Blue Ridge Country November/December 2020 - 50

By MARLA HARDEE MILLING

;; Our favorite must-see places, to-do events, best-of experiences in the western North Carolina High Country. Items grouped loosely into
increasing activity levels. See = relaxed. Do = some walking/standing required. Play = option for longer activity.
;; *Time of year key: Spring (Sp) Summer (Su) Fall (F) Winter (W) Year-round (YR)

SEE

ON THE COVER. View is atop Mount Craig, at 6,647 feet, the second highest
peak of the Appalachians. Mount Craig is in Mount Mitchell State Park, and
was named in honor of Locke Craig, governor of North Carolina from 1913 to
1917, who established Mount Mitchell as North Carolina's first state park.

;; Ashe County Cheese (West Jefferson,
NC) - Oldest cheese plant in the Carolinas,
originating in 1930. The viewing room
to observe the process is open MondaySaturday free of charge, but the schedule
changes weekly. Check the website ahead
of time. YR ashecountycheese.com

;; Bare Dark Sky Observatory (Burnsville,
NC) - View planets and distant galaxies
through the largest public access telescope
in North Carolina. Mayland Community
College operates the observatory with
community viewing nights and private
sessions available. YR bit.ly/3hOv6r9

;; MerleFest (Wilkesboro, NC) - Famed
musician Doc Watson created MerleFest
in 1988 as a tribute to his late son, Eddy
Merle Watson, and to create a fundraiser
for Wilkes Community College. This annual
spring event is one of the premier music
festivals in the country. SP Merlefest.org

;; Ashe County Frescoes (West Jefferson
and Glendale Springs, NC) - Admire the work
of famed fresco artist Ben Long at two
locations in Ashe County: Saint Mary's
Church in West Jefferson and Holy Trinity
Church in Glendale Springs. YR
ashefrescoes.org

;; Horn in the West Outdoor Drama
(Boone, NC) - Outdoor drama with a 60-year
history brings Daniel Boone's life to the
spotlight along with the hardy mountain
settlers of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
2020 season postponed until 2021.
Horninthewest.com

;; Parkway Playhouse (Burnsville, NC) -
Since 1947, visitors and locals alike have
enjoyed professional theater through a
wide variety of plays and musicals. SP, SU
parkwayplayhouse.com
;; Quilt Trails of Western North

Carolina (Many sites in Yancey, Mitchell, Avery,
Watauga and Ashe counties) - It's fun to see how
many wooden quilt blocks you can find on
barns and buildings throughout the region.
Created by Barbara and Martin Webster in
2008. YR quilttrailswnc.org
;; The Blue Ridge Artisan Center
(Wilkesboro, NC) - Located in a historic 1915
Federal Courthouse and Post Office,
restored in Greek Revival style, this center
offers a chance to see a wide array of arts
and crafts from northwestern N.C. There's
also a live music hall, events center and
Artisan Cafe. YR blueridgeartisancenter.org.

Wooden quilt blocks adorn many barns and other structures throughout the North Carolina
mountains.

50

BLUERIDGECOUNTRY.COM

;; Wilkes Heritage Museum (Wilkesboro,
NC) - Offers immersive and interactive
exhibits on Appalachian life dating back to
frontier times. Visit the Robert Cleveland
House, one of the region's oldest structures
and the neighboring Wilkes Jail, where
Tom Dooley was famously held. The
Wilkes Heritage Museum is also home to
the Blue Ridge Music Hall of Fame. YR
wilkesheritagemuseum.com


http://www.BLUERIDGECOUNTRY.COM

Blue Ridge Country November/December 2020

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