When it comes to mountains in the southern half of the US, the Smokies are usually the peaks with the most attention. However, the Blue Ridge spans through Virginia and North Carolina and play host to some of the most beautiful natural vistas - but are far lesser-known.

The western half of Virginia is home to peaks and valleys that truly look like a scene from a Bob Ross painting. Every sunset and sunrise is displayed in a different range of vibrant colors, streaking across the sky as though they were expertly placed. Every season is breathtaking from these mountain summits, especially when viewed from Skyline drive, a scenic route that runs throughout the range. While you're there, don't forget to try all the authentic foods this charming state is known for.


It's Easy To See Where These Mountains Got Their Name

The Blue Ridge is one of the rare mountain ranges that appear blue in color at any given time of day. Despite the fact that they're home to a plethora of lush greenery, the distinct lighting of these mountains still gives then an iridescent indigo atmosphere.

Even in stormy weather, these mountains are breathtaking. Watching storm clouds roll in from the valley or the summit (proper safety followed, of course) is an experience in itself. Mountains are home to a whole slew of various weather phenomena, but as the shadows play over the Shenandoah Valley, this landscape appears different on any given day. Not to mention, the smell of fresh rain combined with these dense woods and earth is truly unforgettable - no one ever complains about a rainy day here!

In Shenandoah National Park, The Landscape Is Like Something From A Fairy Tale

Graceful waterfalls dot the trails through Shenandoah National Park, and they're something hikers avidly seek out. Emerald green moss decorates the surrounding rocks and makes for a slippery playground, yet remains untouched in its natural beauty.

To say this environment is serene would be an understatement. While there are no roaring falls, the easy-going flow of this mountain runoff is just enough to make hikers forget about the outside world for a while.

There's no end to the trails that can be sought out in this gorgeous national park. It's one of the most scenic parks in the south and even the drive to get there is beautiful, with vistas beginning long before visitors step foot into this dense woodland.

Even The Night Sky Puts On A Brilliant Display On Clear Nights

For those lucky enough to catch the night sky over the Shenandoah Valley, the Blue Ridge does not disappoint. Stargazing is a whole new experience in a place where man-made lights are few and far between, thus allowing the natural beauty of the solar system to be in full view.

Each Road Is Decorated Expertly By Nature, And Springtime Is In Full Bloom

Driving through the valleys in the Blue Ridge is a particularly sweet treat. Dotted with various farms, farm stands, and markets, Virginia is an agricultural wonderland. Visitors can stop at any number of local growers and try farm-to-table snacks and take in views from the side of the road.

Related: 15 Of Southern USA’s Most Overhyped Cities (And 10 Severely Underrated)

Winter Doesn't Stop These Valleys From Having Stunning 360-Views

During the winter months, the Blue Ridge Mountains do see snow. Never fear, though - that's what cozy log cabins were made for! It's a great winter destination simply for the experience of warming up by the fire and sipping steamy coffee from the front porch of a place like this, taking in the snowcapped peaks surrounding you.

Next: 10 Glorious Mountains You Need To Climb For Your Next Trip