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Digest Spring 2022

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SPRING SUMMER the most widely distributed travel publication in the mountains 2022 Blue Ridge Great Smoky Mountains Hot Springs NC New Fun to Share in Sevierville Tennessee A Town for Every Type of Traveler in Virginia s Blue Ridge Outdoor Adventure Comes to Life in Banner Elk The Schubert Family at the Upper Catawba Falls Photo by Mike Koenig MUSIC FUN FOOD OUTDOORS WINE

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s e i r o m e M are Elevated here Make yours in the vibrant town of Hendersonville Explore acres of scenic trails breathtaking views stunning waterfalls plus a charming downtown Visit HVL com

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4 www blueridgedigest com A Message from Tom P O Box 1758 Asheville NC 28802 Phone 828 691 5437 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 info imagewerksproductions com SPRING d travel publication in the the most widely distribute mountains 2022 Blue Ridge gReat Smoky mounta inS Hot Springs NC New Fun to Share in Sevierville Tennessee A Town for Every Type of Ridge Traveler in Virginia s Blue Greetings Travelers Fear of missing out Never again If you ve missed any of our travel editions the last 9 of our 35 years are all archived so you can still find enough to do in these mountains to keep you traveling for decades And that s not allWe cover six states VA NC WV TN There s optimism KY and GA and we re always adding It is with great pleasure as publisher more venues and locations of interest of the Blue Ridge Digest I write Bonnie East an award winning travel to you from the 2022 spring writer and editor will be adding summer edition I couldn t be travel stories to our editions Look more optimistic for the travel for her Just Off the Next Exit opportunities available to us all With gratitudeThere s a new website Thank you for making your vacation 2021 slowed travelers down a an All American experience in the bit but we took advantage of that beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains I time and created some great new understand why you re here I ve features Check out our website spent most of my life traveling at www blueridgedigest com these roads and I still do Outdoor Adventure Comes to Life in Banner Elk The Schubert Family at the Upper Catawba Falls Photo by Mike Koenig MUSIC FUN FOOD OUTDO ORS WINE Welcome to the Mountains Thank you for making your vacation an All American experience in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountain area Your vacation dollars go further on U S soil and by spending time in the mountains you not only benefit communities and businesses in your own back yard but avoid flight delays exchange rates Now more than ever Americans are looking for ways to stretch their dollars spend time with family and friends reconnect to the wonders of the natural world and if only for a moment take a breath of fresh air Enjoy your stay SPRING SUMMER 2022 I retired in 2018 as Executive Director of the Blue Ridge Parkway Association spending 36 years with the organization I ve come to know the people and the businesses along the way I ve witnessed travel trends over the years and I ve seen a loyalty of followers to the Blue Ridge Mountains that is unsurpassed I hope you find some great travel ideas in our publication that fit your needs And I hope you find extraordinary experiences along these well loved roads But most of all while you re on vacation I hope you feel a little bit like you re home See ya round Tom Hardy Publisher There s Only One Shenandoah County in the Shenandoah Valley If you re looking for a great way to get off of Skyline Drive or the Blue Ridge Parkway to find unique places to shop eat and stay Shenandoah County is just a few miles west of the two northernmost entrances to Shenandoah National Park T he town of New Market located just west of the Thornton Gap exit has plenty of small town charm including great locally owned shops like The Buttercup Simple Thymes Jon Henry General Store and Jackson s Corner Cafe From there enjoy your drive north through rolling hills and farmland on Route 11 You just can t help but notice Shenandoah County s strong agricultural routes Restaurants call on local farms to supply produce meats and craft beverages Here the phrase Farm to Table dining isn t just a trendy buzzword it s a way of life Every 7 miles or so along Route 11 you ll reach another small town with shops galleries restaurants and coffee shops Within the towns and surrounding areas you ll find places to stay from rustic camping to upscale glamping cottages and historic B B s You could even rent a slope side condo or lake side retreat at Bryce Resort At the northern end of the county and just a few miles west of the Dickey Ridge entrance to the Parkway is the Town of Strasburg home to one of the largest antique venues in Virginia The Strasburg Emporium Strasburg is filled with great shopping and dining such as Clementine Vintage Sugar Creek Ice Cream and The Pancake Underground It s the perfect off the Parkway road trip More information at www visitshenandoahcounty com or 540 459 6227

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SPRING SUMMER 2022 5 www blueridgedigest com Bryson City NC Artists Add Color And Creativity to Downtown Thanks to the work of its talented local art community Bryson City has a walkable murals and street art trail public art inspired by the town s rich history and sense of place A leisurely stroll around downtown includes Seven colorful 4 foot quilt block squares adorning the historic train depot and other businesses as well as an island in the Tuckasegee River These are just a sampling from the county wide quilt trail Six larger than life whimsical painted trout sculptures seemingly leaping out of the landscape as a reminder of the abundance of trout in our waters Three large murals on the walls of downtown businesses two of which celebrate a historic connection to the railroad which first traveled through the town in the late 1800 s Today those same tracks carry excursion passengers on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad www greatsmokies com murals FIND YOUR SUMMER MOMENT AT A TRUE HIDDEN GEM Right now scenic summer magic is waiting for you in the Blue Ridge Mountains Peaks of Otter Lodge offers the perfect place for you to relax with family and friends Just 45 minutes from Roanoke our charming hotel in the Blue Ridge Mountains delivers authentic Southern cooking and unbeatable views Whether you come here to hike or just unwind Peaks delivers an ideal setting for a real getaway BOOK YOUR SUMMER ESCAPE peaksofotter com 866 387 9905 Hospitality managed by Delaware North

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6 www blueridgedigest com SPRING SUMMER 2022 Lake Rabun Hotel and Restaurant Historic Boutique Rustic Charming by Bonnie East As a travel writer the Lake Rabun Hotel is at the top of my unforgettable list Iconic and trend setting it offers a rare opportunity to find hospitality in union with nature Around me the trees call out Stay awhile It s simple they say You too have come into this world to do this to go easy and to shine Mary Oliver The Historic Lake Rabun Hotel in the mountains of North Georgia rests among the trees as if it is one of them There is a large floor to ceiling tree trunk in the lobby The furniture is woven with mountain laurel branches and rhododendron legs and arms There are 100 year old heart pine boards throughout And the gentle stretch of the structure feels like a tree yearning for the sun Gwen North current owner restored the 13 room hotel opened an award winning restaurant added Fish Camp cabins and the exquisite wedding and event center Forest Lodge You ll find expansive mountain views stone fireplaces cozy corners with rustic furniture and a sought after menu prepared by Chef Todd Jones who excels as an instinctive farm to table chef I captured a day trip with Bear Gap Outfitters a concierge partner with the hotel that excels at tours mixed with adrenaline history relaxation and outdoor exploration And check out nearby Lakemont Village historic buildings restored to picturesque shops and The Open Door at Alley s Ol Store a deli that used to be an early 1900 s train stop I hope you ll put the Lake Rabun Hotel in your GPS It s their 100th Anniversary full of festivities like local artists open fire cooking buck dancing live music culinary surprises and much more Gwen said to tell you Come create some memories As for me I ll see you next time just off the next exit FOR MORE INFO www lakerabunhotel com www beargapoutfitters com www opendooratalleys com https explorerabun com facebook ladybuglanding lakemont We offer a variety of rentals which include Pontoons Canoes Kayaks and Paddleboards Planning a trip to the mountains and lake Let us be a part of your story beargapoutfitters com 6 Bear Gap Road Lakemont GA 30552 706 782 4438 Michael Crowe owner operator bigmountain windstream net 706 970 9108 bigmountain windstream net 706 970 9108 www BigMountainTransportation com WWW BIGMOUNTAINTRANSPORTATION COM

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Rabun County is home to the historic town of Lakemont and other charming mountain towns Visit Rabun County and Lakemont to enjoy The Lake Rabun Hotel Restaurant Ladybug Landing Open Door at Alley s Ol Store Big Mountain Transportation Harvest Moon Antiques Garden Art Lakemont Cycle Studio Forest Lodge Wedding Event Center The Lakemont Gallery The Barn at Lake Rabun Hall s Rabun Boat House Fish Camp Cottages Bear Gap Outfitters and many more

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8 www blueridgedigest com SPRING SUMMER 2022 Excitement About the North Wilkesboro Speedway F or months We Want You Back North Wilkesboro Speedway signs dotted yards and businesses around Wilkes County and surrounding counties The campaign culminated in success when North Carolina s Governor Roy Cooper signed a bill that included 18 million for renovations Anyone who sat in the concrete stands of the front stretch watching stock car legends speed around the track can tell you the excitement the speedway brought to the Wilkes County area And while it s unlikely the NASCAR Cup Series will return to this site the idea of revitalizing the speedway brings dreams of racing to the diehard fans still living in and around Wilkes County along with the prospect of much more activity for the area in outrunning the authorities North Wilkesboro Speedway is a tie to that local history through its location and also the names that of races Once it s running again built that track including racing the North Wilkesboro Speedway greats Junior Johnson Lee Petty NASCAR Cup Series races might could play host to races as part and Fireball Roberts Over the years be asking a little too much of this of the Southern Super Series the track saw many more NASCAR speedway but that doesn t mean Camping World truck series and legends as Richard Petty Benny a restored track can t host plenty a litany of other racing events Parsons Bobby Allison Darrell Waltrip and Ricky Rudd sped around More information and keeping upon the progress contact the fast track setting records and www northwilkesborospeedway com wowing crowds The speedway www wilkescountytourism com honors those that paved the way Racing Exciting Old Fort NC trail progress Two reasons why the locals are and you should be excited about Save the Speedway Keeping History Alive Going to the racetrack on Sunday afternoons was a family tradition for many people all over North Carolina but the history goes back even further in Wilkes County Stock car racing and NASCAR have their roots in the bootleggers of the moonshine era where fast cars and smart driving were paramount M cDowell County and specifically the town of Old Fort is experiencing a renewed interest in the county s section of the Pisgah National Forest With close to 60 000 acres of protected lands the hiking biking and waterfall trails provide outdoor adventure seekers easy access from the Blue Ridge non profit established partnerships with the U S Forest Service local communities and recreational trail user groups The result is an improved trail complex connecting 42 miles of hiking biking and equestrian trail with close to 200 parking spots The organization also hosts monthly trail maintenance weekends based at Camp Grier All volunteers are welcomed On January 15th the group broke ground on the first 6 mile section of trail In addition to trail construction the project will create a healthier and more resilient Old Fort community New additions to the town Parkway and Interstate 40 of Old Fort include Hillman Beer Old Fort is under thirty minutes the Old Fort Ride House Kitsbow from Blue Ridge Parkway Mileposts Manufacturing and opening 331 and 344 From I 40 Exit later in 2022 Whaley Brewing 73 trails are minutes away To stay up to date on Old Fort trail Old Fort s Camp Grier created progress follow their Facebook page a new initiative the G5 Trail To request free Old Fort guides or Collective G5 represents the five maps contact the McDowell Tourism counties within the Grandfather Authority at 828 668 4282 www Ranger District This 501 c 3 facebook com g5trailcollective

