As you can tell from the title on the video, this was taken on the Blue Ridge Parkway in January. This original song is from a friend who wrote and played guitar on the song. My husband has a YOU TUBE channel called Fishemon. If you like to fish, check it out to see what he’s been catching and where he’s been catching them!

We have been spending a lot of time in the Western Carolina area over the past few years. It’s a pretty simple drive up and depending on if you like mountain driving, or freeway driving, you can go either way. We always opt for the mountain route just because it is gorgeous and it’s actually is a little bit quicker. Places like Highlands and Cashiers are very popular. I watch the thermometer drop as I ride up the mountain. It’s always about 10-15 degrees cooler than it is at my house. Great for summer time to get away from the Atlanta heat!!

From Gainesville GA, we can be in Highlands, NC in 90 minutes. Most of the drive is 4 lane and quick. The last 30 minutes is up the mountain on a windy, curvy road; highway 64. There are many B & B’s and other quant hotels to stay in for a quick getaway. We love the Old Edwards Inn because it is so comfortable and within walking distance of downtown’s trendy shops and restaurants. Lots of folks like to go up for a day trip, but it’s always fun to do something different and spend the night for a special occasion!

One of our favorite restaurants in town is Paoletti’s. It’s a popular spot, so if you know you’re heading that way, make a reservation!  It always is excellent; no matter if we’ve had the Italian cuisine or filet. There are many hikes and waterfalls close by in this area of the Nantahala Forest. You should check out a few of our favorites: Bridal Veils Falls, Dry Falls, and Secret Falls are all worth exploring.

You basically are traveling up into the Blue Ridge Mountains as you are heading north on 64. If you continue on 64 through Highlands you will end up in Cashiers. (The correct pronunciation is “Cashers.”) We typically pass on through even though it looks really cute! If you keep driving you will go though the Lake Toxaway area and in 20 or so miles you will be in Brevard., NC. This is our new favorite place!!

Brevard has the small college town vibe, it’s artsy, lots of music, brew pubs, biking and hiking galore, and fishing is off the hook (Ha ha I guess it’s on the hook). It’s only 30 minutes outside of Asheville! There are trolleys that come from Asheville to Brevard! They are equipped with bike racks so people can bring their bikes to Brevard too! It drops folks off right on front of the Oskar Blues Brewery.

Danger! Beware! I’m just warning you; you might be like us and fall in love with it too. We actually fell so in love with the place, that we bought a house in town. It’s a small 3 bedroom, 1 bath, needing some repair, but within walking distance to downtown. As soon as we start the remodel, I will post some photos of what we are doing. It might even be up for rent, so keep that in mind! I’ve already had folks wanting to book it for Christmas and we haven’t even started the remodel yet!

The downtown area is so cute and has awesome restaurants and shops! One of our favorite places to eat is at Big Mike’s Pizza. It’s one of the best pizza’s we have ever eaten!! There are many varieties of restaurants to choose from; it just depends on what kind of mood you’re in and how fancy you want to go.

Brevard has great camping too! The Davidson River Campground is one of our favorite places! Well I have to say ever since Rachel Ray put it out there as one of the top 50 campgrounds in the US, everyone else really likes it now too! That’s a bummer because it is pretty crowded. The good news is that you can make reservations!  The campsites are pretty private and the bath houses clean. There are hiking and biking trails all around and the entire park is paved and flat. Make sure to bring your bikes!!

Many folks like to tube down the river and swim in the swimming hole on the last loop of the campground. Kids of all ages enjoy the place. There is another spot close by that is an all time favorite! If you feel inclined to do some sliding on your fanny down some slippery, mossy rocks, this is your place! It is called Sliding Rock. There are long lines during the summer months, so my suggestion is to get there early. The park rangers actually turn people away if it is too crowded.

All that I have mentioned so far has been in the Pisgah Forest, including the Blue Ridge Parkaway. If you take about a 20 minute drive outside of Brevard, you can find the Dupont Forest. We love it over there too! The only problem with this area is that there is no camping. It’s a day use only park. If you’ve ever seen Hunger Games, you might recognize some of the waterfalls from this park. There are great beginner bike trails in the Dupont area. Over on the Pisgah side it is for more experienced riders!

We did take our bikes and rode all around! It was very fun even though we did have to get off and push some! We are just figuring this whole biking thing out!! We took the kids one weekend and actually  walked the area too!! You can spend the day and have a picnic.

So I hope I’ve given you some ideas of places to go for a quick getaway, (If you are in the Atlanta area) when you’re looking for something to do; maybe over the summer!

I hope you check some of the places out and let me know if you liked them!

Have a great week and remember to be kind to someone!

Naturally, Lisa