Howard Finster’s Paradise Garden: How to Get 24-Hour Access

Exterior of Howard Finster Paradise Garden Cottages

Howard Finster’s Paradise Garden is truly like no place you’ve ever been, or are ever likely to go.  Originally known as the Plant Farm Museum when he started building it in the early ’60s, the folk art legend’s visionary attraction was a 40-year work-in-progress.  Using found objects he collected for decades, he built sculptures from … Read more

The Best Downtown Asheville Restaurants

Proper Asheville Restaurant

[Updated May 17, 2021] 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 … Read more

The 25 Best Things to Do in Asheville NC

Things to do in Asheville

[Updated May 13, 2021] 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 … Read more

Things to Do at James H Floyd State Park in Summerville GA

Fishermen at James H Sloppy Floyd State Park

We honestly didn’t know much about James H Floyd State Park (a.k.a. “Sloppy” Floyd State Park) before our first visit to Summerville GA.    But the 561-acre park’s laid-back blend of immense natural beauty and rich (some would say colorful) history won us over within minutes after we pulled through the gate.    The setting … Read more

How to Get to Hooker Falls NC (in DuPont State Forest)

Hooker Falls NC

If you’re looking for challenging North Carolina waterfalls to hike, Hooker Falls is probably not for you.  Located between Brevard and Hendersonville in DuPont State Recreational Forest, the Hooker Falls Trail is one of the shortest (.9 mile round-trip), easiest (164 feet of elevation gain), and most accessible waterfall hikes in Western NC. At just … Read more

Review of Pinecrest Bed and Breakfast in Asheville NC (Montford Area)

Exterior of Pinecrest Bed aBreakfast in Asheville NC

You don’t have to look very hard to find great bed and breakfasts in Asheville NC. In fact, the Montford Area Historic District– one of the city’s oldest and most architecturally impressive neighborhoods– is chock full of them.   The area boasts a whopping 600+ houses listed on the National Register of Historic Places, some of … Read more

The 10 Best Things to Do in Summerville GA

Downtown Summerville GA

Chances are the city of Summerville GA probably isn’t on your list of must-see Blue Ridge mountain towns.  Located 24 miles north of Rome, just 10 miles east of the Alabama border, the town has a population of around 4,200 people, which marks a 17% decline over the last 30 years.  It doesn’t have the … Read more

The 10 Best Things to Do in Hendersonville NC

Main St in Downtown Hendersonville NC

For far too long, Hendersonville NC seemed like the Jan Brady to Asheville‘s Marcia, never quite garnering all the accolades and attention it deserved.  But in recent years, Asheville’s immense popularity has proven to be a double-edged sword. Thanks to national media attention, Asheville’s population has grown by nearly 12% since the 2010 census. Many … Read more

Exploring the Dark History of the New Echota Historic Site in Calhoun GA

Vann Tavern at New Echota Historic Site in Calhoun GA

Though most Georgia residents have never heard of it, the New Echota Historic Site in Calhoun is one of the most important indigenous sites in the United States.  In 1825, the Cherokee Nation established New Echota as its capital, building the “New Town” right at the headwaters of the Oostanaula River.  In 10 years, the … Read more

Inside the Utterly Unique Unicoi State Park Barrel Cabins in Helen GA

Unicoi State Park Barrel Cabin

Georgia State Park cabins are arguably among the best deals you’ll find for cabin rentals in North Georgia. Most cost around $160 a night for a 2-bedroom cottage with a full kitchen that can sleep 6 to 8 people.   And when it comes to Unicoi State Park lodging, their cabins in Helen GA (many … Read more