The 10 Best Restaurants in Roanoke VA (Virginia’s Blue Ridge)

Rockfish Restaurant in Roanoke VA

[Updated 1/12/2022]  The city of Roanoke VA has no shortage of great restaurants to choose from. With a population of around 100,000 people– the largest of the many mountain towns along the Blue Ridge Parkway– there are eateries of every ilk to satisfy any possible craving you could have. My wife Emma and I have been … Read more

The 20 Most Beautiful Wildflowers in Virginia (& Where to See Them)

Groundhog Meadow Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway VA with Coreopsis Wildflowers in the foreground

The Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia offer a rich, biodiverse terrain with lots of mountain streams, waterfalls, high-altitude meadows, and extensive forests. It’s a perfectly fertile place for the beautiful Virginia wildflowers to flourish. Not only is this an ideal setting for catching amazing scenic vistas and spotting wildlife, but the many microclimates found within the … Read more

The 15 Best Lakes in the Virginia Mountains to Visit

Nothing quite ups the ante on a trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains like nestling in beside a beautiful mountain lake. In our eyes, Virginia lakes are some of the most remarkable in the nation. The lakes of Virginia– particularly those in the western reaches of the state- tend to be geared towards tourists, with … Read more

The 30 Best Waterfalls Near Asheville NC

Waterfalls near Asheville NC

[Updated December 28, 2021]  Asheville NC’s reputation as a forward-thinking, nature-loving town in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains precedes it. Despite being only the 12th largest city in the state, Asheville still ranks among the most popular tourist destinations in North Carolina. In addition to the famous Biltmore Estate, the mountain town has … Read more

The 15 Best Pisgah National Forest Waterfalls to Explore

Graveyard Fields Waterfall near Asheville NC

The waterfalls in Pisgah National Forest rank among the best waterfalls in Western North Carolina. Some of their cascades plummet over 100 feet, pushing thousands of gallons of water per minute into crystalline pools. Pisgah NF occupies over half a million acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains, stretching from the border with Virginia in the … Read more

The 25 Best Western NC Small Towns To Visit (and Live In!)

Black Mountain NC - Best Western North Carolina Small Towns

[Updated 12/20/2021] Personally, I’d argue that the best Western NC small towns easily rank among the best small towns in America on the whole. Western North Carolina is perhaps best known as home to historic Asheville, one of the most deservedly popular up-and-coming small cities in the United States. However, the Blue Ridge region is … Read more

The Top 15 Waterfalls Near Brevard NC (Transylvania County)

Hiking to Triple Falls in DuPont State Forest

[Updated December 6, 2021]  In a region wrought with spectacular waterfalls, no place has as many as Transylvania County, North Carolina. Encompassing 381 square miles, the area is home to some 250 waterfalls. The county seat of Transylvania is the tiny mountain town of Brevard, North Carolina, which has a population of less than 10,000 … Read more

The 15 Best Things to Do in Elkin NC (Blue Ridge Parkway MM 229)

Main Street in Downtown Elkin NC

[Updated on 1/24/22] Just east of the Blue Ridge Mountains, rocky ridges smooth out into the rolling hills and lively mountain streams known as the North Carolina Piedmont. North of I-40, Mt. Airy often steals the headlines. The charming mountain town is best known as the home of Andy Griffith and the setting for The Andy … Read more

Camping and Hiking in Natural Bridge State Park, VA

The back of Natural Bridge

Though it wasn’t designated as one of Virginia’s State Parks until 2016, Natural Bridge of VA has been listed on the National Registry of Historic Places since 1988. It has also been one of the most popular Virginia attractions ever since before the USA was even a country. The famous 215-foot-tall Natural Bridge is so ingrained in … Read more