Elevated Mountain Distillery Awards

Congratulations to Elevated Mountain Distilling Co of Maggie Valley  on beating out some of the best spirits in the world in three categories at the 2018 Cigar & Spirits Magazine’s World Spirits Competition.

2nd Place Vodka – Hurricane Creek

3rd Place American Blended Whiskeys – Purchase Knob Oak Reserve

1st Place Infused Whiskey – Raymond Fairchild Root Beer White Lightning

They are happy to give tours to show you how they make your favorite spirits, then treat you to a tasting! Morning and early afternoon tours are the best times to see the still in operation. Small batch quality and flavor create a sublime experience that ONLY comes from a craft distillery. Stop by to visit, you might even catch a night of live music. Call: 828-944-0766, 3732 Soco Road.


FONTANA VILLAGE RESORT – Worlds Away from Everyday Noise, Stress & Obligation

Guests who stay at Fontana Village Resort see the world differently because they find inspiration in unexpected places. From mountain biking and hiking trails, to time spent out on the lake, adventures and activities are united not by what makes them the same, but by the remarkable things that make them different. For those who crave fresh air, a quiet atmosphere, authenticity and destination immersion, Fontana Village is where you can explore the outside inside you amidst the best of the Smoky Mountains and all its natural beauty. Whether you want to curl up by the fire with a good book or have the forest waiting right outside your door, the best Nantahala mountain lodge, cabins, and campgrounds are here for you. Great place for groups, weddings and families.

Choose your adventure and set out in the morning sun, on the water, or under a canopy of stars. No matter how you need to step away from the daily grind, Fontana Village is there to help. Enjoy some of the best camping, canoeing, hiking, mountain biking, mini golf, disc golf, pools, and exploring for any Great Smoky Mountain vacation. The marina with all its equipment rentals, pontoon shuttle service for hikers and trout fishermen is at the southern boundary of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

Fun comes with the territory!

Seasonal activities include:

  • Campfires and Marshmallow Roasts
  • Live Music
  • Kids Arts and Crafts
  • Field games and Relays
  • Evening Softball Games
  • Guided Nature Hikes
  • Outdoor Movies
  • Talent Shows
  • Karaoke
  • Smoky Mountain Square Dancing
  • And so much more

Multi-tainment Centers in Cherokee & Murphy

The UltraStar Multi-tainment Centers feature “One stop, non-stop entertainment.” Guests experience adventure, competition, entertainment and relaxation all conveniently located under one roof. The Multi-tainment Center features state-of-the-art digital bowling, dining, sports lounge, live entertainment and arcade gaming as well as corporate and private event facilities.  

It is located in both Cherokee and Murphy, NC. For more information on the new UltraStar Multi-tainment Centers visit UltraStarNC.com Follow UltraStar Multi-tainment Center on Facebook at UltraStarNC, Twitter @UltraStarNC and Instagram: UltraStarNC. For Cherokee location call 828-497-8818. For Murphy location call 828-422-5306.”

Whiteside Mountain among ’25 Best Fall Hiking Trails’

Wow, one of my favorite hikes was just named one of the “25 Best Fall Hiking Trails: Our Favorite Fall Hikes in the U.S.” by Conde Nast Traveler.  Whiteside Mountain, in Cashiers! The online article noted, “For a small $2 parking fee, hikers on this two-mile-plus loop are rewarded with majestic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains at multiple spots. On clear days, you’ll see to South Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia; on cloudier ones, a misty mountain fog imbues a spooky feel. Look for peregrine falcons that nest in the mountain’s cliffs.” The loop trail features a view of the highest vertical drop in the Eastern US at 750 feet. Sheer rock faces are popular for rock climbing and rappelling.

Hundreds of miles of trail winds through thousands of acres of pristine wilderness in the Smoky Mountains of Western North Carolina. The Nantahala Forest, Pisgah Forest and the Great Smoky Mountain National Park all offer trails. Some trail to waterfalls, swimming holes, and heart-stopping views. See some of the hikes in the “I’m Interested In” section above.

