Thousands of Gallons of “ahhhh, refreshing.”
Nature is Wild in the NC
EXPERIENCE SUMMERTIME IN HAYWOOD COUNTY
Are you looking for a family-friendly vacation spot loaded with exciting and educational adventures? With a long list of outdoor activities and a wide range of delicious restaurants that appeal to kids and adults alike, it’s easy to see why families love to stay and play in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina.
Want to feel the wind in your hair? Schedule family horseback riding at Cataloochee Ranch or strap on skates and glide at the Smoky Mountain Sk8way and Fun Zone. If you’re up for a little friendly competition, cruise over to one of Maggie Valley and Waynesville’s putt-putt courses. There’s so much to do and experience in Haywood County, you might have to add an extra day to fit it all in!
MAKE A SPLASH
Don’t miss an opportunity to wade into Haywood County’s best swimming holes. Fresh mountain streams trickle down to fill the Sunburst Swimming Area in Canton. Just down the road, Skinny Dip Falls provides a mix of exciting jumping-off sites and relaxing spots so you can enjoy the crisp mountain waters your way. When you’re ready to call it a day, you’ve got an array of accommodations to choose from. Hotel or cabin? Train car or luxury tent? Our inventive innkeepers maintain a creative and comfortable selection
of places to stay, from traditional to outlandish. The only thing more over-the-top is our hospitality. Our accommodations are suitable for every budget too, so whether you are looking to go all out for a romantic weekend at a bed and breakfast or need an affordable tuck away for the whole family (and Rover), you’ll have plenty of options in Haywood County.
GET UP CLOSE AND WILD
For an up-close and personal animal adventure, visit with alpacas at Winchester Creek Farms or have breakfast with bison at Buffalo Creek Vacations. These educational and hands-on animal adventures are a hit with kids and parents alike and provide some incredible photo ops too! Plan a trip to the Cataloochee Valley around dawn or dusk to hang out with our iconic elks. Or for a real amphibian adventure, hike to Purchase Knob to experience why Haywood County is the official Salamander Capital of the World.
Summer Adventure in Lexington
5. Climbers love a nice challenge and there are several rock walls to conquer in Rockbridge County. Consider the Maury River Wall, Castle Rock, Chamber’s Ridge, or Tunstall’s Tooth. Ranging from
There’s nothing like fresh air and outdoor adventure to refresh your senses, and Lexington serves as a great base for climbing, hiking, cycling, paddling, and more. Consider these five experiences in Rockbridge County for an adrenaline rush or a slowpaced appreciation of nature.
1. The Chessie Nature Trail is a seven-mile parallel of the Maury River between Lexington and Buena Vista. Walk or bike the flat path to enjoy a vibrant ecosystem of flora and fauna. Wildflowers, birdsong, and river critters are key highlights.
2. Natural Bridge State Park is home to the iconic natural limestone bridge that soars more than 200 feet above Cedar Creek. Join in a Ranger-led program to learn about the history of the bridge and park or explore on your own to discover treasures like the Lost River and Lace Falls.
3. The Upper James River Water Trail includes the Maury River as it flows into the James at Glasgow. Paddle or float the three miles from Locher Landing in Glasgow to Snowden for Class II and III rapids. Be sure to exit the river just past the James River Footbridge along Route 501.
4. Cast your line into the stocked trout waters of the Maury River in Goshen, Irish Creek, and South River. Some of the best fishing with kids happens at Cave Mountain Lake. In fact, June 4-6, 2021 are feefree fishing days in Virginia; be sure to enjoy time with your little anglers.
An Apple a Day?
Head to Hendersonville, NC, for a Double Dose H
enderson County leads North Carolina in apple production and consistently ranks among the nation’s top producers. Hendersonville apples show up in supermarkets and restaurants throughout the region, but the best way to eat one is straight from the tree.
The Crest of the Blue Ridge Orchard Trail outlines 21 orchards, roadside stands and markets throughout Henderson County. The self-guided trail encourages visitors to create their own apple-country itineraries. Brochures are available online at www. VisitHendersonvilleNC.org and at the Hendersonville Visitor Center.
Many orchards embrace agritourism, offering apple picking,
65 to 100 feet, these climbs are tackled trad style or top rope. Conclude your adventures with a meal in historic downtown Lexington or toast your conquest at a nearby craft brewery.
For more great ways to get outside check out RockbridgeOutdoors.com.
as well as corn mazes, pumpkin patches, hayrides, barnyard animals and even apple cannons.
More than 20 different varieties of apples grow in Hendersonville orchards. Each variety has its own ripening timeline. Honeycrisp and McIntosh are some of the early birds, while Rome and pink lady come later. Early in the season, you can also find peaches and blueberries, with pears and grapes following shortly after.
Fresh apple cider, as well as apple-cider doughnuts, apple fritters and apple butter are all made on-site.
For more apple season info: www.VisitHendersonvilleNC.org or (800) 828-4244.
In this apple capital, harvest season begins in early August and continues into November.
Bringing new energy into small rural towns, the Appalachian Mural Trail has recently received a grant, funded by Lowes, to spread even more inclusive outdoor Postage Stamp Murals throughout the Appalachian area.
These smaller, portable murals are designated Postage Stamp Murals.
Haywood County North Carolina currently has three, including the Canton Museum, The Shelton Handicraft Museum in Waynesville and Joey’s Pancake House in Maggie Valley.
Recently installed at the Canton Area Historical Museum is a scenic Postage Stamp Mural
that shows Champion Paper & Fibre Company’s woodyard when trains delivered logs rather than chips to be processed into paper. Stacks of hewn trees were a familiar sight. Doreyl Ammons Cain designed and painted the Museum mural with input from Caroline Ponton, Museum Curator.
Another Postage Stamp Mural has been installed on the side of the Clay County Historical Arts Council Old Jail Museum in Hayesville. Featuring a Cherokee Chief from the neighboring Eastern Band of Cherokee, 3rd Principle Chief Nimrod Jarrett Smith (Tsaladihi).
Cain says, “Currently we are working with 3 Appalachian com-
munities to create public murals that honor Native American women, African American farmers and agricultural communities. To uplift people during the pandemic and during recovery is our main goal. The mural trail offers a safe, free, inspiring outside journey.
To check out the Appalachian Mural Trail go to muraltrail. com where you’ll find over 120 magnificent murals with maps and directions to find the murals in the mountains and piedmonts of North Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee.
Take your summer celebration higher in the Blue Ridge Mountains at Shenandoah National Park. It’s the perfect place to hike, admire the mountain views and catch a glimpse of native wildlife. Shenandoah is just 90 minutes from Washington, D.C., with convenient lodging inside the park at Skyland, Big Meadows Lodge and Lewis Mountain Cabins. There’s a reason people have been coming here for generations. Explore the rugged beauty of Shenandoah for yourself this summer.Photo compliments of Appalachian Mural Trail
What is that place?
A frequently asked question of I-81 travelers in the northern Shenandoah Valley. It is the Virginia Museum of the Civil War which stands majestically on the New Market Battlefield State Historical Park
The superstructure is designed to resemble a drum with stacked rifles leaning against it. It is still revered by architects today and was recently featured as one of the top 100 structures identified as Virginia’s Favorite Architecture.
The museum features exhibits, dioramas, compelling artifacts from the battle and an Emmy-award winning film called Field of Lost Shoes shown hourly in the theater.
Outside, visitors will enjoy three hundred acres of core battlefield property accessible by foot or car. The New Market Battlefield State Historical Park offers two walking trails across the battlefield terminating on top of Bushong’s Hill and over in the Bloody Cedars, as well as two dramatic overlooks 100 feet above the Shenandoah River.
Historically-named features include the Field of Lost Shoes, a wheat field so named by cadets
because of lost footwear, and the Fatal Orchard, a dangerous part of the battlefield next to the farm. Finally, the Bushong Farm features seven buildings to explore. The two white frame houses were standing and were witnesses to the battle that day. Exhibits inside tell the story of what life was like in the Shenandoah Valley before and during the Civil War.
The museum is located just off I-81 exit 264 in New Market, VA at 8895 George Collins Parkway. For more information GOOGLE, Virginia Museum of the Civil War or 866-515-1864.
Opened in the early 1960’s and sponsored by the Garden Club of North Carolina, the Daniel Boone Native Gardens encompasses 3 acres in the heart of Boone, NC and is adjacent to Horn in the West. The gardens contain a wide collection of NC native plants and serves the dual purposes of conservation and education.
The many plant varieties in the garden provide a magnificent progression of blooms displayed in an informal landscape design. Quiet, peaceful paths accentuate a bog garden, fern garden, rhododendron grove, rock garden, wishing well, a vine covered arbor, the historic Squire Boone Cabin and Pickin’ Porch. Find labelled native species of wildflowers, shrubs, ferns, and trees throughout this oasis near downtown Boone.
Daniel Boone Native Gardens are open daily with the growing season primarily March through September. The gardens are run by volunteers and a $2 donation per person is encouraged for ages 16 and up.
For more information or to check the bloom calendar and events, visit danielboonenativegardens.org or call 828-264-1299.
Mountains of Fun in the Smokies: Sevierville, Tennessee
Airbnb recently named Sevierville, TN one of the most wish-listed destinations worldwide. With scenic beauty, family fun, and so much to see and do, it’s no wonder why. This year, discover Sevierville for yourself.
Downtown Sevierville is making a comeback with several new businesses including a boutique hotel called The Central Hotel, Honeybee Coffee Co., The Appalachian Restaurant, Graze Burgers, Ronel Raicsics Bespoke Jewelry, and Mountain Zen Yoga.
Enjoy Sevierville’s all-new Soaky Mountain Waterpark. Splash and play at this 50-acre waterpark with thrilling slides, a first-of-its-kind watercoaster, a not-so-lazy river, and lots of slides and activities for kids. Soaky Mountain joins other waterpark attractions in Sevierville including Wilderness at the Smokies Waterpark Resort and The Resort at Governor’s Crossing which both feature indoor and outdoor waterpark experiences for their resort guests.
Other favorite Sevierville attractions include Tennessee Smokies Baseball, Rainforest Adventures Discovery Zoo, NASCAR SpeedPark, Sevier Air Trampoline & Ninja Warrior Park, The Tennessee Museum of Aviation, and the all-new Moonshine Tour at Tennessee Shine Company.
Downtown Sevierville not only celebrates all that’s new – it also pays tribute to the town’s history with murals and public art that tie to the community’s past. While the bronze statue of Sevierville’s own Dolly Parton is still the most famous work of art in downtown, two new murals - Wings of Wander and Red’s Café – have added vibrancy and fun photo opportunities to Bruce Street.
Barn & Cider Mill village – located on a working apple orchard. Enjoy a meal before exploring the candy shop, winery, ice creamery, cider house, and several stores. Nearby, outlet shoppers find deals on high-end name brands at Tanger Outlets Sevierville before venturing out to explore antique stores, flea markets, and specialty stores like Smoky Mountain Knife Works.
