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FALL

the most widely distributed travel publication in the mountains

2017

Blue Ridge & Great Smoky Mountains Fall in Love with Sevierville, TN Asheville’s Craft Fair Celebrates 70th Anniversary Fall, Winter Bring New Sights, Sounds to Pigeon Forge

Welcoming

Fall in the

High Peaks Page 12

MUSIC | FUN | FOOD | FESTIVALS


RISE & SHINE

in Virginia’s Blue Ridge.

Discover the many ways to fill your days with fun and adventure in the Roanoke Valley in Virginia’s Blue Ridge, like hiking on the famous Appalachian Trail and mountain biking on the renowned trails at Carvin’s Cove. Head over to Smith Mountain Lake for fun on the water. Be surrounded by beauty, from the stunning scenery along the famous Blue Ridge Parkway to the splendor of arts and culture in the region’s many museums, galleries and performance venues. Or, try all of the above.

PLAN YOUR BLUE RIDGE DAY AT

VisitVBR.com #BlueRidgeDay 800.635.5535

Mill Mountain Zoo 540-343-3241 MMZoo.org

The National D-Day Memorial 800-351-DDAY DDay.org

Smith Mountain Lake

540-721-1203 VisitSmithMountainLake.com

Virginia Transportation Museum

REGISTER ONLINE TO WIN A BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAINS GETAWAY

540-342-5670 VMT.org


Where do you want to be? Don’t take the same old journey. Be somewhere genuine. Be somewhere amazing. Be changed.

800.828.4244 ¡ visithendersonvillenc.org Call for your complimentary Getaway Guide


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34th Annual Mountain Glory Festival P.O. Box 1758 Asheville, NC 28802 Phone: (828) 667-1607

Where Main Street Meets The Mountains

www.blueridgedigest.com 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. THANKS TO THE BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY ASSOCIATION FOR THE USE OF THEIR CENTER-SPREAD MAP

Publisher: Thomas Hardy

tomhardy@blueridgedigest.com Design: Imagewerks Productions

Need good design? Call (828) 681-8029

FROM THE PUBLISHER

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. The time you spend in the Blue Ridge Mountain area will provide all of this and more: go whitewater rafting, experience historic and cultural sites, find unique shopping areas, take a hike, taste delicious local foods, and just breathe the clean mountain air. Hopefully this issue of the Blue Ridge Digest will be an aid in planning your trip and a keepsake to remember your vacation in the mountains.

Enjoy your stay!

Photo by John Sacco

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arion, North Carolina celebrates the arrival of autumn in the Blue Ridge during their annual

Mountain Glory Festival. For 34 years, beautiful downtown Marion has hosted this popular celebration on the 2nd Saturday

in October. This year, make plans to visit on October 14th between 9:30 AM - 5:00 PM. Celebrate small-town life in the mountains. Visitors looking for original handicrafts will find plenty of choices shopping with three jam packed blocks, featuring locally made arts and crafts. Enjoy lots of festival foods and the wide variety of live entertainment, focusing on traditional Bluegrass and old time mountain music. Don't miss the annual Mountain Glory Quilt Show inside the McDowell Arts Council. The quilt show is the gallery's featured, October exhibit. The kids will have fun in the "Children's Arena" with hands-on activities, the Monkey Bridge and a best-dressed pet contest. To find additional area events, attractions and lodging information, visit www. blueridgetravelers.com or call toll free (888-233-6111) to receive a free visitor guide and map. The festival is sponsored by the City of Marion. For festival information visit: www.mtngloryfestival.com or call 828-652-2215.

RV SERVICES

HIDDEN

GEMS

ASHEVILLE, NC 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


Forget your cares...

… and return to a place and time you thought had passed. Alleghany County and Sparta NC are home to the Blue Ridge Mountain community where Parkway construction began. And it is still home to a relaxed, rural pace of life that retains much of the unspoiled beauty that it shares with the famous scenic byway. With two state parks, New River and Stone Mountain, plus Doughton Park, the Parkway’s largest developed recreation area, camping, picnicking, hiking, fishing and bicycling opportunities abound. The New River offers canoeing, tubing, kayaking and fishing and is a welcome respite from summer heat. Get schooled in mountain music at the Alleghany Jubilee’s weekly barn dance (alleghanyjubilee.com), the Monday jam at Crouse Park and at the big Fiddlers Convention (alleghanyfiddlersconvention.com). Events like the Blue Ridge Mountain Fair and Mountain Heritage Festival (Sparta-NC.com/heritage) highlight the area’s craft heritage. Enjoy down-home fun at distinctively local pastimes, such as the demolition derby, and mud slings. Look for other upcoming events at CoolSparta.com.

Sparta, NC / Alleghany County

The community offers motels, bed and breakfast inns and vacation cabins to make your stay special. And there’s no better sleeping than snuggled under covers during cool mountain nights. When you visit, stop by the Visitors Center, 58 S. Main St., just 7 miles south of the US 21/ Parkway intersection at Mile Post 229.6. Our welcome mat is always out and we’ll make sure you don’t miss a thing.

MP 229.6 - 58 S. Main St. • Sparta, NC • 800-372-5473 • Cool Sparta.com

Enjoy a delicious homemade breakfast

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.

Conference Room Guest Laundry Restaurant on Site Free Wireless Internet 24-Hour Staff Open all year long

Beautiful scenic views

800-538-3508

Toll Free Reservations: 1-888-372-2501

contact@gladevalley.com Close to the Blue Ridge Parkway, mp 229 330 Shaw Lane Glade Valley, NC 28627

Rustic cabin also available

341 N. Main St. Sparta, NC

www.AlleghanyInn.com


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“Explore” Explore Park Just off the Blue Ridge Parkway at Milepost 115, Explore Park features hundreds of acres of rolling hills, pristine woodlands, hiking trails, river frontage, historical buildings and a visitor information center. Whether you’re looking to bike, hike, canoe, picnic, or learn more about all Roanoke County has to offer, Explore Park is your destination for exploration!

What to do at Explore Hiking and biking -

Explore over 14 miles of trails as they wind through hundreds of acres of deciduous forest – comprised mainly of oak, beech, maple, pine and poplar trees. You’ll encounter a variety of ecosystems along your way, from natural wetlands to fertile sloping

hillsides. Our natural surface trails range in difficulty from easy to moderately difficult as terrain varies throughout the park. Explore Park is a designated site on the Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail.

Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor’s Center - Explore Park is home to visitor center where parkway travelers can learn about the history of the region. This must-see parkway

stop contains a gift & snack shop, theatre room featuring a special movie about the Blue Ridge Parkway, and a museum highlighting the history of the parkway and the region. Staff­ are on hand April to November to provide information to travelers about other regional attractions.

Arthur Taubman Center & Mountain Union Church - These 18th

FALL 2017 with historical charm and modern amenities. Both buildings are used for recreation programs and activities, or can be rented for events.

Roanoke River Access - At the end of Rutrough Road in Roanoke County is a gravel parking area and boat launch for the Roanoke River. Day use is $2 per person, or $20 per year, with fees going towards future improvements at the site. Beginning in spring 2018, look for overnight camping and waterfront boat rental opportunities coming to the park. For questions about Explore Park

call (540) 387-6078 or visit: www.explorepark.org

century style buildings are filled

We have a place for you TO SLEEP in Guaranteed Best Rate when you make your reservation at Super8.com.

Super 8 Boone NC 2419 Highway 105, Boone, NC, 28607

866-539-0036

• Free deluxe continental breakfast • Free wireless high-speed Internet access in all rooms • Free local calls • Outdoor heated pool • Game room

After a day of adventure, come back to the hotel and go for a refreshing swim in the heated indoor pool, relax in the soothing whirlpool. Wake up the next morning and enjoy the Free Bright Side BreakfastTM before another day of adventure.

Boone 165 Highway 105 Ext Boone, NC 28607 1-828-262-1234

Complimentary Morning Medley breakfast Outdoor pool Guest Laundry Ample parking

163 Hwy 105 Ext Boone, NC, US, 28607 Phone: (828) 262-0020


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Make Make the the most most of of your your Blue Blue Ridge Ridge experience experience with with us… us…

Hemlock Inn A Blowing Rock Tradition

Owner Pours Family History into Every Bottle at New Distillery

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f authenticity is a key ingredient in making moonshine, then Don Smith is in good shape with his new venture, South Mountain Distilling Company in Rutherford College, N.C. Smith, who comes from a long line of moonshiners in the hills and hollers of Burke County, pours his family history into every bottle. The main difference is he does it legally. “It’s part of my family heritage and goes back at least four generations on the illegal

side,” says Smith, who owns the distillery with his wife, Dawn. South Mountain Distilling Company draws its name from the nearby South Mountains, a rugged region and moonshine hotbed in southern Burke County where Smith was raised. Distillery visitors get an oral history of the South Mountains as part of their tour and tasting. “I try to educate people, starting with the history of the South Mountains,” Smith says. “I talk about the Scottish and Irish

immigrants who came down from Ellis Island and brought distilling. I also tell them a little about the gold rush. The South Mountains were part of the gold rush in North Carolina, before it went to Georgia and then to California.” Each tour concludes with a tasting of Table Rock Rum, a tribute to Burke County’s signature mountain, and a tasting of Jasper’s Shine, made from the recipe of Jasper Triplett, grandfather of local country music standout Chad Triplett. The tasting room decor features old newspaper articles about moonshine arrests, including one about Smith’s grandfather and great uncle. “There was a still in nearly every holler in the South Mountains. It was a hard life, but my family came through it. And now I’m honoring that heritage,” he says. “It makes you feel good seeing the finished product and hearing people say they really enjoy it.”

For distillery information, call 828-368-0681 or visit:

www.SouthMountainDistillery.com.

828-295-7987 • HemlockInn.net 134 Morris Street, Blowing Rock, NC 28605

Our historic inn offers gracious dining, rocker-filled porches, fifty cheerful rooms and a warm library. Come read, rest, ramble and romp in our mountains! 1/2 mile from Parkway milepost 443 Balsam Gap exit 828.456.9498 • 800.224.9498 www.balsammountaininn.net


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FALL 2017

Cherokee 10.5-mile trail system open with plans to expand

T Appalachian Mural Trail Many murals are telling the stories of communities large and small throughout the mountains and foothills of Western North Carolina, and the new Appalachian Mural Trail (AMT) aims to link them together and provide information and access to these outdoor artworks.

