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Blue Ridge - Smoky Mountains Travel Guide

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Highlander Gallery in Brasstown North Carolina

Trip Advisor Quote..."Finest Gallery within hundreds of miles"...

Highlander Gallery is Open...
Thursday, Friday & Saturday 11 am to 5 pm
10079 Old Highway 64 •  Brasstown NC
3/4 miles east of JC Campbell Folk School

The Art Center needs VolunteersBlue Ridge, Georgia
Annual Arts in the Park
Needs Volunteers
Fri, Sat & Sunday
May 24th, 25th & 26th

Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Association - The Arts Center is looking for volunteers for the upcoming 43rd Annual Arts in the Park.  They need help May 24th for set up, and May 25th & 26th during the festival. Volunteers who work a minimum 2-hour shift will receive a complimentary admission for both days of the festival and an event staff shirt.

If you are interested in being a part of this year's team, please contact Ceci Acevedo at or call 706-258-4328.

Blairsville Georgia Spring ConcertBlairsville, Georgia
Spring Concert
Historic Union County Courthouse
Friday May 17th ~ 7 pm

Panamanian Folk Song- El Arborito, arranged by Daniel Allen. Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante for violin, viola and orchestra, in E flat Major.

Our guest conductor for this piece will be Martin David Jones, and our good friend Laura Tomlin will play the solo violin.

Director Laurin Smith will play the solo viola on this lovely 3 movement piece. Grieg's Holberg Suite, includes a prelude, two dance movements, a religious air and an exciting lively French dance with violin and viola solos.

American Folk Song Suite (Shenandoah, Sourwood Mountain, Black is the Color of my True Love's hair, Turkey in the Straw.) Lady Gaga Fugue, a modern piece with a baroque twist.

click for more information and a map

Eggfest at Georgia Mountain FairgroundsHiawassee, Georgia
Green EggFest at
Georgia Mtn Fairground
Saturday ~ May 18th
9 am - 5 pm

Don't miss the 5th Annual Georgia Mountain EggFest in the beautiful North Georgia Mountains. Activities will take place at the famous Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds in Hiawassee, Georgia.

What is an EggFest?

An EggFest is a gathering of Big Green Egg fans and experienced cooks from all across the country and Canada. The cooks will be showcasing their skills and talents and will be preparing their specialty recipes all day long. The non-cooks (tasters) are free to stroll through the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds, sample and experience wonderful egged food while talking to the cooks about their recipes and techniques.

There will be some amazing food coming off the eggs all day long, so pace yourself! You'll soon learn why the Big Green Egg is the "Ultimate Cooking Experience".

click for more information and a map

Outlaws & Renegades Tour With Travis Tritt & Cadillac ThreeHiawassee, Georgia
Outlaws & Renegades Tour
With Travis Tritt & Cadillac Three
at Anderson Music Hall
Saturday ~ May 18th
7 pm - 10 pm

Travis Tritt released his first album, Country Club, in 1990. The title track became his first hit, breaking into the country Top 10. Some industry experts didn't know what to make of his rock-influenced sound, but listeners definitely liked what they heard. Tritt had two more successful singles off the album-"Help Me Hold On" and "I'm Going to Be Somebody."

It may be a ballsy move for The Cadillac Three to name their new album LEGACY, but if any country band has the shared history to lay claim to such a weighty title, it's the long-haired trio of Nashville natives. Singer-guitarist Jaren Johnston, drummer Neil Mason and lap-steel player Kelby Ray have known one another since they were teens and have been sharing stages together for nearly 15 years.

click for more information and a map

Spring Wildflower WalkChimney Rock, North Carolina
Chimney Rock
at Chimney Rock State Park
Naturalist Niche: Spring Wildflower Walk
Saturday May 25th 9:30 am

Treat mom to a morning of wildflower exploration. This moderate will help you learn about our colorful spring flowers. You'll be surprised to find such a variety of plants within such a small area of the Park. Along the way, we'll also touch on other local flora and fauna. This hike is considered moderate. You will descend the Four Seasons Trail from the top lot, but you won't have to hike back up. Transportation will be provided.

Cost for Hike: $23 Adult (includes Park admission), $8 Annual Passholder, $13 Youth (ages 5-15), $6 Rockin' Discovery Passholder. Advance Registration is Required.

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Hamilton Gardens at Lake ChatugeHiawassee, Georgia
Celebrate the Gardens
at Hamilton Gardens
at Lake Chatuge
Saturday ~ May 18th
5:30 - 7:30 pm

A benefit for Hamilton Gardens at Lake Chatuge

Paris Pavilion --- Wine Beer & Hors d'oeuvres

Cost: $25 per person in advance - $30 at the door.

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Arts in the ParkBlue Ridge, Georgia
BRMAA - Arts Center
43rd Annual Spring Arts in the Park
May 25th & 26th ~ 10:00 am ~ 5:00 pm

Enjoy the 43rd annual Spring Arts in the Park fine arts and fine crafts festival held in the beautiful Downtown City Park of Blue Ridge, Georgia during Memorial Day weekend. Admire artwork and enjoy tasty food from over 175 juried fine arts and fine crafts exhibitors and food booths.

Weekend Admission: adults $5; children under 12 free. All proceeds go to benefit the Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association, a 501c3 non-profit community arts association.

click for more information and a map

Spring Arts, Crafts & Music FestivalBlairsville, Georgia
Spring Arts, Crafts & Music Festival
Historic Downtown Square
May 25th & 26th ~ 10 am - 5 pm

The 2019 Blairsville Arts, Crafts, and Music Festival will take place on Saturday, May 25th and Sunday, May 26th around the Square in Blairsville. You will enjoy visiting over fifty arts & crafts vendors from around the region along with some delicious mountain fair food.

