Grandfather Mountain Offers Safe Fall Fun
Grandfather Mountain offers visitors the chance to get close to nature — and away from everything else.
Towering 5,946 feet above sea level — over a mile high — in Linville, N.C., the nonprofit nature park (not to be confused with the neighboring Grandfather Mountain State Park) offers mountains of outdoor activities that are safe and fun for the whole family, even during COVID-19.
This includes Grandfather’s most popular attraction, the Mile High Swinging Bridge. Measuring at a mile in elevation and suspended over an 80-foot chasm, the bridge provides 360-degree views, cool temperatures—sometimes 20 degrees cooler than the surrounding areas—and a one-of-a-kind adventure in the clouds. On a clear day, guests can even see the Charlotte skyline some 80 miles away.
Grandfather Mountain is home to environmental wildlife habitats, where visitors can see the park’s resident black bears, cougars, river otters, bald eagles and elk, all of whom were either rescued or orphaned in the wild or born into captivity before arriving at Grandfather, therefore unfit to be released back into the wild.
Grandfather features access to over 12 miles of pristine hiking trails varying in difficulty from a leisurely walk to a rigorous trek across rugged peaks, making it an ideal outdoor destination for natural social distancing.
And that’s only the tip of the mountain. To learn more about all the activities Grandfather Mountain has to offer, please visit www.grandfather.com.
With safety in mind, Grandfather Mountain has enacted numerous procedures to help prevent and reduce the spread of COVID-19, including:
Online admission only to limit the number of guests in the park at one time One-way pedestrian traffic in popular areas, such as the Mile High Swinging Bridge and animal habitats
Protective barriers at the entrance gate, gift shops and restaurant
Restaurant tables spaced at least 6 feet apart
Increased sanitization stations throughout the park
Required face coverings indoors and outdoors when safe social distancing cannot be maintained
To learn more about Grandfather Mountain’s COVID-19 operating procedures, please visit www.
The nonprofit Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation strives to inspire conservation of the natural world by helping guests explore, understand and value the wonders of Grandfather Mountain.
For more info: (800) 468-7325 or www.grandfather.com to book your visit.
Grandfather Mountain is home to environmental wildlife habitats, featuring black bears, cougars, bald eagles, river otters and elk, all of whom were either orphaned or injured in the wild or born into captivity before arriving at Grandfather, therefore unable to be released back into the wild.Photo by Skip Sickler | Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation Grandfather Mountain’s most popular attraction is the Mile High Swinging Bridge, offering panoramic views of the entire Western North Carolina High Country — and, on a clear day, the Charlotte skyline, some 80 miles away. Photo by Skip Sickler | Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation
Blowing Rock, NC: Wide Open Spaces & Room to Roam
Blowing Rock is an ideal hub for enjoying the wide open spaces and gorgeous views of a Blue Ridge Mountain fall. Surrounded by undeveloped areas and deciduous forests, the entire area lights up with the vibrant hues of the
season each year. Enjoy a spectacular view of fall colors from one of the most iconic locations in NC and the town’s namesake: The Blowing Rock Attraction. Located directly on the Blue Ridge Parkway, the town has easy access to more vistas
and several attractions along America’s Favorite Drive, like Moses Cone Park, Price Lake, the Linn Cove Viaduct, Grandfather Mountain, and Linville Falls. Right in town is Bass Lake Trail, which might be the best autumn stroll in the state. Walk under maple canopies, watch the wildlife, and see Flat Top Manor peeking through the reds and yellows on the ridge, reflected onto the glassy water below. The trail is part of Cone Park and a network
of 25 miles of trails. The trails in & through Blowing Rock alone add up to twice that mileage, so you won’t run out of places to explore! When you’re ready to relax, the village of Blowing Rock has a surprising array of quaint inns, hotels, and rentals. Small, locally-operated properties offer a home-away-fromhome feel. Most are within walking distance of downtown shopping and dining. In the little 3-square-mile town, you’ll find over two dozen eateries, with plenty of outdoor dining available for enjoying those crisp fall days. Local businesses have diligently integrated procedures to keep visitors and citizens as safe as possible, with emphasis on following the state-wide Count on Me NC program. The town’s welcoming some new shops, inns, and restaurants this fall: come see what’s new!
Visit BlowingRock.com to start planning your getaway.
Black bears, otters, cougars, elk, even eagles. Experience them all in natural settings at Grandfather Mountain. For the time being, ticket sales are online only.
Get close to nature, And away from everything else.
Waynesboro is divinely placed
art galleries, shops, and museums.
Welcome to Waynesboro, where good nature comes naturally! Visitors become fellow adventurers and familiar neighbors in Waynesboro, VA, where southern hospitality meets small town charm. Located at the gateway to the Blue Ridge Parkway, Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park, and the Appalachian Trail, Waynesboro is divinely placed in a unique and
remarkable setting with some of the best views and access to hiking trails in Virginia. You will find warm welcomes and rich cultural amenities to offer seekers who come to experience the beauty and history of the Shenandoah Valley. The South River flows right through downtown, providing the perfect opportunity to catch trophy-sized rainbow and brown trout, or grab your kayak and enjoy
a scenic four-mile float through the City on the Waynesboro Water Trail. Historic downtown boasts trendy restaurants including old favorites like Heritage on Main and our newest addition, The River Burger Bar, which features tasty all-beef creations, as well as vegetarian and vegan options. Grab coffee and a pastry at the French Press or Farmhaus Coffee Co. to fuel your downtown stroll as you meander through
If you’re looking for evening entertainment, the vaudeville-era Wayne Theatre attracts national acts as well as house-produced theater performances. Finally, tempt your taste buds at any of the three craft breweries along the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail, or sample the many flavors of kombucha at Blue Ridge Bucha’s taproom, one of only a handful located on the East Coast.
Adventure awaits in Waynesboro! Whether you’re planning a trip for the whole family, a girls’ getaway weekend, or a romantic couple’s retreat, they have a little something for everyone. More information: www.visitwaynesboro.net
Adventure like a TRAILSETTER in Virginia’s Blue Ridge
Kick your next adventure up a level in the beautiful mountains of Virginia’s Blue Ridge like a true trailsetter! Find a delightful combination of outdoor adventure and scenic views paired with rich local flavors this fall in the Roanoke Valley of Virginia’s Blue Ridge.
Hit the outdoors along 600 miles of trails while soaking in the autumn hues by foot or by mountain bike in “America’s East Coast Mountain Biking Capital.”
Take a detour at MP 115 to fish the Roanoke River from the banks of recently updated Explore Park, a perfect spot for fly fishing, as well as easy kayak and boat access. At Mill Mountain Park (MP 120), trailsetters can opt for hiking paths or more challenging mountain biking trails. The most family-friendly bike rides in Virginia’s Blue Ridge are along the Roanoke Valley Greenways. These paved paths meander along rivers and streams, through
neighborhoods, past historic points of interest, and often have parks, dining, and shopping nearby.
After thrilling adventures, head downtown and treat yourself to some holiday shopping at the Historic Roanoke City Market—the oldest open-air market of its kind in Virginia. Open year-round, seven days a week, the Market only closes on Christmas and New Year’s Day. You’ll find unique wares from local artists and talented craftspeople along with sweet treats, local meats, veggies, and cheeses.
Find more information on fishing, hiking and mountain biking trails, the VBR Cheers Trail, a full list of local cuisine and more at VisitVBR.com. Be sure to also check out events for more ideas to add to your Blue Ridge Day!
Virginia’s Franklin County is a vibrant confluence of gateways. It’s your gateway to landscapes, world-class outdoor recreation and incredible touchstones of Appalachian music and history. We are your gateway to Virginia’s mountains, a gateway to the Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail, as well as Virginia’s Rail Heritage Region. Plug into the vibrancy of Smith Mountain Lake or quite literally unplug to the serene essence of Philpott Lake. Music lovers will be acoustically touched by the quality of the Harvester Performance Center in Rocky Mount. While known as the “Moonshine Capital of the World” during the Great Moonshine Conspiracy Trial of 1935, there’s much more to the area’s history. Experience regional heritage at the Blue Ridge Institute & Museum.
Agriculture is highlighted at Booker T. Washington National Monument, birthplace of America’s prominent African American educator and orator.
Explore the Hiking Capital of Western North Carolina
Burnsville’s hiking centerpiece is the Mount Mitchell Trail. This renowned trail begins in a campground at 3,000 feet elevation and ascends to the 6,684-foot summit of Mount Mitchell, the highest point east of the Mississippi. Other trails in that area also reach above 6,000 feet.
chian Trail, and the Mountains-toSea Trail, which is a state trail from Clingman’s Dome in the Smokies all the way to the ocean at Kitty Hawk. We have National Forest Service trails, and Mount Mitchell State Park has its own trails.”
Visitors wishing to enjoy all Burnsville has to offer can choose from more than 100 cabin and vacation rentals, as well as traditional inns and motels.
With more than 100 miles of public hiking trails, including the highest trails in the eastern United States, Burnsville has been called the Hiking Capital of Western North Carolina.
For casual hikers seeking less-strenuous options, there are ample opportunities, including a half-mile path to Set Rock Creek Falls and a scenic 2.5-mile trail to Crabtree Falls off the Blue Ridge Parkway.
“We have hiking trails of all levels and trails of all different kinds,” says Jake Blood of the NC High Peaks Trail Association in Burnsville. “We’ve got the Appala-
Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost
258.7: Northwest Trading Post
The Northwest Trading Post historic building in Glendale Springs in Ashe County, North Carolina is operated by a concessioner and offers a selection of regional arts & crafts and food gifts made in North Carolina’s northwestern counties. The Northwest Trading Post has featured handmade in America products since 1958. This stop includes food, drink, and handmade crafts from over 500 artisans in 11 NC counties as well as a seasonal visitor center and restrooms.
The Burnsville area also boasts more than 500 artists, many of whom are members of the Toe River Arts organization. The Toe River Arts gallery on Main Street is a great place to purchase a piece of local art, or to get maps to artist studios in the countryside.
“In this time where we really have to be careful of how we’re getting out and doing our social activities, getting out to nature is about the best way I can think of,” Blood says. “Burnsville is a great base camp for that.”
For info on Burnsville getaways, visit ExploreBurnsville.com.
P.O. Box 1758
Asheville, NC 28802
Phone: (828) 691-5437
All articles and information supplied are printed accurately to the best knowledge of the management. The Blue Ridge Digest is not responsible for errors beyond its control.
Publisher: Thomas Hardy
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Add the Western Carolina Mountains to your Itinerary this Fall.
Attractions where you can pick up an issue of The Blue Ridge Digest on your next trip in the mountains in addition to most all visitor centers
Frontier Culture Museum
Grandfather Mountain Linville, NC
Linville Caverns Linville Falls, NC
Mast General Store
Mystery Hill Blowing Rock, NC
North Carolina Arboretum
Northwest Trading Post
Glendale Springs, NC
Peaks of Otter Lodge
Blue Ridge Parkway Bedford, VA
Blue Ridge Parkway Waynesville, NC
VA Transportation Museum
Throughout the county, there are a wide array of opportunities to experience the vibrant fall foliage. Whether biking, hiking, or driving, elevated views from the most named peaks in North Carolina await around every corner. Take a leisurely stroll to soak in the colorful fall views, tackle an exercise challenge that will get the blood pumping, or try some R&R with Forest Therapy (Shinrin-Yoku) in Pinnacle Park.
Home to the country’s first and only Fly-Fishing Trail, The WNC Fly Fishing Trail®, Jackson County is famously known for miles of clear, clean, and fully stocked waters. Notoriously known as a solo, or distanced activity, the tranquility and peacefulness of fly fishing is what draws many to the sport. Fall is the perfect time to try your hand at the sport in the NC Trout Capital® with help from local outfitters.
