Photos ~ Southport & Wilmington, NC

Approximately 75 miles north of Myrtle Beach, you will find the southern end of the beautiful Outer Banks. Enjoy exploring and finding your special place.

My favorite restaurants in the area include ….

 

Myrtle Beach, SC ~ Photos

Malaprops Bookstore, Asheville, North Carolina

Nestled in the Blue Mountains of North Carolina, Asheville is well-known as the home of Biltmore Estate, Appalachian Art, The Appalachian Trail plus a multitude of activities for tourists. It also has Malaprops bookstore, established in 1982, which rates very high on my list of book stores worthy of a visit.

My first thought when I crossed the threshold was how comfortable it felt; here was a bookstore that made me feel at home. The staff are friendly and helpful and gladly answer queries, not only about books but also about the surrounding area. I quickly discovered that the store carries an intriguing array of books, from best sellers to stories and photo books set in the area. There are also maps, posters, games and language books, including Hungarian. Yes, I did a double-take when I saw the Hungarian books.

The café area is the ideal spot to sit and browse through the books that caught your eye. There are pastries from a local shop plus an extensive drink menu, ranging from assorted teas and smoothies and marvelous coffee concoctions. Indulge your love of mocha with an “Extra Century Perception” (an Irish crème mocha) or “Suicide Pack” (Almond coconut mocha). They also serve locally roasted coffees.

When you visit the Asheville area, add Malaprops to your list of places to visit. http://www.malaprops.com/

Fall in the Smoky’s

The Great Smoky Mountain National Park is the most visited of the National Parks and there is no better time to go than fall to witness the changing colors of the foliage. You can easily spend a week in the surrounding area including Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, TN and Asheville, NC.

My drive from Charleston to Gatlinburg, mostly via I-40, took about 6 hours. In addition to being the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg is the home to over 100 artists and craftsman on an eight mile loop located three miles from downtown. Shops range from an old-fashioned soda fountain to art galleries to candles to a year-round Christmas shop plus shops with marvelous delicacies and music of the area. Stop for lunch at The Wild Plum Tea Room (on the loop and more of a restaurant than a tea room), leaving room for a fabulous dessert (try the bread pudding).

For an exciting overview, take the aerial tramway at Ober Gatlinburg and enjoy browsing the shops, having lunch or dinner at the German Restaurant or continuing further up the mountain on a chairlift. Read more