The 10 Best Things to Do in Bedford VA (BRP MP 85.6–90.9)

Bedford Love Sign in Downtown Bedford VA

Founded in 1782 (when it was originally known as Liberty), Bedford VA is one of our favorite small towns in the Shenandoah Valley.  Located about 28 miles east of Roanoke VA, Bedford is a popular place to stop during Blue Ridge Parkway road trips. The 469-mile scenic route passes right by two of the most … Read more

Visiting the Southern Highland Craft Guild Folk Art Center (Asheville NC)

Visiting the Southern Highland Craft Guild Folk Art Center in Asheville NC

The Southern Highland Craft Guild has been an advocate for high-quality crafts being made and sold in the southern Appalachian Mountains since the 1930s. Their mission is to ensure that generation after generation of locals and visitors alike continue to value both the traditional and modern arts and crafts of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Originally designed … Read more

How to Plan an Amazing Blue Ridge Parkway Road Trip


The Blue Ridge Parkway stretches 469 miles in Virginia and North Carolina, connecting Shenandoah National Park to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Though seasoned travelers might attempt to clock such mileage in a single day, that simply isn’t realistic (or desirable) for the world-renowned scenic route. In all, the Blue Ridge Parkway requires about 15 … Read more

Hiking Rough Ridge on the Blue Ridge Parkway in NC

Hiking Rough Ridge on the Blue Ridge Parkway at Grandfather Mountain

There are countless hiking trails on the Blue Ridge Parkway, and each offers a little something special. But the relatively short Rough Ridge hike ranks high among our personal favorites.   Starting at the Rough Ridge Overlook (Milepost 302.8), this 1.5-mile Blue Ridge Parkway hike will have you crossing a bridge over a creek, standing atop … Read more

Fall in North Carolina: 25 Great Places to See Fall Colors in NC

Fall in North Carolina: Fall Colors on the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad in Bryson City NC

[Updated August 6, 2023] Fall in North Carolina 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. Leaves changing in North Carolina … Read more

The 20 Best Overlooks on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Fall

Blue Ridge Parkway in the Fall, Chestnut Cove Overlook

The Blue Ridge Mountains are famed for their stirring scenic vistas, and the Blue Ridge Parkway in Fall is arguably the crème de la crème.  My wife Emma and I both have October birthdays, and autumn is our favorite time of year for many reasons. As avid gardeners, it means the fruits of our labors … Read more

Exploring Mabry Mill on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia

Mabry Mill on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia

Stretching 469 miles from Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina to Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, the Blue Ridge Parkway is the #1 most visited unit of the US National Parks.    The world-famous scenic route attracts nearly 16 million visitors each year. And Mabry Mill in Virginia is one of the most popular (and most … Read more

The 15 Best Things to Do in Elkin NC & the Yadkin Valley

Main Street in Downtown Elkin NC

[Updated 6/26/2023] 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 Griffith … Read more

The 15 Best Things to Do in Roanoke VA

Appalachian Trail hiker on McAfee Knob at Sunrise

[Updated June 16, 2023] With a population of around 100,000 people, Roanoke is both the largest city along the Blue Ridge Parkway and the largest in Virginia’s Blue Ridge region. Roanoke has a lot of the small Blue Ridge mountain town charm that’s customary to the region, with a historic town center, wilderness just minutes … Read more

The 20 Best Things to Do in Waynesville NC & Haywood County

Best Things to Do in Waynesville NC Header

[Updated June 7, 2023] When my wife and I explore the Blue Ridge Mountains, it’s typically with two main goals in mind.  The first objective is to create in-depth guides on the best things to see and do there. The second is to use that information to decide whether or not we want to move … Read more