For more information about everything there is to see and do in Sevierville this year, go online to VisitSevierville.com.
Dining + Shopping
Sevierville is packed with delicious restaurants and food-related experiences, such as The Apple
Your source for Parkway weather. Don’t get caught in the rain, fog, or snow! Know what lies ahead on all 469 miles. Accurate forecasts and local weather stations plus live Parkway weather cameras at www.BRPwebcams.org
September 11 10 am - 4:30 pmPhotos: Sevierville CVB
P.O. Box 1758
Asheville, NC 28802
Phone: (828) 691-5437
All articles and information supplied are printed accurately to the best knowledge of the management. The Blue Ridge Digest is not responsible for errors beyond its control.
Publisher: Thomas Hardy
Design: Imagewerks Productions
History Hunt SWVA!
Explore the past in SW Virginia this summer with a historic scavenger hunt!
Sixteen history museums, from Bedford to Wytheville, are partnering to celebrate the 350th Anniversary of the Batts & Fallam Expedition
This summer will be a great time to get out and explore SW Virginia history! Each museum tells its own unique and fascinating story; in addition, each site has selected a special scavenger hunt challenge question that adds to the fun. Visitors are encouraged to pick up a History Passport at any participating museum or download a copy at the History Hunt SW VA Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/ HistoryHuntSWVA. The History Passport includes all of the scavenger hunt questions, plus information about each participating museum. The majority of these museums offer free admission, or free admis-
sion for children participating in this passport program. Hours also vary: call ahead or check museum websites for the days of the week and hours each is open. Families and visitors of all ages are welcome and encouraged to join in the exploration.
Visitors will be entered into a prize drawing for every five museums visited between Memorial Day and Labor Day, when they find the answers to the scavenger hunt challenge questions at each site. The drawing will take place after Labor Day.
The sixteen participating history museums stretch from Bedford to Wytheville, offering much to explore.
For more information and to download a passport, visit the History Hunt SW VA Facebook page, https://www.facebook. com/HistoryHuntSWVA.
Welcome to the Mountains!
Thank you for making your vacation an All-American experience in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountain area. Your vacation dollars go further on U.S. soil and by spending time in the mountains, you not only benefit communities and businesses in your own back yard, but avoid flight delays and exchange rates. Now more than ever, Americans are looking for ways to stretch their dollars, spend time with family and friends, reconnect to the wonders of the natural world, and, if only for a moment, take a breath of fresh air.
Enjoy your stay!THANKS TO THE BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY ASSOCIATION FOR THE USE OF THEIR CENTER-SPREAD MAP
Sequoyah Birthplace Museum Observes Sequoyah Remembrance Day
Sequoyah Birthplace Museum in Vonore will observe Sequoyah Remembrance
Day Sunday, Aug. 1, 2021 12:00-4 p.m. with free admission to the museum. Sequoyah dies in August of 1843, but is not known what day he died. So they have chosen the first Sunday in August to remember Sequoyah and his life.
“This is a day to remember the man who gave the Cherokee people their own written language,” said Charlie Rhodarmer, museum manager/director. “In 5,000 years of human civilization, Sequoyah is the only person, not literate in any language, who created a written language for his people.”
Sequoyah was born circa 1776 in the village of Tuskegee, near
modern day Vonore. He spent most of his life in the Overhill Cherokee area, where he began creating a Cherokee writing system.
After 12 years of work, Sequoyah finished the Syllabary in 1821 while living in Willstown, Ala. The Cherokee Nation adopted the Syllabary and within two years most of the Cherokee people had become literate in their own language.
After living a brief time in Arkansas, Sequoyah moved to the Indian Territory, known today as Oklahoma.
In 1842 Sequoyah volunteered to go with other Cherokees to find a group of Cherokees that had left the Overhill area during the American Revolution and had headed toward Texas or Mexico.
Sequoyah died on this trip in August
1843. There are several stories about how Sequoyah died and it is not known where he is buried.
“We invite people to visit the museum on Sunday and learn more about Sequoyah’s fascinating life and experience modern Cherokee culture,” said Rhodarmer.
Make the Blue Ridge Parkway Detour around Roanoke an Excursion
A section of the Blue Ridge Parkway will be closed around the Roanoke area in Virginia’s Blue Ridge through spring 2022.
The National Park Service will be completing repairs on the Roanoke River Bridge at Milepost 114 and also repairing a road hazard at Milepost 127.9 that was caused by heavy rains and landslides. As a result, the Blue Ridge Parkway will be closed from Milepost
112.2 (Route 24 near Vinton, VA) to Milepost 136 (Route 221 on Bent Mountain, VA) for thru-travelers.
The region’s popular outdoor destination, Explore Park (milepost 115), offering cabins, yurts and campsites, multi-use trails, ziplining, and more is still accessible along the Parkway North from US220 at Milepost 121 or by the Alternate Entrance at 3900 Rutrough Road.
There are many charming small towns to explore off of the Blue Ridge Parkway while these
popular sections are closed:
In the Town of Vinton, enjoy the outdoors with a relaxing walk along the Wolf Creek Greenway, get on the water at the Tinker Creek Canoe Launch, snap a picture in front of the Vinton War Memorial LOVE sign and refuel at a fun local spot like farmto-table burgers at FarmBurguesa, craft beer at Twin Creeks Brewing Company, and classic comfort food at Dogwood Restaurant.
Downtown Roanoke, the largest metropolitan area in Virginia’s Blue Ridge offers an exciting assort-
For step by step directions:
ment of local shops, restaurants and attractions like the Historic City Market, Center in the Square’s seven-story museum and cultural hub, Taubman Museum of Art, Virginia Museum of Transportation and Mast General Store. The nearby progressive Neighborhood of Wasena is full of flavor. Savor a craft coffee from Roasters Next Door Coffee, hit the Roanoke River Greenway then relax over sensational flavors at Bloom Restaurant & Wine Bar.
Find sweet treats sprinkled along Roanoke’s Brambleton Avenue at Our Daily Bread, Deb’s Frozen Lemonade and Brambleton Deli. Bent Mountain has excellent hiking at Bottom Creek Gorge (home to the 2nd highest waterfall in VA) and locally-grown Virginia wine at AmRhein’s Wine Cellars.
Enjoy a metro mountain adventure to Virginia’s Blue Ridge! Head to VisitVBR.com/ parkwaydetour for step by step detour directions to each of these charming small towns. **Explore Park is also accessible via Mill Mountain Spur Road.
WORLD-WIDE SHELLS FIND A HOME IN EAST TENNESSEE
A shell collector has agreed to share part of his collection with the public.
Hundreds of miles from the ocean, Dr. Peter Stimpson showcases seashells in the mountains of East Tennessee.
“The most beautiful seashells come from the Pacific and Indian oceans,” says Stimpson, 72, a family practice doctor for 45 years at Loudon, Tennessee.
Situated about 25 miles south of Knoxville, the newly opened Stimpson Seashell Museum occupies 800 square feet in part of the former McGill-Karnes Funeral Home, using display cases that once stood inside a now-closed Kmart.
wife, Diana, and his daughter, Kasey.
Local tourism officials asked Stimpson to share his seashells: a gargantuan collection that numbers in the thousands.
Most shells remain at his nearby home.
Yet, at the heart of downtown Loudon, 406 Wharf Street, Stimpson boasts about 2,000 shells—volutes, olives, conches, helmets and harps—with many coming from the Pacific and Indian oceans.
Stimpson began collecting shells on a trip to Tahiti in 1988
SUNDAY DRIVESeveryday of the week
globe—from Hong Kong to Florida.
“I tell people I could go around the planet and never stay in a hotel,” Stimpson says. “I could just go from seashell friend to seashell friend.”
Contact Joe Tennis 865-657-6609
Reprinted with permission from Blue Ridge Country magazine, exploring the mountains of the South in continuous bi-monthly publi
Bryson City welcomes pet-lovers on vacation. Take your pick of more than 100 dog-approved lodging choices in Bryson City, then hike, boat, raft, paddleboard and dine together.
Want to share outdoor experiences with your buddy? At Bryson City Outdoors, you’ll find active wear for pets – like PFDs, dog buffs, harnesses and more.
Need to board your pet, visit a dog park, or have a pet sitter visit your lodging? We have options.
Woof-worthy NC Smokies Fun!
Bryson City welcomes pet-lovers on vacation. Take your pick of more than 100 dog-approved lodging choices in Bryson City, then hike, boat, raft, paddleboard and dine together.
Pets are not allowed on hiking trails in the GSMNP except for the Oconaluftee River Trail
You can find more than 100 pet-friendly accommodations by choosing the “pets allowed” amenity on our lodging pages.
Paddleboarding on the Tuckasegee River at Fontana Lake’s finger lake area.
Pontooning on Fontana Lake –all 3 marinas have some pontoon
Art on Greene Shows Return to Banner Elk
boats that are dog friendly. Rafting on the Nantahala River with Rolling Thunder River Company. Please keep your dogs in check, clean up after them, and do not leave them unattended in vehicles or RVs.
Bryson City is one hour west of Asheville, two hours from Knoxville and Greenville/Spartanburg, and three hours from Chattanooga, Atlanta and Charlotte.
Find Your Pawfect Smokies
Vacation at: GreatSmokies.com/dog-friendly
says show director Kimberly Tufts. Shoppers can not only add to their art collections, but also support historic preservation. Booth rental proceeds are donated to the Town of Banner Elk to support the historic school’s new role as a center for visual and performing arts.
As a resort town perched at 3,701 feet elevation in NC’s Blue Ridge Mountains, Banner Elk is an ideal location for summertime art shows. High temperatures average in the upper 70s, with lots of sunny days.
Banner Elk’s summertime
Art on the Greene shows return this year after the coronavirus pandemic forced cancelation last summer.
The fine art shows take place on the grounds of the Historic Banner Elk School the following weekends: July 3-4, Aug. 7-8 and Sept. 4-5. Booth space will be reduced 50 percent to allow for
distancing, and attendees should follow NC protocols for Covid safety.
The shows highlight works from local and regional artists representing a variety of media, such as ceramics, glass, metal, wood, watercolor, acrylics and oil.
“The focus is on embracing our Appalachian heritage and really highlighting things in the hand-crafted Appalachian tradition,”
“I hope attendees find our town to be a place they want to return and tell other people about,” Tufts says. “I also hope they leave with something tangible, that they find a new piece of artwork and build a relationship with an artist that enriches their life.”
Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, & admission is free.
Franklin and Nantahala are towns born from gem mining and agriculture, which over the years have transformed from the small rural areas, into thriving outdoor adventure towns, inviting people of all ages to set out and explore the beauty of the Nantahala National Forest. Travel the Mountain Waters Scenic Byway and visit the waterfalls of the Cullasaja River and Nantahala Gorges. The area is known for our beautiful waterfalls, scenic views, and hundreds of miles of rivers, streams and lakes. What was once known as the “Gem Capitol of the World”, discover active gem mines where you can sit down with a bucket of dirt and sift for precious gems and minerals that are abundant to this day. Get to know your mountain side, in Mother Nature’s Paradise, Franklin and Nantahala, NC!
