Designed to connect the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia and the Great Smokey Mountains National Park in North Carolina, the Blue Ridge Parkway was planned to provide pleasant motoring and to conserve and interpret the unique natural and cultural resources of the Southern Highlands. It was conceived also as a public works project to relieve unemployment in the Appalachian region during the Great Depression.
The Parkway was designed as an elongated national park to provide scenic variety, including mountainsides, plateaus, streams, and broad river valleys, providing travelers with one of the most diversified driving experiences in the world.
For more information, read the History Lesson article:
Road with a View: The Blue Ridge Parkway