The Condé Nast Traveler 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards recognize the best resorts in the United States and by region as voted by readers. Read more


Lily Kusmik’s work begins with 25 pounds of clay and a Louisville Slugger. In those incongruous tools and her own two hands, she sees possibility, creating sculptural porcelain vessels by forming the clay over the fat end of a baseball bat. Read more


Gateway to the Smokies

Donated photo

There is so much to do in Waynesville and the surrounding area during the fall and winter that one could spend every weekend at some kind of festival. Read more

A prim and proper view

Sarah E. Kucharski photo

In the mountains of Virginia near the Blue Ridge Parkway, what once was farmland and the nation’s largest producer of bundled firewood now is home to a luxury resort unlike any other. Read more

Sylva is Jackson County’s retail and professional center where day-to-day services meet unique history. The town’s development rose with the construction of the Western North Carolina Railroad in the 1880s. Read more

Cherokee, N.C., is a nation unto itself and offers visitors a chance to learn about the native culture that originated in the Southern Appalachians. It is the home of the Eastern Band of Cherokee and also known as the Qualla Boundary. Read more

Black Mountain, N.C.

Sarah E. Kucharski photo

White settlers first explored the Black Mountain area in 1784, though the Cherokee lived there long before. In the Cherokee language, Swannanoa Valley means “beautiful valley,” and what is today Black Mountain was once known as Grey Eagle. Read more

Boone Downtown

Margaret Hester photo

Named for Daniel Boone, the American pioneer, explorer, and frontiersman born in 1734, Boone is tucked into a mountain valley in Watagua County, so named for the Watauga River, which takes its name from an Indian word meaning “beautiful water.” Read more

Plainly beautiful

Sarah E. Kucharski photo

The central square of Tellico Plains is tucked away amid a small gathering of shops and restaurants. Though there’s not much by way of hustle and bustle, one can happily spend an afternoon in town. Read more

Destination: Bryson City, N.C.

Wildwater photo

Bryson City, N.C., is tucked deep within the mountains of Swain County, a county comprised mostly of federal park lands. The large amount of protected land gives the area its rugged beauty. Read more

Andrew Johnson Homestead

Sarah E. Kucharski photo

Rolling farmlands and the wide river valley of the Nolichucky give way to the town of Greeneville, Tenn. Named in honor of Nathanael Greene, General of Washington’s Army of the Republic, Greeneville was settled in 1783. Read more

The rolling hills of Greeneville, Tenn., are richly steeped in history. Situated along the Nolichucky River, Greeneville was home to the nation’s 17th president, Andrew Johnson, who came into the role after Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. Read more


Getting to the highlands of Avery County requires an appreciation for curvy mountain roads that rise and fall, twist and turn their way through rocky crevices, past gnarled trees stunted by cold and wind, over the Eastern Continental Divide. Read more

Horseback at Biltmore Estate

Sarah E. Kucharski photo

Out in an open field on the Biltmore Estate’s property, firearm instructor Dale Klug coaches me through the first steps of learning how to follow a moving target. “Have you ever missed something you’re trying to point at,” Klug asks. Read more


Biltmore at Christmas

Photo courtesy of Biltmore

Historic Biltmore Village is a destination unto itself with its shops clustered together in the walkable, family-friendly community that arose to support the most ambitious undertaking in the history of American residential architecture at the time. Read more

Relics of the past

Jack Neely photo

We present the Smokies as an enclave of rough pioneers who were so remote they had no other options, but by the time the first logs were being cut for cabins in Cades Cove, Knoxville had already hosted a state capital and a fledgling university. Read more


Knoxville's night life

Sarah E. Kucharski photo

Head to the hip town of Knoxville, Tenn., where the rockabilly lifestyle gives way to family-friendly entertainment and sports fans bleed Volunteer orange. The riverside city boasts a burgeoning downtown full of shopping, dining and history. Read more

Crescent Bend gardens

Sarah E. Kucharski photo

Always one to jump at the opportunity to visit a garden, I was particularly pleased to learn that the director at Crescent Bend, a historic home located along the Tennessee River in Knoxville, postponed digging up the spring tulips. Read more



Sarah E. Kucharski photo

The moniker “Land of Waterfalls” comes from the 250 waterfalls located throughout Transylvania County including Whitewater Falls, which is the highest waterfall in the Eastern United States at 411 feet. Read more

Glidewell's Restaurant

Sarah E. Kucharski photo

A walk down Main Street in Blowing Rock is an exercise in pleasant distraction. Though only three square miles, the town is home to more than 100 shops, about two dozen restaurants, and nearly 20 hotels and inns. Read more