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SPRING SUMMER 2022 9 www blueridgedigest com EXPLORE THE BLUEWAY The Alleghany Highlands Blueway is comprised of two lakes and two scenic rivers that offer great paddling fishing and boating opportunities Each river and lake have its own unique personality and history not to mention secret fishing spots Take your time and spend a few days exploring the entire Alleghany Highlands Blueway Near Iron Gate the Cowpasture meets the Jackson River to form the James River which flows through neighboring Botetourt and Rockbridge counties on its way to the Chesapeake Bay Its contribution to the Alleghany Highlands Blueway is Douthat Lake a 50 acre lake with swimming boating and seasonal trout fishing Lake Moomaw Lake Moomaw is the northern most portion of the Alleghany Highlands Blueway The lake which is shared by the Alleghany Highlands and the County of Bath has 43 miles of undeveloped wooded shoreline just perfect for exploring by canoe Not only is Douthat State Park one or kayak yet large enough for sailing of Virginia s oldest state parks it s and motorboats Add in beautiful one of its finest The Outside Family campsites and world class fishing Vacation Guide named Douthat State and you ve got a perfect vacation Park one of the nation s 10 best Douthat State Park Jackson River The jewel of Virginia s Allegheny Mountains the wild and scenic Jackson River enters the Alleghany Highlands from Gathright Dam on Lake Moomaw Nearly 30 miles of the Jackson River wind through the Alleghany Highlands with two small segments closed to the public due to private property and logging operations The Jackson meets the Cowpasture River near the town of Iron Gate to form the headwaters of the James River which flows all the way to the Chesapeake Bay Several small streams that feed into the Jackson River including Dunlap Creek and Potts Creek also offer excellent fishing opportunities Cowpasture River Approximately 10 miles of the Cowpasture River flows through the eastern portion of the Alleghany Highlands Paddling on the Cowpasture is mostly moving water with a few easy straight forward rapids with great views of the surrounding mountains 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 Custom Jewelry Made with your stones More information on the Blueway and the Alleghany Highlands area www visitalleghanyhighlands com Love Of Country Plus Gratitude To Those Who Served Proudly Driving Force Of Military Museum T he museum honors the men and women from North and South Carolina who served in our armed forces The museum features oneof a kind artifacts uniforms weaponry original newspapers personal letters etc All of these special items weave the great and proud stories of service in World War I World War II the Korean War the Cold War Vietnam Iraq and Afghanistan You will see rooms filled with artifacts and information for each of the wars beginning with WWI up to the present Conveniently located next to the Transylvania Court House in Brevard NC at 21 East Main Street 828 884 2141 Open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM and Sunday from 1 PM to 4 PM

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10 www blueridgedigest com SPRING SUMMER 2022 A Town for Every Type of Traveler in Virginia s Blue Ridge The Roanoke Valley in Virginia s Blue Ridge has five charming towns just off the Blue Ridge Parkway with the perfect blend of adventure for everyone From history buffs and foodies to antique hunters and outdoor enthusiasts there s a town for every traveler in Virginia s Blue Ridge Be a Trailsetter and choose your next adventure below HISTORY and OUTDOOR ADVENTURE lovers ANTIQUE hunters Town of Buchanan Discover a place where Main Street meets the mountains with more than two hundred years of history Enjoy paddling down the scenic James River with Twin River Outfitters pedal the U S Bicentennial Bicycle Route or hike to Hay Rock Overlook on the Appalachian Trail for stunning views If you seek out ARTSY HIDDEN GEMS Main Street in Salem Uncover tradition and hidden treasures with a visit to Salem Spend the day shopping for antiques at Charlotte s Web Antique Mall Grandma s Attic and Blue Moon Vintage Mercantile For unique lodging stay across the attractions museums and diverse restaurants Find a vibrant variety of art performances and craft beverage producers Don t miss the historic Roanoke City Farmers Market If you enjoy MOONSHINE or MUSIC Town of Rocky Mount Soak up the heritage of the wettest county in the world in Franklin County Begin your exploration with a sip of moonshine at Twin Creeks Distillery sample the Crooked Road with a live show at The Harvester Performance Center and then rest at The Claiborne House B B Plan your metro mountain adventure at VisitVBR com Good News from the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation Flat Top Manor renovations complete Roanoke Skyline Night Creative Dog Media Visit VBR Historic Grandin Village Catch a movie at The Grandin Theatre an iconic 1930s art deco theatre then head over to Black Dog Salvage home of the hit TV show Salvage Dawgs for a souvenir Top off the day with a casual farm totable meal at FarmBurguesa Upper James River Water Trail Jennifer Griffin Visit VBR street in The Lofts at Downtown Salem a renovated historic building just across the street Looking for rich FOOD and CULTURE Downtown Roanoke Walk through the bustling center of Roanoke to many popular This spring visitors will be greeted by a refreshed and renewed Flat Top Manor at Moses H Cone Memorial Park in Blowing Rock N C along the Blue Ridge Parkway After 14 months of exterior renovations the centerpiece of country estate once again gleams from its perch overlooking Bass Lake The 2 4 million rehabilitation on the circa 1901 Colonial Revival style home was funded by Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation donors and the National Park Service BRPFoundation org flattop Blue Ridge Music Center announce summer shows The Blue Ridge Music Center is celebrating 20 years of summer concerts at its outdoor amphitheater at milepost 213 on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Galax Va with a stellar series lineup The performances start at 7 p m Saturdays from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend BlueRidgeMusicCenter org

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SPRING SUMMER 2022 11 www blueridgedigest com Riverfest More in Waynesboro will be presentations by the Wildlife Center of Virginia canoe rides kids arts and crafts reptile shows a rubber ducky race and more When you finish up at Riverfest take a stroll downtown to discover unique local shops great restaurants several art iverfest will be held riverside in galleries and history museums Constitution Park on Saturday and a street arts trail that guides April 30th Programs and you around downtown murals activities will kick off at 10 am and This spring and summer will continue throughout the day and all be packed with fun events for the activities are FREE to the public There whole family The historic Wayne Plan a trip to Waynesboro Virginia this spring for a weekend of fun on the South River R Theatre offers weekly classic movie showings on Mondays as well as a wide variety of live music dance acts performances and plays They will even host their outdoor concert series Wayne on Main the last Wednesday of each month from April through September which takes place in front of the theatre s marquee The City s outdoor concert series Groovin at the Greenway begins on Thursday May 18 and will continue every Thursday through the end of July Check the schedule for the lineup of music food trucks and kids activities right by the river in downtown Start planning your trip today at VisitWaynesboro com GetYourAweBack com G e t Yo urAwe B a ck co m

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Just Off the Next Exit by Bonnie East Hot Springs NC There s a spot in North Carolina tucked in a small valley surrounded by boulders lined with rhododendron and mountain laurel which houses a secret Well there re a few secrets I m about to let them out right here I n this cool town called Hot Springs you ll find a population of 600 The French Broad River the world s third oldest river runs through it It runs north because it was here first before the Appalachian Mountains The Appalachian Trail passes right through the middle of town And the mineral water that comes right out of the ground It s 108 degrees For Part One of this series on Hot Springs I stayed at The Hot Springs Resort and Spa The soaking tubs draw people from around the world Heather Hicks general manager for the last 16 years states We have naturally what other places try to emulate artificially Our business is built on being stewards of the water We respect and honor what She brings The water referred to as She has ancient history The resort is a member of the Balneology Mother Nature Stewards of the Water and the Appalachian Trail Meets Main Street literally Association of North America which studies the ancient use of hot springs for wellness And She s got your number She will find your intent upon arrival and assist with what ails you With privacy walls around each tub some with fire pits ablaze fresh mountain air and hot mineral water from the earth in a continuous flow through the tub talk about washing away the ills of the day Downtown is a short walk which is great when you get hungry One favorite spot is Vaste Riviere an up scale market with items you won t find just anywhere an expansive wine selection globally curated spices a gourmet selection of tin seafood cheeses etc My first thought This is a great place to put together a gift basket For myself The caf is great too with craft beer vegan options soup specials house made crab cakes and a turkey Reuben big enough to share Another dining option is Spring Creek Tavern This place boasts a warm atmosphere cold beer and smiling service If you re a local someone will yell your name when you come through the door If you re not just as good You re part

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13 Discover of the gang while you re there And if you leave without trying the surprise stuffed fried cheese sticks well that s your fault PEAKS OF OTTER This gateway to mountain adventures is a hub for lounging and exploring Enjoy a springtime getaway or a long winter weekend in the perfect setting for year round adventure and relaxation RELAX Chef made from scratch crabcakes Get em when you can at Vaste Riviere Breakfast at Smokey Mountain Diner will get you through the big hike Sweet Jesus and Pepper Relish If you re looking for some appetite smackin southern fare try the Smokey Mountain Diner This cozy family run business is built on strong faith and the spices of Grandma s pepper relish It s so good I went there twice I hope you ll put Hot Springs NC in your GPS And I ll see you again just off the next exit FOR MORE INFORMATION www nchotsprings com www facebook com Smoky MountainDiner 153411231377293 www thespringcreektavern com www vasteriviere com www hotspringsnc org Majestic scenery abounds in Peaks of Otter a historic landmark and haven of natural beauty Three towering mountain peaks and the serene Abbott Lake are the cradle of this gorgeous Blue Ridge destination offering 360 degrees of breathtaking wilderness And here sheltered among the ancient peaks and cooled by mountain streams you ll discover Peaks of Otter Lodge STAY With more than 60 rooms meeting facilities wedding facilities a full service restaurant a lounge and a gift shop Peaks of Otter Lodge is a perfect basecamp for exploring the mountains lake and surrounding forests No matter the season guests can explore the Blue Ridge Parkway s splendor then enjoy warm hospitality at Peaks of Otter Lodge EXPLORE From here you can hike majestic Sharp Top Mountain leaf peep along Blue Ridge Parkway cruise a shuttle to nearby wineries and encounter rare wildlife Peaks of Otter Area Visitor Center and Park Store 5 000 acres Three Peaks Sharp Top El 3 875 Flat Top El 4 004 and Harkening Hill El 3 364 Self guided trail historic farm interpretive programs Picnic area campground restrooms For more information on packages and deals PeaksOfOtter com or call 888 454 7711 To the east and west are bustling cities but in between is pure bliss Beauty that will take your breath away and stories of bravery that will leave you speechless Peaks of Otter Where Ordinary Ends Bedford Begins National D Day Memorial DestinationBedfordVA com 877 447 3257 DestinationBedfordVA

