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Blue Ridge - Smoky Mountains Travel Guide

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If you are planning a trip to the mountains and need more information use this link to let us know what you need...


Highlander Gallery in Brasstown North Carolina

Trip Advisor Quote..."Finest Gallery within hundreds of miles"...

Highlander Gallery is Open...
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday 11 am to 5 pm
10079 Old Highway 64 •  Brasstown NC
3/4 miles east of JC Campbell Folk School


Spring Wildflower WalkChimney Rock, North Carolina
Chimney Rock
at Chimney Rock State Park
Naturalist Niche: Spring Wildflower Walk
Saturday May 25th 9:30 am

Treat mom to a morning of wildflower exploration. This moderate will help you learn about our colorful spring flowers. You'll be surprised to find such a variety of plants within such a small area of the Park. Along the way, we'll also touch on other local flora and fauna. This hike is considered moderate. You will descend the Four Seasons Trail from the top lot, but you won't have to hike back up. Transportation will be provided.

Cost for Hike: $23 Adult (includes Park admission), $8 Annual Passholder, $13 Youth (ages 5-15), $6 Rockin' Discovery Passholder. Advance Registration is Required.

click for more information and a map


Arts in the ParkBlue Ridge, Georgia
BRMAA - Arts Center
43rd Annual Spring Arts in the Park
May 25th & 26th ~ 10:00 am ~ 5:00 pm

Enjoy the 43rd annual Spring Arts in the Park fine arts and fine crafts festival held in the beautiful Downtown City Park of Blue Ridge, Georgia during Memorial Day weekend. Admire artwork and enjoy tasty food from over 175 juried fine arts and fine crafts exhibitors and food booths.

Weekend Admission: adults $5; children under 12 free. All proceeds go to benefit the Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association, a 501c3 non-profit community arts association.

click for more information and a map


Spring Arts, Crafts & Music FestivalBlairsville, Georgia
Spring Arts, Crafts & Music Festival
Historic Downtown Square
May 25th & 26th ~ 10 am - 5 pm

The 2019 Blairsville Arts, Crafts, and Music Festival will take place on Saturday, May 25th and Sunday, May 26th around the Square in Blairsville. You will enjoy visiting over fifty arts & crafts vendors from around the region along with some delicious mountain fair food.

The festivities will begin on Friday night with music inside the Historic Courthouse from 6pm-10pm. On Saturday there will be music inside the Courthouse from 12pm-5pm along with four "jam session" tents around the courthouse lawn for anybody to pull up a chair and jam. On Sunday you will find even more music both inside the Courthouse from 11am-5pm!

This festival is a great opportunity for you and your family 7 friends to explore all the amazing talent in the North Georgia mountain community. Whether you like arts 7 crafts, listening to music, or just meandering through the quaint town of Blairsville, Ga, make sure to mark your calendars for a weekend full of family fun!

Memorial Day Parade around the Town Square

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English Country Dance at John C. Campbell Folk SchoolBrasstown, North Carolina
John C. Campbell Folk School
English Country Dance Series
May 25th ~ Sat 7:30 pm ~ 10 pm

Like a contra dance, each English Country dance is made up of short, fun, easy-to-learn figures. What really sets it apart is the music. It can be slow and elegant (dance like a Queen!) or quick and lively (dance like a Duke!) There is a definite air of sophistication and romance. More ballroom. Less barn.

The dances are held in the historic Keith House, with its beautiful wood floor, from 7:30pm until 10:30pm. The first half of the evening consists of easy dances suitable for everyone, and all the figures will be taught. If you are a beginner and want to learn what English Country dancing is all about, be sure to come to the first half. The second half will include slightly more challenging dances for those with more dance experience.

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Starry Night at ArrowmontGatlinburg, Tennessee
Starry Night
Under the Tent and the Stars
on the Arrowmont Campus
Friday, May 31st ~ 5:30 ~ 11 pm

Join us for STARRY NIGHT, Arrowmont's annual art and wine auction. Formerly Shine, Wine & Dine, the event provides a full evening of great food, wine, art, conversation, and fun.

During and after dinner, you can dance the night away to the music of Top Tier on the dance floor under the clear tent letting in the night and the stars.

A FABULOUS DOOR PRIZE

The winner will be able to bring their family and friends (up to 12 people) for an Art Indulgence weekend of relaxation, great food by Arrowmont's excellent chef, an evening at Anakeesta, and an arts and crafts workshop designed especially for you. The total value of this prize is $10,000.

