North Carolina Mountain Getaway, Part One

Our weekend trip to North Carolina was a busy one, but we had a grand time and exceeded our expectations. Beyond getting to experience fall in all its glory, our visit to western North Carolina helped connect me to some of Brett’s family roots and gave me the chance to visit some of the places he has talked about since I’ve known him.

Our cozy Airbnb cabin in Banner Elk – we enjoyed having a fireplace!
The view from the cabin on a chilly Saturday morning. We started the day afraid we might have come too late to see much fall foliage.
Grandfather Mountain was our first stop on Saturday. Most of the foliage was off the trees because of the elevation . . .
. . . but when we looked closely, there it was.
The mile high swinging bridge at the top is a must do at Grandfather Mountain, although I could have done without the scary drive up to the parking lot (narrow two-lane road of twists and turns and no guard rails).
The far side of the bridge is higher than the entry, and the mile high point comes in the middle of the bridge. There was no wind while we were there, but the bridge still swung a bit so K and I held hands and went over and back together.
A view off the side of the bridge.
Wind and weather doing their thing on the top of Grandfather Mountain.
We all enjoyed most amazing ice cream sandwiches at Blue Deer Cookies in Blowing Rock. They offer five cookie flavors and five ice cream flavors at a time and customers can mix and match flavors however they like (our combos were snickerdoodle with apple pie ice cream, oatmeal raisin with pumpkin ice cream, and double chocolate with chocolate ice cream). The bakery also offers a wide range of coffee drinks. The town of Blowing Rock was packed solid with tourists, so we didn’t hang around (or take pictures).
Breathtaking views of the Great Smoky mountains from the Blue Ridge Parkway.
The Blowing Rock. It was named for the fierce winds that usually blow up it from the valley, but there was no wind blowing at all while we were there.
The valley below the Blowing Rock provided the most spectacular view of autumn color.

Following our visit to the Blowing Rock we headed back to our cabin for dinner and to get ready for the next morning’s drive to Asheville and the Biltmore Estate.


11 thoughts on “North Carolina Mountain Getaway, Part One

  1. Could you include the link to that cabin or the name it uses in the listings? Looks like a place we’d enjoy staying. Thanks!


  2. That is beautiful. We lived on Buffalo Mountain in TN and drove up to the top of the mountains and looked down on Ashville. It was threatening to snow, so we did not spend time up there.


    1. The whole area was just lovely – I had no idea. We travelled over to NC at night, so have no idea what we missed, but the colors on the trip home were beautiful. I could not imagine driving most places there in the snow though.


  3. Late to comment but although I travel a bit around the US the Blue ridge Mountains and my drive of the Parkway has been my most beautiful area to drive through. It’s indescribable. That “blue” hazy smoke like, those colors! Wish I’d have gone again this year.


    1. Brett and I drove part of the Blue Ridge Parkway early in our marriage, but I have to say the fall views were so much more beautiful than I ever could have imagined. The fall colors along with the blue haze “smoke” hanging over the mountains was almost indescribable. I hope we get a chance to go back before our time here is up.


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