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ach week new murals are being added to the mural trail. Earlier this year, the town of Elkin placed 4 historical murals on the Appalachian Mural Trail. One of the murals, called "The Trail Town" tells how Elkin has become a trail town, where the Yadkin River Blue Trail, the Overmountain Victory Trail, and the NC Mountains to Sea Trail converge in its historic downtown. This mural depicts Elkin's numerous trails and location between 2 State Parks (Stone Mountain and Pilot

Mountain) and the border of the mural shows some of the things a visitor would see along Elkin's town trail, the E&A Rail Trail. Michael Brown was the artist who helped create this vibrant mural telling the story of Elkin's active outdoor lifestyle and the beauty experienced there everyday. Presently, there are murals in twelve counties, all located in communities near the Blue Ridge Parkway. Trail organizers intend to inspire other small Appalachian communities to

create their own high quality outdoor heritage murals, with paintings of folk tales, Cherokee legends, mountain music, and the beauty of the land. The goal is to bring visitors to participating communities, thus not only enhancing the interpretation of history and culture to be found there, but also to support local economies. The website, http://muraltrail.com/index. htm, is an interactive resource to guide visitors to all murals on the trail.

he snip of a ribbon earlier this summer declared the destination that mountain bikers are hailing as “amazing” and “world-class” to be open for business, when Cherokee officially opened its new 10.5-mile Fire Mountain Trail System. A trail system is a big system, and it wasn’t cheap. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians spent $356,000 on the effort. But this is just the first phase of a much larger endeavor, as it hopes to expand and possibly add more trailheads. Though more than 2 million people pass through Cherokee each year on their way to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, most of them especially those not interested in gambling - zip right through rather than pausing to spend some of their tourism dollars in town. Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort is by far Cherokee’s biggest draw for out-of-towners, but tribal leaders have long recognized the need for economic diversification. With a rich culture to draw from and mountain land all around, Cherokee could fill the ecotourism niche quite nicely.


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Peaks of Otter on the Blue Ridge Parkway at Milepost 84-87 Understanding the regional history of the Peaks of Otter area can be half of the magic of your visit.

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he three mountain peaks with altitudes of over 3,000 feet in the Blue Ridge Mountains overlook Bedford, Virginia, with the beautiful Abbott Lake resting at their feet. Guests have long frequented Peaks of Otter, with advocates of its beauty and significance as a historical landmark including Robert E. Lee and Thomas Jefferson. Nature lovers can enjoy miles of Virginia’s best hiking trails through

the Blue Ridge mountains, and get up close with the rare wildlife that inhabit the Blue Ridge Parkway. Adventure seekers can escape to some of the region’s best wine and whiskey distilleries, or travel to the top of the mountain for picturesque views with one of the Peaks shuttle programs. Night sky gazers can take a trip to space with one of Peaks’ astronomy events, with pioneer leaders and innovators in

the industry leading discussions of astronomy’s most thrilling topics. Exploring the Peaks of Otter area can easily take more than a day, so consider extending your stay at Peaks of Otter Lodge, which offers unique lodging experience for visitors combining community history, breathtaking views of nature, and unique events for nature

lovers, adventure seekers, and fruit fanatics. Lodging amenities include newly renovated rooms, free WiFi, and a beautiful dining room overlooking Abbott Lake with farm-to-table menu options. For more info :

www.PeaksofOtter.com or call 888-454-7711

Your Base Camp for Mountain Adventures

on the Blue Ridge Parkway Spruce Pine, N.C. Voted "BEST OF THE BLUE RIDGE”

www.bear-den.com • 828-765-2888


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Discover

Hendersonville, NC Fall Color Season / NC Apple Harvest

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ask in the bounty of the fall apple harvest amidst the scenic beauty of the Hendersonville area. As you plan your fall mountain get-away, your window of opportunity is larger than you think. The peak leaf color season lasts from early October to midNovember depending on where you are. No matter what week of leaf season you arrive, peak fall color is somewhere close by. The western North

Carolina mountains provide a variety of elevations, from the highest peaks to the warm, gently rolling foothills. The chances to witness spectacular fall color and beautiful mountain vistas are plentiful in the Blue Ridge Mountains. One of the most popular destinations for leaf lookers is to venture to the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, located approximately 15 miles Hendersonville. On display are brilliant reds and golds of hickory, oak, silver

STEP AWAY FROM THE BACKYARD AND STEP OUTSIDE YOURSELF

Start your adventure today.

800.852.9506

ExploreBoone.com

and red maple, dogwood, beech, yellow poplar, scarlet red blackgum, sourwood and orange sassafras all set against the deep green of evergreens. Mountain hiking ranges from easy flat walks to strenuous trails for the more experienced hiker. The colors are usually at their peak around mid-to- late October. The North Carolina apple harvest season is celebrated from early September through mid October. Some orchards offer tours and allow you to pick your own apples. Fall foliage outings include self-guided driving tours, mountain views, apple orchards, country roads, local attractions,

waterfalls, colorful hiking trails and fall wildflowers. Tour maps are available at the Visitor Center at 201 South Main Street in Hendersonville. For additional information on the Hendersonville area, calendar event information, and the apple harvest or to track the progress of the fall colors call (828) 693.9708 or visit the web at www.visithendersonvillenc.org.


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Enjoy farm grown and handcrafted beverages along the Shenandoah Spirits Trail, not far from Shenandoah National Park.

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ound out your visit to the Park with a jaunt down the mountain to experience life in the Valley and celebrate Virginia Wine month with a scenic drive along The Shenandoah Valley Spirits Trail. Travel the many back country roads and scenic byways to more than 40 vineyards, craft breweries, cideries and distilleries throughout the Northern Shenandoah Valley, an area that is rich in outdoor adventure. Embrace the agricultural roots that set the Shenandoah Spirits Trail apart from other regions. With surrounding mountains and rolling hills in the valley, the temperatures and rainfall, sun and soil provide ideal growing conditions for grapes and corn, hops and fruit trees, giving the

visitor a chance to get closer to the process, meet the vintners and brew masters and then experience the flavors close to where they’re grown. The Shenandoah Spirits Trail covers six different counties surrounding Shenandoah National Park. So whether you like a sip of wine in a quiet country setting like Berryville, Luray and Edinburg or a bustling brewery in the historic district of a charming small city like Harrisonburg, Front Royal and Winchester, it’s easy to sip your way through the region while enjoying the ultimate path to beverage enlightenment. For more information visit VisitShenandoahCounty. com or call 888-367-3965

Staying in Maggie Valley, Waynesville,Lake Junaluska? Try Haywood County Hotel & Motel Association! Quality lodging & dining within minutes of 4 BRP exits, MP 420-450. All accommodations adhere to Quality Standards. www.maggievalley.travel.

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Welcoming

Fall in the

High Peaks by Lindsey Coyne

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estern North Carolina offers plenty of attractions for every season. From snow tubing in the winter to floating in the French Broad River during the summer, visitors agree that the Blue Ridge Mountains present many opportunities for excitement no matter when you arrive. Fall is an especially exciting season in North Carolina because it welcomes the transformation from lush, green trees to bright orange and red leaves ready to fall from their branches. The Blue Ridge Parkway is the perfect place to experience fall in the mountains and leads to North Carolina’s first state park, the home of Mount Mitchell. Mount Mitchell is a daunting 6682’ and was discovered to be the highest peak east of the Mississippi River during the late 1830’s by Elisha

Mitchell. Mitchell dedicated his life to exploring the area and his grave is located at the mountain’s summit. Mount Mitchell became a state park in 1915 to promote conservation and allow others to enjoy its beauty. Visitors are welcome to the tent camping facilities and many hiking trails offered by the park. The easiest (and most rewarding!) hike is travelled up a paved, onequarter mile walkway that leads to the summit of Mount Mitchell. Along the way, visitors will see several species of wildlife and dense spruce-fir forests unlike any in the area. Stunning panoramic views welcome those once they reach the top. Mount Mitchell is usually

FALL 2017

covered with dense fog but on clear days, visibility can reach all the way to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. This provides the perfect environment for viewing the changing leaves and feeling crisp fall air. Due to the high elevation, the mountain is generally 10-30 degrees colder than the surrounding cities so visitors are encouraged to dress accordingly. Mount Mitchell State Park also offers a restaurant, gift shop, refreshment area, and informational museum.


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RADFORD HIGHLANDERS FESTIVAL games, the misty mountains, massed bands and the Braveheart 5K. Celtic Folk-Rock band SYR, of Columbia, South Carolina, creates original Celtic music based on battle, love, loss and heritage and is headlining the Radford Highlanders Festival. Bisset Park is transformed by artists, craftspeople and community organizations into ravelers making their way an open-air forum. Start holiday through Virginia’s scenic shopping early or treat yourself roads will want to follow the to something nice from one skirl of bagpipes to Bisset Park on of the many vendors, which October 21, 2017 for the 21st offer a diverse and interesting Radford Highlanders Festival. selection of clothing, accessories, Join more than 10,000 jewelry and crafts. The Radford people to experience the Highlanders Festival is a daylong excitement and fun of live Celtic feast, with assorted foods offered and Appalachian music, dancers, by vendors. Enjoy authentic heavyweight games, Scottish Scottish fare, classic festival clans, entertainers, children’s

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BLUE RIDGE HERITAGE TRAIL

As you travel along the Blue Ridge Parkway, you can find six of the 70 interpretive signs that are on the Blue Ridge Heritage Trail, a collection of special places throughout the North Carolina mountains and foothills that embody the remarkable history and culture of the region. Words and photographs tell an illuminating story about each site and highlight aspects of the region’s natural and cultural heritage including Cherokee, traditional music, agriculture, craft, and the natural scenic beauty of the NC Blue Ridge mountains. Heritage Trail signs can also be found in communities adjacent to the Parkway and in cities, towns and rural areas throughout the region.

food or American classics, such as pizza and burgers at the festival. Savor the delicious food all while marveling at the power of the Scottish athletes participating in the “heavyweight” games, featuring the infamous caber toss. Make a stop in the beautiful foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains on October 21 to enjoy diverse vendors and events. A mere 10 minutes from Exit 109 off Interstate 81, the Radford Highlanders Festival has something for everyone, all while celebrating Virginia’s Scots-Irish ancestry.

The Radford Highlanders Festival is a partnership between Radford University and the City of Radford. To learn more, go to www.radford.edu/festival or search “Radford Highlanders Festival” on Facebook. Registration for the Braveheart 5K can be found on www.ItsYourRace.com.


Big Otter Mill Harvest Festival in Bedford!