The festivities will begin on Friday night with music inside the Historic Courthouse from 6pm-10pm. On Saturday there will be music inside the Courthouse from 12pm-5pm along with four "jam session" tents around the courthouse lawn for anybody to pull up a chair and jam. On Sunday you will find even more music both inside the Courthouse from 11am-5pm!

This festival is a great opportunity for you and your family & friends to explore all the amazing talent in the North Georgia mountain community. Whether you like arts & crafts, listening to music, or just meandering through the quaint town of Blairsville, Ga, make sure to mark your calendars for a weekend full of family fun!

Memorial Day Parade around the Town Square

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Pickin in the ParkMcCaysville, Georgia
Pickin in the Park
at Horseshoe Bend
Thursday Nights 6 pm
May through September

Pickin in the Park is held every Thursday, 6:00 PM to dusk, May through September. Live music jams and pickin' on the banks of the Toccoa River at the Horseshoe Bend Park in Mineral Bluff.

The park is wheelchair accessible. Come out, bring the whole family to enjoy the experience. Picnic tables available, nice grassy lawn but you are also welcome to bring a blanket or chair.

click for more information and a map

Boeing Boeing Theater productionBlue Ridge, Georgia
Blue Ridge Community Theater
Boeing - Boeing
Opening Thursday, May 16th

It's the 1960s, and swinging bachelor Bernard couldn't be happier: a flat in Paris and three gorgeous stewardesses all engaged to him, without knowing about each other.

Can Bernard keep his three Fiancées from discovering one another? Or will this foul plan blow up in his face?

There's only one way to find out -- so get your tickets now for this high-flying farce that is sure to have you rolling in the aisle and gasping for air, but don't worry, We've got Seat-belts and Oxygen on Standby!

click for more information and a map

Chimney Rock Spring Photo ContestChimney Rock, North Carolina
Chimney Rock
at Chimney Rock State Park
Shades of Spring Photo Contest

Wildflowers springing from the ground are a sign that spring and warmer weather are right around the corner. Capture photos of your family and friends enjoying the Park and enter them into our Shades of Spring Photo Contest for a chance to win fabulous prizes. We'll use the winning entries on our website and Facebook album, and you'll win some fun prizes. Photos must be taken within the Chimney Rock section of the Park.

click for more information and a map

Blue Ridge Parkway...from Cherokee to Asheville

One of the special wonders in these mountains is the Blue Ridge Parkway.  The Parkway begins or ends on the edge of the Shenandoah National Park in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia the Blue Ridge Parkway travels 469-miles southwestern along the high ridges and over the tall mountain peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains ending or beginning at the southern gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

To get the most out of your scenic road trip the Highlander suggest starting out early and begin your journey from the town of Cherokee where the Blue Ridge Parkway officially ends at the southern entrance gateway into the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

Read more...A day trip on the Blue Ridge Parkway...from Cherokee to Asheville

Cherohala Skyway Scenic Byway

Take a trip on the Cherohala Skyway Scenic Byway and it is mobile ready. The Cherohala Skyway's 36-miles of scenic mountain views rival any scenic byway in the eastern United States.  Mountaintops, waterfalls and waterways joined together with wildlife and giant trees, adorn this high country of eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina.  I was very impressed with Spirit Ridge Overlook with an elevation of 4,950-feet. This is by far the best handicap access location along the Cherohala Skyway.

The average trip over the Skyway takes 2 1/2-hours, if you just want to drive and view scenery.  I would recommend setting aside the best part of the day to enjoy some of the bigger than life features the Cherohala Skyway and Unicoi Mountain Wilderness have to offer.

Read more.. A day trip on the Cherohala Skyway Scenic Byway

The Highlander is celebrating 22 years on-line this year

Moving to these mountains in 1995, and seeing the wealth of healthy resources available to everyone led us to wanting to explore more That exploration led us to wanting to share that information. Having a history in marketing and publishing and the desire to publish a magazine about these mountains led us to research the Internet and its potential in 1995.

We started developing in 1996, and launched it in 1997. Our next biggest challenge was to go around the mountains and explain to many what the Internet was and the value it had as a communication medium. Today 88.5% of the US population uses the Internet regularly.

The Highlander has been redesigned and re-programmed many times over the years. We are always looking into new ways to benefit our readers and sponsors, and are working on new benefits to add this coming season. We know you are going love the new additions and changes as we continue to grow out of the box.

We would love your input as to what you would like to have in the Highlander, after all, we are doing this for you, our readers, as a way to enjoy and plan your trips to the mountains.

Use this link to share your ideas of what you would like to see added to the Highlander. Continue to check out the progress, each week you will see something new...enjoy..

Boeing Boeing Theater production
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Travel and Real Estate Guide to the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains, including North Georgia, Western North Carolina, Tennessee River Valley and Up Country South Carolina
The Blue Ridge Highlander logo, all photography, design, graphics, artwork, writing, digital images, etc are the Copyright © of C. Wayne Dukes and Sherry Bell Dukes.  1996 - 2018, except where otherwise stated. All rights reserved, reproduction, downloading, and/or duplication of any sort is strictly prohibited, all violations will be prosecuted. Legal Policy.  If you have any questions, or comments, regarding this site, e-mail the Highlander.