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14 www blueridgedigest com SPRING SUMMER 2022 What s Blooming in Pigeon Forge This Spring A s winter s chill melts away Pigeon Forge invites you to get away to the Smokies this spring Only six miles from the entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park Pigeon Forge offers an unforgettable trip to the mountains along with a lineup of new attractions restaurants shopping and entertainment Here s a sampling of what s new in Pigeon Forge in 2022 Dollywood s popular Sweet Summer Nights drone and fireworks show will be even more spectacular in 2022 During the annual Dollywood s Summer Celebration the show will feature more drones in the night sky combined with a colorful fireworks show Also new for 2022 is the return of the Gazillion Bubbles Show as part of Dollywood s Summer Celebration The fanfavorite is one of Dollywood s most requested shows and delights kids and adults with an interactive experience and gazillions of bubbles to dazzle the audience The Mountain Mile adds Guy Fieri s Downtown Flavortown a new 43 000 square foot family restaurant and entertainment center It features a 300 seat restaurant with Fieri s signature cuisine a 14 lane Duck Pin bowling alley upwards of 10 000 square feet of arcade games and more to entertain Hemlock Inn diners and fun lovers alike Also new to the Mountain Mile Azul Cantina will serve up a flavorful twist on traditional Tex Mex dining From scratch recipes Azul s homemade cerveza style lager and hand crafted cocktails are served alongside beautiful mountain views from the restaurant which features the first rooftop bar in Pigeon Forge Two new escape rooms are joining the Pigeon Forge attractions list Escapology combines skill and suspense for one of Pigeon Forge s favorite and most challenging experiences At the Great Escape Room guests will explore a 60 minute challenge that is social immersive and fun Pigeon Forge encourages everyone to travel responsibly Visit MyPigeonForge com today to learn more about Pigeon Forge and begin planning your trip to the Smokies The Beloved A Blowing Rock Tradition Mt Mitchell Crafts Fair Walk to downtown shopping and dining Easy driving to many area attractions 18 uniquely designed rooms Returns to Burnsville s Town Square Open Year Round August 5 6 2022 828 295 7987 HemlockInn net 134 Morris Street The event s established reputation and juried entry process ensure a variety of high quality crafts including ceramics wood carvings jewelry blown and sculpted glass metalwork textiles woven baskets and more Enjoy favorite traditions such as live entertainment and bluegrass music underneath the shade trees on the Town Square Food trucks will complement the offerings from downtown eateries Hours for the Mount Mitchell Crafts Fair are 9AM 6PM Friday and 9AM 5PM Saturday Admission is free For places to stay and things to do visit www exploreburnsville com

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SPRING SUMMER 2022 Sprin into Family Fun in Wytheville The temperatures are rising and so is the level of fun you can have with the entire family W ytheville s newest entertainment complex will have everyone hooked no matter what age The Crossroads 15 www blueridgedigest com Social House offers 14 lanes of bowling billiards and darts area a laser tag arena an enormous arcade and a trampoline jump zone fahrt Haus Dinner Theatre Virginia s only All Musical theatre has a terrific 2022 season lined up that includes something for everyone The Marvelous Wonderettes Mar 4 April 3 The Sensational 70s April 15 May 29 The Sound of Music June 10 July 24 For God Country Aug 12 Sept 18 Grease Sept 23 Oct 23 Wohlfahrt Haus Christmas Spectacular Nov 4 Dec 29 Each show is paired with a delicious four course meal For more info about special events and everything that the area has to offer your family contact Wytheville Convention Visitors Bureau toll free at 1 877 347 8307 or visit www VisitWytheville com Click on the Events tab to view the calendar of upcoming activities The full service restaurant serves up mouthwatering American pub fare alongside craft beers and cocktails Private party rooms can be reserved for celebrations as well as VIP screening areas for televised sporting events Take a safari at Fort Chiswell Animal Park and get up close and personal with exotic animals from six continents Camels water buffalo zebras and wildebeests are only a few of the species you can feed right from your hand The petting zoo is home to alpacas lamas monkeys exotic birds wallabies a giant turtle and some very inquisitive goats The Fort Chiswell Animal Park offers safari tours Friday through Sunday during April and seven days a week from May through Labor Day A trip to Wytheville isn t complete until you take in a musical at Wohl Wytheville Virginia There s Only One Check Out Mayberry s Top Attractions This Spring Squad Car Tours Andy Grif th Museum Surry Sonker Trail Mayberry Courthouse Yadkin Valley Wineries VisitMayberry com

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16 Grandfather Mountain s Wilson Center For Nature Discovery To Open This Summer G randfather Mountain is widely known for its lofty heights offering guests a breathtaking vantage point to the natural world But with the forthcoming opening of the park s brand new Wilson Center for Nature Discovery guests experience on the mountain will soar above and beyond the Mile High Swinging Bridge The new facility is expected to open in early summer 2022 Under construction since fall 2019 the Wilson Center part of an all new Conservation Campus will nearly double the size of the park s current Nature Museum with 10 000 square feet of education space including state of the art museum exhibits three classrooms restoration of the ADA accessible auditorium enhanced food service facilities to allow for catering and serving educational groups and expanded capacity for hosting conferences seminars receptions and community events The Wilson Center is designed to weave fun with education offering experiential learning opportunities for guests young and old New exhibits include a 3 D interactive map of the mountain showcasing Grandfather s ecological and geological history like never before flora and fauna walls which shine a spotlight on the mountain s unique biodiversity a weather and climate section Plan ahead for the Blue Ridge Parkway in Roanoke VA hazard at Milepost 127 9 As a result the Blue Ridge Parkway will be closed from Milepost 121 4 US220 in Roanoke County VA to Milepost 136 Route 221 on Bent Mountain VA for wo sections of the Blue Ridge thru travelers Repairs are estimated Parkway are currently closed for repairs around the Roanoke to be completed by fall 2022 There are many charming area in Virginia s Blue Ridge with attractions to explore off of the one set to re open soon The National Blue Ridge Parkway while this Park Service is expected to complete repairs on the Roanoke River Bridge popular section is closed until fall Find sweet treats sprinkled at Milepost 114 by mid June 2022 along Roanoke s Brambleton They are also repairing a road designed to dynamically explain the science behind Grandfather s extreme weather and much more Outside the center guests will enjoy new outdoor learning spaces including an amphitheater with terraced seating and a pavilion as well as a new botanical garden It s been a long time in the making said Jesse Pope president and executive director of the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation the nonprofit organization that owns and operates the Linville N C nature park To see this come to fruition is a dream come true for me and it s something that will be a wonderful enhancement to a visit to Grandfather Mountain The nonprofit Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation strives to inspire conservation of the natural world by helping guests explore understand and value the wonders of Grandfather Mountain For more information call 800 468 7325 or visit www grandfather com to book a trip Avenue at Our Daily Bread Deb s Frozen Lemonade and Brambleton Deli Bent Mountain has excellent hiking at Bottom Creek Gorge home to the 2nd highest waterfall in VA and locally grown Virginia wine at AmRhein s Wine Cellars Enjoy a metro mountain adventure to Virginia s Blue Ridge Head to VisitVBR com parkwaydetour for step by step detour directions to each of these charming small towns For updates and to learn more visit www grandfather com T Bottom Creek Gorge

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SPRING SUMMER 2022 www blueridgedigest com 17 Renew Your Sense of Wonder Along the Blue Ridge Craft Trails This year the foothills and mountains of Western North Carolina beckon with fresh discoveries around every bend For generations the natural beauty of the region has inspired artists Now travelers can explore welcoming communities meet local artists and enjoy outdoor fun along the newly completed Blue Ridge Craft Trails Adventure Awaits in NC s Mountains and Foothills The Blue Ridge Craft Trails provide a chance to tour the mountains and foothills which serve as the home to talented craft artists and galleries The carefully curated trails are comprised of more than 300 artists galleries and arts organizations Best of all the trails invite you to traverse through new and enchanting areas with unique experiences in 25 counties plus the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians Qualla Boundary known as the town of Cherokee From a day trip to a weeklong escape the Blue Ridge Craft Trails indulge your inner quest for adventure with itineraries designed for every taste Take to the byways for relaxing drives that include stops at artist studios strolls through local galleries time spent exploring quaint historic downtown squares and the natural beauty of the region Each stop feels like a brand new world as you experience firsthand the heritage and history of Western North Carolina s small towns and communities Plan Your Trip Today Plan your adventure in one easy click Visit BlueRidgeCraftTrails com to find a complete collection of sites on the Blue Ridge Craft Trails and details on the local artists galleries and communities along each trail The Blue Ridge Craft Trails is an initiatives of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area and is in part funded through the Appalachian Regional Commission and the Cherokee Preservation Foundation The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area is a proud steward of Western North Carolina s unique living traditions music crafts outdoors foodways and Cherokee culture Through grants cultural trails and partnerships we invest in our regional s economic and cultural vitality

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18 Every road is less traveled in Patrick D County VA irectly off of the Blue Ridge Parkway at milepost 177 7 is the charming village of Meadows of Dan Here travelers will find food gas and many unique shopping experiences Refresh yourself with a latte at Primitive HONOR Coffee Shop Indulge your sweet tooth at Nancy s Candy Company Shop artisan crafts at Concord Corner Store Once you ve had your fill put the top down and choose from dozens of curvy mountain roads to explore Enjoy the elevation EDUCATE PRESERVE Showcasing the experiences and sacrifices of military service members and celebrating their courage dignity and exploits changes and scenic overlooks of stunning mountains and valleys Our most iconic overlook is Lover s Leap and adjacent Fred Clifton Park on Route 58 with easy on easy off parking and spectacular longrange views Stop into the nearest diner for their signature burger or browse the roadside antique store and chat with your new friend the store owner After an adventure on our roads cool down with an easy cruise on the Blue Ridge Parkway Looking for more to explore Connect with the great outdoors at Fairy Stone State Park Send your taste buds on a journey of their own at Pickle and Ash Patrick County s newest farm to table restaurant Step back in time at one of our many historic sites such www theveteransmuseum org Memorabilia Weapons Military Uniforms Souvenirs Books 21 East Main St Brevard NC 828 884 2141 Hrs Wed Sat 11am 3pm as Reynolds Homestead or Jacks Creek Covered Bridge At the right time of year join in the fun at one of our award winning festivals like Floydfest of Front Porch Fest Enjoy some pampering or even a guided outdoor adventure at Primland Resort Spend the night there or one of our cozy cabins or bed breakfasts There is so much to discover in Patrick County So grab your keys head down the road and find yourself here

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SPRING SUMMER 2022 19 www blueridgedigest com Alleghany County A Summer of Culture Heritage T he mountains of Alleghany ring with the sounds of the fiddle guitar string bands and cloggers heard from front porches festival stages and town sidewalks Traditional mountain music includes the lively tunes of oldtime bluegrass folk and sacred music The Crouse House Pickers at Crouse Park in Sparta Alleghany Junior Appalachian Musicians and the Alleghany Jubilee are a few places where musicians share new and historic tunes through performance May to the start of Autumn Alleghany bustles with music and festivals Music on Main Saturdays in the Park and The Beat Goes On are music series events that include local and regional talent of varying genres Food trucks activities and a family atmosphere draw folks of all ages In June the Blue Ridge Fiber Fest brings class opportunities and vendors showcasing their weaving spinning felting and more and the Alleghany Quilters host their Annual Quilt Show displaying beautiful works of fabric art July brings the SpartaAlleghany VFD Fiddlers Convention that features bluegrass and oldtime competition and entertainment not to mention camping and late night pickin Our agricultural heritage is honored through livestock shows in Spring and Summer while August brings our Agricultural fair to town Carnival rides livestock and crop competition make this a favorite attraction for locals and visitors The 27th Mountain Heritage Festival will be held the 3rd Saturday of September This event brings artists and crafters together to offer handmade unique goods Complimented by local and regional musicians and food vendors this event creates a diverse experience celebrating local heritage Visit Alleghany the Heart of the Blue Ridge Parkway For current information on events in Alleghany Visit www alleghanycountychamber com 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 Conference Room Guest Laundry You ll really enjoy the Restaurant on Site 24 Hour Staff spacious rooms Free Wireless Internet Open all year long Toll Free Reservations 1 888 372 2501 341 N Main St Sparta NC www AlleghanyInn com

