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Plan your visit with these convenient links to area visitor centers, local eats, attractions, lodging and much more!

Linville Caverns Marion North Carolina Blue Ridge Parkway
Rug Home Asheville North Carolina Kannapolis Pineville Raleigh Decor Home
Sing Behind Your Plow

Editorial and Photos by:  Bonnie East

As you wind through the hills of Appalachia, your feet may occasionally land on the previous footsteps of John Campbell and his wife Olive. What you seek today, may be what they discovered and sought to preserve: the soulful tune of ballads far-reaching to the heavens, escaping through glassless porch windows and up from behind the plow, porch whittlers carving the mouse that sits on the distant step posing for his artist, and a tapestry for your table made by a woman who has touched every thread with the care of over four generations of mothers before her.

5 Unique Things you Can Only Do in Sevierville

Looking for something different?
Want your visit to the Smokies a real standout?

Snap a selfie with Dolly Parton’s statue on the Sevier County Courthouse lawn. This tribute to the most honored female country performer of all time by her hometown community is the only place on earth you’re guaranteed to get close to the living legend. The six-and-a-half-foot tall bronze sculpture was crafted by nationally-known local artist Jim Gray and unveiled more than 30 years ago.

Boone’s Best
Stargazing Spots

There’s something inherently inspiring about stargazing…the way the night sky opens up a vast canvas of twinkling lights, inviting us to explore the mysteries of the universe. It’s a romantic endeavor, the stuff of dreamy dates beneath the heavens, spirited conversations among friends, and awe-filled family outings.

For centuries, humans have been captivated by the stars, finding solace in their constancy and wonder in their infinite expanse. Whether you’re a hopeless romantic, an astronomy enthusiast, or a curious soul, the charming town of Boone and the surrounding High Country offer some of the best spots to indulge in this timeless celestial activity.

Download the Blue Ridge Parkway Information Guide! Your go-to for fishing, camping and more!
Blue Ridge Parkway hiking fishing guide

ONLY available



best mountain Summer fun

Dog-Friendly  Spots In Haywood, NC

From breweries to bakeries, there are so many reasons you’ll want to bring along your best furry friend on your next getaway to the Smokies. Haywood County is one of the best dog-friendly vacation spots in Western North Carolina and Alana is here to tell you why.

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Shenandoah Valley Special Section

Shenandoah Valley’s 
Enduring Star Power

The Shenandoah Valley is a 20-mile-wide basin between the Allegheny Mountains to the west and the Blue Ridge Mountains to the east. This legendary landscape is defined by charming historic communities, verdant fields and forests, and some of the most iconic fresh-water rivers in the country. Considered part of the Great Appalachian Valley, it extends southwestward from the vicinity of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia towards Roanoke, Virginia. Scholars believe the name Shenandoah actually derives from Native American name, meaning “daughter of the stars.”

Three Must-Experience Destinations in Page Valley

Celebrated as the Cabin Capital of Virginia, Page Valley is endeared for its three charming small towns, outdoor recreation, fresh-air relaxation, and four seasons of natural beauty. Here, in this protected valley, time moves a little slower — and vacations seem to last a little longer.

Insider’s Tips
For Visiting Waynesboro, VA

Ready to ‘live like a local’ when you visit Waynesboro, VA? This is the ultimate insider’s guide to some of the coolest things to do in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley.

Make Unique Summer Memories
at Grandfather Mountain

Make your summer visit to Grandfather Mountain extra special with a behind-the-scenes experience! Available at an additional cost and with advance registration (Book early as these offerings are very popular!), these opportunities create memories you’ll have for a lifetime!


With blue skies, warm waters and abundant recreational options, summer is the ideal time to plan an escape to Smith Mountain Lake, an outdoor lover’s paradise at the foot of Southwest Virginia’s scenic Blue Ridge Mountains.

Smith Mountain Lake spans more than 20,000 acres of crystal-clear waters, boasts 500 miles of scenic shoreline and offers unparalleled beauty and adventure.

Let Your Journey Start in Grayson County

Experience the music of the mountains this Summer when you discover Grayson County, Virginia. Follow the Crooked Road Heritage Music Trail through the rolling green hills and towering peaks of Southwest Virginia’s best-kept secret. Start your adventure with a float down the majestic New River using the New River Float Calculator to guide your journey from any of Grayson’s six public boat launches

Blue Ridge Highlands  Special Section

Welcome to the Blue Ridge Highlands of Southwest Virginia!  Here you’ll find breathtaking mountain views, authentic Appalachian culture, and charming small towns around every curve.  Our 11-county region is home to some of Virginia’s greatest natural wonders. Travel the Blue Ridge for the perfect mountain getaway in Virginia.

Famous landmarks Blue Ridge Parkway and Mount Rogers National Recreation Area. Music lovers will know that the Blue Ridge Highlands are also home to the Birthplace of Country Music, as well as The Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail. 


Bees, butterflies     and Lavender.

 Hit the beach! You don’t have to head to the coast for a beach trip. 

Meet a hellbender.  Stop by the Discovery Center to meet the resident hellbender. 

Tackle Molly’s Knob. The park offers plenty of hiking trails, ranging from leisurely strolls around the lake, to more challenging hikes like Molly’s Knob.

Live like a local.  The Park is just minutes from the adorable small town of Marion, Virginia, with its art galleries, shops and eateries.  

Hear the Legend of Molly Harley and her daughter, and how Hungry Mother State Park got its unusual name.  

Top Things to Do at Hungry Mother State Park

As you explore the back roads in Southwest Virginia you may be surprised what you find at the end of a 3.5 mile gravel road. Just 10 miles south of Wytheville is an herb and lavender farm known locally as Beagle Ridge. This 210 acre gem at the end of the gravel road, is home to a variety of attractions which have been visited by travelers from all over the world.




More exciting things to do in the mountains!

Covered bridge days Festival
Woolly Worm Festival
Family friendly fall festivals in Surry County
Mountain Glory Festival
Pumpkin Chunkin Festival
Smoky Mountain Winterfest

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