The quaint towns of Jackson County make for an affordable road trip destination. While visiting,
guests can explore the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, or cruise along the Blue Ridge Parkway for stunning views of their surroundings.
There are a large variety of accommodations to rest and recharge after a long day of
With 494-square miles of wide open spaces, rolling hills, multi-level trails, majestic wildlife and undiscovered paths that lead to awe-inspiring vistas and cascading waterfalls, the Western North Carolina Mountain Towns of Cashiers, Cherokee, Dillsboro and Sylva have room for the wanderlust to spread out and reignite their passion for exploration. As home to a host of natural social distancing activities, Jackson County is the go-to mountain hideaway for the crowd-wary adventure seekers this fall. www.DiscoverJacksonNC.com
hiking, leaf-peeping and sightseeing in the area. Guests can choose from hotels, bed and breakfasts, mountain houses and cozy cabins, and can rest-assured that they are all keeping guests’ safety and health top-of-mind.THANKS TO THE BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY ASSOCIATION FOR THE USE OF THEIR CENTER-SPREAD MAP
Nelson, VA: A must Stop for Leaf Peeping and Hiking
Fall is always gorgeous, with its blazes of brightly-covered leaves. The mornings are chilly but the days still have a lot of summer left in them. In Nelson County, the Fall Magic is even more wonderful. The foliage on the Blue Ridge Mountains contrast perfectly against a deep blue sky. Nelson is conveniently located near Lynchburg, Charlottesville, and Waynesboro. The fall is a great time in the gorgeous central Virginia county. Day trips are wonderful in Nelson, especially near and around the Afton area.
For those who are looking for an outdoor workout, Humpback Rocks is the perfect choice. The massive, Precambrian outcropping has a summit of 3,080 feet. The challenging, 700-foot climb is rewarding to hikers (there are some benches to be found alongside the path). Humpback Rocks is wellknown by locals, and it’s a tradition for the UVA students in nearby Charlottesville to view the sunrise and sunset from Humpback Rocks at least once.
Another great Nelson attraction, the Claudius Crozet Blue Ridge Tunnel, is set to open near the end of 2020. Hikers and bicyclists
alike can travel through this renovated, stonewalled tunnel. The tunnel was originally built in the 1850s as a railroad tunnel through Afton Mountain, and in 2006, CSX Railroad sold the tunnel to Nelson County for the rock-bottom price of $1.00. A walk or bike ride through the cool tunnel could certainly beat the early fall heat!
Craft beverages abound in Nelson as well. Nelson is famous for its three craft beverage trails: Nelson 29 is Nelson’s newest trail, which has easy access to the Route 29 corridor and five wineries, and distillery, and a brewery. The Brew Ridge Trail, Nelson’s original beer trail, boasts five breweries. Nelson 151, located along route 151, has the largest number of potential stops- the trail is comprised of 4 breweries, 3 cideries, a distillery, and 6 wineries. The artisan brews, wines, and spirits made in the county draw enthusiasts from all over the world. Enjoy gorgeous fall views while you enjoy craft beverages!
For more information about fall fun in Nelson County, contact the Nelson County Visitors Center at 434-263-7015.
75 Top Hikes from the Smokies to the North Carolina High Country
Tucked away in the Southern Nantahala Mountains of Western North Carolina Franklin and Nantahala communities abundant with outdoor activities, history, beautiful scenery, and a small-town atmosphere that welcomes you in with open arms.
If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, Franklin and Nantahala give you opportunities to immerse yourself in nature’s paradise. Some of the oldest mountains in the world are right here
in western North Carolina. With hundreds of miles of hiking trails, scenic drives, world-class fly fishing, waterfalls, to name just a few, our way of life is perfect for a socially distant getaway for the whole family.
Franklin offers an historic downtown experience with local arts and crafts, 3 museums, North Carolina’s first Women’s History Trail, local dining, and more. Spend the days exploring the mountains and come in to town to wind down,
have a great meal, and do a little window shopping. Two craft breweries in town offer nightly entertainment in a wide-open family friendly environment.
Nantahala, Cherokee for “Land of the Noon Day Sun”, is home to Nantahala Lake and the Nantahala River. Both offer many opportunities for water sports from boating and paddling, to world class fly fishing and whitewater kayaking. Secluded cabin and lodge rentals offer visitors a quiet getaway or lakeside
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
Get The Best Of What Rural Virginia Has To Offer
Create a full day or weekend itinerary with a drive through the northern portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway in Shenandoah National Park. Then, after taking in the views, it’s a short drive into Shenandoah County, home to six unique and beautiful historic towns with plenty to offer.
Dine at fabulous restaurants and cafes, or visit one of our awardwinning vineyards or breweries for a relaxing afternoon. If you prefer
access for easy access to all the great outdoor adventures you’re sure to fall in love with.
For more information about the Franklin & Nantahala, NC please visit www. exploringwnc.com and Get to Know Your Mountainside in Nature’s Paradise!
more activity, there are great hiking trails, back roads for biking, public river access, and a four-season resort.
• History and Genealogy
• Extreme sports and leisurely strolls
• Unique attractions, antiques and artisan studios
• Charming Bed and Breakfasts and rustic camping
• Agricultural traditions with the freshest dining and markets
This special project has brought together community members, the wood products industry and Virginia Tech’s School of Architecture + Design faculty and students to create a concept that merges economic development with history and tourism.
The New River Train Observatory is the second phase of a vision conceived by a group of volunteers almost 10 years ago. With a donation from Norfolk Southern Corporation of 1.3 acres of land overlooking the historic New River and an active rail line, the Radford Heritage Foundation and the city’s Tourism Commission began
New River Train Observatory in Radford, VA
the park and its statue caught the attention of Virginia Tech professor Kay Edge, who also lives in Radford, and “suddenly we had a project beyond our wildest dreams,” says Cooney.
Edge says the observatory’s design is a great example of how low value Virginia hardwoods, such as yellow poplar, can be turned into high-value, high performance building products. The design has been honored by Virginia’s Blue Ridge Chapter of the
American Institute of Architects. Exhibits featuring Mary Draper Ingles and Radford’s railroad history can be seen at Glencoe Museum, located at 600 Unruh Drive in Radford, VA.
For additional information about things to do in Radford, see VisitRadford.com or contact the Radford Info & Welcome Center at info@VisitRadford.com
plans to develop the Mary Draper Ingles Cultural Heritage Park in honor of the colonial heroine.
“We decided the development would be in phases, and fundraising began immediately for a bronze statue of Ingles,” says Deborah Cooney, city tourism director. Mary’s story of capture and escape in 1755 from Native Americans during the French and Indian War is well known beyond Virginia, Cooney added.
Once the statue was dedicated in 2016, the group turned their attention to pursuing funds for a train observatory that would provide a close-up, dramatic view of the NS rail line. Media exposure for
Radford, VA is now the home of a unique railroad viewing platform designed and built by Virginia Tech graduate students on the grounds of Glencoe Mansion, Museum & Gallery.
Planning to hike or bike along the Blue Ridge Parkway?
Isn’t it Time for a Getaway?
Stop at one of the 13 Blue Ridge Parkway visitor centers on the parkway and ask for the Outdoor Guide.
The beautiful mountains and homegrown attractions available in the Wytheville, Virginia area make for an ideal autumn getaway with wide open spaces for natural social distancing. It’s one of the reasons why this small town has always been a great “off the Parkway” adventure location.
Scenic backroads offer an escape from the hustle-bustle of the interstates and a glimpse at unique businesses along the way. Local farms offer the beauty of harvest time as fields become blanketed with the orange of pumpkins. Many attractions offer music and crafts in the fall season as well as some spooky activities for all ages.
The remainder of 2020 offers two musicals on the stage of Wohlfahrt Haus Dinner Theatre.
From September 3 to October 25, celebrate the gift of life through music and song with “How Sweet
The holiday season rounds out this year’s productions with “A Country Christmas” playing from October 29 to December 31.
Recreational enthusiasts can check out Crystal Springs Recreation Area for the exhilarating hiking opportunities and breath-taking views. There’s plenty of flora and fauna for those young ones in your family to enjoy. New River
Trail State Park also offers a varied selection of trail-related and water sports for the entire family.
Don’t forget to include a safari in your plans. Cheeto the Giraffe and Rascal the Zebra are waiting to meet you at Fort Chiswell Animal Park.
This is merely a sampling of adventures you can enjoy this fall with a getaway to Wytheville. For more information, contact the Wytheville Convention & Visitors Bureau 1-877-347-8307, or visit www.VisitWytheville.com.
Wytheville, Virginia… There’s Only One.
Welcome Back to The Bluffs
After 10 years of waiting, Blue Ridge Parkway travelers can once again enjoy a home-style meal at The Bluffs Restaurant at Doughton Park, milepost 242. The first dining establishment to open on the scenic route is finally serving customers again.
The former coffee shop closed in 2010 after 61 years in operation, but loyal patrons never gave up on reviving the restaurant known for its delicious ham biscuits, pan-fried chicken, berry cobbler, and sweet potato pancakes.
Bringing The Bluffs back to life has truly been a journey. While sitting empty, the facility fell into a serious state of disrepair. Three years ago, the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation stepped in and began raising funds to restore the restaurant. A combination of donations from individuals and community foundations and support from the State of North Carolina and
Appalachian Regional Commission made the project possible. The rehab included a new roof, a reconstructed lunch counter, new ADA-compliant restrooms, a complete kitchen update, and much more.
During its decades in business, the interior of the facility remained largely unchanged. For the restoration of the 1949 building, new
interior fixtures and design upgrades were selected to replicate the original look and feel of the restaurant. For many visitors, The Bluffs will seem just as they remembered it, with green checkboard floors and the same Parkway photos hanging at opposite ends of the dining room.
Muddy Creek Enterprises, owners of the Muddy Creek Café
& Music Halls in Sparta and Winston-Salem, is operating the restaurant under an agreement with the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation. There are old favorites on the menu, including fried chicken, as well as new recipes, beer, and wine.
To learn more, visit BluffsRestaurant.org.
It’s Time to Visit The
Colorful Town of Floyd
Running on Floyd Time…
Floyd is as much a state of mind as it is a destination.
Floyd County is a haven of natural beauty renowned for our hospitality and for a vibrant culture of music, arts, local foods, wines and spirits, and outdoor adventure.
Along our 40 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway, explore the historic Mabry Mill, Rocky Knob, Smartview, and Rock Castle Gorge National Recreation Area.
At Milepost 165, head to the Town of Floyd, a key stop on The Crooked Road, Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail – with our celebrated Friday Night Jamboree when
streets overflow with musicians. Also enjoy live music from Thursday to Sunday.
Shop, dine, wine, explore at venues throughout the county. Hike to the panoramic view atop Buffalo Mountain Natural Area Preserve or kayak along the Little River. Let our history take you back to a simpler time of old mills and stone churches. You just may need to stay awhile – and a variety of unique lodging awaits you.photo by David Huff.
A HISTORY LOVER’S WEEKEND in
Patrick County, VA
For history lovers who want to get away and experience the simple life with a variety of historical points of interest, abundant natural beauty, and even wine tastings and luxury treatments, Patrick County, Virginia is your perfect destination. Here are all the must-see places to help you unplug, unwind, and step back in time
Ridge Parkway runs right through Meadows of Dan and is an easy hop on or off for a beautiful drive.
