Things to Do at Moses H. Cone Memorial Park Near Blowing Rock NC

Moses H. Cone Memorial Park

The short stretch of the Blue Ridge Parkway that runs from just east of Boone NC to just west of Blowing Rock is particularly packed with special sites and things to do. Over this 36-mile span, you’ll see the monolithic landmark of Grandfather Mountain, stunningly colorful mountain lakes, and jaw-dropping scenic vistas from the lofty NC High … Read more

The Cradle of Forestry in Pisgah National Forest (Near Brevard NC)

Entrance to Cradle of Forestry in America

The Cradle of Forestry in America was originally known as the Biltmore Forest School. It was founded in 1898 by Carl A. Schenck, a German Ph.D brought in by George W. Vanderbilt to manage his 100,000+ acres of forests around the Biltmore Estate. The goal of the school was to teach responsible forest management to … Read more

North Carolina Wildflowers Guide (& Where to See Them in Western NC)

North Carolina Wildflowers

Western North Carolina is truly stacked with natural beauty. From the misty hills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the towering trees of Pisgah National Forest to the countless waterfalls scattered throughout the area, it’s easy to find yourself awestruck by the scenery that greets you nearly every which way you turn.  Though fall colors … Read more

Things to Do in Elk Knob State Park Near Boone NC

Elk Knob

There is no shortage of stunning state parks in the North Carolina mountains. We’ve been fortunate to visit a good number of them, staring up at wondrous waterfalls and conquering skyscraping climbs to mountain summits with panoramic views. Nevertheless, our trip to the oft-overlooked 4,400-acre Elk Knob State Park last week proved to be another unique … Read more

The 10 Best Boone NC Hiking Trails to Explore

Best Boone NC Hiking Trails, Image via Canva

The Blue Ridge Mountain town of Boone NC is best-known for its Christmas tree farms and outdoor recreation opportunities, offering everything from mountain biking and rock climbing to whitewater rafting and snow skiing. The county seat of Watauga County has a population of around 20,000, which is pretty big for the Western North Carolina High Country. … Read more

Top 15 NC State Parks in the North Carolina Mountains

Chimney Rock, NC

[Updated April 5, 2021] When we first moved to NC in 2017, I was beside myself envisioning the many cascading waterfalls and breathtaking vistas to be seen in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Needless to say, the region’s rugged landscapes and natural wonders did not disappoint. My wife Emma and I wasted no time … Read more

The 15 Best Blue Ridge Parkway Waterfalls in North Carolina

The Best Blue Ridge Parkway Waterfalls: Soco Falls in Cherokee NC

North Carolina waterfalls are both plentiful and stunning as they cascade down the state’s ruggedly majestic peaks, including the Blue Ridge Mountains, Great Balsams, Black, and Craggies. In fact, the waterfalls of North Carolina are flowing all over the western side of the state! Of course, if ever there were a perfect scenic road for … Read more

15 Highlights of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail in Western North Carolina

Pilot Mountain NC

The Mountains-to-Sea Trail (a.k.a. the MST) stretches from North Carolina’s western border with Tennessee all the way east to the Atlantic Ocean. This epic NC hiking trail passes through 37 different counties, three national forests, and 10 North Carolina State Parks. Stretching from Clingmans Dome in Great Smoky Mountains National Park to Jockey’s Ridge in … Read more

The Hickory Ridge Living History Museum and “Horn in the West” in Boone NC

Hickory Ridge Living Museum/Horn in the West

The Southern Appalachian Historical Association was formed to preserve the history and cultural heritage of Watauga County and the surrounding areas in the North Carolina mountains. It does this in a variety of ways– through theatrical performances, educational programs, and an excellent lliving history museum. Located in Boone, the seat of Watauga County, the Hickory … Read more

The Best Things to Do in DuPont State Forest, NC

Hiking to Triple Falls in DuPont State Forest

The DuPont State Recreation Forest, more commonly known as DuPont State Forest or just DuPont Forest, offers 12,000+ acres of blow-your-mind beautiful wilderness in the North Carolina mountains. The natural scenery here is so remarkable that several movies— including The Hunger Games and The Last of the Mohicans—have used the forest as a film location. Tucked away … Read more