Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 49

Buildings around the mall were
erected from the 1880s to the 1930s and
have been meticulously maintained as

FLIKR.COM JP MUELLER99

architectural treasures.
If you want to see fall foliage in the
Appalachians, there's no better way
than by train. You don't have to
worry about traffic and all you do is
sit back in a comfortable seat and
drink in all the scenery. Luckily,
Amtrak gives us the Cardinal train
with a Chicago-New York City route
that passes through the Alleghany
and Blue Ridge Mountains.
The Cardinal stops in the mountain communities of Charlottesville,
Virginia and Charleston, West
Virginia, a perfect mid-October
round-trip between two popular destinations to see colorful changing
foliage. The towns have several features in common: Both are regional
commercial and cultural hubs with
vibrant downtown malls, and both
are "college towns." But, if you
spend time exploring their city centers, easily accessible from their
Amtrak stations, you'll soon discover many unique features.
Charlottesville, where I boarded
the Cardinal, has a bustling down-

FLIKR.COM MIKE WATERHOUSE

Destination: Charleston, West Virginia!

town that features an eight-block
pedestrian-only mall with a halfdozen art galleries and plenty of
shops and unique restaurants. It's the
focus of a busy farmer's market, colorful street musicians and art exhibits throughout the year.
Buildings around the mall were
erected from the 1880s to the 1930s
and have been meticulously maintained as architectural treasures. This
tree-lined business district is now
considered a "community living
room," where you can stroll in the
footsteps of Presidents Jefferson,
Madison and Monroe.
Directly west of downtown a
short distance, you'll find the
University of Virginia campus which
was designed by Thomas Jefferson
and is a designated UNESCO World
Heritage Site. Its famous Rotunda is
a half-scale interpretation of the
Pantheon in Rome and is the signature landmark of the university.
While you can get around easily
on foot, a trolley weaves through the
historic downtown and connects to
the university campus.
W h e n I b o a r d e d A m t r a k 's
Cardinal for Charleston on a Friday
afternoon, it was nearly two hours
behind schedule. Fellow passengers
told me that delays were routine
since CSX trains have the right-ofway and Amtrak trains are often
shunted to sidetracks so that freighters could rumble past unimpeded.
Not far from the station we slowly
climbed onto the Blue Ridge. The
foliage colors were muted along the
uphill route and throughout the
Shenandoah Valley, but the climb
into the Alleghenies was more
September/October 2015 49


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Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015

The Family Farm is Alive and Well in the Virginia Mountains
7 States of Mountain Treks, Complete with a Beer or Wine Stop
The Photo Essay: Autumn Beauty
Wendell Scott Gets His Due
Weekend: Where the North Carolina and Tennessee Mountains Rub Shoulders
Chillin’ in Chattanooga
Charlottesville to Charleston aboard Amtrak
Great Tastes of the West Virginia Panhandle
Cavender Cabins: Enjoy the North Georgia Woods
From the Editor
Letters / Worth a Click
Mill Creek Stories
The Hike
Creature Feature
Mountain Report
Great Home Buys in the Mountains
Country Roads
Festivals & Events
Singing in the Garden
Guest Column: Liz Belcher
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - Cover1
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 3
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 4
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - B1
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - B2
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 5
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - From the Editor
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - Letters / Worth a Click
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - Mill Creek Stories
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 9
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - The Hike
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 11
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - Creature Feature
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - Mountain Report
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - Great Home Buys in the Mountains
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - Country Roads
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 16
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 17
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - Festivals & Events
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 19
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 20
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 21
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - The Family Farm is Alive and Well in the Virginia Mountains
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 23
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 24
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 25
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 26
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 27
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 7 States of Mountain Treks, Complete with a Beer or Wine Stop
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 29
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 30
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 31
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 32
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 33
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - The Photo Essay: Autumn Beauty
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 35
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 36
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 37
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - Wendell Scott Gets His Due
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 39
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 40
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 41
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - Weekend: Where the North Carolina and Tennessee Mountains Rub Shoulders
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 43
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 44
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - Chillin’ in Chattanooga
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 46
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 47
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - Charlottesville to Charleston aboard Amtrak
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 49
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 50
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 51
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - Great Tastes of the West Virginia Panhandle
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 53
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 54
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 55
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 56
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 57
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 58
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 59
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - Cavender Cabins: Enjoy the North Georgia Woods
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 61
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 62
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - Singing in the Garden
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 64
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - 65
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - Guest Column: Liz Belcher
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2015 - Cover4
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