SHENANDOAH NATIONAL PARK
Shenandoah National Park lies astride a beautiful section of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which form the eastern rampart of the Appalachian Mountains between Pennsylvania and Georgia. The Shenandoah River flows through the valley to the west, with Massanutten Mountain, 40 miles long, standing between the river’s north and south forks. The rolling Piedmont country lies to the east of the Park. Skyline Drive, a 105-mile road that winds along the crest of the mountains through the length of the Park, provides vistas of the spectacular landscape to east and west. Many animals, including deer, black bears, and wild turkeys, flourish among the rich growth of an oak-hickory forest. In season, bushes and wildflowers bloom along the Drive and trails and fill the open spaces. Apple trees, stone foundations, and cemeteries are reminders of the families who once called this place home. Shenandoah National Park has many stories waiting to be told, and a world of beauty that can renew and bring peace to the spirit.
ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS
Visitors can enjoy the panoramic views from overlooks, hike to peaks and waterfalls, fish or just plain relax in the peaceful surroundings. Check their website at www.nps.gov/shen for a current list of programs as programming starts returning this summer.
Continuing a tradition set by George Freeman Pollock, who found a resort at Skyland long before
Shenandoah National Park was established, Skyland and Big Meadows Lodge offer a variety of activities for visitors in spring, summer, and fall. From guided horseback rides from the Skyland stables, to night skies presentations and star gazing in the big meadows, there are great ways to have fun and learn more about the park and it’s wonderful assets. For a calendar of events, visit www.goshenandoah.com
Facilities and Services
Includes visitor centers, bookstores, campgrounds, showers and laundries, picnic areas, gift shops, lodges, cabins, restaurants, gas station, ATMs, waysides, campstores, a stable, & restrooms.
• Most facilities and services are available April through November
• Plan to obtain all food, gas, and lodging outside of the Park in December, January, February, and March.
Check the Park’s website or call (540) 999-3500 for current information.
Even the smallest of us can be part of something very big.
The grown-up sense of discovery at every turn around the mountain will only be surpassed by the childlike wonder our natural playground evokes.
The Beech Mountain Chamber of Commerce hosts its annual Mile High Kite Festival as part of the town’s Labor Day Weekend festivities. Why “Mile High”? Because Beech Mountain is 5,506
MILE HIGH Kite Festival
feet above sea level. As the highest town in Eastern America, Beech Mountain is the perfect place to fly a kite. The elevation almost guarantees great breezes and the temperatures remain in the 70’s while most of the Southeast is still hot and humid at that time of the year. Kite clubs will be on hand to demonstrate flying techniques and run kid-friendly contests. Free kites will be given to the first 100
children under the age of 13 each day. The Chamber also awards prizes for the biggest kite flown, the most original handmade kite flown, the kite to fly the highest, and more. Additional fun activities include races with kids pulling parachute kites, face painting, kiddie rides, live music, and a variety of craft and food vendors. Visitors can make a weekend of it with additional Beech family-friendly attractions such as scenic chair lift rides and a variety of budget lodging options.
Admission: Free; Parking $5 Days/Hours Open: Sat 10am4pm, Sun 10am4pm
Address: 402 Beech Mountain Parkway, Beech Mountain, NC 28604
To the east and west are bustling cities, but in between is pure bliss. Beauty that will take your breath away and stories of bravery that will leave you speechless.Photos by Beech Mountain TDA.
FaithFest is an annual community Christian music festival and one of the largest in the southeast. It is held at the Watson stages on the campus of Wilkes Community College, in Wilkesboro, NC on the last weekend in August of each year.
FaithFest utilizes the same venue as Merlefest, one of the largest American Festivals in the world. Assisted by many of the people who organize and produce Merlfest. FaithFest has a festival flair with lawn chair seating, food
CHRISTIAN MUSIC FESTIVAL
vendors, state of the art sound, lighting and production, and family fun.
The mission is to use worship music (in a variety of genres) and the Word of God (as testimonies and the preached Word) to unite believers, save the Lost, bring the community together and spark a revival that will change our area and beyond.
This year, FaithFest will take place, August 28th, from 2:0010:30pm with gates opening at 12:00 pm. We are super excited about the amazing line-up of artists that will be performing. Jeremy Camp, Big Daddy Weave, and We the Kingdom will headline the
event along with Ryan Stevenson, Jason Crabb, Sidewalk Prophets, Cochren & Co., and Hannah Kerr. Tickets will be $30 for individuals and $25 for groups of 12+. They go on sale June 21st. We hope that you will join thousands of others for a time of worship, music, fun and great food, in a family-friendly atmosphere.
To learn more about FaithFest and for ticket information, please visit www.faithfestnc.com. We pray that the name of Jesus will be glorified and FaithFest will impact many lives. It’s all for Him!
Downtown Hendersonville, NC
Brings Back the Boogie with Summer Concerts
After a one-year break due to the pandemic, Hendersonville’s popular summer concert series returns this July. Whether you enjoy listening to familiar classic rock hits, cutting a rug during a square dance number or discovering a new folk act, you’ll find the opportunity on Hendersonville’s downtown stage.
Beginning on Friday, July 9, and continuing each Friday evening through August, Music on Main kicks off the weekend with pop, oldies, rock and more. Bring a lawn chair and enjoy live music with friendly folks. Hot dogs, ice cream and lemonade will be available.
Another favorite tradition comes back July 12 as the century-old street dances once again
hit the pavement. What began as a welcome home celebration for soldiers returning from World War I has become a way to preserve the rich heritage of Blue Ridge
Mountain music and dance. In addition to the live band, clogging teams make special appearances. Street dance dates are July 12 and 26, and Aug. 9 and 23.
This year’s Monday Night Live! concerts alternate with the Street Dances. The concert series features folk, country and blues acts on July 19, and Aug. 2, 16 and 30.
All summer concert events begin at 7 p.m., and admission is free. For additional details, including a full band lineup, go to www.VisitHendersonvilleNC.org or call (800) 828-4244.
Sonker Anyone? Shelton Vineyards Joins Unique Food Trail
The dining experience at Shelton Vineyards in the Blue Ridge foothills town of Dobson now includes the region’s signature dessert. The winery’s restaurant, Harvest Grill, recently became the sixth stop along the Surry Sonker Trail.
Sonker is a heritage food passed down through generations in Surry County. Similar to a pot pie or cobbler, sonker comes about by blending fruit and unshaped dough sweetened with sugar, molasses and a secret ingredient or two.
Travis Dale, the new general
manager for Shelton Vineyards, has a culinary background. When he heard about this unique food trail, he jumped at the chance to be involved.
“Surry County has this regional delicacy. We want to be a part of that tradition and do something special with it,” Dale says. “To have great local food is really important.”
Small cast iron skillets are used to make individual sonkers at Harvest Grill. After baking, the crust is topped with fresh fruit and a
dab of whipped cream. Strawberry rhubarb is the initial menu option and the fruit will rotate seasonally.
“Whatever is in season is what we’ll do,” Dale says. “We hope people will want to keep coming back to try the flavors.”
In addition to Harvest Grill, the Surry Sonker Trail includes
Anchored Bakery and Miss Angel’s Heavenly Pies in Mount Airy, Southern On Main and Skull Camp Smokehouse in Elkin, and Rockford General Store in Dobson.
To receive a Surry Sonker Trail brochure map, call (800) 948-0949 or go to: www.SonkerTrail.org.
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The Mile High Swinging Bridge is one of Grandfather Mountain’s top attractions — literally.
Wonders Never Cease at Grandfather Mountain
At more than a mile above sea level, Grandfather Mountain has been sharing the wonders of the natural world since 1952.
Summer is one of the most ideal times to visit, as temperatures at the world-famous Mile High Swinging Bridge are typically 20
degrees cooler than in the flatlands. The suspension footbridge spans an 80-foot chasm at a mile in elevation, with panoramic views of the WNC High Country — and even the Charlotte skyline some 80 miles away on a clear day. The nonprofit nature park also offers access to 12 miles of hiking
trails, wildlife habitats (featuring rescued black bears, cougars, river otters, bald eagles and elk), a nature museum, restaurant, picnic sites, fudge shop, interactive programs, special events and more — all included with admission.
Grandfather Mountain is located at 2050 Blowing Rock
Highway in Linville, N.C., just a mile off the Blue Ridge Parkway. The park is now requiring guests to book their visit online.
For more information, or to make a reservation, visit www.grandfather.com.
Live Events are Back!
Wytheville, Virginia, is ready for an exciting summer with a great list of special events and live entertainment scheduled.
For more information about everything the area has to offer, contact the Wytheville Convention & Visitors Bureau, toll-free at 1-877-347-8307, or visit www.VisitWytheville.com. Click on the “Events” tab
Vintage Baseball, played by the original rules from 1864 with authentic uniforms and equipment, returns June-October in Withers Park.
Wohlfahrt Haus Dinner Theatre’s summer production is “Oh Happy Day” from July 2 until August 29.
Downtown Wytheville’s July 3rd Celebration & Street Festival includes a kids parade, inflatables, cruise-in, artisan vendors and demonstrations, six bands, and fireworks.
Wytheville Wine Festival, celebrating the wines of Southwest Virginia with six wineries, food and music, at this family friendly event.
Chautauqua Festival is back for four days (July 29-August 1) –music, food, and lots of fun
including hot air balloons.
After Hours Concert Series continues August 6 in Withers Park. There’s lots to celebrate in Wytheville this year including the 15th anniversary of West Wind Farm Vineyard & Winery. This fourth-generation homestead in the beautiful Blue Ridge Moun tains offers award-winning small batch, family-crafted wines.
Celebrating 20 years of success, Beagle Ridge Herb Farm is offering a variety of special events and classes
rating 75 years in business this year. Every weekend (May-October), you can take a beautiful drive to the top
Celebrate 60 Years of Memories in Pigeon Forge
Pigeon Forge is celebrating 60 years of memories in 2021 and is excited to welcome visitors back for another summer season. The moments spent together become heartwarming stories that our visitors will tell for years to come.
From waterfall hikes to picturesque drives, summer is the ideal time to explore Great Smoky Mountains National Park, just six miles from Pigeon Forge. With warmer weather and longer days, travelers can get out of the house and back to nature.
In addition the natural beauty of
the Smokies, check out these new attractions and events during your summer visit to the mountains.
The Island at Pigeon Forge unleashes SkyFly: Soar America, an indoor flying adventure that takes passengers high above some of the nation’s most beautiful natural wonders and iconic
landmarks. Moving seats combined with sounds, scents, and mists are part of the picturesque journey.
