Maryville Magic: Exploring the Charms of Tennessee

Nestled between the vibrant energy of Knoxville and the serene majesty of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park lies the charming town of Maryville, Tennessee. Despite its small size, Maryville boasts a plethora of attractions and activities that cater to both outdoor enthusiasts and leisure seekers alike, as per this travel blog article from Southern Living. Whether you’re craving adventure in the wilderness or seeking relaxation in quaint downtown spots, Maryville has something for everyone.

Immerse Yourself in Nature

Nature lovers will find themselves in paradise in Maryville. Just a short drive from town lies the sprawling expanse of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. With over 800 square miles of pristine wilderness, the park offers countless opportunities for exploration. From leisurely drives along scenic routes to exhilarating hikes through old-growth forests, there’s no shortage of ways to experience the park’s natural beauty.

For a taste of local flora and fauna without leaving town, venture onto the Maryville-Alcoa Greenway. This picturesque trail follows the meandering path of Pistol Creek and connects multiple parks throughout the area. Take a leisurely stroll or bike ride along the trail, soaking in the sights and sounds of the lush surroundings.

Go Fishing on the Little River: Pack your fishing gear and head to the nearby Little River for a day of angling amidst stunning natural scenery. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a novice, the tranquil waters of the Little River offer the perfect setting for a relaxing day of fishing.

Attend a Festival or Event: Throughout the year, Maryville plays host to a variety of festivals and events celebrating everything from music and food to art and culture. Check the local events calendar to see what’s happening during your visit.

Explore Cultural Gems

Beyond its natural wonders, Maryville is also home to a vibrant arts and culture scene. Downtown Maryville is dotted with galleries, shops, and eateries that showcase the town’s creative spirit. Take a leisurely stroll through downtown and discover hidden gems like Dandy Lions Gifts, housed in a historic library building adorned with stone lions.

Art enthusiasts will appreciate the works of local artists showcased at galleries like Charles Finley’s downtown studio. From watercolor landscapes to handcrafted pottery, these establishments offer a glimpse into the artistic soul of Maryville.

Take a Historic Walking Tour: Embark on a self-guided walking tour of Maryville’s historic downtown district, where you can admire beautifully preserved architecture and learn about the town’s fascinating past.

Indulge in Culinary Delights

No visit to Maryville is complete without sampling its culinary offerings. From farm-to-table dining experiences to casual bites, the town boasts a diverse array of restaurants and cafes to satisfy any palate.

For a taste of local flavors, reserve a table at The Restaurant at RT Lodge, where executive chef Trevor Stockton creates mouthwatering dishes using fresh, seasonal ingredients sourced from local farmers. Or, opt for a more casual dining experience at Aroma Café, where you can savor authentic Cuban cuisine in a cozy atmosphere.

Savor Sweet Moments

After a day of exploring, treat yourself to a sweet indulgence at the Capitol Ice Cream Parlor. Located in the historic Capitol Theater downtown, this charming parlor offers a mouthwatering selection of frozen treats, perfect for cooling down on a hot day.

Retreat to Tranquility

When it’s time to unwind, retreat to the comfort of RT Lodge, a cozy mountain retreat nestled on the outskirts of Maryville College Woods. This historic inn offers a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, with luxurious accommodations and scenic surroundings that invite you to relax and recharge.

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Leesburg Delights: Unraveling the Treasures of Northern Virginia

Leesburg, Virginia, nestled in Northern Virginia, beckons travelers with its rich history, quaint charm, and abundance of outdoor beauty. Just a stone’s throw away from the bustling capital of Washington, DC, this historic town offers a refreshing escape with its brick-lined sidewalks, art galleries, and inviting coffee shops. As per this wonderful travel guide to Leesburg, Virginia from Southern Living, whether you’re here for a day trip or a weekend getaway, Leesburg promises an unforgettable experience.

Exploring the Outdoors

Embrace nature’s wonders by embarking on outdoor adventures in and around Leesburg. Discover exotic animals at the Leesburg Animal Park, where llamas, camels, and zebras await eager visitors. Let the little ones revel in pony rides, petting zoos, and playgrounds while you soak in the joy of outdoor exploration.

