Review of Aloft in the Smokies: Downtown Bryson City NC Cabins

Sunrise-in-Bryson-City-NC-view-from-Aloft-cabin-rental

When we started the Blue Ridge Mountains Travel Guide in 2019, we had two major goals in mind.  The first was to explore the countless Blue Ridge Mountain towns in-depth, and share all our favorite things we experienced while rediscovering the simple pleasures of small town Americana. The second was to find our future home in the … Read more

10 Best Cherokee NC Restaurants for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Exterior of Sassy Sunflowers Bakery & Cafe in Cherokee NC

Choosing the best restaurants in Cherokee NC is an interesting challenge.  Most major tourist towns in the Blue Ridge Mountains– such as Asheville NC, Blue Ridge GA, and Roanoke VA– offer a wide array of upscale, chef-driven restaurants with their own signature culinary flair.  But the majority of the restaurants in Cherokee and the Qualla … Read more

The 15 Best Things to Do in Hiawassee GA & Young Harris GA

Panorama View at Brasstown Valley Resort in Young Harris GA

Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains less than 4 miles from the border with North Carolina, Hiawassee GA is a relatively small town (2.07 square miles) on the shores of Lake Chatuge. Known as “Georgia’s Lake and Mountain Paradise,” the town was named after the Cherokee word Ayuhwasi, which means meadow. It was settled circa 1820, … Read more

The 10 Best Restaurants in Ellijay GA for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Best Restaurants in Ellijay GA- Ellijay Wood Fired Pizza

Located west of the Chattahoochee National Forest, about 15 miles southwest of Blue Ridge, Ellijay is widely considered one of the best places to live in the Georgia mountains.  The moderate elevation and temperate climate make it a perfect place for apple orchards, farms, and wineries. And of course, wherever there are fresh fruits and … Read more

The 15 Best Things to Do in Waynesville NC & Haywood County

Best Things to Do in Waynesville NC Header

When my wife and I explore the Blue Ridge Mountains, it’s typically with two main goals in mind.  The first objective is to create in-depth guides on the best things to see and do there. The second is to use that information to decide whether or not we want to move there, now that we’re … Read more

The 20 Best Things to Do in Blowing Rock NC

Mary at The Blowing Rock Attraction in Blowing Rock NC

[Updated June 14, 2022] Known as the “Crown of the Blue Ridge Mountains,” Blowing Rock NC is widely regarded as one of the most charming North Carolina villages.  Located in the NC High Country 10 miles south of Boone and 24 miles east of Banner Elk, the town of Blowing Rock was established in 1889. … Read more

The 10 Best Things to Do in Maggie Valley NC

Maggie Valley NC Seen From Ghost Town in the Sky

Located about halfway between Bryson City and Asheville, Maggie Valley NC is a small mountain town with something of a split personality.  The town has historically been known as a haven for colorful characters such as bluegrass legend Raymond Fairchild, bootlegger Marvin “Popcorn” Sutton, and Deliverance actor Herbert “Cowboy” Coward (who got his start at the … Read more

The 10 Best Restaurants in Waynesville NC for Foodies

Patio Dining at Best Restaurants in WaynesVille NC

We’ve explored dozens of small towns in North Carolina over the last few years, from tiny burghs like Burnsville, Bryson City, and Little Switzerland to major tourism hotspots like Blowing Rock, Boone, and Cherokee.  But none of these mountain towns has had more personal relevance for me than Waynesville NC. Located halfway between Cherokee and … Read more