Toy Box Mini Golf, the world’s first toy-themed mini golf course, is open and features an 18-hole course brought to life by 30-foottall recreations of some of the most popular and nostalgic toys
Harrisonburg History & Historic Places
Harrisonburg has its own interesting past and has been witness to many of our nation’s most historic events. Previously known as “Rocktown,” Harrisonburg was named for Thomas Harrison who settled in the Shenandoah Valley in 1737 and eventually deeded acres in the area which is now known as Historic Downtown Harrisonburg. Harrisonburg and the surrounding area played significant roles in the American Civil War with lots of battlefields and cemeteries located within a short drive. However long before the Civil War, pioneers were migrating from Virginia and the northeast on their way to settle the rest of the continent. Many traveled along the Wilderness Road Migration Route, which roughly follows modern day Route 11 and I-81. Catch up on your history in Harrisonburg!
from the past and present.
Guy Fieri’s Downtown Flavortown is coming to the Tower Shops at The Mountain Mile later this year. Known for his surprising food combinations, Fieri has created a menu highlighting his signature cuisine like the Bacon Mac ‘N’ Cheeseburger, Hot Honey Chicken ‘n’ Fries Waffle, and Trash Can Nachos. This new addition to the food, shopping and attraction complex will feature a 14-lane Duck Pin bowling alley; more than 10,000 square feet of arcade games; a full-service Tiki bar and more.
Dollywood’s 36th season continues with its Summer Celebration with extended theme park hours, fireworks, and summer food favorites June 25-July 31.
Visit www.MyPigeonForge. com to plan a trip to Pigeon Forge today, please remember to travel safely.
Mt. Mitchell Crafts Fair Returns to Burnsville’s Town Square Aug. 6-7
The beloved Mt. Mitchell Crafts Fair, forced into a pandemic pause last August after 63 years, returns to Burnsville’s Town Square, Aug. 6-7.
The event retains its Friday-Saturday format and focus on high-quality handmade crafts. However, a new executive director brings different ideas and a fresh perspective for 2021.
“Everybody is ready to hit the road and take part in something they missed out on last year, and we’re excited to have them come to Burnsville,” says Christy Jones, who was named executive director of the Burnsville-Yancey Chamber of Commerce this past October. “Considering the struggles we’ve all endured, we hope this year’s Crafts Fair will be one of the best ever.”
The Mt. Mitchell Crafts Fair has an established reputation in the crafts world as a juried event that avoids mass-produced and
resale items. Jones, who oversaw a large arts and crafts fair in Kansas, plans to build on the fair’s reputation by involving more top-notch artists from the surrounding Toe River Valley. The juried entry process ensures a variety of crafts, from ceramics and wood carvings to jewelry, blown and sculpted glass, metalwork, textiles and woven baskets. Favorite traditions, such as bluegrass music and clogging underneath the shade trees on the Town Square, will continue. Food trucks will complement the offerings from downtown eateries.
Hours for the Mt. Mitchell Crafts Fair are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For more info, go to www.YanceyChamber.com. For lodging, check out www.ExploreBurnsville.com.
The Blue Ridge Digest can be found at these regional visitor’s centers!
Blairsville/Union CoUnty ChamBer
129 Union County Rec Rd. • Blairsville, GA 30512 (706) 745-5789
Fannin CoUnty ChamBer oF CommerCe
152 Orvin Lance Dr • Blue Ridge, GA 30513 (706) 632-5680
raBUn CoUnty WelCome Center
232 Hwy 441 North, POB 750 Clayton, Georgia 30525; (706) 782-4812
toWns CoUnty visitor Center 1411 Jack Dayton Circle Young Harris, GA 30582 (706) 896-4966 • www.mountaintopga.com
alleghany Co. ChamBer oF CommerCe
58 S. Main, POB 1237 BRD Sparta, NC 28675; (800) 372-5473
andreWs rest stop
50 Cover St / US 19 • Andrews, NC 28902 www.visitcherokeecounty.com
ashe CoUnty ChamBer & visitor Center
1 N. Jefferson Ave, P.O. Box 31 West Jefferson, NC 28694 (336) 846-9550 • www.ashechamber.com
avery CoUnty ChamBer oF CommerCe
4501 Tynecastle Hwy • Unit 2 Banner Elk, NC 28604 (800) 972-2183 • www.averycounty.com
Banner elk visitor Center 100 Main Street West Banner Elk, NC 28604
(828) 898-8395 • www.bannerelk.org
BeeCh moUntain ChamBer oF CommerCe
403A Beech Mountain Parkway
Beech Mtn, NC 28604
(800) 468-5506 • www.beechmtn.com
BlaCk moUntain ChamBer oF CommerCe
201 E. State St. • Black Mountain, NC 28711 (828) 669-2300
BloWing roCk ChamBer oF CommerCe
132 Park Ave • Blowing Rock NC 28605
BlUe ridge parkWay visitor Center
195 Hemphill Knob Rd • Asheville, NC 28803 828-298-5330
Boone area ChamBer oF CommerCe
870 W King St. Suite A • Boone, NC 28607
(828) 264-2225 • www.VisitBooneNC.com
Bryson City ChamBer oF CommerCe
210 Main Street • Bryson City, NC 28713
(828) 488-3681 • www.greatsmokies.com
BUrke CoUnty travel & toUrism
110 E. Meeting Street Morganton, NC 28655 (828) 433-6793
CaldWell CoUnty visitor Center
1909 Hickory Blvd. SE Lenoir, NC 28645
Cashiers area ChamBer oF CommerCe
202 U.S. 64, POB 238 BRD Cashiers, NC 28717
(828) 743-5191 • www.cashiers-nc.com
CataWBa CoUnty visitor Center 1055 Southgate Parkway SW Hickory, NC 28602
Cherokee CoUnty visitor Center 20 Tennessee Street, Murphy, NC 28906 828-557-2583 www.visitcherokeecountync.com
Cherokee CoUnty WelCome Center 805 W. US 64 Murphy, NC 28906; (828) 837-2242 www.cherokeecountychamber.com
Cherokee WelCome Center P.O. Box 460 • 498 Tsalis Rd. Cherokee, NC 28719
(800) 438-1601 • www.cherokee-nc.com
Clay CoUnty ChamBer oF CommerCe
96 Sanderson St • Hayesville, NC 28904; (828) 389-3704
davie CoUnty ChamBer oF CommerCe 135 S. Salisbury St. Mocksville, NC 27028-2337
(336) 751-3304 • www.mocksville.org
Franklin area ChamBer oF CommerCe 98 Hyatt Rd. Franklin • NC 28734 (888) 439-park • www.franklin-chamber.com
gaston CoUnty visitor Center 620 N. Main Street • Belmont, NC 28012 704-825-4044. www.visitgaston.org
greensBoro visitor Center 2411 West Gate City Blvd
Greensboro, NC 27403
hayWood ChamBer oF CommerCe
28 Walnut St. • Waynesville, NC 28786
hendersonville visitor Center
201 S. Main St • Hendersonville, NC 28792
hiCkory metro CvB
1960 13th Ave Dr. SE • Hickory, NC 28602
(828) 322-1335 • www.hickorymetro.com
highlands ChamBer oF CommerCe
108 Main St., P. O. Box 404 Highlands, NC 28741 (828) 526-2112
JaCkson CoUnty ChamBer oF CommerCe
773 W. Main Street • Sylva, NC 28779 (800) 962-1911 • www.mountainlovers.com
Jonesville WelCome Center
1503 NC Hwy 67W Jonesville, NC 28642 • (336) 526-1111
madison CoUnty visitor Center
56 S. Main Street • Mars Hill, NC 28754 (828) 680-9031
maggie valley ChamBer oF CommerCe
2791 Soco Road, POB 279 Maggie Valley, NC 28751 (800) MAGGIE-1 • www.maggievalley.org
mCdoWell CoUnty visitor Center
1170 W. Tate St. • Marion, NC 28752 (828) 652-4240 • www.McDowellNC.org
mitChell Co. ChamBer oF CommerCe 79 Parkway Rd • Spruce Pine, NC 28777 828-765-2761 www.mitchell-county.com
moUnt airy visitor Center
200 N. Main St. • Mt. Airy, NC 27030 (800) 948-0949 • www.visitmayberry.com
moUnt mitChell state park 2388 State Hwy. 128 • Burnsville, NC 28714 (828) 675-4611
nW nC visitor Center 2121 East US Hwy 421 North WIlkesboro, NC 28659 (336) 667-1259
nC high CoUntry host visitor Center 6370 US HWY 321 South, Blowing Rock, NC 28605 (800) 438-7500 • www.mountainsofnc.com
old Fort visitor Center 91 S. Catawba Ave • Old Fort, NC 28762 (888) 233-6111 • www.visitmcdowell.com
piedmont triad visitor Center 700 NC Hwy 700 • Pelham, NC 27311 (800) 388-9830
polk CoUnty visitor Center 20 E. Mills St. • Columbus, NC 28722 (800) 440-7848
smoky moUntain host oF nC, inC 4437 Georgia Rd. • Franklin, NC 28734 (800) 432-4678 • www.visitsmokies.org
sprUCe pine visitor Center 165 Locust St. • Spruce Pine, NC 28777 (828) 765-7008
statesville Convention & visitors BUreaU 118 W Broad St • Statesville, NC 28687 (704) 878-3480 or (877) 531-1819 www.visitstatesville.org
CoUnty visitor Center
1110 Soco Rd • Maggie Valley, NC 28751 (800) 334-9036 www.visitncsmokies.com
Wilkes CoUnty ChamBer oF CommerCe 717 Main St., PO Box 727 BRD N. Wilkesboro, NC 28659 (336) 838-8662 • www.wilkesnc.org
Winston-salem visitor Center 200 Brookstown Ave, Winston-Salem, NC 27101 336-728-4205 • VisitWinstonSalem.com
yanCey CoUnty ChamBer oF CommerCe 106 W. Main St. • Burnsville, NC 28714 (800) 948-1632 • www.yanceychamber.com
yadkin valley heritage & trails visitor Center – 257 Standard St, Elkin, NC 28621 (336) 526-1111 – www.exploreelkin.com
ClairBorne Co. ChamBer oF CommerCe 1732 Main St., Suite 1 • Tazewell, TN 37879 (423) 626-4149 • www.clairbornecounty.com
elizaBethton visitor Center 615 East Elk Ave., Elizabethton, TN 37643 (423) 547-3850 • tourcartercounty.com
greene Co. partnership/CoB
115 Academy St. • Greeneville, TN 37743 (423) 638-4111
historiC JonesBoroUgh 117 Boone St. Jonesborough •TN 37659 (423) 423-753-1010 • Toll Free: 866-401-4223
Johnson City visitor Center 603 E. Main St. Johnson City • TN 37605; (423) 926-2141 • www.johnsoncitytn.com
Johnson CoUnty WelCome Center 716 S. Shady St. (Hwy. 421S) Mountain City, TN 37683 (423) 727-5800 • firstname.lastname@example.org
kingsport visitor Center 151 E. Main St., POB 1403 BRD Kingsport, TN 37662 (423) 392-8820
loUdon CoUnty visitor BUreaU 1075 US Hwy 321 • Lenoir City, TN 37771 (865) 968-3662 • www.visitloudoncounty.com
pigeon Forge visitor Center
1950 N. Parkway, POB 1390 BRD Pigeon Forge, TN 37868 (800) 251-9100 • mypigeonforge.com
toWnsend visitor Center
7609 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway, Townsend, TN 37882. 800-525-6834 • www.smokymountains.org
The Blue Ridge Digest can be found at these regional visitor’s centers!