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Blue Ridge Parkway Highlights The wondrous profusion of mountain flowers in spring and early summer the high altitude coolness of the forest clad mountains in summer and the glorious coloring of these mountains in autumn provide an everchanging appeal Traveling the Blue Ridge Parkway or planning to Here are some must visit places on the Parkway in north to south order Humpback Rocks Mileposts 5 9 3 Peaks of Otter Mileposts 84 87 Mabry Mill Milepost 176 1 Doughton Park Mileposts 238 5 248 Northwest Trading Post Milepost 258 6 Linn Cove Viaduct Milepost 304 4 Linville Falls Milepost 316 Folk Art Center Milepost 382 Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center Milepost 384 Mt Pisgah Milepost 408 6 Waterrock Knob Milepost 451 2 The Blue Ridge Parkway is open 365 days a year weather permitting Sometimes road repair is undertaken in the winter months and detours are posted The Parkway is not plowed or salted in the winter so after snow or ice events portions may be closed until the weather warms and makes the roadway safe for travel again FYI Both Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge prominently promote talk about Parkway as the Main Street thru their towns LEGEND Blue Ridge Parkway Facilities N Bluefield Pennington Gap 01 Designates Milepost 11E Morristown 40 92 To Chattanooga Townsend Tapoco 143 Murphy 129 Hot Springs 441 19 469 Andrews 74 Bryson City Topton Franklin 40 Knob Maggie Valley Balsam Sylva 107 440 Little Switzerland Weaverville 63 Asheville Waynesville Graveyard Fields 410 Burnsville Mount Pisgah 26 19 Hayesville 64 Westminister Morganton 321 Valdese 40 221 e 90 Elkin Shelby To Charlotte Gastonia 85 Cle Statesville 70 16 150 42 40 Hickory 321 601 North Wilkesboro 16 Union Grove Newton NC SC 77 Doughton Park E B Jeffress Park 64 18 Cumberland 21 18 270 Lenoir Chimney Lake Lure Rock 74A Hendersonville Saluda 9 Cashiers 441 108 Brevard 129 Chatuge NC 74 Toxaway Lake Hiwassee 76 Highlands Sapphire Lake Columbus GA Tryon 76 Blairsville Moccasin Mountain Pickens 11 Clayton 129 Creek Rest 196 To Greenville 441 State Park 183 Tallulah To Atlanta 76 Falls Seneca Blue Ridge Crabtree Falls Black Mtn Blu Blowing Rock 421 320 Fancy Gap Galax Sparta 220 Moses H Cone Mem Park Julian Price Mem Park Linville Falls 18 Craggy Gardens Marion Parkway Visitor Visitor Center Center 21 Mouth of Wilson Independence 58 Boone Spruce Pine Pulaski Wytheville Laurel Springs 221 West way ge Park Jefferson Rid Sugar Mountain Mars Hill Marshall 19E Erwin TN NC Hartford Cherokee 28 Robbinsville 68 Cosby Gatlinburg 70 Newport Great Smoky Mountains National ParkMile Waterrock 165 Fontana Village Cherohala Skyway Sevierville Pigeon Forge 129 411 26 Greeneville Maryville 411 Elizabethton 81 Damascus 421 Mountain D 77 Marion City Johnson City Jonesborough Farragut 75 Bristol 81 Knoxville 16 Abingdon Kingsport 33 75 To Nashville 19 VA TN To Lexington Norris 19 L Mooresville 77 85 Kannapolis Concor

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To Gettysburg PA Martinsburg Charles Town Harpers Ferry 340 Winchester Leesburg 81 VA W V Front Royal New Market 33 66 340 Luray e lin d Sky an en h S 11 340 Staunton 39 Warrenton 29 231 h 42 522 To Washington DC 229 Culpeper oa 220 Elkton Dr Harrisonburg 250 ive Na tio na l 211 Monterey 50 29 33 Waynesboro 64 New River Gorge National River Covington 311 460 100 Salem Blacksburg Roanoke Radford i 8 221 Hillsville Laurel 58 Fork 220 360 Reidsville 29 High Point 40 85 421 64 Asheboro rd 220 24 Appomattox Farmville 40 Snow Camp Roxboro 49 Burlington To Durham 58 501 158 87 Greensboro 49 To Richmond 58 311 109 20 29 Kernersville 85 64 Chatham Martinsville 158 52 Salisbury Gretna 220 Eden WinstonSalem emmons 8 501 Danville 21 15 Altavista 8 311 522 29 Lynchburg Bedford Burnt Chimney 43 58 52 Lexington Vinton 40 57 Lovingston Amherst 460 Rocky Mount Rocky Knob Pilot Mountain 52 150 Charlottesville 64 Peaks of Otter 460 Smart View VA Mount N C Airy Otter Creek 70 Roanoke Mountain Meadows 180 of Dan Stuart d Knob 60 Glasgow 120 Christiansburg Floyd 56 Buena Vista 90 Mile 0 Humpback Rocks Lexington Buchanan VA 74 220 Natural Bridge WV Dublin 27 America s Favorite Drive at your fingertips Find attractions history nearby communities lodging hiking trails and more with or without connectivity FREE DOWNLOAD Cell service internet conductivity is not 100 in or even near the mountains in many places This is a very comprehensive app with lots of information and best downloaded on a wireless connection

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22 www blueridgedigest com Outdoor Adventure Comes to Life in Banner Elk A variety of outdoor adventure awaits in Banner Elk where visitors can choose from high elevation hiking whitewater rafting UTV tours and the only alpine coaster in North Carolina M ile high adventure is always on tap at nearby Grandfather Mountain The nature park is home to the Mile High Swinging Bridge a suspension bridge perched at 5 280 feet with panoramic views of the NC High Country Other attractions at Grandfather Mountain include miles of hiking trails animal habitats for elk cougars bears and otters and a nature museum and fudge shop The area s newest adrenaline rush reaches speeds up to 27 miles per hour Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster is home to a 3 160 foot track with three circular loops a series of waves and lots of twists and turns Riders use hand brakes to control the speed of their individual carts Another Banner Elk based experience is Off the Grid Mountain Adventures offering guided UTV tours across mountain terrain with panoramic views Guests meet up in Banner Elk and are shuttled to a secluded location for an afternoon of driving two seat UTVs Other outdoor activities include Elk River Falls two whitewater rafting outfitters and numerous hiking trails along the Blue Ridge Parkway After a day of recreation Banner Elk satisfies the appetite with an impressive collection of restaurants The town has earned the nickname Culinary Hot Spot of the High Country for its cuisine From fine dining to casual bistros Banner Elk serves up a full menu of choices For more information go to www BannerElk com SPRING SUMMER 2022

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SPRING SUMMER 2022 23 www blueridgedigest com New Locations Add Variety to Surry Sonker Trail Surry County s signature dessert is known for its personalization and two new stops on the Surry Sonker Trail reflect the variety of this traditional dish P rudence McCabe Confections in Mount Airy and The Tilted Ladder in Pilot Mountain joined the trail last summer increasing the number of trail stops to eight with at least one in each of the four towns in Surry County NC Sue Heckman of Prudence McCabe Confections drew inspiration from her grandmother for her pastry topped sonkers Heckman makes them in individual pie tins Just before they are done she grates butter over the top sprinkles on sugar and places them under the broiler to create a golden brown top crust For those unfamiliar with the dish sonker is a cobbler like dessert of cooked fruit and crust Many have liquid batter poured on top of the fruit Others have a rolled dough crust while some are prepared on the stove with a droppeddumpling crust At The Tilted Ladder restaurant in Pilot Mountain sonker unexpectedly arrives in a large stemmed cocktail glass A thin milk dip reminiscent of snow cream is served alongside for guests to drizzle We recently started making all our desserts in house so we re excited to add sonker to our list says Crystal Upchurch who owns the restaurant with her husband Jimmy So far peach sonker has been a favorite Additional stops along the trail include Anchored Sweet Treats Savory Eats and Miss Angel s Heavenly Pies in Mount Airy Skull Camp Social House and Southern On Main in Elkin and Rockford General Store and Harvest Grill at Shelton Vineyards in Dobson To receive a Surry Sonker Trail map call 800 948 0949 or visit www SonkerTrail org TOUCH THE SKY IN THE BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAINS GO TIME Hospitality managed by Delaware North Take your summer celebration higher in the Blue Ridge Mountains at Shenandoah National Park It s the perfect place to hike admire the mountain views and catch a glimpse of native wildlife Shenandoah is just 90 minutes from Washington D C with convenient lodging inside the park at Skyland Big Meadows Lodge and Lewis Mountain Cabins There s a reason people have been coming here for generations Explore the rugged beauty of Shenandoah for yourself this summer BOOK YOUR GETAWAY NOW 877 847 1919 goshenandoah com