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n Saturday, October 7, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., celebrate local heritage, history, art, and music at the 10th Annual Charlie Parker Memorial Big Otter Mill Harvest Festival! Guests will enjoy live music, Brunswick stew, artisan vendors and demonstrations, a one-of-a-kind silent auction,

and complimentary tours of the historic mill! Big Otter Mill is situated on the bank of the Big Otter River, a few miles north of the Town of Bedford. The site of the mill has been used for grist and sawmills for more than 200 years! The mill was first built and operated by Joseph Hardy, Sr., a

veteran of the Revolutionary War who settled in Bedford in the late 1700s. Local tradition holds that a fire destroyed the mill building around 1916. The mill was reconstructed in 1920 and was a combination of corn and flour mill. The mansard roof gave the mill three floors of working space, and produced brand names such as Golden Eagle Flour and Pioneer Corn Meal. Commercial operation ceased around 1950. Like many rural mills, it served as a community center of sorts. In addition to the flour and meal grinding, a

sawmill and store on the property brought neighbors together to work, socialize, and shop. The mission now is to preserve and restore the mill in the interest of historic preservation, and to provide educational opportunities for students and community members throughout the Blue Ridge. This is a family-friendly event and admission is free. For more information, visit www.bigottermill.com or connect on Facebook @ BigOtterMill. Big Otter Mill is located at 3533 Big Island Highway in Bedford.

Since 1910, the Switzerland Inn has delighted visitors with its

fantastic mountain views and easy access to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Located at Mile Post 334, between Mt. Mitchell (the tallest peak east of the Rockies) and Grandfather Mountain (with the mile-high swinging bridge), the Inn features 72 mountain-view rooms, private chalets, a honeymoon cottage and the Diamondback Motorcycle Lodge with covered parking. Our amenities include fabulous dining, two patio bars, tennis courts, unique shopping, swimming pool and outdoor hot tubs – just to name a few.

Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, our renowned Chalet

Restaurant overlooks a panoramic view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Our Friday Night Fresh Seafood and Prime Rib Buffet is sold-out popular.

Make Switzerland Inn your base camp to experience

the (226A) and the Blue Ridge Parkway.

800-654-4026 • 828-765-2153 www.SwitzerlandInn.com $10 off any room rental, Monday-Thursday, with this ad. Not valid with other offers.


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our!

6.1343 Henderson Certified dividual tours

6.8606 ur of local your group variety of

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Observatory Unveils Largest Public Telescope in NC

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URNSVILLE, N.C. – The depths of the night sky feel a little closer for Yancey County residents and visitors with the June 1 opening of the Bare Dark Sky Observatory. The observatory, located at Mayland Community College’s Earth to Sky Park in Burnsville, houses the largest optical telescope in North

CHEERS! Trail

A Guide To Beer Wine & Cider 4244 1.800.828.illenc .org

visith ende rsonv

Carolina for public access. The custom-built StarStructure Newtonian telescope has a mirror that measures 34 inches in diameter, or 0.86 meter. The powerful telescope allows users to see more clearly the jet stream, Saturn’s rings and distant stars and constellations In addition to the main telescope, the observatory is home to a smaller planetary telescope for viewing planets and the Earth’s moon. “Part of our mission is to provide students and

Want to Sample Henderson County’s Great Wine and Beer? Pick up your copy of the CHEERS! Trail Brochure at the Visitor Center to start your adventure! Easy to follow map and information about the breweries, wineries and cideries in the region! Henderson County TDA 201 South Main St. | Hendersonville, NC visithendersonvillenc.org

1.800.828.4244

community members with new opportunities,” says Margaret Earley-Thiele, director of Mayland Community College Foundation. “The observatory allows students to gain access to cutting-edge technology, and it creates a destination that will draw people from all over the state and region.” The observatory is named for Warren and Larissa Bare, two of the project’s main donors. The telescope is nicknamed the “Sam Scope” in memory of Samuel Phillips, a WNC native; the Samuel L. Phillips Family Foundation donated funds for the telescope. Private donations and grants covered the $600,000 cost of the observatory project. The observatory sits at 2,736 feet in elevation and offers a 360-degree view. In 2014, Mayland Earth to Sky Park

received a designation from the International Dark-Sky Association for its stewardship of the natural night sky. “The Bare Dark Sky Observatory offers a wonderful experience for our students and will be a great economic stimulator for the Mayland community as visitors travel here from around the globe,” says Dr. John Boyd, president of Mayland Community College. The observatory is open to the public by reservation only. Admission fees vary depending upon group size. To learn more about the observatory and make a reservation, call (828) 7661214 or visit www.Mayland.edu/ Observatory. For more information about additional attractions in Burnsville, including local lodging options, go to www.ExploreBurnsville.com or call (828) 682-7413.

Best Pick in Virginia for…

tre ex Thea at the R ers Market d a o R Farm oked pping, f the Cro ate Park • Galax s • Unique Sho including the o ic s u M t m ts Time Ja ial Even er Trail S New Riv egrass and Old s • Annual Spec lu n B tio Weekly mmoda Convention! nd Acco r’s Dining a ous Old Fiddle am F d rl o W

888-217-8823 or 276-238-8130 www.visitgalax.com


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{

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.

GRANDFATHER® MOUNTAIN w w w. g ra n d f a t h e r. c o m

VERY BIG Grandfather Mountain Blue Ridge Digest - Spring 2017

1/4 pgabout ad 4.2”our x 4.465” Ask MINE TRIPS! Contact: Frank Ruggiero (828) 733-2013 frank@grandfather.com Experience the wonder

and excitement of prospecting for gemstones! Experienced gem cutters are on hand

13780 Highway 226 S Spruce Pine, NC Call (828) 765-6130 www.gemmountain.com

Custom Jewelry Made with your stones!

1150 Motel Drive Woodstock, VA 22664 540-459-7111

www.hamptoninnwoodstock.com

Hampton Inn & Suites Woodstock, VA      

The Best Place to Stay & Play in the Shenandoah Valley! Complimentary Full Hot Breakfast Indoor Pool & Whirlpool Complimentary Wi-Fi State of the Art Fitness Center Business Center

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CRAFT BEER TOURS & TASTINGS Now there’s a new way to travel on Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail!

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ver the last decade, dozens of destination craft breweries have sprung up in the Shenandoah Valley, and these breweries are quickly making their mark on the national beer scene. If you and your friends are interested in learning more about the fast-growing craft beer community in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, but prefer to leave the driving to others, consider planning your beer adventure through Shenandoah Tours, a full-service tour operator based in Staunton, Virginia If sampling a few local small batch beers is just the thing to whet your whistle, hop aboard a single-destination tour. If you’re looking for a slightly longer trip, try a two-city tour. For serious craft beer travelers, you’ll want to head straight for the Ultimate Shenandoah Beerwerks Tour, where you can visit five to six breweries in a single day. So, sit back and relax as you enjoy the scenery, the tastings, and the ride—as you’re

chauffeured from brewery to brewery. The breweries range from Brothers Craft Brewing in Harrisonburg to Basic City Brewing in Waynesboro, from Redbeard Brewing in Staunton to Devils Backbone Outpost Brewery & Tap Room in Rockbridge Co., and many more. A full list of the trails 13 breweries can be found on Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail. For detailed information on craft beer tour options, visit beerwerkstrail.com/thingsto-do/craft-beer-tours/or call 540.885.1528 These tours are for guests aged 21 and over. Advance tickets are required, and the maximum number of guests per van is eight. A designated driver ticket price is available. Tickets are non-refundable, but are transferrable to other tours, times or dates. Tours are not accessible. Tours are held rain or shine.


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The Autumn Leaves Festival™ Mount Airy, NC

new friendships are made. The Autumn Leaves Festival™ is a homecoming where guests The Autumn Leaves Festival™ October 13-15, 2017 become neighbors. marks the 50th anniversary of one of North Carolina’s Mt. Airy radiates with longest running and most successful events. the spectacular scenery More info: www.autumnleavesfestival.com of the entire mountainside bathed in autumn reds and he Autumn Leaves Festival™ cornbread, barbecue, ground luminous gold’s set against has been consistently ranked steak, Amish Doughnuts and the scenic backdrop of the as one of the “Top 20 Pretzels and more served with Blue Ridge Mountains. The Events” in the Southeast by the hospitality by our local civic area is particularly beautiful Southeast Tourism Society. and service organizations. It’s at this time of year when The roster of artisans and a walker’s paradise with visual craftspeople covers such media delights and mouthwatering treats there’s still a chance to catch some warm sunshine and as pottery, paintings, textiles at every stop. the leaves start taking on their and jewelry. The unique arts The festival showcases their photo by Sid Vedula. brilliant colors. Where shadows and crafts of more than 200 rich musical heritage, such as last a little longer, doors open craftsmen line the streets, with Old-time, Bluegrass and Gospel many demonstrating their talents performed by local musicians on a little wider, conversation lasts a little longer and the spirit of and skills passed down through the downtown stage. It’s a toe our community has a captivating the generations. tapping, foot stomping, handThen, there is “Food for the clapping kind of weekend where quality on everyone who visits. Soul”, ham biscuits, collards and old friendships are renewed and This great community once again

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puts out the “WELCOME” mat and invites one and all to come and experience the true spirit of America’s Hometown. ALL PETS are strictly prohibited inside of the festival boundaries. (Admission is FREE). Hours: 9-9 Friday and Saturday and 12-6 on Sunday.

STAY AT THE LODGE.

It’s easy to see what matters most from these heights. Ancient peaks. Breathtaking views. And memories to last a lifetime. Peaks of Otter Lodge guests will find it all, from the majestic Sharp Top Mountain, to scenic Abbott Lake and the Blue Ridge Parkway – America’s favorite drive. Book your reservation at PeaksOfOtter.com or call 888-454-7711. Hospitality by Delaware North, Inc. ©2017. DNC Parks & Resorts at Peaks of Otter Lodge.


