Blue Ridge Digest - Spring / Summer 2018

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the most widely distributed travel publication in the mountains

Blue Ridge & gReat Smoky mountainS

Dance in the Street and Search for Bears in Downtown Hendersonville

Bedford Artisan Trail

Grandfather Mountain Springs to Life

Outdoor Adventures in Lexington, VA

The great views traveling the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive: Stony Man summit looking across the Shenandoah Valley courtesy of Delaware North
Discover the many ways to ll your days with fun and adventure in the Roanoke Valley in Virginia’s Blue Ridge, like hiking on the famous Appalachian Trail and mountain biking on the renowned trails at Carvins Cove. Head over to Smith Mountain Lake for fun on the water. Be surrounded by beauty, from the stunning scenery along the famous Blue Ridge Parkway to the splendor of arts and culture in the region’s many museums, galleries and performance venues. Or, try all of the above. 800.635.5535 #BlueRidgeDay RISE & SHINE in Virginia’s Blue Ridge. REGISTER ONLINE TO WIN A BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAINS GETAWAY PLAN YOUR BLUE RIDGE DAY AT Mill Mountain Zoo 540-343-3241 The National D-Day Memorial 800-351-DDAY Smith Mountain Lake 540-721-1203 Starr Hill Brewery 540-685-2012
800.828.4244 Don’t take the same old journey. Be somewhere genuine. Be somewhere amazing. Be changed. playanydaygetawaycation Call for your complimentary Getaway Guide

P.O. Box 1758

Asheville, NC 28802

Phone: (828) 667-1607

All articles and information supplied are printed accurately to the best knowledge of the management. The Blue Ridge Digest is not responsible for errors beyond its control

Publisher: Thomas Hardy

Design: Imagewerks Productions

Need good design? Call (828) 681-8029


Welcome to the Mountains!

Thank you for making your vacation an All-American experience in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountain area. Your vacation dollars go further on U.S. soil and by spending time in the mountains, you not only benefit communities and businesses in your own back yard, but avoid flight delays and exchange rates. Now more than ever, Americans are looking for ways to stretch their dollars, spend time with family and friends, reconnect to the wonders of the natural world, and, if only for a moment, take a breath of fresh air. The time you spend in the Blue Ridge Mountain area will provide all of this and more: go whitewater rafting, experience historic and cultural sites, find unique shopping areas, take a hike, taste delicious local foods, and just breathe the clean mountain air. Hopefully this issue of the Blue Ridge Digest will be an aid in planning your trip and a keepsake to remember your vacation in the mountains.

Enjoy your stay!

The Most Sublime Of Nature’s Works

Once revered by the Monacan Indians, surveyed by George Washington, and owned by Thomas Jefferson the awe-inspiring Natural Bridge has been an important Virginia tourist attraction since the 18th Century.

Located about 14 miles south of Lexington, Natural Bridge became Virginia’s 37th State Park on September 24, 2016.

The 30-story bridge is 215 feet high and spans 90 feet across Cedar Creek, which carved the formation from adjacent limestone.

Start your trip at the Visitor Center and take the long series of steps down to the path along the creek and onto the Natural Bridge. For those with mobility issues, be warned that the steps are a bit steep coming back.

Interpretive signs are posted along the way. There is also a shuttle to the trailhead if you prefer to shorten the walk.

The 1,500-acre park includes several other attractions, such as six miles of hiking trails with classic Blue Ridge vistas, the 30-foot Lace Falls, a gift shop, and a re-created Monacan Indian village where living history demonstrations entertain and educate.

The popular “Drama of Creation” light show continues to be shown in the evening, and park rangers conduct various programs such as “Skulls and Skins, where those parts are used to identify local wildlife. Make sure to set aside time to explore the park’s beautiful forests, open, rolling meadows showcase the area’s karst terrain, and vistas of surrounding mountains and the James River valley.

When you visit Natural Bridge, and gaze up to marvel at its beauty, you’ll see why Thomas Jefferson called it, “the most sublime of Nature’s works.”

Getting There: From I-81, take exit 175 or 180A to U.S. 11 and follow signs to the park. Getting In: Admission per person is $6 for ages 6-12 and $8 for those 13 and older.


About the Blue Ridge Parkway

The 469-mile Blue Ridge Parkway connects Shenandoah National Park to the north with Great Smoky Mountains National Park to the south. The route travels the crests, ridges, and valleys of five major mountain ranges, encompassing several geographic and vegetative zones ranging from 600 to more than 6,000 feet above sea level. It provides visitors with many varied vistas of

scenic Appalachian landscapes ranging from forested ridgetops and mountain slopes to rural farm lands and urban areas. The parkway offers a “ride-a-while, stop-a-while” experience that includes scenic pullouts, recreation areas, historic sites, and visitor contact stations. It is known nationally and internationally for its designed landscape as a scenic motorway.

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.

Remember old time Main Street, USA? The streets with the mercantile type architecture on tree lined streets? Downtown Marion is “that” street! The recent revitalization has created a walkable downtown featuring taprooms, music venues, art, craft breweries and more, while retaining the feel of centuries past.

For more information visit: or

Forget your cares...

How did it happen? A combination of millennials and Gen-Xers networking together, and with the City of Marion, changing downtown alcohol sale ordinances then tweaking those ordinances one step further, to create opportunities for craft beer breweries and taprooms.

… and return to a place and time you thought had passed. Alleghany County and Sparta NC are home to the Blue Ridge Mountain community where Parkway construction began. And it is still home to a relaxed, rural pace of life that retains much of the unspoiled beauty that it shares with the famous scenic byway.

With two state parks, New River and Stone Mountain, plus Doughton Park, the Parkway’s largest developed recreation area, camping, picnicking, hiking, fishing and bicycling opportunities abound. The New River offers canoeing, tubing, kayaking and fishing and is a welcome respite from summer heat.

Get schooled in mountain music at the Alleghany Jubilee’s weekly barn dance (, the Monday jam at Crouse Park and at the big Fiddlers Convention (

Events like the Blue Ridge Mountain Fair and Mountain Heritage Festival ( highlight the area’s craft heritage. Enjoy down-home fun at distinctively local pastimes, such as the demolition derby, and mud slings. Look for other upcoming events at

The community offers motels, bed and breakfast inns and vacation cabins to make your stay special. And there’s no better sleeping than snuggled under covers during cool mountain nights.

When you visit, stop by the Visitors Center, 58 S. Main St., just 7 miles south of the US 21/ Parkway intersection at Mile Post 229.6. Our welcome mat is always out and we’ll make sure you don’t miss a thing.

Toll Free Reservations: 1-888-372-2501 341 N. Main St. Sparta, NC
Conference Room Guest Laundry Restaurant on Site Free Wireless Internet 24-Hour Staff Open all year long
Sparta, NC / Alleghany County MP 229.6 - 58 S. Main St. • Sparta, NC • 800-372-5473 • Cool

Elkin’s Reeves Theater Given New Life as Music Venue and Cafe

After a four-year restoration, The Reeves Theater in downtown Elkin is now open as a music venue and cafe. The theater’s grand reopening occurred in late December.

