One thing I love about living in Greenville is its location in the South East. It's a day tripper's paradise. Around Greenville, there are a handful of cities that make for fabulous short getaways. This summer I'm doing some posts on what we do when we head out for a day or two.
Earlier this month we attended the super fun and beautiful wedding of Collin and Paige Hoke. The bride and groom (and all of their friends and family) are extraordinary people. Joanna and I had a great time.
The wedding was held in the mountains of Western North Carolina on Mt. Pisgah, which means just getting to the wedding was fun. In fact, the drive up to the wedding was a tourist attraction - The Blue Ridge Parkway. If you're in the Greenville area, this stretch of the Blue Ridge Parkway is less than two hours away and just driving it can be worth the trip. There's plenty of places to turn off, take in the view and post a few selfies. Or get a snack.
Speaking of snacks, there are numerous gems in the area. We had lunch at Juke Box Junction, which is a 50's style dinner in the mountains. It's a lot of fun and has a nostalgic atmosphere. They have a great buffalo burger. Btw, that's burger made of buffalo not a regular burger with buffalo sauce. If you are looking for something spicy, try the buffalo chicken sandwich. Whatever you do, don't leave without getting one of the milkshakes which are probably the best thing on the menu. We got mint chocolate chip and weren't disappointed. Bring some change and pick an oldie to play too.
If you're in the mountains you're not far from Asheville, one of the most incredible cities in the South East. There are too many great places to eat in Asheville to recommend just one place. I think it takes multiple trips there to establish your favorites. But we did partake in something unique while there this time - Korto's Mobile Pizza Kitchen.
A couple of guys who make Pizza for a hobby go around to different locations (We found them in the Twin Leaf Brewery on a Thursday night) and make Pizzas you probably didn't know existed. And get this - there is no fixed price. They told me that they both had full-time jobs and didn't care how much I paid though they suggested $8-10 bucks. I gave them $16 for two. We got one Cheeseburger Pizza and one Smoked Turkey Salad. I went back for seconds. You would think the ketchup instead of regular tomato sauce (on the Cheeseburger Pizza) would be too much, but somehow it wasn't overwhelming at all. They kept it at the right ratio, so it truly was like eating a burger only in a much more interesting way. Find these guys and give them a try next time you're up there.
You have to know where you're going to eat because this area is a place where you can't help but work up an appetite. If you're outdoorsy, this area will be your jam. Interestingly, if you're not outdoorsy, which many of you know I am not, you can still find something in nature to do that's at your pace. The wedding party went on a hike to a swimming hole before the rehearsal dinner. You can find this spot on the Big East Fork Trailhead in the Pisgah National Forrest.
I'll tell ya. It was relaxing. There was a waterfall, rocks to climb around on, and places to dive into the water. For a list of trails and sights in NC go to http://www.hikewnc.info/trailheads/
If you're staying for more than one day, you have got to stay at the Pisgah Inn. I never use the word tranquility because I think it's a weird word but in this case, it fits perfectly. The rooms and food are spectacular, but you don't go for the rooms and food, you go for the view. We didn't turn on the TV one time while staying at the Inn. We spent every second we could reading on the balcony that overlooks the mountains. We didn't check our phones during our meals in the restaurant. We spent the whole time looking out the massive windows in front of the tables.
The view never gets old. There are plenty of rocking chairs on the lawn, decks and other places to catch it. Even if you can't stay there, drive by and see the place. But know this, if you stay there you get breakfast for free. Not like one of those breakfasts with a random assortment of tiny muffins, like a real-deal restaurant style breakfast. They have their standard menu plus special omelets depending on the day you're there. I got the French Toast.
Congratulations to you, Collin and Paige and thanks for the great weekend. It was incredible. Everyone feel free to write a comment about a "must-do" in the NC Blue Ridge Mountains and surrounding area including Asheville.
Cover Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/melystu/