LEGEND

The wondrous profusion of mountain flowers in spring and early summer, the high altitude coolness of the forest-clad mountains in summer, and the glorious coloring of these mountains in autumn provide an everchanging appeal. The Blue Ridge Parkway is open 365 days a year, weather permitting. Sometimes road repair is undertaken in the winter months and detours are posted. The Parkway is not plowed or salted in the winter, so after snow or ice events, portions may be closed until the weather warms and makes the roadway safe for travel again. So as not to be disappointed when planning a winter drive, visit: http://go.nps.gov/ parkway-realtime-map

Blue Ridge Parkway Facilities 01 Designates Milepost

New River G National Riv

N Bluefield Pennington Gap

Morristown

40

92

Pigeon Forge

129

Townsend

Tapoco

143

Murphy 129 Blue Ridge

19 76

129

441

19

Andrews

74

Bryson City

Topton

Hot Springs

455

Asheville

Waynesville

Waterrock 443 Knob Graveyard Fields Sylva

Franklin

384

Parkway Visitor Visitor Center Center

26

Mount Pisgah

Hendersonville 64 Cashiers 441 Brevard N Hiwassee C Highlands Sapphire Lake Toxaway GA 76

Crabtree Falls

221

Saluda 9

Blowing Rock 421

Morganton 321 Valdese

18

To Greenville

Columbus

Shelby

NC SC

Gastonia 85

8

Statesville 70

16

To Charlotte

WinstonSalem Clemmons 421

40

Hickory

321

52

601

North Wilkesboro 16 Union Grove

150

108

11

Elkin

Newton

74

Tryon

90

64

Chimney Lake Lure Rock 74A

Flo Hillsville Laurel 58 Fork Fancy Gap

Galax 199 Laurel Springs 221 Sparta 215 Stua West Cumberland Knob way VA ge Park 229 d Jefferson i R Mount 248 Airy N C lue 21 Boone B 261 77 18 Doughton Park Pilot E.B. Jeffress Park 74 291 Mount

Lenoir

40

Black Mtn.

Chr

Wytheville 21

Moses H. Cone Mem. Park Julian Price Mem. Park Linville Falls 18

330

382

Clayton

To Atlanta

312

Spruce Pine

Craggy Gardens Marion

388 393

411

107

Burnsville

Little Switzerland Weaverville

63

Maggie Valley

Sugar Mountain

Mars Hill

Marshall

40

469

Hayesville

Chatuge Lake Blairsville

NC

Hartford

Cherokee

28

Robbinsville

68

Cosby Gatlinburg

19E

Erwin

TN

70

Newport

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

165 Fontana Village

Cherohala Skyway

Sevierville

Maryville 411

To Chattanooga 411

26

Greeneville

Farragut

75

Elizabethton

Radfor

Pulaski

Mouth of Wilson Independence

58

City

Johnson City Jonesborough

81

Damascus

421 Mountain

81

Knoxville

To Nashville

Bristol

Dublin

77

Marion

Abingdon

11E

75

16

20 km

Kingsport

33

Norris

19

20 mi

0

VA TN

To Lexington

0

4

100

19

Mooresville 77

85

Lexington

52

Salisbury

Kannapolis

52

Concord


To Gettysburg, PA

Martinsburg Charles Town Harpers Ferry 340

Winchester

Leesburg

81

VA

W

V

Front Royal

New Market

33

50

“America’s To Washington, DC Favorite Drive” at your Warrenton fingertips

66

340

Luray

Harrisonburg

250

220

42 11

Waynesboro

64

Gorge ver

220

WV

Buchanan 311

460

Salem Blacksburg Roanoke

rd

121 120

ristiansburg 8

Meadows of Dan art

A

501

FREE DOWNLOAD!

Charlottesville

15

Find attractions, history, nearby communities, lodging, hiking trails and more with or without connectivity. Cell service/internet conductivity is not 100% in or even near the mountains in many places.

522

64

This is a very comprehensive app with lots of information, and best downloaded on a wireless connection.

20

To Richmond

24

Appomattox

DOWNLOAD HERE!

Farmville

Altavista Gretna

40

Chatham 29

58

Danville 360

Eden 220

Reidsville

158

Kernersville

29

High Point 85

40 85 421

Snow Camp

Roxboro 49

Burlington

58

501

158

87

Greensboro

311

49

Culpeper

29 33

64

Amherst

460

8

64

29

231

29

Lynchburg

Bedford

Martinsville

tain

109

Vinton

112

40

57

0

229

Peaks of Otter

Burnt Chimney 43

58

311

Otter Creek

63

220

Rocky Knob

C

60

Glasgow

460

Smart View

177

n na

Lovingston

Roanoke Mountain

Rocky Mount

221

oyd

106

e Sh

Afton

45

Buena Vista

90

e lin Sky doah

522

Humpback Rocks

Lexington

Natural Bridge

VA

340

Staunton

39

Elkton

D

Monterey

riv Na e tio na lP ar k

211

Gas Availability near the Blue Ridge Parkway

No gasoline is available on the Parkway. Gas is available not far off the Parkway at any of these US or State Highway intersections:

To Durham

220

Asheboro

US 441 VA 56

MP 27

less than 3 east

MP 469.1

less than 5 miles south


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www.blueridgedigest.com

FALL 2017

Fall in Love with Sevierville, TN Take the road less traveled for spectacular fall views mixed with a bit of history in Sevierville, Tennessee. Each fall, visitors flock to the Great Smoky Mountains to see nature’s brilliant display of color. The more popular spots, especially in the national park, tend to get fairly crowded. But there is another route in the foothills that will keep you cruising the back roads for great views, roadside attractions and a wonderful fall visit.

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evierville’s self-guided English Mountain Fall Foliage Tour begins in historic downtown Sevierville with opportunities to swing by a local donut and coffee place for a quick pick-me-up before snapping a photo with the bronze statue of Dolly Parton and enjoying Sevierville’s historic downtown walking tour. The Fair Garden Battleground is next on this scenic and historic tour. The largest Civil War battle fought in Sevier County, the

soldiers at the Battle of Fair Garden included Brig. Gen. Samuel D. Sturgis, Brig. Gen. Frank C. Armstrong’s, Lt. Gen. James Longstreet, and Colonel Eli Lilly. Make a left and wind your way to the Harrisburg Covered Bridge. This old wooden bridge dates to 1875. A testament to its builders, and those who maintain it, the bridge still bears traffic daily. Further on, find Blowing Cave Mill. Built in 1880, this mill is listed on the registry of the

Association for Preservation of Tennessee Antiquities and is an excellent example of a nineteenth century flour and corn mill. Just beyond the mill is Forbidden Caverns, a popular attraction providing guests with an entertaining and educational tour of one of Tennessee’s most spectacular caverns.

To learn more about the English Mountain Fall Foliage Tour, go to VisitSevierville.com.

Your Base Camp for Mountain Adventures

on the Blue Ridge Parkway Spruce Pine, N.C. Voted "BEST OF THE BLUE RIDGE”

www.bear-den.com • 828-765-2888


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Fall festivals TAKE FLIGHT in the N.C. Smokies of Haywood County The swirl of cloggers’ skirts, the sweet crunch of a candy apple, the rollicking melodies of mountain bluegrass, the fine craftsmanship of Appalachian folk art.

Valley, fall festivals make their debut against the backdrop of crisp skies and autumn hues. Home to the highest elevations of the Parkway, the splendor of fall takes its time in Haywood County. Autumn colors cascade across the craggy peaks and spill down the mountainsides like a patchwork quilt, before settling into the valleys where the brilliant luster of crimson and yellow linger long past the first frost. After exploring our scenic all comes to life in the N.C. byways or fabled hiking trails, Smokies of Haywood County round-out your fall itinerary with with a brimming line-up homegrown adventure. of signature festivals. From the Sample a taste of fall’s bounty vibrant streets of Downtown with a visit to Barber’s Orchard Waynesville to the mountainwhere apples take center stage. ringed festival grounds of Maggie Stock up on home-made apple pies,

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apple cake, apple cider, apple muffins, apple cookies, apple butter and more — plus more than a dozen varieties of fresh, locallygrown mountain apples. Set aside time for a quintessential fall experience at the Cold Mountain Corn Maze. After finding your way through the labyrinth of corn stalks, jump on a hay ride and pick a perfect pumpkin to take home. Autumn is prime time for elkviewing in Haywood County. The haunting bugle of sparring males echoes across the bucolic fields of Cataloochee Valley during the extended fall rut season in the Smoky Mountains. Fall is calling, and Haywood County has the answer.

Come one, come fall, for festival season Church Street Art & Craft Show, Oct. 14: The wares of fine artists fill the streets of Downtown Waynesville for this premier juried festival, including craft demonstrations and two stages for mountain music and dance. Apple Harvest Festival, Oct. 21: All things apples are celebrated during this traditional street fair in Downtown Waynesville. Maggie Valley Fall Arts & Craft Show, Oct. 21-22: More than 100 booths featuring hand-crafted work, with the exciting roar of a chainsaw art demo and all the festival food favorites.

NATURE’S CALLING. SHENANDOAH NATIONAL PARK IS THE ANSWER. Enjoy 105 miles of scenery along Skyline Drive, 200,000 acres of unspoiled wilderness and endless amounts of inspired recreation – all less than 2 hours from Washington, D.C. At the end of your day, stay overnight in the park at Skyland or Big Meadows Lodge. Ready to heed the call?

Book now at www.goshenandoah.com or call 877-313-2586.

Hospitality by Delaware North. ©2017 DNC Parks & Resorts at Shenandoah, Inc.


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www.blueridgedigest.com

See Inside A MOUNTAIN!

Don’t Miss!

North Carolina's Only Caverns!

LINVILLE CAVERNS 19929 US 221 North Marion, NC 800-419-0540 828-756-4171

Located on U.S. 221 between Linville & Marion, NC. - Just 3 1/2 miles south of the Blue Ridge Parkway, Exit Milepost 317.4, turn left on U.S. 221 toward Linville Falls Village & Marion, NC

linvillecaverns.com

FALL 2017

SHENANDOAH VALLEY’S FARM TRAIL: FIELDS OF GOLD

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ave you ever wanted to pick your own fruit? Pet a baby goat or ride a llama? Harvest grapes at a vineyard? Tour a working farm? See what hops buds look like as they mature on the vine, and then taste craft beer straight from the tap? Agritourism is one of the travel industry’s newest buzzwords. If you’d like to become an agritourist, we encourage you to check out the Fields of Gold website. It provides a mobile friendly resource to choose and navigate among a wide variety of activities, from llama trekking to strawberry picking. If you embark on the selfguided Fields of Gold Farm Trail, you’ll connect with the legendary agricultural history of the Shenandoah Valley. The Valley’s scenic roads are dotted with a wide range of agritourism experiences. You can pick your own fruit in one of our orchards,

stroll through a farmers’ market, savor a wine tasting, tour a working farm, celebrate at a farm festival, or feast on a locallygrown meal at one of our farm-totable restaurants. If you’re looking for a really memorable experience, consider a pick-your-own location. By providing your own labor, you get a break on the price and pluck just when the items are ripe! Strawberries Peaches Apples Grapes Cherries Pumpkins Blackberries and Raspberries Wildflowers Christmas trees & pine garlands

Want to explore more than farms while you’re there? There is so much to explore and do! Check out VisitShenandoah.org , fieldsofgold.org


FALL 2017

www.blueridgedigest.com

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Asheville’s Craft Fair Celebrates 70th Anniversary As Asheville awaits its most popular season this Fall, the Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands continues to grow public opportunities to cultivate craft in their daily life this October. This fine craft event will return to the U.S. Cellular Center. Doors open at the downtown Asheville venue on Friday, October 20 at 10:00am and will last until Sunday, October 22 at 5:00pm.