UniCoi visitor Center
106 Unicoi Village Place PO Box 39 Erwin, TN 37692
www.unicoitn.net • 423-735-0426
1908 CoUrthoUse visitor Center
107 E Main St. • Independence VA 24348
aBingdon visitor Center
300 Green Spring Rd. • Abingdon, VA 24210
(800) 435-3440 • www.abingdon.com
aFton visitor Center
130 Afton Circle • Afton, VA 22920
(540) 943-5187 • www.visitwaynesboro.net
alBemarle toUrism & adventUre Center
5791 Three Notched Rd • Crozet, VA 22932
appomattox visitor Center
214 Main Street. PO Box 246
Appomattox, VA 24522
(434) 352-8999 • historicappomattox.com
BedFord visitor Center
816 Burks Hill Rd • Bedford, VA 24523;
(877)-HiPeaks • VisitBedford.com
BlUe ridge visitor Center
2577 JEB Stuart Highway
Meadows of Dan, VA 24120 • 276-694-6012
BUena vista visitor Center
595 E. 19th St. • Buena Vista, VA 24417
(540) 261-2880 • buena-vista.va.us.com
Carroll CoUnty visitor Center
231 Farmers Market Rd, Hillsville • VA 24343
(888) 785-2782 • (276) 730-3100
Charlottesville visitor Center
610 East Main St • Charlottesville, VA 22902
(434) 293-6789 • (434) 970-3641
CUlpeper visitor Center
111 S. Commerce St. • Culpeper, VA 22701
Phone: (540) 727-0611 Toll Free: 844-490-2577. www.visitculpeperva.com
danville visitor Center
645 River Park Dr • Danville, VA 24540 (434) 793-4636 • www.visitdanville.com
disCovery Center at mill moUntain roanoke’s mill moUntain
2000 J P Fishburn Parkway Roanoke, VA 24013 • (540) 853-1236
explore park visitor Center
Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 115 Roanoke, VA 24014 • (540) 427-1800
Floyd visitors Center
109 E. Main St. • Floyd, VA 24091 www.VisitFloydVA.com 540-745-4407
Franklin CoUnty visitor Center
1255 Franklin St, suite 112, Rocky Mount, VA 24151. (540) 483-3030 • www.visitfranklincountyva.com
Front royal visitor Center
414 E. Main St. • Front Royal, VA 22630 (800) 338-3576 • www.discoverfrontroyal.com
City oF galax toUrism department
110 East Grayson St. • Galax, VA 24333 276-238-8130 www.visitgalax.com
greene CoUnty eConomiC
development & toUrism
9157 Seminole Trail, Suite 2 Ruckersville, VA 22968 434-985-6663
hardesty-higgins hoUse visitor Center
212 S. Main St • Harrisonburg, VA 22801 VisitHarrisonburgVA.com
lexington visitor Center
106 E. Washington St. • Lexington, VA 24450 (540) 463-3777 • www.lexingtonvirginia.com
loUdoUn visitor Center
112G South St. SE • Leesburg, VA 20175 (703) 771-3237 • www.visitloudon.org
lUray/page CoUnty ChamBer
18 Campbell St. • Luray, VA 22835 (540) 743-3915 • www.luraypage.com
lynChBUrg regional inFormation Center
216 12th St. at Church St. Lynchburg, VA 24505 (800) 732-5821 • www.discoverlynchburg.org
madison CoUnty visitor Center
110A N. Main St. • Madison, VA 22727 (540) 948-4455 • www.madison-va.com
martinsville-henry CoUnty visitor Center
191 Fayette St. • Martinsville, VA 24112 (888) 722-3498 • www.visitmartinsville.com
nelson CoUnty visitor Center
8519 Thomas Nelson Hwy., Lovingston, VA 22949 (800) 282-8223 • www.Nelsoncounty.com
orange Co. visitor’s Center
122 East Main St. • Orange, VA 22960 (877) 222-8072 • www.visitorangevirginia.com
patriCk CoUnty ChamBer oF CommerCe 334 Patrick Avenue • PO Box 577 Stuart, VA 24171 (276) 694-6012 • www.patrickchamber.com
patriCk CoUnty visitor Center
126 N. Main St Stuart, VA 24171 www.visitpatrickcounty.org
pUlaski CoUnty visitor Center
4440 Cleburne Blvd • Dublin, VA 24084 540-674-4161 • www.pulaskicounty.org
radFord visitor Center
710A Main St. • Radford, VA 24141 (866) 605-6442 • www.visitradford.com
roanoke visitor inFormation Center 101 Shenandoah Ave., NE Roanoke VA 24016 (800) 635-5535 • www.visitvablueridge.com
roCkFish gap-WaynesBoro visitor Center
130 Afton Circle • Afton, VA 22920 (540) 943-5187 • www.visitwaynesboro.net
salem visitor Center
1001 Boulevard @ Civic Center Salem, VA 24153; (888) 827-2536
shenandoah CoUnty toUrism
600 N. Main St, Ste 101 Woodstock, VA 22664 888-367-3965 • visitshenandoahcounty.com
gateWay to shenandoah visitor Center at hUpp’s hill Civil War park and mUseUm 33229 Old Valley Pike • Strasburg, VA 22657 540-465-9197 • strasburgva.com
smith moUntain lake visitor Center 16430 Booker T. Washington Hwy. #2 Moneta. VA 24121 540-721-1203
soUthWest virginia CUltUral Center & marketplaCe
1 Heartwood Cir, Abington, VA 24210 (276) 492-2400 • swvaculturalcenter.com
staUnton travel inFormation Center 1290 Richmond Rd. (I-81 Exit 222) Staunton, VA 24401 • (540) 332-3972
staUnton visitor’s Center 35 South New St. • Staunton,VA 24401 540-332-3971 • www.VisitStaunton.com
tazeWell CoUnty visitor Center 163 Walnut St • Bluefield, 24605 (276) 322-1345
virginia teCh visitor Center 925 Prices Fork Rd. • Blacksburg, VA 24061 (540) 231-3548 • email@example.com
Western highlands visitor Center 241 W. Main St. • Covington, VA 24426 (540) 962-2178
WinChester-FrederiCk CoUnty CvB 1400 S. Pleasant Valley Rd. Winchester, VA 22601 (877) 871-1326 • www.visitwinchesterva.com
975 Tazewell St. • Wytheville, VA 24382 (276) 223-3355 • Toll free (877) 347-8307 www.visitWytheville.com
Linville Falls, NC
Mabry Mill Restaurant & Gift Shop
Meadows of Dan, VA
Mast General Store
Blowing Rock, NC
North Carolina Arboretum
Northwest Trading Post
Glendale Springs, NC
Peaks of Otter Lodge
Blue Ridge Parkway Bedford, VA
Blue Ridge Parkway Waynesville, NC
Skyland & Big Meadows Lodges
Shenandoah National Park
VA Transportation Museum
VA Museum of the Civil War
New Market, VA
West virginia WelCome Center 37 Washington Court at US 340 Harpers Ferry, WV 25435 (866) -HELLO-WV • www.hello-wv.com
CUmBerland gap nhp visitor Center 91 Bartlett Rd • Middlesboro, KY 40965 (606) 248-2817
Mountain Lodging Food Fun
NORTH CAROLINA ASHEVILLE, NC
Asheville East KOA-Exit 59 off I-40 big rigs & tenters welcome. Wooded sites, with pool, lake & river fishing. 800-562-5907 or (828) 6863121. 2708 Hwy 70E, Swannanoa, NC 28778. www.ashevilleeastkoa.com
Asheville West KOA-Exit 37 off I-40 Something for everyone, RV’s, tenters, cabins. In foothills, wooded sites, hiking trails, pool. (800) 5629015. 309 Wiggins Rd., Candler, NC 28715. www.ashevillekoa.com
Bear Creek RV Park - Exit Rt. 191 from Parkway; I-40 Exit 47; or I-26 Exit 2. 3 miles north of Parkway off Rt. 191. 5 mins. Biltmore House. 90 full hookups, paved sites, pool, laundry. Open year round. (800) 833-0798 www.ashevillebearcreek.com.
Discover a hidden gem rich with art and history. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this 11acre property is home to Grovewood Gallery, 8 working artist studios, the Estes-Winn Antique Car Museum, and the Biltmore Industries Homespun Museum. Adjacent to Omni Grove Park Inn. www.grovewood.com (828) 214-7768
Mast Store – 15 Biltmore Ave., Downtown Asheville. Dating to the 1940s, find home décor, camping gear, shoes, clothing, and hundreds of favorite candies. www.MastStore.com 828-232-1883
Rug & Home - Over 20,000 oriental rugs & home accessories. Finest rugs from India, China, Pakistan, Persia, Turkey, Egypt, Karastan, Milliken. Tapestries, needlepoints, oil paintings, antique furniture, brass, crystal, & Tiffany lamps, mirrors. Local & national artists. Sculptures and fine porcelain. Located at I-26, exit 33 behind Ethan Allen. Open 7 days. (828) 667-4585.
BANNER ELK, NC
Smoke Tree Lodge - 12 miles south of Boone on Hwy 105. Nestled at the foot of Grandfather Mtn. Condo-apts, heated indoor pool, ESPN, Jacuzzi, saunas. (800) 422-1880.
BLOWING ROCK, NC
Alpine Village Inn - 297 Sunset Dr. Quaint cozy rooms & suites in the heart of town. AC, CCTV, & phones, WiFi complimentary. Some fireplaces & Jacuzzi. Pet friendly rooms. www.alpine-village-inn.com (828) 295-7206.
Alpine Village Townhomes Vacation Rentals
2+ Bedroom, special offers.Great Views, heated pool/summer, clubhouse and amenities, cable TV, special golf fees. 3 miles west of Parkway, exit Hwy 80. No pets. 727-389-3404
Blowing Rock Art & History Museum - Free admission, open year round. Must-see destination for visual art & Appalachian heritage. www.BlowingRockMuseum.org. 159 Ginny Stevens Ln (828) 295-9099.
Hemlock Inn & Suites - 134 Morris St. Downtown Blowing Rock. 1/2 mile to Parkway. Open year round. Walk to shops and restaurants. (828) 295-7987. www.hemlockinn.net.
Village Inns of Blowing RockNo Smoking, Wi-Fi/Breakfast. Suites/ Cottages/Rooms. Some Pet Friendly Rooms. (828) 295-3001
Foscoe Rentals - Cabins, Condos and Vacation homes centrally located to Boone, Banner Elk and Blowing Rock. (800) 723-7341.
Hidden Valley Motel- Birds, blooms and butterflies in the Foscoe Valley. Hwy 105 south between Boone and Banner Elk. Call 828/963-4372. www.hiddenvalleymotel.com or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
KOA Kampground - From Boone, 194N 3 miles. Left on Ray Brown Rd. 1 mile. Beautiful view. Rec room, mini golf, laundry. 123 Harmony Mtn. Lane, Boone, NC 28607. 828-264-7250.
