Family Hiking at Otter Falls
Plan your visit with these convenient links to area visitor centers, local eats, attractions, lodging and much more!
All Aboard the Virginia Scenic Railway!
Step aboard Virginia’s newest rail tourism excursion experience, the Virginia Scenic Railway. If you love trains, you know it’s all about the journey. Starting this summer, vintage diesel-powered engines will pull a beautifully restored 1940’s-era Budd passenger car through the rolling hills, verdant fields, and deep forests of the Shenandoah Valley.
Two different three-hour round-trip routes will initially be offered. Both routes depart from historic Staunton Virginia, and both trains offer catered meals. The Blue Ridge Flyer goes east towards the town of Crozet. You’ll pass by Staunton and Waynesboro before ascending roughly 1,000 ft up to Afton Mountain where you’ll experience the thrill of roaring through the 4,237 ft Blue Ridge Tunnel before turning around.
SUMMER 2022 Issue
Small Town, Big Shows in
Banner Elk this Summer
Two theater companies bring big shows to Banner Elk this summer. The one-stoplight resort town in North Carolina’s High Country is home to Ensemble Stage, a professional theater company, and Lees-McRae Summer Theatre, which blends professional, educational and community theater.
The Heart of the Blue Ridge Parkway
For more than 85 years, the Parkway has been a part of the daily lives of residents of Alleghany County and Sparta, NC. Pay us a visit and enjoy the drive. Sparta may be accessed at mileposts 229 and 234.
Here are five new reasons to visit Grandfather Mountain in 2022
1. New this summer: Wilson Center for Nature Discovery
2. A Beary Warm Welcome for Fanny May
3. New for the Smallest Naturalists
4. Paint with a Bear
5. 70th Anniversary of the Bridge
Wineries & Waterfalls:
A Photo-Worthy Adventure Through the Appalachian High Country AVA
With the Appalachian High Country officially becoming part of the American Viticultural Association in 2016, the Boone area’s award-winning wineries have become a must-do for anyoenophile looking to experience the unique taste of grapes grown at higher elevations. Conveniently, there is an easy to moderate waterfall hike less than five minutes from each of our three vineyards!
Amicalola Falls State Park and Lodge -
Georgia’s Gateway to Maine
Photos and Editorial by Bonnie East
You might think the southern tip of anything, including the Blue Ridge Mountains, is where the grandeur starts to fade out, before it ends. You’d be mistaken. When it comes to the Blue Ridge Mountains, it ain’t over ‘til it’s over.
And it ain’t over in North Georgia. My recent tour into North Georgia began at Amicalola Falls State Park and Lodge and sideswiped into The Len Foote Hike Inn. The two partnering venues are Georgia’s gateway to Maine. Step through the rock arch and you’re on an approach to the 2190 mile-long Appalachian Trail.
John Mellencamp sang, “I can breathe in a small town.” Driving into Andrews, I rolled down the windows, let in the air and sun, and breathed. I was passing sun-kissed pastures, rolling mountains, streams, railroad tracks echoing a mission from the past, and catching sight of a valley up ahead with steeples and people, I discovered, who love their small town.
Wytheville’s Got It!
At the crossroads of Interstates 77 & 81, you can find tons of fun this summer. Check out a few of the many summer events in Wytheville, Virginia. Vintage Baseball, played by the original rules from 1864 with authentic uniforms and equipment, returns June and July. Wohlfahrt Haus Dinner Theatre’s summer productions are The Sound of Music (June 10-July 24) and For God & Country (August 12-September 18). Chautauqua Festival is back to eight days (June 18-25) – music, food, and lots of fun including hot air balloons.
A Gathering Unlike Any Other:
Mt. Mitchell Crafts Fair
One of the largest, oldest and most unique crafts fairs in the North Carolina mountains takes place Aug. 5-6 on the Town Square in Burnsville.
The 65th Mt. Mitchell Crafts Fair brings together nearly 200 artists and crafters to offer a wonderland of handmade wares in the Blue Ridge Mountains. This is a juried event in which all vendors must be reviewed and approved.
Photos and Editorial by Bonnie East
The Small Town Advantage
Coming Next issue
• The Crooked Road
• Dillsboro Crafters
• Wooly Worm Festival
• Wilkes County Fall Festival
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