Meadows of Dan Village
On top of the mountain lies the charming village of Meadows of Dan. Here, you will find local home-style cooking as well as many unique places to shop. Poor Farmers Market offers a variety of quirky treasures and gifts as well as locally produced honey, jams, produce, and more. Concord Corner Store offers an expanse of high quality, local artisan crafts such as large quilts, household woodworks, local wines, jewelry, Moroccan lamps, lace dream catchers, and more. Nancy’s Candy Company is a working candy factory with its own delightful storefront. Inside, you can look through the windows and watch your candy being made. Indulge in a variety of fudge, chocolates, gummies, and more. The Blue
One of the oldest mills in Patrick County is Cockram Mill. Built-in 1885, this grist mill sits on the banks of the Dan River headwaters. The mill was also once the home of the Dan River Queen, a passenger riverboat that offered tours along the water. The Queen can still be seen today laid to rest beside the mill. The most famous mill in the area is by far Mabry Mill, located North of the village on the Blue Ridge Parkway. This grist mill, builtin 1908, is the most photographed spot on the Parkway. In the warmer months, visitors can go inside the mill and tour the other buildings on the property to learn about the
skills and trades of the time. There is also a restaurant and gift shop on the property. In the winter months, the grounds are still open to visitors without tours or restaurant hours.
Rock Churches of the Blue Ridge
Made famous by the book The Man Who Moved A Mountain by Richard C. Davids, Patrick County is home to two of the five beautiful Rock Churches in the area. Mayberry Presbyterian Church (1925) and Slate Mountain Presbyterian Church (1932), both in Meadows of Dan, were built by Rev. Robert Childress from the stone of the Blue Ridge Mountains. You can take a three-hour “Backroads Tours” of all five churches created by The Mountain Laurel.
Patrick County is rich in history, travelers have the opportunity to step back in time, enjoy wide open green spaces and experience the simple life. For more information log onto visitpatrickcounty.org
Eat, Shop, Play, and Stay!
Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, Patrick County is a jewel of a destination, offering activities for the whole family.
Drive the Blue Ridge Parkway, tap your toes to traditional mountain music along the Crooked Road Music Trail, tour our wineries— Stanburn and Villa Appalaccia. Enjoy a sun-filled day at the Fairy Stone State Park, the Gordon Trent Golf Course, or one of our eight annual festivals. History buffs can browse our local museum, visit Jack’s Creek Covered Bridge, tour our stone churches, step into the Victorian era at the Reynolds Homestead or at the Civil War Reenactment at Laurel Hill, the birthplace of Gen. J.E.B. Stuart. A variety of restaurants and local stores awaits you. And after a long day, relax in luxury at our 5 star Primland Resort, settle in at one of our cabins in the country or a locally owned bed and breakfast.
HIGH COUNTRY FALL COLOR GUIDE
Looking for the perfect time to visit and see the brightest, boldest leaf color in the Boone, Blowing Rock, Banner Elk, Beech Mountain, Sugar Mountain, West Jefferson, Wilkesboro area? Check out the resources below. For more fall color road trip planning advice, call the High Country Regional Visitor Center at 828264-1299 or view our fall color guide at MountainsofNC.com
PEAK LEAF COLOR FORECAST BY ELEVATION
Leaf color prediction forecasts are done based on elevation. Higher elevations will see color earlier due to the cooler temperatures. Some things to consider that effect leaf color is the amount of rain, wind and heat the High Country receives during September and October. That is something we cannot predict! Here is a breakdown by elevation:
Last Week of September6,000 Elevation (Mt Mitchell, Grandfather Mountain)
1st Week of October- 5,000
Elevation (Beech Mountain, Rough Ridge Trail MP 302.9)
2nd Week of October- 4,000 Elevation (Banner Elk, Sugar Mountain, Jumpingoff Rocks Trail MP 260.3)
3rd Week of October- 3,000
Elevation (Boone, Blowing Rock, West Jefferson, Price Lake MP 297)
4th Week of October- 2,000
Elevation (Wilkesboro, Stone Mountain State Park, Yadkin Valley Overlook MP 289.8)
CURRENT COLOR REPORTS
Here is a list of websites that are updated daily or weekly with current fall color conditions:
ASU FALL COLOR GUY
Read weekly fall color reports written by Appalachian State University’s Department of Biology. You can also view his Fall Color Map and essays on the science of fall leaf color. Visit: biology.appstate.edu/fall-colors
View a weekly updated Southeast region map of current fall color conditions. Visit: foliagenetwork.com
Starting late September, the most popular outdoor attraction of the High Country will start posting daily photos of the current fall
color. This is a great way to gauge the color change along the High Country section of the Blue Ridge Parkway!
Experience the Magic This Holiday Season!
All Aboard the Polar Express!™ departing Bryson City, NC for the North Pole, November 8 – December 31. As you drive into town, you’ll be awed by over 200,000 Christmas lights and decorated lampposts, stores, bridges, and trees including the 60-foot Town Christmas Tree. There are group photo ops at Caboose Corner and the
Depot. Don’t forget to wear your pajamas! The Polar Express experience begins as soon as you arrive at the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad Depot. A spectacular synchronized music and light show will entertain you as you wait to board the train.
All train cars have white rope lighting that illuminates the landscape as the train travels to pick up Santa at the North Pole Village. Along the way, you’ll sing some Christmas carols, and enjoy warm cocoa
and a treat, while listening to this magical children’s story. This is a high-energy interactive experience with conductors, chefs, waiters, and dancing elves. Santa is waiting at the North Pole, where he’ll board the train, and greet each child, giving them their own silver sleigh bell. 1-1/4 hour round trip. 800872-4681 or visit GSMR.com.
Please Note - Due to COVID-19 Polar Express is currently booking at 50% capacity; and will follow an in-depth cleaning and sanitizing plan between every train. Staff will take extra steps to sanitize clean and keep all passengers safe and entertained. As of this date all passengers must wear face coverings and practice social distancing in compliance with the executive order of the North Carolina Governor.
When you’re ready, Hendersonville has your TASTING PASSPORT
Hendersonville, North Carolina, continues to grow as a destination for handcrafted beverages. With 17 stops, the Hendersonville Cheers! Trail brings together breweries, wineries, cideries and one meadery and allows visitors to create their own tasting itineraries.
Pick out a few spots that pique your interest and journey along mountain backroads to the tasting rooms. Have a seat at the bar and talk with knowledgeable staff members with an evident passion for what they pour. Take a tour of the facility and learn how apples are pressed into a clean,
crisp cider or how different kinds of hops emit various aromas and bring out certain flavors in a beer. Overlook rolling vineyards where grapes hang heavy and await harvest in the fall.
Hendersonville recently introduced the Cheers! Trail Passport, another incentive to sip your way to multiple stops. Purchase a passport at the Visitor Center in downtown Hendersonville, where you can also pick up a Cheers! Trail brochure with a map. Receive stamps in your passport as you explore the trail, and once you have a dozen, return the passport
for a prize. Oct. 2-4 has been designated Cheers! Trail Passport Weekend, so each destination along the trail will offer extra perks for passport holders.
As apple season arrives, tons of fresh apples travel from local orchards to cideries. At Bold Rock Hard Cider, visitors can smell the sweet juice in the apple pressing barn and sample the finished product in the tasting room.
Last year, Hendersonville received federal designation as Crest of the Blue Ridge American Viticultural Area. The distinction means specific growing conditions in this area
are well suited for wine grapes. Six wineries now specialize in producing high-quality dry wines. The Cheers! Trail includes nine breweries, from the mom-and-pop farm brewery known as Sideways to the East Coast headquarters of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., each location has its own style.
A fall journey along the Cheers! Trail allows visitors to set their own pace, enjoy beverages in the open air and safely social distance.
To plan your tasting tour, go to www.CheersTrail.org or call (800) 828-4244.
seven-mile Dark Mountain Trail
W. Kerr Scott Dam & Reservoir...they have it all
biking, and bird watching. Visitors will relish the harvest of the local vineyards, wineries, orchards, and fresh vegetables and handmade crafts sold at the downtown farmers’ markets. MerleFest, The Blue Ridge Music Hall of Fame, Carolina In the Fall, Faith Fest, Brushy Mountain Apple Festival, all featuring
Pick a reason to Explore Wilkes! Located in the Yadkin Valley where outdoor beauty and recreation thrives. Mountain streams, rivers, and lakes are 336-838-8662
featured throughout the tall trees and lush green valleys as visitors enjoy fly fishing, boating, canoeing and kayaking. Wilkes is a host to multiple trails for walking, hiking,
the best of Americana, Gospel, Bluegrass, Beach, and mountain heritage music. Quiet, modern, and private accommodations hosting multiple hotel rooms, secluded cabins, and picturesque campsites are accessible and affordable. Visit www.ExploreWilkes. com – you’ll like what you see.
THE STORY OF SEQUOYAH
Visitors to the Sequoyah Birthplace Museum will experience the life of the man Sequoyah – father, soldier, silversmith, statesman and creator of the Cherokee writing system.
Sequoyah was born circa 1776 at the village of Tuskeegee, which was very near where the Museum is today. His father was Nathaniel Gist, a Virginia fur trader. His mother was Wut-teh, daughter of a Cherokee Chief.
Sequoyah married a Cherokee, had a family and was a silversmith by trade. Sequoyah and other Cherokees enlisted on the side of the United States under General
Andrew Jackson to fight the British troops and the Creek Indians in the war of 1812. Although Sequoyah was exposed to the concept of writing early in his life, he never learned the English alphabet. He began to toy with the idea of literacy for the Cherokee people. Unlike the white soldiers, he and the other Cherokees were not able to write letters home, read military orders, or record events as they occurred. After the war, he began in earnest to create a writing system for the Cherokees. When he returned home after the war, he began to make the symbols that could make words.
He finally reduced the thousands of Cherokee thoughts to 85 symbols representing sounds. He made a game of this new writing systems and taught his little girl Ayoka how to make the symbols.
In 1821, after 12 years working on the new language, he and his daughter introduced his syllabary to the Cherokee people. Within a few months thousands of Cherokees became literate.
The Sequoyah Birthplace Museum, a property of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, strives to promote the understanding and
appreciation of the history of the Cherokee people. The Museum is located on the shores of beautiful Tellico Lake, less about an hour south of Knoxville, TN. It was built in 1986, was recently renovated and a new exhibit installed in 2018.
More information on visiting: www.sequoyahmuseum.org
Never before or since, in the history of the world, has one man not literate in any language, perfected a system for reading and writing a language.
A WanderLOVE Road Trip through Lexington & Rockbridge County, Virginia
Route 11 is an historic northto-south artery through the Shenandoah Valley. Below the asphalt, wagon ruts and paths served as a migration route for Native Americans, Scots-Irish settlers, and even animals. Thankfully, the views remain much the same now as they were then: the Blue Ridge Mountains to the east and the Alleghany Highlands to the west with miles of bounty between.
Just off Route 11 in Raphine are unspoiled, tucked away places to visit. Pick up Route 606 to stretch your legs and learn some of the early history of mechanical reaper inventor Cyrus McCormick at his family farm and mill. Beyond lies Rockbridge Vineyard and their award-winning wines, one of which sits in the 2020 Virginia Governor’s Case. Further still is Wade’s Mill, Virginia’s oldest continuously operating commercial grist mill, still grinding bags of flour daily.
Continue along Route 606 to pick up Route 252 toward Brownsburg, an historic district on the National Register of Historic Places featuring early 19th century homes and buildings. The community run Brownsburg Museum is currently exhibiting “Cradle to Coffin: Remembering the Country Store,” an
immersive experience into the heart of a rural necessity. Make a reservation to explore by calling 774-279-9742.
Route 710 leads back to Route 11 and the Village of Fairfield, a community of historic homes and churches, plus 3 Seasons Antiques and Rockbridge County’s favorite quilt shop – The Quiltery. Continue south toward Lexington to find the iconic 1950s Hull’s Drive-In Theatre. It is the nation’s first communityowned theatre and presents films Thursday through Saturday, March through October. Next door is Lexington Coffee Roasters, one of the 12 best coffee roasters in the United States, according to Forbes. Their outdoor espresso bar is perfect for a beautiful fall afternoon.