Mast Store – 630 W King St., Downtown Boone. Built in the 1920s, this charming store is filled with most everything you need for life: clothing, trail & travel gear, old-fashioned candy. www.MastStore.com. 828-262-0000 NC High Country Host Visitor Center- 6370 US HWY 321 South Blowing Rock, NC 28605; (800) 4387500 www.mountainsofnc.com
Alpine Village Townhomes Vacation Rentals
2+ Bedroom, special offers. Great Views, heated pool/summer, clubhouseand amenities, cable TV, special golf fees. 3 miles west of Parkway, exit Hwy 80. No pets. www.alpinevillagetownhomes.com 727-389-3404
CHIMNEY ROCK, NC
Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park - More than a Rock, it’s a Mountain of Possibilities. Six unique hiking trails. 404-foot waterfall. 26-story elevator inside mountain. Woodland animal programs and exhibits. Pet friendly. Old Rock Café overlooking the river. Open all year. 40 min SE of Asheville. 828-625-9611. ChimneyRockPark.com
Mast Store – 527 N Main St., Downtown Hendersonville. Built in 1905 and embodying the essence of the era, this store is packed with clothing, gift ideas, country gourmet foods, & more!
Discover Hendersonville! Check out our Stay & Play Packages & Room Availability! Hendersonville Visitors Center, 201 S Main Street, Hendersonville, NC. 1-800-828-4244. Open 7 days a week. www.visithendersonvillenc.org
Grandfather Mountain - Grandfather’s lofty heights offer guests opportunities for rejuvenation, excitement and family memories in a natural haven that
will endure forever. Marvel at 360-degree views from the Mile High Swinging Bridge, stand eye-to-eye with native wildlife in natural habitats and interact with our friendly, knowledgeable staff. One mile from Blue Ridge Parkway; take th Linville exit at Milepost 305 to U.S. 221 South. Open daily, weather permitting, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. $22 adult, $20 senior 60+, $9 child 4-12, under 4 freewww.grandfather.com
(828) 733-4337 or (800) 468-7325.
LINVILLE FALLS, NC
Linville Caverns - 19929 US 221 N. Marion. 4 miles South of Parkway, MP 317. NC’s ONLY show cavern. 800-419-0540. www.linvillecaverns.com
Linville Falls Lodge & Cottages - BRP Milepost 317.4, US 221S, 1 mile to walk to falls & gorge. www.linvillefallslodge.com (828) 765-2658.
LITTLE SWITZERLAND, NC
Emerald Village - Real mines, mine tours, & gem mining. Other free displays: railroad, music museum, wildlife. MP334. 828-765-6463. www.emeraldvillage.com
Switzerland Cafe & General Store - MP 334 1/4 mile of the Parkway. Lunch and weekend dinners. Souvenirs and picnic items. 828-765-5289. www.switzerlandcafe.com
Switzerland Inn And Chalet Restaurant - A little bit of Switzerland in NC. Fantastic mountain views, rooms, suites, cottages, dining, shopping, tennis. Located directly on the Blue Ridge Parkway at the Little Switzerland exit near Parkway Milepost 334. Little Switzerland, NC 28749. (828) 765-2153 or (800) 6544026. www.switzerlandinn.com
MAGGIE VALLEY, NC
Boyd Mountain Log Cabins7 Authentic cabins, fireplaces, AC, cable, WIFI. Choose n cut Christmas tree farm, trout fishing, hiking. (828) 926-1575. www.boydmountain.com
sure to tell them you saw it in THE DIGEST!
Maggie Valley Area Chamber of Commerce - US 19, Eastern entrance to the Great Smokies. Escape. Explore. Exhale. Maggie Valley Area Chamber of Commerce, PO Box 279, Maggie Valley, 28751.
Jonathan Creek Inn & Maggie Valley Villas - MP 455.7 AAA 3 Diamond Rated. Creekside and Hot Tub Rooms, Creekside & Mountain View Villas, Indoor Heated Pool, Children’s Play Area. 1-800-577-7812. www.jonathancreekinn.com
McDOWELL CO., NC
McDowell Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center - Shopping & food near center. Free coffee & area info. Clean restrooms. From Parkway MP 317, 24 mi. S on US 221. From MP331: 15 mi S on NC226. (828) 652-4240.
SPARTA & GLADE VALLEY, NC
Alleghany Inn - 341 N. Main St., Sparta, NC 28675. 64 Rooms - Free Wireless Internet - Cable TV 60+ Chan, Guest Laundry - Restaurant on site. 888) 372-2501 Reserve online: www.AlleghanyInn.com
SPRUCE PINE, NC
Gem Mountain - 13780 Hwy 226. 1 mile from Parkway. Gem mine. Rain or shine. Mine trips available. People’s choice for Gem mining. www.gemmountain.com
Peak Mountain Cottages & Retreat Center--On 300 acres, 7 miles N of Pkwy. Room to play or relax. Hiking trails, clear mtn streams. 460 Rabbit Hop Rd near Penland. Individuals,families or groups up to 25. 828-765-9559. www.peakmountaincottages.com
VALLE CRUCIS, NC
Mast General Store & Annex Highway 194. Est. 1883 & listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this authentic general store is filled with the best of yesterday and today including camping gear, shoes & boots, housewares, candies, and an impressive collection of knives. www.MastStore.com 828-963-6511
Mast Store – 63, N Main St., Downtown Waynesville. Serving the area since 1935, this store is brimming with clothing, shoes, cast iron cookware, candy, & camping gear. www.MastStore.com 828-452-2101
TENNESSEE GATLINBURG, TN
Ski Mountain Chalet & Condo Rentals - 1-4 bedrooms , hot tubs, jacuzzis, pool tables, kitchens, fireplaces, privacy. (800) 824-4077. www.skimtnchalets.com
VIRGINIA BEDFORD, VA
Peaks of Otter Winery & Orchards - 2122 Sheep Creek Rd, 24523. MP 86. Fruit wine, fruit, jams, jellies, free tastings. Vacation rentl house. 540-586-3707. www.iwineu.com or www.elmosrest.com
Gross’ Orchard & Apple Valley Homeplace - Vacation Home Rental. Open year round. $75 per couple per night. Mountain grown fruit & produce. Bedford, VA. Rt. 43 in Apple Valley. Open Year round. U-pick or U-select. Apple Festival 3rd Sat. in Oct. (540) 586-2436.
Montfair Resort Farm - Pet friendly cabins by lake. 30 min from Parkway. Wi-fi, linens & cookware provided. Canoe, hike, fish. (434) 8235202. www.montfairresortfarm.com.
FANCY GAP, VA
Skyland Lakes Golf Club - Right on Parkway at milepost 202.2. New 18 hole public course. Beautiful scenery. Motel & golf packages available. (276) 728-4923.
Chantilly Farm Campground
2697 Franklin Pike SE. RV sites: electric, water, sewer, tent camping w/ amenities. WiFi, ice, ATM. chantillyfarm.com. 540-808 -4984
Floyd Visitors Center
109 E. Main St., Floyd, VA 24091
Mountain town with unique music, arts, outdoor fun! 540-745-4407
Cool Breeze Campground
2330 Edmonds Rd.Galax,VA
MP215 off BRP, Full Hookups
Bathhouse,Laundry,Big Rig Friendly,Free WIFI,Rally Center,276-236-0300
Grand Caverns - 5 Grand Caverns Dr, Grottoes, VA, America’s oldest continuously operated show cave. Nature’s handiwork & gifts. 888-430-CAVE.
The Village Inn - 1 mile south of I-81, Exit 243, on US 11. American Automobile Association Three Diamond Award. (540) 434-7355, toll free reservations-1-800-736-7355.
NATURAL BRIDGE, VA
Natural Bridge Zoo - 5784 S. Lee Hwy I-81 exit 180A Natural Bridge 24578. 540-291-2420, naturalbridgezoo. com. Largest collection of birds and animals in Virginia. Elephant rides, giraffe, tigers, bears, monkeys, birds and more! Petting zoo, gift shop, picnic area. Open mid March to November.
PATRICK COUNTY, VA
Blue Ridge Real Estate Cabin Rentals-- Residential, land and commercial properties as well as Log Cabin Sales and Vacation Rentals. www.blueridgerealestate.net or 276-694-2001.
Buffalo Mountain Getaway-Perfect location for your getaway in Virginia. Get away from it all. Cottage or Cabin near the Buffalo Mountain in Floyd. 540.789.8335 buffalomountaingetaway.com/home
Laurel Point Villa - Breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains! Large vacation rental is a mix of modern conveniences and charm & is a great place for family gatherings. (850) 712-1139. www.laurelpointvillage.com
Pond View GuesthouseGuesthouse is conveniently located just off the Blue Ridge Parkway near Meadows of Dan, VA. www.pondviewguesthouse.com or (276) 952-2624.
Primland Resort - 2000 Busted Rock Road. Resort Lodge, Fairway Cottages, Mountain Homes. Spectacular views. Golf. Spa. Dining, Outdoor activities. 276.222.3800 www.primland.com
Willville Motorcycle Campground26 acre wooded park located less than one mile from the Blue Ridge Parkway in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. www.willvillebikecamp.com or (276) 952-CAMP.
Radford Visitor’s Center - Rt 8 to I-81 Exit 109 “Find It in Radford”-surrounded on 3 sides by the New River & overflowing with history 540-267-3153 www.visitradford.com.
Mast General Store - In downtown at 401 S. Jefferson St. Our newest old location dates to 1915 and is filled with old favorites and new ones too! www.MastStore.com 540-566-5661.
Virginia’s Blue Ridge. Take a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Shop at the markets and boutiques in Downtown Roanoke and Salem. Hike on a trail in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Discover wildlife while kayaking on the Upper James River Water Trail. Dine at a local restaurant and enjoy fresh, amazingly prepared ingredients. Watch the sunset aboard a cruise at Smith Mountain Lake. All these things to do and more can be part of your Blue Ridge Day.No matter what you decide to do, every day in the Roanoke Valley in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains is filled with friendship and old-fashioned hospitality. Discover what makes visiting Virginia’s Blue Ridge unique! (800) 635-5535. visitvablueridge.com
Come and visit Salem, Virginia that is only twenty minutes from the parkway. Take the walking tour of our historic downtown featuring quaint antique shops and restaurants. Stay for a while in one of our hotels or B&B’s and attend one of our many athletic events including NCAA National Championships in football, basketball and softball. Salem is also the home of the Salem Red Sox, advanced Class “A” affiliate of the Boston Red Sox playing their games in spacious and comfy Lewis Gale Field.
Music, Movies and Family Fun in the Wilkesboros
Concerts in the Commons
Second Saturdays, May-October: 6-10 p.m.
Lineup available at WilkesboroNC.org
Movies on Main
Friday before the Second Saturday, May-August: 9 p.m. Schedule available at WilkesboroNC.org.
