Things to Do in Black Rock Mountain State Park Near Clayton GA

Clayton GA seen from Black Rock Mountain State Park Visitor Center

[Updated on 7/16/21] From Amicalola Falls and Red Top Mountain to Unicoi and Vogel, we’ve explored quite a few of the state parks in Georgia in the 12 years we’ve been traveling together. But our trip to Black Rock Mountain State Park last September firmly established the 1743-acre park near Clayton GA as our favorite. … Read more

Visiting Historic Engadine Inn and Cabins Near Asheville NC

Sunrise at Engadine Inn & Cabins Near Asheville NC

[Updated July 27, 2021] With only one or two Blue Ridge Parkway hotels in North Carolina, it’s not easy to find accommodations along the world-famous route during the peak season in Autumn. We wanted to bring our furry friends (Boo-Boo and Huckleberry) along for the ride when we visited in October, so instead we searched … Read more

Exploring The Chattahoochee Nature Center on the Chattahoochee River

Chattahoochee Nature Center's Kingfisher Pond Reflection

Growing up in the heart of Atlanta in the 1970s, nature was something we really only saw on school field trips. Whether it was the Atlanta Zoo, the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, or Stone Mountain Park, these magical places offered a taste of peace and serenity we rarely experienced in the city. The first time our … Read more

The 13 Best Restaurants in Blue Ridge GA

Exterior of Black Sheep Restaurant in Blue Ridge, Georgia

[Updated October 26, 2021] During our 2009 visit to Blue Ridge, Georgia, restaurants were not really among the small town’s major selling points. Sure, there were a few decent places to eat in Blue Ridge back then, but none were especially worthy of note. The only one I remember fondly– a New Orleans eatery on … Read more

How to Get to Dukes Creek Falls Near Helen GA

Small Cascades at Dukes Creek Falls near Helen GA

[Updated September 21, 2021]  Anytime someone in our Blue Ridge Mountains Facebook groups asks about the best easy to moderate hiking trails in North Georgia, we recommend the waterfalls near Helen GA.   Anna Ruby Falls (.8 miles) and Helton Creek Falls (.3 miles) are both easy hikes that offer extraordinary payoff for minimal effort.   … Read more

Exploring Emerald Village: North Carolina Gem Mines in Little Switzerland

Emerald Village Discovery Mill in Little Switzerland NC

Emerald Village is located just 31 miles from Asheville and three miles off the Blue Ridge Parkway. The family-friendly attraction proved to be one of our favorite things to do in Little Switzerland NC, one of our favorite little tourist towns in the state. Featured on shows such as National Geographic Channel’s The Savage Line … Read more

The 20 Best Places to Live in the Georgia Mountains

Best Places to Live in the Georgia Mountains

As we’re exploring the North Georgia mountains for our Blue Ridge Mountains Travel Guide, we’re also empty nesters searching for places to live in the Georgia Mountains. When our outdoor adventures take us to the natural areas near some of the best small towns in Georgia, we’re also taking time to explore those towns for … Read more

Exploring the Schoolbus Graveyard, North GA’s Painted School Bus Attraction

Schoolbus Graveyard in the North Georgia Mountains

Located about an hour north of Atlanta in Habersham County, the Schoolbus Graveyard is arguably among the most unusual and intriguing roadside attractions in North Georgia. Surrounding Alonzo Wade Used Cars & Auto Parts– a 5-acre junkyard that has been in Walter Wade’s family for 60+ years– the colorful landmark embodies two classic clichés. One … Read more

Review of The Sweet Shoppe Bakery in Blue Ridge GA

Interior of Sweet Shoppe Bakery in Blue Ridge GA

[Updated November 6, 2021] Growing up in a lower middle class family in Atlanta, I vividly recall the visceral excitement I felt every time I’d get some spending money from mowing my neighbor’s lawn. My buddies and I would hop on our 10-speed bikes and ride down to the neighborhood Milk Jug convenience store. There … Read more

The Black Walnut Inn, a Historic Bed and Breakfast in Asheville NC

Black Walnut B&B Inn in Asheville NC

[Updated July 29, 2021] “You don’t choose Asheville… Asheville chooses you.” This enigmatic insight from Peter White, co-owner of the Black Walnut Bed and Breakfast Inn, was a perfect summation of our fascination with what was then still a burgeoning little Blue Ridge mountain town. By our second visit to Asheville in 2014, you could really … Read more