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the most widely distributed travel publication in the mountains


Blue Ridge & Great Smoky Mountains Hiking, Tubing, Fishing There’s something for every one at Blowing Rock, NC The Best Destinations Are A Little Off The Beaten Path Take charge of your summer fun Music on Main Launches Free Summer Concerts

photo is by Todd Bush, courtesy of Blowing Rock TDA. The Blowing Rock looking into the John’s River Gorge.



in Virginia’s Blue Ridge.

Discover the many ways to fill your days with fun and adventure in the Roanoke Valley in Virginia’s Blue Ridge, like hiking on the famous Appalachian Trail and mountain biking on the renowned trails at 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.

PLAN YOUR BLUE RIDGE DAY AT #BlueRidgeDay 800.635.5535

Mill Mountain Zoo 540-343-3241

The National D-Day Memorial 800-351-DDAY

Smith Mountain Lake



Starr Hill Brewery 540-685-2012

Don’t take the same old journey. Be somewhere genuine. Be somewhere amazing. Be changed.


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

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!

Float On!

44th Annual North Carolina Bluegrass Summer On The Shenandoah Festival!


irginia’s Route 340, between Front Royal and Luray, is one of the lesser known but more rewarding scenic drives in the Shenandoah Valley. As more and more visitors are discovering, one of the best places to get out of the car and into adventure is along the south fork of the mighty Shenandoah River, which meanders through miles of rolling farmland, lush green forests, towering bluffs, and centuries of history. For an unforgettable day of floating fun, check out one of the many options to rent canoes, kayaks, rafts and tubes along the river. Experienced operators like Shenandoah River Outfitters, Inc. (Luray), Front Royal Outdoors (Front Royal), and Shenandoah River Adventures (Shenandoah) provide not only rentals, but also first-class guidance on where to go and what to expect, as well as information on current water conditions. Most operators run their river trips rain or shine, so call ahead for latest updates. There are also plenty of nearby “indoor” options if you want to wait out the rain,

such as Skyline Caverns in Front Royal or Luray Caverns in Luray. If you have your own watercraft, plan to put in at Shenandoah River State Park, which offers more than five miles of river frontage plus 1,600 acres of back-country hiking opportunities. The park’s trail system is well maintained and less challenging than in nearby Shenandoah National Park. Want to make it a weekend? Consider staying in one of the region’s many cabin rentals for a truly memorable experience in the Shenandoah Valley. A wide range of affordable lodging options, from cabins to hotels, is available at

Norman and Judy Adams have been creating and promoting bluegrass festivals for 44 years. Big rewards come from years of experience and this year’s event in Marion, North Carolina will introduce you to some of the most well known artists in the industry. This is an outdoor festival taking place on the grounds of Tom Johnson’s Camping Center at 1885 US Highway 70 West in Marion, NC. Bring your chairs or blankets, but the pets need to stay home, sorry guys. The three day event begins on Thursday, August 16th with daily performances ending on Saturday night, August 18th. Performers include Ronda Vincent and The Rage, The Little Roy and Lizzy Show, The Crowe Brothers, Dailey and Vincent, The Earls of Leicester, The Gibson Brothers, The Malpass Brothers and many more. Three day tickets and individual day tickets are available online or at the door. Children under age 7 enter free of charge. To purchase online go to www. Find the perfect place to stay by searching The Blue Ridge Travelers’ website, or call 888-233-6111 to receive free printed guides and maps. Additional area events, attractions, trails, waterfalls and more are also online at:


Mon-Sat 9am-5pm • Sun Noon-5pm (closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, & New Year’s Day)

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

VISIT OUR NEW MUSEUM Opening June 2018 Call for details

Grand Opening in July for our newly renovated museum. Stay informed - check out our website or like us on Facebook.

Visit & enjoy our outdoor exhibits and take a walk on a mile and half trail!

Operated by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Nation. Tennessee’s ONLY Tribally-Operated Historical Attraction. Hwy 360 • PO Box 69 • Vonore, TN 37885 • 423-884-6246 • Hwy P.O.Smoky BoxMountains 69 • Vonore, TN 37885 • 423-884-6246 Located360 in the• Great of East Tennessee on the shores of beautiful Tellico•Lake, 37 miles south of downtown Knoxville. Operated by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Nation. Tennessee’s ONLY Tribally-Operated Historical Attraction.

Located in the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee on the shores of beautiful Tellico Lake, 37 miles south of downtown Knoxville.

Forget your cares...

… and return to a place and time you thought had passed. Alleghany County and Sparta NC are home to the Blue Ridge Mountain community where Parkway construction began. And it is still home to a relaxed, rural pace of life that retains much of the unspoiled beauty that it shares with the famous scenic byway. With two state parks, New River and Stone Mountain, plus Doughton Park, the Parkway’s largest developed recreation area, camping, picnicking, hiking, fishing and bicycling opportunities abound. The New River offers canoeing, tubing, kayaking and fishing and is a welcome respite from summer heat. Get schooled in mountain music at the Alleghany Jubilee’s weekly barn dance (, 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

Sparta, NC / Alleghany County

Toll Free Reservations: 1-888-372-2501 341 N. Main St. Sparta, NC

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

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


Music on Main Launches Free Summer Concerts Popular Concert Series Returns to Historic Downtown Hendersonville

rock oldies, beach music and soul from the ’50s through the ’80s— fun songs people love to dance to and that everyone knows. We’re bringing back many of the crowd’s favorite bands, along with some they haven’t seen in a few years.” usic on Main, the Cars shows are held every increasingly popular Friday evening in conjunction with concert series, is Music on Main. The car shows returning to Downtown Historic alternate between classic cars Hendersonville this summer. The concerts will be held every Friday and Corvette nights. The cars are located in front of the Visitor from June 8 through August 17 Center, between Allen Street and from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Caswell Street, which will be Michael Arrowood, Event closed to traffic. Coordinator for the Henderson NOTICES FOR CONCERTCounty Tourism Development GOERS: Admission is free. Authority, says Music on Main Attendees are encouraged to Street is an event the local bring a chair. Concessions such community and summertime hot dogs, ice cream, pretzels and visitors really look forward to each year. “We start getting calls lemonade are available for sale. The audience seating area opens early in the spring, asking when after 5:30 p.m.; early admission the music will be held. It’s really is prohibited. Visitors should a multigenerational event, very family-friendly. Bands mostly play leave pets at home because city



Music on Main

Free Summer Concerts Downtown Hendersonville, Visitor Center Friday nights from 7 to 9 p.m. June 8 Tuxedo Junction June 15 Dashboard Blue June 22 Emporium June 29 The Flying Saucers July 4 Wishful Thinkin’ (special concert and fireworks) July 13 96.5 House Band July 20 Flashback, the Party Band July 27 Rock & Roll Reunion Aug 3 The Night Move Band Aug 10 Gotcha Groove Aug 17 Deano & the Dreamers ordinances prohibit animals in the event area. No alcoholic beverages, backpacks or coolers are allowed. In case of inclement weather, the concert will be postponed until 8:00 p.m.; if the weather does not improve by that time, the performance will be cancelled. For additional information, a concert schedule or lodging and travel information, call the Visitor Center at 828-693-9708 or 800-828-4244, or go online to music-on-main-street., 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:




Located just off I-40 exit #44 at 120 Highland Center Blvd. 30+ years RV repair experience.

