: 1 Hour
The George Washington Memorial Parkway is a 25-mile section of picturesque highway that connects Northern Virginia with Washington, D.C. This beautiful road curves along the Potomac Gorge and serves as a link between historic sites ranging from Great Falls, Virginia, to George Washington’s Mount Vernon. This route, while not the most difficult on our list, provides riders with stunning vistas of the Potomac River and lush woodland settings, as well as a number of places to park and observe the scenery. The road is lined with viewpoints, picnic sites, and plenty of opportunities to take in the scenery.
This pleasant trip has more to offer than simply beautiful scenery. Mount Vernon, Roosevelt Island, Claude Moore Colonial Farm, Robert E. Lee Memorial, and a few nature preserves are among the roughly 25 historic sites along the road. It’s best to schedule aside a day or two to see everything the George Washington Memorial Parkway has to offer if you want to truly appreciate both the beauty and the history of the journey.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How long does the Blue Ridge Parkway take to drive?
If you drove straight from Waynesboro, Virginia, to Asheville, North Carolina, it would take you nine to twelve hours. The route is 469 miles long, with no petrol stations along the way, so riders will have to take diversions to refuel. It’s ideal to plan for two to four days if you’re riding at an average of 40 mph and stopping for roadside breaks every now and then, depending on how often you stop to take in the lovely landscape.
When is the ideal time to ride the Blue Ridge Parkway on a motorcycle?
From Virginia to North Carolina, the Blue Ridge Parkway runs. The greatest time to visit the Blue Ridge Parkway is from spring to autumn, despite the milder winter months. Because roads aren’t maintained in the winter, it’s a good idea to check for road closures ahead of time.