For more great beverages, consider stopping to soak in the mountain views while savoring a flight of craft beer at Devils Backbone Outpost Tap Room & Kitchen. Curbside pickup is available as is limited, reserved indoor and outdoor seating.
Following Route 11 business leads you into the heart of Lexington, settled in 1778. The architecture of downtown has been preserved to include features like the Juliet balconies on Main.
If only cornices, moldings, and handmade bricks could talk …
The best way to get an overview of historic downtown is to hop aboard a narrated tour with Lexington Carriage Company. The horse-drawn carriage loops through town with the driver giving historical facts and fun stories along the way. For more history, make a reservation for an evening walking tour with Haunted Tales: Lexington’s Ghost Tour. Who knows what or who you might see along the way.
Farm fresh meals are available for carry out, patio dining, or limited indoor dining throughout downtown. Look for the PACT logo wherever you go to easily identify businesses promising to put your health and wellbeing first in the fight against COVID-19.
Continue driving south on Route 11 to find Layne’s Country Store. After seeing the “Cradle to Coffin” exhibit at Brownsburg Museum, you should visit an operational country store still serving neighbors and passersby. From hoop cheese and jams to fresh produce and a wide assortment of drinks and nostalgia, you are likely to add this stop to any future trips.
Whether you have kids in the car or not, a stop at Virginia Safari Park is the kind of good you need in your life. Buy a bucket of feed, roll
the windows down, and meet the bison, camels, and zebras. Head to Village Walk-Thru to see kangaroos, feed giraffe eye to eye, pet the farm animals, shoulder a Budgie, and watch the big cats nap in the sun.
Let down your hair and allow your imagination to float adrift while you visit Dinosaur Kingdom II, a Mark Cline attraction that portrays dinosaur-riding Union soldiers colliding with Confederates in an epic battle no one saw coming. Even Abraham Lincoln has a part to play in this not-so-accurate depiction of the 1860s in America.
The deepest caverns on the East Coast are the Caverns at Natural Bridge. Tours are offered every 60 minutes and last approximately 45 minutes. Sturdy shoes are suggested to help you maneuver the pathways.
The last stop on your fall road trip through Lexington and Rockbridge County is the iconic Natural Bridge.
As the centerpiece of Natural Bridge State Park, the 215-foot natural limestone arch is a physical gateway to additional natural features like Lost River and Lace Falls. Be sure to take photos and selfies; this is the one stop you’ll definitely want to capture.
For more information and WanderLOVE inspiration, visit LexingtonVirginia.com.
ENJOY THE FALL SEASON IN SEVIERVILLE, TENNESSEE
For a few glorious weeks, autumn crowns the Smoky Mountains with spectacular color. It’s a sight well worth traveling to see – especially when you take a few roads less traveled. This year consider an alternative scenic drive with plenty of foliage on one of Sevierville, Tennessee’s four self-guided fall driving tours.
Peak season for leaf viewing is typically mid-October through mid-November. For those seeking a fall experience they’ve not enjoyed before, Sevierville’s four self-guided fall foliage tours offer little known points of interest and beautiful views. Sevierville’s Middle Prong Fall Driving Tour winds its way through the Smoky Mountain foothills after beginning
at the iconic Dolly Parton statue in downtown Sevierville. Those driving the tour will enjoy stops at a Civil War battleground, swinging bridge views, stops at historical churches and more. The English Mountain Fall Driving Tour offers stops at a historic cemetery, an old grist mill and a historic covered bridge. The Boyd’s Creek driving tour winds through rolling foothills with views of an old schoolhouse, a historic plantation and a molasses
mill. The newest tour travels to Douglas Lake for spectacular views. Along the way, the tour suggests stops at a local artist’s gallery, a corn maze located on a Tennessee Century Farm, and Douglas Dam.
To learn more about visiting Sevierville, Tennessee this fall, or to discover more about all four fall driving tours, go online to VisitSevierville.com/fall.
WELCOME FALL in Pigeon Forge
Chilly nights, brilliant foliage, delicious seasonal treats, and more await visitors in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee this autumn. Located in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, this small town offers big fall fun for friends and families looking to get away and travel responsibly.
Within driving distance of most of the southeast region, Pigeon Forge is home to award-winning shows, outdoor attractions, locally inspired restaurants and the Smokies painted red, orange and yellow for fall.
Visitors can embrace the colorful foliage with a hike or car ride through Great Smoky Mountains National Park and a cabin stay set among the trees. Fall colors also can be enjoyed throughout Pigeon Forge at many outdoor attractions like The Great Smoky Mountain Observation Wheel at The Island in
Pigeon Forge. The 200-foot tall wheel offers 360-degree views of Pigeon Forge and the surrounding Smoky Mountains from its all-glass gondolas.
Dollywood welcomes the fall season with its Harvest Festival beginning Sept. 25. The festival includes Great Pumpkin LumiNights where guests can explore the craftsmanship of world-class artisans, largerthan-life pumpkin displays, and seasonal food and beverage treats. Additionally, the park’s Southern Gospel Jubilee celebrates Southern gospel with more than 500 concerts throughout the park (concerts are free with admission). This year’s Harvest Festival ends Oct. 31. While in town, visitors also can stroll through the Old Mill Historic District. Travelers can get a head start on their holiday shopping with charming shops like the Old Mill General Store, with products made
on-site, Old Mill Pigeon River Pottery, for handmade pottery pieces, and Sassafras, for unique accessories. The Old Mill Restaurant and Pottery House Café offer travelers a way to enjoy freshly made Southern favorites including recipes made with grain milled on-site and served on pottery created in the neighboring shop.
Make plans now to visit Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and don’t forget to see a show at one of several theaters while you’re there. With more than 14,500 overnight accommodations to choose from, you can easily extend your stay into a long weekend. For more information on these and other fall offerings in Pigeon Forge, please visit www.MyPigeonForge.com.
Alleghany County, NC…
A great place to visit, an even better place to live.
Allegany County, North Carolina, is in the Heart of the Blue Ridge Parkway and offers something for every age, for every season. If you are looking for mild summer days or if you dream of being surrounded by the endless colors of Autumn, Alleghany is the place to be.
Alleghany County is rich in natural beauty with the Blue Ridge Parkway, hiking trails, the New River and serene unspoiled landscapes as far as the eye can see. Enjoy peaceful drives freckled with local farms, picket fences, and lush stretches of forests. Take a deep breath and take in the simplicity of rural living.
Relax and unwind as you canoe, tube or fish on the New River, as you walk the counties
winding trails or down its town sidewalks. Enjoy everything from nearby state parks, to the local down-home fun of the demolition derby or annual mudsling.
Alleghany shares its heritage through art, music, festivals and events. Hear the sound of local and regional music as it fills the air, test your endurance and skills with outdoor cycling and relay events, attend festivals that honor our farmers, artists, and crafters, and embrace the opportunity to get wrapped up in storytelling, theater and writing.
Enjoy a delicious meal in one of Alleghany’s restaurants where you can find a wide range of cultures and flavors. Complementing the culinary selections, is a local winery
and brewery. Imagine this experience daily. Imagine finding your place among the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains right in the Heart of the Blue Ridge Parkway. When you can work from anywhere, why not live among unspoiled views and quiet solitude. When you want to be on a road less traveled, but still need to stay connected…why not live where life is still simple, the air is clean and the stars are brighter. Visit, relax, escape and imagine calling Alleghany County “home”.
Stop by the Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center at 58 South Main Street, Sparta, NC! You can also visit the website at www.alleghanychamber. org where you can access the community calendar.
The Blue Ridge Digest can be found at these regional visitor’s centers!
Blairsville/Union CoUnty ChamBer
129 Union County Rec Rd. • Blairsville, GA 30512 (706) 745-5789
Fannin CoUnty ChamBer oF CommerCe
152 Orvin Lance Dr • Blue Ridge, GA 30513 (706) 632-5680
raBUn CoUnty WelCome Center
232 Hwy 441 North, POB 750 Clayton, Georgia 30525; (706) 782-4812 www.gamountains.com/rabun
toWns CoUnty visitor Center 1411 Jack Dayton Circle Young Harris, GA 30582 (706) 896-4966 • www.mountaintopga.com
alleghany Co. ChamBer oF CommerCe
58 S. Main, POB 1237 BRD Sparta, NC 28675; (800) 372-5473 www.sparta-nc.com
andreWs rest stop
50 Cover St / US 19 • Andrews, NC 28902 www.visitcherokeecounty.com
ashe CoUnty ChamBer & visitor Center
1 N. Jefferson Ave, P.O. Box 31 West Jefferson, NC 28694
(336) 846-9550 • www.ashechamber.com
avery CoUnty ChamBer oF CommerCe
4501 Tynecastle Hwy • Unit 2 Banner Elk, NC 28604 (800) 972-2183 • www.averycounty.com
Banner elk visitor Center 100 Main Street West Banner Elk, NC 28604
(828) 898-8395 • www.bannerelk.org
BeeCh moUntain ChamBer oF CommerCe 403A Beech Mountain Parkway
Beech Mtn, NC 28604
(800) 468-5506 • www.beechmtn.com
BlaCk moUntain ChamBer oF CommerCe
201 E. State St. • Black Mountain, NC 28711 (828) 669-2300
BloWing roCk ChamBer oF CommerCe
132 Park Ave • Blowing Rock NC 28605
BlUe ridge parkWay visitor Center
195 Hemphill Knob Rd • Asheville, NC 28803 828-298-5330
Boone area ChamBer oF CommerCe
870 W King St. Suite A • Boone, NC 28607
(828) 264-2225 • www.VisitBooneNC.com
Bryson City ChamBer oF CommerCe
210 Main Street • Bryson City, NC 28713
(828) 488-3681 • www.greatsmokies.com
BUrke CoUnty travel & toUrism
110 E. Meeting Street Morganton, NC 28655 (828) 433-6793