For hiking enthusiasts, the Red Rock Wilderness Overlook Regional Park presents an easy yet rewarding trail boasting panoramic views of the Potomac River. If you crave more rugged terrain, venture to the nearby Appalachian Trail or Virginia’s newest state park, Sweet Run State Park in Hillsboro.

If cycling is more your speed, pedal along the scenic Washington & Old Dominion Trail, offering 45 miles of paved pathways through picturesque landscapes. Pause at King Street for a rejuvenating cup of coffee or a quick bite amidst the charming surroundings.

Immersing in Arts and Culture

Art aficionados will find delight in Leesburg’s vibrant arts and culture scene. Embark on a walking art tour with Loudoun Public Art Tours to admire murals, sculptures, and galleries scattered throughout the town. The Heart of Leesburg Walking Tour unveils the stories behind 15 to 20 captivating artworks, providing insight into the town’s rich cultural tapestry.

Catch a show at the historic Tally Ho Theatre, a beloved landmark dating back to 1932. From live concerts to themed nights, this iconic venue promises an evening of entertainment and nostalgia on Market Street.

Savoring Culinary Delights

Indulge your taste buds with culinary delights along King Street. SideBar offers a classic bistro menu and craft cocktails, while King Street Oyster Bar tempts with fresh seafood fare. For a taste of history, dine at Lightfoot housed within a former bank, exuding charm and elegance. And don’t miss breakfast at Leesburg Diner or Shoe’s Cup & Corkfor a delightful start to your day.

For coffee connoisseurs, the “Leesburg Coffee Corridor” along King Street beckons with a plethora of craft coffee shops. Experience the art of coffee-making at King Street Coffee, SimplyBe Coffee, or Shake & Bops Botanical Café, each offering a unique blend of flavors and ambiance.

Delving into History

Delve into the rich tapestry of Loudoun County’s history at the Loudoun Museum, where exhibits and artifacts illuminate the county’s past. Learn about its role during the Civil War, the evolution of the wine industry, and the legacy of the Underground Railroad depicted in the mural “Journey to Freedom.”

Step back in time at the Oatlands Historic House and Gardens, a National Trust Historic Site showcasing 19th-century architecture and meticulously manicured gardens. Dive deeper into history with guided tours led by knowledgeable historians, exploring the mansion, gardens, and plantation.

Venture beyond Leesburg to explore the Ball’s Bluff Battlefield Regional Park, offering insights into the Civil War’s impact on Loudoun County. Commemorate the Battle of Ball’s Bluff with guided tours and living history events, gaining a deeper understanding of this pivotal moment in American history.

Lastly, pay homage to African-American heritage at the Historic Douglass High School, a poignant reminder of Loudoun County’s past. Explore exhibits, artwork, and oral histories that celebrate the resilience and contributions of African-American communities.

With its blend of history, culture, and natural beauty, Leesburg, Virginia, invites travelers to embark on a journey of discovery and delight.

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Exploring Thomasville, Georgia: A Spring Weekend Getaway

Nestled in the heart of Georgia, Thomasville awaits with its charming streets, rich history, and vibrant community spirit. Whether you’re a solo traveler seeking a serene escape or a couple looking for a romantic weekend, this quaint town offers an array of experiences to delight every visitor, especially when you’re supplied with this travel guide from Southern Living.

A Warm Welcome Awaits

Thomasville’s charm lies in its tight-knit community, where local businesses create a welcoming atmosphere like no other. Start your journey by immersing yourself in the inviting ambiance of The Bookshelf on South Broad Street. This beloved local bookstore boasts a curated selection of fiction and nonfiction, alongside charming gifts and paper goods. Join one of their events or book clubs to connect with fellow book lovers and locals alike.