Contact: or (828) 553-7111



Cherokee Heritage Festival

Fine Art & Master Crafts Festivals!

Saturday, September 15, 2018 10:00 am - 3:00 pm 805 Hwy 64 Business • Hayesville, NC 28904 Free Admission!


njoy traditional dancing, cultural arts demonstrations, storytelling, frybread, singing, and flute music during this free festival at the outdoor 17th century Cherokee Homestead Exhibit, one of five attractions along a 2-mile Cherokee History Trail in Hayesville. Featured Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians include World Champion Hoop dancer Eddie Swimmer, award-winning 96 year-old potter Amanda Swimmer, nationally recognized artisan and

storyteller Davy Arch and the Oconaluftee Village dancers and artisans from Cherokee, North Carolina. Children of all ages will enjoy craft activities, practicing blowgun techniques and a scavenger hunt with their families. Adults will enjoy plant walks through Native Botanical Gardens, led by Hiwassee River Watershed Coalition staff. The

adjacent Clay County “Old Jail” Museum will be open throughout the event. Free admission, parking and shuttle bus. For additional information: 828-389-3045 or Sponsored by: Clay County Communities Revitalization Association.

A great place(s) to visit this summer are the two summer Fine Art & Master Crafts Festivals in Banner Elk, NC! The first will be held on July 20-22, 2018 and the second will be held on August 10-12, 2018. These juried festivals feature handcrafted wares from more than 90 vendors. Photography, paintings, jewelry, sculpture, and pottery are just some of the crafts offered. Presented by the Avery County Chamber of Commerce at the Historic Banner Elk Elementary School located at 185 Azalea Circle, Banner Elk, 28604 Show Hours: Fri: 1pm-5pm, Saturday: 10am-5pm, Sunday: 10am-4pm More info: (828) 898-5605 or

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

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


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

After a day of adventure, come back to the hotel to a heated indoor pool & soothing whirlpool. Clean & spacious rooms with king or queen beds, refrigerators, free high-speed Internet access, microwave ovens. Free Bright Side BreakfastTM. Pet friendly

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

Complimentary Morning Medley breakfast Outdoor pool Guest Laundry Ample parking

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


The North Carolina Arboretum Makes Sense Out of the Storied Artist ry, History and Science of Perfume at New Exhibit


xplore the artistry, history and science of fragrance at The North Carolina Arboretum’s newest traveling exhibit, Making Scents: The Art and Passion of Fragrance® this summer at the Arboretum’s Baker Exhibit Center and throughout its nationally-known gardens. This interactive exhibit offers a unique, innovative experience where visitors learn about some of Mother Nature’s most aromatic botanicals and the storied history of perfume that spans centuries.

Walk to Freedom:

The Mary Draper Ingles Story

2018 Outdoor Drama Dates: June 22, 23 & 24 July 13, 14 & 15 July 27, 28* & 29

7535 Lee Highway Radford, VA 24141

Performance and Dinner Venue

540-999-1755 or

Tickets at

*Mary Draper Ingles Remembrance Day Celebration Weekend

Beginning with traditional harvesting and extraction methods and continuing through the chemical combinations of synthetic fragrances, Making Scents uncovers the technical processes behind fragrance creation through an immersive multisensory experience that is suitable for the whole family. From the amount of rose petals needed to make Chanel No. 5, to North Carolina farmers’ role in scent production, to Napoleon’s desire to consume cologne, this exhibit blends flora, fashion and fragrance, while taking visitorson a full sensory journey. Using interactive computerized stations, visitors can create their own fragrance card through different combinations of what perfumers call top, middle and base notes. The exhibit also includes 10 different scent-seeking stations, each with its own mystery fragrance and story, accompanied by container gardens that showcase many of the plants that produce the mystery scents. Making Scents also features the “Perfume Palace,” a collection of 200 perfume bottles, with some dating to ancient Greece and Rome and others featuring the work of 19th century art glassmakers and designers, such as Lalique, Steuben and Tiffany. Members of the International Perfume Bottle Association contributed many of the bottles, and a video slideshow highlights interesting facts about various bottles and scents.

Making Scents is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. September 3, 2018. For more information, please visit www.ncarboretum. org. Exhibit admission to Making Scents is free; standard Arboretum parking fees still apply.

MABRY MILL Parkway Icon


ravelers 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 or (276) 952-2947.



Blue Ridge Music Center is at it Again!


he city of Galax and the surrounding counties in the mountains of Virginia and North Carolina have long been known for their rich musical heritage. What better place to listen to and learn about these traditions than the Blue Ridge Music Center? Located at milepost 213 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, it sits in the heart of this musical region. The Music Center features live music and an exhibit that brings to life the story of the Appalachian roots of American music. Saturday evening concerts highlight the interplay between the musical traditions of the Blue Ridge Mountains and regional,


national, and international traditional and folk music genres from farther afield. This year’s lineup of performers features some of the best-known names in contemporary roots and Americana music, including the only female winner of The Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass, Rhiannon Giddens; and two-time Grammy Award-winners, the Steep Canyon Rangers; one of the most innovative traditional music ensembles in America today. Concerts are held on Saturdays, 7pm, began in May and continue all summer, wrapping up with two indoor performances in October.

You can see forever.


The Blue Ridge Music Center also hosts Midday Mountain Music from noon to 4pm daily. During these sessions, visitors are invited to watch and listen as talented regional musicians play and sing various styles of roots music, including bluegrass, old-time, traditional country, folk, blues and gospel.

The Roots of American Music Museum tells the story of the region’s musical heritage, helping visitors better understand and appreciate the complexity and richness of the region’s culture. Midday Mountain Music and the Roots of American Music Museum are free.

For the complete schedule of performances, visitor information, and tickets for the concert series, visit or call (866) 308-2773, ext 212.


Hand in hand is a wonderful way to share the awe and delights that await you at Grandfather Mountain. Share the joy today and help us preserve it for tomorrow. w w w. g ra n d f a t h e r. c o m



Cool Down in Pigeon Forge This Summer


chools are winding down and summer is quickly approaching in Pigeon Forge. It’s one of the most exciting times of year for this

vacation hotspot tucked in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with endless shopping, dining and entertainment options.

