End the Summer with a Mountain Vacation
The mountains offer beautiful scenery, cooler temperatures, and all kinds of exciting festivals for you to take part in!
In trying to escape the heat of the summer sun, the mountains are an ideal destination. Tall, regal, and lovely—mountains provide a climate all to their own. The air is cool and crisp, high above the humidity, and the people who live there are a breed of their own. Locals are hardy and friendly, always willing to offer directions on the winding back roads. More than this, however, the views are spectacular. The trees, in the summer, are a startling green against the harsh outline of rocks—crystalline threads running through them. The clay is red and the skies are an unspeakable blue. Being high above the normal world is an easy way to reconnect with nature and also—a great place to enjoy a summer festival.
Using its unique beauty as a backdrop to celebrate all types of human accomplishments, furnishings, and oddities—festivals are a regular pastime above the clouds. While taking in the mountain air, it seems natural to explore the culture by visiting one of their lively festivals.
The Grandfather Mountain Highland Games and Gathering O’ Scottish Clans is the premiere highland games nationally, meaning all kinds of people who are of Scottish descent, or who admire the Scottish way of life, gather to spectate a traditional set of highland games. This includes a caber toss, weight throw, and Scottish hammer throw—among other heavy athletics. This is all done to the sound of Gaelic music while competitors are clad in kilts. Food follows suit where infamous highland foods showcase the hardiness of their people—blood pudding, haggis, and scotch eggs, to name a few. Traditional Scottish culture can be explored while taking in the scenes of one of North Carolina’s most famous mountains—Grandfather Mountain—which takes on the silhouette of an old man.
Music in the Mountains is an elegant approach to a mountainside festival—held in the mountains of Durango, Colorado. For the last 28 years, this festival has focused on classic music—bringing musicians of the highest caliber to perform and to teach. Each night of the celebration focuses on a different style within classical, making sure that there is always something around the corner. Other activities include classes for all ages throughout the week, wine raffles, and enjoying catered dinners. This summer festival is exceedingly popular for its ability to offer people a new climate and new culture—mixing music and altitude.
The Mountain Dance and Folk Festival also has a focus on music but takes a more informal approach. Folk music reigns supreme at this Blue Ridge Mountain festival, as well as all other traditions that originate within the Blue Ridge Mountains themselves. Mixing the sounds of Scottish, English, Irish, Cherokee, and African heritage–dancers and cloggers can feel at home in the lively pace. Old-timey foods are important here, offering all that the locals can display. Storytelling as a practice is very important here, and competitions to choose the best storyteller are immensely popular among festival goers. For a taste of traditional mountain life, 87 years proves the ability of the Blue Ridge Mountains to offer it.
The mountains host a feeling all to their own—one which calls for enjoying all types of new things, particularly useful when things on normal ground grow stale. North Carolina retirement communities have taken advantage of mountain living and its offerings—Bear Lake Reserve, Echota, Vista at Bill’s Mountain, Vista at Blacksmith Run, and Hickory Nut Forest. Summer festivals in the cool air and exploring these mountain communities and festivals is the perfect way to mix things up, and try something new.