Silver River Chair Caning Center, mixed media artist Cindi Lemkau, and fiber extraordinaire Cassie Dixon will be demonstrating flax making among other techniques. Each day provides he Fair will feature various experiences in nearly 180 makers with addition to shopping. At both contemporary and 1:00pm Quilt Appraiser traditional work in clay, wood, Connie Brown will also metal, glass, fiber, natural be putting on a fifteen-minute bed materials, paper, leather, turning where she will feature a mixed media, and jewelry. Each maker has range of southern and vintage quilts. In addition, mountain undergone a two-step jury process as a part musicians, from old time to bluegrass, perform live on the of the Guild’s legacy arena stage daily. Since the first to uphold a set of standards established fair, the music of the area has been woven into the fabric of the by their creative peers. Craft Fair experience. Additionally, there will be Downtown Asheville provides more craft demonstrations with a robust experience for visitors, interactive activities for visitors, as the time honored gathering is such as Brandy Clements of

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Come get lost and find yourself

Come explore Patrick County, Virginia. Picnics at a covered bridge or along the Blue Ridge Parkway, canoe rides, traditional mountain music, artisan studios, local wineries, bed and breakfasts, camping, hiking, mountain biking, and fishing are just a few of the attractions awaiting you. From the rugged outdoors to 5-Star luxury, there is so much to discover in Patrick County. www.visitpatrickcounty.org

representative of the creativity that flows in Western North Carolina. As a venue to provide a regional marketplace for mountain craftspeople, the Guild Fairs have since evolved into a popular celebration of craft in the country.

More Info:

www.craftguild.org or 828-298-7928


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The Blue Ridge Digest can be found at these regional visitor’s centers! GEORGIA Blairsville/Union County Chamber 129 Union County Rec Rd. • Blairsville, GA 30512; (706) 745-5789 www.blairsvillechamber.com Fannin County Chamber of Commerce 152 Orvin Lance Drive • Blue Ridge, GA 30513 • (706) 632-5680 www.blueridgemountains.com Rabun County Welcome Center 232 Hwy 441 North, POB 750 Clayton, Georgia 30525; (706) 782-4812 www.gamountains.com/rabun Towns County Visitor Center 1411 Jack Dayton Circle Young Harris, GA 30582 (706) 896-4966 • www.mountaintopga.com

NORTH CAROLINA Alleghany Co. Chamber of Commerce 58 S. Main, POB 1237 BRD Sparta, NC 28675; (800) 372-5473 www.sparta-nc.com

Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center 195 Hemphill Knob Rd  Asheville, NC  28803 • 828-298-5330

Greensboro Visitor Center 2411 West Gate City Blvd Greensboro, NC 27403; (800) 344-2282 www.VisitGreensboroNC.com

Bryson City Chamber of Commerce 210 Main Street • Bryson City, NC 28713; (800) 867-9246 • www.greatsmokies.com

Haywood Chamber of Commerce 28 Walnut St. • Waynesville, NC 28786 (828) 456-3021

Piedmont Triad Visitor Center 700 NC Hwy 700 Pelham, NC 27311; (800) 388-9830

Burke County Travel & Tourism 110 E. Meeting Street Morganton, NC 28655; (828) 433-6793

Hendersonville Visitor Center 201 S. Main St • Hendersonville, NC 28792 (800) 828-4244 www.historichendersonville.org

Polk County Visitor Center 20 E. Mills Street Columbus, NC 28722; (800) 440-7848

Caldwell County Visitor Center 1909 Hickory Blvd. SE Lenoir, NC 28645; (828) 726-0616

Hickory Metro CVB 1680 13th Ave Dr. SE Hickory, NC 28602 www.hickorymetro.com

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 (828) 328-6111 Cherokee County Visitor Center 20 Tennessee Street Murphy, NC 28906 828-557-2583 www.visitcherokeecountync.com

Ashe County Chamber & Visitor Center 1 N. Jefferson Ave, P.O. Box 31 West Jefferson, NC 28694 (336) 846-9550 • www.ashechamber.com

Cherokee County Welcome Center 805 W. US 64 Murphy, NC 28906; (828) 837-2242 www.cherokeecountychamber.com

Avery County Chamber of Commerce 4501 Tynecastle Hwy • Unit 2 Banner Elk, NC 28604; (800) 972-2183 www.averycounty.com

Cherokee Smokies Chamber of Commerce 516 Tsali Blvd Cherokee, NC 28719 www.cherokeesmokies.com or 828-788-0034

Banner Elk Visitor Center 100 Main Street West, Banner Elk, NC 28604 (828) 898-8395 www.bannerelk.org

Cherokee Welcome Center P.O. Box 460 • 498 Tsalis Rd. Cherokee, NC 28719; (800) 438-1601 www.cherokee-nc.com

Beech Mountain Chamber of Commerce 403A Beech Mountain Parkway Beech Mtn, NC 28604; (800) 468-5506 www.beechmtn.com

Clay County Chamber of Commerce 388 Business Hwy 64 Hayesville, NC 28904; (828) 389-3704 www.claycounty-nc-chamber.com

Black Mountain Chamber of Commerce 201 E. State St., Black Mountain, NC 28711; (828) 669-2300

Davie County Chamber of Commerce 135  S. Salisbury St., Mocksville, NC 27028-2337; (336) 751-3304 - www.mocksville.org

Blue Ridge Mtn Stop Visitor Center 4220 Blowing Rock Blvd • Lenoir, NC 28645 • (828) 754-5400

NC High Country Host Visitor Center 6370 US HWY 321 South, Blowing Rock, NC 28605; (800) 438-7500 www.mountainsofnc.com

Boone Area Chamber of Commerce 870 W King St. Suite A, Boone, NC 28607; (828) 264-2225 • www.VisitBooneNC.com

Andrews Chamber of Commerce 345 Locust St. • P.O. Box 800 Andrews, NC 28902 • (877) 558-0005 www.andrewschambercommerce.com

Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce 132 Park Ave • Blowing Rock NC 28605 (800) 295-7851 www.blowingrockncchamber.com

Gaston County Visitor Center 620 Main Street • Belmont, NC 28012

Floyd Visitors Center & Chamber of Commerce                                                                                                                109 E. Main St. • Floyd, VA 24091 540-745-4407 Franklin Area Chamber of Commerce 98 Hyatt Rd. Franklin, NC 28734; (888) 439-park • www.franklin-chamber.com

Lake Lure Welcome Center 2926 Memorial Hwy. Lake Lure, NC 28746 Highlands Chamber of Commerce 108 Main St., P. O. Box 404 Highlands, NC 28741  (828) 526-2112 www.highlandschamber.org Jackson County Chamber of Commerce 773 W. Main Street • Sylva, NC 28779; (800) 962-1911 • www.mountainlovers.com

Old Fort Visitor Center 91 S. Catawba Ave • Old Fort, NC 28762 (888) 233-6111 • www.visitmcdowell.com

Shenandoah County Tourism 600 N. Main St, Ste 101 Woodstock, VA 22664 Smoky Mountain Host of NC, Inc 4437 Georgia Road, 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

Jonesville Welcome Center 1503 NC Hwy 67W Jonesville, NC 28642 • (336) 526-1111

Waynesville/Haywood County Visitor Center 1110 Soco Rd Maggie Valley, NC 28751 (800) 334-9036 www.visitncsmokies.com

Madison County Visitor Center 56 S. Main Street • Mars Hill, NC 28754; (828) 680-9031 www.visitmadisoncounty.com

Wilkes County Chamber of Commerce 717 Main St., PO Box 727 BRD N. Wilkesboro, NC 28659; (336) 838-8662 • www.wilkesnc.org

Maggie Valley Chamber of Commerce 2791 Soco Road, POB 279 Maggie Valley, NC 28751 (800) MAGGIE-1 • www.maggievalley.org

Winston-Salem Visitor Center 200 Brookstown Ave, Winston-Salem, NC 27101 336-728-4205 • VisitWinstonSalem.com

McDowell County Visitor Center 1170 W. Tate St. • Marion, NC 28752; (828) 652-4240 • www.McDowellNC.org

Yadkin Valley Visitor Center 116 East Market St. • Elkin, NC 28621; (336) 526-1111 • www.yadkinvalley.org

Mitchell Co. Chamber of Commerce 79 Parkway Rd • Spruce Pine, NC 28777; (800) 227-3912 www.mitchell-county.com

Yancey County Chamber of Commerce 106 W. Main St. • Burnsville, NC 28714; (800) 948-1632 • www.yanceychamber.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

TENNESSEE Anderson County Visitor Center 115 Welcome Lane • Clinton, TN 37716; (800) 524-3602 • www.yallcome.com  Clairborne Co. Chamber of Commerce 1732 Main St., Suite 1 Tazewell, TN 37879; (423) 626-4149 www.clairbornecounty.com Coker Creek Visitor Center 12197 Hwy. 68 • Tellico Plains, TN 37385 (423) 261-2286


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The Blue Ridge Digest can be found at these regional visitor’s centers! Elizabethton Visitor Center 500 Veterans Memorial Parkway Elizabethton, TN 37644; (423) 547-3850 www.tourelizabethton.com

Appomattox Visitor Center 214 Main Street. PO Box 246 Appomattox, VA 24522; (434) 352-8999 historicappomattox.com

Hardesty-Higgins House Visitor Center 212 S. Main St Harrisonburg, Virginia, 22801 VisitHarrisonburgVA.com. (540) 432-8935

Salem Visitor Center 1001 Boulevard @ Civic Center Salem, VA 24153; (888) 827-2536 www.visitsalem.com

Greene Co. Partnership/COB 115 Academy St. Greeneville, TN 37743; (423) 638-4111 www.GreeneCountyPartnership.com