A New Mode of Transportation in Downtown Harrisonburg, VA The pedicab is handmade and features seating for up to three passengers, including seatbelts, as well as some protection from the sun. Friendly City Pedicab generally operates in the downtown area and specializes in short trip transportation. For more information: Text or call: 540-746-2856 or Email

Before it gets too hot, visitors can cool down at one of the newest attractions, Pigeon Forge Snow. Fifteen snow tube lanes are lined with fresh snow 365 days a year. No need to pack parkas— the indoor facility stays at a comfortable 65-70 degrees. The only one of its kind in the United States, real snow is made in-house using a state-of-the-art patented technology and features only one ingredient— water. Over at The Island at Pigeon Forge, the Island Creamery serves ice another way with a large selection of ice cream flavors and smoothies. The free Island Show Fountain kicks off every 30 minutes with plenty of rocking chairs positioned for the ultimate viewing experience to sit and relax. Escape the heat at The Escape Game where teams work together to save the world, break out of prison, find the treasure or solve a mystery. Scheduled to open this summer, audiences can join in the high-energy competition at the new Paula Deen’s Lumberjack Feud Show and Adventure. The show will take place in a climate controlled covered grandstand that seats 350 people. With a little something for everyone, other must-see stops in Pigeon Forge include The Titanic Museum, Dollywood, Dollywood’s Splash Country, The Old Mill and so much more. For more information on these attractions and Pigeon Forge, please visit


Virginia's Blue Ridge is Now an Official IMBA Silver-Level Ride Center™

Virginia's Blue Ridge has been awarded a Silver-Level Ride Center designation by the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) elevating the region to a whole new level as a mountain biking destination. The IMBA Ride Center designation recognizes the pinnacle of mountain biking communities. These are communities with something for every rider, from a variety of mountain biking experiences for locals and visitors alike, to robust local accommodations for visiting mountain bikers. IMBA Ride Centers are extensive trail networks, masterfully designed for mountain bikers of every skill level and built by professional trail builders and local volunteers. From backcountry adventures to shuttle-served gravity trails, and from expertonly trails to family-friendly riding, mountain bikers can expect the best the sport has to offer at an IMBA Ride Center. For a list of best trails and rides in Virginia's Blue Ridge, visit



46th Annual Village Art and Craft Fair AUGUST 4th & 5th, 2018


The fair hosts 114 artists from n August 4th and 5th 16 states, representing the full 2018 New Morning spectrum of craft media - jewelry, Gallery and Bellagio Artceramic, to-Wear wood, fiber, sponsor metals, twothe Village dimensional Art and art and Craft Fair more. on the Fair grounds hours are of the Saturday Cathedral 10am to of all 7pm and Souls Sunday Noon to 5pm, rain or in Biltmore Village. In its 46th shine. There is no admission fee. year, the VACF continues a long Homemade refreshments are tradition of bringing high-quality crafts to Historic Biltmore Village. available at church sponsored

concession booths with proceeds benefiting the Cathedral’s Outreach program.

More information: (800) 933-4438 or village-arts-and-crafts-fair.

August & July • Square Dancing Saturday Night 8:00pm,

Geneva Hall - Little Switzerland

July, Aug. & Sept. • Live Music & Dancing August 16, 17, 18

Orchard at Altapass MP 328.3

• 44th Annual NC Bluegrass Festival - Marion

August 18 • Marion Cruise-In - Marion

September 8 • Marion Bigfoot Festival - Marion Details and other events are online.



Mayberry Days in Mount Airy!


ayberry Days® is a festival for the whole family with activities and events for the fans who long for the days when life was simple and the sheriff didn’t carry a gun. Enjoy a bottle of pop while playing checkers, relax to music from many local bands playing the same songs that Andy grew up with and performed on The Andy Griffith Show.

From the first laugh at “The Mouth of Mayberry” on Monday to “The Emmett” golf tournament on Thursday to eating a porkchop sandwich to singing along on the last song at the Blackmon Amphitheatre on Sunday evening, there is something for everyone in the family. The Surry Arts Council and City of Mount Airy welcome fans of all ages and from all

Frontier Culture Museum


he 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 & preCivil 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

around the world to Mayberry Days. Make plans now to attend this family-friendly festival and enjoy days filled with the Mayberry spirit. There is so much to do during the festival with all types of shows, a parade, Special Guests, contests, a silent auction, contests and games. Something for the entire family! So much to do, but remember to to take time to slow down and enjoy what Mayberry means to you. All Mayberry Days events take place at the Andy Griffith Playhouse, Historic Earle Theatre, Andy Griffith Museum Theatre or Blackmon Amphitheatre except “The Emmett” with the Dinner & Entertainment on Thursday

Best Pick in Virginia for…

Theatre the Rex rs Market t a d a o oked R • Galax Farme ue Shopping, g the f the Cro Music o Trail State Park ime Jams • Uniq l Events includin r T e cia New Riv egrass and Old s • Annual Spe lu n B io t ly a k ! d e n o We mm entio nd Acco r’s Conv Dining a ous Old Fiddle am World F

888-217-8823 or 276-238-8130


September 24-30 2018

at Cross Creek Country Club. The Surry Arts Council venues are within walking distance of each other, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes and clothes (the festival goes on, rain or shine). There is free parking in the numerous municipal lots downtown. Events are scheduled for minimal overlap where you can enjoy nearly everything. Be sure to come visit Mount Airy during other times of the year as well. The Andy Griffith Museum is open 7 days a week and the Surry Arts Council has events going on throughout the year, so there are plenty of reasons to return.

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Paddling Through Lexington, Buena Vista, and Rockbridge County Experience the thrill of whitewater or relish calm serenity. For whichever way you prefer your water, we’re confident you’ll love the rivers in Rockbridge County. Get Outside! A great section for tubing or novice kayaking is from Jordan’s The 30-mile Maury River Point Park to the Route 60 Bridge begins and ends in Rockbridge in Buena Vista. It’s 10 miles of County. Not far from the solace as you pass woods and headwaters of the Maury, Goshen pasture. The Chessie Nature Trail Pass is a roaring beacon for runs parallel to the river on an old whitewater lovers. After heavy rail bed; wildlife and cows are rains the river serves Class IV around every bend. rapids. Wicked sections bear Flat water is waiting for you names like Devil’s Kitchen and between the Route 60 dam in Corner Rapids - one long and Buena Vista and Glen Maury technical, the other delivering Park. You’ll easily enjoy this intimidating obstacles like stretch on paddleboard, kayak, Hematoma Hole. tube, or canoe.

The Maury River

The 12 miles between Glen Maury Park and Locher Landing in Glasgow are good for just about everything. The river offers periods of ease as it approaches the Town of Glasgow, but beware a few Class I-II rapids.

The James River

The Upper James River Water Trail is a 66-mile stretch from Botetourt County into Rockbridge County and includes a portion of

13 the Maury River. From Arcadia to Glasgow is nearly 17 miles of great canoeing, kayaking, and fishing. If you work the three miles of river from Glasgow to Snowden, however, Class II and III rapids deal a few challenges your way.

