Friday, July 28, 2006
Blowing Rock, North Carolina
The whole area looks something like this.
Yes, it really is this stunning around almost every curve. There's no lack of curves either.
The Blowing Rock area can be simply described in one word: beautiful. Situated just off the Blue Ridge Parkway in the North Carolina mountains, it's a quaint town with upscale shops, interesting restaurants and quick access to some of the most scenic and challenging roads I've ever traveled. It only takes traveling down a few of the 469 miles of this parkway to give you an aching neck from constantly turning your head to soak in the views from all angles. (Above Photo compliments of my own Canon Powershot S80.)
The Blue Ridge Parkway winds through the Appalachian mountain range starting in Virginia and continuing south to North Carolina. While there are numerous entry points, there are no gas stations along the parkway itself. Take a camera and prepare to stop often, as around every bend is another panoramic vista begging to be captured on film (or your choice of digital media.) With the number of miles covered by the parkway, it falls well within a day's drive of many areas of the east coast and westward to the Mississippi River, possibly even farther in southern areas.
Regarding hotels, my husband and I spent a few days at the Meadowbrook Inn. Rooms are nice, especially for the rates. The hotel staff really made the visit exceptional as they were sincerely helpful. Every single person you'd meet in a hallway or ask for anything at all was friendly and eager to assist. The decor is simple and traditional, with a mix of antique and classic style. It's well worth checking into the upgraded suites as some have amenities such as fireplaces, two-person jacuzzis, large 4-poster king beds, even a private swimming pool!
I can't offer a lot in the way of restaurant evaluation, as I was attending an event that was mostly catered. The bartenders at the Meadowbrook Bar were in keeping with the rest of the hotel staff; they even went as far as to rename a couple of drinks just for our group of car enthusiasts spending a few days there. Thus the "Radiator Flush" and "Battery Acid" were on the list of recommend beverages.
(If I recall correctly, these two are also known as a "Red Headed Sister" and "Jager Monster". A more accurate name for either would be simply "woah," as that's the feeling you have after consuming just one of them.)
Just a tip for those considering the area as a destination: The hotel staff indicated that hotel rooms throughout the area go quickly in the fall, as the changing colors and moderate temperatures make it the most popular time of the year to visit.
I can definitely see a trip back to the Blue Ridge Parkway and all it's scenic overlooks in my future. This one easily falls into the "Good Roads and Good Eats" category.