White Water Rafting in WV: A New River Gorge Family Adventure

White Water Rafting New River Gorge West Virginia

In the years leading up to my daughter leaving home for college, I became increasingly conscious of time. The 18 summers we have with our kids seemed to pass all too quickly, leaving us precious few moments to establish strong bonds we hope will last a lifetime. So the timing of our trip to the … Read more White Water Rafting in WV: A New River Gorge Family Adventure

Sampling Blue Ridge Restaurants on the Blue Ridge Mountains Food Tour

Blue Ridge Mountains Food Tour at Mercier Orchards Tasting Room

As a boy growing up near the North Georgia mountains, I tended to take the Appalachian food of my family’s roots for granted. Fortunately, traditional Southern food has come a long way over the last few decades, as has the culinary scene in little mountain towns like Blue Ridge, GA. When Mary and I first … Read more Sampling Blue Ridge Restaurants on the Blue Ridge Mountains Food Tour

The Best Things to Do in Asheville NC

For a relatively small Blue Ridge mountain town with a population of under 100,000, there is a surprising wealth of unique things to do in Asheville, NC. Thanks to an infusion of wealth brought in by the Biltmore Estate in the early 20th century, there’s historic art deco-influenced architecture. There is also a critically-acclaimed restaurant … Read more The Best Things to Do in Asheville NC

Unicoi State Park & Lodge: Camping & Hiking Near Helen, GA

Beautiful scenery at Unicoi Lake-Smith Lake in Unicoi State Park, GA

Growing up in Atlanta, the mountain town of Helen, Georgia seemed like another world, with its bizarre Alpine architecture, biergartens, bratwurst, and annual Oktoberfest celebrations. But even as a kid I was much more attracted to the natural beauty of Unicoi State Park, which is located just a few miles away from the kitschy town. From … Read more Unicoi State Park & Lodge: Camping & Hiking Near Helen, GA

Visiting Expedition Bigfoot Museum (aka Sasquatch Museum) in Cherry Log, GA

Exterior of Expedition Bigfoot Museum in North Georgia

The Expedition Bigfoot Museum is a uniquely intriguing roadside attraction in Cherry Log, GA. Located along Highway 515 just minutes outside of Blue Ridge, it’s truly a weird and wondrous must-see for anyone visiting the North Georgia mountains. You don’t have to be a diehard believer in Bigfoot encounters to get a kick out of … Read more Visiting Expedition Bigfoot Museum (aka Sasquatch Museum) in Cherry Log, GA

Review of Harvest on Main Restaurant in Downtown Blue Ridge, GA

Exterior view of Harvest on Main Restaurant in Downtown Blue Ridge, GA

Visiting Blue Ridge, GA in the ’90s (and even as recently as 2009), there was little indication that this tiny town would soon become a tourism hotspot. Spanning just 2.6 square miles, with a population of less than 1300 people at the time, it felt like any number of other sleepy towns in the Blue … Read more Review of Harvest on Main Restaurant in Downtown Blue Ridge, GA

Wood Haven Retreat: Blue Ridge Cabin Rental 5 Minutes from Downtown

View from Master Suite Balcony at Wood Haven Retreat in Blue Ridge, GA

There’s something about exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains that always takes me back to my childhood, growing up in North Georgia. When I was 5 my grandparents bought a trailer on Lake Hartwell, where I first fell in love with nature. When I was 12, we helped build their wood house near Winder. When I … Read more Wood Haven Retreat: Blue Ridge Cabin Rental 5 Minutes from Downtown

Barnsley Gardens Resort Ruins: The Tragic Story Behind the Adairsville, GA Landmark

Barnsley Resort in North Georgia

Located in the foothills of the North Georgia mountains (45 miles southwest of Ellijay), the Barnsley Gardens Resort ruins offer a rare glimpse of the state’s pre-Civil War history. Most of Georgia’s early 19th century landmarks were destroyed during Maj. Gen. William Sherman’s march to the sea. The Union Army’s “scorched earth” approach was designed … Read more Barnsley Gardens Resort Ruins: The Tragic Story Behind the Adairsville, GA Landmark

The Cataloochee Valley Elk in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Bull Elk in Great Smoky Mtns National Park by Betty Shelton

Created in 1934 and encompassing 522,419 acres, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in America, attracting more than 10 million travelers each year. Straddling eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a haven for nature lovers. The most popular Great … Read more The Cataloochee Valley Elk in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Best Downtown Asheville Restaurants

Couple outside Posana Cafe, one of the best Downtown Asheville Restaurants

The first time we visited the city back in 2012, we were blown away by the Asheville food scene. For a 45-square-mile mountain town with a population of around 84,000, the sheer number of critically acclaimed downtown Asheville restaurants was staggering even then. As it turns out, the city is also the greenest dining destination … Read more The Best Downtown Asheville Restaurants