The 10 Hiking Essentials Packing List for the Blue Ridge Mountains

Hiking Essentials Packing List for Blue Ridge Mountain Trails

One of the more common questions people ask before exploring the great outdoors centers around what to bring on a hike. Whether you’re simply packing for a day hike or assembling a list of backpacking gear needed for a multi-day trek, it’s important to know about the 10 Hiking Essentials.  As defined by the U.S. National … Read more

Exploring Etowah Indian Mounds Historic Site & Trails in Cartersville GA

Mound A at Etowah Indian Mounds Historic Site

Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Cartersville GA, the Etowah Indian Mounds State Historic Site is considered the most intact Mississippian culture site in the Southeastern US.  The prehistoric archaeological site contains one of the largest Indian mounds in North America. So it’s designated as a National Historic Landmark– one of just … Read more

The 10 Best Things to Do in Weaverville NC

Downtown Weaverville NC Town Hall

We started this website in large part because we wanted to explore the small towns of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains in the search for our future home. We’ve since visited dozens of towns all across North Georgia, Western North Carolina, and Virginia, and found some potentially great places to live in each state.  But … Read more

How to Get to Horse Trough Falls in Helen GA (Upper Chattahoochee River Campground)

Horsetrough Falls in the Mark Trail Wilderness Near Helen GA

[Updated September 12, 2021] It’s not difficult to understand why Horse Trough Falls is one of the least visited waterfalls in Helen GA once you decide to explore the area for yourself.  The Horse Trough Falls trailhead is located at the back of the Upper Chattahoochee River Campground, which is tucked about 5 miles off … Read more

Why the 7 Principles of Leave No Trace Matter Now More Than Ever

It’s an undeniable fact that getting outside and exploring nature is good for your mind, body, and soul. But is it good for the natural world? That depends. Have you ever stacked rocks in creeks or waterfalls? Do you intentionally veer off established hiking trails and into the wilderness? Do you pick wildflowers when you visit … Read more

The 15 Best Things to Do in Hendersonville NC

Main St in Downtown Hendersonville NC

[Updated September 3, 2021] 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 … Read more

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

Steak at Bernie's Restaurant in Helen GA

Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia, about an hour north of the I-285 perimeter, Helen GA is known for its Alpine architecture, quirky character, impressive array of hiking trails, and annual Oktoberfest festival. But until recently this unabashedly unusual tourist town has not been known for its culinary creativity. Especially when compared with … Read more

The 20 Best Things to Do in Blue Ridge, GA

[Updated October 20, 2021] My earliest memories of the Blue Ridge Mountains are of backpacking trips with our church youth group, which my parents led. I was no more than 6 years old the first time we made our way north to Blue Ridge, Georgia. We’d stock up on supplies in town before heading to … Read more

The 10 Best Things to Do in Banner Elk NC

Banner Elk, NC

Located in the North Carolina High Country, less than 20 miles from Boone and Blowing Rock, Banner Elk is one of the most beautiful Blue Ridge Mountain towns we’ve ever visited. Once used by the Cherokee people for hunting and fishing, the area surrounding the Elk River was settled by Martin L. Banner from Wales … Read more

The 20 Best Things to Do in Clayton, GA (the Gem of Northeast Georgia)

Downtown Clayton GA Shopping

[Updated August 9, 2021]   Cities like Blue Ridge, Dahlonega, Ellijay, and Helen have all earned accolades among the most beautiful Blue Ridge Mountain towns in GA. But after our visits to the city of Clayton, Georgia, we believe this gem of Northeast Georgia also deserves a place near the top of that list. The extensive … Read more