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24 www blueridgedigest com SPRING SUMMER 2022 The Blue Ridge Digest can be found at these regional visitor s centers Bryson City Chamber of Commerce 210 Main Street Bryson City NC 28713 828 488 3681 www greatsmokies com Hot Springs Welcome Center 106 Bridge Street Hot Springs NC 28743 828 622 9932 www hotspringsnc org Burke County Travel Tourism 110 E Meeting Street Morganton NC 28655 828 433 6793 Jackson County Chamber of Commerce 773 W Main Street Sylva NC 28779 800 962 1911 www mountainlovers com Fannin County Chamber of Commerce 152 Orvin Lance Dr Blue Ridge GA 30513 706 632 5680 www blueridgemountains com Caldwell County Visitor Center 1909 Hickory Blvd SE Lenoir NC 28645 828 726 0616 Jonesville Welcome Center 1503 NC Hwy 67W Jonesville NC 28642 336 526 1111 Rabun County Welcome Center 706 960 9866 10 Seed Tick Road P O Box 1209 Clayton GA 30525 www explorerabun com Cashiers Area Chamber of Commerce 202 U S 64 POB 238 BRD Cashiers NC 28717 828 743 5191 www cashiers nc com Towns County Visitor Center 1411 Jack Dayton Circle Young Harris GA 30582 706 896 4966 www mountaintopga com Catawba County Visitor Center 1055 Southgate Parkway SW Hickory NC 28602 828 328 6111 GEORGIA Blairsville Union County Chamber 129 Union County Rec Rd Blairsville GA 30512 706 745 5789 www blairsvillechamber com NORTH CAROLINA Alleghany Co Chamber of Commerce 58 S Main POB 1237 BRD Sparta NC 28675 800 372 5473 www alleghanycountychamber com Andrews Rest Stop 50 Cover St US 19 Andrews NC 28902 www visitcherokeecounty com Ashe County Chamber Visitor Center 1 N Jefferson Ave P O Box 31 West Jefferson NC 28694 336 846 9550 www ashechamber com Avery County Chamber of Commerce 4501 Tynecastle Hwy Unit 2 Banner Elk NC 28604 800 972 2183 www averycounty com Banner Elk Visitor Center 100 Main Street West Banner Elk NC 28604 828 898 8395 www bannerelk org Beech Mountain Chamber of Commerce 403A Beech Mountain Parkway Beech Mtn NC 28604 800 468 5506 www beechmtn com Black Mountain Chamber of Commerce 201 E State St Black Mountain NC 28711 828 669 2300 Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce 132 Park Ave Blowing Rock NC 28605 800 295 7851 www blowingrockncchamber com Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center 195 Hemphill Knob Rd Asheville NC 28803 828 298 5330 Boone Area Chamber of Commerce 870 W King St Suite A Boone NC 28607 828 264 2225 www VisitBooneNC com Cherokee County Visitor Center 20 Tennessee Street Murphy NC 28906 828 557 2583 www visitcherokeecountync com Cherokee County Welcome Center 805 W US 64 Murphy NC 28906 828 837 2242 www cherokeecountychamber com Cherokee Welcome Center P O Box 460 498 Tsalis Rd Cherokee NC 28719 800 438 1601 www cherokee nc com 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 Hickory Metro CVB 1960 13th Ave Dr SE Hickory NC 28602 828 322 1335 www hickorymetro com Highlands Chamber of Commerce 108 Main St P O Box 404 Highlands NC 28741 828 526 2112 www highlandschamber org Yadkin Valley Heritage Trails Visitor Center 257 Standard St Elkin NC 28621 336 526 1111 www exploreelkin com TENNESSEE Elizabethton Visitor Center 615 East Elk Ave Elizabethton TN 37643 423 547 3850 tourcartercounty com Mount Mitchell State Park 2388 State Hwy 128 Burnsville NC 28714 828 675 4611 Greene Co Partnership COB 115 Academy St Greeneville TN 37743 423 638 4111 www GreeneCountyPartnership com NC High Country Host Visitor Center 6370 US HWY 321 South Blowing Rock NC 28605 800 438 7500 www mountainsofnc com Hendersonville Visitor Center 201 S Main St Hendersonville NC 28792 800 828 4244 www historichendersonville org Yancey County Chamber of Commerce 106 W Main St Burnsville NC 28714 800 948 1632 www yanceychamber com Mount Airy Visitor Center 200 N Main St Mt NC 27030 800 948 0949 www visitmayberry com Franklin Area Chamber of Commerce 98 Hyatt Rd Franklin NC 28734 888 439 park www franklin chamber com Haywood Chamber of Commerce 28 Walnut St Waynesville NC 28786 828 456 3021 Winston Salem Visitor Center 200 Brookstown Ave Winston Salem NC 27101 336 728 4205 VisitWinstonSalem com Clairborne Co Chamber of Commerce 1732 Main St Suite 1 Tazewell TN 37879 423 626 4149 www clairbornecounty com NW NC Visitor Center 2121 East US Hwy 421 North WIlkesboro NC 28659 336 667 1259 Greensboro Visitor Center 2411 West Gate City Blvd Greensboro NC 27403 800 344 2282 www VisitGreensboroNC com Wilkes County Chamber of Commerce 717 Main St PO Box 727 BRD N Wilkesboro NC 28659 336 838 8662 www wilkesnc org Mitchell Co Chamber of Commerce 79 Parkway Rd Spruce Pine NC 28777 828 765 2761 www mitchell county com Clay County Chamber of Commerce 96 Sanderson St Hayesville NC 28904 828 389 3704 www claycounty nc chamber com Gaston County Visitor Center 620 N Main Street Belmont NC 28012 704 825 4044 www visitgaston org Waynesville Haywood County Visitor Center 1110 Soco Rd Maggie Valley NC 28751 800 334 9036 www visitncsmokies com Historic Jonesborough 117 Boone St Jonesborough TN 37659 423 423 753 1010 Toll Free 866 401 4223 www historicjonesborough com Johnson City Visitor Center 603 E Main St Johnson City TN 37605 423 926 2141 www johnsoncitytn com Old Fort Visitor Center 91 S Catawba Ave Old Fort NC 28762 888 233 6111 www visitmcdowell com Johnson County Welcome Center 716 S Shady St Hwy 421S Mountain City TN 37683 423 727 5800 jcwc preferred com Piedmont Triad Visitor Center 700 NC Hwy 700 Pelham NC 27311 800 388 9830 Loudon County Visitor Bureau 1075 US Hwy 321 Lenoir City TN 37771 865 968 3662 www visitloudoncounty com Polk County Visitor Center 20 E Mills St Columbus NC 28722 800 440 7848 Pigeon Forge Visitor Center 1950 N Parkway POB 1390 BRD Pigeon Forge TN 37868 800 251 9100 mypigeonforge com Smoky Mountain Host of NC Inc 4437 Georgia Rd Franklin NC 28734 800 432 4678 www visitsmokies org Spruce Pine Visitor Center 165 Locust St Spruce Pine NC 28777 828 765 7008 Statesville Convention Visitors Bureau 118 W Broad St Statesville NC 28687 704 878 3480 or 877 531 1819 www visitstatesville org Townsend Visitor Center 7609 E Lamar Alexander Parkway Townsend TN 37882 800 525 6834 www smokymountains org Unicoi Visitor Center 106 Unicoi Village Place PO Box 39 Erwin TN 37692 www unicoitn net 423 735 0426

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SPRING SUMMER 2022 25 www blueridgedigest com The Blue Ridge Digest can be found at these regional visitor s centers VIRGINIA 1908 Courthouse Visitor Center 107 E Main St Independence VA 24348 276 773 2471 Abingdon Visitor Center 300 Green Spring Rd Abingdon VA 24210 800 435 3440 www abingdon com Afton Visitor Center 130 Afton Circle Afton VA 22920 540 943 5187 www visitwaynesboro net Alleghany Highlands Visitor Center 100 Mall Rd Covington VA 24426 540 962 2178 www alleghanyhighlands com Appomattox Visitor Center 214 Main Street PO Box 246 Appomattox VA 24522 434 352 8999 historicappomattox com Bedford Visitor Center 816 Burks Hill Rd Bedford VA 24523 877 HiPeaks VisitBedford com Blue Ridge Visitor Center 2577 JEB Stuart Highway Meadows of Dan VA 24120 276 694 6012 Buena Vista Visitor Center 595 E 19th St Buena Vista VA 24417 540 261 2880 buena vista va us com Carroll County Visitor Center 231 Farmers Market Rd Hillsville VA 24343 888 785 2782 276 730 3100 www visittheBlueRidge com Danville Visitor Center 645 River Park Dr Danville VA 24540 434 793 4636 www visitdanville com Discovery Center at Mill Mountain Roanoke s Mill Mountain 2000 J P Fishburn Parkway Roanoke VA 24013 540 853 1236 Floyd Visitors Center 108 W Main St Floyd VA 24091 www VisitFloydVA com 540 745 4407 Franklin County Visitor Center 1255 Franklin St suite 112 Rocky Mount VA 24151 540 483 3030 www visitfranklincountyva com Front Royal Visitor Center 414 E Main St Front Royal VA 22630 800 338 3576 www discoverfrontroyal com City of Galax Tourism Department 110 East Grayson St Galax VA 24333 276 238 8130 www visitgalax com Greene County Economic Development Tourism 9157 Seminole Trail Suite 2 Ruckersville VA 22968 434 985 6663 Hardesty Higgins House Visitor Center 212 S Main St Harrisonburg VA 22801 VisitHarrisonburgVA com 540 432 8935 Lexington Visitor Center 106 E Washington St Lexington VA 24450 540 463 3777 www lexingtonvirginia com Loudoun Visitor Center 112G South St SE Leesburg VA 20175 703 771 3237 www visitloudon org Smith Mountain Lake Visitor Center 16430 Booker T Washington Hwy 2 Moneta VA 24121 540 721 1203 www visitsmithmountainlake com Southwest Virginia Cultural Center Marketplace 1 Heartwood Cir Abington VA 24210 276 492 2400 swvaculturalcenter com Luray Page County Chamber 18 Campbell St Luray VA 22835 540 743 3915 www luraypage com Staunton Travel Information Center 1290 Richmond Rd I 81 Exit 222 Staunton VA 24401 540 332 3972 www VisitStaunton com Lynchburg Regional Information Center 901 Court St Lynchburg Virginia 24504 434 485 7290 www discoverlynchburg org Staunton Visitor s Center 35 South New St Staunton VA 24401 540 332 3971 www VisitStaunton com Madison County Visitor Center 110A N Main St Madison VA 22727 540 948 4455 www madison va com Tazewell County Visitor Center 163 Walnut Street Bluefield VA 24605 276 322 1345 visittazewellcounty org Martinsville Henry County Visitor Center 191 Fayette St Martinsville VA 24112 888 722 3498 www visitmartinsville com Virginia s Explore Park Visitor Center 59 Roanoke River Parkway Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 115 Roanoke VA 24014 540 427 1800 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 334 Patrick Avenue PO Box 577 Stuart VA 24171 276 694 6012 www patrickchamber com Patrick County Visitor Center 126 N Main St Stuart VA 24171 www visitpatrickcounty org Pulaski County Visitor Center 4440 Cleburne Blvd Dublin VA 24084 540 674 4161 www pulaskicounty org Radford Visitor Center 710A Main St Radford VA 24141 866 605 6442 www visitradford com Roanoke Visitor Information Center 101 Shenandoah Ave NE Roanoke VA 24016 800 635 5535 www visitvablueridge com Rockfish Gap Waynesboro Visitor Center 130 Afton Circle Afton VA 22920 540 943 5187 www visitwaynesboro net Salem Visitor Center 1001 Boulevard Civic Center Salem VA 24153 888 827 2536 www visitsalem com Shenandoah County Tourism 600 N Main St Ste 101 Woodstock VA 22664 888 367 3965 visitshenandoahcounty com Gateway to Shenandoah Visitor Center at Hupp s Hill Civil War Park and Museum 33229 Old Valley Pike Strasburg VA 22657 540 465 9197 strasburgva com VirginiaTech Visitor Center 925 Prices Fork Pwy Blacksburg VA 24061 540 231 3548 welcome vt edu Western Highlands Visitor Center 100 Mall Rd 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 St 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 91 Bartlett Rd Middlesboro KY 40965 606 248 2817 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 Blue Ridge Institute Museum Ferrum VA DuPont Forest Visitor Center Cedar Mountain NC Frontier Culture Museum Staunton VA Grandfather Mountain Linville NC Linville Caverns Linville Falls NC Mabry Mill Restaurant Gift Shop Meadows of Dan VA Mast General Store Waynesville NC Mystery Hill Blowing Rock NC Northwest Trading Post Glendale Springs NC Peaks of Otter Lodge Blue Ridge Parkway Bedford VA Pisgah Inn Blue Ridge Parkway Waynesville NC Skyland Big Meadows Lodges Shenandoah National Park VA Transportation Museum Roanoke VA VA Museum of the Civil War New Market VA Be sure to tell them you saw it in THE DIGEST

