Marcia and I had a wonderful time in Banner Elk, NC. The picture is actually taken at the top of Grandfather Mountain. The high mountains and the Blue Ridge Parkway is a beautiful and relatively inexpensive way to enjoy nature and a get away.
This is the scenery from the top of Grandfather Mt.
The habitat had many animals like bears, deers, otters, cougars (which didn't come out for us), and this bald eagle.
Steve and Ruth (I forgot their last names - husband and wife, actually celebrating their 30th year anniversary) did a summer concert at the park in Banner Elk. They performed Appalachian and Celtic music. It was an excellent demonstration and informative event. One of the nicest mountain music I ever heard. We purchased their CD and we are not disappointed. It certainly was classic Appalachian, and different from "commercial" music.
More music...the Charlotte Philharmonic Orchestra played a series of Patriotic and American theme music at the Chetola Resort. They did a wonderful job. The fireworks afterwards was outstanding (courtesy of the Tangers, the ones who owns Tanger Outlets all over).
More scenery...this one is Linville Falls. Nice little hike will take you to see a very nice water falls. Too bad you can't jump in. There are many swimming holes in the high mountains though.
Where were we...oh yes...a close up of the falls...
Here it is...Linville Falls.
We saw lots of other things (perhaps I can get the pics off of Marcia, and post them when I get a chance)....old fashioned Mast General Store (the original one), we also enjoyed good food at the Mountain House restaurant, and of course Marcia's favorite "Bojangles" (Chicken joint like KFC). We also heard some more mountain music at the Jones House in downtown historic Boone during their Thursday night "jam." I got a recording of that one, I'll try to upload that somehow. Some more nature scenes with Blowing Rock and overlooks at the Blue Ridge Parkway. Some more music with the old fashioned shape-notes singing. Some more scenery with Banner Elk, couple of book store, used books expeditions in Lenoir, and Hickory and Charlotte. More scenery at the John Price Park. More food with picnics. More music with the "Surefire Band" (bluegrass - which they sound just like the Darlin's if you ever watched the Andy Griffith show) - I'm not too crazy about bluegrass, it's just not my cup of tea. More eating places like Backyard Burgers (a glorified Burger King).
So basically its, scenery, music, food, swimming, hiking, relaxing, book hunting, church at Linville (Faith Baptist Church) nice church folks over there. Makes for a really good vacation.