October 21, 2019

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO N.C.’S BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY

Can you picture 469 miles of natural splendor? Splendor that runs from Virginia through North Carolina and connects the Shenandoah National Park with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park? If you can, chances are you have explored the Blue Ridge Parkway!   Stunning long-range views and more than 100 trails comprise “America’s Favorite Drive.” The Parkway is more than a visual treasure! There are campgrounds, biking, musical events, arts and crafts (the Folk Art Center), hiking, historic as well as interpretive sites (including Revolutionary War sites and the Museum of North Carolina Minerals).    What is the best part? The Blue Ridge Parkway is free and open all year, depending on winter weather. In North…

March 18, 2019

50 GREAT AMERICAN ROAD TRIPS: THE BEST BACK ROAD BY STATE

We hope spring makes you want to get on the road! To help you decide where to go, we have a treasure trove of backroads information for you. Just where are the best back roads, by state?   You already know we take back roads on every trip we take. Check out our blog post, “Take Backroads to Explore America” at: http://thetravelingseniors.com/back-roads-forever/ In that post, we share some of our favorite backroads.    As our friend, Scott of the blog, Take Back Roads, says, “America is home to countless back roads, side roads, and country roads… scenic routes, historic routes, and tourist routes… National Byways and Historic Highways…. and more road trip…

February 28, 2019

A ROADSIDE WONDER:a fabulous surprise from the road

One of the greatest thrills of taking back roads is when we happen upon something interesting and unusual completely by accident! We call these finds “roadside wonders.” They are not historically significant or tourist destinations. Sometimes, they are colorful, at times ugly, kitsch, and even hilarious. We love sharing some of our favorites with you!   We stopped at a drugstore while driving through Sylva, North Carolina and look at the colorful “roadside wonder” we found!   Hiding on a side street was CT Auto Service, Inc., a three-generation business that offers car repairs, towing and more. When we stopped, Anthony told us that his grandfather began covering the building with license…

February 21, 2019

THE BIGGEST 3,000 Year-Old PETROGLYPHS IN North America: JUDACULLA ROCK IN North Carolina

There are times when we see a sign by the side of the road that leads to an American treasure! Judaculla Rock is just such a find!   We were driving 107 N in Jackson County, North Carolina when we noticed a silver road sign which said, “Judaculla Rock.” We had never heard of Judaculla Rock and were uncertain if the sign actually referred to a rock. Boy, does it ever!   Judaculla Rock is approximately 16 feet long by eleven feet wide and is a soapstone boulder covered with strange drawings that have been studied by researchers worldwide. Quarry tools were found nearby and scientists have speculated that Judaculla Rock…

January 21, 2019

VISIT THE MOUNTAIN TOWN OF HIGHLANDS, North Carolina

Where can you take a walk to get an early morning coffee downtown and possibly see a bear? Where can you rub elbows with people who have bought jewelry on Main Street worth tens of thousands of dollars? Where can you find more than 500 trails and countless waterfalls for those who want to spend as much time as possible in nature? Where can you attend an afternoon tea? Highlands, North Carolina!   When you visit Highlands, North Carolina, you will be totally charmed. This mountain town is quaint and sophisticated. At an elevation of 4,117 feet, Highlands has everything! Highlands is a sleepy picturesque town until summertime. In summer, Highlands’…

August 30, 2018

HIKE THE BARTRAM TRAIL IN North Carolina

Hike the Bartram Trail in North Carolina! This is a hidden trail that many people may miss.     We love to hike and explore but we aren’t youngsters anymore. So we search for trails or parts of trails that we can negotiate fairly easily. We aren’t against hills and a steep trail as long as that portion doesn’t last forever!     The Bartram Trail can be difficult but we found a portion that was tailor-made for us with unending views as the reward.       TRAIL HISTORY     The Bartram Trail was established to honor naturalist William Bartram, who spent four years (1773-1777) exploring the southeast…

August 23, 2018

HISTORIC NEW BERN, North Carolina

Take a coastal trip to historic New Bern, North Carolina and spend some time walking through 300 + years of American history!  We were enthralled with New Bern’s many Historic Heritage Tours, including the:     Revolutionary War tour Civil War tour Architectural Walking tour Churches & Cemetery tour Historic Homes tour Walk to Remember tour African-American Heritage tour   New Bern has four historic districts with homes, stores and churches dating as far back as the early 18th century. Picture strolling New Bern’s tree-lined streets and walking by colonial homes!  We felt as if we were pedestrians in early America on each city block! New Bern has over 150 sites on…

August 20, 2018

THE BEST COFFEE IN ASHEVILLE, North Carolina

Asheville, North Carolina is known for individuality and creativity! We found the coffee scene in Asheville, North Carolina is robust (pardon the pun) and diverse!      Stu and I BOTH love coffee. I mean, we LOVE coffee!  Stu makes almost daily visits to Starbucks when he is home from travels. Rest assured, Asheville has plenty of Starbucks locations to satisfy fans. Since we know Starbucks so well, we focused on independent coffee shops in Asheville.     So, where is the best coffee in Asheville, North Carolina?       COFFEE IN ASHEVILLE     Asheville has always taken the love of coffee to a different level.     In days gone…

August 13, 2018

TAKE A BACKROADS TRIP: SEE WATERFALLS IN NORTH CAROLINA

Take a backroads trip to see waterfalls in North Carolina!        As we had lunch at one of the many outdoor restaurants in Asheville, North Carolina, we were surrounded by lush green mountains and cool summer breezes. Asheville is so hard to leave! But we had agreed to head further west and south to see some of North Carolina’s many waterfalls.     We set off to drive Highway 64 in western North Carolina to find out why it is sometimes called the Waterfalls Byway. Highway 64 covers 604 miles from the Tennessee state line to the Outer Banks. This route has been used since the Model T era and…