For more information about outdoor recreation in Lexington, Buena Vista, and Rockbridge County, head to


The Best Destinations Are A Little Off The Beaten Path by Brooke Losey


here you’re going, GPS doesn’t work. Neither do the popular online maps or apps for navigating. That’s because scenic byways like the Blue Ridge Parkway are for enjoying the journey. Google Maps, Apple Maps, Waze and other mapping providers are for getting from here to there along the quickest route - not for meandering and taking in the view. If you

try navigating to Blue Ridge Parkway destinations with these maps, you’ll soon become frustrated because they are designed to route you off the Parkway and back to the quickest route along major highways. They are also not updated to include the latest Parkway road closure information. Luckily, the Blue Ridge Parkway Association has been mapping the wild yonder of the Parkway since 1949. While they still produce paper maps and brochures, these days their maps

July 13, Downtown West Jefferson August 11, September 14 and Gallery Crawl Returns October 12

The Gallery Crawl is back!


he “ arts district” of downtown West Jefferson comes alive again this summer. Crawlers will have an opportunity to see new, creative and innovative works by Ashe County’s leading artists. Crawlers are invited to stroll the streets, visit the galleries, view the downtown murals, enjoy the many outdoor art pieces and take advantage of the downtown restaurants. West Jefferson has an eclectic group of shops, galleries and studios representing a large

and varied group of artists who will be displaying their latest creations. Crawlers will enjoy street musicians in the downtown area.. Gallery Crawls will take place the second Friday of each month. Gallery Crawl is free and is sponsored by the Ashe County Arts Council in cooperation with the West Jefferson Business Association and the West Jefferson TDA. june-gallery-crawl/

Maps are available at the Ashe Arts Center in West Jefferson and at other participating galleries and shops.

and travel info are online and mobile-friendly, too, at Their Interactive Parkway Map was designed to help you get where you want to be on your own time table. The Blue Ridge Parkway Travel Planner app includes maps, favorites, and info in each of the Parkway’s four Regions - and works even when your rambles take you out of cell range. Mobile coverage can be spotty in the woods and mountains but their app has you covered where ever you roam along the Parkway.

SUMMER 2018 Download the free app, read up on the Parkway and nearby National Parks, access all the Parkway Maps, and plan your ultimate Blue Ridge Parkway Getaway at

With the Interactive Parkway Map you can: • See all the Access Points onto and off of the Parkway • Plot your path based on all the attractions and restaurants along the way • Find self-guided tours and farms to explore • See orchards, wineries, breweries, and farmer’s markets to visit • Find campgrounds, cabins, B&Bs, resorts and more



Summer Weekend Getaway you Cannot Miss!


reate a full day or weekend itinerary with a drive through the northern portion of Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park. Then, after taking in the beautiful views, take a short scenic drive into Shenandoah County, home to six unique and beautiful historic towns with plenty to offer. Dine fresh like the locals do, at fabulous restaurants and cafes, or stop in at a roadside farmers market for perfectly in-season flavors. Visit one of our awardwinning vineyards or breweries for a relaxing afternoon. If you

prefer more activity, Shenandoah County has 178 miles of great hiking trails throughout the George Washington National Forest, back roads for biking, and public river access to launch a canoe or kayak. Get the best of what rural Virginia has to offer: 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 Strasburg to Shenandoah National Park Entrance at Front Royal via US 55- 14.1 miles/23 minutes

Skyline Drive Front Royal to Thornton Gap (near Luray) - 30.7 miles/51 minutes Thornton Gap Entrance Station to New Market via US211- 23.8 miles/ 34 minutes

For more information:


Little Switzerland, NC

Gem Mining, Mine Tours, & MORE! OPEN EVERY DAY THROUGH NOVEMBER 4th 331 McKinney Mine Road Little Switzerland, NC 28749

828-765-6463 Voted #1

Gem Mine in the Mountains by Blue Ridge Country!

NC Mining Museum | The Gemstone Mine | Mineral Collecting Black Light Mine Tour | Gold Panning | Crabtree Emerald Mine

There 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



‘The Road to Nowhere’ See Inside A a Haunting and Beautiful First-time Adventure


Don’t Miss!

North Carolina's Only Caverns!

With so much to see and do in the Bryson City, NC area, it is hard to imagine a day when you might have nowhere to go.

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

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

ut should that happen, there is always The Road to Nowhere, a scenic mountain highway that takes you six miles into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and ends at the mouth of a tunnel. On the map, it is called Lakeview Drive, but to the citizens of Swain County it is The Road to Nowhere — A Broken Promise. What’s the story? When Fontana Dam was built and the National Park was created in the 1940s, NC Highway 288 was covered by water. A replacement road was promised, and construction began on that road in the 1960s but was stopped permanently soon after due to environmental issues.

Lakeview Drive is a beautiful drive or strenuous bike ride. It provides an overlook of Fontana Lake and access to a number of hiking trails and some great fly fishing. Noland Creek Trail is about a half-mile before the tunnel at the end of the road. Walking through the tunnel takes you to Goldmine Loop, Forney Creek, Lakeshore Trail and other connecting trails. There is a tunnel bypass trail, but why not take a stroll through a spooky tunnel in the woods? If you do take the dare and walk through the tunnel, you might want a flashlight; and be aware horseback riders also take this trail. So – nothing to do? Take the Road to Nowhere. |




The Monticello Artisan Trail


he Monticello Trail includes its borders include the first thirty the beautiful landscapes miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway of Nelson County and and the James River. In between, Albemarle County. When you there are mountains and valleys travel the Monticello Trail, you that are home to artisans as will discover the beauty of the well as agri-artisans. Nelson mountains and County has valleys that one farmers local artisans market, call home. fourteen A wonderful orchards, ten place to wineries, five explore with breweries, family and two cideries friends, it and four will surely distilleries. Humpback Rocks | Photo by Peter Hamel create lasting Its local memories! restaurants and lodging options Nelson County is the perfect make it an enjoyable trip for the backdrop for the Monticello entire family. More info: Artisan Trail. A 471-acre outdoor playground of unspoiled beauty,

Nestled at the foot of the Blue Ridge mountains is Albemarle County that offers an abundance of cultural, historical, recreational and leisure opportunities for visitors’ enjoyment. The area is well known for its natural beauty and a variety of accommodations, attractions, events and activities that make the community an exciting and ideal destination for families and visitors of all ages and interests. A rural countryside and agricultural heritage provide many opportunities for an engaging, authentic experience with local farmers and artisans. The City of Charlottesville offers a complementary thriving and energetic urban experience providing a flourishing arts and

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.

culture environment with music, theatre, fine dining and exciting night life. Taken together, both communities provide a rich, diverse experience that is appealing to residents and visitors alike! For more info: or For info: Artisans Center of Virginia P.O. Box 166 Greenville, VA 24440 540 886 1684


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

Blue Ridge Parkway Facilities 01 Designates Milepost

New River G National Riv

N Bluefield Pennington Gap




Pigeon Forge





Murphy 129 Blue Ridge

19 76






Bryson City


Hot Springs




Waterrock 443 Knob Graveyard Fields Sylva



Parkway Visitor Visitor Center Center


Mount Pisgah

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

Crabtree Falls


Saluda 9

Blowing Rock 421

Morganton 321 Valdese


To Greenville




Gastonia 85


Statesville 70


To Charlotte

WinstonSalem Clemmons 421






North Wilkesboro 16 Union Grove










Chimney Lake Lure Rock 74A

Flo Hillsville Laurel 58 Fork Fancy Gap

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



Black Mtn.


