Little Switzerland Inn.
I can only imagine sitting there in the Adirondack chairs, sipping some North Carolina crafted wine, watching the moon blot out the sun. Pure delight.
According to the eclipse map locator, the view will be a 97.9% blockage in this section of the parkway. Maybe this isn't the best kept secret, though. It might get a little crowded with the eclipse seekers.
Up the road from the inn is a restaurant that has a deck with an incomparable mountain view and an appropriate name to match, Mountain View Restaurant.
That would be the tubby version of me standing on the deck, taken by another Thelma and Louise friend of mine last fall. Here's my mountain view.
Looks like a perfect spot for an eclipse view to match the mountain view. But it's small, so I imagine it would fill to capacity soon. I'll save eating lunch there for another Thelma and Louise trip.
A little more wide open for parking and viewing is the Apple Orchard at Altapass on the Blue Ridge Parkway, a few miles north of the Mountain View Restaurant.
That's me in the parking lot. If you catch it at the right time, you'll be blessed with mountain music (and maybe, just maybe, a little of that Swiss Alpine yodeling that has filtered into country music) and clogging and plenty of ice cream and all things apple. But oops. I just checked. Closed on Mondays! So forget this for eclipse watching, but put it on your bucket list for fall apples.
Just what do I consider the best possible conditions for viewing this earth/moon/sun exhibit? Here's my list: Not too far to drive with two antsy granddaughters. Not too crowded. Easy access to bathrooms, a must with those aforementioned granddaughters. Unobstructed view of the sky, but enough trees nearby for the birds to come to roost when darkness falls.
I'm still searching.
Catch of the day,