Live Americana music is the venue’s primary focus with reserved seating for 252 people. Concerts take place Friday and Saturday evenings, and future plans include Thursday shows.

The Reeves originally opened in downtown Elkin as a 700seat movie theater in 1941. The stately art deco theater evolved into the Elk Twin and operated until 1994, at which point it was shuttered for nearly a quarter century and fell into disrepair.

Hope arrived in 2013 when a new set of owners – Debbie Carson, Chris Groner and Erik Dahlager – purchased the property from the Tri-County Citizens Foundation.

“It was a landmark that had sat empty for so long,” Carson says. “It was a shame to see this central structure in downtown Elkin vacant. We had toyed around with the idea of a music venue, so when we heard it was going to be for sale, we jumped on it.”

The restored Reeves Theater grabs attention on Elkin’s West Main Street. A new vertical sign harkens back to the theater’s art deco beginnings and pairs

well with the original curved, blue panels that were refurbished and reinstalled on the brick exterior.

Inside, the original tile floor welcomes visitors into the lobby cafe, which includes bistro tables and a bar serving local wine and beer. Chef Leanna Freeman, a Surry County native, oversees the farm-to-table cafe that is open Monday through Saturday. When the current owners purchased The Reeves, little remained of the interior. A hole in the concrete floor marked where the stage once stood. They built a new stage with

a state-of-the-art performance surface made of recycled rubber. Dahlager constructed the stage front and theater boxes using stucco on concrete block. The material reflects the curvature of the original design.

Wide aisles and a gentle sloping floor provide comfort for all guests and accessibility for those with limited mobility. The theater also has the ability

to show movies and host private events.

“It’s been fun to see it take shape,” Carson says. “We hope it will be a catalyst for activity and economic development on this end of Main Street.”

For more about The Reeves Theater, including tickets to upcoming shows and a cafe menu, go to www.reevestheater. com or call (336) 258-8240.

Remember old time Main Street, USA?

The streets with the mercantile type architecture on tree lined streets? Downtown Marion is “that” street!

The recent revitalization has created a walkable downtown featuring taprooms, music venues, art, craft breweries and more, while retaining the feel of centuries past.

How did it happen? A combination of millennials and Gen-Xers networking together, and with the City of Marion, changing downtown alcohol sale ordinances then tweaking those

ordinances one step further, to create opportunities for craft beer breweries and taprooms.

The result? A fun downtown community! There is a lot to see within this .3 mile Main Street corridor! Stop by Mica Town Brewing, Refinery 13 Taproom, Crooked Door Coffee House, Burrito Brothers, Bruce’s Fabulous Foods, Spruced Up, McDowell Local (a farm to table café),

Spillway Bridge & Company, Crabby Abby’s, Mulligan Mack’s and opening soon Keeper’s Kut Meadery, plus opening later this year is a second microbrewery. Don’t miss the famous Mr. Bob’s Donuts and the retail/gift shop/gallery at the McDowell Arts Council. If you’re visiting between September and December, drop by seasonal “pop up shop” Shuck’s Pearls Holiday House. SPRING | SUMMER 2018 6

Along The Blue Ridge Parkway, You’ll Discover Peaks of Otter

This gateway to mountain adventures is a hub for lounging and exploring.

Majestic scenery abounds in Peaks of Otter, a historic landmark and haven of natural beauty. Three towering mountain peaks and the serene Abbott Lake are the cradle of this gorgeous Blue Ridge destination — offering 360 degrees of breathtaking wilderness. And here, sheltered among the ancient peaks and cooled by mountain streams, you’ll discover Peaks of Otter Lodge.

This long-beloved lodge is much more than a simple hotel. It’s a place where adventurers, families, couples and large groups can explore by day, and recharge at night.


With more than 60 rooms, meeting facilities, wedding facilities, a full-service restaurant, a lounge, and a gift shop, Peaks of Otter Lodge is a perfect basecamp for exploring the mountains, lake and surrounding forests. No matter the season, guests can explore the Blue Ridge Parkway’s splendor, then enjoy warm hospitality at Peaks of Otter Lodge.


From here, you can hike majestic Sharp Top Mountain, “leaf peep” along Blue Ridge Parkway, cruise a shuttle to nearby wineries, and encounter rare wildlife. Enjoy a springtime getaway or a long winter weekend in the perfect setting for year-round adventure and relaxation.


If you’re planning an event, Peaks of Otter Lodge has meeting space and the event staff to handle your every need. Whether it’s a corporate retreat or the wedding of your dreams, Peaks of Otter Lodge can help you create an unforgettable gathering for groups of any size.

To start planning your getaway or for more information on packages and deals, visit or call 888.454.7711.

Our historic inn offers gracious dining, rocker-filled porches, fifty cheerful rooms and a warm library. Come read, rest, ramble and romp in our mountains!

828.456.9498 • 800.224.9498
1/2 mile from Parkway milepost 443 Balsam Gap exit

Almost Hidden, But Lots to Do

Wilkes County is nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It will wow you with stunning mountain views and small-town charm.

While you are visiting the “Moonshine Capital of the World,”, you can sip your way through more than 50 nearby wineries and distilleries. Try “tubbing” (yes, tubbing, not tubing) down the Yadkin River, shred the 45+ miles of mountain biking trails, or simply kick back at one of the many festivals, like MerleFest, Carolina in the Fall, FaithFest, or the Brushy Mountain Apple Festival.

More information: or 336-838-3951

Toe River Studio Tour reveals diverse talents

of local artists June 1-3

Inside the Burnsville mountaintop studio of John Richards, drawers contain buttons, bottle caps and aluminum can tabs. Observers might see the items as junk, but Richards recycles clutter into mixed-media art. He fashions flying fish fins out of cat food can lids. The guts of old computers become statues. Next door, Richards’ wife, Claudia Dunaway, makes stoneware mugs, bowls and platters. She glazes her pottery with neutral tones of brown, blue and green.

From the whimsical to the practical, a variety of artists call the Toe River Valley and its surrounding hills home. On June 1-3, approximately 100 artists throughout Yancey and Mitchell counties open their studios to visitors for the Toe River Studio Tour. The experience provides an intimate look into an artist’s workspace and glimpse of his or her creative process.

See the free-flowing gardens and ponds that surround the mountainside pottery studio of J.R. and Kristen Page. Admire the intricate vases created by glassblower Kenny Pieper. And get lost in the rural landscapes painted by Kat Turczyn.

The Toe River Arts Council puts on the tour each June and December. The tour is free and self-guided. Guidebooks, containing a list of participating

artists, photos of their work and maps to their studios, are available at the Toe River Arts Council galleries in Burnsville and Spruce Pine and at local businesses. A digital version is available for download at www.

For more information about the Burnsville area, visit or call (828) 682-7413., where F.P.I.S., the east coast’s premier brochure distributor, brings you an online virtual brochure display. This site allows users to access brochures by city or region before leaving home or while traveling. With links to attractions websites & social media platforms we are delivering the power of brochures to the internet.

