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SUMMER

the most widely distributed travel publication in the mountains

2019

Blue Ridge & Great Smoky Mountains Summer Fun On Mountain Rivers Brew Ridge Craft Beverage Trail Summer Fun To Fit Everyone in TN

MUSIC | FUN | FOOD | FESTIVALS

photo by Sam Dean


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

playanydaygetawaycation

Call for your free visitor Guide 800.828.4244 | V isitH end erso nv illeNC.o r g


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SUMMER 2019

Reasons for a Summer Visit to Virginia’s Blue Ridge a brand new aerial treetop course and zip-line, camping, river access, hiking, disc golf, equestrian rides and much more. Cool Down on the Water: Sunny days call for time on the water and we love launching a rented boat onto Smith Mountain Lake or enjoying a relaxing float with Twin River Outfitters along the Upper James River Water Trail.

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Mountain Biking: Virginia’s Blue Ridge is known as America’s East If you’re looking for a getaway to the Roanoke Valley in Virginia’s Coast Mountain Biking Capital with that has a bit of everything, Virginia’s Blue Ridge is just what you need! our recent Silver-Level Ride Center Blue Ridge is a destination that fits Keep the Kids Busy: Find Designation by the International the bill for any type of “Trailsetter”. tons of adventure at Explore Mountain Bicycling Association. Whether you’re traveling with kids, Park, just off the Blue Ridge Come try your hand at our most solo, or somewhere in between, we Parkway at milepost 115, including challenging trails or see how you have five reasons a summer visit

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Even the smallest of us can be part of something very big.

handle our easy rides. Either way, you’re in for a treat of scenic beauty!

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Summer Festivals & Events: Summertime is festival season in Virginia’s Blue Ridge. So, if you’re feeling festive, plan your vacation around one of our many fabulous events like the iconic Salem Fair, Microfestivus, the Roanoke Wing Fest or Party in Elmwood Park. Cheers Trail: Virginia’s Blue Ridge has over 30 craft beverage producers in the region! Use the VBR Cheers Trail Passport to guide your experience with local craft breweries and wineries plus receive discounts and deals along the way. Looking for guided beer and food tours? Check out Tour Roanoke.

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Plan your mountain getaway today.

Find a full list of events, trails and more at BeaTrailsetter.com.

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The grown-up sense of discovery at every turn around the mountain will only be surpassed by the childlike wonder our natural playground evokes. w w w. g ra n d f a t h e r. c o m

GRANDFATHER® MOUNTAIN WONDERS NEVER CEASE


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Words & Music Fill the Air

in Alleghany County M

usic continues to fill the mountain air in Alleghany County as the Music on Main street party returns to downtown Sparta for its 4th summer season. Beginning in June and every 1st Friday through September, the lights go on, the streets are blocked off, and visitors are invited to explore downtown Sparta eateries, merchants, and art galleries. Restaurants and other venues will offer music from 6-8pm, and there will be food vendors, demonstrations, sidewalk sales, and other activities along Main Street. Visitors can stroll Main Street or step into one of the restaurants for free music while they sample artisan beer and wine or enjoy new

dishes and familiar fare. The free outdoor concerts begin at 8pm. Watch for special promotions and headliner news on their Facebook page, Sparta Music on Main. Literary programs have been added on 1st Saturday afternoons to make it a Words & Music Weekend in Sparta. Writers on Main brings local talent, regional names, and national bestselling authors to the Horizon Bistro stage for free and open to the public, programs at 3pm. The Bistro is located in the historic Smithey Building, with a front

Every first Friday through September!

entrance at 38 S. Main Street, and ample parking in the back-entrance parking lot. Authors will have books available for sale. More program information at AlleghanyWriters.com.

PRESERVE A MOMENT.

After a long day of exploring, Peaks of Otter Lodge is the perfect place to hang your hat.

FIND YOURSELF HERE.

Here, you can embrace the scenic beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. With 63 rooms

peaksofotter.com

overlooking Abbott Lake, it’s a world unlike any other that feels immediately like home.

866.387.9905

Hospitality managed by Delaware North

For travel information on visiting Sparta and Alleghany County: www.sparta-nc.com or (336) 372-5473


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P.O. Box 1758 Asheville, NC 28802 Phone: (828) 691-5437

SUMMER 2019

Family-Friendly Art and Culture Fun in Blowing Rock, NC

www.blueridgedigest.com All articles and information supplied are printed accurately to the best knowledge of the management. The Blue Ridge Digest is not responsible for errors beyond its control. THANKS TO THE BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY ASSOCIATION FOR THE USE OF THEIR CENTER-SPREAD MAP

Publisher:

Thomas Hardy tomhardy@blueridgedigest.com

Design: Imagewerks Productions Need good design? Call (828) 681-8029 SUMMER

the most widely distributed

travel publication in the

mountains

2019

Blue Ridge & gReat Smoky mountainS

ELKIN

The Yadkin River Blueway Runs Through it

MUSIC | FUN | FOOD | FESTIVALS

Attractions where you can pick up an issue of The Blue Ridge Digest on your next trip in the mountains in addition to most all visitor centers

Frontier Culture Museum Staunton, VA Grandfather Mountain Linville, NC Linville Caverns Linville Falls, NC Mast General Store Waynesville, NC Mystery Hill Blowing Rock, NC North Carolina Arboretum Asheville, NC Northwest Trading Post Glendale Springs, NC Peaks of Otter Lodge Blue Ridge Parkway Bedford, VA Pisgah Inn Blue Ridge Parkway Waynesville, NC VA Transportation Museum Roanoke, VA

The arts are a natural fit in the village of Blowing Rock, where a wealth of natural beauty inspires artistic expression and appreciation. The rich cultural calendar gets two new art events this year!

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or the first time, the renowned collection of sisters Claribel and Etta Cone will be presented in context with their lives in NC, starting August 3 at The Blowing Rock Art & History Museum. These exhibitions can only be seen in Blowing Rock! See work by Henri Matisse, Rembrandt, Sarah Stein, Jacques Villon, and others, and learn the story of the Cones in Blowing Rock. Exhibits presented to the community by Wells Fargo and organized in partnership with the Blue Ridge Parkway

Foundation and the National Park Service/Blue Ridge Parkway. Thru November 30- admission is free! The inaugural Sculpture Walk at Chetola Lake will showcase a curated exhibition of monumental and mid-scale works of art, August 9-11. All are invited to stroll through the landmark grounds at Chetola to view the works. More activities are planned for the event weekend. Blowing Rock’s summer calendar features so many art & cultural events, like Art in the Park, Artists in

Residence, Symphony by the Lake at Chetola, the Tour of Homes, and the Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show. Blowing Rock is a great place to visit during the summer months, with family-friendly activities and adventures. In fact, Blowing Rock was just voted among the 10 Best Small Towns for Adventure by USA Today readers! Nearby attractions include Tweetsie Railroad, Grandfather Mountain, Mystery Hill, and many more. BlowingRock.com.

EXPLORE 57-MILE NEW RIVER TRAIL Just a few miles from the center of Galax, VA, visitors can access the 57-mile New River Trail (NRT). Part of a state park by the same name, NRT follows an abandoned railroad right-of-way. A variety of recreational opportunities are available from hiking and biking to

horseback riding and camping. The waters of the New River provide premiere fishing and boating experiences. Contrary to its name, the New River is believed to be the second oldest river in the world and one of the few that flows north. It parallels 39 miles of NRT.

More information at https://www.traillink.com/trail/new-river-trail-state-park/


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Avery County Fun Filled Events For Everyone

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very County is located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, where beauty, fun and adventure for the entire family thrive. This unique region has four distinct seasons and is home to the South’s highest summits! Avery is also home to the world-famous Woolly Worm Festival, one of the top 10 fall festivals in the country. Activities flourish year round including hiking, biking, rafting, skiing, tubing, horseback riding, antiquing, golfing, gem mining and much more! July, 19-21 and August 9-11 include a three day Fine Art & Master Crafts Festival that has been servicing the area for over 30 years. This juried festival welcomes visitors at no charge and brings an eclectic gathering of unique fine artists and masters crafters to the Historic Banner Elk Elementary School in downtown Banner Elk, NC. Times are: Friday, 1- 5 p.m., Saturday, 10-5 p.m. and Sunday, 10- 4 p.m.

MABRY MILL Parkway Icon

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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

www.mabrymillrestaurant. com or (276) 952-2947.

Beautiful Outdoor Recreation Destination

New River Trail State Park Galax is a Trailhead for this 57 mile hiking, biking and equestrian linear trail • New River Trail 10K Run in Spring • Autumn Days 5K Run • Fall Foliage Bike Ride Blue Ridge Music Center Hiking Trails Matthews State Forest Call 888-217-8823 for Free Visitor Guide!

Soon enough this area will burst forth with beautiful fall foliage as we welcome the 42nd Annual Woolly Worm Festival, in downtown Banner Elk where we race our fury Woolly Worm friends. The winner on Saturday takes away a $1,000 prize and will depict the winter weather. Always the third weekend of October, 19-20, this special event provided by Banner Elk Kiwanis and the Avery Chamber gives back the total proceeds to the community, children and schools. Visit www.woollyworm. com and make your reservation and find out more about this fun filled weekend. The Avery County Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center is located at the Shoppes at Tynecastle at the intersection of N.C. 105 and N.C. 184 and open Monday –Friday 10:00am - 4:00pm. www.averycounty.com or call the Avery County Chamber of Commerce (828-898-5605) for questions and to learn more about beautiful Avery County.

World’s Capital of Old Time Mountain Music

Live Music at The Rex Theater - Live at the Rex each Friday night and online on WBRF FM98.1 Galax Old Fiddler’s Convention in August Blue Ridge Parkway Music Center Weekly Bluegrass and Old Time Jams HoustonFest in June

Galaxvirginia

Galax Visitors Center • 110 East Grayson Street • Galax, Virginia 24333 888-217-8823 or 276-238-8130 • www.VisitGalax.com


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5 Reasons Why You Should Explore the Lynchburg’s Artisan Trail Lynchburg lives and breathes art. The creative community is thriving and well-supported, and there is always opportunity to catch it in its element. A great place to start is the City Streets & Country Roads Artisan Trail, weaving art and adventure through the city of Lynchburg and surrounding counties of Amherst, Appomattox, and Campbell.

The Artisan Trail Network is a program of the Artisan Center of Virginia fostering creative communities around the state, directly connecting visitors with artists. Here are five reasons to explore the City Streets & Country Roads Artisan Trail:

Meet the Creative Community Up-Close 1

New artists are continually popping up and making a name for themselves. So, rather than ducking into a coffee shop to see their work, the Trail puts you right at their doorstep.

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Get an Immersive Experience

Why look at art when you can live it? The Artisan Trail connects you with theaters that are art pieces in their own right, but also gives local, regional and national acts the chance to take the stage as well.

3 Learn a Little

The Artisan Trail gives you the opportunity to learn about history, culture and how art has influenced both over time.

4 Get Your Hands Dirty

There’s nothing better than joining in on the fun. The Artisan Trail includes a network of interactive spaces that allow you (and your little ones!) a chance to make some art of your own.

5 Experience the Art of Sleep

Boutique hotels are even part of the Artisan Trail because of their beautiful historic architecture and unique vibe.

To find artists, galleries, restaurants, lodging and more, visit lynchburgvirginia.org or artisantrailnetwork.org, then take home a piece of Virginia!

