What is Bluegrass? The History & Evolution of Appalachian Music

What is Bluegrass

[Updated on September 18, 2023] The Appalachian Mountains encompass a massive portion of the United States. They span 420 counties in 13 states, with foothills as far south as Alabama and all the up into New York State. Before the arrival of Europeans, the region was home to numerous indigenous tribes, including the Cherokee, Iroquois, Powhatan, … Read more

20 Incredible Places To See the Blue Ridge Mountains in Fall

Blue Ridge Mountains Fall NC Grandfather Mountain

As the sweltering days of Summer say their goodbyes, the nights and mornings get a little cooler, and the promise of changing leaves in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Fall is tantalizingly close.    Living in the Blue Ridge Mountains (as we do) offers year-round treats, from Spring blossoms and Summer wildflowers to Winter wonderlands.   … Read more

The 7 Best Restaurants in Bristol TN/VA to Visit

restaurants in Bristol Tennessee

Having worked in restaurants for 9 years through college and grad school (including everything from a casual café to fine dining), I’m always curious what eateries will be offering where I travel. In recent years I’ve become a homesteader in North Carolina, which puts me in touch with food in a different way and makes me appreciate … Read more

The 10 Best Fairs in TN to Visit

fair in Tennessee

Late Summer and early Autumn are among the most popular times to be outdoors in Tennessee, particularly in the mountains, where the temperatures turn downright pleasant and the leaves start to change. It’s also the best time to find a fair in Tennessee, and Tennessee fairs are huge fun! They’re typically full of funky food, … Read more

The 10 Best Haunted Houses in Tennessee to Visit

Best Haunted Houses in Tennessee

Autumn is arguably our favorite season, bringing with it promises of cooler temperatures, gorgeous Fall colors, pumpkin patches, and apple picking.   As someone who loves a bit of frightful fun, I also look forward to the start of the spooky season, when we can visit the best haunted houses in Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia. … Read more

30 Fun Facts About Appalachian Scots-Irish History & Culture

Scottish Pipe Band at Appalachian Scots-Irish Festival in Blairsville GA

“O Bessie Bell and Mary Gray, they were two bonnie lasses…” Written by a long-forgotten author in the 1700s, this poem memorializes a haunting tale from Scotland about two young cousins who succumbed to the black plague. There are countless other poems, songs, and stories that were brought to America by the Scots-Irish people.   … Read more

The 10 Best Apple Orchards in Tennessee for Apple Picking & More

apple orchards in TN

With its beautiful Appalachian and Blue Ridge Mountains and seemingly endless rolling foothills, it makes perfect sense that local farmers have planted numerous apple orchards in Tennessee.    Thankfully, a number of these orchards in TN have opened their gates and invited visitors in to enjoy the splendor of apple picking and other fun Autumn … Read more

The 20 Best Places to See Fall Foliage in the Smoky Mountains

Fall color Smoky Mountains

Autumn annually amazes western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee visitors with fall foliage in the Smoky Mountains. In our experience, the best scenic views in the Smoky Mountains can rival any place in the world. And autumn is arguably the best time to visit the Smoky Mountains. Forests on these peaks are thick with deciduous hardwood trees … Read more

The Best Lake Day Gear & Accessories for Summer

Lake Day

My lady and I are HUGE lake day lovers, and have been for years.  Since travel is work for us, a day at the lake feels like a vacation, with time for swimming, enjoying a lake float, grilling food, watching birds and butterflies, and just hanging out with friends and family.  We’ve been going to Lake … Read more