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Archive for the ‘General’ Category

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I’ve traveled on the Southern Highroads a few times and now I’m pretty much a pro at it, but many are riding it for the first time and many people want to know what they’ll see on the scenic highway. Well, there’s Mile By Mile that will help take the guessing out for you on exactly what cities and counties you’ll be going through.

We do still offer our free brochure, but this is your chance to see the turns, some images from the trail, and getting detailed information about the trail. Thanks to milebymile.com for setting us up with this and being so quick!

Georgia Scenic Highway
South Carolina Scenic Highway
North Carolina Scenic Highway
Tennessee Scenic Highway

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Road Trip Picnic Tips

When we’re on the road our family only eats in restaurants (rarely fast foods) and consider it a “treat”. Typically we bring our own picnic food and snacks, also a cooler, and this limits us in our food budget so when we do go out to eat, we can splurge a little.

Here are some basic road trip picnic tips:

Don’t rely on fast food to satisfy your hunger – bring healthy meals along on your travels, in a picnic backpack or cooler! We all know that fast food is unhealthy – it’s loaded with fat and empty calories, and if we eat it too often, our health will almost certainly suffer. When you’re on the road, you may think that you have little choice; nibbling on crackers or peanut butter sandwiches just doesn’t seem like a satisfying meal. The drive-through offers convenience at a low price, and more often than not, we give in to immediate gratification for our rumbling stomachs rather than make a healthier choice.

Don’t give up on making wise meal choices while on a road trip. There’s an easy way to keep your hunger satisfied while you’re on the road, without breaking the bank or harming your health. Prepare healthy meals ahead of time, and bring them along with you in a cooler. Today’s picnic coolers and backpacks provide stronger, higher quality insulation than ever before, so your meals stay cold longer. Plus, it’s an item you will use again and again for many other purposes – you’ll end up bringing it along to the beach, the park, sporting events, and many other places. The ideal cooler will have enough room for the amount of food you need to have on hand, and will stay cool with an cold pack rather than requiring ice. Be sure there’s enough room in the cooler for several meals, depending on how long your road trips normally last. Getting yourself a portable beverage container is also a good idea – a vacuum flask thermos can carry hot or cold liquids such as coffee, tea, juice, smoothies, and soup.

Some good ideas for food that travels well include fresh fruit and vegetables, vinegar-based pasta salad, sliced deli meats and bread, cheese, and individual packets of condiments. You could even pack some of last night’s leftover casserole into a reusable plastic container, and plan on eating it cold. Choosing snacks that pack a lot of protein will keep you feeling satisfied longer than sugary, processed treats. Don’t wait to eat until you’re starving – you’ll have a tendency to crave fatty foods loaded with carbs, which will leave you feeling lethargic after you eat.

Taking a short break from driving is important – it will help clear your mind and relax your body so you’re able to focus better when you get back on the road. This is the perfect opportunity to stop at a rest area, park, or even on the side of the road to enjoy your meal. Don’t eat while driving – not only will you not enjoy your meal as much, it can put yourself and others in danger. Keep a picnic blanket in the car so you can get out and stretch, and enjoy a real picnic meal wherever you are. Portable blankets with shoulder straps or carrying bags are the perfect choice for this usage.

Due to our ever changing product offering, not all products listed in these articles may still be available. (via Picnics For Fun)

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Sautee-Nacoochee Indian MoundThere’s not just one particular gateway onto Southern Highroads. You can hop onto it from basically anywhere. However, some good entry points from the South are through Sautee-Nachoochee, Helen, and Scenic Hwy 197.

Just as you’re coming around a curve you see a beautiful field with a mound and a memorial sitting on top of it. That is the Indian Mound of Sautee-Nacoochee, often mispronounced, but the people are pleasant enough to correct you and smile and keep listening while you try again.. and get it wrong.. again (I know because it’s what happened to me). But there’s more to this area than a historic Indian Mound. The beauty of Sautee-Nacoochee is the richness and development of their culture and appreciation of the arts. There is a wonderful folk pottery and history museum, heritage sites, and the Sautee-Nacoochee Center enter that really encourages the Fine Arts in the area.

You can pick up Scenic 197 through Clarkesville, which has a historic downtown with many original 1800s buildings (more on that later) or you could just pick it up a little past Helen. We chose to pick it up off of Helen, GA. A cute Alpine village tucked to the side of a mountain. It’s a family-friendly area with a lot of wonderful shopping, restaurants, and things to do. I highly recommend staying in this area by way of cabin or quaint Inn to really get the full effect of the area.

Scenic 197 may be a beautiful scenic highway, but originally it was to run moonshine. It has twists, turns, and quaint shops, restaurants, and inns dotted through-out the entire highway. It really is a nice beginning to logging your miles onto Southern Highroads. Follow 197 all the way to the end.. and by taking a right, you can go to Mountain City, where the Foxfire Museum is or you could take a left and head over to Hiawassee.

Kind of like a You-Choose-Adventure story right? More to come on our travels.

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Southern Highroads TrailAll that is required to ride the Southern Highroads Trail is a car, a brochure, enthusiasm, and maybe some bottled water (can’t have you dehydrate!). Your trip may not last a long time, but it’s an experience that you walk away from feeling invigorated and talking about it for a long time.

The 364-mile scenic highway loop runs through 4 states: Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina. The highway is marked with signs that indicate you’re on the Southern Highroads Trail and if you email them, you’ll likely get a brochure to help guide you on your way. It lists vendors for all that you need on a vacation: places to stay, places to eat, things to see, and stuff to do. The website has a list of events that are going on or near the Southern Highroads so no matter when you plan to visit.. there’s always something to check out.

So that’s what I do. With my trusty Southern Highroads brochure, a GPS (I get lost by nature), my family in accompaniment, and a cooler full of snacks; we head off for our vacations through this beautiful scenic highway. We can go so often because there’s always something we’ve never done before, some city we never stopped in before, and never a dull moment.

Our cameras and laptops in tow.. we set off.. through 4 states of beautiful mountain scenery. We meet strangers along the way and very quickly they turn into friends. The Southern Highroads is more than just a scenic byway.. it’s a road to bring people closer together, to experience life, and have a great time!

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