Concerts on the Deck
Third Saturdays, June-October: 6-10 p.m.
Music, festivals and family fun -- it’s a magic combination, and one the towns of Wilkesboro and North Wilkesboro are excited to embrace this summer after COVID restrictions last year put a damper on public gatherings.
Drawing on a deep well of local talent, both cities will host free outdoor concerts throughout the summer. Gather the family and come out to enjoy a variety of artists, from local bluegrass to beach music, singer-songwriters to tribute bands playing classic favorites.
Scythian (sith-ee-yin) playing roots music from Celtic, Eastern European and Appalachian traditions with thunderous energy, technical prowess, beckoning crowds into a barn-dance, rock concert experience.
In Wilkesboro the concerts are held at the Wilkes Communications Pavilion in Carolina West Community Commons. A wide lawn provides the perfect place to set your chair or blanket, bring a cooler full of refreshments, and settle in for a concert while the kids run and play in the grass.
For movie fans, Wilkesboro brings back Movies on Main this summer with a line-up of recent releases and ’90s classics. Bring your blankets, glow sticks and snacks for a little taste of Hollywood under the stars. Equally as important as the musical talent on showcase is a
great venue to enjoy the show. North Wilkesboro’s Concerts on the Deck take place at the Yadkin Valley Marketplace. Bring a chair and your dancing shoes, as the area in front of the concert stage provides the perfect place for dancing.
Lineup available at DowntownNorthWilkesboro.com.
Things are Getting Wild at the North Carolina Arboretum!
Perched by the Stream Garden at the North Carolina Arboretum where it hovers above blooming mountain laurel and patches of ferns and below American yellowwood trees, a great blue heron made of copper and steel stretches its metal wings. The sculpture, Stillness
by artist Annie Mariana, evokes the patience of the heron as it waits perhaps for its next meal to swim by. “Like us,
the Great Blue Heron survives, strong and graceful, always on the lookout, for what comes next,” Mariana says.
Stillness Meets Trajectory is one of 18 sculptures on display at the Arboretum through September 26 during the “Wild Art” outdoor sculpture showcase. In all, the works of 17 artists can be discovered throughout the cultivated gardens of the Arboretum. “The gardens are just full of life right now,” said Brian Postelle, the Arboretum’s Marketing and Public Relations Manager. “We hope ‘Wild Art’
adds to that experience, letting guests discover and ponder these captivating works as they explore the grounds.”
From the playful mountain lion Leo by Pokey Park, and the grinning gator Big Al by Grace Cathey, to the contemplative Hatchling by Harry McDaniel and Sanctuary by Julia C. Burr and John M. Almaguer, these thought-provoking works invite a range of interaction and reflection.
What they all have in common is that their creators drew inspiration from the surrounding natural
world in response to a call for submissions by the Arboretum.
On display in tandem with the outdoor show is the photography exhibition “A Life in the Wild,” featuring the nature photography of Thomas D. Mangelsen, in the Baker Visitor Center through September 5. More than 30 works are on display, hand-selected by the award-winning photographer, with subjects ranging from black and grizzly bears to gray wolves in Yellowstone National Park.
Both “Wild Art” and “A Life in the Wild” are available to all Arboretum guests. Admission is included with regular parking fees. The North Carolina Arboretum is open daily from 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. The Baker Visitor Center is open daily 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. For more information, visit ncarboretum.org or call (828) 665-2492.
Overlooks of Patrick County
Dotted throughout the mountains of Patrick County, Virginia are many scenic overlooks that are waiting to take your breath away!
Fred Clifton Park
Conveniently located just off of Route 58 on Meadows of Dan mountain is Fred Clifton Park. This small park hosts three different overlooks with picnic tables and grills scattered in the privacy of trees and rhododendron bushes. The uppermost overlook is steeped in local lore. Legend has it that a Native American maiden, Morningflower, and a colonial man fell in love, but both their families forbade them to
be together. With the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains as their backdrop, they jumped into the great blue yonder to be together forever. Some say you can still hear them when you stand on the overlook platform and look out at the expansive view.
Lover’s Leap Scenic Overlook
Named after the tragic love story that took place at adjacent Fred Clifton Park, Lover’s Leap Scenic Overlook is by far the largest overlook in the area. Its colorful rock wall runs alongside the roadway of Route 58 with easy on, easy off parking. Travelers from all over the world stop here to gaze into the distance. Witness the panoramic views of the mountains & valley and see hundreds of miles out.
Angel Overlook is located on notoriously curvy Squirrel Spur Road between Ararat and Meadows of Dan. This is the perfect place to pause your backroads cruise for a picnic lunch and enjoy the views of the neighboring North Carolina skyline. This overlook gets its name from the Angel family who donated the land for travelers to enjoy in 2009. You can find travel and area information at the information kiosk located right beside the overlook.
Rocky Knob Overlook
This grassy overlook is located at milepost 169 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The soft, open space is
perfect for picnics and letting the children roam free. Across the road is the Rocky Knob Visitor Information Center and picnic area. From here you can start a few different hiking trails, use the restroom, take a break from the shade at a picnic shelter, and get area information from Parkway employees.
Rock Castle Gorge Overlook
Located at milepost 168.8 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, this overlook, along with the Rocky Knob Overlook, sits in the direct path of the Rock Castle Gorge National Recreation Trail. You will often see hikers appear on the forest edge, cross the overlook meadow, and continue on the path back into the trees on the other side. At this overlook, you can read about the history of the Rock Castle Gorge, including the geographic features that give the gorge its name. Close by on the parkway is the Rocky Knob Campground, a great place to pitch your tent or park your camper during your travels.
Stop by the Visitors Center @ 126 North Main Street in Stuart, Virginia to learn more about Patrick County!
Waynesboro Offers the Best in Outdoor Fun
to catch trophy-sized rainbow and brown trout, or grab your kayak and enjoy a scenic four-mile float through the City on the Waynesboro Water Trail. We know all of those outdoor adventures will leave you starving, so head to our Dining page to find some foodie hotspots to tame your hunger and fuel up for your next excursion. It’s time to work up an appetite in Waynesboro!
Ideally located just four miles from Shenandoah National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway, and one of only two urban trout fisheries in Virginia, Waynesboro is divinely placed among the adventure. Now, warm weather is here, and it’s time to disconnect from the screens and
get outside to reconnect with what’s meaningful in life. The Waynesboro area is packed with adventures guaranteed to help you live in the moment. In fact, a brand new hiking trail opened to the public last year, after a nearly 20-year long restoration project: The Blue Ridge
Tunnel. Dubbed the #CoolestHikeInVA, this trail is about as unique as it gets. With its alluring history and ease of access, everyone in your family will find something to love about this trail. The South River flows right through downtown, providing the perfect opportunity
Historic downtown boasts trendy restaurants including old favorites like Heritage on Main and our newest addition, The River Burger Bar, which features tasty all-beef creations, as well as vegetarian and vegan options. Grab coffee and a pastry at the French Press or Farmhaus Coffee Co. to fuel your downtown stroll as you meander through art galleries, shops, and museums.
Beach Party in the Mountains of Bedford!
visit www.sedaliacenter.org, or go to www.lynchburgtickets.com.
The event is outdoors and will feature vendors and concessions. Camping is available on-site and several vacation rentals are close-by. Check for local accommodations on www.DestinationBedfordVA.com or call the Bedford Area Welcome Center at (540) 587-5681.
“Changes in attitudes, changes in latitudes, nothing remains quite the same!” We all have been through much in the past year and a half. Our attitudes may have had to adjust, but more than likely our latitudes remained the same as we quarantined throughout the year. “I think I got cabin fever” resonated with more than just a few.
But now it’s time to CELEBRATE!
The Sedalia Center, located in northern Bedford County Virginia, invites you to Sedaliafest: Pirates, Parrot Heads, and Prawns on Saturday, August 14, starting at 5 p.m. (because it’s 5 o’clock somewhere). We’re bringing the beach party to the mountains with nationally recognized cover band,
Bluffett & The Son of a Sailor Band. Bluffett takes on the atmosphere of a genuine Buffett concert, right down to the audience participation and enjoyment and energy that goes with it! So break out the Hawaiian shirts and beach sandals, as Bluffett sets the beach pace and takes you to the barefoot sand-land of “Margaritaville”. For more information,
The Bedford area is home to the Blue Ridge Mountains and Peaks of Otter, Smith Mountain Lake, the National D-Day Memorial, and Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest.
While in Bedford, be sure to stop by the Bedford Area Welcome Center, located at 816 Burks Hill Road, for information on all there is to do in the area.
Art & Music in Blowing Rock
In summer, the mountain village of Blowing Rock has a tradition of celebrating longer days with plenty of art, music, and fun. Events are back for the 2021 season! Many are outdoors. Here are some to note:
Artists in Residence:
Daily through September 19
4th of July Parade: 10am on July 3
Fireworks Extravaganza at Tweetsie Railroad: July 4
Monday Night Concert Series: July 5 – August 2
Art in the Park: July 17, August 14, September 11, October 2
Concert in the Park: July 18, August 15, September 12, Oct 3
Symphony by the Lake at Chetola: July 23
Plein Air Festival: August 18-21
Plus, Music on the Lawn at Ragged Gardens is every Friday night through early fall. Enjoy musical performances with a meal or drink any night of the week at places like Speckled Trout, Town Tavern, Timberlake’s at Chetola, and Twigs Restaurant. For more art experiences, Blowing Rock Art & History Museum hosts an incredible variety of workshops and events, in addition to an impressive rotation of exhibits. See TRANSFORMATION, a powerful photography installation, through August 21 and Drawn to Detail: Metalsmiths of NC, through September 19. Check
out all the galleries and outdoor art anytime!
The Blue Ridge Parkway is the heart of the Blowing Rock area, connecting the little town with miles of beauty, cultural and historical sites, and a variety of outdoor adventures. Events, shops, restaurants, and inns of Blowing Rock are an easy distance from the wild places in Blowing Rock’s
backyard. This season welcomes several new businesses and even a new 20-room boutique hotel. Celebrate summer with entertainment, recreation, and the breezes of Blowing Rock! Details at BlowingRock.com.
Welcome to Alleghany County
Alleghany County was once known as the “Lost Province” because of its isolation among the peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Today it is easily accessible via US Highway 21 and NC highway 18. Many say it is “easy to get here…but hard to leave”. We agree.
street area to their hearts’ content.
In the Heart of the Blue Ridge Parkway, you will find unspoiled views, pristine nature, and quiet solitude- a place where life is still simple, and the air is clean. Explore the Blue Ridge Parkway with access to national, state, and local parks. Enjoy the scenic New River, and spend the afternoon in our quaint downtown shops, art and craft galleries, and restaurants. Join friends in the local brewery or venture out to experience the family- owned winery.
