The 10 Best Romantic Getaways in Tennessee

Romantic Getaways in Tennessee

From the sultry Smoky Mountains all the way west to Memphis, there are some fantastic romantic getaways in Tennessee full of enchanted experiences (for those who manage to leave the room). Weekend getaways for couples in Tennessee are loaded with entertainment options, while the abundance of parks, lakes, scenic routes, and waterfalls make the state perfect … Read more

The 10 Best Scenic Train Rides in Tennessee

The 10 Best Scenic Train Rides in Tennessee

The Southern Appalachian Mountains are renowned for their beauty, and in our experience there’s no better way to see them than taking scenic train rides in Tennessee. East Tennessee train rides are one of the top tourist attractions in the Smoky Mountains along the North Carolina border. But there are also great train trips that pair … Read more

The 7 Best Places for Snow Skiing Near Asheville, North Carolina

Snow Skiing near Asheville North Carolina

As a longtime Western North Carolina resident (formerly of Brevard, currently of Elkin NC), I’ve spent a lot of time in Asheville over the years.  From critically acclaimed restaurants and hip breweries to trendy boutiques and swanky museums, there’s an ever-increasing array of fun things to do in Asheville NC.  This burgeoning mountain metropolis is … Read more

15 Best Places to Celebrate Christmas in Tennessee (2023)

Christmas in Tennessee

The Blue Ridge Mountains are generally a wonderful place to spend the holidays, and celebrating Christmas in Tennessee offers myriad ways to get into the spirit. Of course, the stellar hikes and waterfalls in Great Smoky Mountains National Park get a lot of press in the summertime, as do the water recreation opportunities in Tennessee’s lakes. … Read more

The 15 Best Places to See Christmas Lights in North Carolina (2023-2024)

Quilted Christmas Lights NC Arboretum in Asheville

[Updated on November 16, 2023] While NC is renowned for an incredible array of popular natural attractions, come holiday time, you can also find dazzling Christmas Lights in North Carolina. Ther are a ton of things to do for Winter in North Carolina and it’s a fantastic place for enjoying festive activities. The temperatures are chilly … Read more

Exploring the Crooked Road, Virginia’s Appalachian Music Trail

Appalachian Music on SWVA Crooked Road

Appalachia music is well-known around the U.S. and highly regarded worldwide. This region’s peaks and valleys were instrumental (pun intended!) in forming the foundation of traditional American music as we know it today. The Blue Ridge Mountains and Southwest Virginia are particularly known for bluegrass and old-time music featuring stylistic fiddling and hot finger-picking on … Read more

The 7 Best Train Rides for Christmas in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Christmas Train Rides in North Carolina

Train rides for Christmas chug back into our lives with a payload of nostalgia on board. Railroads come from a historic era before automobiles and airplanes had been invented. Yet they come rumbling in from afar with an odd sense of odd familiarity, even for those who’ve never been on a train ride before. In our … Read more

The 10 Best Smoky Mountains Hotels to Visit in NC & TN

Best Smoky Mountains Hotels

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg TN, and Pigeon Forge TN are huge vacation destinations complete with theme parks, ski resorts, and other fun attractions. Smoky Mountains Hotels provide a comfortable place to recharge for the next day’s adventures. The southern boundary of GSMNP in North Carolina is the town of Cherokee in the Qualla … Read more

The 15 Best Waterfalls in Tennessee to Visit

Tennessee waterfalls - Laural Run Falls

The state of Tennessee is widely known for its music scenes, including the Delta blues of the Memphis area and the Appalachian music (including bluegrass, country, and folk) created by the Scots-Irish people of central and eastern TN. But anyone who’s explored the state in any depth knows it also boasts stunning natural beauty, including the Blue Ridge … Read more

The Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Bristol TN/VA

Birthplace of Country Music Museum - Outside

While Nashville may be considered the home of country music today, many experts consider Bristol TN/VA to be the birthplace of the genre. After all, it was in Bristol where the earliest recordings of country music took place. To my pleasant surprise, rather than being a museum focused on modern music, The Birthplace of Country … Read more