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

www.hamptoninnwoodstock.com

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

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

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PINTS & POSES

At the Asheville Outlets, located at 800 Brevard Road in Asheville, come see and participate in Pints & Poses, a 45-minute yoga class led by instructors from the YMCA of WNC, which includes a craft beer from UpCountry Brewing. The class is $10 per person and ticket sales benefit the YMCA of WNC. Registration is at the door. Participants must be 21+ years old. Pints & Poses are held at Asheville Outlets the third Thursday of each month at 6:00 p.m. Summer-Fall dates include: July 18, August 15, September 19 and October 17, 2019. Each class will be held outdoors in the court in front of Nike Factory Store. If there is inclement weather, the classes will be moved to the Food Court. More information: (828) 667-2308

BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY INFO: BRPweather.com Your source for Parkway weather. Don’t get caught in the rain, fog, or snow! Know what lies ahead on all 469 miles. Accurate forecasts and local weather stations plus live Parkway weather cameras at

POSSIBLE ROAD CLOSURES ON THE BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY A real-time road closure map for the entire Parkway is available at: www.nps.gov/blri/planyourvisit/ roadclosures.htm


SUMMER 2019

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SHENANDOAH

NATIONAL PARK

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

ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS Visitors can 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, 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 www.goshenandoah.com

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

• Most facilities and services are available April through November • Plan to obtain all food, gas, and lodging outside of the Park in December, January, February, and March. Check the Park’s website or call

(540) 999-3500 for current information.

www.nps.gov/shen

August Square Dancing Saturday Night 8pm, & July Geneva Hall - Little Switzerland Music & Dancing Orchard July, Aug. Live 328.3 & Sept. at Altapass MP •

Aug 16, 45th Annual NC Bluegrass Festival 17, 18 - Marion Aug 17 Marion Cruise-In – Marion Sept 14 Marion Bigfoot Festival - Marion Details and other events are online.

888-233-6111

www.blueridgetravelers.com


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The North Carolina Arboretum Showcases

the Power of

COLOR AND NATURE Don’t Miss the 2019 Covered in Color Summer Celebration

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he North Carolina Arboretum, a 434-acre public garden located minutes from downtown Asheville and adjacent to the Blue Ridge Parkway, will transform into a canvas full of color and creativity as part of its 2019 Covered in Color

summer celebration. From May 25 – September 2, visitors will experience the broad spectrum of color found in flowers and foliage while learning about color theory and design through floral displays, art, creative landscapes, guided programs and more.

Radford’s Visitors Center (located inside Glencoe Museum)

600 Unruh Drive Radford, VA Your JOURNEY to Radford begins at VisitRadford.com Jimmy Fortune,

July 4th celebration

Mary Draper Ingles statue and outdoor drama, July 14, 27 & 28, August 4

Tube/Kayak Rentals

with New River Adventure, Bisset Park Shelter 3

Inside the Arboretum’s Baker Exhibit Center, renowned Asheville-based artist Leo Monahan will display his new exhibit, Compositions of Color, which showcases the complex composition of art and music through various representations of paper-made guitars and other images. In the Arboretum’s Exhibit Greenhouse, color-themed plantings will accompany a special student photography exhibit, Nature’s Palette, which will feature images of colors found in nature captured by K-8 students participating in the Arboretum’s ecoEXPLORE citizen-science program. As part of the Covered in Color celebration, the Arboretum has partnered with Leap Frog Tours and WAXON Studios of West Asheville to offer a special Colorful Asheville tour package. Available Thursdays and Saturdays, June through August from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., guests will enjoy an inside look into the many colorful creations that make Asheville so unique. The

SUMMER 2019

“Western North Carolina and the Asheville area are known for their vibrancy through dramatic landscapes and creative arts scene, residents and visitors will see first-hand how color affects our everyday lives and natural world. It is an experience not to be missed!” tour package includes a guided color-themed tour of the Arboretum, lunch at Bent Creek Bistro and a personalized dye workshop at WAXON Studios in West Asheville. Tickets for this customized half-day experience are $125 per person and can be purchased online at www.leapfrogtours.com. The North Carolina Arboretum is open daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., April through October. The Arboretum’s two indoor art exhibits, Compositions of Color and Nature’s Palette, will be on display daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., May 25 – September 2. For more information on the Arboretum’s Covered in Color celebration and additional summer programming, please visit ncarboretum.org.


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Music on Main A

udiences will once again be treated to one of Hendersonville’s favorite summertime events at the Music on Main concert series. Music on Main is the premier outdoor concert series held every Friday evening June through August 23 at the Visitor Center, located at 201 South Main Street in Downtown Hendersonville, NC. The concerts are held every Friday

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evening from June 7 through August 23 at 7pm, admission is free. Music on Main provides a quality, family-oriented event showcasing regional musical talents. The concerts feature a diverse line-up ranging from pop, oldies, rock, to contemporary music - there’s something for every musical taste! The event offers concessions such as: hot dogs, ice cream, pretzels, and lemonade for sale.

June 7 - August 23, 2019

Every Friday Night / 7pm - 9pm / Free Visitor Center, 201 South Main Street, Hendersonville, NC

Classic car shows are held in conjunction with Music on Main Street. The car shows are located in front of the Visitors Center, between Allen Street and Caswell Street, which will be closed to traffic. For more information about the classic car shows, contact Carolina Mountain Car Club at 828-702-0448. Bring a chair and enjoy an evening of live music from 7pm-9pm. The audience seating area opens after 5:30pm, early admission is prohibited. Please leave your pets comfortably at home, Hendersonville City ordinance prohibits animals in the event area. Admission is free. Alcoholic beverages, backpacks and coolers are prohibited. In case of inclement weather, the concert will be postponed until 8pm. If the weather does not improve by 8pm the performance will be cancelled.

For additional information, a concert schedule or lodging and travel information call the Visitors Center at (828) 693-9708, or 800-828-4244, or go online to visithendersonvillenc.org/musicon-main-street. Music on Main is an event of Henderson County Tourism Development Authority.


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SUMMER 2019

Experience History, Nature, Culture And Endless Adventure In West Virginia’s New River Gorge National Park.

Let River Expeditions be your host for a fun, memorable and affordable vacation this summer. River Expeditions, voted the area’s best outfitter, is family-owned and operated delivering a level of service and distinction that only a family brings to their own business.

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reate an all-inclusive vacation package including lodging, meals and activities based on your schedule, budget and interests. Choose from diverse accommodations like luxury cabins to tent camping and get the fourth consecutive night free. Rafting, zipline tours, rock climbing, mountain biking, SUP tours and other unique adventures

are offered by River Expeditions. Discover family-friendly float trips through the gentle Upper New River Canyon where children as young as six years old can take part in this low impact, scenic adventure the entire family will love. Kids always raft for half price on this mild single day trip. Classic whitewater can be found on the playful Lower

New River Gorge - great for first time rafters age twelve and up, as well as veteran paddlers, as no two river trips are ever the same. The Gauley River enjoys world class designation and also offers trips for beginners to advanced paddlers. River Expeditions professional guides are patient, engaging and always eager to share their passion for adventure.

Amenities at River Expeditions include a complete campground with RV sites, luxury to rustic cabins, lodge with complimentary Wi-Fi, massage studio, meeting space, Red Dog River Saloon & Grill, outfitters store, restaurant, outdoor pool/hot tub, hiking trails, disc golf, cornhole, sand volleyball, horseshoes and more. Experience West Virginia’s top zipline adventure, The Ridges, at River Expeditions. This 2-hour treetop tour includes a cargo net climb to the first of four ziplines and and skybridge span. Descend on an auto belay system following the longest zipline on the tour. River Expeditions is open daily from April through October for rafting and ziplining and year round for lodging, where you’ll save 50%. Special events and discounts are available online and corporate outings and groups are always welcome.

Contact: 800.463.9873 www.raftinginfo.com


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Music is in the AIR! August 5 - 10, 2019

If you stand in the center of Galax, Virginia, and listen closely, past the sounds of a busy downtown, you can hear it. The notes play on the breeze, no matter the season. It’s the sound of decades of music ingrained into the soul of the community. Why is this small Southwest Virginia City proclaimed the “World Capital of Old-Time Music”? Perhaps, it is the fact that generations have insured this important part of their Appalachian heritage is handed down from old to young. Old Fiddler’s Convention Since 1935, Galax has been the home to the Old Fiddler’s Convention, one of the most prominent traditional music contests in the United States. Each August, hundreds come to play in Felts Park, and thousands come to listen. Musicians as old as the convention itself or barely old enough to hold an instrument sit side-by-side and play and sing and learn. The number of steps made by those who get up and flatfoot or tap their feet along with the melodies would surely

circumference the globe. This year’s 84th anniversary on August 5-10, 2019 will be as rich in tradition as it was the very first year. Music is not the only thing that makes a trip to Galax worth the drive, there are an abundance of events throughout the spring and summer for relaxing family-friendly activities.

Start Your Family Summer Vacation With The New Junior Ranger Passport Book For Kids!

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he Passport To Your National Parks® Junior Ranger Edition is the perfect introduction to national park life for kids of all ages! Developed in collaboration with the National Park Service, the Junior Ranger Passport is a complement to the Junior Ranger Program. Each book features interactive educational content, and vibrant illustrations by renowned artist Dave Klüg, along with a free set of colorful park-themed stickers, so kids can personalize their books to commemorate their trip and jump-start their collection—the annual regional sticker sets feature new parks every year. In this edition, kids can stamp their book with collectible Passport cancellations at each park they visit, as well as the official, site-specific “Junior Ranger” cancellations, earned when they complete a park’s Junior Ranger Program. The book is organized by

Passport regions to learn and explore the national parks—this way both parents’ and kids’ Passport books are compatible, making it easier to commemorate park visits as a whole family. With plenty of space for kids to draw, gather ranger signatures, and explore parks with interesting fun facts, the Junior Ranger Passport book encourages kids to engage with their parks and get involved with the Junior Ranger program. Find your copy at Blue Ridge Parkway Park Stores, located in the 14 Visitor Centers on the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina and Virginia, or online at eParks.com.

(276) 238-8130 or www.oldfiddlersconvention.com

Rex Theater

Conveniently located in the center of downtown Galax is the Historic Rex Theater. The theater built in 1938 as a movie theater is now used for a live radio show broadcast every Friday night from 7:00-9:00 p.m. on radio station WBRF 98.1 FM and streamed live over the internet. The Friday night shows feature the best bluegrass and old time bands of the area.

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 ExploreBoone.com


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SUMMER 2019

New Mountain Bike Terrain Park in Wytheville

The 72nd Anniversary

Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands July 18-21 & Oct 17-20

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ountain biking enthusiasts have another reason to visit Wytheville, Virginia, as a new terrain park has opened at Crystal Springs Recreation Area. Part of the 1,800-acre town-owned property, the first phase of the terrain park project has been designed for all biking levels. The terrain park features obstacles like launch

ramps, balance beams, domes, and drop ramps, as well as more advanced aspects like a teeter-totter, rock drops and gardens, and ramp walls. Features are designed within proximity of each other for easy transitions between them. The design makes a minimal impact on the environment by using natural features like boulders and inclines.