Abingdon Visitor Center 335 Cummings St. • Abingdon, VA 24210 (800) 435-3440 • www.abingdon.com

Lexington Visitor Center 106 E. Washington St. Lexington, VA 24450; (540) 463-3777 www.lexingtonvirginia.com

Smith Mountain Lake Visitor Center 16430 Booker T. Washington Hwy. #2 Moneta. VA 24121 • 540-721-1203 www.visitsmithmountainlake.com

Loudoun County Tourism 112 South Street • Leesburg, VA 20175 (800) 752-6118 • www.visitloudon.org

Smyth County Visitor Center 408 Whitetop Rd., Chilhowie, VA 24319 (276) 646-3306 • VisitVirginiaMountains.com

Luray/Page County Chamber 18 Campbell Street. Luray, VA 22835; (540) 743-3915 - www.luraypage.com

Staunton Travel Information Center 1290 Richmond Rd. (I-81 Exit 222) Staunton, VA 24401 • (540) 332-3972 www.VisitStaunton.com

Lynchburg Regional Information Center 216 12th St. at Church St. Lynchburg, VA 24505; (800) 732-5821 www.discoverlynchburg.org

Staunton Visitor’s Center 35 South New Street, Staunton,VA 24401 540-332-3971 • www.VisitStaunton.com

Historic Jonesborough 117 Boone St. Jonesborough, TN 37659; (423) 423-753-1010 • Toll Free: 866-401-4223 www.historicjonesborough.com 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 jcwc@preferred.com

Afton Visitor Center 130 Afton Circle • Afton, VA 22920 (540) 943-5187 • www.visitwaynesboro.net 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

Kingsport Visitor Center 151 E. Main St., POB 1403 BRD Kingsport, TN 37662; (423) 392-8820 www.kingsportchamber.org

Carroll County Visitor Center 231 Farmers Market Rd, Hillsville, VA 24343 (888) 785-2782 • (276) 730-3100 www.visittheBlueRidge.com

Loudon County Visitor Bureau 1075 US Hwy 321 • Lenoir City, TN 37771 (865) 568-3662 • www.visitloudoncounty.com

Charlottesville Visitor Center 610 East Main St Charlottesville, VA 22902 (434) 293-6789 • (434) 970-3641 www.visitcharlottesville.org

Oak Ridge Visitor Center 1400 Oak Ridge Turnpike Oak Ridge, TN 37830 (865) 483-1321 www.ExploreOakRidge.com  Pigeon Forge Visitor Center 1950 N. Parkway, POB 1390 BRD Pigeon Forge, TN 37868; (800) 251-9100 mypigeonforge.com Rogersville/Hawkins County C of C 107 E. Main St., Ste.100 Rogersville, TN 37857; (423) 272-2186 Scott County Visitor Center 12025 Scott Highway Helenwood, TN 37755 • (800) 645-6905 Smoky Mtn Visitor Center 3540 Line Drive • Kodak, TN 37764 (865) 932-3696 Unicoi Visitor Center - 106 Unicoi Village Place PO Box 39 • Erwin, TN 37692 www.unicoitn.net 423-735-0426

VIRGINIA 1908 Courthouse Visitor Center 107 E Main Street Independence VA 24348 (276) 773-2471 Albemarle Tourism & Adventure Center 5791 Three Notched Rd • Crozet, VA 22932 (434) 906-2713

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 215 Church Ave., Room 303 Roanoke, VA 24016 • (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 Front Royal Visitor Center 414 E. Main St. • Front Royal, VA 22630; (800) 338-3576 • www.discoverfrontroyal.com

Madison County Visitor Center 110A N. Main St., Madison, VA 22727 (540) 948-4455 • www.madison-va.com

Gateway to Shenandoah Visitor Center at Hupp’s Hill Civil War Park and Museum 33229 Old Valley Pike Strasburg, Virginia 22657 540-465-5884

Martinsville-Henry County Visitor Center 191 Fayette Street Virginia Tech Visitor Center Martinsville, VA 24112 925 Prices Fork Rd. • Blacksburg, VA (888) 722-3498 www.visitmartinsville.com 24061;(540) 231-3548 welcome@vt.edu 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 20475 JEB Stuart Hwy • PO Box 577 Stuart, VA 24171; (276) 694-6012 www.patrickchamber.com Prince William Visitor Center 200 Mill St. • Occoquan, VA 22125 703-491-4045 • ticctr@aol.com Pulaski County Visitor Center 4440 Cleburne Blvd • Dublin, VA 24084 540-674-4161. www.pulaskicounty.org Radford Visitor Center 600 Unruh Dr. • Radford, VA 24141 (866) 605-6442 • www.visitradford.com

City of Galax Tourism Department 110 East Grayson St. • Galax, VA 24333 276-238-8130 www.visitgalax.com

Roanoke Visitor Information Center 101 Shenandoah Ave., NE Roanoke VA 24016 • (800) 635-5535 www.visitvablueridge.com

Greene County Economic Development & Tourism 8315 Seminole Trail, Suite 2 Ruckersville, VA 22968

Rockfish Gap Visitor Center 130 Afton Circle Afton, VA 22920; (540) 943-5187 www.augustabusiness.org

Western Highlands Visitor Center 241 W. Main St. • Covington, VA 24426; (540) 962-2178 • www.alleghanyhighlands.com Winchester-Frederick County CVB 1400 S. Pleasant Valley Rd. Winchester, VA 22601 • (877) 871-1326 www.visitwinchesterva.com Wytheville CVB 975 Tazewell Street Wytheville, VA 24382; (276) 223-3355 Toll free (877) 347-8307 www.visitWytheville.com

WEST VIRGINIA West Virginia Welcome Center 37 Washington Court at US 340 Harpers Ferry, WV 25435; (866) -HELLO-WV • www.hello-wv.com

KENTUCKY Cumberland Gap Nhp Visitor Center US 25E South • Middlesboro, KY 40965 (606) 248-2817


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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) 686-3121. 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. Carolina Foam, Fabric & Home Decor - Dress fabric, upholstery fabric & large selection of quilters fabric. I-40 Exit 64 in Black Mountain. (828) 669-2400. Mast Store – Located at 15 Biltmore Ave., Downtown Asheville. Restored to its 1940s heyday, this store features housewares, jams & jellies, camping gear, shoes & boots, clothing, and over 500 old-fashioned candy favorites. 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. Shoji Spa & Lodge - Relax at Asheville’s only outdoor hot tub spa. Reap the benefits of the cold plunge, unwind in our sauna and rest in the Lodge. Specializing in couples massage. 2500 ft. above stress level. www.shojiretreats.com. By appt. only. (828) 299-0999.

BALSAM, NC

BOONE, NC

Balsam Mountain Inn .5 mi. from pkwy mp 443 at Balsam Gap. Historic inn, gracious dining, porches, 50 rms. www.balsaminn.net 800-224-9498

Foscoe Rentals - Cabins, Condos and Vacation homes centrally located to Boone, Banner Elk and Blowing Rock. (800) 723-7341. www.foscoerentals.com

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. www.smoketreelodge.com

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: jim@hiddenvalleymotel.com.

BLOWING ROCK, NC

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.

Alpine Village Inn - 297 Sunset Dr. Quaint cozy rooms & suites in the heart of town. AC, CCTV, & phones, Wi-Fi complimentary. Some fireplaces & Jacuzzi. Pet friendly rooms. www.alpine-village-inn.com (828) 295-7206.

Mast Store – Located 630 W King St, Downtown Boone. Built in 1913/1917, you’ll find most everything you need for life: clothing, footwear, trail & travel gear, housewares, gifts, & old-fashioned candy. www.MastStore.com. 828-262-0000

Chetola Resort - Magnificent views, 87 acres, Lodge, Condos, Bob Timberlake Inn. Fitness Center, Restaurants, Orvis Endorsed. N. Main St., Blowing Rock, NC 28605. www.chetola.com (828) 295-5500 or (800) 243-8652. 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. Jenkins Rentals - The finest rental homes, cabins and condos in the Blowing Rock area. Hot tubs & Mtn vews available. (800) 438-7803. www.jenkinsrentals.com. Mystery Hill. - 129 Mystery Hill Ln, Blowing Rock, NC 28605. Family fun center. Feel the strange pull. Hall of Mystery artifacts. Museum open all year. 828-263-0507. info@mysteryhill-NC.com Village Inns of Blowing RockNo Smoking, Wi-Fi/Breakfast. Suites/Cottages/Rooms. Some Pet Friendly Rooms. (828) 295-3001

NC High Country Host Visitor Center- 6370 US HWY 321 South Blowing Rock, NC 28605; (800) 438-7500 www.mountainsofnc.com

BURNSVILLE, NC Alpine Village Resort - 1 & 2 bedroom condos. Great views. Tennis, heated pool/summer, cable TV, special golf fees. 3 miles west of Parkway, exit Buck Creek Gap Hwy. 80. No pets. 828/675-4103.

CHEROKEE, NC Oconaluftee Indian Village - Share the rich history & traditions of the Cherokee at this replica of a Cherokee community of the 1750s. May thru Oct. www.cherokeehistorical.org/village.html

Be sure to tell them you saw it in THE DIGEST! CHIMNEY ROCK, NC Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park – 40 min. SE of Asheville, exit milepost 384.7. Come for the views. Discover infinite possibilities. Spectacular wildflowers, hiking, rock climbing instruction, special events, workshops and more! 26-story elevator inside mountain. Pet friendly. Admission rates: $15 Adults, $7 Youth ages 5-15, 4 and under free.Open all year. Open daily 8:30am - 5:30pm. Live it up! 800-277-9611 chimneyrockpark.com

HENDERSONVILLE, NC Mast Store – Located 527 N Main St, Downtown Hendersonville. Built in 1905, this store embodies the essence of the era and is packed with clothing, shoes & boots, camping gear, country gourmet foods, & candy. www.MastStore.com. 828-696-1883 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

LAUREL SPRINGS, NC Thistle Meadow Winery - Stop for wine tasting - Exit at Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 248. 3 miles to winery on NC 18. 800-233-1505. Gas nearby. www.thistlemeadowwinery.com

Be sure to tell them you saw it in THE DIGEST!


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Be sure to tell them you saw it in THE DIGEST!

Mountain Lodging Food Fun LINVILLE, NC 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 the Linville exit at Milepost 305 to U.S. 221 South. Open daily, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. $20 adult; $18 senior 60+; $9 child 4-12; under 4 free. www.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 Rt. 183, left. Restaurant (ABC permit), Walk to falls & gorge. www.linvillefallslodge.com (800) 634-4421.

