An Explorer’s Guide: Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains


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The Blue Ridge and Smokies were made for exploring

In this updated edition of the definitive guide to the tallest mountains in the East, you’ll find full coverage of both sides of the Tennessee-North Carolina divide. There’s so much to see here, so much to do, and experienced travel writer Jim Hargan, a longtime resident of these mountains, is the best guide a traveler could want. Follow his recommendations to find beautiful natural areas where you can try whitewater sports, horseback riding, fishing, rock climbing, snow skiing, and golf. Take a hike, canoe or kayak, swim, and watch birds and wildlife. Hargan also brings you to cities and towns where you’ll find comfortable accommodations, gourmet dining, world-class museums, diverse entertainment, and great shopping.

Spend time in two of the most popular national parks in the country – Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway. There are lots of things to do in and near the parks: rent a cottage or cabin, pick wild berries; rake in the stunning view from a mountainside grassy bald; hike to a dramatic waterfall; listen to local musicians playing mountain music or bluegrass; pan for gold or rubies; take a ranger-led wildlife walk — the possibilities are endless.

In addition, this best-selling guide to the region includes opinionated listings for lodging and dining places; detailed maps; and alphabetical “What’s Where” subject guide to aid in trip planning; and handy icons that point out family-friendly establishments; wheelchair access, rainy-day activities, and lodgings that accept pets. A section called Exploration Themes provides lists of the best offerings covered so you can find whatever you’re most interested in — fine crafts, long-distance walking trails, railroads,etc. All these tips and insights will save you money and time and help you make the most of your visit in these serene and beautiful mountains.


  • Getting There
  • Getting Around
  • What To See
  • What To Do
  • Family Activities
  • Green Space
  • Where To Stay
  • Where To Eat
  • Entertainment
  • Selective Shopping
  • Special Events
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