10 Reasons to Ride the Bryson City Polar Express Train for Christmas

Christmas in Bryson City Polar Express Train Ticket

In 2022, my wife Mary decided to make her 80-year-old dad’s longtime dream of spending Christmas in Asheville NC come true. She planned a terrific trip that included two “bucket list” items– the Biltmore Estate Christmas Candlelight Tour and the Polar Express Christmas Train Ride on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad in Bryson City.   … Read more

The 10 Best Things To Do in Robbinsville NC & Graham County

Snowbird Community Mural in Robbinsville NC

Located near the southern shores of Lake Santeetlah, the small town of Robbinsville NC is utterly unlike most of the 50+ Blue Ridge Mountain towns we’ve visited over the last 3 years.  The population of Robbinsville, North Carolina is less than 600 people, so even Downtown Robbinsville feels fairly quiet and sleepy. Much like Hot … Read more

Fall Fun at the Woolly Worm Festival in Banner Elk NC

Wooly Worm Festival in Banner Elk NC

Most of us are familiar with Groundhog Day, wherein a large rodent (a.k.a. Woodchuck) checks to see his shadow on February 2 and helps to predict when Winter will end.  But have you ever heard about how one quaint North Carolina mountain town uses a fuzzy caterpillar known as the Woolly Worm to make similar predictions?  Held … Read more

Fall Fun at the Ellijay Apple Festival (aka Georgia Apple Festival)

Kids Play Area at the Georgia Apple Festival in Ellijay GA

We’ve been empty nesters for a few years now. But family-friendly fairs and festivals are still one of our favorite ways to celebrate the arrival of Autumn.  Our home state of Georgia can get miserably hot and humid during the dog days of summer. But Fall brings cooler temperatures, lots of fun outdoor activities, and … Read more

The 12 Best Hendersonville Apple Orchards for Apple Picking & More

The Best Hendersonville Apple Orchards for Apple Picking, Hayrides and more

[Updated August 15, 2023] Did you know that North Carolina is the 7th largest apple producing state in the USA? Or that Hendersonville Apple Orchards are the most prolific apple producing orchards in the state of North Carolina?     There are a whopping 19 Hendersonville apple orchards, which is pretty amazing for a Blue … Read more

The Best Lake Day Gear & Accessories for Summer

Lake Day

My lady and I are HUGE lake day lovers, and have been for years.  Since travel is work for us, a day at the lake feels like a vacation, with time for swimming, enjoying a lake float, grilling food, watching birds and butterflies, and just hanging out with friends and family.  We’ve been going to Lake … Read more

The 7 Best Restaurants in Franklin NC & Macon County

Best Restaurants in Franklin NC- Gracious Plates on Main Dining Room

After managing various restaurants in Atlanta for 7 years and reviewing restaurants professionally for 28 years, I’d like to think I know a few things about the culinary craft.  You can’t go into small mountain towns expecting the same diverse array of options you’ll find in larger cities like Asheville, Charlotte, and Roanoke.  But in our … Read more