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26 www blueridgedigest com 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 Grovewood Village Discover a hidden gem rich with art and history Listed on the National Register of Historic Places this 11acre property is home to Grovewood Gallery 8 working artist studios the Estes Winn Antique Car Museum and the Biltmore Industries Homespun Museum Adjacent to Omni Grove Park Inn www grovewood com 828 214 7768 Mast Store 15 Biltmore Ave Downtown Asheville Dating to the 1940s find home d cor camping gear shoes clothing and hundreds of favorite candies www MastStore com 828 232 1883 Rug Home Over 20 000 oriental rugs home accessories Finest rugs from India China Pakistan Persia Turkey Egypt Karastan Milliken Tapestries needlepoints oil paintings antique furniture brass crystal Tiffany lamps mirrors Local national artists Sculptures and fine porcelain Located at I 26 exit 33 behind Ethan Allen Open 7 days 828 667 4585 BANNER ELK NC Smoke Tree Lodge 12 miles south of Boone on Hwy 105 Nestled at the foot of Grandfather Mtn Condo apts heated indoor pool ESPN Jacuzzi saunas 800 422 1880 www smoketreelodge com BLOWING ROCK NC Alpine Village Inn 297 Sunset Dr Quaint cozy rooms suites in the heart of town AC CCTV phones WiFi complimentary Some fireplaces Jacuzzi Pet friendly rooms www alpine village inn com 828 295 7206 Alpine Village Townhomes Vacation Rentals 2 Bedroom special offers Great Views heated pool summer clubhouse and amenities cable TV special golf fees 3 miles west of Parkway exit Hwy 80 No pets 727 389 3404 www alpinevillagetownhomes com Blowing Rock Art History Museum Free admission open year round Must see destination for visual art Appalachian heritage www BlowingRockMuseum org 159 Ginny Stevens Ln 828 295 9099 Emerald Village Real mines underground mine tour gem mining gold panning Two museums waterfall picnic area gift shops 3 miles from MP 334 open April October 828 765 6463 www emeraldvillage com 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 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 KOA Kampground From Boone 194N 3 miles Left on Ray Brown Rd 1 mile Beautiful view Rec room mini golf laundry 123 Harmony Mtn Lane Boone NC 28607 828 264 7250 Mast Store 630 W King St Downtown Boone Built in the 1920s this charming store is filled with most everything you need for life clothing trail travel gear old fashioned candy www MastStore com 828 262 0000 NC High Country Host Visitor Center 6370 US HWY 321 South Blowing Rock NC 28605 800 4387500 www mountainsofnc com BURNSVILLE NC Alpine Village Townhomes Vacation Rentals 2 Bedroom special offers Great Views heated pool summer clubhouseand amenities cable TV special golf fees 3 miles west of Parkway exit Hwy 80 No pets www alpinevillagetownhomes com 727 389 3404 SPRING SUMMER 2022 Be sure to tell them you saw it in THE DIGEST family memories in a natural haven that will endure forever Marvel at 360 degree views from the Mile High Swinging Bridge stand eye to eye with native wildlife in natural habitats and interact with our friendly knowledgeable staff One mile from Blue Ridge Parkway take th Linville exit at Milepost 305 to U S 221 South Open daily weather permitting 8 a m to 7 p m 22 adult 20 senior 60 9 child 4 12 under 4 free www grandfather com 828 733 4337 or 800 468 7325 LINVILLE FALLS NC Linville Caverns 19929 US 221 N Marion 4 miles South of Parkway MP 317 NC s ONLY show cavern 800 419 0540 www linvillecaverns com Linville Falls Lodge Cottages BRP Milepost 317 4 US 221S 1 mile to walk to falls gorge www linvillefallslodge com 828 765 2658 LITTLE CHIMNEY ROCK NC SWITZERLAND NC Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park More than a Rock it s a Mountain of Possibilities Six unique hiking trails 404 foot waterfall 26 story elevator inside mountain Woodland animal programs and exhibits Pet friendly Old Rock Caf overlooking the river Open all year 40 min SE of Asheville 828 625 9611 ChimneyRockPark com HENDERSONVILLE NC Mast Store 527 N Main St Downtown Hendersonville Built in 1905 and embodying the essence of the era this store is packed with clothing gift ideas country gourmet foods more www MastStore com 828 696 1883 Discover Hendersonville Check out our Stay Play Packages Room Availability Hendersonville Visitors Center 201 S Main Street Hendersonville NC 1 800 828 4244 Open 7 days a week www visithendersonvillenc org LINVILLE NC Grandfather Mountain Grandfather s lofty heights offer guests opportunities for rejuvenation excitement and Emerald Village Real mines mine tours gem mining Other free displays railroad music museum wildlife MP334 828 765 6463 www emeraldvillage com Switzerland Cafe General Store MP 334 1 4 mile of the Parkway Lunch and weekend dinners Souvenirs and picnic items 828 765 5289 www switzerlandcafe com Switzerland Inn And Chalet Restaurant A little bit of Switzerland in NC Fantastic mountain views rooms suites cottages dining shopping tennis Located directly on the Blue Ridge Parkway at the Little Switzerland exit near Parkway Milepost 334 Little Switzerland NC 28749 828 765 2153 or 800 6544026 www switzerlandinn com MAGGIE VALLEY NC Boyd Mountain Log Cabins 7 Authentic cabins fireplaces AC cable WIFI Choose n cut Christmas tree farm trout fishing hiking 828 926 1575 www boydmountain com

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SPRING SUMMER 2022 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 CO NC McDowell Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center Shopping food near center Free coffee area info Clean restrooms From Parkway MP 317 24 mi S on US 221 From MP331 15 mi S on NC226 828 652 4240 SPARTA GLADE VALLEY NC Alleghany Inn 341 N Main St Sparta NC 28675 64 Rooms Free Wireless Internet Cable TV 60 Chan Guest Laundry Restaurant on site 888 372 2501 Reserve online www AlleghanyInn com SPRUCE PINE NC Gem Mountain 13780 Hwy 226 1 mile from Parkway Gem mine Rain or shine Mine trips available People s choice for Gem mining www gemmountain com Peak Mountain Cottages Retreat Center On 300 acres 7 miles N of Pkwy Room to play or relax Hiking trails clear mtn streams 460 Rabbit Hop Rd near Penland Individuals families or groups up to 25 828 7659559 www peakmountaincottages com VALLE CRUCIS NC Mast General Store Annex Highway 194 Est 1883 listed on the National Register of Historic Places this authentic general store is filled with the best of yesterday and today including camping gear shoes boots housewares candies and an impressive collection of knives www MastStore com 828 963 6511 WAYNESVILLE NC Mast Store 63 N Main St Downtown Waynesville Serving the area since 1935 this store is brimming with clothing shoes cast iron cookware candy camping gear www MastStore com 828 452 2101 27 www blueridgedigest com WILKESBORO NC Explore Wilkeboro and find your back road Explorewilkesboro com 336 818 9294 text or call info wilkescountytourism com 203 W Main St TENNESSEE GATLINBURG TN Ski Mountain Chalet Condo Rentals 1 4 bedrooms hot tubs jacuzzis pool tables kitchens fireplaces privacy 800 824 4077 www skimtnchalets com 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 Gross Orchard Apple Valley Homeplace Vacation Home Rental Open year round 75 per couple per night Mountain grown fruit produce Bedford VA Rt 43 in Apple Valley Open Year round U pick or U select Apple Festival 3rd Sat in Oct 540 586 2436 CHARLOTTESVILLE VA Montfair Resort Farm Pet friendly cabins by lake 30 min from Parkway Wi fi linens cookware provided Canoe hike fish 434 8235202 www montfairresortfarm com FANCY GAP VA Skyland Lakes Golf Club Right on Parkway at milepost 202 2 New 18 hole public course Beautiful scenery Motel golf packages available 276 728 4923 FLOYD VA Chantilly Farm Campground 2697 Franklin Pike SE RV sites electric water sewer tent camping w amenities WiFi ice ATM chantillyfarm com 540 808 4984 Floyd Visitors Center 109 E Main St Floyd VA 24091 Mountain town with unique music arts outdoor fun 540 745 4407 www VisitFloydVA com GALAX 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 GROTTOES VA Grand Caverns 5 Grand Caverns Dr Grottoes VA America s oldest continuously operated show cave Nature s handiwork gifts 888 430 CAVE 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 NATURAL BRIDGE VA Natural Bridge Zoo 5784 S Lee Hwy I 81 exit 180A Natural Bridge 24578 540 291 2420 naturalbridgezoo com Largest collection of birds and animals in Virginia Elephant rides giraffe tigers bears monkeys birds and more Petting zoo gift shop picnic area Open mid March to November PATRICK COUNTY VA Blue Ridge Real Estate Cabin Rentals Residential land and commercial properties as well as Log Cabin Sales and Vacation Rentals www blueridgerealestate net or 276 694 2001 Buffalo Mountain Getaway Perfect location for your getaway in Virginia Get away from it all Cottage or Cabin near the Buffalo Mountain in Floyd 540 789 8335 buffalomountaingetaway com home Laurel Point Villa Breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains Large vacation rental is a mix of modern conveniences and charm is a great place for family gatherings 850 712 1139 www laurelpointvillage com Pond View Guesthouse Guesthouse is conveniently located just off the Blue Ridge Parkway near Meadows of Dan VA www pondviewguesthouse com or 276 952 2624 Primland Resort 2000 Busted Rock Road Resort Lodge Fairway Cottages Mountain Homes Spectacular views Golf Spa Dining Outdoor activities 276 222 3800 www primland com Willville Motorcycle Campground 26 acre wooded park located less than one mile from the Blue Ridge Parkway in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia www willvillebikecamp com or 276 952 CAMP RADFORD 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 ROANOKE VA Mast General Store In downtown at 401 S Jefferson St Our newest old location dates to 1915 and is filled with old favorites and new ones too www MastStore com 540 566 5661 Virginia s Blue Ridge Take a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway Shop at the markets and boutiques in Downtown Roanoke and Salem Hike on a trail in the Blue Ridge Mountains Discover wildlife while kayaking on the Upper James River Water Trail Dine at a local restaurant and enjoy fresh amazingly prepared ingredients Watch the sunset aboard a cruise at Smith Mountain Lake All these things to do and more can be part of your Blue Ridge Day No matter what you decide to do every day in the Roanoke Valley in Virginia s Blue Ridge Mountains is filled with friendship and old fashioned hospitality Discover what makes visiting Virginia s Blue Ridge unique 800 635 5535 visitvablueridge com SALEM VA Come and visit Salem that is only twenty minutes from the parkway Take a walking tour of our historic downtown featuring the Salem Museum Roanoke College quaint antique and curio shops restaurants or stay the night in the Downtown Motor Lofts Attend one of our numerous athletic or musical events including the Salem Red Sox class A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox playing in spacious Haley Toyota Field Salem Memorial Ballpark www visitSalemVA com

