Road Trip

Road Trip: Toe River Valley
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The lovely scent of lavender isn’t the only reason crowds will flock to idyllic Mountain Farm near Burnsville on June 16 and 17. Visitors will go for the chance to see a working lavender and goat farm, wander a labyrinth, and purchase herb-infused soaps, teas, essential oils, and honey during the annual Lavender Festival [www.mountainfarm.net]. Take the opportunity to explore several stops while you’re there.

EAT Rise and shine with a house-blend coffee and pecan wood-smoked bacon, egg, and cheese wrap at Appalachian Java & Café in Burnsville. Snag one of the outdoor tables and rub elbows with the locals. The eatery is popular for lunch as well, serving sandwiches, wraps, pressed paninis, and salads. www.appjavacafe.com

PLAY Small farms dot the Toe River Valley. Visit The Mushroom Hut @ Fox Farms, which goes beyond produce to sell flower jellies, hops soaps, heirloom cornmeal, and shiitake mushrooms. Call to arrange a tour. (828) 682-1405

STAY You’ll have no trouble relaxing at Randy and Nancy Raskin’s rustic Celo Inn, which beckons with the warmth of a cozy European-style lodge. Located along the wooded banks of the South Toe River, the inn offers five guest rooms and a private cottage that sleeps five. $35-$55 per night; www.celoinn.com     


Photograph by Delphi Waters