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Thursday, January 26, 2012

With its wide-ranging elevations, North Carolina is a traveler’s dream. You can go from the Outer Banks of the coastal plains to the Piedmont region at the foothills of the spectacular Appalachian Mountains. Within the Appalachians are a few subranges including the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains, named for the bluish tint they give off when viewed from a distance. If you decide to travel there, make sure to take a drive along the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway where you’ll not only find breathtaking views but also village-style towns hosting big-scale events and a few North Carolina bed and breakfasts nearby.

The Village InnThe Village Inn, Blowing Rock, NC

Head over to the mountain town of Blowing Rock, NC, where the annual Blowing Rock Winterfest Celebration is being held from January 26th – 29th. During this four-day festival you can take in a wine auction or taste the winning bowl from the chili cook-off while tapping your toes to the sound of Bluegrass music. If you’re feeling ambitious you can participate in the Frosty 5K run or even take the polar plunge into Chetola Lake. When all of the activities have died down, make your way back to your private cottage at The Village Inn and cozy up next to the wood burning fireplace before calling it a night.

Beaufort House InnBeaufort House Inn, Asheville, NC

Follow the smooth sounds of the saxophone to Asheville, NC, where one of the premiere jazz festivals is taking place this month. From January 27th – 29th, the All That Jazz Weekend will deliver an array of performances and concerts from some of the biggest names including The John Pizzarelli Quartet and the Jessica Molaskey & Aaron Weinstein Trio. Enjoy some of the region’s best culinary delights at the “Meet the Artists” receptions and sip wine while listening to the sensual sounds of the blue note. If you decide to visit Asheville, check out the Beaufort House Inn, a 11-room bed and breakfast that’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Each day you’ll wake up to a candlelit, 2-course gourmet breakfast made with fresh seasonal ingredients.

From the scenic shoreline to the sprawling mountains (and everything in between), it’s hard to find a better getaway for the finicky traveler than North Carolina. If you’d prefer to take a scenic route with something to do, hop into a car a take a ride along the Blue Ridge Parkway. The towns will be celebrating while the views will be sublime.

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