Future expansions are also planned. Located at the crossroads of Interstates 77 & 81, Wytheville is just a thirty-minute drive from the Blue Ridge Parkway. The community is known for its numerous museums and historic sites as well as a variety of entertainment including a dinner theatre, music venues, and festivals honoring the heritage and culture. An abundance of recreation is available with hiking and biking trails, premier fishing, and the popular Claw of the Dragon motorcycle trail. Entrepreneurial spirit is showcased through attractions including an herb farm/butterfly garden, animal park, wineries, unique shopping, and a revitalized downtown. Wytheville…There’s Only One.

To learn about all that Wytheville offers, call toll-free at 1-877-347-8307 or visit http://www.VisitWytheville.com.

Downtown Asheville, NC

n its 72nd 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

www.southernhighlandguild.org or call 828-298-7928 for a complete list of performances.


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Beat the Heat in the Western N.C. Mountains

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ith the summer months upon us, there is no better time to head up to the Western N.C. mountains of Jackson County for some fresh air, cooler temps, breathtaking views, endless outdoor adventures, affordable prices, delicious culinary experiences and more. Whether you’re looking to stretch your legs and take a hike or take a leisurely drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway, Jackson County is surrounded by natural beauty that can be experienced in a multitude of ways. The area’s countless hiking trails are flanked by spectacular views, cliffs and sometimes a tumbling waterfall. Whether you’re looking for a short, family-friendly walk or a longer, more strenuous trek, you’ll find that and more in the area. Be sure to bring your bathing suit to take a dip and cool down in one of the county’s

waterfall swimming holes. Anglers will be in paradise in Jackson County, home of the Western North Carolina Fly Fishing Trail®, which maps out 15 prime spots to catch brown, rainbow and brook trout in the crystal-clear streams of the Great Smoky Mountains. With 92,800 fish stocked in its waters annually, it’s no wonder Jackson County is recognized as the North Carolina Trout Capital®. In addition to its hiking trails, the area is also home to the Jackson County Ale Trail, which stretches from Dillsboro to Cashiers and has something from every taste. Whether you prefer a smooth golden ale or a hoppy IPA, the breweries along the Ale Trail have you covered. After a long day of exploring, grab a bite to eat at one of the area’s many locally owned farm-to-table restaurants. Jackson County offers

food options guaranteed to satisfy the culinary desires of foodies of all sorts. This prime culinary destination has evolved into the perfect place to indulge in farm-to-table offerings, fresh meats, fish and produce from local farmers and cosmopolitan-esque cuisine, from award-winning chefs and culinary stars who know the way to a foodie’s heart.

VISIT THE

Plan a weekend getaway to experience all that Jackson County has to offer. Given the great variety of affordable accommodations, it couldn’t be easier to plan and book a trip that fits your style and budget. Visit DiscoverJacksonNC.com to begin planning your getaway.

Heart Blue Ridge Parkway OF THE

Milepost 229.6 - 58 S. Main St. • Sparta, NC

336-372-5473 • authenticallyalleghany.com


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Come Discover Bedford County’s ‘Hidden Gem’

See Inside A MOUNTAIN!

Don’t Miss!

North Carolina's Only Caverns!

LINVILLE CAVERNS Located on U.S. 221 between Linville & Marion, 19929 US 221 North Just 3 1/2 miles south of the Blue Ridge NC. Marion, NC Parkway, Exit Milepost 317.4, turn left on U.S. 800-419-0540 221 toward Linville Falls Village & Marion, NC 828-756-4171

linvillecaverns.com

SUMMER 2019

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he Sedalia Center, located in beautiful Bedford County, VA, is an arts and cultural center dedicated to promoting, preserving, and enhancing the vibrant artistic community in our region. Nestled in the shadows of the Blue Ridge Mountains, The Sedalia Center offers a wide variety of festivals and events throughout the year. The Sedalia Center has broad green lawns, a covered pavilion and stage, nature trails to explore, an inviting playground for children, camping for RVs and tents, handicap accessible restrooms, ample parking, and more! The remaining 2019 festival and event schedule includes a Summer Concert & Camp Out with

The Dead Reckoning, Chupacabras, and Kendall St. Company on July 6; Bluegrass with South Hill Banks and New Standard Bluegrass on July 20; a 50th Anniversary of Woodstock Celebration on August 10; Country Fair & Gathering on September 7; Chili Cook-Off competition on October 19; and Christmas in Sedalia & Artisan Market on December 14. For more information, call (434) 299-5080 or visit their website at www.sedaliacenter.org. Every visit to Bedford should include a stop at the Bedford Area Welcome Center, 816 Burks Hill Road. The Center is open daily 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. offering free Wi-Fi, firefighter exhibit, gift shop, RV hook-ups, electric car charging station, and more.

Contact the Welcome Center at (540) 587- 5681 or visit DestinationBedfordVA.com.


SUMMER 2019

www.blueridgedigest.com

Whitewater Fun for All Ages in the NC Smokies

17

L

ocated about a dozen miles Olympians and World Champs, west of Bryson City, NC on US who often train on the Nantahala. 19/74, the scenic Nantahala In the mood for something River ranks among the most popular more sedate? Try the Tuckasegee whitewater rafting River. Tuck rafting rivers in the country. trips provide a Without a doubt, it is great outdoor No matter which the most popular in the experience for river you choose, Southeast luring more the entire family, than 200,000 paddlers including kids at the end of your to its waters every year. adventure celebrate as young as 4 or A perfect combination weighing at least the day with good of exciting whitewater 40 pounds. food and drink, and placid pools, the All outfitters Nantahala is a great inprovide approved and comfortable troduction to the sport life jackets; most lodging in of whitewater paddling. outfitters will Bryson City, NC It’s considered a provide a wet suit family river suitable for and/or paddling seniors and children jackets during — providing the kids are at least the cooler months. In warmer 7 years old or weigh at least 60 months, it’s advisable to wear pounds. But, don’t get the wrong a bathing suit or shorts and tee idea. Just because the river is shirt, and secure shoes. Watches suitable for families doesn’t mean and loose jewelry should be left it’s not exciting. It’s also challengbehind, and eyeglasses should ing enough for US Canoe/Kayak be secured with a head strap.

GreatSmokies.com/rafting • 800-867-9246

PLENTY TO EXPLORE

IN THE ELKIN OUTDOORS

VisitTheYadkinValley.com

ExploreElkin.com PARKWAY MILEPOST 229 SOUTH ON HWY 21


18

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SUMMER 2019

Five Best Outdoor Experiences in Lexington & Rockbridge County

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 Riverside at Radford University. Several special events are planned around Mary Draper Ingles Remembrance Day* including an Ingles Farm open house. Event information is available on www.MaryDraperInglesTrail.com Performance dates are: July 14, July 27*, 28, August 4

In the shadows of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Buena Vista, Lexington, and Rockbridge County prove to be an outdoor lovers’ paradise. Hiking, biking, and paddling are just the beginning of the available adventures. Build your next excursion around these five great outdoor experiences. Accessible from the Appalachian Trail or the James River, Devil’s Marbleyard is eight acres of a geologist’s dream. Antietam quartzite boulders the size of cars and vans are strewn across the side of the mountain, proving to be an excellent training ground for bouldering.

1

Lexington’s most recognizable landmark is House Mountain, a high-rise plateau reaching 3,645 feet. Comprised of two mountains – Big and Little House – the mountain features a “saddle” where fresh water is available and the trail forks to lead hikers to the opposite peaks.

2

The Maury River begins and ends in Rockbridge County and includes famed Goshen Pass, a popular destination for kayakers in wet weather seasons. The lower portion of the Maury is part of the Upper James River Water Trail and offers excellent flat water for all types of paddle sports.

merica Bike Route. Follow in their tracks to meander through Natural Bridge, into downtown Lexington, and along South River before conquering the steep climb to the Blue Ridge Parkway in Vesuvius.

5

wade the Maury River to access this 100-foot trad, the best and one of the most difficult climbs in the area. For a slightly easier climb, choose Castle Rock Right as opposed to Castle Rock Left.

Try your hand at rock climbing at Castle Rock in Goshen. You’ll

Learn more about these adventures and others at RockbridgeOutdoors.com.

MP 324.8

3

Top cyclists from around the world compete in the Trans Am Bike Race each summer, which passes through Rockbridge County via the TransA-

4

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

Spruce Pine,  NC


SUMMER 2019

19

www.blueridgedigest.com

Apple Season is Especially Sweet in Hendersonville, NC Apples have become more than a delicious food in Hendersonville, North Carolina. For visitors to this small Blue Ridge Mountain town, apples are an experience. Families come to walk through an orchard, pick a basketful of apples, eat an apple cider doughnut and make memories.

H

enderson County leads North Carolina in apple production and ranks seventh in the nation. Orchards open for the you pick season in late July and remain open till November. The Crest of the Blue Ridge Orchard Trail maps out 20 orchards, markets and farm stands. In addition to apples, many farms grow peaches, sweet corn, tomatoes and pumpkins that you can purchase fresh from the field.

In addition to picking fruit, several orchards offer a variety of farm activities. At Sky Top Orchard on Mt. McAlpine, visitors take tractor-pulled hayrides, feed the ducks and enjoy picnics. Kids ride a cow train, bounce on a jump pillow and wander through a corn maze at Grandad’s Apples N’ Such. And on the weekends at Stepp’s Hillcrest Orchard, you can test your aim with G an apple cannon. RAYSON

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fair, live entertainment, children’s rides, festival food and plenty of fresh apples. The finale is the King Apple Parade on Monday afternoon.

COM

Highest point in and Surr Carroll y Counties

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Warm apple cider has long been a favorite treat, and these days many orchard menus also include apple slushies, ice cream, doughnuts, pies, turnovers and dumplings. Each Labor Day weekend, Hendersonville celebrates the harvest with the annual North Carolina Apple Festival. The four-day event, Aug. 30-Sept. 2, includes a street

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1341

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20

www.blueridgedigest.com

SUMMER 2019

Discover the Blue Ridge’s Natural and Cultural Treasures From glassblowing and artist studio tours to old-time music shindigs and bluegrass festivals set against scenic backdrops of breathtaking views, off-the-beaten-path

adventures await for your next visit to the Blue Ridge.

T

he Blue Ridge National Heritage Area ties the region together through driving trails created to provide a fresh experience for even the most seasoned Blue Ridge traveler. The non-profit organization serves as a leading

regional steward of living Appalachian traditions in North Carolina. Choose from the Blue Ridge Craft Trails, Blue Ridge Music Trails, and the Blue Ridge Heritage Trails to explore the natural and cultural wonders of the North Carolina mountains and foothills.

Find Your Next

Adventure!

Visit the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center, at MP 384, Asheville, NC. Come to the Regional Information Desk for the latest info on: Blue Ridge Craft Trails Blue Ridge Heritage Trails

Blue Ridge Music Trails

and more.

Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center

195 Hemphill Knob Road Asheville, NC

Parkway Milepost 384 (828) 298-5330

Blue Ridge Music Trails Beckon

Discover Hidden Gems along the New Blue Ridge Craft Trails

Travel along the new Blue Ridge Craft Trails in Western North Carolina Strike out on the Blue Ridge Music to discover talented artists and the Trails to discover the authentic small, vibrant towns where they sounds of the Western North Carolive and gain inspiration for their lina mountains and foothills. This handcrafted work. You can craft your music-rich region, with its traditions adventure by perusing more than of old-time string band music, 100 artist studios, galleries and ballad singing, dance and bluegrass, hands-on craft experiences on this is internationally renowned. drivable trail throughout the North The trails cover 29 counties and are punctuated with festivals, venues, Carolina mountains and foothills. Over the next 18-24 months, this dances, jam sessions and more. project will evolve to highlight more Listen to both seasoned musicians than 200 craft artisans and cultural and youthful wonders – the musical sites across the region. Travelers traditions are often passed down will also get tips on rounding out generation to generation—along their experiences with nearby foods, the trails. Lively tunes accented breweries, music, outdoor activities, by fiddle and banjo are bound to scenic views and places to stay. get you moving while mountain The trails are anchored with ballads will leave you mesmerized. renowned sites such as John C. The project is part of the Blue Campbell Folk School in Brasstown Ridge National Heritage Area organioffering hands-on experiences in tradization in partnership with the North tional and present-day arts and crafts. Carolina Arts Council. There are boundless opportunities to Visit BlueRidgeMusicNC.com to get connect with artisans in their studios started or pick up a copy of Down the and workshops along the trails. Tucked Road, a guide to bluegrass and tradi- into hamlets and coves are galleries tional music in Western North Caroli- filled with original pieces from blown na, at visitor centers and partnering glass to pottery and handmade quilts. music venues across the region.


21

SUMMER 2019

45th Annual North Carolina Bluegrass Festival!

N The Blue Ridge Craft Trails is a new Blue Ridge National Heritage Area initiative created to celebrate Western North Carolina as a vital center for traditional and contemporary handmade crafts. Learn more at BlueRidgeCraftTrails.com

Heritage, History and Culture

Explore the Blue Ridge Heritage Trail in the North Carolina mountains and foothills to learn the remarkable history and culture of the region. The driving trail is dotted with locations featuring interpretive wayside signs that share the stories of the people and places that have shaped our distinctive heritage. With a focus on historic sites, music and the arts, Cherokee history, agricultural traditions and natural wonders, the trail

provides a rich understanding of what makes this area unique. There are 70 sites along the driving trail across 26 North Carolina mountain and foothill counties. The trail includes 24 historic sites in Western North Carolina that recall the stories of Native Americans, explorers, mountaineers, revolutionaries, entrepreneurs, and more. It also provides a look at how the people of the Blue Ridge have distinguished themselves in a variety of art forms, such as music, crafts, storytelling, drama and dance. Gain an in-depth appreciation of Cherokee history and culture via the trail with exceptional museums and cultural events, as well as the sites of rediscovered Native American villages and 1,500-year petroglyphs. Enjoy scenic landscapes and locally grown foods, as you experience this region’s close connection with the land. The trail travels by historic farms and old country homes, lively farmers markets, working apple orchards and more. The trail will point you to natural wonders such as waterfalls, hot springs, hiking, white water rafting, mountain lakes, and fishing holes.

To help you on your journey, Blue Ridge Heritage Trail interactive kiosks can be found at five North Carolina Welcome Centers located throughout the region or visit BlueRidgeHeritageTrail.com for more information.

orman and Judy Adams have been creating and promoting bluegrass festivals for 45 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 15th with daily performances ending on Saturday night, August 17th. Performers include Balsam Range, Ronda Vincent and The Rage, Dailey and Vincent, Doyle Lawson

and Quick Silver, The Gibson 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. adamsbluegrass.com. 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 online. www.blueridgetravelers.com


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www.blueridgedigest.com

SUMMER 2019

Are you looking for a summer getaway that doesn’t require that you travel very far? Set your sights on Pigeon Forge, Tenn., one of the country’s most popular family vacation destinations.

HIDDEN

GEMS

RV SERVICES

ASHEVILLE, NC Located just off I-40 exit #44 at 120 Highland Center Blvd.

30+ years RV repair experience. Contact: markcoyne@rocketmail. com or (828) 553-7111

Unique exhibits and the stories behind the stories are in store for guests of the National Enquirer Attraction, located on the Parkway in Pigeon Forge. Photo courtesy of National Enquirer Attraction

This year, you’ll discover new shows, rides and museum exhibits that the entire family can enjoy.

S

et sail with Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show as Crimson and Sapphire crews battle it out in an epic battle for lost treasure on land, on deck, in water and high above full-sized pirate ships in a 15-foot-deep indoor hideaway lagoon. Paula Deen’s Lumberjack Feud Show is the centerpiece of the all-new Lumberjack Square. Take in the show, featuring 11 competitive lumberjacks who test their skills in axe throwing, chopping,

sawing, speed climbing, and log rolling, then explore Paula Deen’s Lumberjack Feud Adventure and test yourself on a ropes course, an extreme zipline, roller coaster, an 80-foot-tall jump tower, a multi-level lumberjack-themed adventure park and an aerial kids’ playground. Don’t miss the Mountain Monster coaster, a 200-foot-tall thrill ride that treats adventure seekers to an eight-person drop, a two-person swing, and a two-person slingshot. Mountain Monster opens this summer. The new National Enquirer Attraction showcases 90 years of history in more than 20,000 square feet of display space that

The new Mountain Monster threein-one coaster, set to open this summer in Pigeon Forge. Photo courtesy of Mountain Mile

houses more than 100 interactive exhibits. At Titanic Museum Attraction, seven of the world’s 12 remaining lifejackets from the historic ship will be on display from July 1 through November. At Dolly Parton’s Dollywood, Wildwood Grove features 11 new experiences for guests, six of which are ride attractions, including the suspended Dragonflier family roller coaster. The 55-foot-tall Wildwood Tree, the Till & Harvest restaurant, live entertainment, and various indoor and outdoor play areas like the 4,000-squarefoot indoor Hidden Hollow, invite guests to explore this new land. Evergreen favorites like the historic Old Mill allow visitors to explore history as artisans showcase their crafts each day. The Island offers a variety of rides and attractions, including the 200-foot-tall Smoky Mountain Wheel, but guests can also relax in a rocking chair and take in the free fountain show—all day and night.

For more information about all there is to see and do in Pigeon Forge, please visit MyPigeonForge.com.


SUMMER 2019

Tenth Season of Concerts on the Creek in Sylva, NC

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

T

Summer Brooke & the Mountain Faith Band

The Darren Nicholson Band

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www.blueridgedigest.com

hese 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. 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.

Concerts on the Creek

2019

July 12 - The Darren Nicholson Band (Bluegrass/Classic Country/Americana) July 19 - Geoff McBride & Scott Baker (Classic Hits/Soul/R&B) July 26 - Dashboard Blue (Rock/Classic Hits) August 2 - Andrew Scotchie & The River Rats (Rock) August 9 - Tuxedo Junction (Classic Hits) August 16 - Mama Danger(Folk/Newgrass) August 23- Troy Underwood (Americana/Folk/Soul) August 30 - Maggie Valley Band (Americana)

For more information, visit www.mountainlovers.com or call 828-586-2155.

GO

[ OUTSIDE IN A BIG WAY AT ]

SHENANDOAH Whether you’re hiking, rock-climbing or exploring by horseback, Shenandoah National Park is alive with excitement in summer. It’s a beautiful time to visit the Blue Ridge Mountain region. Located right inside the park, staying at Skyland, Lewis Mountain Cabins or Big Meadows Lodge helps you see more of it. Less than 90 minutes from Washington, D.C., put Shenandoah on your summer to-do list. Book your visit today.

877.313.2586 goshenandoah.com

Hospitality managed by Delaware North


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

NORTH CAROLINA Alleghany Co. Chamber of Commerce 58 S. Main, POB 1237 BRD Sparta, NC 28675; (800) 372-5473 www.sparta-nc.com Andrews Chamber of Commerce 345 Locust St. • P.O. Box 800 Andrews, NC 28902 • (877) 558-0005 www.andrewschambercommerce.com Ashe County Chamber & Visitor Center 1 N. Jefferson Ave, P.O. Box 31 West Jefferson, NC 28694 (336) 846-9550 • www.ashechamber.com Avery County Chamber of Commerce 4501 Tynecastle Hwy • Unit 2 Banner Elk, NC 28604; (800) 972-2183 www.averycounty.com Banner Elk Visitor Center 100 Main Street West, Banner Elk, NC 28604 (828) 898-8395 www.bannerelk.org Beech Mountain Chamber of Commerce 403A Beech Mountain Parkway Beech Mtn, NC 28604; (800) 468-5506 www.beechmtn.com Black Mountain Chamber of Commerce 201 E. State St., Black Mountain, NC 28711; (828) 669-2300 Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce 132 Park Ave • Blowing Rock NC 28605 (800) 295-7851 www.blowingrockncchamber.com

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

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

Smoky Mountain Host of NC, Inc 4437 Georgia Road, Franklin, NC 28734 (800) 432-4678 • www.visitsmokies.org

Lake Lure Welcome Center 2926 Memorial Hwy. Lake Lure, NC 28746

Spruce Pine Visitor Center 165 Locust St. Spruce Pine, NC 28777 (828) 765-7008

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

Highlands Chamber of Commerce 108 Main St., P. O. Box 404 Highlands, NC 28741  (828) 526-2112 www.highlandschamber.org

Statesville Convention & Visitors Bureau 118 W Broad St, Statesville, NC 28687; (704) 878-3480 or (877) 531-1819 www.visitstatesville.org

Cashiers Area Chamber of Commerce 202 U.S. 64, POB 238 BRD Cashiers, NC 28717; (828) 743-5191 www.cashiers-nc.com

Jackson County Chamber of Commerce 773 W. Main Street • Sylva, NC 28779; (800) 962-1911 • www.mountainlovers.com

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

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

Catawba County Visitor Center 1055 Southgate Parkway SW Hickory, NC 28602 (828) 328-6111 Cherokee County Visitor Center 20 Tennessee Street Murphy, NC 28906 828-557-2583 www.visitcherokeecountync.com Cherokee County Welcome Center 805 W. US 64 Murphy, NC 28906; (828) 837-2242 www.cherokeecountychamber.com Cherokee Smokies Chamber of Commerce 516 Tsali Blvd Cherokee, NC 28719 www.cherokeesmokies.com or 828-788-0034 Cherokee Welcome Center P.O. Box 460 • 498 Tsalis Rd. Cherokee, NC 28719; (800) 438-1601 www.cherokee-nc.com

Jonesville Welcome Center 1503 NC Hwy 67W Jonesville, NC 28642 • (336) 526-1111 Madison County Visitor Center 56 S. Main Street • Mars Hill, NC 28754; (828) 680-9031 www.visitmadisoncounty.com Maggie Valley Chamber of Commerce 2791 Soco Road, POB 279 Maggie Valley, NC 28751 (800) MAGGIE-1 • www.maggievalley.org McDowell County Visitor Center 1170 W. Tate St. • Marion, NC 28752; (828) 652-4240 • www.McDowellNC.org Mitchell Co. Chamber of Commerce 79 Parkway Rd • Spruce Pine, NC 28777; (800) 227-3912 www.mitchell-county.com Mount Airy Visitor Center 200 N. Main St. • Mt. Airy, NC 27030; (800) 948-0949 • www.visitmayberry.com

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

Mount Mitchell State Park 2388 State Hwy. 128 Burnsville, NC 28714 (828) 675-4611

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

NW NC Visitor Center 2121 East US Hwy 421 • North WIlkesboro, NC 28659 • (336) 667-1259

Wilkes County Chamber of Commerce 717 Main St., PO Box 727 BRD N. Wilkesboro, NC 28659; (336) 838-8662 • www.wilkesnc.org Winston-Salem Visitor Center 200 Brookstown Ave, Winston-Salem, NC 27101 336-728-4205 • VisitWinstonSalem.com Yadkin Valley Visitor Center 116 East Market St. • Elkin, NC 28621; (336) 526-1111 • www.yadkinvalley.org Yancey County Chamber of Commerce 106 W. Main St. • Burnsville, NC 28714; (800) 948-1632 • www.yanceychamber.com