Franklin, NC the Real Gem of the Smokies

If the beautiful scenery and Southern hospitality aren’t enough, Franklin, NC boasts rich history and unique museums. The Franklin Gem & Mineral Museum is situated in the “old jail”. Among the thousands of specimens of native and foreign stones is the 2 ¼ pound ruby pulled from a local ruby mine in the Cowee Valley. The Ruby City Gem Museum has a unique black light display and also is home to the “World’s Largest Sapphire”, a 385-pound gem as well as a 162-carat ruby found in a local mine. Looking to explore your roots in Franklin? Then head to the Macon County Historical Museum, where you can investigate your ancestors and add to your family tree. If you’re of Scottish ancestry, you must visit the Scottish Tartans Museum that not only displays the Scottish Tartans, but is a wealth of lore about the Scots history, culture, dress and migration.

Giddy-Up to the Smoky Mountains

Horseback riding never gets old, especially when you’re trekking through wildflowers, breathing in fresh air and gazing at the mountains in the distance. It’s a great way for the whole family to enjoy the beautiful region of the Smoky Mountains, no matter the level of each rider. Places like Cataloochee Ranch in Maggie Valley offer horseback riding experiences that are unforgettable. This ranch in particular has stunning trails to explore, and guided professionals to assist you when you need them. Arrowmont Stables in Sylva is another great spot with first-class horses and impressionable trails. They also offer private and group lessons for anyone who needs a refresher. And Smokemont Riding Stables in Cherokee has 4 different options, including hourly rides across the Oconaluftee River, a waterfall ride, a 4-hour ride crossing the river and the waterfalls, and a wagon ride where you can just sit back and let someone else do the driving!  Then there is Chunky Gal Stables outside of Hayesville; a great ride and an old Cherokee story about the Chunky Gal Mountain range. Open 7 days a week, year round, scenic rides, offering horse training, instructions and boarding.

The American Dream Told by The Copper Door

Big Music Fun in a Little Bitty Town

Be Amazed by This 43-mile National Scenic Byway

If You Like to Bike…

Shop, Dine & Wine in Highlands!

Highlands, North Carolina sits at 4,118 feet of elevation in the Southern Appalachian Mountains, making it the highest town in the eastern United States, but the mountains aren’t the only thing elevating this destination. Only two hours north of Atlanta, this town is the perfect destination for a relaxing weekend getaway.
Start your trip with a stroll down Main Street and browse from many local boutiques and home décor shops including, Acorns on Church, where you can peruse the hand-selected antiques, fine linens, and sophisticated artwork. Find elegant fashions and gifts at Wit’s End Shops, a Highland’s staple since 1940 featuring timeless women’s apparel and distinctive gifts.
After shopping, dine at one of the five local restaurants boasting the “Wine Spectator Award of Excellence.” Indulge on gourmet American cuisine at Wolfgang’s Restaurant and Wine Bistro and enjoy a glass of wine selected by award-winning wine director, Annelize Giliomee. Visit Ristorante Paoletti for fresh and elegant Italian fare that has been gracing Highlands since 1984.
n Highlands, North Carolina, you will truly experience living at the “height of happiness.”

All Aboard!

All Aboard!
The elegance and adventure of yesteryears train travel can be found today, on North Carolina’s steam powered Smoky Mountain Railroad. Traveling this historic route, one might expect James Bond and a femme fatal, or Hercule Poirot, to be in the club car sipping a glass of wine while watching the countryside and vineyards roll by. Featuring the best Vintner selections of North Carolina local wines to enhance your palate, choices and tastings can be made from Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, The Hunt Sonoma Country 2014, Vanderbilt Russian River Pinot Noir, and for dessert, Blane deNoir. All offered to compliment your gourmet meal with a side order of panoramic view. Traveling the countryside on an adventure of sight, sound and palate pleasing tastes runs from early May to the first week of January. Smoky Mountain Railroad excursions transport you on a nostalgic train ride, wine tasting journey that memories are made of. Bon Appetite and enjoy.