Lynchburg, Virginia

Travelers in search of the ideal getaway can follow the lead of American visionary Thomas Jefferson who deemed Lynchburg “the most interesting spot in the state.” This is the place Jefferson chose to build his year-round retreat, Poplar Forest.

The close proximity of the region’s historic sites, wilderness areas, and urban diversions, make it possible for visitors to cover a lot of territory at a leisurely pace. Hike the Blue Ridge Mountains in the morning, shop for antiques in the afternoon, and top it all off with a delightful evening of dinner and jazz. Plan a two-day visit to see Old City Cemetery, Point of Honor, Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, or National D-Day Memorial.

Unlike Thomas Jefferson, you won’t find it necessary to design and build your own accommodations to retreat here throughout the year. Lynchburg offers over 1,800 rooms ranging from quaint bed and breakfast inns to luxury hotels. Once you discover Lynchburg, you’ll understand why our visitors return to stay for another week, a month, a summer-even a lifetime!


Winchester-Frederick CO., VA

Come to the top of Virginia where you can celebrate pink apple blossoms in the spring. Over 30 events await you during the 82nd Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival, including the coronation of Queen Shenandoah, a grand feature parade, and much more!

Return in the fall to pick apples from one of our many orchards and enjoy agricultural festivals that celebrate peaches, apples and pumpkins. Our Follow the Apple Trail audio driving tour will guide you through the scenic roads of Frederick County while informing you of our apple heritage.

Union and Confederate forces fought for control of this important Virginia crossroads. The city changed hands more than 70 times during the conflict; 13 times in one day. A Civil War  Orientation for the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields National Historic District is located within the Winchester-Frederick County Visitor Center. The orientation center is a useful tool in planning your visit to local Civil War sites.

Make our home your getaway, by browsing the unique shops in Old Town. Enjoy delicious cuisine whether in a fine or casual setting, and be entertained at our professional theatres, the Wayside Theatre and Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre.


Douglaston Park and Brinegar Cabin, NC

Rolling ridgetop meadows and steep mountainsides char­acterize the Doughton Park area. Remote places in the moun­tains like this were settled in the mid to late 1800s by expand­ing families seeking more land and moving farther up the mountain creeks and valleys, yet still remaining close to par­ents, grandparents, and other relatives. While people in many other parts of the country were rushing into the modern ways of the 20th century, these close-knit families–like the Brinegars, Caudills, Joines, Crouses and Pruitts–still raised most of their own food, built their own homes, and lived well into the 1900s without modern conveniences.

Martin Brinegar and Caroline Joines were married in 1878 and built a log cabin near Caroline’s parents’ home. It still stands here on the ridge along with their springhouse and granary. Here they raised and provided for their three chil­dren. Below the Brinegar cabin is Basin Cove. Settled in the 1880s by Harrison Caudill, Basin Cove grew into a community of 20 families with a store, church, and school. In 1916 a tor­rential flash flood and mud slide, cascading down the valley, destroyed all but one home and killed several people. The com­munity was never rebuilt.

Today, Parkway visitors can experience the ruggedness and beauty of life here. Glimpse Basin Cove and the remain­ing cabin from Wildcat Rocks near Bluffs lodge. Or hike some of the more than 30 miles of trails that meander through the meadows and climb the steep hillsides. The Brinegar cabin is open several days a week during the summer and fall. Visitors can tour a demonstration garden and the cabin, and see exhib­its, learning how Caroline made her family’s clothes from the flax she grew and sheep she raised herself.


The Land of Shenendoah

The land of Shenendoah is showcased in Page County, home to both Luray Caverns and the Shenandoah National Park. Winding along the top of the Blue ridge Mountains, Skyline Drive offers unrivaled panoramic vistas and access to ancient granite summits. 

A canoe or tube trip along the meandering  Shenandoah River provides a more timeless and fun filled sense of man’s oldest travels.

Enjoy these natural wonders as well as the history, heritage and talents of our people …visit our quaint towns, shops, historic sites, concerts, festivals, and fairs to see, hear, taste and savor the richness of our bounty. Leave the stress of city life; visit our communities of Luray, Stanley and Shenandoah where you are welcomed with small town charm.

