Getting out into the rural regions of our mountains has long been a common day-trip…well , sometimes weekend, sometimes week-long trip that my husband and I have enjoyed. This month, as a matter of coincidences, we have been tuning into the “Three Peaks” Region of WNC. This region encompasses the breath-taking areas surrounding Mount Mitchell, Roan Mountain, and Grandfather Mountain. Actually, it was Mount Mitchell where we shared our very special day of celebrating our marriage together with great friends, loving family, and a celebration feast of favorite dishes and home-made vegan apple-caramel cake (some things do change).
As we’ve spent an increasing amount of time in this region, our growing love for good company, outdoors, food, and brew has been met with exceptional curiosity, creativity, and thoughtful talents of the locals in the region. My advice…fill up on gas, get out there early, and let the drive take you. There are so many ways to enjoy the grand offerings, but here are just a few!
- Make a reservation! At Knife & Fork in Spruce Pine (radicchio salad with wax beans, blueberry, Thai basil and cloumage pictured). This locally sourced farm-to-table eatery is a must! The restaurant serves satisfying brunch, lunch and dinner in addition to specialty craft drinks at Spoon, their upstairs cocktail lounge. Indoor seating is perfectly minimal, while outdoor options provide a warm garden-party feel. The 5-course chef’s tasting for $55/pp is highly recommended. Reserve ahead or you’re likely to miss out on a table! www.knifeandforknc.com
- Enjoy a brew…and river view! Blind Squirrel Brewery in Plumtree offers a collection of microwbrews on tap, or for bottle purchase. The brewery is only a part of the expansive compound that includes a lodge and restaurant in addition to outdoor offerings including ziplining, tubing, and mountain disc golf. Ask for a river-side table and sip on their Belgian Tripel or Squirrelly Eye PA. This is a great spot to prep for day of adventuring!
- Go for a hike! Grab a picnic and head up to any one of the aforementioned peaks. Roadside stands selling fresh produce and local goods are aplenty in the warmer months. This summer, our favorite has been Roan Mountain (pictured below). We discovered this beauty alongside countless others during the annual Rhododendron Festival in June, when the pink florals are in peak bloom. The views are expansive and the trails well-maintained. There are many options for pedestrian exploring through various gardens and overlooks. If we had a do-over, we would still go in June, but not during the festival…the traffic required great patience.
Now, get out there and get wandering!