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

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

Elizabethton Visitor Center 500 Veterans Memorial Parkway Elizabethton, TN 37644; (423) 547-3850 www.tourelizabethton.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Franklin Area Chamber of Commerce 98 Hyatt Rd. Franklin, NC 28734; (888) 439-park • www.franklin-chamber.com

Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center 195 Hemphill Knob Rd  Asheville, NC  28803 Hendersonville Visitor Center 828-298-5330 201 S. Main St • Hendersonville, NC 28792 Boone Area Chamber of Commerce (800) 828-4244 870 W King St. Suite A, Boone, NC 28607; www.historichendersonville.org (828) 264-2225 • www.VisitBooneNC.com

Shenandoah County Tourism 600 N. Main St, Ste 101 Woodstock, VA 22664

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


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The Blue Ridge Digest can be found at these regional visitor’s centers! Kingsport Visitor Center 151 E. Main St., POB 1403 BRD Kingsport, TN 37662; (423) 392-8820 www.kingsportchamber.org Loudon County Visitor Bureau 1075 US Hwy 321 • Lenoir City, TN 37771 (865) 568-3662 • www.visitloudoncounty.com Oak Ridge Visitor Center 1400 Oak Ridge Turnpike Oak Ridge, TN 37830 (865) 483-1321 www.ExploreOakRidge.com 

Charlottesville Visitor Center 610 East Main St Charlottesville, VA 22902 (434) 293-6789 • (434) 970-3641 www.visitcharlottesville.org Culpeper Visitor Center 111 S. Commerce St. • Culpeper, VA 22701 Phone: (540) 727-0611 Toll Free: 844-490-2577. www.visitculpeperva.com Danville Visitor Center 645 River Park Dr • Danville, VA 24540; (434) 793-4636 • www.visitdanville.com

Pigeon Forge Visitor Center 1950 N. Parkway, POB 1390 BRD Pigeon Forge, TN 37868; (800) 251-9100 mypigeonforge.com

Discovery Center at Mill Mountain Roanoke’s Mill Mountain 215 Church Ave., Room 303 Roanoke, VA 24016 • (540) 853-1236

Rogersville/Hawkins County C of C 107 E. Main St., Ste.100 Rogersville, TN 37857; (423) 272-2186

Explore Park Visitor Center Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 115 Roanoke, VA 24014 • (540) 427-1800

Scott County Visitor Center 12025 Scott Highway Helenwood, TN 37755 • (800) 645-6905

Floyd Visitors Center 109 E. Main St. Floyd, VA 24091 www.VisitFloydVA.com 540-745-4407

Smoky Mtn Visitor Center 3540 Line Drive • Kodak, TN 37764 (865) 932-3696

Front Royal Visitor Center 414 E. Main St. • Front Royal, VA 22630; (800) 338-3576 • www.discoverfrontroyal.com

Unicoi Visitor Center 106 Unicoi Village Place PO Box 39 Erwin, TN 37692 www.unicoitn.net 423-735-0426

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

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

Greene County Economic Development & Tourism 8315 Seminole Trail, Suite 2 Ruckersville, VA 22968 Hardesty-Higgins House Visitor Center 212 S. Main St Harrisonburg, Virginia, 22801 VisitHarrisonburgVA.com. (540) 432-8935 Lexington Visitor Center 106 E. Washington St. Lexington, VA 24450; (540) 463-3777 www.lexingtonvirginia.com

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

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

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

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

Bedford Visitor Center 816 Burks Hill Rd • Bedford, VA 24523; (877)-HiPeaks • VisitBedford.com

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

Blue Ridge Visitor Center 2577 JEB Stuart Highway Meadows of Dan, VA 24120 • 276-694-6012 Buena Vista Visitor Center 595 E. 19th St. • Buena Vista, VA 24417 (540) 261-2880 • buena-vista.va.us.com Carroll County Visitor Center 231 Farmers Market Rd, Hillsville, VA 24343 (888) 785-2782 • (276) 730-3100 www.visittheBlueRidge.com

Madison County Visitor Center 110A N. Main St., Madison, VA 22727 (540) 948-4455 • www.madison-va.com Martinsville-Henry County Visitor Center 191 Fayette St., Martinsville, VA 24112 (888) 722-3498 www.visitmartinsville.com

Nelson County Visitor Center 8519 Thomas Nelson Hwy., Lovingston, VA 22949; (800) 282-8223 www.Nelsoncounty.com Orange Co. Visitor’s Center 122 East Main St. • Orange, VA 22960 (877) 222-8072 • www.visitorangevirginia.com Patrick County Chamber of Commerce 20475 JEB Stuart Hwy • PO Box 577 Stuart, VA 24171; (276) 694-6012 www.patrickchamber.com Prince William Visitor Center 200 Mill St. • Occoquan, VA 22125 703-491-4045 • ticctr@aol.com Pulaski County Visitor Center 4440 Cleburne Blvd • Dublin, VA 24084 540-674-4161. www.pulaskicounty.org Radford Visitor Center 600 Unruh Dr. • Radford, VA 24141 (866) 605-6442 • www.visitradford.com Roanoke Visitor Information Center 101 Shenandoah Ave., NE Roanoke VA 24016 • (800) 635-5535 www.visitvablueridge.com Rockfish Gap Visitor Center 130 Afton Circle Afton, VA 22920; (540) 943-5187 www.augustabusiness.org Salem Visitor Center 1001 Boulevard @ Civic Center Salem, VA 24153; (888) 827-2536 www.visitsalem.com Smith Mountain Lake Visitor Center 16430 Booker T. Washington Hwy. #2 Moneta. VA 24121 • 540-721-1203 www.visitsmithmountainlake.com Smyth County Visitor Center 408 Whitetop Rd., Chilhowie, VA 24319 (276) 646-3306 VisitVirginiaMountains.com Staunton Travel Information Center 1290 Richmond Rd. (I-81 Exit 222) Staunton, VA 24401 • (540) 332-3972 www.VisitStaunton.com Staunton Visitor’s Center 35 South New Street, Staunton,VA 24401 540-332-3971 • www.VisitStaunton.com

Need Travel Help?

Visit www.blueridgeparkway.org 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.

Gateway to Shenandoah Visitor Center at Hupp’s Hill Civil War Park and Museum 33229 Old Valley Pike Strasburg, Virginia 22657 540-465-5884 Virginia Tech Visitor Center 925 Prices Fork Rd. • Blacksburg, VA 24061;(540) 231-3548 welcome@vt.edu Western Highlands Visitor Center 241 W. Main St. • Covington, VA 24426; (540) 962-2178 • www.alleghanyhighlands.com Winchester-Frederick County CVB 1400 S. Pleasant Valley Rd. Winchester, VA 22601 • (877) 871-1326 www.visitwinchesterva.com Wytheville CVB 975 Tazewell Street Wytheville, VA 24382; (276) 223-3355 Toll free (877) 347-8307 www.visitWytheville.com

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

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

BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY INFO: BRPweather.com Your source for Parkway weather. Don’t get caught in the rain, fog, or snow! Know what lies ahead on all 469 miles. Accurate forecasts and local weather stations plus live Parkway weather cameras at

www.BRPwebcams.org

POSSIBLE ROAD CLOSURES ON THE BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY

A real-time road closure map for the entire Parkway is available at: www.nps.gov/blri/planyourvisit/ roadclosures.htm


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Mountain Lodging Food Fun NORTH CAROLINA

ASHEVILLE, NC Asheville East KOA-Exit 59 off I-40 big rigs & tenters welcome. Wooded sites, with pool, lake & river fishing. 800-562-5907 or (828) 6863121. 2708 Hwy 70E, Swannanoa, NC 28778. www.ashevilleeastkoa.com. Asheville West KOA-Exit 37 off I-40 Something for everyone, RV’s, tenters, cabins. In foothills, wooded sites, hiking trails, pool. (800) 5629015. 309 Wiggins Rd., Candler, NC 28715. www.ashevillekoa.com Bear Creek RV Park - Exit Rt. 191 from Parkway; I-40 Exit 47; or I-26 Exit 2. 3 miles north of Parkway off Rt. 191. 5 mins. Biltmore House. 90 full hookups, paved sites, pool, laundry. Open year round. (800) 833-0798 www.ashevillebearcreek.com. Mast Store – Located at 15 Biltmore Ave., Downtown Asheville. Restored to its 1940s heyday, this store features housewares, jams & jellies, camping gear, shoes & boots, clothing, and over 500 old-fashioned candy favorites. www.MastStore.com. 828-232-1883. Rug & Home - Over 20,000 oriental rugs & home accessories. Finest rugs from India, China, Pakistan, Persia, Turkey, Egypt, Karastan, Milliken. Tapestries, needlepoints, oil paintings, antique furniture, brass, crystal, & Tiffany lamps, mirrors. Local & national artists. Sculptures and fine porcelain. Located at I-26, exit 33 behind Ethan Allen. Open 7 days. (828) 667-4585. Shoji Spa & Lodge - Relax at Asheville’s only outdoor hot tub spa. Reap the benefits of the cold plunge, unwind in our sauna and rest in the Lodge. Specializing in couples massage. 2500 ft. above stress level. www.shojiretreats.com. By appt. only. (828) 299-0999.

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

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. www.alpine-village-inn.com (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. www.hemlockinn.net. Jenkins Rentals - The finest rental homes, cabins and condos in the Blowing Rock area. Hot tubs & Mtn vews available. (800) 438-7803. www.jenkinsrentals.com.

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. www.MastStore. com. 828-262-0000 NC High Country Host Visitor Center- 6370 US HWY 321 South Blowing Rock, NC 28605; (800) 4387500 www.mountainsofnc.com

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

Be sure to tell them you saw it in THE DIGEST! HENDERSONVILLE, NC Mast Store – Located 527 N Main St, Downtown Hendersonville. Built in 1905, this store embodies the essence of the era and is packed with clothing, shoes & boots, camping gear, country gourmet foods, & candy. www.MastStore.com. 828-696-1883 Discover Hendersonville! Check out our Stay & Play Packages & Room Availability! Hendersonville Visitors Center, 201 S Main Street, Hendersonville, NC. 1-800-828-4244. Open 7 days a week. www.visithendersonvillenc.org

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 eyeto-eye with native wildlife in natural habitats and interact with our friendly, knowledgeable staff. One mile from Blue Ridge Parkway; take th Linville exit at Milepost 305 to U.S. 221 South. Open daily, weather permitting, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. $22 adult, $20 senior 60+, $9 child 4-12, under 4 free www.grandfather.com (828) 733-4337 or (800) 468-7325.

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

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

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

CHIMNEY ROCK, NC LINVILLE FALLS, NC

BOONE, NC Foscoe Rentals - Cabins, Condos and Vacation homes centrally located to Boone, Banner Elk and Blowing Rock. (800) 723-7341. www.foscoerentals.com Hidden Valley Motel- Birds, blooms and butterflies in the Foscoe Valley. Hwy 105 south between Boone and Banner Elk. Call 828/963-4372. www.hiddenvalleymotel.com or email: jim@hiddenvalleymotel.com.