Our accommodations are as varied as the landscape: whether you prefer elegant bed and breakfasts, fine hotels, rustic cabins or scenic campgrounds, you’ll find the perfect spot to stay, relax and enjoy!

For more:  http://www.blueridgeparkway.org/BRPA2010/section%201.pdf


New Mexico

New Mexico… Be Enchanted

New Mexico is a cloud perched on a mesa top, a road that disappears into charming, red hills, the play of shadows on a mountainside. It is farmers, cattlemen, scientists, engineers, businesspeople, artists, writers, and dreamers, speaking in many languages, coming from many cultures.

The power of New Mexico is, and has always been, its people, living together in a lovely, yet challeng­ing environment, influenced by a blend of languages, traditions, and lifestyles. Indeed, the beauty of New Mexico-emerging from her history, architecture, art forms, and community festivals-is unlike any other place.

Ancient civilizations, Route 66, El Camino Real and the Santa Fe Trail conjure up mental images of days gone by, of heritage and history, of rural America. These images and a million others are not only a part of the past. They are here and now.  Maybe best of all, reliving your newest lifelong memories is best enjoyed while experiencing firsthand an incredible New Mexico sunset. Come and share this special time of year in the Southwest’s favorite playground. Visit newmexico.org.

Ruidoso: It’s Where to Go

Nestled high in the pristine Sacramento Mountains, the village of Ruidoso is the idyllic “mountain casual” resort for both adventure and rejuvenation.

Filled with historic and Wild West museums, art galleries, shopping, casino gaming, great restaurants, seasonal horse racing, and snow skiing, Ruidoso celebrates its long­held tradition of escapism. Its lakes and rivers, gaming, tall pines, rustic cabins, cool evening temperatures, fabulous Spencer Theater, historic Lincoln and Fort Stanton, and the breathtaking Inn of the Mountain Gods add to that same tradition. Enjoy a high-altitude escape surrounded by beautiful scenic vistas.

Visit RuidosoAttractions.com.


Blue Ridge Parkway Virginia and North Carolina

The Blue Ridge Parkway is the very scenic highway that con­nects Shenandoah National Park and the Skyline Drive in Virginia, with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina and Tennessee. The whole trip along the Parkway, which traverses Virginia and western North Carolina, encompasses a 469 mile drive that can take up to a leisurely 10 days, including stops to explore along the way.

It’s a highway and a journey surrounded by natural beauty. The majority of the Parkway in Virginia runs through the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests and into North Carolina along mountain crests. The road itself is a two lane highway with a 45 mph speed limit, but for travelers who enjoy “driving trips,” traveling the Parkway can be a very special experience.

The attractions along the Virginia portion of the Parkway differ slightly from those on the North Carolina side. In Virginia, the recreated mountain farm near Humpback Rocks at the begin­ning of the Parkway and Mabry Mill, further south, give visitors a glimpse of traditional mountain life in the early days of settle­ment. In North Carolina, Linville Falls, the Cradle of Forestry, and other natural wonders, feature the natural environment.

In addition to the stops right along the Parkway itself, the road is next to historic towns from top to bottom, making for fas­cinating exploration of the heritage and culture of the region along the way. The headquarters of the Blue Ridge Parkway is located in Asheville, North Carolina, a city well known to literary figures including Carl Sandburg, Thomas Wolfe and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Exploration of their homes and haunts in the Asheville area presents an interesting side trip and a one or two day break from driving.


South Carolina Vacation Ideas

HIKING: From South Carolina’s nook of the Blue Ridge Mountains to its scenic Atlantic Coast, the state offers hundreds of miles of trails in its parks, historic towns, and seaside villages. In autumn, South Carolina’s fall foliage peaks upstate in October, when hickories, maples, and oaks paint the hillsides in vivid hues of amber, gold, and red. Table Rock State Park in Pickens County has some of the state’s loveliest trails. (SouthCarolinaParks.com)

KIAWAH ISLAND & PAWLEYS ISLAND

With plentiful lush courses stretching from the mountains to the sea, South Carolina has earned its reputation as “The Golf Capital of the South:” Under crisp fall skies, tee off on greens that Golf for Women has deemed some of the country’s best. The luxurious Kiawah Island Golf Resort (KiawahResort.com; 800-576-1570) and meander­ing Willbrook Plantation Golf Club (mbn.com; 843-237-4900) keep jumping up on their list of favorites.