Downtown Delights

Take a leisurely stroll through downtown Thomasville and discover a treasure trove of boutiques and eateries. From the elegant Firefly to the eclectic Fuzzy Goat, each shop exudes its own unique charm. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore Imagination Emporium for whimsical toys or indulge your senses at Blake Candle Company with their handmade scents. For outdoor enthusiasts, Big Adventure Outfitters has everything you need for your next adventure, while SouthLife Supply Co. offers fine leather goods crafted with care.

Savor the Flavors

Thomasville’s culinary scene is a testament to the town’s commitment to quality and community. Begin your gastronomic adventure at The Kickstand, where fresh and flavorful bites await. Indulge in their inventive tacos and soak in the laid-back atmosphere. For a picnic experience like no other, head to the pocket park filled with murals and public art. Or, treat yourself to a memorable dining experience at Jonah’s Fish & Grits or Liam’s, where seasonal ingredients shine.

Quench Your Thirst

No visit to Thomasville is complete without sampling the local libations. Stop by Farmer’s Daughter Vineyards to savor small-batch wines crafted by third-generation farmers. For beer enthusiasts, Hubs & Hops offers a selection of cold drafts in a cozy, bike-themed setting. Raise a glass to a weekend well spent in Thomasville’s welcoming embrace.

Explore More

Extend your exploration beyond downtown Thomasville and discover even more hidden gems. Head to Studio 209 for a dose of local art and creativity, featuring works by talented regional artists. If you’re in need of pampering, indulge in a spa day at Mode Salon & Day Spa, where relaxation awaits in a tranquil setting.

For history buffs, a visit to the Thomas County Museum of History offers insight into the region’s past, with exhibits showcasing artifacts and stories from days gone by. Nature lovers can escape to Birdsong Nature Center, where hiking trails wind through pristine forests and wetlands, providing a peaceful retreat from the bustle of city life.

Thomasville, Georgia, is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. From its charming downtown to its delectable dining scene, this quaint town offers a spring weekend getaway like no other. Immerse yourself in the warmth of its community, savor the flavors of its cuisine, and create memories to last a lifetime in this picturesque southern town.

But the exploration doesn’t end there. Extend your stay and delve deeper into Thomasville’s rich tapestry of experiences. Take a guided tour of Pebble Hill Plantation to learn about the area’s plantation history, or embark on a scenic drive along the Thomasville Rose Trail, where you can admire the town’s stunning floral displays. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or a bit of both, Thomasville has something for everyone. So pack your bags, hit the road, and discover the magic of this charming Georgia town.

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Winter Wonders in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains

When it comes to winter travel, Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains offer a unique and enchanting experience. Nestled in the Appalachian Mountain Range, this region spans over 600 miles, boasting small towns, scenic overlooks, and a drive that’s hailed as one of the South’s most picturesque. To guide you through the winter wonderland, this articlefrom Southern Living turned to Travis Milton, culinary director at Nicewonder Farm & Vineyards in Bristol, whose deep connection with the area unveils a side of Appalachia that’s best experienced in the colder months.

Exploring the Scenic Route: Roanoke to Bristol

The interviewed Chef Milton suggests taking the scenic route from Roanoke to Abingdon and Bristol, avoiding the highways to truly appreciate the beauty of Appalachia. This journey offers a glimpse into the vibrant communities and delectable meals that define the region. As you wind through the landscape, the crisp winter air carries scents of charred cinnamon and roasted apples, a testament to the seasonal events like apple butter cook-offs and canning swaps that infuse the area with a sense of community.

Roanoke: Gateway to the Blue Ridge Mountains

For those traveling from afar, Roanoke serves as the perfect starting point. The Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airportconnects major cities, and accommodations like Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center or the unique Fire Station One provide cozy stays. The latter, housed in a former firefighting headquarters, preserves historical features for a truly immersive experience.

Abingdon: A Picturesque Retreat

A scenic 2-hour drive from Roanoke takes you to Abingdon, a town described as one of the most picturesque he’s seen. The Martha Washington Inn & Spa, with its rich history, offers a luxurious stay, while short-term rentals provide a more casual option. Abingdon’s charm extends to its trails along the Holston River, the Virginia Creeper Trail, and historic Main Street, where quaint shops and a stunning cemetery await exploration.

