They call this part of North Carolina, the “High Country”. There is just something magical about fall creeping up and a few of those tree leaves starting to change. We had warm days and cool, crisp nights. Sleeping with the windows open and listening to all those night creatures, makes for a fabulous night’s sleep!!
Nestled deep in the mountains where we stayed, is the college town of Boone. Hey – it’s Appalachian territory here! Little did we know that a few days after we arrived, was the 1st football game of the season at Appalachian State University…..
The town was bustling with all kinds of peeps in black and yellow – the school colors. Students, Moms, Dads, Grandmas, Grandpas – all here to cheer on their local team. We toured the town well in advance of game day. Packed full of neat places to poke in and out of…
Grandfather Mountain is like no other place we’ve been. We hiked to the top and felt like we were on top of the world!! The views from every angle were spectacular! If you’ve never seen the Blue Ridge Mountains in person, they are like no other mountain range anywhere. The Mountain famous for its “swinging bridge” is a mile up. Donna got up enough guts to walk across (she didn’t look down). This was quite the accomplishment for her since she is scared to death of open air heights. Then she had to walk back across – oi vey!
Done!!! LOL!!! We hiked back down and off we went to the Nature Center and wildlife habitats that are part of Grandfather Mountain. Pretty neat place!!! The weather couldn’t have been better for us – Yayyy!!
Blowing Rock is another neat town – very quaint with shops and restaurants. We got there early because it was Labor Day weekend. We managed to get in and out of all the shops before it got too crowded. But…..trying to find lunch was a bit of a challenge. We did – but good thing we weren’t starving as the wait times were nuts!!
From the town, we went to the actual “Blowing Rock”. No doubt it’s a tourist place. We were a bit disappointed as we were expecting this HUGE rock but in reality, it was not to be. Oh well – the views once again of the Blue Ridge Mountains were breathtaking….
Crab Orchard Falls is a very popular hike in the area. We headed off early in the morning to accomplish the hike before it got too hot. What a simply beautiful place tucked in the woods. We had been told that a “must do” was to stop at the famous Mast General Store which was near Crab Orchard Falls. It’s in a little township called Valle Crucis. What a neat place! Yep – we managed to find a few things including handmade ice cream and sherbet.
We sat outside resting our bones from our hike and shopping spree and enjoyed every yummy bite – LOL!!
Remember Andy Griffith? His hometown is Mt. Airy, NC. Oh – another day trip – let’s go!! So off we went to everything Mayberry. What a neat “throwback” day it was. We went into many of the shops, and then headed to the museum. What fun it was!! We understand from the locals that every year there is a festival called Mayberry Days, celebrating the Andy Griffith Show. Unfortunately, our dates in the area weren’t going to coincide with the festival as we didn’t know about it in advance.
Floyd’s Barber shop was still there and Mike decided he needed a haircut. While there, several locals came in and turns out they were former actors and written books that were just being published.
Our trip to the area was planned around and attending the “Land of Oz Autumn Festival” at the top of Beech Mountain. We bought the tickets back in June as the Festival is only 3 weeks in September and sells out quickly. We weren’t sure what to expect and realized that it was something very special, based on listening to other people talk about it. There were people from all over the US that had come to “play Oz” for the day! OMG – it was SO much fun.
All of the characters looked and sounded just like they did in the movie. The Yellow Brick Road meandered through the woods. Along the way, the characters reenacted parts of the original movie. Did we feel like kids? Yep…..and it was a fabulous day!!!
Can we just tell you that THE most BEAUTIFUL road/drive (we think) in the US is the Blue Ridge Parkway. It runs through Virginia and North Carolina at 469 miles long. We’ve been on it several times in several different areas of Virginia and NC. If you ever get the chance, DO IT – put it on your bucket list – you will not be disappointed……………………