CaldWell CoUnty visitor Center
1909 Hickory Blvd. SE Lenoir, NC 28645
Cashiers area ChamBer oF CommerCe
202 U.S. 64, POB 238 BRD Cashiers, NC 28717
(828) 743-5191 • www.cashiers-nc.com
CataWBa CoUnty visitor Center 1055 Southgate Parkway SW Hickory, NC 28602
Cherokee CoUnty visitor Center 20 Tennessee Street, Murphy, NC 28906 828-557-2583 www.visitcherokeecountync.com
Cherokee CoUnty WelCome Center 805 W. US 64 Murphy, NC 28906; (828) 837-2242 www.cherokeecountychamber.com
Cherokee WelCome Center P.O. Box 460 • 498 Tsalis Rd. Cherokee, NC 28719
(800) 438-1601 • www.cherokee-nc.com
Clay CoUnty ChamBer oF CommerCe 96 Sanderson St • Hayesville, NC 28904; (828) 389-3704 www.claycounty-nc-chamber.com
davie CoUnty ChamBer oF CommerCe 135 S. Salisbury St. Mocksville, NC 27028-2337 (336) 751-3304 • www.mocksville.org
Franklin area ChamBer oF CommerCe 98 Hyatt Rd. Franklin • NC 28734 (888) 439-park • www.franklin-chamber.com
gaston CoUnty visitor Center 620 N. Main Street • Belmont, NC 28012 704-825-4044. www.visitgaston.org
greensBoro visitor Center
2411 West Gate City Blvd
Greensboro, NC 27403
hayWood ChamBer oF CommerCe
28 Walnut St. • Waynesville, NC 28786
hendersonville visitor Center
201 S. Main St • Hendersonville, NC 28792
hiCkory metro CvB
1680 13th Ave Dr. SE • Hickory, NC 28602
800 509 2444 • www.hickorymetro.com
highlands ChamBer oF CommerCe
108 Main St., P. O. Box 404 Highlands, NC 28741 (828) 526-2112
JaCkson CoUnty ChamBer oF CommerCe
773 W. Main Street • Sylva, NC 28779 (800) 962-1911 • www.mountainlovers.com
Jonesville WelCome Center
1503 NC Hwy 67W Jonesville, NC 28642 • (336) 526-1111
madison CoUnty visitor Center
56 S. Main Street • Mars Hill, NC 28754 (828) 680-9031
maggie valley ChamBer oF CommerCe
2791 Soco Road, POB 279 Maggie Valley, NC 28751 (800) MAGGIE-1 • www.maggievalley.org
mCdoWell CoUnty visitor Center 1170 W. Tate St. • Marion, NC 28752 (828) 652-4240 • www.McDowellNC.org
mitChell Co. ChamBer oF CommerCe 79 Parkway Rd • Spruce Pine, NC 28777 704-765-2761 www.mitchell-county.com
moUnt airy visitor Center
200 N. Main St. • Mt. Airy, NC 27030 (800) 948-0949 • www.visitmayberry.com
moUnt mitChell state park 2388 State Hwy. 128 • Burnsville, NC 28714 (828) 675-4611
nW nC visitor Center 2121 East US Hwy 421 North WIlkesboro, NC 28659 (336) 667-1259
nC high CoUntry host visitor Center 6370 US HWY 321 South, Blowing Rock, NC 28605 (800) 438-7500 • www.mountainsofnc.com
old Fort visitor Center
91 S. Catawba Ave • Old Fort, NC 28762 (888) 233-6111 • www.visitmcdowell.com
piedmont triad visitor Center 700 NC Hwy 700 • Pelham, NC 27311 (800) 388-9830
polk CoUnty visitor Center 20 E. Mills St. • Columbus, NC 28722 (800) 440-7848
smoky moUntain host oF nC, inC 4437 Georgia Rd. • Franklin, NC 28734 (800) 432-4678 • www.visitsmokies.org
sprUCe pine visitor Center 165 Locust St. • Spruce Pine, NC 28777 (828) 765-7008
statesville Convention & visitors BUreaU 118 W Broad St • Statesville, NC 28687 (704) 878-3480 or (877) 531-1819 www.visitstatesville.org
CoUnty visitor Center
1110 Soco Rd • Maggie Valley, NC 28751 (800) 334-9036 www.visitncsmokies.com
Wilkes CoUnty ChamBer oF CommerCe 717 Main St., PO Box 727 BRD N. Wilkesboro, NC 28659 (336) 838-8662 • www.wilkesnc.org
Winston-salem visitor Center 200 Brookstown Ave, Winston-Salem, NC 27101 336-728-4205 • VisitWinstonSalem.com
yadkin valley visitor Center 116 East Market St. • Elkin, NC 28621 (336) 526-1111 • www.yadkinvalley.org
yanCey CoUnty ChamBer oF CommerCe 106 W. Main St. • Burnsville, NC 28714 (800) 948-1632 • www.yanceychamber.com
ClairBorne Co. ChamBer oF CommerCe 1732 Main St., Suite 1 • Tazewell, TN 37879 (423) 626-4149 • www.clairbornecounty.com
elizaBethton visitor Center 500 Veterans Memorial Parkway Elizabethton, TN 37644 (423) 547-3850 • www.tourelizabethton.com
greene Co. partnership/CoB
115 Academy St. • Greeneville, TN 37743 (423) 638-4111
117 Boone St. Jonesborough •TN 37659 (423) 423-753-1010 • Toll Free: 866-401-4223
Johnson City visitor Center 603 E. Main St. Johnson City • TN 37605; (423) 926-2141 • www.johnsoncitytn.com
Johnson CoUnty WelCome Center 716 S. Shady St. (Hwy. 421S) Mountain City, TN 37683 (423) 727-5800 • firstname.lastname@example.org
kingsport visitor Center 151 E. Main St., POB 1403 BRD Kingsport, TN 37662 (423) 392-8820
loUdon CoUnty visitor BUreaU 1075 US Hwy 321 • Lenoir City, TN 37771 (865) 968-3662 • www.visitloudoncounty.com
pigeon Forge visitor Center
1950 N. Parkway, POB 1390 BRD Pigeon Forge, TN 37868 (800) 251-9100 • mypigeonforge.com
smoky mtn visitor Center 3540 Line Drive • Kodak, TN 37764
The Blue Ridge Digest can be found at these regional visitor’s centers!
toWnsend visitor Center
7609 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway, Townsend, TN 37882.
800-525-6834 • www.smokymountains.org
UniCoi visitor Center
106 Unicoi Village Place PO Box 39 Erwin, TN 37692
www.unicoitn.net • 423-735-0426
1908 CoUrthoUse visitor Center
107 E Main St. • Independence VA 24348 (276) 773-2471
alBemarle toUrism & adventUre Center
5791 Three Notched Rd • Crozet, VA 22932 (434) 906-2713
appomattox visitor Center
214 Main Street. PO Box 246 Appomattox, VA 24522
(434) 352-8999 • historicappomattox.com
aBingdon visitor Center
335 Cummings St. • Abingdon, VA 24210
(800) 435-3440 • www.abingdon.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
BUena vista visitor Center
595 E. 19th St. • Buena Vista, VA 24417
(540) 261-2880 • buena-vista.va.us.com
Carroll CoUnty visitor Center
231 Farmers Market Rd, Hillsville • VA 24343
(888) 785-2782 • (276) 730-3100
Charlottesville visitor Center
610 East Main St • Charlottesville, VA 22902
(434) 293-6789 • (434) 970-3641
CUlpeper visitor Center
111 S. Commerce St. • Culpeper, VA 22701
Phone: (540) 727-0611 Toll Free: 844-490-2577. www.visitculpeperva.com
danville visitor Center
645 River Park Dr • Danville, VA 24540 (434) 793-4636 • www.visitdanville.com
disCovery Center at mill moUntain
roanoke’s mill moUntain
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
City oF galax toUrism department
110 East Grayson St. • Galax, VA 24333 276-238-8130 www.visitgalax.com
greene CoUnty eConomiC development & toUrism
9157 Seminole Trail, Suite 2 Ruckersville, VA 22968
hardesty-higgins hoUse visitor Center
212 S. Main St • Harrisonburg, VA 22801
lexington visitor Center
106 E. Washington St. • Lexington, VA 24450
(540) 463-3777 • www.lexingtonvirginia.com
loUdoUn CoUnty toUrism
112 South Street • Leesburg, VA 20175
(865) 968-3662 • www.visitloudon.org
lUray/page CoUnty ChamBer
18 Campbell St. • Luray, VA 22835 (540) 743-3915 • www.luraypage.com
lynChBUrg regional inFormation Center
216 12th St. at Church St. Lynchburg, VA 24505
(800) 732-5821 • www.discoverlynchburg.org
madison CoUnty visitor Center
110A N. Main St. • Madison, VA 22727 (540) 948-4455 • www.madison-va.com
martinsville-henry CoUnty visitor Center
191 Fayette St. • Martinsville, VA 24112 (888) 722-3498 • www.visitmartinsville.com
nelson CoUnty visitor Center
8519 Thomas Nelson Hwy., Lovingston, VA 22949 (800) 282-8223 • www.Nelsoncounty.com
orange Co. visitor’s Center
122 East Main St. • Orange, VA 22960 (877) 222-8072 • www.visitorangevirginia.com
patriCk CoUnty ChamBer oF CommerCe 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 • email@example.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
roanoke visitor inFormation Center
101 Shenandoah Ave., NE Roanoke VA 24016 (800) 635-5535 • www.visitvablueridge.com
roCkFish gap-WaynesBoro visitor Center
130 Afton Circle • Afton, VA 22920 (540) 943-5187 • www.visitwaynesboro.net
salem visitor Center
1001 Boulevard @ Civic Center Salem, VA 24153; (888) 827-2536 www.visitsalem.com
shenandoah CoUnty toUrism
600 N. Main St, Ste 101 Woodstock, VA 22664 888-367-3965 • visitshenandoahcounty.com
gateWay to shenandoah visitor Center at hUpp’s hill Civil War park and mUseUm 33229 Old Valley Pike • Strasburg, VA 22657 540-465-9197 • strasburgva.com
smith moUntain lake visitor Center
16430 Booker T. Washington Hwy. #2 Moneta. VA 24121
smyth CoUnty visitor Center 408 Whitetop Rd. • Chilhowie, VA 24319 (276) 646-3306
staUnton travel inFormation Center 1290 Richmond Rd. (I-81 Exit 222) Staunton, VA 24401 • (540) 332-3972
staUnton visitor’s Center 35 South New St. • Staunton,VA 24401 540-332-3971 • www.VisitStaunton.com
tazeWell CoUnty visitor Center 163 Walnut St • Bluefield, 24605 (276) 322-1345
virginia teCh visitor Center 925 Prices Fork Rd. • Blacksburg, VA 24061 (540) 231-3548 • firstname.lastname@example.org
Western highlands visitor Center 241 W. Main St. • Covington, VA 24426 (540) 962-2178
WinChester-FrederiCk CoUnty CvB 1400 S. Pleasant Valley Rd. Winchester, VA 22601 (877) 871-1326 • www.visitwinchesterva.com
Wytheville CvB 975 Tazewell St. • Wytheville, VA 24382 (276) 223-3355 • Toll free (877) 347-8307 www.visitWytheville.com
West virginia WelCome Center 37 Washington Court at US 340 Harpers Ferry, WV 25435 (866) -HELLO-WV • www.hello-wv.com
CUmBerland gap nhp visitor Center US 25E South • Middlesboro, KY 40965 (606) 248-2817
Mountain Lodging Food Fun
NORTH CAROLINA ASHEVILLE, NC
Asheville East KOA-Exit 59 off I-40 big rigs & tenters welcome. Wooded sites, with pool, lake & river fishing. 800-562-5907 or (828) 6863121. 2708 Hwy 70E, Swannanoa, NC 28778. www.ashevilleeastkoa.com
Asheville West KOA-Exit 37 off I-40 Something for everyone, RV’s, tenters, cabins. In foothills, wooded sites, hiking trails, pool. (800) 5629015. 309 Wiggins Rd., Candler, NC 28715. www.ashevillekoa.com
Bear Creek RV Park - Exit Rt. 191 from Parkway; I-40 Exit 47; or I-26 Exit 2. 3 miles north of Parkway off Rt. 191. 5 mins. Biltmore House. 90 full hookups, paved sites, pool, laundry. Open year round. (800) 833-0798 www.ashevillebearcreek.com.
Adjacent to The Omni Grove Park Inn is one of Asheville’s hidden gems. Known today as Grovewood Village, this historic site is home to Grovewood Gallery, working artist studios, the Biltmore Industries Homespun Museum, an antique car museum, and Golden Fleece restaurant. Free parking on-site. www.grovewood.com. (828) 253-7651.
Mast Store – 15 Biltmore Ave., Downtown Asheville. Dating to the 1940s, find home décor, camping gear, shoes, clothing, and hundreds of favorite candies. www.MastStore.com 828-232-1883
Rug & Home - Over 20,000 oriental rugs & home accessories. Finest rugs from India, China, Pakistan, Persia, Turkey, Egypt, Karastan, Milliken. Tapestries, needlepoints, oil paintings, antique furniture, brass, crystal, & Tiffany lamps, mirrors. Local & national artists. Sculptures and fine porcelain. Located at I-26, exit 33 behind Ethan Allen. Open 7 days. (828) 667-4585.