Bristol: Small City, Big Culture

The final leg of the journey brings you to Bristol, Virginia, where the Inn at Nicewonder Farm & Vineyards awaits. Voted the South’s Best Hotel in 2023, this mountain oasis offers luxury yurts and an outdoor fire pit for a cozy winter night. Bristol surprises with its cultural offerings, from Cheap Thrills Records to the Birthplace of Country Music Museum. It’s recommended that you visit HollerHouse for unique Appalachian art and Benjamin Walls Fine Art Galleryfor nature photography enthusiasts.

Culinary Delights in the Mountains

To truly savor the essence of Appalachia, Chef Milton suggests exploring local markets. In Abingdon, the Farmers Market hosts holiday and winter markets, showcasing the region’s diverse culinary offerings. For a taste of Chef Milton’s culinary expertise, start your morning at Hickory in the Inn at Nicewonder, where seasonal delights like buttermilk biscuits topped with fried bologna await. And if you’re in need of a caffeine fix, Bloom and The Girl and The Raven are the go-to spots.

Discovering Appalachian Trails: A Hiker’s Paradise

For those seeking an active winter adventure, the Appalachian Mountains offer an array of hiking trails. Near Roanoke, explore the Star Trail or the Roanoke River Blueway, where winter conditions make hikes more manageable. The Appalachian magic comes alive as snow blankets the trails, providing a serene backdrop for an unforgettable trek through nature’s winter wonderland. Lace-up your boots and embrace the tranquility of these pristine trails, creating memories that last a lifetime.

Embrace the Winter Magic

Winter in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains unveils a different kind of magic. From the snowy trails of Abingdon to the cultural gems of Bristol, each stop along the way adds a layer of charm to your journey. Whether you’re indulging in local cuisine, exploring historic sites, or simply breathing in the crisp mountain air, this winter escapade promises unforgettable moments.

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Harrisonburg, VA: Where Culture, Nature, and Gastronomy Meet

Nestled in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, Harrisonburg, often affectionately known as “Rocktown” or “The Friendly City,” offers a storybook fall getaway that you’ll cherish. Situated northwest of Charlottesville, Harrisonburg is enveloped by the stunning landscapes of Shenandoah National Park and George Washington and Jefferson National Forest. This small town beckons with a unique blend of natural beauty and urban charm, making it a perfect destination for a slightly sleepy yet delightful escape. In this blog post from Southern Living, we’ll explore the reasons why you should plan a trip to Harrisonburg this fall.

One of Harrisonburg’s gems is the Culinary District, a downtown area brimming with restaurants that promise unforgettable culinary experiences. For those seeking a culinary adventure, Rocktown Bites Downtown Food Toursoffers delightful walking tours of this district and its myriad eateries. Savor the flavors of the Friendly City while exploring the heart of Harrisonburg’s gastronomic scene. Discover more about these delectable experiences at

The Edith J. Carrier Arboretum is a hidden gem located on the James Madison University campus. This public greenspace seamlessly blends nature with art exhibitions and events, offering a serene escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. The best part? It’s open year-round, every day, from dawn until dusk, and it’s absolutely free to visit.

While Harrisonburg offers a wealth of experiences for travelers of all ages, the Explore More Discovery Museumstands out as a fantastic destination for those looking to spark curiosity and creativity. With a myriad of events, projects, programs, and classes, this museum provides both entertainment and opportunities for learning, making it an ideal stop for curious minds of all ages.

Harrisonburg takes its title as the Friendly City seriously. It has welcomed over 2,500 refugees since 2002, thanks in large part to outreach from the Mennonite community and other faith groups. The presence of James Madison University and Eastern Mennonite University further enriches the community with a diverse population of academics. Harrisonburg is a place that welcomes everyone and leaves them wanting to stay.

