Sometimes you just need to get out of town and clear your head. Do you know what I mean? If you live by the sea, going to the mountains feels more like a getaway. If you live in the mountains, you long for the nearest river or beach. But when you live in between like I do, you have the luxury of both worlds within a couple of hours, depending on which direction you head in. Since Fall has begun, we decided that the mountains would be a great place to go. Time to see the leaves changing, smell the freshness in the air, and feel the start of the coolness that Fall brings with it. How I love the Fall!
We decided to stop in Boone one night, and end the weekend in Blowing Rock – both in western North Carolina, tucked in the Appalachian mountains.
We didn’t make it to Boone until late at night. It was already getting dark when we were heading up the mountain, so we could not see how colorful the trees were. We thought it was a terrible tease to head north to the mountains at night time. We were like children waiting to see Santa Claus. We wanted to see the colorful leaves now!
Waking in the morning, you would think an alien just landed in the parking lot outside our hotel window. My honey, Brad, and I both raced over and pulled open the curtains to see how it looked outside. Yes, there were colorful trees. But there were also a number of “naked” trees already. I recall that the normal peak time for the Carolina mountains is right around October 15th. This can almost be written in stone. We arrived in Boone one week later, and many trees had lost their leaves. But it was still beautiful. The mountains still had color, and yes, still worth the visit.
We woke up a little late and decided to take a walk in the downtown area of Boone and see what the fuss is all about. Boone, after all, is a tourist haven. The first stop was the little restaurant the check-in guy at the hotel suggested – a pizza place called Lost Province. It looked like a hole-in-the-wall to me. This was perfect! Those are often the best places to go. It was tucked around the corner of downtown, just off the beaten path.
The Lost Province is a family-owned microbrewery and gastropub. They have a wood fire where they cook their pizzas directly in their copper-clad Le Panyol wood fired oven. They also use local and organic food whenever possible, community-oriented, and are very friendly and quick with their service.
Their microbrewery can be seen through large windows on the second floor right by tables where you can eat and get drunk just watching the beer being brewed. I went upstairs and leaned over a table to take this shot. Excuse me folks…
We enjoyed this place so much we hated to leave, but we still couldn’t wait to walk along Boone’s historic downtown area and see what it was all about.
We decided to walk up one side and then down the other side of Boone’s little downtown district so we wouldn’t miss anything. Turning around the corner, we saw the place I noticed when we drove by – the Mast General Store. The Mast General Store was originally built in 1883 and was first called The Taylor General Store. It has kept it’s history with the old, wonderful building it is in, and the old-fashioned decor that still colors the isles and walls today. It carried everything from candy to clothes and trinkets, possibly a likeness to what it offered back then.
I would have bought almost everything in that store if I could have. Good thing my honey kept me in control!
After the enjoyable visit through every room in the Mast General Store, we returned to our walk. A cute fruit and vegetable store was down the street, and after we crossed, we enjoyed looking through tourist shops, antique shops, and saw artwork and a museum along the way.
We stopped and listened to a group of 4 college-aged people playing country music and singing, and had to talk to them and take a picture or two. They were very nice and offered some of their cd’s, which we couldn’t help but buy. We knew it would be fun to listen to later, and mainly, I think, to help pay their way to fame and fortune.
The day was growing late, and we had new places to go and new people to meet, so we said our goodbye’s to Boone and headed out. It was such a fun visit, and I hope to go there again when we have more time.