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Pickin in the ParkMcCaysville, Georgia
Pickin in the Park
at Horseshoe Bend
Thursday Nights 6 pm
May through September

Pickin in the Park is held every Thursday, 6:00 PM to dusk, May through September. Live music jams and pickin' on the banks of the Toccoa River at the Horseshoe Bend Park in Mineral Bluff.

The park is wheelchair accessible. Come out, bring the whole family to enjoy the experience. Picnic tables available, nice grassy lawn but you are also welcome to bring a blanket or chair.

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Boeing Boeing Theater productionBlue Ridge, Georgia
Blue Ridge Community Theater
presents Boeing - Boeing
Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 7:30pm ~ Sunday at 2pm
Through June 2nd

It's the 1960s, and swinging bachelor Bernard couldn't be happier: a flat in Paris and three gorgeous stewardesses all engaged to him, without knowing about each other.

Can Bernard keep his three Fiancées from discovering one another? Or will this foul plan blow up in his face?

There's only one way to find out -- so get your tickets now for this high-flying farce that is sure to have you rolling in the aisle and gasping for air, but don't worry, We've got Seat-belts and Oxygen on Standby!

click for more information and a map


Chimney Rock Spring Photo ContestChimney Rock, North Carolina
Chimney Rock
at Chimney Rock State Park
Shades of Spring Photo Contest

Wildflowers springing from the ground are a sign that spring and warmer weather are right around the corner. Capture photos of your family and friends enjoying the Park and enter them into our Shades of Spring Photo Contest for a chance to win fabulous prizes. We'll use the winning entries on our website and Facebook album, and you'll win some fun prizes. Photos must be taken within the Chimney Rock section of the Park.

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Blue Ridge Parkway...from Cherokee to Asheville

One of the special wonders in these mountains is the Blue Ridge Parkway.  The Parkway begins or ends on the edge of the Shenandoah National Park in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia the Blue Ridge Parkway travels 469-miles southwestern along the high ridges and over the tall mountain peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains ending or beginning at the southern gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

To get the most out of your scenic road trip the Highlander suggest starting out early and begin your journey from the town of Cherokee where the Blue Ridge Parkway officially ends at the southern entrance gateway into the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

Read more...A day trip on the Blue Ridge Parkway...from Cherokee to Asheville


Cherohala Skyway Scenic Byway

Take a trip on the Cherohala Skyway Scenic Byway and it is mobile ready. The Cherohala Skyway's 36-miles of scenic mountain views rival any scenic byway in the eastern United States.  Mountaintops, waterfalls and waterways joined together with wildlife and giant trees, adorn this high country of eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina.  I was very impressed with Spirit Ridge Overlook with an elevation of 4,950-feet. This is by far the best handicap access location along the Cherohala Skyway.

The average trip over the Skyway takes 2 1/2-hours, if you just want to drive and view scenery.  I would recommend setting aside the best part of the day to enjoy some of the bigger than life features the Cherohala Skyway and Unicoi Mountain Wilderness have to offer.

Read more.. A day trip on the Cherohala Skyway Scenic Byway


The Highlander is celebrating 22 years on-line this year

Moving to these mountains in 1995, and seeing the wealth of healthy resources available to everyone led us to wanting to explore more That exploration led us to wanting to share that information. Having a history in marketing and publishing and the desire to publish a magazine about these mountains led us to research the Internet and its potential in 1995.

We started developing BlueRidgeHighlander.com in 1996, and launched it in 1997. Our next biggest challenge was to go around the mountains and explain to many what the Internet was and the value it had as a communication medium. Today 88.5% of the US population uses the Internet regularly.

The Highlander has been redesigned and re-programmed many times over the years. We are always looking into new ways to benefit our readers and sponsors, and are working on new benefits to add this coming season. We know you are going love the new additions and changes as we continue to grow out of the box.

We would love your input as to what you would like to have in the Highlander, after all, we are doing this for you, our readers, as a way to enjoy and plan your trips to the mountains.

Use this link to share your ideas of what you would like to see added to the Highlander. Continue to check out the progress, each week you will see something new...enjoy..

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Travel and Real Estate Guide to the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains, including North Georgia, Western North Carolina, Tennessee River Valley and Up Country South Carolina
The Blue Ridge Highlander logo, all photography, design, graphics, artwork, writing, digital images, etc are the Copyright © of C. Wayne Dukes and Sherry Bell Dukes.  1996 - 2019, except where otherwise stated. All rights reserved, reproduction, downloading, and/or duplication of any sort is strictly prohibited, all violations will be prosecuted. Legal Policy.  If you have any questions, or comments, regarding this site, e-mail the Highlander.