So, in case you didn’t know, I’ll be spending the winter in Florida exploring the southeast since I haven’t really seen any of it. As I write this I’m wrapping up my first big southeast adventure. Most of it has been in North Carolina, but on the way up, we stopped at Congaree National Park in South Carolina, then went over to Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the Blueridge Parkway, came back into North Carolina and will be passing through Georgia on our way out.
It’s been quite the adventure and I got to experience fall again. I didn’t last year, so this was exciting. It was cool out, sunny, and I got to wear a jacket without overheating. I also got to have a pumpkin spice latte, yes, I drink them occasionally, in real fall weather. They’re just not the same when it’s 90 degrees out.
Our first stop was Congaree National Park in South Carolina, one of the least visited parks in the US. That’s pretty exciting, right? Yes. It was. We walked along the boardwalk trail and admired all the critters in the park. I really did like it a lot.
In North Carolina we started out in Brevard where we saw a few waterfalls and a million tourists. The next stop was Asheville, where we saw a few more waterfalls on the way, ate delicious food, went on a blind date with two books, drank all the coffee, froze in the rain, and tasted honey. SPOILER ALERT: I loved it.
The next stop wast Great Smoky Mountains and spent a couple nights in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. In the park we went to Cade’s Cove first, ran into a bear jam, so we walked along the road and got to watch three bears up in a tree for a while! We walked along a few quiet walkways and admired some roosters by the river.
In Gatlinburg we wandered around a bit in the evenings, spent way too much time in the outdoors store, decided I need a hammock, checked out a moonshine distillery, and ate the thickest pancakes ever. It’s the perfect little tourist town. I wouldn’t want to live there, but it’s fun to visit.
Finally, we went back into North Carolina, spending a night in Cherokee and hanging out in that end of the park, then spent one more night in Franklin and explore Highlands a little bit. Pretty much none of the trip was planned out and we just kind of went to wherever sounded good or looked like it would have the best leaves. After all, that is why we went.
They weren’t great, but there were still some pretty impressive trees. Some areas were still all green. Some were mostly leafless with a few bright trees. And some were a good mix of all the colors. We went through Brevard a couple times and the last time the color drastically improved. I don’t think it was a great year for color there overall though. We heard a lot just turned brown and fell off. Either way, it was still really pretty.
This is just a little overlook at the trip, I’ll share more about each place, too. I was just too excited to wait and wanted to share some pictures from the cities and save the parks for their own posts. Definitely stay tuned for more on the first big southeast adventure!
Have you been to any of these places? Which ones? What is your favorite thing about it? Do you want to go?