The 7 Best Hikes on the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina

Clingmans Dome on the Appalachian Trail

Of the 2,000-plus miles of AT stretching up the East Coast, the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina has just under 100 miles of the world-famous trail coursing through it. Another 217 miles are shared along the Tennessee border. Nevertheless, some of the most beloved sections are part of the Appalachian Trail in NC, including Clingmans … Read more

The 10 Best Virginia State Parks in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Wild Horse at Grayson Highlands State Park in VA

My wife and I live in the northernmost part of Western North Carolina, less than 20 miles from the Virginia border. It’s a great place to be, providing easy access to the Blue Ridge Parkway and many of the best NC state parks and forests. Yet we are equally close to the best outdoor attractions … Read more

Exploring the Virginia Museum of Transportation in Roanoke VA

If I’m being completely honest, visiting the Virginia Museum of Transportation in Roanoke VA, was not even on our itinerary. We literally hadn’t even considered going there during our 3-day trip. But, being fast hikers and busy bodies, my wife Emma and I had already managed to hike up and down McAfee Knob before noon. … Read more

Fall in North Carolina: 20 Great Places to See Fall Colors in Western NC

Autumn Leaves at the Linn Cove Viaduct on the Blue Ridge Parkway

[Updated September 18, 2021] Fall in the North Carolina mountains is particularly special because the autumn leaves are around for an extended amount of time. The vibrant fall colors almost seem to develop in shifts, gradually working their way down the sides of the Blue Ridge Mountains as seasonal temperatures begin to drop. Changes at … Read more

The 8 Best Breweries in Roanoke VA, the Heart of Virginia’s Blue Ridge

Best Roanoke Breweries - A Few Old Goats

The fact that a Blue Ridge mountain town the size of Roanoke VA (population 99,411) has enough breweries to create an “8 Best Breweries” list tells you a lot about the city’s personality. Roanoke has a vibrant downtown area with lots of great restaurants, museums, and market stalls, but beer is serious business here. There are … Read more

The 20 Best Blue Ridge Parkway Hikes for NC Day Trips

Beacon Heights Overlook

The Blue Ridge Parkway road trip is truly an American classic. It’s possible to traverse the entire 469-mile route on rubber alone, stopping at some of the 200+ overlooks for those famously breathtaking mountain views, without ever breaking a sweat. The list of the area’s natural attractions is so extensive, your Blue Ridge Parkway itinerary … Read more

Tips for Tackling the McAfee Knob Hike Near Roanoke, Virginia

Appalachian Trail hiker on McAfee Knob at Sunrise

Located in Virginia’s Blue Ridge region, Roanoke VA boasts a winning blend of the attractions and activities you’d expect from a small city, surrounded by the immense natural beauty of the best mountain towns. The McAfee Knob trail is by far the most popular place for hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Roanoke. It … Read more

Visiting Mill Mountain Park & the Roanoke Star in Roanoke VA

Mill Mountain & The Roanoke Star - The Mill Mountain Star at Star City

Exploring Mill Mountain Park is one of the most popular things to do in Roanoke, beloved by both visitors to and residents of Virginia’s Blue Ridge region. The 568-acre park is located in the city of Roanoke, which is just off the Blue Ridge Parkway in Southern Virginia. It’s accessible by both road and trail, via … Read more

The Best Things to Do at Carvins Cove Natural Reserve in Roanoke VA

Carvins Cove Mountain Lake Roanoke VA

Carvins Cove Natural Reserve is the fifth largest city park in the entire United States, and the second-largest run by a municipality. It encompasses more than 12,000 acres, and the 630-acre reservoir within it supplies the city of Roanoke and most of the Roanoke Valley with drinking water. In addition, Carvins Cove Natural Reserve is Virginia’s … Read more

20 Best Things to Do in Boone NC (Blue Ridge Parkway MM 291.8)

Things to do in Boone NC

[Updated August 18, 2021] Located just a couple of hours north of downtown Asheville, the town of Boone NC is the county seat for Watauga County. This hub of North Carolina’s High Country is a slice of the Blue Ridge Mountains that’s choc-a-block with outdoor activities and other attractions. Boone was named for American pioneer/explorer … Read more