December 2015

Pete Seeger sings in an Appalachian holiday music manner

This holiday season, ring in an Appalachian Christmas.

Christmas is a special time of year no matter where you are, but there seems to be something a little bit different about an Appalachian Christmas. Maybe it’s because many of the old traditions are still alive in these mountains. Perhaps it’s because snow falls infrequently enough in the South that when it does cover the ground on Christmas Eve, it feels especially magical to young and old alike.

A Fairy Tale Setting

Appalachian wines and ciders

’Tis the season for family celebrations and office parties. If you’re not giving thanks for past memories, you’re creating new ones. In Appalachia, people like to keep things local, which means toasting with local cider and sparkling wine. Fermenting hard cider and making wine started in Europe, and the European settlers who came to the Appalachian Mountains brought their tastes and recipes with them.

Appalachian Fly-Fishing

Fly-fishing for mountain trout is a sport at which the fish sometimes win, and the fishermen don’t mind. In the Southern Appalachian Mountains, fly-fishing has a rich and active history. There’s even a Fly-Fishing Museum of the Southern Appalachians in Cherokee, North Carolina.

Downtown Boone with holiday lights

Winter Wonderland of the Appalachians

Once a frontier town, Boone, North Carolina, has become a small-town paradise in the Appalachian mountains of western North Carolina. It has the sights, sounds and culture to delight you, and it exhibits plenty of charm. You can visit Boone any time of year, but come winter, it’s full of holiday spirit and offers plenty of outdoor activities.

Live nativity scenes in Appalachia

Past and present views of living Christmas displays

There’s an old joke about a couple driving through Appalachia. They stopped in a quaint mountain town, with a central green plaza. In the green, the couple noticed a life-sized nativity scene. Along with the baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph, the three kings and all the animals, the couple spotted a modern fireman.

Appalachian horse-drawn carriage rides

You can’t get much more romantic, especially around the holidays, than a horse-drawn carriage ride. When the weather’s nice, you can enjoy clip-clopping through your favorite Appalachian historic town. And even if the temperature drops, you can snuggle together under a blanket, sipping hot chocolate, while enjoying the pace of life from another era. After an outdoor wedding ceremony, a carriage ride is perhaps the most romantic outdoor activity.

Appalachian salt bread

Ahhh, bread. It’s the comfort food of the gods, considered the most delightful carbs you can eat. It pairs well with wine or water and even better with butter. Packed with nutrition, it’s been a staple in Appalachian homes since before it was ever sliced for sandwiches. Breaking bread is synonymous with sharing a meal… with family, friends, even strangers.

David West with Trout Cruisers

With more than 4,000 miles of regulated trout waters in Western North Carolina, you can find numerous options for fly-fishing in the area. In the small streams and branches to rivers like the French Broad, David West is an expert in the field.

West is the owner of Trout Cruisers. He customizes rods, ties flies and guides fishing trips in the Appalachians. Trout Cruisers can help you get the most out of your fly-fishing experience. To get you started, Simply Appalachian (SA) spent some time with David, who generously shared some of his experience for our readers: