Why A Mountain Vacation In 2017!
Did you know Asheville, NC was recently recognized by Lonely Planet as the top US destination to visit in 2017? Did you know Waynesville NC is host to the Official North Carolina International Folk Festival, Folkmoot? Did you know that Cataloochee Ski Area is typically one of the first ski hills to open in the Southeast? Did you know that the Biltmore Estate is the largest home in the United States? Did you know that 46 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway runs through Haywood County, the most of any county on the 464 miles stretch?
There’s lots to explore in the region and never a bad time to plan a mountain vacation to East Fork Ranch!
About East Fork Ranch
Located 15 minutes from downtown Waynesville NC, 30 minutes from Asheville NC, and a short drive from the the Blue Ridge Parkway, our location is the perfect base camp for your families mountain vacation. We have two accommodations, the Main Lodge which can sleep 16 and then The Graves Cabin which can sleep 8. Nestled on 70 acres and in the shadows of the famous Cold Mountain, the property features plenty of outdoor space, mountain views, hiking, river access, and a pond for fishing/swimming.
Here’s our month by month list of why you should plan a mountain vacation in 2017
All winter long enjoy skiing and snowboarding at Cataloochee Ski Area, just a short 20 minute drive from East Fork Ranch. Tube World, which offers snow tubing by the hour, is also situated across the street from Cataloochee Ski Area. For all the beer lovers, The Winter Warmer Beer Festival in Downtown Asheville takes place January 21, 2017.
Nothing says romance like weekend getaway in the mountains. Catch a show at the HART theater and then a locally sourced meal at one of the many restaurants in Downtown Waynesville (we recommend Sweet Onion, Blossom on Main, or Frogs Leap Public House). Later plan a day trip to Asheville to explore the galleries, shops, museums, and of course the breweries. The Biltmore Estate is always a safe bet and don’t forget a trip to the French Broad Chocolate Lab for something sweet.
As spring begins to roll in, the flowers begin to bloom. There’s no place more evident of this than at the Biltmore Estate where you can watch spring evolve with all the blooms on the grounds. If flowers aren’t your thing, The Southern Conference (SoCon) league’s men’s and women’s basketball tournament & championship takes place every March in Asheville!
If your mountain vacation takes place Easter weekend, be sure to catch the Easter Sunrise Service at Chimney Rock or the Easter celebration at Lake Junaluska Assembly. Greening Up the Mountains Festival in Sylva, NC is one of the first spring festivals in the region and worth the day trip. This years event is on Saturday, April 22, 2017. And of course nothing beats an early spring hike on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Graveyard Fields has relatively flat terrain and is a perfect option for all levels.
Downtown Waynesville, NC is known for summer festivals and The Whole Bloomin’ Thing in Historic Frog Level kicks it all off. Other notable area festivals include the Tour De Falls at DuPont State Forest, Mountain Sports Festival in Asheville, White Squirrel Festival in Brevard, and the Rhododendrum & Azalea Flower Show at the NC Arboretum.
Beat the summer heat and explore the many waterfalls and swimming holes in the area. Two of our favorites are Skinny Dip Falls and Graveyard Fields both an easy drive from East Fork Ranch. If live music is your thing, then Shindig On The Green and Downtown After 5 in Asheville are where it’s at on a warm summer night. Looking for a little history and culture, then the Appalachian Lifestyle Festival or one of the monthly Street Dances in Downtown Waynesville are excellent options.
Enjoy the Fourth Of July celebration in Downtown Waynesville during the afternoon and then follow it up with the fireworks display in Maggie Valley, a great way to celebrate our countries independence. Then later in the month celebrate the music, dance, and heritage of other nations at Folkmoot, taking place July 20-30. (the Parade of Nations is a MUST DO if your in the area on that day). Also The Southern Highland Craft Guild hosts their Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands summer edition July 21-23 in Asheville.
Celebrating 21 years, the Lake Eden Arts Festival (also known as LEAF) will host their Downtown Asheville festival Aug 05-06. Did we mention it’s FREE! August is also a great month to spend an afternoon or evening at the ball park cheering on the local minor league baseball team, The Asheville Tourists.
North Carolina Mountain State Fair known as the “state fair” of the west, the ten-day event is attended by 180,000+ people and celebrates the people, agriculture, art and tradition that make our region great with live music, rides, animals and food. Goombay Festival, Asheville Greek Festival and the Canton Labor Day Festival all also take place in September!
One of the top reason guests plan a mountain vacation in the fall is for the leaves, and there is not a better place to view the color show than on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Be sure to pack a picnic and watch the sunset one evening! Downtown Waynesville also hosts to two of our favorite festivals in October, Church St Arts and Crafts Festival and then the Apple Harvest Festival. Both of these events are fun for the whole family.
Typically the third or fourth weekend in November, the annual Holiday Parade in Downtown Asheville is the regions largest and a great way to kick off the holiday season.
Looking for some holiday cheer be sure to check out the Warren Haynes Christmas Jam, A Night Before Christmas in Downtown Waynesville, and Gingerbread House display at the Grove Park Inn all of which take place in December.