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One of our favorite adventures: visiting the National Parks, especially the Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Don't forget to get your passport stamped!
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At the Sorghum Festival in Blairsville, Georgia, they will take you from the stalk to the table and show you how and why sorghum syrup is a go-to for many Southern chefs. There is always the famous biscuit and sorghum syrup eating contest.
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At Elkin Creek Vineyard in Elkin, North Carolina, you'll sample their finest hand-crafted wines.
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You can't miss Miss Angels Heavenly Pies in Mount Airy, North Carolina. If the aroma from her fresh baked berry pies don't grab you, the pumpkin yogurt most certainly will.
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Round Creek Vineyards in the Yadkin Valley of North Carolina provides the perfect backdrop for a relaxing afternoon in the vineyard.
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Local artisans line the downtown streets of Greenville, South Carolina, for euphoria. No matter the event or where it takes place, you'll always discover the fruits of the of local artisans.
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Find your special piece of pottery at the Sorghum Festival in Blairsville, Georgia.
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Jonesborough, Tennessee, is to storytelling what grapes are to Napa Valley. Don't miss the storytelling festival in October, and without fail, Donald Davis will tickle your funny bone and make you cry like a baby at the same time.
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The Georgia Mountain Festival rides into Hiawassee, Georgia, the second week in October.
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Ride in a cop car - the good way! Explore Mount Airy, North Carolina, a.k.a Mayberry. Tour the town in "Andy's" cop car and make time for a stop at "Floyd's" barber shop. "Two chairs, no waiting."
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You'll hear the best in country and gospel music at the Georgia Mountain Festival in Hiawassee, Georgia. Archie Watkins and the Smoky Mountain Reunion stirs the crowd on Sunday afternoon.
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Jazz musician Mark Rapp amazes the crowd at euphoria with his talent on the didgeridoo.
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Who can resist a carnival ride? You'll find the modern ones, but the coolest are the vintage rides like the Scrambler that can squeeze you into your date without either of you getting sick.
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It's a talent explosion. Experience euphoria in downtown Greenville, South Carolina, where wine, music, and food mesh into a weekend celebration. Headliners like Kim Carnes light up Taste of the South.
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It's apple pickin' time at Mercier Orchards in Blue Ridge, Georgia. Don't forget to stop by the market for fried pies where during the fall season, they'll sell over 10,000 a day!
Can you feel it? The coolness drifting through the air. Every now and then, the crisp breeze of fall breaks through the sizzle of summer, and it stops me in my tracks. Summer is winding down, and I get to slow down. Although with fall comes a very palpable routine with packed calendars including the almighty college football season, I still like knowing where I’m going, what I should expect, and if I choose, what possibilities await.
I will concede that most people aren’t like me; they don’t crave routine. Most dread back-to-school shopping while I’m one of those odd people that don’t have to do that anymore, but find myself in the school supply section sniffing pencils. Not the mechanical ones, but the Number 2, test-taking, bubble making yellow utensils that transport me back to my elementary years. I love scheduling a festival for every weekend from September through December and buying crafts that I don’t really need from bubbly local artisans. I can’t wait to make apple cobblers, apple pies and apple cakes and, if I can find raw cider, well, I’ll buy it by the gallons.
Looking forward to a season, well, for me, it’s routinely fall. And when you add corn mazes and pumpkin patches, hay rides wearing snugly sweaters and wrapped in the arms of the one you love, the aroma of wood fires wafting through the air, leaves transitioning to glorious hues, shorter days and longer, cooler nights – well, how can any other season compete?
As you mark your weekend (and week day) calendar this fall, explore these glorious Blue Ridge Mountains for there are endless adventures calling your name. We’ve got some suggestions for you (and links for additional information), so get out and explore and discover why fall in the Blue Ridge Mountains is (routinely) exceptional.
Judy and Len Garrison are at home in Farmington, Georgia, just on the outskirts of Dawg country - better known as Athens. Len, an IT manager for a major Atlanta company, and Judy, an editor, author and travel writer, invite you to travel along with them as they explore the best of the South. Email them at email@example.com. Visit their website at Seeing Southern, and follow them on Twitter at @judyhgarrison, @seeing_southern, LIKE them on Facebook and on Instagram.