Harrisonburg has undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years. What was once a town where young people were eager to leave has become a place where folks want to stick around. One such example is Magpie, a modern restaurant and bakery, which, since its founding in 2020, has become one of the most sought-after dining destinations in town. The menu at Magpie changes regularly, offering a mix of hearty classics and lighter fare. Don’t forget to treat yourself to a pastry or two from the adjoining bakery counter – the rye shortbread cookie is a local favorite.

Fall Activities to Complete Your Harrisonburg Experience

To make the most of your fall escape in Harrisonburg, consider these additional activities:

Now that you know why Harrisonburg, VA, is the perfect fall destination, start planning your trip and discover the magic of this charming town. Harrisonburg awaits your visit, ready to enchant you with its natural beauty, culinary delights, and vibrant culture. Don’t miss out on this unforgettable fall getaway!

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Embrace Adventure in Tallulah Falls, Georgia

Consider taking a trip out to Tallulah Falls, Georgia’s Waterfall Capital, where natural wonders and outdoor adventures await. Nestled along the border between Georgia and South Carolina, this small town is a hidden gem that boasts breathtaking landscapes and a rich history, according to this expert travel article from Southern Living. If you’re a nature lover seeking to immerse yourself in the beauty of moving water and stunning waterfalls, then Tallulah Fallsshould be at the top of your travel list.

Hiking enthusiasts will find their paradise in Tallulah Falls, with a variety of trails to explore. The gorge floor trail is a popular choice, but remember to obtain a free permit from the Interpretive Center before embarking on your adventure. Only a limited number of permits are issued each day, so plan accordingly. The Jane Hurt Yarn Interpretive Center is a must-visit spot where you can delve into the area’s history and learn about the protected species that call the park home.

Tallulah Gorge State Park is the crown jewel of this area, with its magnificent Tallulah Gorge stealing the show. This two-mile-long gorge drops almost 1,000 feet deep, a masterpiece carved by the Tallulah River over centuries. For the best views of this awe-inspiring gorge and the surrounding landscape, head to the Tallulah Gorge Rim Trail. Autumn, in particular, paints the scenery with vibrant foliage, creating a picturesque wonderland. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even obtain a permit to hike to the gorge floor and witness the river and waterfalls from a unique vantage point on a swaying suspension bridge.

Of course, you can’t visit Tallulah Falls without witnessing the falls that give the town its name. Along the Tallulah River, you’ll encounter a series of rushing cascades, including Hurricane Falls, Tempesta Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, Oceana Falls, and L’Eau d’Or Falls. Most of these falls are visible from rim overlooks, and the hiking trails offer perfect vantage points to catch glimpses of these natural wonders.

Beyond the thrill of outdoor adventures, Tallulah Falls offers a charming small-town experience that will leave you enamored. If you’re a nature lover, consider camping in the great outdoors, or for a cozier stay, check into Lodging on the Lake, where you’ll still feel connected to nature’s embrace. The Glen-Ella Springs Inn & Restaurant, a beautifully appointed bed-and-breakfast, offers a more luxurious retreat a bit farther from town.

As you wander through Tallulah Falls, don’t miss the opportunity to explore The General Store, a delightful shop with locally made art, pottery, and unique souvenirs. Whether you’re searching for a memento of your trip or looking for a perfect gift, this store has it all.

After a day filled with exploration and adventure, it’s time to treat yourself to a hearty mountain meal. Head to Main Street Grill and BBQ for a delicious burger or catfish po’boy that will satisfy your hunger. For a refreshing beverage or a dose of caffeine, Tallulah 1882 awaits you with a menu of teas, coffees, and specialty drinks in a bright and inviting setting. If you’re in the mood for a lively atmosphere, Tallulah Adventures and The Edge Cafe and Bar are great choices, offering a variety of sandwiches, pizzas, and salads to indulge in.

Tallulah Falls, Georgia’s Waterfall Capital, beckons travelers with its natural beauty, adventure opportunities, and small-town charms. From exploring the majestic gorge to admiring the rushing waterfalls, there’s something enchanting about this Peach State treasure. Whether you seek outdoor escapades or a peaceful retreat, Tallulah Falls promises a memorable experience that will leave you refreshed and rejuvenated.

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