Wytheville 21

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




To Atlanta


Spruce Pine

Craggy Gardens Marion

388 393




Little Switzerland Weaverville


Maggie Valley

Sugar Mountain

Mars Hill





Chatuge Lake Blairsville







Cosby Gatlinburg






Great Smoky Mountains National Park

165 Fontana Village

Cherohala Skyway


Maryville 411

To Chattanooga 411








Mouth of Wilson Independence



Johnson City Jonesborough



421 Mountain



To Nashville









20 km





20 mi



To Lexington





Mooresville 77








To Gettysburg, PA

Martinsburg Charles Town Harpers Ferry 340







Front Royal

New Market



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







42 11



Gorge ver



Buchanan 311


Salem Blacksburg Roanoke


121 120

ristiansburg 8

Meadows of Dan art






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.

To Richmond









Chatham 29


Danville 360

Eden 220





High Point 85

40 85 421



Snow Camp

Roxboro 49


To Durham



























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

Peaks of Otter

Burnt Chimney 43



Otter Creek



Rocky Knob








Smart View


n na


Roanoke Mountain

Rocky Mount




e Sh



Buena Vista


e lin Sky doah



Humpback Rocks


Natural Bridge








riv Na e tio na lP ar k


Gas Availability near the Blue Ridge Parkway

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


250 56 60 501 43 460 24 220 58 52 89


0 27 45.6 63.7 90.9 106 112.2 121.4 177.7 199.4 215.8

less less less less less less less less less less less

than than than than than than than than than than than

3 3 5 2 5 4 2 5 1 1 8

miles west miles east miles west miles south miles north miles west miles east or west miles north mile east mile north miles north


US 21 MP 229.7 less NC 18 MP 248.1 less NC 16 MP 261.2 less US 321 MP 291.8 less NC 181 MP 312 less NC 226 MP 330.9 less NC 80 MP 344 less US 70 MP 382.5 less US 74A MP 384.7 less US 25 MP 388.8 less NC 191 MP 393.6 less US 276 MP 411.8 less US 74/23 MP 443.1 less US 19 MP 455.7 less US 441 MP 469.1 less

than 8 miles west than 3 miles west than 12 miles west than 2 miles north or south than 3 miles north than 3 miles north than 1.2 miles north than 2 miles east or west than 3 miles south than 1 mile south less than 3 miles north than 3 miles north than 10 miles north than 3 miles east than 3 miles east than 5 miles south



A New Festival is coming to Bedford, VA! On Saturday, July 28, Gross’ Orchard will celebrate 63 continuous years of growing peaches in Bedford County by holding its first-ever Peach Festival!


ross’ Orchard is a family owned and operated orchard located in Apple Valley at the base of the Peaks of Otter in beautiful Bedford, Virginia. The Orchard has been in business since before the turn of the century. Their specialties are mountain-grown peaches and apples. The Peach Festival will feature tree-ripened freestone peaches (u pick or u select), homemade peach ice cream, homemade

fried apple and peach pies, peach bread, grilled corn on the cob, and a full selection of produce including cantaloupes, watermelons, and home grown tomatoes. This will be a fun-filled day of food and entertainment for the entire family and admission is free! The peach season lasts June 15 – September 10. There are also summer apples June 15 – August 31.

Gross’ Orchard is open year-round, Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Wagon rides are offered daily. Buses and tour groups are welcome, just call ahead at (540) 586-2436. For more information, please visit Every visit to Bedford should include a stop at the Bedford Area Welcome Center, 816 Burks Hill Road. The Welcome Center is open daily 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and offers free Wi-Fi, gift

shop, firefighter exhibit, RV hookups, electric car charging station, and information about Bedford and the surrounding area. Contact the Welcome Center at (540) 587-5681 or go to for information on lodging, dining, events, and more!





njoy rich local music yearround at numerous locations on the Crooked Road heritage music trail, including the Willis Gap Community Center, Wayside, and the Patrick County Music Association. If it’s the last weekend of July, check out FloydFest, the mega-sized world music festival located in Patrick County. You can also explore the past at the Reynolds Homestead,

Castle Gorge among the remains of a lost community. Race a mountain bike on 16 miles of trails at nearby DeHart Memorial Park, or take a more leisurely ride on the Mayo River Rail Trail. For a more high-octane option, try the Jagged Edge motorcycle trail, which runs through much of the county. Tour the county’s unique J.E.B. Stuart Birthplace, Patrick wineries, including Stanburn County Historical Society and its 15 acres of vineyard, Museum or Groundhog Mountain along with Villa Appalaccia and Lookout Tower on the Blue its Italian-inspired wines and Ridge Parkway. If you feel like architecture. When it comes something faster, make time to eating, stop in at one of the for the Wood Brothers Racing restaurants that range from Museum, which displays the roots family-style to cafés to elegant of the NASCAR team. dining. Get your fix at our local Test your whitewater rafting coffee shop or bakery in town. skills during the Kibler Valley You can even take a picnic to River Run, or travel through Rock Jack’s Creek Covered Bridge, one

of only 4 historic covered bridges in Virginia open to the public. Primland Resort offers overnight stay in their Tree Houses, and fine dining at their Elements restaurant that matches its luxurious setting. After satisfying your appetite, go for a sweet finish at Nancy’s Candy, where you can sample fudge and candy made right there in the store, then enjoy more shopping in the Meadows of Dan village. After a full day of frolicking, relax on a cabin porch or a veranda at Primland to drink in the peaceful views before settling in.

For more information:

276-694-6094 or

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

Book now at or call 877-313-2586.

Hospitality by Delaware North. ©2018 DNC Parks & Resorts at Shenandoah, Inc.



Skull Camp Smokehouse in Elkin Joins Surry Sonker Trail The Surry Sonker Trail, a confectionary trail showcasing a unique dessert passed down through generations in Surry County, has added Skull Camp Smokehouse & Brewery in Elkin as its ninth eatery.


mokehouse chef Corey Moore moved to Surry County as a youngster and to allow the fruit to release its quickly learned the importance of juices. He then makes a sweet sonker in the region. batter, pours it on top of the fruit, “Sonker is one of those slides it back in the oven and dishes where culture and culinary bakes until golden brown. meet in a very specific way,” “To me, sonker should be Moore says. “I have grown to full of fruit, topped with a sweet, love this dessert as much as I creamy batter then baked in a have grown to love the area and deep-dish pan with the intention the people contained within it.” of feeding a crowd,” Moore For the uninitiated, sonker is says. “We serve our sonker with pie/coba scoop of bler hyvanilla ice brid. Each cream which location offers a great on the trail juxtaposition makes to its warm, its own crusty interprecounterpart.” tation of Skull the dessert Camp will with some Sweet potato sonker at Putters Patio & Grill seasonally combinarotate tion of sweetened fruit and crust the fruit in its sonker to either cooked on the stovetop or include cherries, strawberries, baked in the oven, with the occa- blackberries, blueberries and sional secret ingredient mixed in. sweet potatoes. At Skull Camp Smokehouse, The smokehouse and Moore starts by mixing fruit with brewery opened last fall in a water, cornstarch and sugar and former general store with wood baking the mixture for 30 minutes paneling and a rock fireplace

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!