HIDDEN

GEMS

Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park – 40 min SE of Asheville, exit milepost 384.7 . Come for the Views. Discover Infinite Possibilities. Six unique hiking trails. 404-foot waterfall. 26-story elevator inside the mountain. Rock climbing instruction by reservation. Woodland animal exhibits and programs. Special activities and events for the whole family. Pet friendly. Cafe overlooking the river. Open all year. Visit Chimneyrockpark.com for hours and rates. 828-625-9611 chimneyrockpark.com

Linville Caverns - 19929 US 221 N. Marion. 4 miles South of Parkway, MP 317. NC’s ONLY show cavern. 800-419-0540. www.linvillecaverns.com. Linville Falls Lodge & Cottages - BRP Milepost 317.4, US 221S 1 mile to Rt. 183, left. Restaurant (ABC permit), Walk to falls & gorge. www.linvillefallslodge.com (800) 634-4421.

WNC (Western North Carolina) Cheese Trail www.romanticasheville.com/cheese_trail.htm


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Mountain Lodging Food Fun LITTLE SWITZERLAND, NC Emerald Village - Real mines, mine tours, & gem mining. Other free displays: railroad, music museum, wildlife. MP334. 828-765-6463.   www.emeraldvillage.com Switzerland Cafe & General Store - MP 334 1/4 mile of the Parkway. Lunch and weekend dinners. Souvenirs and picnic items. Call 828-765-5289. www.switzerlandcafe.com Switzerland Inn And Chalet Restaurant - A little bit of Switzerland in NC. Fantastic mountain views, rooms, suites, cottages, dining, shopping, tennis. Located directly on the Blue Ridge Parkway at the Little Switzerland exit near Parkway Milepost 334. Little Switzerland, NC 28749. (828) 765-2153 or (800) 6544026. www.switzerlandinn.com

MAGGIE VALLEY, NC Boyd Mountain Log Cabins Secluded 130 acres near Maggie Valley, 7 Authentic cabins, fireplaces, AC, cable, WIFI. Choose n cut Christmas tree farm, trout fishing, hiking. (828) 926-1575. www.boydmountain.com Haywood County Hotel & Motel Assoc.-Maggie Valley,Waynesville,Lake Junaluska. Quality lodging & dining within minutes of 4 BRP exits, MP 420-450. All accommodations adhere to Quality Standards. See us @www.maggievalley.travel. Maggie Valley Area Chamber of Commerce - US 19, Eastern entrance to the Great Smokies. Escape. Explore. Exhale. Maggie Valley Area Chamber of Commerce, PO Box 279, Maggie Valley, 28751. . Jonathan Creek Inn & Maggie Valley Villas - MP 455.7 AAA 3 Diamond Rated. Creekside and Hot Tub Rooms, Creekside & Mountain View Villas, Indoor Heated Pool, Children’s Play Area. 1-800-577-7812.  www.jonathancreekinn.com

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

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

WAYNESVILLE, NC

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

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

SPARTA & GLADE VALLEY, NC

TENNESSEE

Alleghany Inn - 341 N. Main St., Sparta, NC 28675. 64 Rooms - Free Wireless Internet - Cable TV 60+ Chan, Guest Laundry - Restaurant on site. 888) 372-2501 Reserve online: www.AlleghanyInn.com . see ad p 5 Thistle Meadow Winery - Stop for wine tasting - exit at Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 248. 3 miles to winery on NC18.(800) 233-1505. gas nearby. www.thistlemeadowwinery.com

SPRUCE PINE, NC Bear Den Mountain Resort - Blue Ridge Pkwy @ MP 324. 144 sites. Deluxe cabins, tents to RV’s, Campin’ cabins. Mar. 15-Nov. 30. Spruce Pine, NC. www.bear-den.com (828) 765-2888 Gem Mountain - 13780 Hwy 226. 1 mile from Parkway. Gem mine. Rain or shine. Mine trips available. People’s choice for Gem mining. www.gemmountain.com Peak Mountain Cottages & Retreat Center--On 300 acres, 7 miles N of Pkwy. Room to play or relax. Hiking trails, clear mtn streams. 460 Rabbit Hop Rd near Penland. Individuals,families or groups up to 25. 828-765-9559. www.peakmountaincottages.com

GATLINBURG, TN Ski Mountain Chalet & Condo Rentals - 1-4 bedrooms , hot tubs, jacuzzis, pool tables, kitchens, fireplaces, privacy. (800) 824-4077. www.skimtnchalets.com

VIRGINIA BEDFORD, VA Peaks of Otter Winery & Orchards - 2122 Sheep Creek Rd, 24523. MP 86. Fruit wine, fruit, jams, jellies, free tastings. Vacation rentl house. 540-586-3707. www.iwineu.com or www.elmosrest.com

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

Be sure to tell them you saw it in

THE DIGEST!

FANCY GAP, VA

Skyland Lakes Golf Club Right on Parkway at milepost 202.2. New 18 hole public course. Beautiful scenery. Motel & golf packages available. (276) 728-4923.

FLOYD, VA Blue Ridge Restaurant, Inc. E. Main St., Floyd, VA (540) 745-2147. For good home-style cooking try our daily specials. We are open early with gravy biscuits, hot cakes, country ham, and eggs every day. Chantilly Farm Campground. 2697 Franklin Pike SE. RV sites: electric, water, sewer, tent camping w/ amenities. WiFi, ice, ATM. chantillyfarm.com. 540-808 -4984 Floyd County Tourism 109 East Main St. Floyd, VA 24091 Mountain town with unique music, arts, outdoor fun! info@visitfloydva.com. www.VisitFloydVA.com 540-239-8509 Floyd Country Store: Famous venue for Heritage Appalachian music every weekend. Store and cafe open all week. www.floydcountrystore.com Floyd Lodging Association A community of local lodging facilities working together to accommodate your unique needs. www.floydvirginialodging.com

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 Floyd Visitors Center 109 E. Main St., Floyd, VA 24091 Year round. U-pick or U-select. Apple Festival 3rd Sat. in Oct. (540) 586-2436. Mountain town with unique music, arts, outdoor fun! 540-745-4407 www.VisitFloydVA.com

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA

Montfair Resort Farm - Pet friendly cabins by lake. 30 min from Parkway. Wi-fi, linens & cookware provided. Canoe, hike, fish. (434) 8235202. www.montfairresortfarm.com.

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


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Mountain Lodging Food Fun

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

GALAX, VA

LOVE, VA.

MONTEBELLO, VA

ROANOKE, VA

Cool Breeze Campground 2330 Edmonds Rd.Galax,VA MP215 off BRP, Full Hookups Bathhouse,Laundry,Big Rig Friendly,Free WIFI,Rally Center,276-236-0300 www.coolbreezecampground.com

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

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

Virginia’s Blue Ridge. Take a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Shop at the markets and boutiques in Downtown Roanoke and Salem. Hike on a trail in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Discover wildlife while kayaking on the Upper James River Water Trail. Dine at a local restaurant and enjoy fresh, amazingly prepared ingredients. Watch the sunset aboard a cruise at Smith Mountain Lake. All these things to do and more can be part of your Blue Ridge Day.No matter what you decide to do, every day in the Roanoke Valley in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains is filled with friendship and old-fashioned hospitality. Discover what makes visiting Virginia’s Blue Ridge unique! (800) 635-5535. visitvablueridge.com

GROTTOES, VA

Grand Caverns - 5 Grand Caverns Dr, Grottoes, VA, America’s oldest continuously operated show cave. Nature’s handiwork & gifts. 888-430CAVE. www.grandcaverns.com

HARRISONBURG, VA The Village Inn - 1 mile south of I-81, Exit 243, on US 11.  American Automobile Association Three Diamond Award. (540) 434-7355, toll free reservations-1-800-736-7355. www.shenandoah.org/villageinn

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

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

NATURAL BRIDGE, VA Natural Bridge Zoo –5784 S. Lee Hwy I-81 exit 180A Natural Bridge 24578. 540-291-2420, naturalbridgezoo.com. Largest collection of birds and animals in Virginia. Elephant rides, giraffe, tigers, bears, monkeys, birds and more! Petting zoo, gift shop, picnic area. Open mid March to November.

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

About the Blue Ridge Parkway

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he 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.

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

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

HIDDEN

GEMS NW Trading Post

For more information visit: www.blueridgeparkway.org or www.nps.gov/blri

Selection of regional arts & crafts and food gifts made in North Carolina’s northwestern counties

Milepost 258.6


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The Parkway Explorers Guide to Meadows of Dan The Blue Ridge Parkway runs 469 miles through the mountains of Virginia and North Carolina. It is known for its scenic beauty, historic attractions and abundant outdoor recreation. Riding on the Parkway can give you that much-needed getaway from the hustle and bustle of daily life. You can drive for hours without seeing much civilization. If you drive to milepost 177.7 you will see one of the rarest views on your ride: a town. Meadows of Dan has been a favorite stop for travelers through the years. Refuel your car, your stomach and your soul in this unique destination. serves delicious homestyle meals with desserts that are to die for

inside of the mill and eat at the accompanying restaurant attached.

Lovers Leap Scenic Overlook

Mabry Mill

Rocky Knob Recreation Area

The historic Mabry Mill is the most photographed spot on the Parkway. This grist mill is over one hundred years old and is open to the public! There are also live demonstrations of blacksmiths, wood workers and more.

This expansive section of the Parkway is littered with hiking trails, picnic areas, and stunning overlooks. Within Rocky Knob is the Rock Castle The Village Gorge National Recreation Trail. Just past the Parkway enPitch your tent or park your camper trance is the quaint hub of the at the Rocky Knob Campground. Meadows of Dan Village. One of the oldest shops in the village, Poor Farmers Market, has a classic country store feel. Inside you will find souvenirs to satisfy every travelers tastes, freshly prepared sandwiches and snacks, hand scooped ice cream, glass bottle sodas, local honeys, jams, Wineries etc. as well as a few oddities here Wine lovers will enjoy the two and there. Concord Corner Store neighboring wineries along the sits at the edge of the village. This Parkway in Meadows of Dan. Villa store sells high quality artisan Appalaccia is a charming, Italian-incrafts from the surrounding area. spired winery. Villa Appalaccia Country Cupboard offers shoppers offers music on Saturday afternoon affordable, local artisan crafts, fresh in the summer. Just down the flowers, sandwiches, locally made road is the well-known Chateau snacks and free wifi. Peruse their Morrisette that offers guests an art gallery or relax on the patio. expansive tasting room & gift Grab your lunch or dinner at shop, tours, live outdoor music Jane’s Cafe. This country diner and a French-inspired restaurant.

Cockrams Mill

Down the road from the village is Cockrams Mill. This 130-year-old grist mill sits on the banks of the Dan River. Visitors can tour the

Pull off at one of Patrick County’s greatest treasures, Lover’s Leap Scenic Overlook, located south of the Village on Route 58. Legend has it that two Native Americans from separate tribes fell in love, and after their tribes forbade them from being together they tragically ended their lives, jumping together from the cliffs at this very spot.

THE

SEQOUYAH

BIRTHPLACE MUSEUM VONORE, TN Sequoyah gave his people an enduring gift: a writing system so the “Cherokee Nation would live forever.” Experience the Cherokee through our brand new exhibits, videos, and gift shop. Hike our Shoreline Trail and visit the Cherokee Memorial mound, Blacksmith shop, and Dog Trot Cabin. We are Tennessee’s only tribally-owned museum.

Sequoyah Remembrance Day

Check out our new exhibit!

