The Beauty Of Fall Is
Only A Day’s Drive Away
by Roberta B. Turner

The Beauty Of Fall Is Only A Day's Drive Away

Changing of the leaves is always one of the very special sights during the September – November season. New England is famous for this, and many areas are packed with tourists visiting to enjoy the beauty of the changing of the seasons.

As Floridians, we have the beauty of the fall season much closer to us than up north. If you want to see breathtaking beauty, you simply need to visit North Carolina and Tennessee in late October to early November. The Blue Ridge Mountains and the Great Smoky Mountains are full of magnificent color.

Our first stop is usually Highlands, North Carolina. This area has so much lush and natural beauty due to its outstanding biological diversity, scenic mountain vistas, unpolluted watersheds, and fortunate location in the midst of the Nantahala National Forest.

There is plenty of scenery to enjoy and some of the most beautiful scenes require driving through narrow and winding roads so be prepared to hold your breath every now and then. The downtown is successful because of its quaint shops and restaurants and rustic atmosphere. For many people, the downtown serves as a focus for social interaction, and the town has strived in its general layout and streetscape to invite people to mingle and window shop. The choices you have are excellent.

Glass Falls In Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina
Stream In Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina
Smoky Mountains From The Blue Ridge Parkway In North Carolina

There are also numerous accommodations to choose from and you will find everything from vacation rentals to camp sites to the luxurious Old Edwards Inn which is a very special resort. Old Edwards Inn and Spa sits atop the scenic southwest plateau of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains surrounded by pristine mountains with lakes, streams and waterfalls. Old Edwards is also in the heart of the walking downtown area and steps away from live music and theater, boutique shopping, award-winning dining, museums and galleries.

The temperature this time of the year varies but is mostly in the 60’s and 70’s during the day and in the 30’s and 40’s during the evening.

To further extend your drive trip you will want to visit the Great Smoky Mountains in fall. The beauty in this national park is incredible with sweeping vistas of the mountains and beautiful foliage and nature. The Cades Cove area is the most visited and the national park is a treasure. Here you will see history at its best with log cabins, churches and schools that have been restored and preserved for you to enjoy. There are all types of accommodations in this area but if you are seeking the best of the best then we highly recommend Blackberry Farm situated on a pastoral 4,200-acre estate in the Great Smoky Mountains. Blackberry will show you the many reasons why it is one of the top rated properties in the world. From the moment you arrive guests are greeted with a warm welcome coupled with a refreshing non-alcoholic beverage or a delicious glass of Champagne.

Besides the exceptional facilities throughout Blackberry Farm, you will find superior service by a professionally trained staff who are genuinely happy to assist you in every way possible. Blackberry Farm sits on a hillside commanding one of the most spectacular views you’re ever going to find. On sunny days sitting on the top of the mountain listening to Blue Grass music while enjoying your picnic lunch is simply splendid and something one should experience at least once in your lifetime.

We have been fortunate to have visited both the Old Edwards Inn and Spa and Blackberry Farm several times in fall and can’t wait to go again.

Old Edward Inn & Spa

Old Edwards Inn And Spa - Historic Inn

Blackberry Farms

Breathtaking View At Blackberry Farm

A visit to Blackberry Farm is a unique and remarkable resort that will lift your spirits, restore your soul, and open your mind and body to all types of incredible and enlightening experiences.

Located at the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, the morning mist fades to magically unveil one of America’s greatest hidden treasures, Blackberry Farm. Its 4,200 acres have been a mountain haven and tranquil escape for family, friends and guests for more than 80 years as it evolved into a luxurious resort of breath-taking scenery, decadent cuisine and pleasurable pastimes.

I am delighted to say that my husband and I discovered Blackberry before it became famous around the globe and a five-star world-class resort.

I don’t think 5-star resort adequately describes this paradise on earth.

We have been fortunate to visit numerous times and really love everything about this special place that has become America’s most celebrated intimate luxury hotel.