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. Call 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) 654-4026. www.switzerlandinn.com

MAGGIE VALLEY, NC Boyd Mountain Log Cabins Secluded 130 acres near Maggie Valley, 7 Authentic cabins, fireplaces, AC, cable, WIFI. Choose n cut Christmas tree farm, trout fishing, hiking. (828) 926-1575. www.boydmountain.com Haywood County Hotel & Motel Assoc.-Maggie Valley,Waynesville,Lake Junaluska. Quality lodging & dining within minutes of 4 BRP exits, MP 420-450. All accommodations adhere to Quality Standards. See us @www.maggievalley.travel. 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

SPARTA & GLADE VALLEY, NC

SPRUCE PINE, 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 . see ad page 5 Glade Valley B&B – Near MP 229. Our modern, beautiful log home is surrounded with all the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. All rooms have private baths, some with jacuzzi tubs. Our breakfasts are all homemade and plentiful. 800-538-3508. www.gladevalley.com See our ad on page 5. Thistle Meadow Winery - Stop for wine tasting - exit at Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 248. 3 miles to winery on NC18.(800) 233-1505. gas nearby. www.thistlemeadowwinery.com

Bear Den Creekside Cabins On the Blue Ridge Parkway at MP 324.8. All amenities, jacuzzis, decks, fireplaces. For 2 to 10. (828) 765-2888.www.bear-den.com Res. recmd. Bear Den Campground - On the Blue Ridge Parkway at MP 324.8. Complete facilities, serving the south for over 41 years. www.bear-den.com (828) 765-2888. Scenic beauty. 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. 828-7659559. www.peakmountaincottages.com

Jump in at Smith Mountain Lake.

McDOWELL COUNTY, 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.

NEWLAND, NC Secluded Valley RV Campground - 8 miles North Spruce Pine on 19E. 5 miles from Blue Ridge Parkway. 30 & 50 amp full hookups, children & pets welcome, level & spacious sites. (828) 765-4810. www.secludedvalleyrvcampground.com.

Be sure to tell them you saw it in

THE DIGEST!

Located just off the Blue Ridge Parkway! Also be sure to check out the Bedford Wine Trail, Historic Centertown, and the Bedford Artisan Trail.

877-HI-PEAKS • VisitBedford.com

Stay in the mountains, by the water, or somewhere in between!

Follow in the footsteps of Thomas Jefferson at Poplar Forest. @VisitBedfordVA

Discover 360-degree views at Sharp Top, Peaks of Otter.

Honor heroes at the National D-Day Memorial.

Bedford Area Welcome Center & Tourism 816 Burks Hill Road, Bedford, VA 24523


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Mountain Lodging Food Fun VALLE CRUCIS, NC

FISHERSVILLE, VA

HARRISONBURG, VA

Mast General Store & Annex – Est. 1883 & listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this authentic general store in rural Valle Crucis features clothing, camping gear, shoes & boots, housewares, unique gifts, and over 500 old-fashioned candies. Visit our other historic locations in NC, SC, & TN. www.MastStore.com.

Antique Expo - 400 dealers exhibiting in halls, barns, tents & outside twice yearly. Oct. 13-15, 2017. May 18-20, 2018. Augusta Expoland. I-64, exit 91. (434) 847-8242. www.heritagepromotions.net

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. www.shenandoah.org/villageinn

WAYNESVILLE, NC Mast Store – Located 63 N Main St, Downtown Waynesville. Built in 1930s and filled with everything you’d expect in a general store – clothing, shoes, cast iron, candy, and camping gear. 828-452-2101 www.MastStore.com.

TENNESSEE GATLINBURG, TN Ski Mountain Chalet & Condo Rentals - 1-6 bedroom units, 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. 540586-3707. www.iwineu.com or www.elmosrest.com

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA Montfair Resort Farm - Pet friendly cabins by lake. 30 min from Parkway. Wi-fi, linens & cookware provided. Canoe, hike, fish. (434) 823-5202. 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.

FLOYD, VA Blue Ridge Restaurant, Inc. - E. Main St., Floyd, VA (540) 745-2147. For good home-style cooking try our daily specials. We are open early with gravy biscuits, hot cakes, country ham, and eggs every day. 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 County Tourism - Village Green Ste.7, 201 E. Main St. Floyd, VA 24091 Mountain town with unique music, arts, outdoor fun! www.VisitFloydVA.com 540-239-8509 Floyd Country Store: Famous venue for Heritage Appalachian music every weekend. Store and cafe open all week. www.floydcountrystore.com Floyd Lodging Association A community of local lodging facilities working together to accommodate your unique needs. www.floydvirginialodging.com Floyd Visitors Center 109 E. Main St., Floyd, VA 24091 Mountain town with unique music, arts, outdoor fun! 540-745-4407 www.VisitFloydVA.com Hotel Floyd - 120 Wilson St, Floyd, VA. (540) 745-6080. www.hotelFloyd.com. Unique lodging off MP165 with themed rooms and located downtown Floyd. Don’t miss visiting this unique town and hotel!

GROTTOES, VA

Grand Caverns - 5 Grand Caverns Dr, Grottoes, VA, America’s oldest continuously operated show cave. Nature’s handiwork & gifts. 888430-CAVE. www.grandcaverns.com

LOVE, VA. Royal Oaks - Cabins, chalets, store, gifts, deli, weddings. Near MP16 on parkway. Upscale lodging, hot tubs, fireplaces, equipped kit, bedding/linens. Beautiful views atop the BR Mtns. www.vacabins.com. 540-943-7625.

LURAY, VA. Allstar Lodging - Unique Cabins and Vacation rentals. Pools, Hot tubs, frplc, kitch, riverfront/mountains, hiking, canoeing, fishing in Shenandoah Valley. 866-780-7827. www.allstarlodging.com.

MEADOWS OF DAN, VA 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

MONTEBELLO, VA Montebello Resort – Exit Milepost 27, Rt 56E, 3 miles. Cabins, Campground, Country Store & Trout Ponds. 540-377-2650 www.MontebelloVA.com.

RADFORD, VA 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.

Be sure to tell them you saw it in

THE DIGEST!

ROANOKE, VA Colony House Motor Lodge 3560 Franklin Rd. Roanoke. 2 mi off Parkway on US 220. Suites available. HBO, ESPN, pool, Free Continental breakfast. Meeting Room available. Shopping and good restaurants nearby. (540) 345-0411 or (866) 203-5850. 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

SALEM, VA 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.

WAYNESBORO, VA Cabin Creekwood-  2 miles from Parkway MP 13.6. Year-round, quiet, secluded.Fully furnished affordable mtn cabins (888) 942-2246. www.cabincreekwood.com.


FALL 2017

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Lots to do in Hickory The Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina are nestled within the mountains and foothills of the state, a region known for its spectacular beauty, moderate climate, Cherokee heritage, handmade crafts, small family farms, and, of course, its rich musical traditions. The geographic footprint of the Blue Ridge Music Trails NC comprises twenty-nine counties in the western third of the state.

It’s fall and one of the busiest and most colorful, musical, eclectic times of the year in the Hickory Metro, which is just 45 miles from the Blowing Rock, NC Parkway Exit.

This region has been home to musicians whose artistry has shaped many forms of American music. Today young people in the region are learning these traditions and transforming them into new forms of roots music.

BlueRidgeMusicNC.com • #BlueRidgeMusicNC

T

here’s everything from original live music, to unique films at the annual Footcandle Film Festival, one-of-a-kind art at the Folk Art Festival, European car show, Oktoberfest, furniture shopping, to a stroll back in time to the 1800s. Friendly and top quality hotels and top-notch farm to table restaurants too - there’s something for everyone in the Hickory Metro where Life is Well Crafted. Sails on the Square in Downtown Hickory is every Friday night in September with up and coming original artists from across the world. Music in the Mill concerts are held once a month and feature wellknown artists including Lee Ann Womack on October 20. The Autolawn Party is a celebration of the road’s number one traveler – the automobile. The celebration will be held September 9 and is like a European classic car show for the automotive enthusiast, and will feature BMW this year. Hart Square Festival on October 28 is walking back into time to an early 1800s village. Tickets go on sale October 2 and sell out that day. Visitors will see everything from flax making, cotton baling to apple butter making and the sweet sounds of old time music. For more information about specific events, attractions, and restaurants that make the Hickory Metro the place to be go to www.hickorymetro.com or call 800-509-2444.

Highlande rs Festiva l & Braveh eart 5K Oct 21

Chili Fest Sept 16

Craft & Draft Oct 14

Radford’s Visitors Center (located inside Glencoe Musuem)

600 Unruh Drive • Radford, VA

www.VisitRadford.com

Mary D raper In gles Statue & Play Aug 27 • Sept 1 6


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Head to Lexington & Rockbridge County this Fall!

After you’ve experienced the beauty of Rockbridge outdoors, taste your way around downtown Lexington at Southern Inn, Rocca, Haywood’s, TAPS, or Red Hen, where fresh fall flavors abound in every chef-prepared course. Overnight accommodations are plentiful with downtown boutiques The Georges and Robert E. Lee Hotel just steps away. For more fall travel ideas www.LexingtonVirginia.com.

Fall Events

B

right foliage is the backdrop for autumn adventures, and top destinations in Lexington and Rockbridge County include the some of the most beautiful lookouts, cycling routes, and

RADFORD Oct. 21

Celtic Games, Clans and Music Featuring SYR

Children’s Activities, Food and Crafts www.radford.edu/festival 540-831-6255 A partnership between Radford University and the City of Radford

waterways. Explore the outdoors, then taste the fresh fall flavors. The white-blazed Appalachian Trail runs beside the Blue Ridge Parkway above Rockbridge County. For a half-day hike with lofty views, park just south of milepost 51 on the Parkway then hike to the summit of Bluff Mountain. Cyclists adore the beauty of backroads, which unfurl beside mountains, rivers, and fall foliage. The loop between Goshen Pass and Lexington is a favorite, and the route’s buttery spin through the Goshen Pass gorge on Highway 39 immerses cyclists in a kaleidoscopic display of color. For kayaking and canoeing, the Upper James River Water Trail is popular for many area paddlers. Skilled kayakers looking for a taste of whitewater can tackle the lowkey rapids at Balcony Falls. An easy “must” in any season is Natural Bridge State Park. Walk the trail to encounter the Monacan Indian Village and Lace Falls, memorable points of interest in the shadow of the iconic limestone arch.

