North Carolina

    The Opossum Capital of the World: Clay’s Corner, North Carolina (1)

    10/01/12 •

    …Looking for a new place to ring in the New Year this December? Consider Clay’s Corner, the “Opossum Capital of the World” in Brasstown, North Carolina. Folks at Clay’s — a most unusual gas station, store and ice cream counter — celebrate a traditional midnight “Possum Drop” that also features fireworks, the crowning…

    Fontana Village Resort in the Great Smoky Mountains, North Carolina

    9/28/13 •

    …Tucked amid the Great Smoky Mountains in western North Carolina, the remote Fontana Village Resort offers not just relaxation and recreation, but also an up-close look at an unusual “company town”. First known as Welch Cove and now privately owned, the village was created in the early 1940s to house 5,000 workers and…

    Azalea Garden Inn in Blowing Rock, North Carolina

    8/04/12 •

    …I found this charming log cabin on the lushly landscaped grounds of the Azalea Garden Inn in Blowing Rock, North Carolina. Among the state’s oldest resorts, the town dates back to the 1800s and is full of small galleries, specialty shops and quaint restaurants. Most are within easy walking distance of the inn,…

    Oconaluftee Indian Village in Cherokee, North Carolina

    10/19/12 •

    …During a visit to the Great Smoky Mountains region of North Carolina, my husband and I found a fascinating attraction: Oconaluftee Indian Village in Cherokee. What we experienced here you just can’t get from a history book! At this authentic replica of a 1750 Cherokee community, guides in traditional garb explain tribal history…

    Looking Glass Falls in Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina

    8/20/13 •

    …We first saw delightful Looking Glass Falls, located in western North Carolina’s Pisgah National Forest, at midday with an overflow crowd of tourists. But early the next morning, we visited again and had the waterfall — one of 250 in Transylvania County — all to ourselves. The soft light was perfect for photographs,…

    Whitewater Falls in the Nantahala National Forest, North Carolina

    8/17/13 •

    …When it comes to spectacular cascades, it’s tough to top Upper Whitewater Falls in the Nantahala National Forest in western North Carolina, near the South Carolina state line. At 411 feet high, it’s the highest waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains. A paved walkway from a parking lot leads to a great view…

    A Taste of Appalachian Culture at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, North Carolina

    9/23/13 •

    …A trip to the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, located in the southwestern corner of North Carolina, taught me a lot about Appalachian culture — even without enrolling! Since 1925, this unique school has helped preserve traditional mountain crafts, music and dance. Its History Center describes the school’s fascinating origins. Don’t miss…

    Motorcycle Enthusiasts Should Stay At the Iron Horse Motorcycle Lodge in Western North Carolina

    10/24/13 •

    …Motorcycle enthusiasts should check out the Iron Horse Motorcycle Lodge near Stecoah in scenic western North Carolina. You won’t meet nicer people than owners John and Charlene Powell, who are riders themselves. Their pretty 39-acre resort includes lodge rooms, cabins and a campground, plus covered storage for bikes. Charlene’s home-cooked dinners taste great…

    High Point, North Carolina: The Home Furnishings Capital of the World

    8/20/12 •

    …If you’re looking for new furniture, visit High Point, North Carolina, the “Home Furnishings Capital of the World”. There are more than 70 retail furniture stores here — we couldn’t believe the quantity and variety of furniture. And because retailers can place special orders with nearby manufacturers, large discounts are available — plus no…

    Horne Creek Living Historical Farm, North Carolina: A Glimpse Into the South’s Rural Past

    11/13/13 •

    …My family and I enjoyed a unique glimpse of the South’s rural past at Horne Creek Living Historical Farm near Pinnacle in northwestern North Carolina. A century ago, farmer Thomas Hauser, his wife and 12 children worked this prosperous 450-acre farm. Today, costumed interpreters (at right) still use horses and mules for muscle…

    The Highland Lake Inn in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains

    9/11/12 •

    …Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of southwestern North Carolina is a relaxing retreat: the Highland Lake Inn, near Flat Rock. This gorgeous 180-acre oasis offers a luxurious 16-room inn, the Woodward House… a historic 20-room mountain lodge… and rustic cabins and cozy cottages. We stayed in a 100-year-old cabin, equipped with modern…

    A Detailed Guide to Pet Iguanas (Iguanidae)

    6/11/13 •

    …if you install a direct water line and drainage system. Note: The following spiny lizards have no distinguishing English names. Spiny lizards Sceloporus poinsetti (Baird and Girard, 1852) Total length: 10 inches (26 cm). Head-torso length: 5 inches (12 cm). Distribution and Description: From southwestern North America (Texas and New Mexico) southward to central Mexico….

    New River Gorge, West Virginia: Some of Most Incredible Views in the Eastern US

    8/29/12 •

    …For some of the most breathtaking views in the East, you can’t beat the New River Gorge in the heart of southern West Virginia. The New River — actually one of the oldest rivers in the world–flows north from North Carolina. Over the eons, it has carved its way through the Appalachian Mountains,…