Thursday, February 19, 2009


I had the opportunity to write a little article about a perfect day in Ashe County for my guests. It will be published on; they asked me to write it. I thought I would put it here on my blog....A PERFECT DAY!

Filled with pristine green forests of Fraser firs and towering Appalachian mountain peaks, Ashe County, tucked in the far northwest corner of North Carolina, is the perfect destination for some time away. Once known as the “Lost Province” and a favorite hunting place of pioneer Daniel Boone, Ashe County, with West Jefferson and Jefferson as its largest towns, is now a thriving and vibrant community of arts, antiques, adventures, and activities.

Located just 6 ½ miles northwest of West Jefferson and directly in the middle of Ashe County is a quaint and rustic old farmhouse known now as Buffalo Tavern Bed and Breakfast. Built in 1872 and having served as a way station for travelers coming from Tennessee to Jefferson in the days of horse-drawn travel, the Tavern still serves guests who enjoy the peace of these enchanting mountains. The area, known as the Buffalo Community, still thrives as its own special area of the county.

Spending a perfect day in the area is easy! After a full country breakfast at Buffalo Tavern, prepared and served by Doc, the Innkeeper, guests should head to downtown West Jefferson where they will find many small shops and over a dozen art galleries, filled with many works produced by local artists. A visit to Sally Mae’s Emporium, located on Jefferson Avenue, is a must as it is filled with hundreds of fascinating local antiques and artifacts. During the spring through fall seasons, the local farmers’ market is open.

The four-stop-light downtown area is totally walkable. While there, visit Ashe County Cheese Factory. It is the only cheese factory in the entire state of North Carolina and has been in continuous operation since 1930. Be sure to sample! When finished exploring, stop by Bohemia Coffeehouse, on Jefferson Avenue, or West Jefferson Coffee House, located on Back Street, and have a latte while viewing more artwork and hearing the sounds of country music in the background.

On the way out of town, plan a stop at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church on Beaver Creek School Road. This tiny white church boasts three of the famous frescoes painted by artist Ben Long. Just to sit in the back of the church and gaze at these beautiful and inspiring wall paintings is worth an extra 30 minutes! If you have time, there are also more frescoes at the Holy Trinity Church in Glendale Springs, south of town.

When you leave the church, turn left and head back to Jefferson Avenue. Make a quick right and then a quick left turn on US 221 and you’ll see Mt. Jefferson, towering straight ahead. The mountain, a stop on the “Underground Railroad” during the 1800s, sits majestically at nearly 5000 feet. The Mt. Jefferson State Park has two overlooks which have panoramic views of the county and, at the top, a picnic area and hiking trail for those who wish to experience the beauty of this mountain and the area. It’s a great place to stop for a bring-your-own picnic lunch!

Guests should always keep their eyes open while traveling for some of Ashe County’s “Barn Art.” Known as the Barn Quilts Project and located throughout the county, residents and artists have painted unique and one-of-a-kind art on the sides of barns. Each has its own personal touch. Without a doubt, they are beautiful!

A visit to Ashe County wouldn’t be complete without exploring the New River, one of the oldest rivers in the country. The River is 320 miles long and flows northward into Virginia and West Virginia. After leaving Mt. Jefferson, turn right and head through Jefferson to Rt. 16 south. You can see Zaloo’s Canoes on the right. Here you can gently canoe on the River for a relaxing afternoon and really know that you are in the country!

When you are finished, dry off and head back to Buffalo Tavern to get refreshed (and take a nap) before your evening out. Having dinner at Fraser’s or Matthew’s 102 North is a treat! Each restaurant boasts fine dining at reasonable prices. Both have their own unique atmosphere, Fraser’s being modern and comfortable with Barbara and Nigel as the owners, and Matthew’s 102 North, a Rod Stewart-type eatery with a cabin feel. For a sports bar atmosphere, visit Black Jack’s on Jefferson Avenue. Excellent Italian fare can be found at Brickstone Pizza and Pasta in downtown.

To top off your evening, why not stop by Good Ole Days ice cream parlor, next door to Brickstone, and order a double scoop ice cream cone of your favorite flavor! Now that’s a way to finish a wonderful meal in Ashe County!

That’s the perfect day in West Jefferson and Ashe County, North Carolina. And Buffalo Tavern Bed and Breakfast, with Innkeeper Doc, is your home-away-from-home for a relaxing break in the stunningly-beautiful mountains of northwest North Carolina!

Welcome to our little corner of America.