BANNER ELK, NC
Smoke Tree Lodge - 12 miles south of Boone on Hwy 105. Nestled at the foot of Grandfather Mtn. Condo-apts, heated indoor pool, ESPN, Jacuzzi, saunas. (800) 422-1880. www.smoketreelodge.com
CHIMNEY ROCK, NC
Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park - More than a Rock, it’s a Mountain of Possibilities. Six unique hiking trails. 404-foot waterfall. 26-story elevator inside mountain. Woodland animal programs and exhibits. Pet friendly. Old Rock Café overlooking the river. Open all year. 40 min SE of Asheville. 828-625-9611. ChimneyRockPark.com
BLOWING ROCK, NC
Alpine Village Inn - 297 Sunset Dr. Quaint cozy rooms & suites in the heart of town. AC, CCTV, & phones, WiFi complimentary. Some fireplaces & Jacuzzi. Pet friendly rooms. www.alpine-village-inn.com (828) 295-7206.
Blowing Rock Art & History Museum - Free admission, open year round. Must-see destination for visual art & Appalachian heritage. www.BlowingRockMuseum.org. 159 Ginny Stevens Ln (828) 295-9099.
Hemlock Inn & Suites - 134 Morris St. Downtown Blowing Rock. 1/2 mile to Parkway. Open year round. Walk to shops and restaurants. (828) 295-7987. www.hemlockinn.net.
Village Inns of Blowing RockNo Smoking, Wi-Fi/Breakfast. Suites/ Cottages/Rooms. Some Pet Friendly Rooms. (828) 295-3001
Foscoe Rentals - Cabins, Condos and Vacation homes centrally located to Boone, Banner Elk and Blowing Rock. (800) 723-7341. www.foscoerentals.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: email@example.com.
KOA Kampground - From Boone, 194N 3 miles. Left on Ray Brown Rd. 1 mile. Beautiful view. Rec room, mini golf, laundry. 123 Harmony Mtn. Lane, Boone, NC 28607. 828-264-7250.
Mast Store – 630 W King St., Downtown Boone. Built in the 1920s, this charming store is filled with most everything you need for life: clothing, trail & travel gear, old-fashioned candy. www.MastStore.com. 828-262-0000
NC High Country Host Visitor Center- 6370 US HWY 321 South Blowing Rock, NC 28605; (800) 4387500 www.mountainsofnc.com
Alpine Village 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.
Mast Store – 527 N Main St., Downtown Hendersonville. Built in 1905 and embodying the essence of the era, this store is packed with clothing, gift ideas, country gourmet foods, & more! 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
Grandfather MountainGrandfather’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 eyeto-eye with native wildlife in natural habitats and interact with our friendly, knowledgeable staff. One mile from Blue Ridge Parkway; take th Linville exit at Milepost 305 to U.S. 221 South. Open daily, weather permitting, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. $22 adult, $20 senior 60+, $9 child 4-12, under 4 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 walk to falls & gorge. www.linvillefallslodge.com (828) 765-2658.
Emerald Village - Real mines, mine tours, & gem mining. Other free displays: railroad, music museum, wildlife. MP334. 828-765-6463. www.emeraldvillage.com
Switzerland Cafe & General Store - MP 334 1/4 mile of the Parkway. Lunch and weekend dinners. Souvenirs and picnic items. 828-765-5289. www.switzerlandcafe.com
Switzerland Inn And Chalet Restaurant - A little bit of Switzerland in NC. Fantastic mountain views, rooms, suites, cottages, dining, shopping, tennis. Located directly on the Blue Ridge Parkway at the Little Switzerland exit near Parkway Milepost 334. Little Switzerland, NC 28749. (828) 765-2153 or (800) 6544026. www.switzerlandinn.com
MAGGIE VALLEY, NC
Boyd Mountain Log CabinsSecluded 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
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
Be sure to tell them you saw it in THE DIGEST!
McDOWELL CO., NC
McDowell Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center - Shopping & food near center. Free coffee & area info. Clean restrooms. From Parkway MP 317, 24 mi. S on US 221. From MP331: 15 mi S on NC226. (828) 652-4240.
SPARTA & GLADE VALLEY, NC
Alleghany Inn - 341 N. Main St., Sparta, NC 28675. 64 Rooms - Free Wireless Internet - Cable TV 60+ Chan, Guest Laundry - Restaurant on site. 888) 372-2501 Reserve online: www.AlleghanyInn.com . see ad p 5
SPRUCE PINE, NC
Gem Mountain - 13780 Hwy 226. 1 mile from Parkway. Gem mine. Rain or shine. Mine trips available. People’s choice for Gem mining. www.gemmountain.com
Peak Mountain Cottages & Retreat Center--On 300 acres, 7 miles N of Pkwy. Room to play or relax. Hiking trails, clear mtn streams. 460 Rabbit Hop Rd near Penland. Individuals,families or groups up to 25. 828-765-9559. www.peakmountaincottages.com
VALLE CRUCIS, NC
Mast General Store & Annex Highway 194. Est. 1883 & listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this authentic general store is filled with the best of yesterday and today including camping gear, shoes & boots, housewares, candies, and an impressive collection of knives. www.MastStore.com 828-963-6511
Mast Store – 63, N Main St., Downtown Waynesville. Serving the area since 1935, this store is brimming with clothing, shoes, cast iron cookware, candy, & camping gear. www.MastStore.com 828-452-2101
TENNESSEE GATLINBURG, TN
Ski Mountain Chalet & Condo Rentals - 1-4 bedrooms , hot tubs, jacuzzis, pool tables, kitchens, fireplaces, privacy. (800) 824-4077. www.skimtnchalets.com
Peaks of Otter Winery & Orchards - 2122 Sheep Creek Rd, 24523. MP 86. Fruit wine, fruit, jams, jellies, free tastings. Vacation rentl house. 540-586-3707. www.iwineu.com or www.elmosrest.com
Gross’ Orchard & Apple Valley Homeplace - Vacation Home Rental. Open year round. $75 per couple per night. Mountain grown fruit & produce. Bedford, VA. Rt. 43 in Apple Valley. Open Year round. U-pick or U-select. Apple Festival 3rd Sat. in Oct. (540) 586-2436.
Montfair Resort Farm - Pet friendly cabins by lake. 30 min from Parkway. Wi-fi, linens & cookware provided. Canoe, hike, fish. (434) 8235202. www.montfairresortfarm.com.
FANCY GAP, VA
Skyland Lakes Golf Club - Right on Parkway at milepost 202.2. New 18 hole public course. Beautiful scenery. Motel & golf packages available. (276) 728-4923.
Chantilly Farm Campground 2697 Franklin Pike SE. RV sites: electric, water, sewer, tent camping w/ amenities. WiFi, ice, ATM. chantillyfarm.com. 540-808 -4984
Floyd Visitors Center 109 E. Main St., Floyd, VA 24091 Mountain town with unique music, arts, outdoor fun! 540-745-4407
Cool Breeze Campground
2330 Edmonds Rd.Galax,VA
MP215 off BRP, Full Hookups
Bathhouse,Laundry,Big Rig Friendly,Free WIFI,Rally Center,276-236-0300
Grand Caverns - 5 Grand Caverns Dr, Grottoes, VA, America’s oldest continuously operated show cave. Nature’s handiwork & gifts. 888-430-CAVE.
The Village Inn - 1 mile south of I-81, Exit 243, on US 11. American Automobile Association Three Diamond Award. (540) 434-7355, toll free reservations-1-800-736-7355. www.shenandoah.org/villageinn
NATURAL BRIDGE, VA
Natural Bridge Zoo - 5784 S. Lee Hwy I-81 exit 180A Natural Bridge 24578. 540-291-2420, naturalbridgezoo. com. Largest collection of birds and animals in Virginia. Elephant rides, giraffe, tigers, bears, monkeys, birds and more! Petting zoo, gift shop, picnic area. Open mid March to November.
PATRICK COUNTY, VA
Blue Ridge Real Estate Cabin Rentals-- Residential, land and commercial properties as well as Log Cabin Sales and Vacation Rentals. www.blueridgerealestate.net or 276-694-2001.
Buffalo Mountain Getaway-Perfect location for your getaway in Virginia. Get away from it all. Cottage or Cabin near the Buffalo Mountain in Floyd. 540.789.8335 buffalomountaingetaway.com/home
Laurel Point Villa - Breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains! Large vacation rental is a mix of modern conveniences and charm & is a great place for family gatherings. (850) 712-1139. www.laurelpointvillage.com
Pond View GuesthouseGuesthouse is conveniently located just off the Blue Ridge Parkway near Meadows of Dan, VA. www.pondviewguesthouse.com or (276) 952-2624.
Primland Resort - 2000 Busted Rock Road. Resort Lodge, Fairway Cottages, Mountain Homes. Spectacular views. Golf. Spa. Dining, Outdoor activities. 276.222.3800 www.primland.com
Willville Motorcycle Campground26 acre wooded park located less than one mile from the Blue Ridge Parkway in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. www.willvillebikecamp.com or (276) 952-CAMP.
Radford Visitor’s Center - Rt 8 to I-81 Exit 109 “Find It in Radford”-surrounded on 3 sides by the New River & overflowing with history 540-267-3153 www.visitradford.com.
Mast General Store - In downtown at 401 S. Jefferson St. Our newest old location dates to 1915 and is filled with old favorites and new ones too! www.MastStore.com 540-566-5661.
Virginia’s Blue Ridge. Take a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Shop at the markets and boutiques in Downtown Roanoke and Salem. Hike on a trail in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Discover wildlife while kayaking on the Upper James River Water Trail. Dine at a local restaurant and enjoy fresh, amazingly prepared ingredients. Watch the sunset aboard a cruise at Smith Mountain Lake. All these things to do and more can be part of your Blue Ridge Day.No matter what you decide to do, every day in the Roanoke Valley in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains is filled with friendship and old-fashioned hospitality. Discover what makes visiting Virginia’s Blue Ridge unique! (800) 635-5535. visitvablueridge.com
Come and visit Salem, Virginia that is only twenty minutes from the parkway. Take the walking tour of our historic downtown featuring quaint antique shops and restaurants. Stay for a while in one of our hotels or B&B’s and attend one of our many athletic events including NCAA National Championships in football, basketball and softball. Salem is also the home of the Salem Red Sox, advanced Class “A” affiliate of the Boston Red Sox playing their games in spacious and comfy Lewis Gale Field.
Cabin Creekwood- 2 miles from Parkway MP 13.6. Year-round, quiet, secluded.Fully furnished affordable mtn cabins (888) 942-2246. www.cabincreekwood.com.
Be sure to tell them you saw it in THE DIGEST!
Scenic Drives and Hidden Gems in Bedford, VA!
Wanderlust is defined as a strong desire to travel, but here in Virginia we call that feeling WanderLOVE! Experience WanderLOVE in Destination Bedford, located in the mountain region of Virginia! From the magnificent Peaks of Otter along the Blue Ridge Parkway, to the quaint streets of historic downtown, to the shores of Smith Mountain Lake, Bedford offers outdoor adventure and historical treasures. Come see why the Smithsonian Magazine named it one of the “15 Best Small Towns to Visit”!
Businesses and attractions are open and practicing safety guidelines to comply with CDC regulations. Daily tours are offered at the National D-Day Memorial
(dday.org) and Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest (poplarforest.org). Advance tickets are encouraged. While in Bedford, be sure to stop by the Bedford Area Welcome Center at 816 Burks Hill Road, across from the entrance to the National D-Day Memorial. The Center is open daily 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. offering free Wi-Fi, a firefighter exhibit, gift shop, RV hook-ups, electric car charging station, LOVE sign, and more. If you are planning to visit and would like information emailed or mailed ahead of time, give them a call at (540) 587-5681 or go to DestinationBedfordVA. com and click on Contact Us. They look forward to seeing you!
Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and just 7 miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway, via Rt. 89 exit at MP 215, Galax is close enough for a leisurely drive from several metropolitan areas, but far enough to escape the toil and turmoil of urban living.
Once a furniture and textile town, Galax has evolved into an eclectic blend of small businesses offering unique shopping, enticing dining, and a musical heritage unlike any other. This hamlet is a preeminent destination on the Crooked Road, Virginia’s Heritage
Music Trail, dubbed one of the 10 Best Driving Vacations by USA Today. Be it Bluegrass and Old Time music in the Spring, BBQ and Beach Music in July, or the World’s Oldest and Largest Old Fiddler’s Convention in August, you’ll have a toe tappin’ knee slappin’ good time during our special events. Whether a day trip for a fun adventure or a weekend stay to explore all that Galax has to offer, visitors find themselves enchanted with the area and wanting to return again and again, and we welcome it.
Harrisonburg History & Historic Places
Harrisonburg has its own interesting past and has been witness to many of our nation’s most historic events. Previously known as “Rocktown,” Harrisonburg was named for Thomas Harrison who settled in the Shenandoah Valley in 1737 and eventually deeded acres in the area which is now known as Historic Downtown Harrisonburg. Harrisonburg and the surrounding area played significant roles in the American Civil War with lots of battlefields and cemeteries located within a short drive. However long before the Civil War, pioneers were migrating from Virginia and the northeast on their way to settle the rest of the continent. Many traveled along the Wilderness Road Migration Route, which roughly follows modern day Route 11 and I-81. Catch up on your history in Harrisonburg!
More information at www.visitharrisonburgva.com
Heritage, History and Culture
Explore the Blue Ridge Heritage Trail in the North Carolina mountains and foothills to learn the remarkable history and culture of the region. The driving trail is dotted with locations featuring interpretive wayside signs that share the stories of the people and places that have shaped our distinctive heritage.
With a focus on historic sites, music and the arts, Cherokee history, agricultural traditions and natural wonders, the trail provides a rich understanding of what makes this area unique.
There are 70 sites along the driving trail across 26 North Carolina mountain and foothill counties. The trail includes 24 historic sites in Western North Carolina that recall the stories of Native Americans, explorers, mountaineers, revolutionaries, entrepreneurs, and more. It also provides a look at how the people of the Blue Ridge have distinguished themselves in a variety of art forms, such as music, crafts, storytelling, drama and dance. Gain an in-depth appreciation of Cherokee history and culture via the trail with exceptional museums and cultural events, as well as the sites of rediscovered Native American villages and 1,500-year petroglyphs. You will also enjoy scenic landscapes and locally grown foods. Visit BlueRidgeHeritageTrail.com for more information.
5 Exhilarating Ways to Experience Fall Color in the Boone Area
or 1.5-hour Night Flight tour. Sky Valley’s course offers ten zip lines, a cliff jump, a swinging bridge and countless views. Kids ages 4 & up can zip at Whistle Pig Adventure Park, located on-site, with kid-sized zips and features.
Dutch Creek Trails offers guided horseback rides through the forests of Vilas and Valle Crucis, with a side of Cowboy Poetry written by the owner himself, Keith Ward.
Reach for the summits of adventure when planning a fall leaf-peeping trip.
Here are five fun ways to take in fall color in the Highlands Region surrounding Boone.
Bring your bike -- Bicycle area greenways in Boone, Blowing Rock, and Valle Crucis. Mountain bikers with intermediate skills will find thrills at Rocky Knob Mountain Bike Park.
Patriot Mountain Off-Road offers 6.5+ miles of trails intended for short-wheelbase 4x4’s and is conveniently located in historic Valle Crucis, across from the Original Mast Store.
Favorite Drives and Byways -- The Blue Ridge Parkway is nicknamed “America’s Favorite Scenic Drive.” Fall is the second-most
visited season for the Parkway. Hot tip: visit midweek to avoid the crowds. Also, try the nearby N.C. Scenic Byways that parallel the Parkway or connect it by backroads to charming hamlets like Valle Crucis, Vilas, Deep Gap, and Todd.
From a Zipline:
Zip line through the forests and over treetops and natural water features, accompanied by panoramic views of the colorful Blue Ridge Mountains. Three Boone area outfitters offer zip line tours.
Hawksnest Zipline is one of the largest in the U.S., with 20 zip lines, including four mega zips — two at 2,000+ feet long and two at 1,500+ feet long — and four miles of zip lines with heights over 200 feet and speeds up to 50 mph.
High Gravity Adventures is a zipline tour and aerial adventure park with three high and low climbing courses including more than 75 elements including a Giant Swing.
At Sky Valley Zip Tours, take a 3-hour daytime zip line tour
VX3 Trail Rides are the only horseback outfitters licensed to guide at Moses Cone Estate on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Twenty-six miles of trails on the estate offer what some call the best in the southeast, with easy terrain and stunning Blue Ridge Parkway views.
From the Rivers, Lakes, and Streams:
Canoe or kayak the New River, a National Wild and Scenic River. Paddle a mountain lake with a canoe or kayak at Price Lake on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Exploring its lakeshore coves is one of the best ways to appreciate the fall beauty of Eastern America’s highest summits.
Fish for trout in the cool waters of the Watauga or New Rivers, or the stream-fed lakes of the Parkway, such as Price Lake, Trout Lake, or Bass Lake.
Hike to waterfalls along the Parkway, or in surrounding communities. Popular waterfall hikes include Cascade Falls (BRP milepost 272), Linville
Falls (BRP milepost 316), Otter Falls in Seven Devils, and Crab Orchard Falls in Valle Crucis.
From the Mountainside:
Hike to summits in two area state parks, Elk Knob State Park and Grandfather Mountain State Park (not to be confused with the gated attraction, Grandfather Mountain). Take in colorful views of mountain peaks and ranges in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.
The Mountains-to-Sea Trail is an often-forgotten path through forests and meadows bordering the Blue Ridge Parkway. Stunning fall views await your discovery.
Go rock climbing with Rock Dimensions, an outfitter which manages a climbing tower in the center of downtown Boone and also offers thrilling excursions to rock climbing features with long-range views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Accommodations fill up as early as August, so plan your visit to the northern N.C. mountains now.
Reconnect with loved ones on a memorable fall getaway where the leaves are crisp and the air is clean. Immerse yourselves in sweater weather and hike to colorful long-range vistas. Settle into a cozy spot at a local winery or restaurant, or roast a few s’mores by the firepit.
Whether for a day trip or a weekend getaway, your fall visit to the Boone area will have your spirit soaring. More information: www.ExploreBoone.com
Enjoy Trails, Trails & More Trails in Elkin, NC
People connect to their hometown in many different ways. In the Blue Ridge Foothills town of Elkin, the town’s vitality lies in its trails.
About 10 years ago, a grassroots organization galvanized behind a singular goal – to improve Elkin’s quality of life one trail at a time. A decade later, hundreds of volunteers of the Elkin Valley Trails Association have created dozens of miles of trails in town and throughout the countryside.
“Our main objective is to build trails that improve the quality of life in our community,” says Bill Blackley, EVTA chairman. “Working for the common good just feels good. And it’s all free and open to the public.”
Elkin’s interesting location makes it
the only town in North Carolina where three sanctioned trails converge. The Mountains-to-Sea Trail, Yadkin River Blue Water Trail and the Overmountain Victory Trail all pass through Elkin.
The Mountains-to-Sea Trail is a particular point of pride. This 1,175mile footpath connects the western tip of North Carolina to its coastal eastern edge, and the EVTA is responsible for Segment 6 of the trail. That segment stretches eastward from the
Blue Ridge Parkway to Pilot Mountain State Park. The MST actually runs right down Elkin’s Main Street.
Folks are encouraged to visit Elkin and hike Segment 6 of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, or explore any of the other trails in town. It doesn’t take long to see that the vitality of this community is tied to its trails. For more about Elkin’s trails, visit ExploreElkin.com or check out an interactive map at YadkinValleyNC.com/map
Page County takes on a whole new beauty in the fall
The colors are changing, the air has become crisp and life is starting to slow down. All of this can only mean one thing, autumn has finally arrived. Page County, like many other places, takes on a whole new beauty during the fall months, and is the perfect time to plan your visit. While you may not be able to get on the Shenandoah River, there
are still plenty of fun and unique things that you can experience in the Shenandoah Valley during the fall. Page County draws in hundreds of visitors every fall, all in anticipation of witnessing the beauty of the trees that takes place during the autumn months. Hiking and visiting one of the 75 overlooks on the Shenandoah National Park is the best way to
see the colors that the Valley has to offer. The cool air and the promise of beauty is enough to make even the longest hike absolutely worth it. If you want to spend more than one day in nature, but want to experience other parts of nature, you can venture out to Lake Arrowhead. While you may not be able to swim, the lake is still a perfect picture of fall.
Planning a trip all starts with your lodging options. Page County is known as the Cabin Capital of Virginia, and offers an abundance of options for places to hunker down while you are here. Many of our cabins offer amenities such as fire pits that offer the perfect place to enjoy a bottle of wine, roast some marshmallows, and cuddle up together on a chilly fall night. No matter what you are looking to do, Luray-Page County is the place to come for a fall getaway. No other place can compete with the colors, the activities and beauty of the Shenandoah Valley.
For more information: www.VisitLurayPage. com or 888-743-3915.
8 Wineries for a Picturesque Yadkin Valley Picnic
Not far from the Blue Ridge Parkway in northwestern North Carolina is Yadkin Valley wine country. This American Vitcultural Area has showcased award-winning wines and beautiful scenery since 2003.
The Surry County Wine Trail is among the “can’t miss” attractions in the Yadkin Valley, and these eight wineries on the trail offer gorgeous settings for a fall picnic.
This winery was named for the musical term that means to perform slowly with passion. The wines are made the same way and can be enjoyed in a wooded setting just outside Elkin.
Choose from several areas on this beautiful property, which includes a section of the North Carolina Mountains-to-Sea Trail.
Pre-order a gourmet brick oven pizza, with salad and sides, on weekends,
Discover Hidden Gems along the New Blue Ridge Craft Trails
or bring your own picnic on Thursdays and Fridays when the kitchen is closed. Popular spots are the harvest barn and beside Big Elkin Creek.
Once a getaway farm for titans of the textile industry, Grassy Creek has several areas for picnics, including a covered pavilion overlooking the vines. Two picnic tables in the woods were built by Boy Scouts.
The newest winery on the trail is a certified Homegrown by Heroes property, which denotes agricultural businesses owned by military veterans.
The closest winery to the Blue Ridge Parkway has a large back patio,
with lawn, framed by views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Round Peak also has a line of craft beers.
Located among rolling hills in Dobson, Shelton is NC’s largest family-owned estate winery. Pre-ordered picnics are required from the Harvest Grill restaurant in the vineyards.
A certified NC Century Farm that once grew tobacco, Stony Knoll is a picturesque spot with a large, covered brick patio and long-range views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
To learn more about wineries on the Surry County Wine Trail, visit YadkinValleyNC.com.
Travel along the new Blue Ridge Craft Trails in Western North Carolina to discover talented artists and the small, vibrant towns where they live and gain inspiration for their handcrafted work. You can craft your adventure by perusing more than 100 artist studios, galleries and hands-on craft experiences on this drivable trail throughout the North Carolina mountains and foothills.
The trails are anchored with renowned sites such as John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown offering hands-on experiences in traditional and present-day arts and crafts. There are boundless opportunities to connect with artisans in their studios and workshops along the trails. Tucked into hamlets and coves are galleries filled with original pieces from blown glass to pottery and handmade quilts.
