Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Little Switzerland, NC

Isn't it a fantastic view from up here in Little Switzerland, overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains? Unfortunately, we had a little morning fog on that day. Can you imagine how beautiful it looks here in fall with all those magnificent colored trees?

A small mountain road is winding up the hills to the top of Little Switzerland.

Finally arrived!
A small village with little shops and a Hotel is awaiting you. The houses are in no way similar to the houses in Switzerland, though! It's more a mixture of Bavarian and Austrian style paintings and colors and has nothing to do with real Swiss houses!

These A-frame houses are for rent. Maybe something to consider for your next mountain vacations? It can be big fun...!

Red flowers and a bench are always nice in front of a mountain cabin imitation.

A "Little Swiss" beauty...!

Another beautiful find from up there

After driving trough the Blue Ridge Mountain Parkway we came to a Gem Mine at Bruce Pine. This painted stones are advertising the close
Gemstone Mine.

In the shops of this mine you can buy already finished gems - or you can wash away the loose dirt in the sluice and with a little bit of luck you will find a big treasure.

Interesting stuff to know about "Little Switzerland" and its region:

With breathtaking views around every corner, waterfalls, wildflowers, gem mines, unique lodging and dining and with many things still handcrafted and homemade, we're one of the last true escapes for relaxation, cool temperatures and clean mountain air. Little Switzerland is located between Asheville and Boone at Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 331.
Little Switzerland received its name from early summer residents of the area who thought the scenery resembled that of the Swiss Jura Mountains.And as a Swiss person I can fully agree with this!

The Blue Ridge Parkway . . .
The Blue Ridge Parkway, a unit of the National Park System, extends the length of our area and provides splendid views around every corner. A visitor information center is located at the Museum of North Carolina Minerals at Gillespie Gap, Milepost 331.

Scenic Attractions . . .
You'll find many points of interest around the area. At 6,684 feet, Mt. Mitchell is the highest mountain east of the Mississippi River, and offers spectacular views, scenic hikes, a museum, concession stand and restaurant open seasonally.

Other attractions in the area or within easy driving distance include Crabtree Meadows & Falls, Emerald Village, Dellinger Grist Mill, Grassy Creek Falls, Biltmore Estate, Lake James State Park, Penland School of Crafts, Linville Caverns, Roan Mountain Gardens, Linville Falls, Craggy Gardens, Grandfather Mountain, Appalachian Trail, Tweetsie Railroad, Blowing Rock, Moses Cone Estate, Chimney Rock, Carolina Hemlocks Recreation Area, Mountain Gateway Museum.

Recreation . . .
With over 100,000 acres in national forest and hundreds of miles of trout streams, our area is an outdoors paradise. Hiking, camping, horseback riding, hunting and white-water rafting are very popular and there are several fine North Carolina golf courses nearby. Several gem mines offer the opportunity to pan for gemstones (a rockhound's dream!). Winter sports include cross-country skiing, and there are several ski resorts within easy driving distance.

Climate . . .
Our area enjoys 4 distinct seasons with cool summers and moderate winters. Temperatures and snowfall vary with elevation and exposure. Around Little Switzerland, January average temperature is 34 degrees and July average is 70 degrees. Average rainfall is 56 inches and normal snowfall is 10 to 20 inches annually.


Michele (Rocky Mtn.Girl) said...

Just like my city... I live in a Bavarian style city as well so it has a lot of those same features... you might have missed that post when you were gone... it's here... my home area ... you take wonderful photos... what a beautiful area in Little Switzerland! Gorgeous landscape!! WOW.

Susanne49 said...

Thank you Michele!
I would be a everyday guest in the German bakery, that's for sure! :-)

Peter (Worldman): said...

A nice post, with a lot of information. AND AGAIN, A BENCH. I can use one soon. You have no idea all the running around one has to do and the forms to fill in to get your retirement benefits. I need a bench to sit down. :-)

Carole said...

A nice set of images Sue. I like those a framed houses for rent. Would like to see inside one (i'm very nosey that way LOL). It's funny how people receive things and yet are so far from the reality as the little swiss shop front that (as you know being Swiss yourself) isn't like Swiss at all, although it does look nice. LOL

Susanne49 said...

Hallo Peter,

die Bank ist dein! :-)
Lass mich einfach wissen, wann ich den Kaffee servieren kann, o.k.? ...LOL...

Thanks for your comment.

Susanne49 said...

Thanks for your kind comment, Carol. Very much appreciated.

Expat Traveler said...

How beautiful! At least it is more European than the ordinary day to day things you see...

You are right though, it does look more Bavarian.... I see much more modern swiss type architecture here (or at least that is what it seems to be to me)..

Susanne49 said...

Thanks for your comment, Expat.
What's your real name? :-)


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