Review of Aloft in the Smokies: Downtown Bryson City NC Cabins


When we started the Blue Ridge Mountains Travel Guide in 2019, we had two major goals in mind.  The first was to explore the countless Blue Ridge Mountain towns in-depth, and share all our favorite things we experienced while rediscovering the simple pleasures of small town Americana. The second was to find our future home in the … Read more

Camping in Asheville NC: The 15 Best Campgrounds to Visit

Black Mountain Campground in Pisgah National Forest NC

Asheville is beloved for its progressive vibe, anchored in a love of culture and arts, an array of lip-smacking restaurants, and surrounded by some of the most beautiful nature in the country. Camping near Asheville, North Carolina is as big of a draw as the city itself. Within an hour’s drive of downtown Asheville, it’s … Read more

The Moon Eyed People & Other Cherokee Legends

Museum of the Cherokee Indian

When we explore the Blue Ridge Mountains, we’re lucky enough to get a chance to experience the rich culture of the Cherokee Indians. The mountains offer a glimpse into their unique world, which is full of mythological stories and supernatural beings.  Many of the supernatural beings in Cherokee legends mingle with humans, or even part … Read more

10 Best Cherokee NC Restaurants for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Exterior of Sassy Sunflowers Bakery & Cafe in Cherokee NC

Choosing the best restaurants in Cherokee NC is an interesting challenge.  Most major tourist towns in the Blue Ridge Mountains– such as Asheville NC, Blue Ridge GA, and Roanoke VA– offer a wide array of upscale, chef-driven restaurants with their own signature culinary flair.  But the majority of the restaurants in Cherokee and the Qualla … Read more

Apple Picking in North Carolina: The 15 Best NC Apple Orchards

Apple Picking in North Carolina at an NC Orchard

[Updated 7/17/2022] Most people know Western North Carolina for its beautiful Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests, beloved NC state parks, charming Blue Ridge mountain towns, and scenic routes like the Blue Ridge Parkway and Forest Heritage Scenic Byway. But what may surprise some visitors is the abundance of apple orchards you can find scattered across … Read more

Autumn at Land of Oz: A Wizard of Oz Theme Park Near Banner Elk NC (2023)

The Scarecrow & Dorothy at the Land of Oz

[Updated 7/28/23] Every year in September, visitors to the NC High Country have a rare opportunity to explore the child-like dreamland of a Wizard of Oz theme park. Tucked away in the small town of Beech Mountain NC, the Land of Oz welcomes guests with costumed characters, vibrantly colored plants, delicious treats, and beautiful views of … Read more

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

Downtown Boone, NC

[Updated January 9, 2023] 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

The 15 Best Cabin Rentals in Bryson City NC

Eagles Nest - Bryson City cabin rental

Bryson City is a charming little mountain town that’s packed full of outdoor adventure.  To the north, you’ll find Great Smoky Mountains National Park, with ever-popular attractions such as Mingus Mill, Deep Creek waterfalls, the Road to Nowhere, Newfound Gap, and Clingman’s Dome.  To the west is Fontana Lake, to the east is Cherokee NC, and the … Read more

The 10 Best North Carolina Distilleries to Visit

NC Distilleries - South Mountain-Donald Smith

An important aspect of North Carolina’s state history, NC moonshine is filled with legends, folklore, and lots of liquor. In short, NC distilleries are something of a cultural institution. North Carolina auto racing heroes like Junior Johnson are reputed to have developed their formidable driving skills while running bootleg liquor. This morphed into stock car … Read more