The Blue Ridge Craft Trails is a new Blue Ridge National Heritage Area initiative created to celebrate Western North Carolina as a vital center for traditional and contemporary handmade crafts.
Learn more at BlueRidgeCraftTrails.com
Transylvania County Tourism Asks You To Leave It Better
An impressive 100,000 acres of public lands sit right at your fingertips in Brevard and Transylvania County, making it a world-class destination for mountain biking, hiking, waterfall hunting, climbing, and fly fishing. Spending time outside exploring these lands has significant benefits to humans, but there’s an inevitable mark left on the environment from our use.
Each year, millions of pounds of garbage are left behind in America’s forests, streams, and rivers. In 2017, Transylvania County Tourism launched a sustainability initiative named Transylvania Always to address and combat issues like
this. The mission of Transylvania Always is to be a leader in the effort to take care of Transylvania County’s natural resources in order to create a safe and enjoyable user experience and ensure that these assets are here for future generations. Transylvania Always’s newest initiative, “Leave It Better,” is designed to educate and encourage people to take responsibility for protecting and preserving these natural assets. “Leave It Better” is modeled after the “Leave No Trace” principles, some of which include plan and prepare, dispose of waste properly, minimize campfire impact, and leave what you find. In addition to practicing “Leave No Trace,” we’re asking everyone to go the extra step and “Leave It
Better” by packing out your trash and picking up any that you see.
You can join in the commitment to “Leave It Better” by visiting ExploreBrevard.com/leave-it-better/ where you will find ways to get involved with one of our local volunteer organizations. With your help, we can enjoy, protect, and preserve our lands for generations to come.
Apple Season Means Memory Making In Hendersonville
Travelers today see the daily patterns of life and the settled landscape here on the high plateau at places like Mabry Mill. Cultural history demonstrations are offered in summer and early fall at the nearby blacksmith shop and Matthews cabin. Located on the Blue Ridge Parkway at Milepost 176 www.mabrymillrestaurant. com or (276) 952-2947.
In a year when many of our rituals and traditions have been upended by the global pandemic, we continuity of nature’s seasons. As the days get shorter and the mountain air becomes crisp, apples ripen throughout the orchards of Hendersonville.
Long known as apple country, this rural county in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina leads the state in
apple production. The season begins in August and stretches into October.
In the past, farms sold exclusively to wholesale buyers, but today orchards have embraced agritourism and offer a full experience for visitors. Couples, families and groups of friends make pilgrimages to Hendersonville to pick their own apples, pose for pictures in the orchard and indulge in fresh-made confections.
Crest of the Blue Ridge Orchard Trail guides visitors to U-pick operations throughout the countryside. Maps are available at the Visitor Center in downtown Hendersonville or online at www.VisitHendersonvilleNC.org.
For many families, an orchard trip to Hendersonville is a must-do each autumn. With acres of farmland to roam, outdoor activities such as corn mazes and pumpkin patches, and picture-perfect vistas for family photos, orchards make for a safe, family-friendly road trip.
Some orchards grow more than 20 different varieties of apples, and each one ripens on its own schedule. Those who are partial to a certain variety — say honeycrisp, gala or Granny Smith — should check the ripening timeline at local farms. Early birds, like McIntosh, are gone before latecomers, such as pink lady, make their October appearances. While fresh apples are hard to beat, each orchard has its own apple-themed treats. Warm apple cider and cider doughnuts are perennial favorites, as well as apple pies, breads and turnovers.
To plan your apple-picking excursion, go to www.VisitHendersonvilleNC. org or call (800) 828-4244.
FALL in Love
with DuPont State Recreational Forest
Frontier Culture Museum
DuPont State Recreational Forest contains 10,400 spectacularly beautiful acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina.
Elevations range from 2,240 feet at Cascade Lake to 3,620 feet at the peak of Stone Mountain. Little River runs through the forest, with four major waterfalls along its course. The forest also contains five lakes. The largest is 99-acre Lake Julia. The forest has more than 80 miles of roads and trails that are shared by hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians.
Habitats within the forest include Upland oak forests, cove forests, granite domes, riparian areas, mountain bogs, small wildlife openings, lakes, streams and the Little River.
The Frontier Culture Museum tells the story of thousands of people who migrated to colonial America, and of the life they created here for themselves and their descendents. The Museum is a living history of pre-immigration Europe & pre-Civil War Shenandoah Valley. There are five 17th, 18th, & 19th century farms from Europe, West Africa & America, and a working 18th century blacksmith forge. To tell the story of early immigrants and their American descendents, the Museum has moved or reproduced examples of traditional rural buildings with a combination of interpretive signage and living history demonstrations. The outdoor exhibits are located in separate areas: the Old World, West Africa and America. The Old World exhibits show rural life and culture in four homelands of early migrants to the American colonies. Museum Store offers crafts & exclusive Moss Irish pottery. The Museum is located at 1290 Richmond Avenue in Staunton, VA.. I-81 Exit 222
For more information: 540-332-7850 or www.frontiermuseum.orgThe DuPont State Recreational Forest is located in Henderson and Transylvania Counties between the towns of Hendersonville and Brevard. The forest is open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
Southwest Virginia’s Premiere Motorcycle Trail The Claw of the Dragon
It would be a challenge for motorcycle riders to find a more beautiful driving trail than the scenic back roads of Southwest Virginia. Looping through the Blue Ridge Mountain range, the Claw of the Dragon is becoming one of the most popular destinations in the South for motorcycle enthusiasts.
With the charming town of Wytheville, Virginia, as the trail’s center or hub, the trail features loops totaling over 350 miles as it ventures over to the community of Marion to the west and Galax to the south. The drive meanders through parts of seven Virginia counties but is easily accessible from Interstates 77 or 81 as a starting part.
Along the way, riders have the opportunity to stop at many interesting and authentic attractions. At the hub of the trail in Wytheville, riders will enjoy a challenging ride
up Big Walker Mountain. As the 16-mile scenic byway makes it’s way to the top, the rider is immersed in the beauty of autumn leaves. At the top, take a rest at Big Walker Lookout, climb the 100 foot tower, and enjoy a snack in the country store. A variety of other local attractions in the nearby area include Beagle Ridge Herb Farm, West Wind Winery, and Fort Chiswell Animal Park. Each offer a homegrown experience with businesses that grew out of an entrepreneur’s dream. Wytheville’s downtown historic district allows visitors to leisurely walk the streets and discover the history that
has made this a town of hospitality for over 200 hundred years. Interesting shopping, museums, craft breweries, and the historic flavor of the 1776 Log House Restaurant are just a few of the must-see stops along the way. An evening of music can be enjoyed at the Wohlfahrt Haus Dinner Theatre.
Wytheville has a variety of lodging accommodations from all-suite hotels
to bed & breakfasts and cabins. A historic boutique hotel honoring Wytheville native First Lady Edith Bolling Wilson compliments the revitalized downtown district. This is but a sampling of all the interesting things you can see and do as you ride the Claw of the Dragon and explore the interesting communities along the way. For more information, visit www.ClawoftheDragon.com.
BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY INFO: BRPweather.com
Your source for Parkway weather. Don’t get caught in the rain, fog, or snow! Know what lies ahead on all 469 miles. Accurate forecasts and local weather stations plus live Parkway weather cameras at www.BRPwebcams.org
POSSIBLE ROAD CLOSURES ON
at: go.nps.gov/brp-mapThere are also less strenuous trails for the uninitiated. And lots of shops and galleries for people who like to walk around indoors. 800.852.9506 ExploreBoone.com A real-time road closure map for the entire Parkway is available
Social distancing is easier on a hiking, waterfall, or mountain bike trail.
It’s OK to have fun and planning a “safecation” doesn’t have to be difficult. Tourism-related properties are diligently practicing CDC cleaning protocols while creating a positive visitor experience, and to help you to strike a balance between safety and fun.
This year, discover lesser-known areas like the Woods Mountain Loop. It is a great choice for the experienced hiker or mountain biker. This 25-mile trail is a few miles south of Little Switzerland and north of Marion with U.S. 221 access at the Woodlawn Picnic Area. It includes a portion of the Mountains-To-The-SeaTrail and as you reach the summit opens up to stellar views. For bikers, the descent is epic! This is true wilderness terrain, download the MTB Project map, cell phone coverage is spotty. https://www.mtbproject.com/ trail/3428297/woods-mountain-loop
If you’re looking for a shorter, less challenging hike, consider the Tom’s Creek Waterfall, north of Marion. It’s a one-mile, well-maintained trail with benches and a handicap overlook deck. A perfect place to appreciate this 100-foot waterfall. Find other area trails and waterfalls online at: www.blueridgetravelers.com
The Orchard at Altapass is a Blue Ridge Parkway favorite! Pick up an Orchard trail map and take a walk through the hillside. Amazing views and heirloom apples for sale. To safely accommodate guests, the Orchard’s operating hours and services have changed. Before heading out, give them a call. 828-765-9531
Need more ideas? Visit www.blueridgetravelers.com or stop by the visitor center at 91 South Catawba Avenue in Old Fort, NC, or call 828-668-4282. They are ready to help.
See Fall Foliage in Five Different States
Blue Ridge Music Trails Beckon
Touted the highest town in Eastern America, Beech Mountain offers visitors a full slate of elevated adventures perfect for travelers of all ages. Take a round-trip scenic chair lift ride up and down Beech Mountain for a one-of-a-kind view of the mountain’s fall color on display from above. Available on select days and weekends throughout the fall, the round-trip lift ride takes visitors up to the city’s highest elevation
best way to soak in the fall colors of the Blue Ridge Mountains with views you can’t find anywhere else.
Emerald Outback for Hiking and Biking During Fall Splendor
The gem of Beech Mountain’s hiking and mountain biking scene, the Emerald Outback offers a myriad of scenic overlooks to enjoy the unobstructed views of the North Carolina mountains. Designed to accommodate all experience levels, the Emerald Outback’s 7 miles of trails are perfect for a leisurely stroll or for outdoor enthusiasts looking to reach new heights. Lift access is available Friday through Sunday for riders to
bring their mountain bikes up to the summit by way of the Beech Mountain Resort’s chair lifts for a thrilling race down the mountain or for hikers seeking the famed 50-mile vista of scenic overlook.
Buckeye Lake & Recreation Center for Fall Activities such as Fishing, Trails and Birding
The Buckeye Lake Park offers a wide variety of outdoor options such as trails for walking and hiking, fishing, boating, kayaking, and birdwatching. Visitors can cast a line and hook one of NC’s most sought-after fish – trout! Enjoy a scenic mountain backdrop while swimming, kayaking and boating. Perfect for quiet time, the area beckons guests to grab some binoculars and spot winged wildlife.
Strike out on the Blue Ridge Music Trails to discover the authentic sounds of the Western North Carolina mountains and foothills. This music-rich region, with its traditions of old-time string band music, ballad singing, dance and bluegrass, is internationally renowned.
The trails cover 29 counties and are punctuated with festivals, venues, dances, jam sessions and more. Listen to both seasoned musicians and youthful wonders – the musical traditions are often passed down generation to generation— along the trails. Lively tunes accented by fiddle and banjo are bound to get you moving while mountain ballads will leave you mesmerized.
The project is part of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area organization in partnership with the North Carolina Arts Council.
to capture bird-eye views of the ever-changing fall foliage in North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. Perfect for families, couples, solo travelers and groups alike, this distinct attraction at Beech Mountain is the
The High-Country Audubon Society has recognized the Buckeye Recreation Area within Beech Mountain as being a major “hot spot” of abundant bird population!
For more information
Visit BlueRidgeMusicNC.com to get started or pick up a copy of Down the Road, a guide to bluegrass and traditional music in Western North Carolina, at visitor centers and partnering music venues across the region.