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Thanks to Hurricane Florence, New Bern has been in the news lately and not because it was the Colonial Capital of North Carolina. This charming historic town is not only the birthplace of yours truly, but also of Pepsi Cola. It’s a lovely place, founded in 1710, by Baron von Graffenried from Bern, Switzerland and jam-packed with history. Four historic districts include more than 160 sites listed on the National Register of… Read More

In Western North Carolina, just a few miles south of the Virginia border is a little slice of mountain life that is good for the soul (and the stomach).  Shatley Springs is a ramshackle collection of metal-roofed buildings and cabins, some dating as far back as 1923. Décor leans to early-barn, with colorful flowers planted in re-purposed kitchen pots and old equipment. Built over springs reported to have medicinal powers, a typical… Read More

We returned to Lake Toxaway this year, at the invitation of good friends (thanks!) and once again had some wonderful new adventures. Who doesn’t love a mountain lake? And we enjoyed the hospitality of another Florida friend when he gave us a first-rate boat tour. It was interesting to learn about the history of some of the beautiful lake-front estates and even more interesting to hear current neighborhood tidbits. We even saw… Read More

My family loves games and puzzles and are always up for an escape room adventure. This week, we tried Boone’s first escape room – Mysterium, and were not disappointed. The Boone property is a completely local, original venture; not part of a franchise like so many others. Owner-creator Shaun has done a masterful job. His video, recordings, clues, and special effects are top-notch. The hour was packed with lots of interesting special… Read More

The Banner House Museum is a charming spot. Hundreds of visitors to this idyllic mountain town pass by and never give it a second look.  But, they should. Built in 1865, by Samuel Henry Banner the home stayed in the Banner family for about 100 years. Once purchased by the Greater Banner Elk Heritage Foundation, the home was restored to its original condition and today contains many family heirlooms, period furnishings and… Read More

For years I’d heard mention of a nearby spot where kids loved to swim and dive – this is it.  Locally known as Trash Can Falls, it’s officially Laurel Creek Falls. The falls aren’t the star of the show here, it’s the hidden setting and opportunity to jump and play.  We just enjoyed watching. Students from nearby Appalachian State University mingle with local kids to scramble around the boulders and test the… Read More

  Our friend in Asheville thought we would enjoy the LaZoom City Comedy Tour and she was right on point. The 90-minute open-air bus tour winds its way through charming Asheville and manages to impart quite a bit of local flavor and history between the funny, corny, and sometimes bawdy, commentary. This is a great city – chock full of unique locally owned shops and restaurants (over 90%) and more craft breweries… Read More

Fall is a lot more than beautiful colors and cooler temps when you are in the mountains of western NC. It’s time for some unique and interesting festivals. There is something for everybody. There is the Woolly Worm Festival for racing fans – that is if you like to race fuzzy caterpillars. The black and brown “worms” are really the larvae of the Isabella Tiger Moth. The Banner Elk, 2-day event draws… Read More

 

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