Little Switzerland, North Carolina
A few weeks ago I shared with you some changes in our life as a result of the crazy year. B (husband) and I have decided there is no waiting for retirement anymore to start checking off our bucket list because frankly we are not guaranteed there will be tomorrow let alone retirement and because of that we have started to travel and we are working on our retirement bucket list 25 years early and loving every single minute of it!
While we are unable to travel full-time right now we can travel at least 14 days each month based on my husband’s schedule and we plan to take full advantage of that. The nest is empty and we are on our way! This past week we took advantage of the early fall fabulous weather North Carolina is experiencing right now and headed to the mountains.
I’ve read various different stories on how Little Switzerland got it’s name. One states it’s because of the valleys and sweeping views that mimic the foothills of the Swiss Alps while another says an area of limestone formations. While I don’t know where the little town got it’s name I do know it’s a stunning sight to see!
The Mitchell County Historical Society shares that “At an altitude of 3,500 feet above sea level, the breathtaking views from Little Switzerland include vistas of Mount Mitchell and the Black Mountains, Linville Mountain, Turkey Cove, and the Catawba River Valley, Table Rock, Hawksbill, Grandfather and Roan Mountains.”
We stayed at The Switzerland Inn in Little Switzerland. We have been here multiple times but we have never stayed at the Inn. We come here often for the AMAZING Restaurant that is on-site. We have always wanted to come up and stay here at the Inn and were excited about the opportunity. We took advantage of a Midweek Package that included our stay and $90 to spend in their restaurants. There are 3 different dining options on-site and we knew all of them were absolutely amazing so we were thrilled.
We spent our first day enjoying some downtime with no phones and no laptops! It was great! We headed over to The Historic Orchard at Altapass. I have been wanting to make some applesauce to can for winter so we spent time walking their trails and picking apples. Now, I chased a LOT of apples down the mountain and wished I had a hard hat on while B was figuring out how to use the picker but we laughed a LOT and that’s what it was all about!
The orchard has a butterfly garden and many walking paths in amongst the trees so we did plenty of walking and indulged in their amazing hot apple pie with ice cream on top as we were leaving. There is a little food stand on the property that is currently closed because of the virus but the picnic tables are open and separated so we sat down and relaxed while we ate our ice cream and figured out where we were off to next.
If you are not up for picking yourself they do have prepicked bags in their store as well as jellies, jams, relishes and many other treats ready to go.
We spent the rest of the afternoon at one of our favorite places in this little town Emerald Village! Before E flew the coop and left our nest empty we spent many days here. Both my guys are treasure hunters at heart and loved sifting for hours through buckets of dirt in hopes of pulling out the gem of a lifetime and while I enjoy it too my biggest joy was always just sitting and enjoying the fabulous view and my loves. With the virus it and the fact it was the middle of the week it was fairly empty. Only 2 other couples were there which made for a peaceful afternoon.
We walked away with a back full of gemstones and a really lovely afternoon! Emerald Village has some great tours but they are currently closed. Make sure if you are making a trip that you check their website first. We will make many more trips up there in our time and one of these trips we will catch the Black Light Mine Tour for sure!
We headed to our hotel to check in and relax a bit before our dinner reservation. Our room was clean and had the most amazing view which was a treat all it’s own. The room was nothing fancy and very simple but we really enjoyed our stay. Besides the three restaurants the property has lots to see and do. It has chairs and fire pits at night as well as a swimming pool and small activities. There are a few little stores also on the property and one we always visit is the ice cream and candy shop. I skipped the sweet shop but B got himself some maple fudge to bring home.
We have no complaints about the place we stayed, ate, or visited on our trip other then at one point B stepped into the hall and thought I had maybe checked him into a Stephen King movie. I assured him it was strictly lighting and maybe that he’s been watching too much TV lately but I will say this if you have concerns about COVID there was no social distance in the dining room. I could have reached out and touched the people at the tables around us. If that is not a concern to you then I say it’s worth the trip but if it is something that worries you I would encourage you to wait until spring or there is a handle on the virus.
All and all it was a fabulous little trip and we are greatly looking forward to longer adventures to places we have never been before but we thought we’d start off our new segment by sharing with you one of our very favorite places in North Carolina.
Thank you for joining us on our Empty Nest Travels!