Saturday, August 22, 2015

SoCo Waterfalls { North Carolina Travel Photography }

The day we arrived in Maggie Valley I had to start exploring. ASAP. I knew Soco Falls was nearby and just a short drive away so I had to find it. So I hopped in the car with my oldest girl and Dexter of course and we headed out. You can find the stunning Soco Falls located on Hwy 19 between Maggie Valley & Cherokee. There wasn't a sign on our side of the road stating we had found the falls so we did miss it and had to drive quite a while before we were able to find a spot to turn around. The parking was very limited but we were able to squeeze in. Soco Falls is one of the less crowded falls in the area but the parking is so limited that even with only a few cars, you'll be out of luck. We did the short hike to the overlook deck which is stunning in itself.
I was able to spot the very steep & rocky trail down to the bottom. I was a bit worried about Dexter trailing down and was worried he would (unintentionally) drag us down as he hopped down. However he and my daughter handled it like champs. If you visit Soco and decide to journey to the falls base I advised extreme carefulness. It is very steep and rocky! Be safe! Once we hit the bottom, I was stunned at the beauty. So so peaceful. From the base you can see both of the double falls. A few others began to trickle down the path so we decided to cut it short because Dexter, well lets just say he loves new friends. By this time he was a bit muddy so I knew they probably wouldn't love him back! We headed back up the slope and I will say going up was a bit tougher than going down! I hated to leave this beautiful spot but unfortunately it was time to move along. I will definitely be revisiting Soco again!

Next on the blog: Blue Ridge Parkway!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Maggie Valley {North Carolina Travel Photography}

Ok so as bad as this is going to sound, my family has not been on a family vacation, as in all four of the same time... in, well, ever. I told you that was going to sound bad. Sure we have been on day trips, even weekend trips, but a real vacation out of the state..yea no. This year I have decided that was going to be a thing of the past. Yes, we live in a beautiful city that people love to vacation to, but we are going to start being the ones to travel. We are going to explore new things & new places. I grew up traveling, living in places such as San Francisco & Key West so I love to travel. And it's about time I do more of it! So first trip: Maggie Valley NC. I went to Maggie Valley with my youngest daughter when she was a wee 1 month old. Of course we had to re-create:

With a population of 1,247 according to 2014 census, Maggie Valley is a quaint little town nestled in, you guessed it, the valley of the Great Smoky Mountains. It is the birthplace of legendary moonshiner Marvin"Popcorn" Sutton. Hotels and cabin certainly aren't lacking in this little town and we found one that fit us perfectly. The Alamo Hotel is owned & operated by Mike & Dawn who will always greet you with a smile & generosity! They made our stay such a pleasure. If you are in the area, swing by and say hello!

While we were there we decided to explore the area over the next few days in our down time. We saw the famous Ghost Town in the Sky which was abandoned. According to their website they are in the process of rebuilding and the park is closed until 2016. I wanted to get some shots of the abandoned park but never made it back that way before we left. There are tons and tons of old  abandoned buildings in the area, which is right up my ally

I hope to be able to explore more of these beautiful buildings when I go back. I would have loved to get better shots but with the time we had, trying to squeeze everything time!

Right smack in the middle of town, you can find Maggie Mountaineer Crafts store. We stayed in this place for what seemed like hours. Everything from toys, jewelry, souvenirs, homemade candy - spices - sauces, and FUDGE! Literally like every flavor you could imagine made daily. There are some pretty awesome photo props out front that we thoroughly took advantage of. 

Then, when you are all done getting your shop on, you can relax around back by the creek. 
Trust me, its worth it.

I absolutely loved visiting this little town. Just to sit in the valley with nothing but mountains surrounding is so serene. It simply gives you a sense of calmness & tranquility. I can not wait to venture back up to Maggie Valley and capture more of this beautiful place. 

Next on the blog: Soco Falls