East Tennessee Attractions
The "Roan" - Roan Mountain, rising to 6,285 feet, features the largest natural garden of Catawba rhododendron in the world. Ten miles of Grassy Balds, the longest anywhere in the world, stretch from Carver's Gap on the Roan to Big Hump Mountain.
Roan Mountain State Park is a 2000-acre park on the slopes of Roan Mountain (elevation 3,000 feet) offering swimming, fishing, hiking, and picnicking. Over 180 species of wildflowers have been identified.
The Appalachian Trail - The closest trail head is at Carver's Gap which climbs up the mountain toward the Rhododendron Gardens where you may choose between a 1/3-mile loop or a longer path. The Cloudland trail is a moderate 1.2 mile hike from the end of the Cloudland parking area to Roan High Bluff overlook.
Doe River Covered Bridge - 15 miles away in Elizabethton - built in 1882, this white clapboard covered bridge is still in use today, surrounded by a park, walking trails, and plenty of ducks. The Covered Bridge was designed by Col. Thomas E. Matson, a civil engineer who designed Tweetsie Railroad and New York City's elevated railroad system. It was built at a cost of $3000 and spans the river for 134 feet. For more information, visit www.tourelizabethton.com.
Downtown Elizabethon antique shops - The historic district of Elizabethton is lined with antique and craft stores, including: The Duck Crossing Antique Mall covering four floors with over 40 dealers; The Merry-Mary Shop which also serves lunch daily; The Picket Fence, a two-level mall; Antiques on Elk with two floors of shopping; The Maze Emporium; Rebel Craftsman; and Doe River Artisans Gallery.
Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area - site of Fort Watauga, where the first majority-rule system of American democratic government was established in 1772. Under the leadership of Chairman John Carter, it became the first permanent American settlement outside the original thirteen colonies. It was here that the Overmountain Men gathered in September, 1780, before their march to the battle of Kings Mountain. Visit the reconstruction of Fort Watauga and the adjacent museum. "The Wataugans," a two-act outdoor drama depicting the early settlement of Northeast Tennessee is performed on the last three weekends of July.
Watauga Lake - a TVA lake offering great fishing, swimming, boating, and skiing. Lakeshore Marina rents fishing boats, pontoons, ski boats, and ski equipment (423) 725-2201
Bristol International Speedway -the world's fastest half-mile NASCAR track. Get more information at www.bristolmotorspeedway.com.
Massage Works of Roan Mt -
8481 Highway 19 E
White Water Rafting
Western North Carolina Attractions
Grandfather Mountain - with its famous mile-high swinging bridge. Considered the most biologically diverse mountain in eastern North America, the Grandfather includes 12 miles of outstanding Alpine hiking trails. More information at www.grandfather.com.
Ski Country of Western North Carolina. For great winter skiing, check out these resorts: It's only 13 miles to the foot of Beech Mountain www.skibeech.com and 16 miles to Sugar Mountain www.skinorthcarolina.com/skiSugar.htm. Appalachian Ski Resort www.skinorthcarolina.com/skiAppalachian.htm in Blowing Rock is less than an hour's drive from Roan Mountain Bed and Breakfast.
Horn in the West - in Boone, is America's third-oldest outdoor drama, telling the story of the Revolutionary War in western North Carolina.
Mast General Store - Opened in 1883 in Valle Crucis, North Carolina (near Boone), this general store became famous for carrying everything from cradles to caskets. It is still open for business and has changed very little over the years. More information at 828-963-6511 or at www.mastgeneralstore.com.
Tweetsie Railroad - In the late 1880s, the East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad built a narrow gauge railroad known as the "Tweetsie." Running daily the 66 miles between Boone, North Carolina and Johnson City, Tennessee, it was the lifeline for the village of Roan Mountain until operations were suspended. Now Tweetsie Railroad lives again at the Carolina's original family theme park. More information at 800-526-5740 or at www.tweetsie.com.
Blowing Rock - this is both a charming mountain village, filled with quaint shops and restaurants, and a large, protruding rock formation for which the village is named. The Blowing Rock juts out 3,000 feet above the Johns River Gorge, and winds blow upward which such force that Ripley's Believe It or Not claims it as "the one place where it snows upside down." Find out more at www.blowingrock.com.
Unto These Hills - for over 50 years, this outdoor drama had reenacted the story behind the Cherokee "Trail of Tears." Performed at the Mountainside Theatre in Cherokee, North Carolina, this summertime epic features a cast of 130 and has been called "America's most popular outdoor drama." More information at www.untothesehills.com.
The Blue Ridge Parkway - one of the most beautiful drives on this planet! More details can be found at http://www.nps.gov/blri/.
Mountain Adventure Guides - http://www.mtnadventureguides.com/ voice (866) 813-5210 or (423) 743-7111 - fax (423) 743-3221. USA Raft: French Broad and Nolichucky Rivers. Rafting Reservations: 1-866-USA-Raft.
Southwestern Virginia Attractions
Barter Theatre - In 1933, an unemployed actor named Robert Porterfield brought a troupe of performers to Abingdon and opened a theatre during the height of the Depression. Admission was 33-cents or the equivalent in food. In the years since, Barter Theatre has become known around the world. Its best-known alumni include Gregory Peck, Patricia Neal, Ernest Borgnine, and Kevin Spacey. It is a year-round professional theater. For more information, visit www.bartertheatre.com.