Western NC

VOL12 ISS2 2017

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8 THE ORIGINAL RELOCATION GUIDE — WESTERN NC | VOLUME 12 — ISSUE 2 MOUNTAIN LIVING Leaves crunch underfoot on trails, orchards stand ripe with apples, and hills, valleys and mountain peaks form a scenic backdrop in western North Carolina. Festivals celebrate food, breweries, music and just about any cause that is worthy of a gathering. The mystery of mountain life draws visitors each year to the part of the state that inspires artists, musicians, photographers, writers and everyday folk to the region where the air is cooler and the geography is majestic. Mountain towns have lyrical names that match the soul and heart of the region and its people —Black Mountain, Burnsville, Sylva, Maggie Valley, Valle Crucis, Blowing Rock, Cullowhee and the list goes on. The city most often associated with the region is Asheville. Surrounded by the highest peaks in the East, Asheville is steeped in natural history, outdoor adventure and cultural legacies – including America's largest home, Biltmore Estate. Elevations that range from 1,500 feet in the valleys to 6,684 feet at Mount Mitchell (the highest peak east of the Mississippi River) and the Blue Ridge Mountains with more than 100 deciduous (leaf-shedding) tree species regularly places the area among the nation's top fall travel destinations. Asheville and the Blue Ridge Mountains are known for putting on spectacular fall color shows – the longest and most colorful fall foliage seasons in the world. The region's spectacular fall leaf show and other amenities have earned the city Lonely Planet's "Best in the U.S." travel destination for 2017. To see Asheville and surrounding mountain regions from above float at sunrise in an Asheville Hot Air Balloons for unparalleled views. Visitors explore the mountains in a variety of ways from a stroll in the woods, hike on trails or climbing a mountain peak. Some like the feel of wind in their face and the sound of a Harley taking the curve of a winding road. The Hot Springs Tour takes riders on a scenic mountain road to the region's only natural hot water springs/baths. Along the way enjoy the beauty of the surrounding Pisgah National Forest or stop and walk on the iconic Appalachian Trial. Everyone enjoys a ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway, voted "America's favorite scenic drive." Make a scenic stop at Craggy Gardens at Milepost 364.6, and Mount Mitchell at Milepost 355. Spend a day or a weekend photographing or hiking on mountain trails in Great Smoky Mountains. The Great Mountain Living BY LYNNE BRANDON Smoky Mountain National Park is the most visited national park in the U.S. with 10 plus million visitors annually. Kayak down the French Broad River that runs through Asheville or take a lazy, slow meander on the water at Lake Lure (scene of Dirty Dancing). Cast a rod and try fly fishing in mountain streams. To photograph nature-made water slides, adventure seekers head to Transylvania County, the "Land of Waterfalls" to see 250 cascading waterfalls. At lower elevation a hidden world exists in Cataloochee Valley. The tucked away sanctuary once inhabited in the early 1900s, is home to North Carolina's only Elk population. Afterwards retreat to the wooded 1,000 acre Cataloochee Ranch. In the winter try out its onsite ski resort. The ranch is referred to as "close to paradise" by the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Mountain music defines the part of the state known for its Appalachian roots and storytelling told through the use of fiddles, banjos, mandolins and other musical instruments. Local bands jam wherever a crowd will gather whether it is on a front porch, coffee house or concert venue indoors or out. Nationally known Steep Canyon Rangers (Asheville and Brevard), Balsam Range (listen to "Papertown," a tribute to mill history of Canton), Warren Haynes (formerly of the Allman Brothers Band) and other musicians call the region home. Moonshine is alive and well at Asheville Distilling, the new face of whiskey (aka moonshine) guided by Troy Ball, but it has had to share the spotlight with wineries and breweries in the region. Cideries and wineries are thriving but the spirit that is king in the mountains is beer (35 breweries and counting). >> colorful, musical, magical,

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