With new wider sidewalks, traffic lights and charming lamp postsall the result of the town’s recent streetscape project—pedestrians can wander around Sparta’s main
Alleghany has some of the most beautiful rural land in North Carolina. Take a drive and visit Ennice, Glade Valley, Laurel Springs, Roaring Gap, Piney Creek -find country stores and cafes- discover breathtaking views, farms and gain an understanding of why locals call Alleghany “home”
Alleghany is rich in natural beauty with nearby hiking trails, and the opportunity to fish, canoe, kayak or enjoy an all-day lazy float on the New River. Pitch a tent and count the stars from one of the nearby campgrounds or find the perfect vacation rental or local hotel.
Throughout the year we share their heritage through music, festivals, literature, and agricultural events. You can see history and hear their story in everything they do.
Stop by the Visitors Center at 58 South Main Street, Sparta,
NC to pick up information, pamphlets, and maps to help guide your Alleghany County experience.
You can also visit their website authenticallyalleghany.com to access the community calendar and learn more about why Allegh-
any County is the perfect place to visit, explore, and relax. Enjoy your stay—make plans to return.
Travelers today see the daily patterns of life and the settled landscape here on the high plateau at places like Mabry Mill. Cultural history demonstrations are offered in summer and early fall at the nearby blacksmith shop and Matthews cabin. Located on the Blue Ridge Parkway at Milepost 176 www.mabrymillrestaurant. com or (276) 952-2947.
HIDDEN GEMS RV SERVICES
Located just off I-40 exit #44 at 120 Highland Center Blvd. 30+ years RV repair experience.
Contact: markcoyne@rocketmail. com or (828) 553-7111
The Sequoyah Birthplace Museum
Cherokee Fall Festival
September 11 & 12 Cherokee Fall Festival Will Take Visitors Back in Time
The Sequoyah Birthplace Museum, Tennessee’s only tribally owned museum, will host its 30th annual Cherokee Fall Festival on September 11th & 12th, from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. each day.
Visitors will have the opportunity to step back in time to experience Native American food, Cherokee arts and crafts demonstrations, music and dance.
This year’s theme will be Celebrating 200 years of Cherokee Literacy. Visitors will be able to meet and talk with Cherokees from the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in North Carolina.
In the museum, demonstrations of a 1800’s Acorn Printing Press, printing a special bicentennial Cherokee
Syllabary. A blacksmith will be doing on-site demonstrations in the shop both days. Other demonstrations and displays will include Cherokee life in 1700’s and a Civil War encampment. There will be a Civil War battle re-enactment at 2:00 p.m.
Special entertainment will be provided by the Warrior Dancers of Ani-Kituhwa who are the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians official ambassadors. Check out the reconstructed 1800’s dog-trot log cabin. Meet and chat with Miss
Cherokee and have your name written in Cherokee. Also there will be Cherokee cooking demonstrations and Civil War gun display. Other activities include posters from Cherokee Elementary school. Darts, beads, talking sticks, face painting and free Cherokee name cards will be available for children. There will also be a children’s blowgun competition and an adult blowgun competition on both days. Traditional Indian Fry bread and Indian tacos, and other food and drinks will be sold. This event is funded in part by Tennessee Arts Commission Rural Arts Program Grant, and the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians. Tickets Adults are $10.00, children 13-18 years old are $5.00 and children 12 and under are free. Family rate for $25.00 also available.
For more information about the Festival, contact the Sequoyah Birthplace Museum at (423) 884-6246
BRING ON THE SUNSHINE SEASON:
A favorite time of year!
In Haywood County, the streams are full of trout, the bull elk are regrowing their antlers, and the mountains are waiting for you to explore them.
Load up the car with your crew and hit the local trails, there’s miles of dirt for every skill level. Casual explorers can enjoy an easy half mile hike to Skinny Dip Falls on the Blue Ridge Parkway. More advanced folks can take on the famous 10.6 mile out-and-back hike to Cold Mountain, and average hikers can enjoy spots like Sams Summit Loop, Tennent Mountain hike, Little Cataloochee trail and so much more.
Free Dips. No Chips Required. There’s many ways to cool off in the NC Smokies, whether it’s a swimming hole, waterfall, lake, or river we’ve got just the right dipping spot for you. Popular and easy to access, Sunburst Swimming Hole has large boulders to laze upon and a pebbly riverside suited for picnicking. Just up the road you’ll find Sunburst Falls, Little Bird Falls, and Dill Falls. Is more lazing less hiking your style? Head to Pigeon River Outfitters in Canton to tube downriver and then refresh with a nice cold brew at Bearwaters Brewing - the take out point. If you want time on the water, not in it, rent kayaks, canoes, and paddle boards from Lake Junaluska or Lake Logan. Enjoy the warm season and remember – Maggie Valley, Waynesville, Canton, Clyde, and Lake Junaluska are all conveniently located within Western North Carolina to serve as the perfect base camp to launch your adventures from. To plan your next adventure visit www.visitncsmokies.com
Four Fun Itineraries for Exploring Elkin
Four new Explore Elkin itineraries showcase wine, music, outdoors and weekend getaways in this popular Yadkin Valley town in the Blue Ridge foothills of North Carolina.
A Weekend in Elkin
Itinerary wraps 72 hours of fun into one convenient schedule. Experiences include shopping in the downtown historic district, insider restaurant options and winery self-tours. This itinerary makes the most of Elkin’s location in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains with suggestions for hiking Elkin Valley trails and paddling the Yadkin River.
is a guide to exploring the diverse wineries and vineyards in and around town. Elkin sits in the center of the Yadkin Valley wine region, which is a federally designated American Viticultural Area. Just minutes from town are more than 20 wineries.
The Outdoor Explore Itinerary
is a great source for adventurers wishing to hike, bike and paddle. Elkin is home to the Mountainsto-Sea Trail, the National Historic Overmountain Victory Trail, as well as the Yadkin River Blue Water Paddle Trail. Visitors can take trails to beautiful parks, hidden waterfalls and even to wineries.
The Music Itinerary
is a must for the music lover visiting Elkin. Live music can be found most every weekend. Elkin’s music festivals, like Reevestock, preserve the local folk and bluegrass roots. There is a great variety of music to discover, whether it be at local wineries, restaurants, the Reeves Theater, or countless other events.
Let these itineraries be your guide to an Elkin getaway. Each itinerary can be accessed by going to: www.exploreelkin.com/itineraries.
The Dictionary of Southern Appalachian English
Editors Michael B.
document the variety of English used in parts of eight states, ranging from West Virginia to Georgia—an expansion of the first edition’s geography, which was limited primarily to North Carolina and Tennessee— and include over 10,000 entries drawn from over 2,200 sources. The entries include approximately 35,000 citations to provide the reader with historical context, meaning, and usage. Around 1,600 of those examples are from letters written by Civil War soldiers and their family members, and another 4,000 are taken from regional oral history recordings. There is no work of this magnitude available that so completely illustrates the rich language of the Smoky Mountains and Southern Appalachia.
www.uncpress.orgMontgomery Jennifer K. N. Heinmiller
Virginia’s Blue Ridge is open and ready to welcome visitors for a safe summer travel season! Travel is back and with that, so are festivals in Virginia’s Blue Ridge! It’s easy to pair any festival with a trip to area attractions or with outdoor adventures like mountain biking at Carvins Cove, hiking the Appalachian Trail or paddling the scenic Upper James River Water Trail. Celebrate the return of travel in a metro mountain playground just
off the Blue Ridge Parkway. During festival season visitors can sample mouthwatering cuisine, fruit-based delights and craft beverages at an affordable price or peruse handcrafted goods and unique artisan treasures, all while experiencing the charming small-town delights of Virginia’s Blue Ridge. Plan a summer weekend around these 7 annual festivals and events along the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia:
Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 258.7: Northwest Trading Post
Celebrate Travel’s Return with Festival Season in Virginia’s Blue Ridge
16th Annual Horse & Hound Wine Festival at Peaks of Otter Winery (July 10)
Roanoke Wing Fest (August 28)
Taubman Museum of Art Sidewalk Art Show
(August 21 – 22)
Roanoke Festival in the Park (September 3 – 5)
Olde Salem Days
Beaver Dam Farm Sunflower Festival
(Sept 10 – 13, 15 – 16, 18 – 19)
Smith Mountain Lake Wine Festival (September 25 – 26)
Plan a visit to Virginia’s Blue Ridge for unforgettable adventures year-round without breaking the bank. Find a full list of events, festivals and things to do at VisitVBR.com.
For the latest details on Parkway closures in the region, head to VisitVBR.com/ParkwayDetour
These Blue Ridge Mountains Shine Year-Round
This region is a true four-season destination with approximately 70,000 acres of Pisgah National Forest.
Arriving from the Blue Ridge Parkway, between Crabtree Falls and Linville Falls, you’ll notice the frequent and breathtaking mountain views. THESE are some of the highest hills in the east creating steep slopes cascading into the foothills communities of Old Fort and Marion. Ideal conditions for mountain biking and hiking. The Little Switzerland community is accessible from Milepost 334. Within a couple of miles of ALLEGHANY
Our guests are number ONE! from check-in to check-out. Our staff is always ready to be at your service in friendly mountain style. You’ll really enjoy the spacious rooms.
INN FOURTH PAGE one another, you have four lodging properties including the Switzerland Inn, Big Lynn Lodge, Skyline Village Inn, and the Alpine Inn. Stop for lunch at the Switzerland Cafe and General Store or the Chalet Restaurant at the Switzerland Inn. You’ll find a series of locally-owned shops, an art gallery, and a unique bookstore. Did you bring your mountain bike? Old Fort has been called the “promised land of mountain biking”
and is growing in popularity. The elevation creates perfect conditions with steep single-track climbs and fast descents. These trails inspired Kitsbow Manufacturing to relocate and call Old Fort home. Check out their Old Fort Ride House. The retail space has Kitsbow gear, takeout snacks, drinks, and wraps.
Take the exit at Milepost 331 or 316.4 to spend a few hours in downtown Marion. It’s no more than a twenty-minute drive. The 310 District is a three-tenths mile downtown commercial AREA THAT IS easy to walk and you’ll find restaurants, a brewery, meadery, art gallery, shops, and more. Are you looking for wilderness trails? Wilderness conditions surround the Woods Mountain Trail/ Betsy Ridge located north of Marion. Be sure you bring a paper map, your cell will not work here! The 26-mile loop crosses the Mountain to Sea Trail, is rugged and steep rising to 3,600 feet at Betsy Ridge. Used by hikers, mountain bikers, and sometimes equestrian users so keep an ear out, leave the headphones elsewhere. More wilderness area is outside Old Fort, inside the Curtis Creek Area, from Milepost 331 you can be there in close to 30 minutes. Did you know our national forest system was created in 1911 with the passage of the Weeks Act AND THAT THE PISGAH NATIONAL FOREST WAS CREATED FIRST? It provided funding
to purchase the first tract of national forest located right here. An 8,000acre tract was funded and preserved followed by a second purchase creating an approximate 14,000-acre section of protected forest lands.
McDowell County Tourism Authority
91 South Catawba Avenue Old Fort, NC 28762 828-668-4282