Tart Cherry at Skull Camp Smokehouse

that complements a comfort-food menu of smoked pork, chicken, brisket and ribs and sides of mac and cheese, collard greens and baked beans. In addition to Skull Camp Smokehouse, the Surry Sonker Trail includes Anchored Bakery, Old North State Winery and Miss Angel’s Heavenly Pies in Mount Airy; The Living Room at Hilda’s Place in Pilot Mountain; Rockford General Store and Putters Patio & Grill in Dobson; and Southern on Main and Roxxi & Lulu’s Bistro & Bakery in Elkin. “Whether you’re from California or a native of Surry County, I hope that the comfort and satisfaction found in this dish take you right back to your grandmother’s kitchen,” Moore says.

To receive a Sonker Trail map, call 800-948-0949 or go to

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




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).


his annual event brings eight days of music, arts, and food to the beautiful Elizabeth Brown Memorial Park off 4th Street in 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 the annual July 4th Celebration on Main Street featuring the popular Skeeter’s 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 (MayOctober) 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 6-October 28).

For more information about special events and everything that the area has to offer, contact the Wytheville Convention & Visitors Bureau, toll-free at 1-877-347-8307, or visit

Wytheville, Virginia…There’s Only One.



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cashiers Area Chamber of Commerce 202 U.S. 64, POB 238 BRD Cashiers, NC 28717; (828) 743-5191 Catawba County Visitor Center 1055 Southgate Parkway SW Hickory, NC 28602 (828) 328-6111 Cherokee County Visitor Center 20 Tennessee Street Murphy, NC 28906 828-557-2583

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Clay County Chamber of Commerce 388 Business Hwy 64 Hayesville, NC 28904; (828) 389-3704

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shenandoah County Tourism 600 N. Main St, Ste 101 Woodstock, VA 22664 Smoky Mountain Host of NC, Inc 4437 Georgia Road, Franklin, NC 28734 (800) 432-4678 • 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mount Airy Visitor Center 200 N. Main St. • Mt. Airy, NC 27030; (800) 948-0949 • Mount Mitchell State Park 2388 State Hwy. 128 Burnsville, NC 28714 (828) 675-4611 NW NC Visitor Center 2121 East US Hwy 421 • North WIlkesboro, NC 28659 • (336) 667-1259

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Historic Jonesborough 117 Boone St. Jonesborough, TN 37659; (423) 423-753-1010 • Toll Free: 866-401-4223 Johnson City Visitor Center 603 E. Main St. Johnson City, TN 37605; (423) 926-2141, Johnson County Welcome Center 716 S. Shady St. (Hwy. 421S) Mountain City, TN 37683; (423) 727-5800

Afton Visitor Center 130 Afton Circle • Afton, VA 22920 (540) 943-5187 • Bedford Visitor Center 816 Burks Hill Rd • Bedford, VA 24523; (877)-HiPeaks • Blue Ridge Visitor Center 2577 JEB Stuart Highway Meadows of Dan, VA 24120 • 276-694-6012 Buena Vista Visitor Center 595 E. 19th St. • Buena Vista, VA 24417 (540) 261-2880 •

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

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

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

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

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

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

Culpeper Visitor Center 111 S. Commerce St. • Culpeper, VA 22701 Phone: (540) 727-0611 Toll Free: 844-490-2577. Danville Visitor Center 645 River Park Dr • Danville, VA 24540; (434) 793-4636 • 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 540-745-4407 Front Royal Visitor Center 414 E. Main St. • Front Royal, VA 22630; (800) 338-3576 •

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

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

Martinsville-Henry County Visitor Center 191 Fayette Street Virginia Tech Visitor Center Martinsville, VA 24112 925 Prices Fork Rd. • Blacksburg, VA (888) 722-3498 24061;(540) 231-3548 Nelson County Visitor Center 8519 Thomas Nelson Hwy., Lovingston, VA 22949; (800) 282-8223 Orange Co. Visitor’s Center 122 East Main St. • Orange, VA 22960 (877) 222-8072 • Patrick County Chamber of Commerce 20475 JEB Stuart Hwy • PO Box 577 Stuart, VA 24171; (276) 694-6012 Prince William Visitor Center 200 Mill St. • Occoquan, VA 22125 703-491-4045 • Pulaski County Visitor Center 4440 Cleburne Blvd • Dublin, VA 24084 540-674-4161. Radford Visitor Center 600 Unruh Dr. • Radford, VA 24141 (866) 605-6442 •

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

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

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

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

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 Wytheville CVB 975 Tazewell Street Wytheville, VA 24382; (276) 223-3355 Toll free (877) 347-8307

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

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

BANNER ELK, NC Smoke Tree Lodge - 12 miles south of Boone on Hwy 105. Nestled at the foot of Grandfather Mtn. Condo-apts, heated indoor pool, ESPN, Jacuzzi, saunas. (800) 422-1880.

BLOWING ROCK, NC Alpine Village Inn - 297 Sunset Dr. Quaint cozy rooms & suites in the heart of town. AC, CCTV, & phones, 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

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

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

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

Be sure to tell them you saw it in


Be sure to tell them you saw it in THE DIGEST! CHIMNEY ROCK, NC

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

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

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

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Visit and start planning your

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

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.


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

Mountain Lodging Food Fun LINVILLE, NC Grandfather Mountain - Grandfather’s lofty heights offer guests opportunities for rejuvenation, excitement and family memories in a natural haven that will endure forever. Marvel at 360-degree views from the Mile High Swinging Bridge, stand eye-to-eye with native wildlife in natural habitats and interact with our friendly, knowledgeable staff. One mile from Blue Ridge Parkway; take the Linville exit at Milepost 305 to U.S. 221 South. Open daily, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. $20 adult; $18 senior 60+; $9 child 4-12; under 4 free. | (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. Linville Falls Lodge & Cottages BRP Milepost 317.4, US 221S 1 mile to Rt. 183, left. Restaurant (ABC permit), Walk to falls & gorge. (800) 634-4421.

LITTLE SWITZERLAND, NC Emerald Village - Real mines, mine tours, & gem mining. Other free displays: railroad, music museum, wildlife. MP334. 828-765-6463. Switzerland Cafe & General Store MP 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.

MAGGIE VALLEY, NC Boyd Mountain Log Cabins Secluded 130 acres near Maggie Valley, 7 Authentic cabins, fireplaces, AC, cable, WIFI. Choose n cut Christmas tree farm, trout fishing, hiking. (828) 926-1575. 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.

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: . 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 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.



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

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!

Jump in at Smith Mountain Lake.

McDOWELL COUNTY, NC McDowell Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center - Shopping & food near center. Free coffee & area info. Clean restrooms. From Parkway MP 317, 24 mi. S on US 221. From MP331: 15 mi S on NC226. (828) 652-4240.

