Monthly writing prompt challenge: January 2023

Do you have a favorite place you have visited? Where is it?

It’s very hard for me to choose just one favorite, but I can narrow my list down to three of four. Not surprisingly, nearly all of them have a mountain view. As a mountain girl at heart, I love beautiful scenery and a view you can just look at and appreciate.

green pine trees under blue sky
Photo by Airam Dato-on on

I was born in West Virginia, but grew up in North Carolina, so my list will encompass both states with a side of Tennessee. It’s also worth adding that I could happily live in any of these areas (and I did briefly live in Western NC while I was in college). Here are my favorite places, in no particular order.

Tryon, NC/Saluda, NC/Landrum, SC

Photo courtesy of

Five years ago, my husband and I visited Landrum, SC/Tryon, NC/Saluda, NC for our anniversary and we absolutely loved it. We stayed at the Red Horse Inn, which is a beautiful bed and breakfast. The small towns are charming and we enjoyed many delicious places to eat. Most of them were recommended by the Inn owner Christian. You should visit the downtowns of all three towns- Saluda has the neatest old fashioned grocery store. Tryon has a wonderful bookstore and some delicious restaurants. Landrum also has some amazing restaurants, too- we really liked the Hare and the Hound! Pearson’s Falls, a 100-foot waterfall, is only a short drive away from the Inn, and it’s definitely worth the hike!

Blowing Rock, NC

Photo courtesy of High Country Tourism

We absolutely love the Boone/Blowing Rock/West Jefferson area of North Carolina. It’s a lovely place and there is so much to do. You can go skiing/tubing/snowboarding in the winter and kayaking/river tubing in the summer. You can explore various hiking trails, visit Grandfather Mountain, visit Blowing Rock, and check out some beautiful and charming small towns. There are also tons of places to eat and shop- my personal favorite is Kilwin’s Ice Cream shop in downtown Blowing Rock.

West Virginia: Pipestem State Park, Pipestem, WV

a white tailed deer on green grass field
Photo by Aaron J Hill on

Pipestem State Park is near and dear to my heart. My grandparents used to bring me here when I was a kid, and I have spent a lot of time here. There are golf courses, camp cabins, a campground, several playgrounds, ziplining, horseback riding, walking trails, ponds and lakes for fishing, a river, lodges for staying, pools, and so many pretty views. My favorite things to do here are ride the tram, ride horses, and shop in the artisan gift shop.

Watoga State Park, Marlinton, WV

Legacy Cabins at Watoga

My family and I went to Watoga State Park when I was a teenager and I loved it. We stayed in a cabin with no television, but as a bookish kid who loved reading and listening to music, I didn’t mind. It’s a beautiful and peaceful place with lots of fishing, hiking, horseback riding, and canoeing.

Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee

I absolutely love the Smokies. Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, and Sevierville are some of my favorite places to be. I love the pretty views, and there are hundreds of things to do (the food is amazing). We love Dollywood, the Apple Barn restaurant and The Local Goat, and we love to go shopping at the outlets. Ripley’s Aquarium is another favorite.

Where are your favorite places to visit? I would love to hear about them.

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