Scan this QR code to download this app: SPRING | SUMMER 2018 8

Dance in the Street and Search for Bears in Downtown Hendersonville

Hendersonville’s pedestrianfriendly Main Street is one of the most vibrant in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It offers a nice mix of shops, art galleries and attractions, along with 25 independent restaurants.

This spring and summer mark the 16th year for the Bearfootin’ on Main public art project. Twenty colorful, acrylic bears

take up residence along Main Street. The project has drawn tens of thousands of visitors over the years and raised more than a quarter of a million dollars for local charities.

Each bear is painted with its own theme by a local artist and kept under wraps until a special reveal ceremony on May 11. The bears are then placed in an art walk formation along Main Street until Oct. 20, when they are auctioned for charity in front

of the historic Henderson County Courthouse.

Another favorite tradition is the Hendersonville Summer Concert Series. From June through September, bands take the outdoor stage at the Visitor Center and entertain listeners for free with beach music, bluegrass, rock ’n’ roll, blues, folk, Americana and country.

The Hendersonville Street Dances, held each Monday night from mid-July to mid-August, celebrate their 100th year this summer. The dances began as a way to welcome home soldiers returning from World War I, and they now help to preserve the music and dance heritage of the Appalachian Mountains.

For more information about Bearfootin’ on Main and a full Summer Concert Series lineup, go to or call (800) 828-4244.

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


Sevierville is famous for shopping. Two of the largest outlet malls in the area are located in Sevierville totaling over 120 high-end, name brand outlets. There are also a variety of galleries, antique malls, boutiques, specialty stores, flea markets, outdoor stores and more – which means you can find just about anything your heart desires in Sevierville. Did you know that the scrapbook

store with the largest inventory in the US, Your Scrapbook SuperStore, is located in Sevierville? Or that the popular Tanger Five Oaks Factory Outlet Center is the largest authentic outlet center in Tennessee? There are even mega-stores for the outdoorsman like Bass Pro Outdoor World and Orvis Company Store. Pick up a copy of The Sevierville Coupon Book at the Sevierville Visitor Center or download the coupons at www. visitsevierville. com

Ninth season of Concerts on the Creek starts Memorial Day in Sylva

Free concerts from 7-9 p.m., every Friday through Labor Day

Concerts on the Creek events are free and open to the public with donations encouraged. Bring a chair or blanket and enjoy the shows. Occasionally, these events will feature food truck vendors as well.

Following are the scheduled dates for the ninth annual Concerts on the Creek in 2018.

May 25: Ian Ridenhour

June 1: Train

June 8: Dirty Soul Revival

June 15: Robertson Boys

June 22: Tuxedo Junction

These mountains are known as much for the music that comes out of them as they are for their picturesque vistas, cascading waterfalls and alluring trails.

Some of the world’s finest musicians have come from Western North Carolina and that rich tradition carries on today.

Here in Jackson County, the Town of Sylva, Jackson County Parks and Recreation Department and Jackson County Chamber of Commerce team up to produce the Concerts on the Creek series at the Bridge Park gazebo in Sylva every Friday from 7-9 p.m., Memorial Day through Labor Day.

June 29: Carolina Soul Band

Wednesday, July 4: Fireworks Festivities, 6:30-9:30 p.m.- Concert, Crocodile Smile, fireworks at dark.

July 6: Darren Nicholson Band

July 13: The Super 60s Band

July 20: Andalyn (Rock/Country)

July 27: Summer Brooke and the Mountain Faith Band

Aug. 3: Lance & Lea

Aug. 10: The Get Right Band

Aug. 17: Colby Deitz Band

Aug. 24: Geoff McBride

Aug. 31: Dashboard Blue

Check or Facebook for updates.
Photo submitted by Kelly Donaldson/ Jackson County Chamber of Commerce Summer Brooke and the Mountain Faith Band perform on July 27. The Darren Nicholson Band perform on July 6.
MP  324.8
Your  Base  Camp  for Mountain  Adventure Bear-­‐ 828-­‐765-­‐2888
Spruce  Pine,  NC

New Visitor Opportunities at Moses H. Cone Memorial Park

and forests, was built as the summer home of textile magnate Moses H. Cone in the late nineteenth century. The estate was conveyed to the National Park Service in 1949 and has since become one of the most popular locations for visitors along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Flat Top Manor, a primary feature of the Moses H. Cone Memorial Park at Milepost 294 on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Blowing Rock, offers new opportunities for

visitors in 2018. This 13,000 square foot manor house, surrounded by 25 miles of carriage roads meandering through orchards, pastures, meadows, lakes, ponds, roads,

A multi-year planning and rehabilitation effort, funded in part by the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, (www.brpfoundation. org) underway to address needed repairs and visitor enhancements throughout the estate. Visitors can expect temporary exhibits about

Moses and Bertha Cone, their families, and life on the estate along with a short film about the Cones in the Manor House. Park rangers expand popular house tours to feature several newly opened rooms of Flat Top Manor; including the home’s kitchen, which provides a look into what life in the house was like for the Cones as well as those employed at the estate.

The Southern Highland Craft Guild will continue a 60-plus year tradition of the Cone Manor House being used as a regional craft center.

Information for planning a visit to Moses H. Cone Memorial Park is available on the

Details and other events are online. 888-233-6111 March 3 10 31 April 20 21 28 •Marion Comic Con •Bear Crawl OCR •14th Annual Tour de Lure •Hellbender 100 Miler •3rd Annual Carolina Donut Festival •Old Fort Pioneer Day


Shenandoah National Park lies astride a beautiful section of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which form the eastern rampart of the Appalachian Mountains between Pennsylvania and Georgia. The Shenandoah River flows through the valley to the west, with Massanutten Mountain, 40 miles long, standing between the river’s north and south forks. The rolling Piedmont country lies to the east of the Park. Skyline Drive, a 105-mile road that winds along the crest of the mountains through the length of the Park, provides vistas of the spectacular landscape to east and west. Many animals, including deer, black bears, and wild turkeys, flourish among the rich growth of an oak-hickory forest. In season, bushes and wildflowers bloom along the Drive and trails and fill the open spaces. Apple trees, stone foundations, and cemeteries are reminders of the families who once called this place home. Shenandoah National Park has many stories waiting to be told, and a world of beauty that can renew and bring peace to the spirit.


Visitors can participate in Ranger-guided activities, view audio-visual programs or exhibits at visitor centers, enjoy the panoramic views from overlooks, hike to peaks and waterfalls, fish or just plain relax in the peaceful surroundings.

Continuing a tradition set by George Freeman Pollock, who founded a resort at Skyland long before Shenandoah National Park was established, Delaware North at Shenandoah National Park, the Park’s concessioner offers a variety of activities for visitors in spring, summer,

Facilities and Services

Includes visitor centers, bookstores, campgrounds, showers and laundries, picnic areas, gift shops, lodges, cabins, restaurants, gas station, ATMs, waysides, campstores, a stable, & restrooms.

• Most facilities and services are available April through November

• Plan to obtain all food, gas, and lodging outside of the Park in December, January, February, and March.

Check the Park’s website or call (540) 999-3500 for current information.

and fall, providing a terrific way to have fun and learn more about the Park’s history and wildlife as well as regional arts, music, and crafts. For a calendar of events visit the concessioner’s website at


Bedford Artisan Trail

Handcrafted and Homegrown in the Shadow of the Peaks of Otter

farms, referred to on the trail as “agri-artisans.”

Creative community is abundant in Bedford, Virginia! Potters, painters, blacksmiths, quilters, woodworkers, and a multitude of other artisans carry on traditions and explore new horizons with their craft.

Local farms tap into the creative force of the earth to produce fruit, vegetables, meat, honey, fiber, herbs and flowers. The Bedford Artisan Trail is a growing network of businesses located throughout Bedford that promote and celebrate this unique aspect of the local economy. The trail is made up of artisan craft and fine art studios, art related businesses and organizations, and local

In addition, the trail highlights locally owned restaurants, lodging, and cultural destinations. Through an interactive website and printed map, the trail invites both visitors and locals alike to visit with artisans in their studios and watch the creative process in action. Along the trail, you may see a potter at the wheel, a blacksmith at the forge, or a woodworker at the lathe. In addition, the trail leads folks to one of many artisan farms, orchards, wineries, farm stands, and farmer’s markets. Buy a tasty treat or pick your own “Bedford Grown” produce.

The Bedford Artisan Trail is a cooperative venture between the citizens of Bedford County and the Artisans Center of Virginia. Find out more at www.bedfordartisantrail. org or follow on Facebook @ BedfordArtisanTrail.

For information on attractions, lodging, and other things to do in Bedford, stop by the Bedford Area Welcome Center at 816 Burks Hill Road, call 540-587-5681, or go to

The Welcome Center is open daily 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and offers free Wi-Fi, coffee, restrooms, a gift shop, firefighter exhibit, outdoor picnic area, and information about Bedford and the surrounding area.

2018 OUTDOOR DRAMA DATES: June 22, 23 & 24 July 13, 14 & 15 July 27, 28* & 29 540-999-1755 or Tickets at 7535 Lee Highway Radford, VA 24141 Performance and Dinner Venue *Mary Draper Ingles Remembrance Day Celebration Weekend Walk to Freedom: e Mary Draper Ingles Story

Grandfather Mountain Springs to Life

even before leaves have fully developed on the trees.

Following in its footsteps is the awe-inspiring Catawba rhododendron, whose bright pink blooms signal the true arrival of summer in the mountains. Guests to Grandfather Mountain can learn more about this fantastic flowering shrub with a little help from the park’s certified naturalists.

miss the June 9 event, maps will still be available through the rest of the month.

Those who prefer fauna to flora will delight in seeing the newest additions to Grandfather Mountain’s environmental wildlife habitats — three elk calves, named Doc, Merle and Watson. The trio arrived in December 2017 and has quickly become a favorite of guests.

Visitors to the habitats can also see the park’s newest Western cougars, Logan and Trinity, who moved into the expanded cougar habitat last fall.

The season of renewal has arrived at Grandfather Mountain in Linville, N.C., and with it the emergence of seasonal wildflowers and the promise of blooms soon to come.

The stunning and rare pinkshell azalea, native to only a few parts of Western North Carolina, blossoms in late April through early May, providing a burst of rosy color to the hillsides

During “The Remarkable Rhododendron Ramble,” set for June 9, guests can meet the mountain’s naturalists at the Nature Museum to obtain a map and information on where to find the most beautiful blooms. Special programming throughout the day will highlight this High Country jewel. For those who

Grandfather Mountain is located one mile from the Blue Ridge Parkway on U.S. 221 in Linville. To learn more and see a schedule of daily programs and events, visit, or call 1-800-468-7325.

Since 1910, the Switzerland Inn has delighted visitors with its fantastic mountain views and easy access to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Located at Mile Post 334, between Mt. Mitchell (the tallest peak east of the Rockies) and Grandfather Mountain (with the mile-high swinging bridge), the Inn features 72 mountain-view rooms, private chalets, a honeymoon cottage and the Diamondback Motorcycle Lodge with covered parking. Our amenities include fabulous dining, two patio bars, tennis courts, unique shopping, swimming pool and outdoor hot tubs – just to name a few. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, our renowned Chalet Restaurant overlooks a panoramic view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Our Friday Night Fresh Seafood and Prime Rib Buffet is sold-out popular.

Make Switzerland Inn your base camp to experience the (226A) and the Blue Ridge Parkway. 800-654-4026 • 828-765-2153

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Blue Ridge Parkway Highlights

Traveling the Blue Ridge Parkway or planning to? Here are some must visit places on the Parkway in north to south order:

Humpback Rocks ............................. Mileposts 5-9.3

Peaks of Otter Mileposts 84-87

Mabry Mill ..................................... Milepost 176.1

Doughton Park ........................ Mileposts 238.5-248

Northwest Trading Post Milepost 258.6

Linn Cove Viaduct ............................ Milepost 304.4

Linville Falls ....................................... Milepost 316

Folk Art Center Milepost 382

Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center ........ Milepost 384

Mt Pisgah ....................................... Milepost 408.6

Waterrock Knob ............................. Milepost 451.2

FYI: Both Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge prominently promote/talk about ‘Parkway’ as the Main Street thru their towns.

It’s easy to see what matters most from these heights. Ancient peaks. Breathtaking views. And memories to last a lifetime. Peaks of Otter Lodge guests will find it all, from the majestic Sharp Top Mountain, to scenic Abbott Lake and the Blue Ridge Parkway – America’s favorite drive.

Book your reservation at or call 888-454-7711

STEP AWAY FROM THE BACKYARD AND STEP OUTSIDE YOURSELF Start your adventure today. 800.852.9506
Hospitality by Delaware North, Inc. ©2018. DNC Parks & Resorts at Peaks of Otter Lodge. SPRING | SUMMER 2018 15
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SShenandoahNationalPark kyline Drive

“America’s Favorite Drive” at your fingertips

Find attractions, history, nearby communities, lodging, hiking trails and more with or without connectivity.


Cell service/internet conductivity is not 100% in or even near the mountains in many places. This is a very comprehensive app with lots of information, and best downloaded on a wireless connection.

8 57 42 20 24 43 40 40 39 8 49 109 311 229 231 49 87 340 220 460 460 460 220 220 220 220 421 501 360 158 158 311 311 221 250 522 501 211 340 340 522 29 33 33 29 29 29 58 58 64 60 58 29 11 15 50 81 64 64 85 85 40 64 66 Gorge River
Rocky Knob Smart View Roanoke Mountain Peaks of Otter Otter Creek Humpback Rocks Salem Radford Burnt Chimney Danville Chatham Gretna Altavista Rocky Mount Appomattox Snow Camp Roxboro Blacksburg Buena Vista Lexington Glasgow Bedford Vinton Natural Bridge Buchanan Charles Town Harpers Ferry Culpeper New Market Monterey Luray Kernersville Mountain Stuart Meadows of Dan Floyd Elkton Christiansburg Amherst Lovingston Warrenton Roanoke Asheboro Eden Staunton Lynchburg Farmville High Point Greensboro Burlington Reidsville Waynesboro Afton Winchester Martinsburg Leesburg Front Royal Martinsville Harrisonburg Charlottesville NC VA VA WV VA WV To Richmond To Durham To Washington, DC To Gettysburg, PA 0 45 63 90 106 112 120 121 177
No gasoline is available on the Parkway. Gas is available not far off the Parkway at any of these US or State Highway intersections: Gas Availability near the Blue
Parkway VIRGINIA US 250 MP 0 less than 3 miles west VA 56 MP 27 less than 3 miles east US 60 MP 45.6 less than 5 miles west US 501 MP 63.7 less than 2 miles south VA 43 MP 90.9 less than 5 miles north US 460 MP 106 less than 4 miles west VA 24 MP 112.2 less than 2 miles east or west US 220 MP 121.4 less than 5 miles north US 58 MP 177.7 less than 1 mile east US 52 MP 199.4 less than 1 mile north VA 89 MP 215.8 less than 8 miles north NORTH CAROLINA US 21 MP 229.7 less than 8 miles west NC 18 MP 248.1 less than 3 miles west NC 16 MP 261.2 less than 12 miles west US 321 MP 291.8 less than 2 miles north or south NC 181 MP 312 less than 3 miles north NC 226 MP 330.9 less than 3 miles north NC 80 MP 344 less than 1.2 miles north US 70 MP 382.5 less than 2 miles east or west US 74A MP 384.7 less than 3 miles south US 25 MP 388.8 less than 1 mile south less than 3 miles north NC 191 MP 393.6 less than 3 miles north US 276 MP 411.8 less than 10 miles north US 74/23 MP 4 43.1 less than 3 miles east US 19 MP 455.7 less than 3 miles east US 441 MP 469.1 less than 5 miles south

See Inside A MOUNTAIN!

Hendersonville’s Main Street Blossoms with Garden Jubilee

May 26-27

is Saturday, May 26, and Sunday, May 27.

The lawn-and-garden show, one of the largest in Western North Carolina, brings more than 250 vendors to downtown Hendersonville. Main Street’s wide, tree-lined sidewalks provide a picturesque setting.

Shoppers browse thousands of annuals, perennials, vegetables and herbs, as well as hard-to-find plants, supplied by local and regional nurseries. Vendors also stock a variety of yard art, lawn furniture, planters and birdhouses.

The centerpiece of the festival is the Lowe’s Expo located in the Visitor Center parking lot. The expo contains plants for sale, patio displays, exhibits on how to build outdoor structural elements, a hands-on children’s area and outdoor equipment.

Garden Jubilee provides educational opportunities by bringing in industry

experts. Bill Slack, Southern Living Magazine’s landscape and garden specialist, is a favorite returning guest who gives free gardening workshops. For gardeners with landscape issues, such as too much shade, pest problems, poor soil conditions or limited space, national product representatives and nursery employees are happy to answer questions and brainstorm solutions.

Hospitality tents hold purchases for visitors while they continue to shop.

Hours for Garden Jubilee are 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday, May 26, and Sunday, May 27. Festival maps and vendor directories will be available on-site.

For more information about Hendersonville, including lodging options for the weekend, go to or call (800) 828-4244.

Garden Jubilee kicks off the summer vacation season in Hendersonville each Memorial Day weekend. This year’s event
Located on U.S. 221 between Linville & Marion, NC. - Just 3 1/2 miles south of the Blue Ridge Parkway, Exit Milepost 317.4, turn left on U.S. 221 toward Linville Falls Village & Marion, NC 19929 US 221 North Marion, NC 800-419-0540 828-756-4171 LINVILLE CAVERNS North Carolina's Only Caverns! Don’t Miss! SPRING | SUMMER 2018 18




With over thirty years of providing fun family-friendly events in Downtown Wytheville, the Chautauqua Festival will once again be held from the third to fourth Saturdays in June (16-23). This annual event brings eight days of music, arts,

Wytheville. Children’s activities and arts programming is held during the day with free concerts in the park each evening.

Located at the crossroads of Interstates 77 & 81, Wytheville is just thirty minutes away from the Blue Ridge Parkway. A variety of special events are held throughout the year, including

Hot Dog Eating Contest. Music concerts and jams fill the events calendar every month of the year. Every weekend, you can take another beautiful scenic drive to the top of Big Walker Mountain for the free musical and arts demonstrations each Saturday and Sunday (May-October) at Big Walker Lookout. This attraction is an affiliate location of the Crooked Road Heritage Music Trail and

features regional performers and artists celebrating the heritage of Southwest Virginia.

Don’t forget that it’s All Musicals, All the Time at the Wohlfahrt Haus Dinner Theatre. The spring/ summer lineup includes: The Wizard of Oz (May 3-July 1), One Nation Under God (July 5-September 2) and Country Roads (September 6October 28).

For more information about special events and everything that the area has to offer, contact the Wytheville Convention & Visitors Bureau,

Come for the fishing, but stay for so much more

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

For 60+ consecutive years, burly athletes, dainty dancers, lusty bagpipers and thousands of kilted visitors have converged in Linville for the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games.

On July 12-15, the nation’s premier Highland Games and gathering of Scottish clans returns to this awe-inspiring site of MacRae Meadows.

The Grandfather Games are considered some of America’s best because of the outstanding mountain setting reminiscent of the Scottish moors. The craggy peaks of the 5,946-foot Grandfather Mountain overlook the grassy fields where Scottish traditions are fostered and deepened.

The event lineup includes a stirring opening torchlight ceremony, sheep herding exhibitions, “The Bear” footrace, tug-of-war battles and highland wrestling — all set to the sounds of pipes, drums, fiddles and rocking Celtic tunes. Witness the parade of tartans or learn about your own heritage and genealogy at more than 150 clan tents surrounding the grounds.

Carroll County, VA SPRING | SUMMER 2018 20

Get a Free Brochure Map to the New Surry County Wine Trail

visitors can hop off the parkway and use our hand-held brochure as a navigational guide.”

five breweries and distilleries. The map simplifies the experience of spending a day or two tasting wines and touring vineyards.


Surry County Wine

Trail recently debuted with a full-color brochure map highlighting 15 wineries in and around Surry County, along with

“We’ve heard for years that there is not one brochure or map that provides a comprehensive list of wineries in and around our county,” says Jessica Roberts, executive director of the Tourism Partnership of Surry County.

“Now Blue Ridge Parkway

The guide map provides a comprehensive geographical overview of the 15 wineries and includes physical addresses for use in GPS devices, as well as phone numbers and websites for each place on the trail.

The trail brochure also includes details about the many varieties of grapes grown in the Yadkin Valley, along with info about lodging and a listing of annual events.

“The trail guide has been very well received by our tourism partners, including our wineries, breweries, distilleries and lodging partners,” Roberts says. “They like having a brochure to give visitors to help them navigate.

Sometimes it is hard to find all the wineries, or even realize all the wineries, that we have in the county.”

Many people might not be aware that 2018 marks a 15year milestone for the Yadkin Valley. Thanks to the efforts of brothers Charlie and Ed Shelton of Shelton Vineyards in Surry County, the Yadkin Valley was granted official status as a federally-recognized American Viticultural Area (AVA) in 2003.

To request a free map by mail or download a PDF copy, visit


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

Book now at or call 877-313-2586.

Delaware North. ©2018 DNC
Resorts at Shenandoah, Inc.
Not far off the Blue Ridge Parkway, a new trail makes it easier for visitors to navigate through the heart of North Carolina’s Yadkin Valley wine country.

55th Annual Coon Dog Day Festival

Saturday, July 7, 2018

8 AM - 11 PM

Don’t miss Saluda’s 55th Annual COON DOG DAY—a celebration for dogs and their people! A homecoming and celebration for dogs and their people! Great food, live music, parade, crafts, street dance, and more.

Family Fun in Roanoke in Virginia’s Blue Ridge

Take milepost 120 into the heart of downtown Roanoke, an arts and culture hub for family fun with a walkable farmers market, local shops and divine cuisine. Spend a few days exploring museums like Virginia Museum of Transportation, Taubman Museum of Art, Roanoke Pinball Museum and Mill Mountain Zoo with the all-inclusive Star City Pass.

With this special pass, you’ll get discounted access to many of Roanoke’s most popular attractions, providing the opportunity to experience some of the best parts of Virginia’s Blue Ridge while saving money! When compared to regular ticket prices at each of these attractions, it’s a 31% discount on admission.

Purchase the Star City Pass through the McDonald’s Center in the Square Box Office (1 Market Square, SE Roanoke, VA 24011 or (540) 342-5700) through August 31, 2018. With our outstanding selection of museums, attractions, events, and outdoor activities, your entire family will be excited about getting to spend a Blue Ridge Day together!

Come enjoy this homecoming event in downtown Saluda. What began as a chicken supper fundraiser for the local Coon Club has grown into an event that attracts over 10,000 people each year. (800) 440-7848

Hampton Inn & Suites Woodstock, VA 1150 Motel Drive Woodstock, VA 22664 540-459-7111  The Best Place to Stay & Play in the Shenandoah Valley!  Complimentary Full Hot Breakfast  Indoor Pool & Whirlpool  Complimentary Wi-Fi  State of the Art Fitness Center  Business Center Best Pick in Virginia for… MusicoftheCrookedRoadattheRexTheatre NewRiverTrailStatePark•GalaxFarmersMarket WeeklyBluegrassandOldTimeJams•UniqueShopping, DiningandAccommodations•AnnualSpecialEventsincludingthe WorldFamousOldFiddler’sConvention! 888-217-8823 or 276-238-8130 SPRING | SUMMER 2018 22

Patrick County, Virginia The Lure of


Patrick County

Five rivers rise out from Patrick County, Virginia, flowing into two major watersheds. Every river or stream in the county originates from within its borders. This dynamic creates wading opportunities for anglers that can’t be found everywhere.

The Dan River begins northeast of the Meadows of Dan community on the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Native brook trout can be found in the river north of Talbott Dam. Firstclass rainbow, brook, and brown trout fishing can be found in the six-mile section between Talbott Dam, locally called the “Upper Dam,” and Townes Reservoir. The river flows from Townes Dam, locally called the “Lower Dam,” around the Pinnacles of Dan, three mountain peaks that rise up from the Dan River Gorge, to the Pinnacles Powerhouse. This section is a catch-and-release trout area and the section from the Powerhouse through Kibler Valley is a Category A put-and-take trout stream.

The North and South Mayo River are frequently stocked with brown and rainbow trout. The Smith River’s headwaters also start in Patrick County and can be accessed at Iron Bridge Road. Also near Woolwine is Rock Castle Creek, which contains pickerel and sunfish. The Ararat River rises up near the Ararat community and contains native and rainbow trout.

Lake fishing

There are four lakes in Patrick County with great fishing. The 168-acre Fairy Stone Lake, home of Fairy Stone State Park, offers largemouth bass, crappie, sunfish, and bluegill. Outboard motor use is prohibited on this lake. Philpott Lake is in Patrick, Henry, and Franklin counties. Philpott offers excellent bass, walleye, crappie, and catfish opportunities. Talbott Dam and Townes Reservoir offer many angling possibilities from shore, as well as from hand-carried boats and canoes.

While you’re there

Immerse yourself in local history, whether related to the early American republic, the Civil War, or NASCAR’s early roots. You can flatfoot to fiddle music or wind down at a winery. From the rugged outdoors to 5-star luxury, there is so much to discover in Patrick County.

Asheville Fine Art Show™

May 19 & 20, 2018

Saturday & Sunday

10am-5pm Daily

Indoors – WNC Agricultural Center

Davis Event Center Fletcher, NC

• Up to 125 Juried Fine Art & Fine Craft Artists

• All Art is Original & Personally Handmade

• Open to the Public

• $8 Admission/$10 2-Day Pass; 13 & Under Free

• Free Parking

• Youth Art Competition for K-8 or Ages 5-13 $250 cash awards!

Instagram @HotWorksArtShows

Michael Brennan, Mixed Media 2nd Annual

It’s Time to Visit

Bryson City, NC | Swain County

If you have high expectations for your next getaway, look no further than Bryson City - a small mountain town bordered by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Fontana Lake, and the Tuckasegee and Oconaluftee rivers.

Swain County has the highest peaks and some of the best rushing water in the Smokies, including Deep Creek’s trio of waterfalls just outside Bryson City. Take a hike, a whitewater tube ride, fish for trout, have a picnic and splash in an oldfashioned “swimming hole.”

From Nantahala River whitewater rafting, to worldclass mountain biking,

paddleboarding, zip-lines, scenic train rides, and drives along “The Dragon,” Bryson City offers something for everyone.

June 2

Classic Car Show | Bisset Park

Radford’s Visitors Center

(located inside Glencoe Musuem)

600 Unruh Drive • Radford, VA

June 22, 23 & 24

A great vacation destination that includes a scenic drive on The Parkway,

&Luray Page County, Virginia

After an active day, enjoy some downtime downtown with a free concert, eclectic dining or a hometown brew. Stroll through the shops, galleries, and studios of local artisans. Unwind at one of our comfortable B&Bs, cabins, motels or resorts. And get ready for another day of fun in the Smokies.

‘Scenic and Beautiful’ are top descriptions of Luray and Page County, Virginia

Scenic Page County offers year-round refreshment and relaxation—in addition to shopping and dining—in the charming communities of Luray, Shenandoah, and Stanley. Area attractions include the legendary Luray Caverns, Shenandoah National Park and the Skyline Drive, miles of hiking and biking trails, and golf and a variety of sports on the beautiful Shenandoah River. Look for locally-produced food on restaurant menus. Wisteria Farm & Vineyard is the perfect spot for a picnic and a day in the country. Page County makes a beautiful destination for holidays—spend a romantic weekend in TLC’s Number Two Destination Wedding Locale. There are hotels, B&Bs, and cabins galore!

Your journey begins at the Luray-Page County Chamber of Commerce’s website,, or call toll free at 888-743-3915

Mary Draper Ingles Statue & Play SUP and Tube Rentals in Bisset Park
“America’s Favorite Drive”.
HIDDEN GEMS RV SERVICES ASHEVILLE, NC Located just off I-40 exit #44 at 120 Highland Center Blvd. 30+ years RV repair experience. (828) 553-7111 24

Follow In The Footsteps Of George Washington, Stonewall Jackson And Patsy Cline.

The Winchester area offers a true hub for visitors to Shenandoah National Park. A unique history, vibrant pedestrian downtown, and an array of lodging, dining and shopping choices all abound in a place where you can follow in the footsteps of George Washington, Stonewall Jackson and Patsy Cline.

Spring and summer visitors will be treated to the worldfamous Apple Blossom Festival, thriving nights and a vibrant countryside. If you can take your eyes off the stunning leaves in the fall, you’ll find a quieter pace and a full slate of fall festivals. Wintertime finds holiday events, cozy B&B stays, and a growing number of wineries to explore.

Get the inside scoop before visiting the Winchester area with articles like “16 Local Spots for Dining alfresco,” “Top 10 Must-Do List for Fall,” “8 Totally Unexpected Finds” and more at blog.

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

This region has been home to musicians whose artistry has shaped many forms of American music. Today young people in the region are learning these traditions and transforming them into new forms of roots music. • #BlueRidgeMusicNC 25

Mountain Lodging Food Fun


Asheville East KOA-Exit 59 off I-40 big rigs & tenters welcome. Wooded sites, with pool, lake & river fishing. 800-562-5907 or (828) 686-3121. 2708 Hwy 70E, Swannanoa, NC 28778.

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.

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

Mast Store – Located at 15 Biltmore Ave., Downtown Asheville. Restored to its 1940s heyday, this store features housewares, jams & jellies, camping gear, shoes & boots, clothing, and over 500 old-fashioned candy favorites. 828-232-1883.

Rug & Home - Over 20,000 oriental rugs & home accessories. Finest rugs from India, China, Pakistan, Persia, Turkey, Egypt, Karastan, Milliken. Tapestries, needlepoints, oil paintings, antique furniture, brass, crystal, & Tiffany lamps, mirrors. Local & national artists. Sculptures and fine porcelain. Located at I-26, exit 33 behind Ethan Allen. Open 7 days. (828) 667-4585.

Shoji Spa & Lodge - Relax at Asheville’s only outdoor hot tub spa. Reap the benefits of the cold plunge, unwind in our sauna and rest in the Lodge. Specializing in couples massage. 2500 ft. above stress level. By appt. only. (828) 299-0999.


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


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.


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

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.

Jenkins Rentals - The finest rental homes, cabins and condos in the Blowing Rock area. Hot tubs & Mtn vews available. (800) 438-7803.

Mystery Hill. - 129 Mystery Hill Ln, Blowing Rock, NC 28605. Family fun center. Feel the strange pull. Hall of Mystery artifacts. Museum open all year. 828-263-0507.

Village Inns of Blowing RockNo Smoking, Wi-Fi/Breakfast. Suites/Cottages/Rooms. Some Pet Friendly Rooms. (828) 295-3001


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

Hidden Valley Motel- Birds, blooms and butterflies in the Foscoe Valley. Hwy 105 south between Boone and Banner Elk. Call 828/963-4372. or email:

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

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


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.


Oconaluftee Indian Village - Share the rich history & traditions of the Cherokee at this replica of a Cherokee community of the 1750s.

May thru Oct.


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


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


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

Visit and start planning your Parkway journey today! Discover activities and points of interest for the entire Blue Ridge Parkway region - including lodging and camping, top-rated attractions, arts, history & more. Need Travel Help? 26
Be sure to tell them you saw it in THE DIGEST!

Mountain Lodging Food Fun


Grandfather Mountain - Grandfather’s lofty heights offer guests opportunities for rejuvenation, excitement and family memories in a natural haven that will endure forever. Marvel at 360-degree views from the Mile High Swinging Bridge, stand eye-to-eye with native wildlife in natural habitats and interact with our friendly, knowledgeable staff. One mile from Blue Ridge Parkway; take the Linville exit at Milepost 305 to U.S. 221 South. Open daily, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. $20 adult; $18 senior 60+; $9 child 4-12; under 4 free. | (828) 733-4337 or (800) 468-7325


Linville Caverns - 19929 US 221 N. Marion. 4 miles South of Parkway, MP 317. NC’s ONLY show cavern. 800-419-0540.

Linville Falls Lodge & CottagesBRP Milepost 317.4, US 221S 1 mile to Rt. 183, left. Restaurant (ABC permit), Walk to falls & gorge. (800) 634-4421.


Emerald Village - Real mines, mine tours, & gem mining. Other free displays: railroad, music museum, wildlife. MP334. 828-765-6463.

Switzerland Cafe & General StoreMP 334 1/4 mile of the Parkway. Lunch and weekend dinners. Souvenirs and picnic items. Call 828-765-5289.

Switzerland Inn And Chalet Restaurant - A little bit of Switzerland in NC. Fantastic mountain views, rooms, suites, cottages, dining, shopping, tennis. Located directly on the Blue Ridge Parkway at the Little Switzerland exit near Parkway Milepost 334. Little Switzerland, NC 28749. (828) 765-2153 or (800) 654-4026.


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.

Haywood County Hotel & Motel Assoc.-Maggie Valley,Waynesville,Lake Junaluska. Quality lodging & dining within minutes of 4 BRP exits, MP 420-450. All accommodations adhere to Quality Standards. See us

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.


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.


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


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: see ad page 5

Thistle Meadow Winery - Stop for wine tasting - exit at Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 248. 3 miles to winery on NC18.(800) 233-1505. gas nearby.


Bear Den Creekside CabinsOn the Blue Ridge Parkway at MP 324.8. All amenities, jacuzzis, decks, fireplaces. For 2 to 10. (828) Res. recmd. See ad page 10.

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

Bear Den Campground - On the Blue Ridge Parkway at MP 324.8. Complete facilities, serving the south for over 41 years. (828) 765-2888. Scenic beauty. see ad page 10.

Peak Mountain Cottages & Retreat Center--On 300 acres, 7 miles N of Pkwy. Room to play or relax. Hiking trails, clear mtn streams. 460 Rabbit Hop Rd near Penland. Individuals, families or groups up to 25. 828-7659559.


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

Be sure to tell them you saw it in THE DIGEST! Be sure to tell them you saw it in THE DIGEST! Located just off the Blue Ridge Parkway! Also be sure to check out the Bedford Wine Trail, Historic Centertown, and the Bedford Artisan Trail. Stay in the mountains, by the water, or somewhere in between!
Jump in at Smith Mountain Lake.
Discover views at Sharp Top, Peaks of Otter. Honor heroes at the National D-Day Memorial.
Bedford Area Welcome Center & Tourism 816 Burks Hill Road, Bedford, VA 24523 877-HI-PEAKS • @VisitBedfordVA 27
Follow in the footsteps of Thomas Jefferson at Poplar Forest.

Mountain Lodging Food Fun


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


Ski Mountain Chalet & Condo

Rentals - 1-6 bedroom units, hot tubs, jacuzzis, pool tables, kitchens, fireplaces, privacy. (800) 824-4077.


Peaks of Otter Winery & Orchards

- 2122 Sheep Creek Rd, 24523. MP 86. Fruit wine, fruit, jams, jellies, free tastings. Vacation rentl house. 540586-3707. or


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


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.


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


Blue Ridge Restaurant, Inc. - E. Main St., Floyd, VA (540) 745-2147. For good home-style cooking try our daily specials. We are open early with gravy biscuits, hot cakes, country ham, and eggs every day.

Chantilly Farm Campground

2697 Franklin Pike SE. RV sites: electric, water, sewer, tent camping w/amenities. WiFi, ice, ATM. 540-808 -4984

Floyd County Tourism109 East Main St. Floyd, VA 24091 Mountain town with unique music, arts, outdoor fun! 540-239-8509

Floyd Country Store: Famous venue for Heritage Appalachian music every weekend. Store and cafe open all week.

Floyd Lodging Association

A community of local lodging facilities working together to accommodate your unique needs.

Floyd Visitors Center 109 E. Main St., Floyd, VA 24091 Mountain town with unique music, arts, outdoor fun! 540-745-4407

Hotel Floyd - 120 Wilson St, Floyd, VA. (540) 745-6080. Unique lodging off MP165 with themed rooms and located downtown Floyd. Don’t miss visiting this unique town and hotel!


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


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


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


Primland Resort - 2000 Busted Rock Road. Resort Lodge, Fairway Cottages, Mountain Homes. Spectacular views. Golf. Spa. Dining, Outdoor activities. 276.222.3800


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


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


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.


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.

Be sure to tell them you saw it in THE DIGEST! A real-time road closure map for the entire Parkway is available at: POSSIBLE ROAD CLOSURES ON THE BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY INFO: 28

Outdoor Adventures in Lexington & Rockbridge County

Spring and summer are perfect seasons to visit Lexington, Buena Vista, and Rockbridge County as native plants and trees fill in the voids of winter to create a vibrant backdrop for outdoor adventure.

Plan a hike for wildflowers and breathtaking views along Whetstone Ridge, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, or opt for a level seven-mile walk on the Chessie Nature Trail along the Maury River between Buena Vista and Lexington.

Saddle up for a guided trail ride with Stone Bride Equestrian Center, a 155-acre riding facility near Natural Bridge State Park. After the ride, visit “the most sublime of nature’s works,” the Natural Bridge itself. Believed to have been formed when a huge cavern collapsed, a visit to the adjacent Caverns at Natural

Bridge is an excellent addition to get a “before” point of view.

Great Valley Farm Brewery is just north of Natural Bridge State Park and offers not only awardwinning craft beer but what should be award-winning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Enjoy a seasonal pint and then travel north to downtown Lexington to treat yourself to a chef-prepared meal at Red Hen, Rocca, Haywood’s, or Southern Inn.

As the weather continues to warm, consider the Upper James River Water Trail for a kayaking trip. Guided options

and rentals are available from Wilderness Canoe Company. Advanced kayakers thrive among the enormous boulders of Goshen Pass, and spring is the best season to tackle the roaring rapids of the Maury River.

Music lovers tend to plan trips around festivals and concerts. If

that’s you, Glen Maury Park and Lime Kiln Theater are two venues with which to become familiar. Bluegrass, folk, and even beach music ring out from Lexington and Rockbridge County.

For more travel ideas, head to

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Nature. } { GRANDFATHER MOUNTAIN® Seems like we’re all drawn to nature. And whether it’s childlike wonder or an adult sense of discovery, you’ll find it here, in abundance.

Walk to Freedom:

The Mary Draper Ingles Story

Join us in making history, as one of Virginia’s heroines, Mary Draper Ingles, tells her story of strength and determination that reunited her with her family after being captured by Native Americans in 1755. “The Long Way Home” was designated as the official historical outdoor drama of the Commonwealth, and was held annually in Radford, VA from 1971-1999. The play told the story of Mary’s capture, life among the Native Americans, and her eventual escape and journey of hundreds of miles to return to her home in the New River Valley. The story is now being retold as a historical outdoor drama at the Nesselrod B & B amphitheater.

Tickets are now on sale via a link on the Nesselrod website ( for both general admission and dinner theater seats. Dinner theater tickets are $50 and will provide patrons with reserved seats at the front of the amphitheater and dinner before the performance. A limited amount of dinner tickets will be available so please purchase these in advance. General admission tickets are $15 and guests are asked to bring a chair or blanket.

Performance dates are:

June 22, 23 & 24

July 13, 14 & 15

July 27, 28 & 29

5 Insider Tips For Visiting Staunton This Spring

If you haven’t visited yet, now is the perfect time to make your first trip. Staunton frequently tops many “best” lists - and for good reason. The city’s architecture, performing arts, local charm, and buzz-worthy dining scene make it an ideal getaway, especially in the spring.

Shakespeare’s indoor theatre. The spring season includes Macbeth, Taming of the Shrew, Sense and Sensibility (by Jane Austen) and Equivocation (by Bill Cain).

Take a free guided architectural walking tour

Historic Staunton Foundation offers FREE walking tours every Saturday at 10 am from May through October. Visitors wind their way through four of Staunton’s six historic districts as a local guide describes Staunton’s development and architecture.

See a show

Staunton is home to the American Shakespeare Center and the Blackfriars Playhouse, the world’s only re-creation of

Spend a day at a museum

Explore the Shenandoah Valley’s pioneering history at the Frontier Culture Museum, with living snapshots of what frontier from the 1600s through the mid-1800s in this area. Jumping ahead to the 20th century, take a closer look at our 28th president at theWoodrow Wilson

Presidential Museum as you take a self-guided tour through seven galleries that explore Wilson’s life and legacy.




through a Saturday farmer’s market

At this producers-only market, you can enjoy live music and meet local farmers and food artisans. This event runs every Saturday from 7 am to 12 pm in the Wharf District.

Tap into the latest local brews Beer is in, and Staunton is at the center of a booming beer scene. What better place to try out a flight on the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail than Redbeard Brewing, which was recently tapped in a story by the Washington Post for best barrelaged beers. SPRING | SUMMER 2018 30 1-877-347-8307