August 4 | 12:30-4 PM

Cherokee Fall Festival

September 7th & 8th | 10-5PM Open Mon.–Sat. 9am–5pm & Sun. 12-5pm. Adults are $5 12 and under are free we do have group rates, and other discounts

423-884-6246 • www.sequoyahmuseum.org


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SUMMER 2019

Berry Good, Thank You September 14, 2019

Downtown Marion, NC

888-233-6111 | blueridgetravelers.com

What says “summer” to you? To many of us, berries, be they blue, black, red, purple, or other hues, speak the language of warm weather and tart to sweet tastes. North Carolina’s High Country is noted for delicious berries, products of cold winters, plentiful spring rains, and cool summers, which result in a bounty of tasty, blemish-free, fruits. Berries in the High Country may be harvested in the wild. Blue Ridge Parkway visitors may pick one gallon per person per day.Visit MountainsofNC.com for a list of our favorite berry picking trails. You can also find berries by visiting a “u-pick” farm, or simply “pick” a pint at your favorite farmer’s market or roadside stand (see local farmers markets below). Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture (brwia. org) and Appalachian Grown (appalachiangrown.org) have listings of local farms. Of course, the High Country is also home to many cooks and chefs who elevate local berries to high art by way of pies, tarts, puddings, and other, more exotic, dishes and baked goods. Call the NC High Country Welcome Center for regional recommendations at 828-264-1299.

Watauga County Farmers Market (May - November) Saturdays 8am- Noon, 591 Horn in the West Drive, Boone King Street Farmers Market (May 14 – October 29) Tuesdays 4-7 pm, 26 Poplar Grove Connector, Boone Ashe County Farmers Market (April 13 – October 26) Saturdays 8 am – 1 pm, Backstreet in West Jefferson

Blowing Rock Farmers Market (May 25 – October 10) Thursdays 4-6 pm, Located on Park Avenue in front of the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce Avery County Farmers Market (May 2 – September) Thursdays 4 – 6:30 pm, Old Banner Elk Elementary School Wilkes County Farmers Market (April – September) Saturdays 7:30 am – noon, Tuesdays 3:30 – 5:30 pm, 842 CBD Loop, North Wilkesboro

Planning to hike or bike along the Blue Ridge Parkway? y Blue Ridge Par kwa

ACTIV ITIES

TRAIL S

PLANT S & WILDL IFE

BIKING

DRIVIN G

FACILITIES & ACTIVITIES - Pg 3 HIKING TRAILS Virginia: Pgs 4, 6 - 14 North Carolina: Pgs 5, 15 - 22

PLANTS & WILDLIFE Pgs 12 - 13 BIKING - Pg 23 DRIVING TIPS Pgs 2 & 24

Stop at one of the 13 Blue Ridge Parkway visitor centers on the parkway and ask for the Outdoor Guide.


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Brew Ridge Craft Beverage Trail Traveling Nelson 151 and Nelson 29

by Jessica Lawrence

Those enjoying the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia should add Nelson County to their list of must-visit places. Travelers can exit the parkway with ease and enjoy Nelson 151, then head to the brand-new Nelson 29 craft beverage trail along Route 29.

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he Blue Ridge Parkway, one of the most-visited locations within the US National Parks system, meanders along the northwest boundary of Nelson County. Dubbed Blue Ridge’s “hidden gem,” Nelson features trails, orchards, vineyards, breweries, concert venues, and unique shopping, all of which are located along scenic roadways which accent rather than alter the natural landscape. Nelson’s Route 151 and Brew Ridge Trail craft beverage

trails has drawn national and international attention to the area. Nelson 151 producer partners includes five wineries, five breweries, three cideries, and two distilleries along a route that at times rivals the Parkway in terms of scenic beauty. Tourists looking for Route 151 can find their way from milepost 0 at Afton’s Rockfish Gap at the intersection of Route 250 at I-64 or via Virginia’s Scenic Byway Route 644 at Reid’s Gap. Another option begins at milepost 27 to Virginia Scenic Byway/Route 56 at Montebello. Member businesses of Nelson 151 include: Afton Mountain Vineyards, Blue Mountain Brewery, Blue Toad Hard Cider, Bold Rock Hard Cidery, Brewing Tree Beer Company, Cardinal Point Vineyard & Winery, Devils Backbone Brewing Company, Flying Fox Vineyard, Valley Road Vineyards, Hill Top Berry Farm & Winery, Silverback Distillery, Veritas Vineyard & Winery, and Wild Wolf Brewing Company.

Tourists can travel parallel to the eastern edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains from 151 to Route 6 to arrive at Nelson 29 Trail. The official launch of Nelson 29 will take place on September 7, 2019 during Virginia Distillery Company’s “Spirited Soiree,” Virginia Distillery Company, and an official part of the Nelson County’s Wood Ridge Farm Brewery. “50 Years of Love” celebration of Visit or contact the Nelson the Virginia is for Lovers slogan. County Visitors Center in Nelson 29 member businesses Lovingston, Virginia for informainclude: Blue Mountain Barrel House, tion on other lodging, restaurants Brent Manor Vineyards, DelFosse and area attractions.  Vineyards and Winery, Lovingston www.nelsoncounty. Winery, Mountain Cove Vineyards, com 800-282-8223

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

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

www.AlleghanyInn.com


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SUMMER 2019

42nd Annual

August 10 & 11, 2019

Sourwood Festival

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he Sourwood Festival, presented annually by the Black Mountain Swannanoa Chamber of Commerce, is a family fun festival which draws 30,000+ people from all over the Southeast. Free

to the public, this non – alcohol, pet friendly, downtown street festival can be the highlight of your summertime activities. Children’s free fun park includes a variety of activities, games and face paint-

ing. Carnival rides for all ages. Free entertainment in the big music tent includes toe tapping music: blue grass, country, folk, square dancers, gospel, and rock & roll – several acts on the hour! Performers are regional artist who donate their talents for the pleasure of festival attendees. With 200+ vendor booths there is sure to be something for everyone. This year’s festival items include: gourd art, plants including iris, orchids and carnivorous, pet treats and accessories, jewelry of all types mostly handmade in America, art, photography, pottery and glass, hand turned wood bowls and birdhouses. Children’s items include toys, books, clothes, hair bows, and novelty items. There is food and drink to satisfy every taste: Funnel cakes, fudge, nuts, kettle corn, all types of vendor food.

FREE

Admission

Over 200 Vendor Booths! • 200 + Vendors • Arts & Crafts • Children’s Area • Specialty Items • Great Food • Wonderful Music • Dancing

Friday - August 9th 7pm-10pm Sourwood Idol Contest at the Big Tent next to Depot Saturday - August 10th Festival Hours 9am-8pm Sourwood5K.com - 8am Sunday August 11th Festival Hours 9am-5pm

For more information:Black Mountain Swannanoa Chamber of Commerce at 800-669-2301 or www.sourwoodfestival.com

There’s only one word to sum up this special event held in July - DELICIOUS. Authentic southern barbecue with “altitude” fills the streets of the downtown on the third weekend of July (19-20, 2019). The competition is the official Virginia state barbecue championship. Teams of the best barbecue competitors from across the country vie for the bragging rights that winning this

event brings including a spot in The Memphis BBQ Network World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest and the Kansas City American Royal Barbecue World Series. For spectators, it’s a chance to sample some of the best food of the South while enjoying the festival atmosphere that includes music, crafters, and children’s activities.

More information visit: www.smokeonthemountainva.com/ or www.VisitGalax.com


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35th Anniversary Season

An Appalachian Summer Festival in Boone, NC Ben Folds with the Winston-Salem Symphony, Patti LaBelle, Lily Tomlin, The Temptations and more!

as well as Young People’s Global Film Series, and Visual Arts with a Summer Exhibition Celebration, Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Walk, Lunch & Learn Series, and art workshops ppalachian State University’s Tickets for festival events are on sale annual summer arts attraction, online and at the Schaefer Center for for adults, teens, and children. Presented by Appalachian State An Appalachian Summer Festi- the Performing Arts box office. For University’s Office of Arts & Cultural val, will celebrate its 35th anniversary more information, visit www.explorePrograms, this annual celebration season from June 29 - Aug. 3, 2019. boone.com or call 800-852-9506. of the performing and visual arts is This month-long whirlwind of music, The variety of events presented held every July in venues across the dance, theatre, visual arts, and film during An Appalachian Summer programming has emerged as one of Festival guarantee there’s something university campus and features an the nation’s leading regional arts fes- for all ages, from the Schaefer Popular eclectic, diverse mix of music, dance, tivals, bringing over 27,000 people Series, classical music, dance, theatre, theatre, visual arts, and film programming. An Appalachian Summer to the High Country each summer. the Weicholz Global Film Series

A

We have a place for you TO SLEEP in Nestled in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, our hotel is one of the newest hotels our top destination city has to offer.

Book Online Or

186 Hendersonville Rd Asheville, NC www.holidayinn.com/biltmorearea

For more information about An Appalachian Summer Festival, visit www.exploreboone. com or call 800-852-9506.

ASHEVILLE, NC

Conveniently located between Asheville and Hendersonville and moments’ away from the Asheville Regional Airport

Conveniently located near Biltmore Estate, Biltmore Village, Local Breweries, Blue Ridge Parkway, and Downtown Asheville. • Heated Indoor Pool Call Reservations • Business/Fitness Center 828 277 0026 • Restaurant & Lounge • Spacious Meeting Rooms • Complimentary Evening Shuttle

Festival began in 1984 as a chamber music series and retains strong roots in classical music, combined with a variety of other programming geared to almost every artistic taste and preference. With an audience of 27,000, the festival has been named one of the “Top Twenty Events in the Southeast” by the Southeast Tourism Society in recent years.

Book online or call Reservations on 877-229-6668 We are close to everything! Services include Biltmore Estate • Biltmore Village Free Wi-Fi Complimentary Breakfast Downtown Asheville Business Center • Heated Blue Ridge Parkway indoor Pool & Hot Tub Dining & Entertainment Fitness Center

204 Hendersonville Rd • Asheville NC www.baymontbywyndhamasheville/biltmorevillage

A five-minute drive from the popular WNC Agricultural Center, and a quick drive to the “Land of the Waterfalls, Sierra Nevada and the Blue Ridge Parkway • Heated Indoor Pool • Business/Fitness Center • Restaurant & Lounge • Meeting Rooms • Airport Shuttle

Book Online Or Call Reservations 828 684 6000

9 Brian Blvd., Arden NC www.holidayinn.com/ardennc


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SUMMER FUN TO FIT EVERYONE 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. It can be even harder to find a destination that pleases everyone traveling with you. But never fear, Sevierville, Tennessee is here with perfect summer break ideas to help you get the most fun out of the season.

Outdoor Adventure

Have an active summer vacation this year and pack your itinerary with memory building outdoor adventures. Take the family on one of a dozen zipline excursions. Daredevils love exciting attractions like Adventure Park at Five Oaks and Adventure Works Climb. Zip. Swing., both of which offer zip line and ropes challenge course options. In Sevierville you can also go ATVing, play low impact

SUMMER 2019

it’s a circus! NEW Appalachian Mural Trail ADDITION

paintball, tour Forbidden Caverns and hike in Great Smoky Mountains National Park – a free national park that is also America’s most visited.

