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The Blue Ridge Parkway is a hikers paradise.  With more than 70 trails along the North Carolina portion of the Parkway, you can find something for every level and interest, from easy to strenuous. Close to Blowing Rock, near Parkway Craft Center at Moses Cone Manor is the Julian Price Memorial Park featuring a beautiful lake and lovely picnic grounds. BTW, you can rent canoes and row boats by the hour at… Read More

When the weather is gorgeous in the North Carolina mountains, there is nothing like taking in the incredible views. Hiking trails are abundant and for every level of ability.  These photos feature a stop right along the Blue Ridge Parkway, a short easy hike and a much more strenuous option – each with their own rewards.  Just pay attention to the descriptions (easily found on-line) and be sure to be prepared with the… Read More

  It was a beautiful day for a drive along the Watauga River. Following along Old Watauga River Road from Valle Crucis we drove on a paved and unpaved narrow road through tranquil, pastoral farmland and ended up on Hwy 301 between Tennessee and Boone. Sometimes the road took us right along the river, other times climbing high above; along the way we saw the occasional  fisherman trying his luck, a father and… Read More

Rain or shine our friend’s Pig Pick’n annual event goes on; this was the 9th year for this local party held deep in the woods on a historic homestead on Grandmother Mountain. Amazing smoked pig, chicken, brisket and goose.  Not to be overlooked, were the incredible accompaniments  everyone brought to share, fresh backed bread, tomato pie, sides made with fresh veggies, homemade cakes and pies.  The event is for family and friends who come… Read More

Near Banner Elk and Beech Mountain, NC the roads are curvy, the vegetation lush and  the scenery pastoral.  Today’s route took us past a few spots on local quilt trails.  Each uniquely created quilt pattern is displayed on historic barns and showcases the mountain heritage of storytelling through artistic design.  Each turn in the road holds the promise of a new surprise: an incredible view, field of Christmas trees, patch of colorful day-lilies, whimsical mailbox or maybe, even… Read More

        There are dozens of craft studios and galleries throughout Mitchell and Yancey Counties in Western North Carolina.  You could spend weeks visiting the various artisans and I guarantee you will find something for every taste. The center of this universe is the world-renowned Penland School of Crafts and a visit to their gallery is a must.  The Toe River Studio Tour is a good way to start exploring… Read More

Asheville has become known for its trendy, holistic, artistic vibe and the Salt Cave fits right in. For a modest $25 an hour, you can take advantage of the therapeutic benefits of an all-natural microclimate, created with 20 tons of salt rock imported from several eastern European locations. Several inches of sea salt cover the floor and the semi-dark, dry environment is bathed in a warm glow from the salt rock lighting and… Read More

A hidden gem about 20 minutes from Linville and Grandfather Mountain, Elk River Falls is worth the visit.  We love to take our visitors: it’s a quick adventure, absolutely beautiful, and a great spot for a memorable NC photo-op! Near the Tennessee border, just outside the tiny town of Elk Park you will see a sign for Elk River Falls.  The first time you turn off North Carolina’s 19E to Elk River… Read More

There is a harmony in autumn, and a luster in its sky… ~ Percy Shelley     

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