We haven’t been on as many weekend getaways lately. We are trying to save for a substantial summer vacation overseas which means less travel during the academic year. (Any other former teachers think in school years or is that just me?) Last weekend, Chris decided we needed to get out of town and I wholeheartedly agreed. In the past, I had serious reservations about Airbnb but it has grown on me. People are serious about their ratings and the places that we have stayed in have been impeccably clean. Our first two Airbnb experiences were in Savannah, Georgia, and Knoxville, Tennessee. We had excellent stays at both locations and definitely spent less than we would have in traditional hotels. This time the husband planned a trip to Blue Ridge, Georgia with an overnight stay at an Airbnb near Franklin, North Carolina.
Franklin, North Carolina
As soon as I got off work on Friday, we hit the road and eventually stopped for dinner at Root and Barrel in Franklin. It was a newer spot with lots of TVs, trendy decor and memorable serving trays. Our meals-a ribeye and roast chicken-came on smooth wooden boards. Our vegetable sides were tasty and the main entrees were respectable. I don’t think either of us were particularly blown away but then Chris is picky about his steak. I should have remembered that roasted chicken is always a roll of the dice because it tends to be dry. The skin was perfectly crispy and the marinade was flavorful but the inside was still a little dry and needed more seasoning. The sweet tea was excellent though.
“Imagine the View” Airbnb
After getting turned around a few times by the GPS, we ended up on a steep mountain driveway on the way to our Airbnb which was the bottom floor of a log cabin. The owners wanted to say hello so they were there when we arrived around 9:30 p.m. After giving us a quick tour of the place and some recommendations, they went upstairs and we checked out our cozy living area. They had a great porch that looked out into the mountains. He told us we had about an hour before the moon went behind the mountain which was cool. They had more drinks, snacks, ice cream bars, Keurig pod options than any of the other Airbnb’s that we have frequented in the past. What’s not to love about unlimited supply of snacks and giant TV with Christmas movies and a great view?
In the morning I got up early as per usual to check out at the view. The porch had rocking chairs, a swing and a hammock. The cabin also had French doors with the glass encased blinds so you didn’t have to go outside to enjoy the beautiful view. I remarked to Chris that we could have just stayed in the cabin all day and not ventured out to see what was in town. Five stars!
The first order of business was driving down to Mercer Apple Orchard. Somewhere in Haynesville, we saw a mist covered lake that was worth pulling over to the side of the road for a few pics.
The Mercer Orchard was legit! Typically, we go to Sky Top Orchard in North Carolina every year. Mercer is a professional operation. The main store/café/bakery/toy shops went on for days. We were going to take a ride out to the apple orchard on a tractor to get the obligatory Instagram selfie but then we found out it was five dollars per person. We opted to spend our life savings on actual products. People were spending money like it was going out of style. We bought a bag of Pink Lady apples, fresh apple cider, apple cider donuts, apple butter, apple dessert sauces and FRIED PIES with a variety of fruit fillings (blueberry, peach, cherry and apple)!
Blue Ridge, Georgia
After leaving the orchard, we reached our final destination which was the town of Blue Ridge. Upon our arrival, Chris told me that he had made reservations at the Black Sheep restaurant at the edge of town for 3 p.m. (I was very impressed. He is quite the planner.) It looked cute but also a little pricey. We perused the main street and shops for a few hours. Blue Ridge is basically a less expensive version of Highlands, North Carolina. Shop after shop filled with filled with cute items that I didn’t need but wanted. The town is also the start and ending point for the Blue Ridge scenic railway train.
We called an audible and decided to go to Southern Charm restaurant instead. Our Airbnb host had told us that they had great home cooked food (think Cracker Barrel without the gift shop) so we decided to give them a try instead. Apparently, it’s very popular because the waiting list was quite extensive. Since we went at a non-meal time, the wait wasn’t unbearable. The biscuits and apple butter were good. (Extra biscuits cost 25 cents). Both of our entrées were solid. Chris had country fried steak and I had the fried pork chops. The prices were much more reasonable than the Black Sheep would’ve been and the service was excellent. The server went out of her way to get me an extra sweet potato when she heard Chris and I discussing sides. Our rule is that we have to get different sides so that we can try as many items as possible which works until we both want to eat the same things. (#FirstWorldProblems). After eating at Southern Charm, we departed back to #YeahThatGreenville.
Blue Ridge is great little town to visit especially in the fall. The prices are reasonable, the scenery is awe inspiring and the fried pies are worth the drive.