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28 www blueridgedigest com SPRING SUMMER 2022 Plan a Low Impact Trip to Boone by Hope Thingelstad Photos Sam Dean Photography B oone is quickly becoming known as an eco friendly destination With almost endless opportunities to recreate outdoors the area tends to attract nature lovers of all experience levels As of February 2022 the town s Sustainability Department converted all municipal buildings to run completely on renewable energy Plus dedicated local environmental groups like the Blue Ridge Conservancy work tirelessly to protect natural areas for the public to use Many Boone area attractions restaurants lodging and other businesses are also working towards minimizing their ecological impact A trip to Boone is the perfect opportunity to reconnect with nature while also learning about ways to reduce your own impact on the environment Spend time exploring area rivers and trails hiking on Spring into Shenandoah s Apple Blossom Festival By Rebecca Laflam Image courtesy of Shenandoah Blossom Festival A s spring begins and pinkand white petals fill the air the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival will be in full bloom held April 22 to May 1 Located in Winchester Virginia the visitors can Discover the Bloom in the historic Shenandoah Valley at this 10 day festival with over 40 events From carnivals to a 10k race to the crowning of Miss Apple Blossom and Queen Shenandoah there s little one can t find at the festival Crowds of over 250 000 people attend each year so check out their website to secure your ticket Visitors can participate in multiple dance parties scattered throughout the festival perfect for those looking to relive the 80s or show off their square dancing skills Also be on the lookout for celebrities with previous appearances including Lucille Ball Debbie Reynolds Bing Crosby and previous president Lyndon B Johnson On March 19 the 73rd Miss Honorary Fire Rescue Chief Contest will be held and the winner s fire company will lead the festival s first and second division of the World s Largest Firefighter s Parade The celebration will culminate in Bloomin Sunday where live entertainment a craft and car show and more can be found The festival s prolific history began with a one day event in 1924 put together in eleven days This year history will be made again during the 95th celebration of the arrival of spring As their motto says Bloomin Good Times are back so be sure to bring your friends and family to this annual event horseback or with a fly fishing rod in hand Be sure to brush up on the 7 Principles of Leave No Trace before you hit the trails Always be prepared for any weather be considerate of others and animals leave what you find outside pack out any waste and only trek or build fires in designated areas Eco Travel Pro Tips Bring a reusable water bottle with you fill it up where you can Save any plastic bags you receive with purchases to pick up trash on your adventures Bring your toiletries and leave those plastic mini shampoos for the next guest Don t stack river rocks at rivers these are wildlife habitats Always stay on the trail rare plants or animals may be underfoot Leave the wildflowers for others to enjoy Take pictures to remember their beauty Always pack out anything you pack in including pet waste and food scraps For more information go to www ExploreBoone com

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SPRING SUMMER 2022 Mobile Ale Trail Pass in Jackson County NC T he free Ale Trail Pass showcases the best of Jackson County s booming brewery scene in an easy mobile friendly fashion Users can sign up online at www discoverjacksonnc com passes to receive a mobile passport via text or email no app downloading 29 blueridgedigest com required which they can then use to check in along the trail by asking a bartender for a unique pin code at each brewery Once locking in at least four brewery stops participants can stop by the Jackson County Chamber and Visitors Center 773 W Main St Sylva NC 28779 any weekday between the hours of 8am 5pm to redeem their passes for a limited edition Jackson County pint glass and Ale Trail branded stickers to take home We re confident this Ale Trail Pass will quickly become a popular way for visitors and locals to engage with our breweries and further enhance the town s appeal for craft beverage fans all over says Sylva Main Street Sylva Association Director Bernadette Peters After all who doesn t love a souvenir pint glass Out of those participating the following four breweries YES YOU DRIVE ON THE PARKWAY BUT YOU CAN PARK TOO Find yourself here Cruise on 30 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway through Patrick County and take in all of the beautiful scenery Picnics at a covered bridge local wineries camping hiking and mountain biking are just a few other attractions awaiting you From the rugged outdoors to 5 Star luxury there is so much to discover here visitpatrickcounty org Visit the Patrick County Visitors Center at 126 N Main St Stuart VA are conveniently located along Downtown Sylva s walkable strip where The Ale Trail s main hub is while the fifth pass participant Innovation Station is in the town of Dillsboro just next door Innovation Brewing Lazy Hiker Brewing Company Taproom Balsam Falls Brewing Co Nantahala Brewing Co Sylva Outpost Sylva s vibe is unique and eclectic and so are each of the breweries that call this town home says JCTDA Director Nick Breedlove After enjoying some brews we hope visitors take advantage of all that this area has to offer from shopping and dining downtown to exploring outside with a hike bike ride fly fishing excursion and so much more

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30 www blueridgedigest com Things are heating up in the NC Smokies A s winter recedes and the cool blanket of frost lifts from the NC Smokies there s nothing like the thrill of watching the mountains burst into bloom Once Spring arrives life begins anew in the lush valleys and climbs the ridgelines with astonishing speed And just as the mountains come to life so too do the vibrant towns within Haywood County From the riverside recreation of Canton to the eclectic shops and galleries of Waynesville it s worth experiencing each area s unique energy The county s largest town Waynesville has an abundance of character that will stick with you long after you leave From the variety of locally owned shops selling everything from handmade jewelry and custom furniture to the galleries selling one of a kind locally made arts and crafts Haywood County s largest town doesn t disappoint In addition the town features a bevy of restaurants serving everything from pizza to sushi to homestyle cooking to fine dining Unassuming yet quietly exciting the rustic nostalgic town of Maggie Valley offers chances to enjoy the outdoors with plenty of surrounding hiking trails and even an 18 hole mountain golf course And don t forget the world famous Dale s Wheels Through Time Motorcycle Museum which has on display some of the rarest bikes on the planet In the heart of Haywood County lies Clyde a small town with so much more than what meets the eye For hikers a short drive from downtown is Max Patch a short yet incredibly rewarding jaunt to the top of a bald that features stunning 360 degree views of the pristine Smoky Mountains And for bikers The Rattler will be just the ride to satisfy that itch for the open road With 290 curves this beautiful 24 mile run is the perfect challenge without taking up an entire day For a different kind of experience on the water check out Canton situated on the banks of the Pigeon River The best way to enjoy the river is to do more than just dip a toe in Enjoy a trip downstream with Pigeon River Outfitters which furnishes innertubes kayaks and canoes End your journey on the water by taking out on the banks of the Pigeon River near BearWaters Brewery which serves and assortment of award winning beers as well as a full menu of food SPRING SUMMER 2022 MABRY MILL Parkway Icon T 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 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

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SPRING SUMMER 2022 www blueridgedigest com Blaze a Trail to Elkin for the NC Trail Days Festival T Elkin the best little trail town in North Carolina hosts its annual NC Trail Days festival June 2 5 he festival celebrates the importance of trails in this Blue Ridge foothills town where three major routes intersect the Mountains to Sea Trail Overmountain Victory Trail and Yadkin River Paddle Trail It also coincides with the American Hiking Society s National Trails Day June 4 The four days are filled with activities for outdoor minded people of all abilities from family yoga beside the Yadkin River to the Insane Terrain 5k race Several guided hikes and self guided hikes are on the schedule along with mountain biking group kayaking and a downtown music trail event 31 Elkin s across the river neighbor Jonesville will host events as well A lot of the schedule is based on previous events that are popular but we want to make sure each year has a new twist and new events to enjoy says NC Trail Days director Natalie Eidson When not on the trails folks can kick back at social events in Elkin Municipal Park and along Main Street Those festivities include a Lowcountry boil live music food trucks farmers market beer garden and vendor village Attendees are encouraged to bring their bikes boats and boots and enjoy an extended weekend with trail lovers from across North Carolina and beyond For more information go to www NCTrailDays com

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32 www blueridgedigest com SPRING SUMMER 2022 Hendersonville s Bearfootin Bears Ready for their Close up W estern North Carolina is known for its black bears The region is also renowned for its talented artists Combine those two WNC icons and you get Hendersonville s annual Bearfootin Art Walk This year marks the 20th anniversary of the public art project Every May 20 colorful bears take their spots along Main Street in downtown Hendersonville Each sculpture is decorated by a local artist The bears stay on display through the summer and into the fall delighting passersby with their creative designs and encouraging selfies In October the bears are auctioned off for charity Last year the Bearfootin auction raised 102 000 for 20 nonprofit organizations a program record Each bear becomes a blank canvas for a local artist Past renditions incorporated Blue Ridge Mountain scenes and landmarks as well as elements of nature such as flowers forests butterflies and birds Other bears take on humanlike characteristics wearing clothes hats or costumes Sometimes bears morph into other creatures such as a dinosaur or dog The bears become mascots for the town and visitors enjoy going on a bear hunt to find each one Brochures with a complete listing of bears artists nonprofit beneficiaries and bear locations are available at the Visitor Center The bears add to downtown Hendersonville s everyday welcoming atmosphere Main Street s curvilinear sidewalks lined with trees flowering planters benches and murals is a favorite destination for shopping and dining For more information on the Bearfootin Art Walk and downtown Hendersonville attractions go to www VisitHendersonvilleNC org call 800 828 4244 or stop by the Visitor Center at 201 S Main St Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 258 7 Elkin Jonesville NC June 2 5 trails lead to Elkin N C T r a i lAll D ay s co m Photo by William Bake Northwest Trading Post The Northwest Trading Post historic building in Glendale Springs in Ashe County North Carolina is operated by a concessioner and offers a selection of regional arts crafts and food gifts made in North Carolina s northwestern counties The Northwest Trading Post has featured handmade in America products since 1958 More info 336 982 2543

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SPRING SUMMER 2022 33 www blueridgedigest com Former Dude Ranch Becomes Mount Mitchell Eco Retreat L ess than five miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway a former dude ranch in the North Carolina mountains has new life as the Mount Mitchell Eco Retreat The retreat encourages people to spend time in nature while interacting symbiotically with the land Guests have a choice of 16 nicely appointed rooms and suites spread across four buildings in the Burnsville countryside The 28 acre retreat is surrounded by Pisgah National Forest and offers views of Mount Mitchell the highest peak in the eastern United States Amenities include a main building with community kitchen and dining area several outdoor fire pits and a healing house where guests can book sessions with massage therapists and energy healers Our guests have been surprised at how nice we ve made things on the inside given the eco feel outside says Sean Busher who co owns the retreat with wife Heather It s great to have comfort and quality inside and then go outside and be immediately in wilderness There is not a spot anywhere on the land where you look out and see another structure Busher says the location is ideal It is about 20 minutes to Mount Mitchell State Park in one direction and about 20 minutes to Burnsville in the other direction The Burnsville area is home to more than 100 miles of public hiking trails including the highest trails in the East To be able to stay in an eco retreat and be near world class hiking seems like the perfect fit he says And it s nice to be close to Burnsville with restaurants and activities for our guests For info about Mount Mitchell Eco Retreat go to www MMEcoRetreat com or call 828 358 4326 Just North of Asheville VisitMadisonCounty com