I am not sure where to start as Blackberry has everything anyone could want for a relaxing escape from the modern-day frenzy of our daily lives to a place with a host of incredible pleasurable pastimes.

In order to understand how this resort developed into this mountain paradise, you have to understand the history of the resort and the family that has dedicated and developed Blackberry Farm to what it is today.

Regardless of the season, Blackberry Farm offers countless activities and adventures to fulfill your every desire. For those who like adventure, you can visit the stables to find the perfect horse for you to enjoy a private or group ride to see the beauty that surrounds Blackberry. For those a bit reluctant, there are other options to enjoy whether it is a carriage ride, a golf cart drive, or beautiful hiking trails.

There is also archery, paddle sports, cycling and fly fishing. For the more athletic, tennis, swimming and golf are available in your own backyard.

Eastern Tennessee is graced with dramatic byways and roads that meander through the mountains, where guests of Blackberry Farm can experience driving tours in luxury. When planning a trip to the Great Smokies or even a quick jaunt into town, reserve a complimentary Lexus.

For those who want to be pampered, the spa at Blackberry Farm is called the Wellness Spa which features all types of relaxing treatments that are unique to the resort. There is even a hair and nail salon available at the spa.

Blackberry Farm’s renowned cuisine is definitely rooted in what comes from the farm as well as the region. Often described as Foothills Cuisine®, it wanders the line between refined and rugged, borrowing from both haute cuisine and the foods indigenous to Blackberry’s Smoky Mountain heritage. Guests have the delightful adventure of fulfilling their gourmet desires in three warmly inviting and wonderously inventive restaurants. Blackberry Farm brings together a rare collection of artisans – the chef, the master gardener, the baker, the cheesemaker, forager, the butcher, the preservationist, the restaurant manager, the sommelier – who blend their unique talents to create what guests know as Blackberry Farm.

The breakfast at the Main House is a classic, wholesome and fulfilling experience. Classic breakfast offerings include Buttermilk Biscuits and Gravy, Farm Eggs from one of the local egg farmers, or the chef’s daily griddle cakes while overlooking the misty morning views of the Foothills.

Lunch at Blackberry Farm is meant to sustain guests through an active day on the stream or trails and tide you over until dinner. This meal is centered on wholesome salads, unique Southern sandwiches and soups that highlight seasonal and farmstead ingredients.

Set in a turn-of-the-century, bank-style barn, dinner at The Barn is an elevated experience where guests look forward to dressing up. Jackets are strongly preferred. Suits, dress pants, skirts and dresses are great options.

The Dogwood welcomes guests to a relaxed fine-dining experience, featuring a shorter multi-course experience and sweeping views of the Chilhowee ridgeline. Diners can enjoy either indoor or outdoor seating, weather permitting.

With 160,000 bottles to choose from, Blackberry Farm’s wine cellar is deep with opportunities to learn more about wine. During your stay, guests can schedule time with a member of the sommelier team for in-depth tasting and explore regions, varieties, producers and vintages.

The goal of Blackberry Farm’s Wine Program is simply to offer the most exciting wine experience to guests from beginners to the most dedicated wine connoisseurs. They are confident that guests with the most experienced wine palates will be overjoyed with the opportunity to experience the wine they have always heard about but never seen, or maybe just revisit an old favorite all found on the resort’s Wine Spectator Grand Award winning Wine List.

Blackberry produces four families of beers and each of them serves a different purpose in rounding out the offerings. At the Blackberry Farm Brewery, the goal is to craft beers that are unique and rooted in tradition, while speaking to natural nuances of the farm.

The farm also offers a large variety of accommodations from historic rooms to suites, all types of cottages to homes. We have always stayed in the Hill Cottages because we fell in love with the area, the uniqueness of each one, and the romance and charm they convey.

This article cannot do justice to the beauty, variety and wonderment we have seen and experienced at Blackberry Farm. So, please experience it yourself.