GREENVILLE & BEAUFORT

BIKING: Whether you’re a mountain biker or a beach cruiser, South Carolina has excellent cycling destinations. For thrilling mountain biking, check out the Old Firetower Bicycle Trail in Paris Mountain State Park near Greenville (SouthCarolinaParks.com; 864-244-5565), which passes through wildberry-dotted woodlands populated by deer, squirrels, and colorful birds. If a retro cruiser is more your speed, quiet seaside communities, like Beaufort, provide gorgeous backdrops for relaxing rides on sunny fall days.

MOUNTAIN & BLACKWATER RIVER AREAS

RAFTING, BOATING, AND KAYAKING: In early fall, the warm weather holds out for a few more waterside adventures. For thrill-seek­ers, rafting on the renowned Chattooga River is an absolute must-do in the Upcountry’s Waterfalls and Whitewater region. In the central Lakes and Blackwater Rivers region, scenic rivers provide well-mapped water trails for avid kayakers and cancers. (PaddleSC.com; SCTrails.net)

MYRTLE BEACH

STYLISH SHORES: The Market Common, located on the former Myrtle Beach Air Force Base, (MarketCommonMB.com) is a sleek, modern complex where urban meets ocean. Among the great shops, you’ll find Anthropologie, Banana Republic, and Copper Penny Shooz, which carry the hottest brands in footwear and handbags, including Kate Spade, Michael Kors, and Sigerson Morrison.

CHARLESTON

This past March, King Street cinched its reputation as Charleston’s fashion center when top designers and celebrity fashionistas converged in Marion Square Park for the city’s second annual fashion week. Boutiques and big-name shops line this popular promenade, where established brands, such as Brooks Brothers, Nicole Miller, and Ann Taylor, sit next to showcases for emerging designers, such as Hampden Clothing. And the various book shops and music stores will also catch your eye.


Asheville, Whitewater Rafting

The free-flowing French Broad River that winds its way through the scenic Pisgah National Forest in Asheville is recognized as one of the most exciting white­water destinations in the country.

River currents range from easily navigated Class II – which are suitable for beginners – to thunderous Class IV whitewater – recommended for experienced rafters only.

And you don’t have to bring a thing to get in on the action. Local outfitters can set you up with rafts, instruction and experienced guides for an excursion that is appropriate for every generation of your party.


Asheville Restaurants

Asheville residents’ passion for delicious, health­ conscious, locally produced food is an important thread in the city’s cultural fabric. That’s why Asheville is home to the world’s first Foodtopian Society, an initiative of the Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau that celebrates the city’s thriving food scene. “Asheville has a truly unique restaurant atmosphere,” says Dwight Butner, owner of Vincenzo’s Ristorante & Bistro. “Those of us in the food industry here see ourselves as colleagues, but at the same time, there’s enough rivalry among us to keep us all producing great quality, creative foods.”

To learn about the Foodtopian bliss Asheville residents and visitors enjoy, curious epicureans may visit the official Web site at www.foodtopiansociety.com and watch food videos, snag recipes from area restaurants and read suggestions for local food adventures. There are even profiles of local chefs and farmers and an interactive Ask a Farmer feature that lets visitors talk with local producers directly about everything from starting a backyard vegetable garden to the benefits of eating organic foods.

Many of the Foodtopian Society’s member restaurants are also part of the Asheville Independent Restaurant Association, or AIR, a flourishing organization of more than 60 restaurants dedicated to fostering a stronger business environment for locally owned and operated restaurants. Vincenzo’s is one such enterprise.


Asheville and Music

To experience yet another form of passionate expression where the area reigns supreme, take note of the sounds around you.

In 2008, The Orange Peel Social Aid & Pleasure Club was named one of the top five rock venues in the nation – yes, the nation – by none other than Rollinq Stone magazine.

The reunited Smashing Pumpkins played a remarkable nine-show run at the landmark club, choosing Asheville and San Francisco as stops on their two-city U.S. tour.

Catch a live performance at the many intimate clubs, bars and brewpubs, representing genres from jazz to Appalachian mountain music.