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34 BLOWING ROCK Little Town with a Big Backyard C ure your cabin fever in Blowing Rock The Blue Ridge Parkway is the heart of the Blowing Rock area connecting the little town with miles of beauty cultural and historical sites and a variety of outdoor adventures Activities shops restaurants galleries and inns of Blowing Rock are an easy distance from exciting wild places This season Blowing Rock welcomes some new shops a new boutique hotel and the incredible restoration of Flat Top Manor at Moses Cone Memorial Park On April 2 the Blowing Rock Trout Derby celebrates the MP 324 8 Your Base Camp for Mountain Adventure Bear Den com 828 765 2888 Spruce Pine NC opening of Trout Season In May outdoor music series return Artists in Residence opens and the renowned outdoor arts crafts show Art in the Park begins on May 21 More incredible art can be found at the Blowing Rock Art History Museum which welcomes three new exhibits this spring Two heritage events in June The Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show presents Saddlebred divisions June 9 12 This outdoor horse show is the longest running of its kind and will celebrate 100 years in 2023 On June 25 Heritage Day at Bolick Traditions offers a showcase of traditional crafts and music plus the unloading of the old fashioned wood fired kiln Many outdoor activities like ziplines begin reservations in spring Tweetsie opens for the season and watercraft rentals are available at Price Lake beginning weekends in April Nearby Parkway pastimes include hiking horseback riding birding picnicking gather up local delicacies from downtown shops fishing and climbing With more wilderness waiting in the adjacent Pisgah National Forest nearby state parks and along the Mountains to Sea Trail there is no shortage of paths to wander near Blowing Rock Check web site for more exciting things to do and see www blowingrock com

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SPRING SUMMER 2022 35 www blueridgedigest com It s ALL here in Madison County NC T raveling to Asheville or anywhere in western North Carolina If you are looking for an outdoor destination Madison County is the place Escape the concrete and crowds and find a wide range of outdoor activities just 20 minutes north of Asheville on the Tennessee border The Appalachian Trail runs through the northern edge of the county and even has a stretch on the main street of the charming town of Hot Springs In addition there are several hiking trails in the Pisgah National Forest which makes up a large percentage of the land in the county Not only does the town of Hot Springs offer the Appalachian Trail but the French Broad River crosses the AT in that location There are several whitewater rafting companies to See forever Together choose from and several great fishing spots If you are interested in long views of the Blue Ridge Mountains try ziplining through the trees or horseback riding on the ridges with spectacular views And if you a cyclist there are plenty of rural roads which offer biking opportunities When your outdoor adventure comes to a close stop by a local brewery in any of the three towns or treat yourself to a soak in an outdoor hot tub at Hot Springs Resort and Spa Yes Madison County has it all no matter what the season More information at VisitMadisonCounty com Hand in hand is a wonderful way to share the awe and delights that await you at Grandfather Mountain Share the joy today and help us preserve it for tomorrow B o o k t o d a y a t g ra n d f a t h e r c o m GRANDFATHER MOUNTAIN WONDERS NEVER CEASE

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36 www blueridgedigest com The Shenandoah Valley Shines At This Stunning Museum F rom the ground up this museum is rich in history With 214 acres the museum s landscape constitutes the largest green space in the city of Winchester Historic Glen Burnie House and its surrounding seven acre gardens are situated next door to the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley MSV which contains gallery spaces featuring a combination of permanent and changing exhibitions Renowned architect Michael Graves designed the new museum building The original portion of Glen Burnie dates to 1794 while the land upon which it sits was part of the original 1735 James Wood land grant Built in the 1790s by Robert Wood son of James Wood Glen Burnie House was later transformed into a spot for entertaining by the future owner and descendent Julian Wood Glass Jr It was Glass Jr and his partner R Lee Taylor who created the lush formal gardens Julian Wood Glass Jr the last owner of Glen Burnie created the Glass Glen Burnie Foundation so that the home and gardens could be opened to the public after his death Today six acres of formal gardens are as magical to wander as they are soothing This summer Craft an Adventure in Western North Carolina BlueRidgeCraftTrails com don t miss the special exhibit called Origami in The Garden an exciting outdoor exhibition that features large metal sculptures inspired by the Japanese art form involving folding paper runs May 28 November 13 Additionally 90 SPRING SUMMER 2022 One of the most treasured destinations of the Shenandoah Valley is also one of the most dedicated to the preservation and celebration of the Valley s cultural life and heritage the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley acres of the MSV landscape are set aside as a free admission art park featuring three miles of trails for walking running and biking Learn more at themsv org or call 540 662 1473 Shenandoah Wildflowers If you re counting tree blooms as wildflowers which we do it s the bright pink buds of the Redbud that appear first followed by Virginia s tree the Dogwood Mid to Late Spring Bloomers Jack in the Pulpit produces a cluster of red berries that are quite attractive to birds and small critters An exciting find is the Pink Lady s Slipper or its sister the Yellow Lady Slipper of the orchid family It is dainty and delightful If you go in search of them try April through May and look beneath conifers as they appreciate an acidic soil Wild Azaleas and Mountain Laurels bloom in May and June and grow to heights of up to 15 feet and their large flowers range from white to pink to purple One of the best places to take a scenic drive or hike in search of wildflowers is Shenandoah National Park Before you go search online for Shenandoah s Wildflower Calendar to help you know exactly when to look for each species Serious enthusiasts should plan to attend SNP s Wildflower Weekend on May 14 and 15 2022 Lodging is available in the park through Go Shenandoah Learn more about visiting the region and where to go to find wildflowers and waterfalls by visiting VisitShenandoah org and VisitSkylineDrive org

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SPRING SUMMER 2022 37 www blueridgedigest com New Fun to Share in Sevierville Tennessee See Inside A MOUNTAIN Don t Miss North Carolina s Only Caverns The excitement of something new and the joy of returning to places you love to visit Sevierville blends the best of both worlds to create experiences the whole group will enjoy This year make plans to visit these new places in the Smoky Mountains Downtown Sevierville is experiencing a rebirth with a new look and new things to do Plan an afternoon in downtown Sevierville and be sure to include lunch or dinner Stop by the bronze statue of Dolly Parton for a quick photo then buy a little something to commemorate your visit to her hometown at Jolene s on Bruce Street Keep on shopping for fashionable attire and well curated accessories at Beyond 436 and Smoky Mountain Wildflower Boutique Pose for photos at vibrant murals including Wings of Wander and Red s Caf before browsing the art at Gallery 10 or trying some on at the bespoke jewelry store Ronel Raicsics Designs For lunch or dinner try out new eateries including Seasons 101 an elevated American bistro highlighting seasonal flavors The Appalachian helmed by chef David Rule Blackberry Farm Walnut Kitchen is also new to downtown and features traditional Appalachian dishes with a modern twist Fans of barbecue will love Trotter s Whole Hog BBQ on Bruce Street which is set to open later this spring Around town there will soon be several new things to see and do like riding a scenic chairlift to the top of SkyLand Ranch a picturesque mountaintop farm featuring a canopy walk suspended bridge mountain coaster shopping and dining SkyLand Ranch will also be home to a variety of miniature animals including cows and donkeys and is set to open in late spring of 2022 Learn more about everything there is to see and do at VisitSevierville com LINVILLE CAVERNS Located on U S 221 between Linville Marion 19929 US 221 North NC Just 3 1 2 miles south of the Blue Ridge 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

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38 NC High Country Public Fishing fishing license at ncwildlife org and visit a few of our favorite fishing spots when the stocked waters reopen April 1st F reshwater fishing is abundant in the High Country from lazy largemouth bass to trout of various species that inhabit the numerous cold whitewater streams in the area Purchase a NC Mountain Heritage Trout Waters These designated waters feature heritage species special license pricing and loaner tackle Call 888 248 6834 for details Visit locations at Buckeye Lake via Buckeye Recreation Center Beech Mountain Big Horse Creek Lansing Stone Mountain State Park Roaring Gap New River State Park Sparta Todd Island Park New River Access Todd Cub Creek Park Wilkesboro Trout may be found in the Watauga River and various tributaries A favorite spot for a number of anglers is the Valle Crucis Community Park located behind the Mast General Store in Valle Crucis The New River is also a popular fishing spot You will find smallmouth bass redbreast sunfish and rock bass plentiful here Find detailed maps at fishashe com The W Kerr Scott Dam and Reservoir in Wilkesboro allows fishing via vessel along the shoreline and from five fishing piers ADA accessible For more tips on High Country Fishing locations call the regional visitor center at 828 264 1299 Spend Memorial Day in Bedford VA S et against a backdrop that includes breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge and a quintessential American home front community the National D Day Memorial tells the story of the Allied sacrifice of June 6 1944 in a way that resonates with today s visitors The Memorial located in Bedford VA celebrated its 20th year in 2021 This 50 acre outdoor monument site is open seven days a week 10 a m 5 p m and hosts special events throughout the year To commemorate Memorial Day speaker Dave Carey a retired Navy captain Vietnam veteran and former prisoner of war will inspire audience members with his story Carey s aircraft was destroyed while flying a combat mission over North Vietnam He spent the following five and a half years as a POW incarcerated in Vietnamese prisons His experiences taught him timeless lessons that are applicable to everyone His book The Ways We Choose Lessons for Life from a POW s Experience will be available and a book signing will be held after the ceremony The Memorial Day program beings at 11 a m and admission fees are waived until 12 noon Afterwards take the short drive into historic downtown Bedford and stop by the Bedford Boys Tribute Center The Center is home to the personal effects of many of the Bedford Boys and it s here you will learn the stories of the hometown soldiers that were lost on D Day and the town they left behind Be sure to also make time for a visit to the Bedford Area Welcome Center located across from the D Day Memorial entrance The Welcome Center offers a gift shop free Wi Fi an electric car charging station a LOVE sign and more For information on other Bedford attractions and overnight accommodations please visit DestinationBedfordVA com or call 877 447 3257

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Thousands of Rugs Furniture Accessories Available to Take Home Today

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There s Only One location where you can find all the information you need to plan your visit to Wytheville and that s the Regional Visitors Center Open 9 AM 5 PM Seven Days a Week INDEX Local Foods Farmers Markets 5 Downtown Wytheville 6 Shopping 7 10 Relocation Realtors Gated Community 11 Attractions 12 15 Historical Attractions 16 19 Crystal Springs Recreation Maps 20 21 Recreation 22 25 Wythe County Trails Map 26 27 Downtown Wytheville Map 28 29 Wythe County Map 30 31 Motorcycle Trails 32 Entertainment 33 Special Events 34 Dining 35 38 Cabins B Bs Guest Houses 39 40 RV Parks Campgrounds Horse Camps 41 Hotels Motels 42 46 Trails 47 Local regional state and multi state information about attractions outdoor recreation shopping lodging and dining Follow the Visitors Center Signs from any Wytheville exit I 77 81 Exit 73 I 77 Exit 41 or I 81 Exit 70 Wytheville Convention and Visitor Center 975 Tazewell Street Wytheville VA 24382 877 347 8307 www VisitWytheville com visitwytheville www facebook com wythecotourism V ISIT W YTHEVILLE COM Insta 877 347 8307 www VisitWytheville com Contact us for your FREE Visitors Guide 877 347 8307 www VisitWytheville com 1 877 347 8307