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

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

877-HI-PEAKS •

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

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

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

Honor heroes at the National D-Day Memorial.

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


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

TENNESSEE GATLINBURG, TN Ski Mountain Chalet & Condo Rentals - 1-6 bedroom units, hot tubs, jacuzzis, pool tables, kitchens, fireplaces, privacy. (800) 824-4077.

VIRGINIA BEDFORD, VA Peaks of Otter Winery & Orchards - 2122 Sheep Creek Rd, 24523. MP 86. Fruit wine, fruit, jams, jellies, free tastings. Vacation rentl house. 540586-3707. or 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.

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


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.

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




Antique Expo - 400 dealers exhibiting in halls, barns, tents & outside twice yearly. Oct. 12-14, 2018 & May 17-19, 2019. Augusta Expoland. I-64, exit 91. (434) 847-8242.

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.

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.

FLOYD, VA Blue Ridge Restaurant, Inc. - E. Main St., Floyd, VA (540) 745-2147. For good home-style cooking try our daily specials. We are open early with gravy biscuits, hot cakes, country ham, and eggs every day. Chantilly Farm Campground. 2697 Franklin Pike SE. RV sites: electric, water, sewer, tent camping w/amenities. WiFi, ice, ATM. 540-808 -4984 Floyd County Tourism 109 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.

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

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

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

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

RADFORD, VA Radford Visitor’s Center-Rt 8 to I-81 Exit 109 “Find It in Radford”-surrounded on 3 sides by the New River & overflowing with history 540-267-3153

SALEM, VA Come and visit Salem, Virginia that is only twenty minutes from the parkway. Take the walking tour of our historic downtown featuring quaint antique shops and restaurants. Stay for a while in one of our hotels or B&B’s and attend one of our many athletic events including NCAA National Championships in football, basketball and softball. Salem is also the home of the Salem Red Sox, advanced Class “A” affiliate of the Boston Red Sox playing their games in spacious and comfy Lewis Gale Field.

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

BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY INFO: POSSIBLE ROAD CLOSURES ON THE BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY A real-time road closure map for the entire Parkway is available at:


83rd Annual Old Fiddlers Convention August 6 - 11, 2018


uring the 2nd week of August, for more than three-quarters of a century, the City of Galax has the world tapping its feet as the Old Fiddlers Convention takes place in Felts Park Musicians and fans from around the world travel to Galax to perform and hear the music that defines the sound of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Galax has been designated the Worlds Capital of Oldtime Mountain Music and is proud to be identified as hosting the worlds oldest and largest fiddlers con-

For more information:

(276) 238-8130 or

vention which has taken place consistently since 1935. Before the second weekend in August each year, lovers of country and mountain music leave their homes in time to be in Galax, VA for the Annual Old Fiddler’s Convention. For some this means hundreds of miles of travel, while for others it will be a short trip from their nearby homes. A few hundred come with their instruments to show their skill, and compete for the cash prizes which total thousands of dollars. But most of them would come without the prizes being offered. They want to see and be seen, and hear and be heard.

TripAdvisor has rated Emerald Village #1 of 6 things to do in Little Switzerland. Little Switzerland, NC - Emerald Village is pleased to announce that, for the 4th year in a row, Emerald Village has received a 2018 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence, based on consistently great reviews earned on the world’s largest travel site. Using information from more than 189 actual customer reviews TripAdvisor has rated Emerald Village #1 of 6 things to do in Little Switzerland. Emerald Village is not an ordinary hole-in-the-wall gem “mine”! Come discover your own excellent adventure! And, thank you to TripAdvisor!

d the d paddleboar Tube, kayak an t Park, Shelter 3 se New River, Bis

July 4th with Jimmy Fortune

Radford’s Visitors Center (located inside Glencoe Museum)

600 Unruh Drive • Radford, VA

MP 324.8

Your Base  Camp  for Mountain  Adventure Bear-­‐ 828-­‐765-­‐2888

Spruce Pine,  NC



Six Summertime Festivals


in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Fiddles and Banjos, Bluegrass and Old-Time, Ballads and Gospel, Hear the Music of Our Mountains, Kick up your heels!


SHELBY HONORS NATIVE SON EARL SCRUGGS MERLEFEST TURNS 30 A conversation with legendary fiddler


It’s easy to pair any festival with a trip to area attractions or with outdoor adventures like mountain biking, hiking or paddling. Find a full list of events, festivals and things to do at

Pick up your copy today at stages and visitor centers!


Events au Locations


The 71st Anniversary

Downtown Asheville, NC

Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands July 20-22 & Oct 19-21


n its 71st year, the Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands returns to downtown Asheville’s U.S. Cellular Center. Filling both the concourse and arena levels of the venue, makers exhibit a variety of craft ranging from contemporary to traditional in works of clay, wood, metal,

glass, fiber, natural materials, paper, leather, mixed media, and jewelry. With styles ranging from traditional to contemporary, the Fairs showcase the rich talent, diversity and craft mastery of Guild members. In addition to providing a retail market for juried members, the Guild hosts craft demonstrations during the Fairs. Friday through Saturday, 10:00 to 6:00 pm + Sunday, 10:00 am to 5:00pm General Admission, $8.00 and Children under 12 free

Visit or call 828-298-7928 for a complete list of performances.

eeling festive? The events in the Roanoke Valley in Virginia's Blue Ridge are just the thing for you. Head to Virginia’s Blue Ridge for unforgettable adventures yearround without breaking the bank. Start by taking milepost 120 into Roanoke in Virginia’s Blue Ridge for festival season in the Blue Ridge Mountains! During festival season visitors can sample international cuisine, classic American dishes, fruit-based delights and craft beverages at an affordable price while experiencing the charming smalltown delights of Virginia’s Blue Ridge.

Sam Dean Photography Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge

Plan your perfect Blue Ridge Day around these six annual festivals and events along the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia:

7/14 - Horse and Hound Wine Festival at Peaks of Otter Winery 7/28 -Roanoke County’s

Touch a Truck

8/11 -Microfestivus Craft

Beer Festival

9/8 -Olde Salem Days 9/5 -The Beaver Dam Farm Sunflower Festival 9/26 & 27 -27th Annual

Smith Mountain Lake Wine Festival


Welcome to Quilt Trails of

Western North Carolina!