Family Fun

Summer vacations are made for families – especially at Wilderness at the Smokies Water Park Resort. There you can weatherproof your vacation in their massive indoor and outdoor waterparks filled with big waterslides, a wave pool, surf simulator and plenty of play areas for even the littlest kids. Then enjoy family friendly attractions like Tennessee Smokies Baseball, where the home team just happen to be the AA affiliates of the

Chicago Cubs. Explore Rainforest Adventures Discovery Zoo, zip around NASCAR SpeedPark’s eight go kart tracks, and brush up on your ninja warrior skills at Sevier Air Trampoline and Ninja Warrior Park.

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 VisitSevierville.com.

Remember those trips to the circus and waiting for the elephants to march center stage? Wait no longer. In Uptown Martinsville, elephants march permanently in a mural painted on the wall of New College Institute. The mural was commissioned and produced as part of Piedmont Arts’ Public Art Exhibit. John Stiles, graphic designer and artist, used a contemporary style to design the mural based on a picture owned by Dr. Mervyn and Virginia King. The mural shows a parade of elephants and other performers advertising the arrival of a circus in Martinsville around 1920. It shows elephants parading in front of the courthouse, with banners advertising the circus and First National Bank, as people watch. Before the days of television, the circus was a very big deal in Martinsville, small towns and throughout the country. This historic, fun mural has been added to the Appalachian Mural Trail at muraltrail.com


SUMMER 2019

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Return to Mayberry in the Friendly Town of Mount Airy The North Carolina town of Mount Airy is one of the few places in the world where climbing into a squad car is a pleasant experience.

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even days a week, vintage Ford Galaxies take visitors on a tour of Andy Griffith’s hometown, which served as inspiration for Mayberry on his namesake TV show. Mayberry Squad Car Tours operates out of Wally’s Service Station with six cars featuring bench seats and steering wheels as big

as serving platters. Owner Mike Cockerham has assembled Ford Galaxies from the following years: 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965 and 1967, and painted them to match patrol cars from the show, complete with a Mayberry Sheriff’s emblem on the side and a working siren. Each car holds up to five riders

To the east and west are bustling cities, but in between

at a time, plus the driver, who serves as your expert tour guide. Longtime guides enjoy watching people’s faces light up as they see landmarks reminding them of their favorite scenes from The Andy Griffith Show. Squad car tours take about 30-40 minutes, which leaves plenty of time for visiting other Mayberry attractions in town. The most popular of which is the Andy Griffith Museum. The museum contains the world’s largest collection of Andy

Griffith memorabilia, carefully curated over a quarter century by Emmett Forrest, one of Andy’s schoolmates and best friends. On Main Street, there are numerous Mayberry-themed shops and eateries, as well as one that existed before the concept of Mayberry was even a twinkle in Andy Griffith’s imagination. The Snappy Lunch dates back to 1923. Andy ate there as a boy and mentioned it during the ninth episode of the show’s first season. Today, Snappy Lunch is equally famous for its ties to Andy Griffith and for its fried pork chop sandwiches, making it a mustsee stop on any Mount Airy visit.

For more info on Mount Airy, go to www.YadkinValleyNC.com

REAL MINES!

REAL FUN!

is pure bliss. Beauty that will take your breath away and stories of bravery that will leave you speechless.

Little Switzerland, NC

Gem Mining, Mine Tours, & MORE! OPEN EVERY DAY THROUGH NOVEMBER 4th

Peaks of Otter

———— Where Ordinary Ends... ————

Bedford Begins.

331 McKinney Mine Road Little Switzerland, NC 28749

828-765-6463

www.emeraldvillage.com Voted #1

Gem Mine in the Mountains by Blue Ridge Country!

National D-Day Memorial

DestinationBedfordVA.com 877-447-3257 | #DestinationBedfordVA

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


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Not far from the Blue Ridge Parkway is the North Carolina foothills town of Elkin, which sits on the Yadkin River. Elkin’s location provides easy access to the Yadkin River Trail, an officially designed state blueway trail encompassing nearly 130 miles of the river.

T

he river itself consists mostly of gently flowing flatwater, with occasional Class I or II rapids. It’s a scenic waterway meandering through undeveloped land. In the Elkin area, there are three are river access points for those with their own kayaks and canoes. The first is at the small town of Ronda in Wilkes County, the second is at

ANDREWS | MURPHY | BRASSTOWN

Open for All Seasons We Have it ALL!

SUMMER 2019

Crater Park in downtown Elkin and the third is Burch Station, where the Mitchell River flows into the Yadkin. For those looking for outfitter services, Rocky Forest River Run in Elkin and Yadkin River Adventures in the nearby village of Rockford both have full-service operations with their own private river accesses. Rocky Forest River Run offers self-guided paddle trips lasting from 90 minutes to six hours. All trips include a kayak or canoe, paddle, life vest and shuttle upstream. Tubing is also available. The outfitter is

www.visitcherokeecountync.com info@visitcherokeecountync.com 828.557.0602

To learn more about the padding options in the Elkin area, or to request a free Surry County Four Rivers Map, go to www.YadkinValleyNC.com. Ask about our MINE TRIPS! Experience the wonder and excitement of prospecting for gemstones! Experienced gem cutters are on hand

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

ARTS | RECREATION | HISTORY | FESTIVAL

open four days a week, Thursday through Sunday, during summer. Yadkin River Adventures offers self-guided trips from 2-6 hours seven days a week. The trips include transportation, kayak or canoe, paddle and life vest. Yadkin River Adventures also has two overnight kayak/canoe camping trips.

Custom Jewelry Made with your stones!

75 Top Hikes from the Smokies to the North Carolina High Country www.romanticasheville.com/hiking


SUMMER 2019

www.blueridgedigest.com

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Get Outdoors in Yancey County this Summer This summer, escape the indoor confines and explore the mountains and valleys of Yancey County, North Carolina. Anchored by the town of Burnsville and its grassy Town Square, the area is home to the highest mountains on the East Coast, bucket-list hiking trails, excellent cycling routes, pristine fly-fishing streams and some of the best stargazing in the Southeast.

M

ount Mitchell, the centerpiece of Mount Mitchell State Park, reaches 6,684 feet in elevation, making it the highest point east of the Mississippi River. The summit platform is easily accessible via a quarter-mile paved walking trail. For seasoned hikers, the surrounding trails offer challenging treks. The Black Mountain Crest Trail covers nearly 12 miles and scales 10 peaks more than 6,000 feet tall. Yancey County’s natural beauty, low population density and cooler temperatures make it a cycling destination. Cruise the Mount Mitchell Scenic Byway through the Toe River Valley. Albert’s Lodge, two miles off the Blue Ridge Parkway, caters to adventure travelers with bicycle

storage, detailed maps and personal recommendations of what to see. Experienced fly-fishermen and newcomers looking to wet a hook for the first time book excursions with Southern Drifters Outfitters. Expert guides who grew up fishing the local rivers and streams lead full- and half-day float and wade trips. When night falls, head to Bare Dark Sky Observatory at Mayland Earth to Sky Park. Home to the largest optical telescope for public use in North Carolina, the observatory hosts community viewing

We’ve Been Outsiders Since 1791

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

nights where you can see Jupiter and its moons, the Orion nebula and the Milky Way Galaxy. The park is certified by the International Dark Sky Association for its preservation of the natural night sky. To plan your visit to Yancey County, go to www.YanceyChamber.com or call (828) 682-7413.


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Smyth County

Lincoln 2016 Season i Program_FinAL_Layout 1 1/20/2016 5:44 PM Page 1

1/20/2016 5:44 PM Page 1

UIDE E GUID

VIRGINIA

CHILHOWIE • MARION • SALTVILLE • SUGAR GROVE • ATKINS

Live Performances

Museum of the Middle Appalachians

Hungry Mother State Park

E VISITOR GUID E VISITOR GUID

Smyth County VIRGINIA

ON • SALTVILLE •

CHILHOWIE • MARI

SUGAR GROVE •

ATKINS

SITOR CENTER

, Chilhowie, VA

MAPS TRAILS DINING LODGING SHOPPING THINGS TO DO N TDOOR RECREATIO

(276) 646-3306 Mountains.com

OU

CALL 877-255-9928 FOR FREE GUIDES. Smyth, Wythe and Grayson Counties of Southwestern Virginia

Smyth, Wythe and Grayson Counties of Southwestern Virginia

GUIDE TO

GUIDE TO

GREAT FLY FISHING

GREAT FLY FISHING

in Southwest Virginia’s Blue Ridge Highlands

Southwest Virginia

Trails

in Southwest Virginia’s Blue Ridge Highlands

DGIF photo

This project made possible by:

Smyth County Tourism Regional Visitor Center

Wytheville Regional Visitor Center

408 Whitetop Road Chilhowie, VA 24319 Exit 35, I-81

975 Tazewell Street Wytheville, VA 24382 Exit 70, I-81

Phone: (276) 646-3306 Phone: (276) 223-3355 Fax: (276) 223-3443 Fax: (276) 646-3301 Toll Free: (877) 255-9928 Toll Free: (877) 347-8307 VisitWytheville.com VisitVirginiaMountains.com The Virginia Department of Game and inland Fisheries Virginia Tourism Corporation 50M - 9/2014 Mountain Empire Chapter of Trout Unlimited

Motorcycle and Sports Car Trail Guides

MOUNTAIN EMPIRE

www.FishBlueRidge.com

Request Your Guide to GREAT FLY FISHING Detailed Maps & Info

Explore the Hiking, Biking and Horseback Trails of Smyth County

visitvirginiamountains.com 276.646.3306 • 877.255.9928 REGIONAL VISITOR CENTER 408 Whitetop Road, Chilhowie, VA Exit 35, I-81

SUMMER 2019

“Virginia is for Lovers” turns 50 in 2019 – and Floyd, VA Celebrates with Them!

V

irginia is for Lovers was established in 1969, 50 years ago, and has become one of the most beloved and well-known logos/ slogans in the world. While it has meant a lot of different things to a lot of different people, one thing has never changed – the Love. In 2019, Virginia Tourism Corporation is celebrating with special experiences across the state, “Our goal is to celebrate 50 Years of Love in 2019 by having promotions that last for 50 days with a 50 Years of Love presence at wineries, breweries, festivals, hotels, restaurants, small businesses, etc. across the state.

Floyd VA’s 50 Years of Love Celebration July 27 through September 14 Floyd has joined them with Floyd VA’s 50 Years of Love Celebration with specialty events, exhibits, giveaways and special products and promotions throughout the town and county for 50 days. For details on all Floyd’s 50 Years of Love celebration –and other summer happenings: Contact the Floyd Visitor Center, 109 East Main St. 540-745-4407

VisitFloydVA.com

Highlighted summer events include: Small Town Summer events on Thursdays free downtown June 28-30: Yoga Jam mini-retreat June 30: Stellar Strings classical music July 24-27: Floydfest August 10: 1969 Summer of Love Party at Dogtown Roadhouse August 10: Blackdog Beach Music Festival August 16-17: Cirque de Floyd, Chantilly Farm Aug 30-Sept 1: Floyd Yoga Jam Sat. September 7: Floyd Radio Show, 50 Years of Love themed


The Summer of LOVE has just begun in . . .

visitwytheville.com • 1-877-347-8307

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THE BLUE RIDGE DIGEST - SUMMER 2019 ISSUE  

Explore fun things to see and do in NC, TN and VA. Summer fun!

THE BLUE RIDGE DIGEST - SUMMER 2019 ISSUE  

Explore fun things to see and do in NC, TN and VA. Summer fun!

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