NC Mountains, October 2020: Intro and Food

by | Oct 28, 2020 | Food & Drink, Travel, USA Travel

Facing a 14-hour drive back from Illinois, we knew we would want to stop somewhere along the way. As we checked over the map for options, Western North Carolina looked viable (~10 hour drive). It would also give us the chance to explore part of the state we’ve not made it to yet, so we decided to make it into a several day mini-vacation.

Where We Stayed

After checking through the list of pet-friendly options, we decided on an airbnb in Sylva, NC, that would give us a decent starting point for the Blue Ridge Parkway, Smoky Mountain National Park, and other points of interest. The unit was great for us, with a full kitchen, living room, and a large bedroom. Best of all it was very quiet!

We made it to the Sylva Airbnb!
happy to be out of the car!

There were several treats for Pasha, a giant dog bed, plus a nice grassy area for her to explore, so this unit was very dog-friendly as well.

The views outside were great, and we made use of the outdoor table for multiple meals.

our morning view

We’d definitely stay here again on a future trip to the area.

Food and Drink

Mountain Layers Brewing – we stopped in for a beer after checking out several nearby waterfalls in the Deep Creek Falls area. They do allow dogs, but only on the downstairs outdoor seating area (not the roof deck). I got the peach farmhouse ale, while Leandra tried the wee heavy scotch ale. We also tried a taster of the ‘Honey, just 2 more’ with currants, which was drier than expected, and ordered a to-go crowler of the ‘Watsons Tonic’ for later. Quite pleasant on a beautiful fall day.

beer list @ Mountain Layers Brewing  a Crowler from Mountain Layers Brewing

Barber Orchards Fruitstands – located just a few minutes from the Blue Ridge Parkway, we had to stop in and check out their apple selection. We ended up with a half peck of local apples, a few small (decorative) gourds, and a very tasty apple pastry.

apple varieties @

Haywood Smokehouse –  We ordered to-go brisket with collard greens and camp potatoes, along with several of their sauces. Getting to the restaurant was a little difficult due to some road closures, but it was ultimately worth it – the brisket was reasonably good with a nice smokiness, and Leandra quite liked the collard greens.

South of Philly – located in a shopping center a few minutes from our place, we ordered for pickup. I got the ham sub while Leandra went for the traditional philly. Both were quite good! Although we specified curbside pick-up the guy who answered the phone when Leandra got there told her to just come in to grab the sandwiches. Not really the point of curbside service but not a big deal.

Ferrara Pasta and Pizza – recommended by our airbnb host, this place was also on the Slice app so we got a nice discount on a large cheese pizza. Pizza was ready in a flash and pickup was very easy.

Finally, we also visited Lookout Brewing in Black Mountain on our way back to Durham. We sat outside (with Pasha too!) where I had the Floyd’s Humor Raspberry Wit (nice, but would have liked it to have some sour) while Leandra got the Dark Town Brown. And Pasha made sure we weren’t leaving without her!

Pasha guarding my feet @ Lookout Brewing

Our Itinerary

2024 Trips

San Diego, CA (Jan)
Sarasota, FL (Feb)
Valencia, Spain (Mar)
Mallorca (Apr)
Croatia (May)
Faroe Islands (Aug)
London, UK (Sept)
Bari, Italy (Sept)</br />Rome, Italy (Oct)
Frankfurt, Germany (Oct)

2022 Trips

Florida (Feb)
NC Mountains (Apr)
Washington DC (Apr)
Valencia, Spain (May)
Hilton Head, SC (May)
Pacific NW (Jun)
Long Island (Jul)
Florida (Sept)
Chicago (Sept)
Poland (Sept)
NC Mountains (Nov)
Euro Xmas Markets (Dec)