With more than 200 quilt blocks, this trail has the highest concentration anywhere in the USA! Come to Yancey County to get started on your great quilt adventure, just 45 minutes North of Asheville - exit 9 off I-26, or exit onto Hwy 80 off the Blue Ridge Parkway.


ix contiguous counties host quilt blocks, with the highest concentration in Yancey and Mitchell Counties. While in Yancey County, visit Mt. Mitchell, highest peak East of the Mississippi. Mitchell County is home to Roan Mountain (the rhododendrons are in full bloom in June - gateway through Bakersville) and Avery County offers Grandfather Mountain with its mile-high swinging bridge. Of course we have waterfalls, supreme hiking, great trout fishing, canoeing, golf, horseback riding, and great shopping. Seven different driving trails take you to view vividly painted quilt squares installed on barns and buildings of participating communities. Even if it is raining

you can still enjoy a day of adventure finding the quilt blocks. Stop by the Quilt Trails Gift Shop in the OOAK Gallery on the Loop in Micaville to purchase a driving map and one or more of the nine tour guides that tell the stories behind the blocks. One of the newest is I Love Cats & Dogs is the block now hanging on the Yancey County Humane Society building. Now you can buy the pattern to make the quilt and pillows to match the block. The pattern will make two sizes of quilts or pillows. Complete instructions included on the CD as well as all the patterns. All are designed to be printed on your home printer. This pattern requires intermediate to advanced piecing skills. More information:



Take charge of your summer fun

with a vacation that’s perfect for you in Sevierville, Tennessee

From outdoor adventures to theme parks and amusements – even shopping trips – sometimes it’s hard to choose how you want to spend your summer vacation. But never fear, Sevierville, Tennessee is here with summer travel plans to help you get the most out of the season.

Outdoor Adventure

Plan an active summer vacation packed with memory building outdoor adventures. Take the family on one of a dozen zipline excursions from the 400-foot-high Goliath zipline at Foxfire Mountain Adventures, to a challenging ropes course at Adventure Works Climb. Zip. Swing. Then spend a day playing low impact paintball, touring Forbidden Caverns and hiking in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Family Fun

Summer is family time and Sevierville’s Wilderness at the

Smokies Water Park Resort offers indoor and outdoor waterparks perfect for kids of all ages. Smokies Stadium is another family favorite and home to the Tennessee Smokies, AA affiliates of the Chicago Cubs. Other mustexperience attractions include: Rainforest Adventures Discovery Zoo, NASCAR SpeedPark, and Sevier Air Trampoline and Ninja Warrior Park. Amp up family time even more by turning your summer vacation into a family reunion. Book a luxurious log cabin big enough for everyone and meet up with grandparents and extended family for some

incredible time together in Sevierville.

Get the Girls Together

Summer is also a great time for a girls’ retreat. Meet up with friends, aunts, sisters, and cousins to enjoy high end outlet shopping at Tanger Outlets Sevierville, try a relaxing ice cream pedicure at The Spa at Oak Haven, and enjoy the Sevierville wineries located along the Rocky Top Wine Trail. For more information about everything there is to see and do in Sevierville this summer, go online to


Sequoyah Birthplace Museum They called him Sequoyah, and he gave his people a gift that will endure forever. He gave them a writing system, the Cherokee Syllabary, so that the greatness of the Cherokee could live as a part of history. 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 until Sequoyah. The museum has a new exhibit opening in the early summer of 2018, and is located in the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee on the shores of beautiful Tellico Lake, equipped with a boat dock for those arriving by water. Visit the blacksmith shop, dog trot cabin, burial mound, and the council house frame. The new Max D. Ramsey Shoreline Trail features 1.5 miles of walking trail, along the shoreline, bridges and boardwalks through the marshy areas. Summer/early fall events are: Sequoyah Remembrance Day Aug 5: 12:30 PM - 4:00 PM Monroe Life Balloon Fiesta September 1-2, 2018 27th Annual Cherokee Fall Festival - September 8 - 9 Sequoyah Birthplace Museum is Tennessee’s only tribally operated historical attraction.

Open M-S: 9am-5pm Sunday Noon to 5:00 p.m. More information:



Hiking, Tubing, Fishing There’s something for every one at Blowing Rock, NC


ool summer breezes, exciting recreation, more challenges abound at Linville Gorge and and fun events await in Blowing Rock! Grandmother Mountain. Caving expeditions The Blue Ridge and whitewater rafting can Parkway is the heart be arranged with one of the Mark your calendars of the Blowing Rock many area adventure guide for these: area, connecting the Free! 4th of July Festival: ....................July 7 companies. Or try tubing, a little mountain town with favorite activity on the gentler Free! Art in the Park:...July 14, Aug 11 & Sept 8 miles of beauty, cultural sections of the New and Symphony by the Lake and historical sites, and AND Tour of Homes: .................July 27 Watauga Rivers. And the trout a variety of outdoor Charity Horse Show: ......... August 1-5 fishing! Cold, pristine waters adventure. Hiking Art & Antiques Show: ....... August 3-5 offer lush spawning areas and comes to mind for many, Exhibition Celebration at BRAHM: ... breed beautiful mountain trout. and there are myriad When you’re done .................................... August 30. Free! paths through the Pisgah Free! Fall Classic Ride AND Blowing Rock adventuring and want to relax, National Forest, nearby Music Festival: ...............September 15 the shops, restaurants, and inns state parks, and along of Blowing Rock are an easy More details and links at the Mountains-to-Sea distance from the wild places in! Trail. The Blue Ridge Blowing Rock’s backyard. Join Parkway and other us for some of our recurring local roads are favorites for cyclists, for both summer events, like Music on the Lawn, Monday training and leisure. Blowing Rock Boulders Night Concerts, or Movie in the Park. is a laid-back spot for rock climbers, while

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 $10 off any room rental, Monday-Thursday, with this ad. Not valid with other offers.



Frugal Fun

in Boone NC

Hike a Blue Ridge Parkway trail at any number of overlooks, including mileposts 272, 294, 296, 297, 302, 304, 305 and 316. Remember to “Leave No Trace” and pack out your litter. Visit Hickory Ridge Living History Museum in Boone every day except Mondays, through the end of November. Visit the ducks at Broyhill Lake, and romp on the playground in downtown Blowing Rock, before rewarding yourself with an ice cream sundae at Kilwin’s, across the street.

Explore Valle Crucis Park. Paved paths invite cyclists and walkers alike, leading to the cool banks of the Watauga River for some fishing or photos. Picnic shelters and grills, playground equipment and ball fields allow for a wide range of activities. Don’t miss Mast General Store while you’re there! Visit the Trade Mill on the NC/ TN line in the Trade Community. A real working mill. Check out Todd Mercantile in Todd, NC, for baked goodies, gifts, crafts and old-time music

and dancing. See River Girl Outfitters in Todd for fishing, kayaking or tubing fun on the New River. Experience the wind blowing straight up at The Blowing Rock – admission $8 for adults, $3 children 4-11. The observation deck overlooks the Johns River Gorge. Souvenir shops -- Ice cream -- Picnic tables.

Discover Mystery Hill, Appalachian Heritage Museum, Native American Artifacts Museum – save on admission to all three museums, or choose to visit one or two. Souvenir shop. Gem mining next door at Doc’s Rocks: buy per shovel-full, in a 1 shovel, 3 shovel or 5 shovel size bucket!

For more frugal fun ideas, see or call 800-852-9506.


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. Hospitality by Delaware North, Inc. ©2018. DNC Parks & Resorts at Peaks of Otter Lodge. 1-877-347-8307

THE BLUE RIDGE DIGEST Summer, 2018 edition  

Packed with so many summer things to do in the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains!

THE BLUE RIDGE DIGEST Summer, 2018 edition  

Packed with so many summer things to do in the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains!