Taigan welcomes a new blogger! Lila Fox is her name and she has a uniquely fabulous view on travel finds. Her personal blog is The Constant Tourist so be sure to check it out – she also has her own “Travel Essentials” selected through Taigan, which you may find here. She’ll be posting every other Wednesday so be on the lookout. Below is her first blog for us. ENJOY!
The Allure of Small Towns
I'm not really sure when it happened, the point at which I became drawn to the allure of the small towns outside of the bigger towns that most come to see. If I had to guess, I'd say it was around the time that I moved to a new part of the country and didn't really have a choice but to jump in the car to see what the next town was all about, and the town after it. Now while I still love everything about a big city and the buzz that can only be felt in a place where everyone and everything is shuffling, I like it for a couple of days and then I'm ready to slow it down. I'm ready to get in the car and head for the point on the horizon where the city lights melt into the expanse and the only sound you hear is, well, nothing.
There are a number of incredible small towns across America that I've, by one way or another, stumbled upon. Small towns with their own irresistible charm, personality, and history. Like any good find, I like to share. So here are three for you – Valle Crucis along the Blue Ridge Parkway, Covington just outside of New Orleans, and Telluride deep in the San Juan Mountains. If you ever have the opportunity, these small towns are worth the visit as a side trip or as the main attraction.
Driving north along US Highway 221 from Asheville and into Valle Crucis is a sight. If you catch it at the right time there's a fine mist hovering above the landscape and everything is gentle and still. There are rolling hills dotted with horses, winding roads with the occasional homemade preserves & jam stand. It's exactly what everyone needs every now and then. I'd recommend staying at The Mast Farm Inn and definitely make a reservation for dinner at their intimate on-site restaurant appropriately named Simplicity. Drive the Blue Ridge Parkway, easily one of America's most scenic drives, and be sure to visit the original Mast General Store which opened in 1883. It is an eclectic historian's dream.
Covington is an hour outside of New Orleans, and a world away. It's one of those idyllic symbols of Southern life filled to the brim with welcoming locals, pretty waterways, farms, antique stores, and fantastic restaurants. The next time you find yourself in New Orleans, sneak away to Covington for a night and stay at The Camellia House Bed & Breakfast. Grab one of the bikes for use by all guests and ride down to Lee Lane for some really nice & thrifty antique shopping at Cottage Antiques. Plan to do some blueberry picking at Blue Harvest Farms and don't head back to New Orleans without doing dinner in LOLA's historic train caboose.
When we lived in Colorado, Telluride was a favorite long weekend getaway for my husband and me. We enjoyed watching the landscape change along the drive down from Denver, and once we arrived we knew we were really away from it all. Though it's known for its winter activities such as skiing, I actually prefer Telluride in the summertime. Stay at The Hotel Telluride because it's comfortable, reasonable, and centrally located meaning you can walk anywhere you need to go. After a hike & stop at one of the waterfalls, schedule a massage at the Golden Door Spa and then reserve a table at La Marmotte. Before you go, be sure to check the tourist commission's calendar of events – wouldn't want you to miss one of the fantastic festivals or farmers markets that spring up all summer long.
So now you've got 3 more travel locales on your radar. All that's left is to buy the ticket, or fill the car up with gas, and pack! Speaking of packing, it can be daunting. One tip that I've learned along the way is to pack staple pieces that can mix and match easily with other pieces in your bag .. that and a nice coral-red lipstick. For a bit of packing inspiration, I've gathered some of my favorite Travel Essentials for you to browse on Taigan – just click here to be redirected.