Sept. 21-23

Nothin’ Fancy Bluegrass Festival

Sept. 29

Arts of Lexington Block Party

Oct. 7 McCormick Farm Mill Day Oct. 14

Mountain Day in Buena Vista

Oct. 22

Wade’s Mill Apple Butter Festival

Oct. 28

Chessie Trail Fall Half-Marathon & 5K

The Annual ‘Hard Candy Christmas “Arts and Crafts Show is celebrating it’s 30th year in being ‘A Mountain Christmas Tradition “ in this area. The featured artist is Betty Spivey, master Father Christmas doll maker. 90 other artisans will sell original art and craft at great prices. Western Carolina University Ramsey Center in Cullowhee,NC hosts this favorite show each year .Dates are November 24-25 2017 .Hours 10-5 each day mountainArtisans.net or contact Doris Hunter 828 524 3405

Forest Festival Day at the Cradle of Forestry Sat, Oct 7, 2017 Meet traditional craftsmen, exhibitors, forestry students, and entertainers as they gather at the Cradle of Forestry to celebrate our forests and forest heritage. Come and enjoy along the 1-mile Forest Festival Trail and other annual Forest Festival Day activities. Wood carvers, weavers, and other demonstrators are invited to present their skills

and craftsmanship. Roaming musicians fill the air. Midday a wagon ride carries you to and from a falconry program. For more information: www. cradleofforestry.com or 828877-3130. The Cradle of Forestry Heritage Site is open daily midApril through early November from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.


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5 Fall Favorites in Virginia’s Blue Ridge This fall, find the perfect combination of entertainment, history, outdoor adventure and southern cuisine right off the Parkway in Virginia’s Blue Ridge. Take milepost 120 towards Roanoke to stretch your legs, refuel and enjoy fall in the mountains. With unlimited things to do, be sure not to miss out on these five favorites while visiting Roanoke in Virginia’s Blue Ridge:

Dillsboro Festival of Lights & Luminaries December 1 & 2, 8 & 9

T 1 Mountain bike the crisp trails of Mill Mountain Park to Roanoke's highest point (1703 ft.) then stand beneath the Roanoke Star, the world’s largest man-made illuminated star, for a breathtaking view as the leaves change into their fall wardrobes.

2 Find out what’s brewing this fall at Big Lick Brewing Co., Deschutes Brewery Tasting Room, Soaring Ridge Craft Brewers and Starr Hill Pilot Brewery on a mini brewcation sampling of downtown Roanoke’s breweries.

3 Refuel with fluffy homemade buttermilk biscuits, so good they’ve been featured on NBC’s Today Show, country ham, and traditional southern cuisine at The Roanoker Restaurant. The local icon

opened in 1941 and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner Tues – Sun.

4 Complete your holiday shopping in downtown Roanoke’s Farmer’s Market. Find seasonal vegetables, sweet treats and beautiful work of talented artists and craftspeople while weaving in and out of local shops and boutiques. 5 Enjoy live entertainment with a theatre performance at Mill Mountain Theatre located inside the seven-story Center in the Square then explore American art in the Taubman Museum of Art, open and free to the public.

Plan a complete mountain getaway to Virginia’s Blue Ridge this fall. Find more information on these attractions and others at www.visitvbr.com.

he Dillsboro Festival of Lights & Luminaries illuminates this mountain village the first two weekends in December. In an era of electronic gadgetry and LED lights, Dillsboro’s celebration is a throwback. Adapted from a Scandinavian custom of lighting the way for the Christ child, more than 2,500 candles in white bags line the streets with more than a dozen shops to explore. Weather permitting, Jacobsen will create a winter wonderland at the corner of Front and Webster streets where children of all ages can make snowmen and play in the snow. In addition to the luminaries and snow, the town’s mer-

Journey back to the days of yesteryear. Experience the magic as the entire town is transformed into a winter wonderland of lights, candles, laughter and song! 2500 luminaries light your way to shops and studios. Horse and buggy rides available each night. Shopkeepers provide live music and serve holiday treats with hot cider and cocoa. Carolers sing and children visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Live Nativity at Jarrett Memorial Baptist Church. Free shuttle service from Monteith Park.

chant “elves” trim their buildings – many of which date to the late 1800s – in traditional white lights. Shopkeepers also stay open late and serve coffee, warm cider, hot chocolate and homemade goodies to visitors. There will be sing-alongs throughout town, horse-and-carriage rides, WCU students strolling the streets in renaissance costumes, children’s art in the courtyard, plus Santa and Mrs. Claus setting up shop in Town Hall. The Festival of Lights & Luminaries begins each evening at dusk and runs until 9 p.m. There is no admission charge. Dillsboro is located on the Tuckasegee River near Sylva at the crossroads of U.S. Hwy. 23/74 and U.S. Hwy 441 in Jackson County. The town is less than an hour west of Asheville.

More info: www.mountainlovers.com 800-962-1911


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FALL 2017

Fall in Love with

Wytheville In mid-October, the spooky moves to Downtown Wytheville as the annual Zombie Run is held on Saturday, October 21. Trick or treating, children’s costume contests, and a zombie parade precede the actual Zombie Run which begins at 4:00 p.m. An adult Halloween costume party closes out the event that evening. There’s also fourteen nights of scary at the Haunted Graham Mansion. It runs September to early November. utumn is a beautiful time in Music can be found at many Southwest Virginia and the locations includcharming community of ing the Bolling Wytheville has many interesting Wilson Hotel experiences for travelers to in Downtown discover. Wytheville. One Local farms offer a cornucoof the most beaupia of authentic activities as fields tiful settings to become blanketed with the orange enjoy music in of pumpkins. Festivals and events the autumn is are frequent this time of year and the stage at Big focus on music, crafts, and even Walker Lookout. spooky activities. Every weekend

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is a musical one at this mountain top location with a variety of local musicians, artisans and authors each Saturday and Sunday. Recreational enthusiasts might want to check out the New River Trail Challenge Triathlon. The race, which features a 40-mile bike ride, 12-mile kayak ride and 13.1-mile half marathon, allows individuals and teams in the beautiful setting of this historic state park.

For more information, contact the Wytheville Convention & Visitors Bureau, toll-free at 1-877-347-8307, or visit www.VisitWytheville.com. Wytheville, Virginia… There’s Only One.

Visitortips.com, where F.P.I.S., the east coast’s premier brochure distributor, brings you an online virtual brochure display. This site allows users to access brochures by city or region before leaving home or while traveling. With links to attractions websites & social media platforms we are delivering the power of brochures to the internet. Scan this QR code to download this app:


FALL 2017

www.blueridgedigest.com

Fall, Winter Bring New Sights, Sounds to Pigeon Forge

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s summer comes to a close, Pigeon Forge gears up for its busy fall and winter seasons. Located in the Great Smoky Mountains,

Mother Nature puts on quite a show each autumn, and folks come from miles away to see the fall foliage. Dollywood’s Harvest Festival presented by Humana (Sept. 29-Oct. 28) is even more spectacular this season, with thousands of carved and illuminated jack-o-lanterns on display during Great Pumpkin LumiNights, featuring artistic sculptures, whimsical scenes and delightful, family-friendly fun throughout the park’s Timber Canyon area. Pigeon Forge’s 28th annual Winterfest Celebration kicks off on Nov. 7 and continues through Feb. 28, 2018, with more than five million lights creating a the popular family vacation winter wonderland. The awarddestination offers everything from winning event is a tradition for spectacular fall colors to the glow many families who return year of twinkling holiday lights. after year to take in the sights.

33 Attractions throughout Pigeon Forge up the ante with additional light displays and special events. Dollywood theme park hosts its Smoky Mountain Christmas festival (Nov. 4 -Jan. 1, 2018), while theaters throughout town offer Christmastime shows, including Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede, Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Adventures, Smoky Mountain Opry, Country Tonite and Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Feud. Pigeon Forge Snow! is set to open later this year. This indoor facility uses state-of-the-art patented technology to provide real snow all year long. Snowy fun never ends and is highlighted by 15 lanes for snow tubing. For more information on these and other events, please visit MyPigeonForge.com.


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The Virginia Creeper Trail

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he Virginia Creeper Trail is a 34-mile rail-trail that is considered one of the best bike trails in the nation, and is named after the early steam locomotives as they struggled slowly up steep grades, carrying lumber steam engine that once creeped up the rails into the Iron Mountains. Having failed to turn a profit since the Great Depression, the Creeper ran its last train on March 31, 1977. By the 1970s, many railroads were abandoned. The most common activity for first time visitors is biking the section from Whitetop Station to Damascus. Bike rental companies

in Damascus and Abingdon will shuttle you to the top of the mountain for an easy ride down to Damascus. Camping is permitted in Mount Rogers National Recreation Area 100 feet away from the trail. Horseback riding is allowed all along the trail. Mile 0 is the one of the most popular places to enter the Virginia Creeper Trail. Parking is available, and a steam locomotive is on display at the Trailhead. Other popular access points are at Alvarado Mile 8.5, Damascus Mile 15.5, Creek Junction Mile 25 and Whitetop Station Mile 32.3.

FALL 2017

Although no facilities are available on the trail itself, 11 access points lead hikers and bikers to towns, forest service centers, water and toilets, year-round. The trail from Abingdon to Damascus is quite level and is bordered by fields and pastures, leading visitors to a beaver pond, frogs, cottontail rabbits, gray squirrels and red and gray foxes! As many as 40 species of birds can also be seen. From the other end, at Whitetop, bikers love coasting downhill for 18 miles to Damascus. Experienced hikers warn about sudden

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changes in weather, especially at higher elevations at Mount Rogers National Recreation Area and Whitetop Mountain. Fishing is available at South Holston Lake Mile 8 and Mile 13. East of Damascus, the trail also parallels Whitetop Laurel Creek. Cross-country skiing is great in the winter along a snowpacked trail. Virginia Creeper Trail Information Web Site is: www.CreeperTrailInfo.com

Old Fort Railroad Day Old Fort, NC

October 13

Little Switzerland’s Fall Craft Market

October 14

Mountain Glory Festival

December December 2

Little Switzerland, NC Marion, NC

Blue Ridge Artisans Show & Sale Marion, NC

Appalachian Potters’ Market Marion, NC

Details and other events are online.

8 8 8 - 2 3 3 - 6 111 | w w w. b l u e r i d g e t r a v e l e r s . c o m


www.VisitWytheville.com

Digest fall 2017  

The Blue Ridge Digest encourages visitors to visit Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia with fun things to do and see.

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