This trip features scenic fall foliage and the iconic North Carolina destinations of the famed Seagrove Pottery Highway, the National Landmark Moravian Village of Old Salem, Mount Airy, the town that inspired “Mayberry” and the scenic Yadkin Valley Wine Country. Trip highlights include visits to several pottery studios and shops in American’s largest pottery community, a tour of the Andy Griffith Museum, touring the cobblestone streets of Old Salem, American’s most comprehensive living history attraction and a tasting and tour of award-winning Raffaldini Vineyards. Our State Magazine touts Raffaldini as one of “Prettiest Places in North Carolina” The views of the Blue Ridge Mountains are spectacular!
If paying online is not your preferred way of paying, please simply contact Patty, the Trip Organizer for other options.
Day 1 - Look for a departure from Brunswick Forest and perhaps Wilmington between 8am and 8:30am. This will be firmed up once I see what is most convenient for registered passengers. We travel toward the rolling hills of the North Carolina Piedmont. Our destination is Seagrove, speckled with pastures and over 100 pottery studios. Seagrove is the largest working community of potters in the Country. We spend the afternoon walking in the Village to visit shops and studios as well as driving to a couple situated in the colorful hills of this scenic Pottery Highway. The focus will be on the history and culture of these 4th generation potters and experiencing the different techniques, glazes and styles of their craft.
Our final destination for the day is Winston Salem, where we check-in to the Historic Brookstown Inn. Enjoy the History Exhibit in the hotel lobby, then make your way to the Cotton Mill Lounge for a Wine & Cheese reception. Each guest receives a complimentary wine voucher. Dinner can be enjoyed at any of the three restaurants within walking distance. These are the Meridian Restaurant, Willow Bistro and Dilisio's Italian Restaurant. Traveling solo? Join Patty and other solo diners for dinner.
Day 2 - 8:30am departure westward! It does't take long to get to Mount Airy (45 minutes) and en route we enjoy the picturesque views of Pilot Mountain. We arrive in Mount Airy and are joined by one of the local guides for an educational and entertaining tour of the town, known to be the real "Mayberry". Each of you will have a favorite site along the route. Mine was actually the Quarry. You won't believe the size of of it! After all, it is the world's largest open-faced granite quarry.
We end the driving tour with a self-guided tour at the Andy Griffith Museum which has the largest private collection of Andy Griffith memorabilia as well as special exhibits on Betty Lynn and the Siamese Twins. Following the Museum visit, there will be time for lunch, browsing shops and exploring on your own in Downtown Mount Airy. Be sure to sample some of the famous "sonker" which resembles either a pot pie or cobbler depending on the local baker. It comes from blending fruit in unshaped dough and is sweetened with sugar or molasses.
Back on the bus, we enjoy a scenic hour's drive to end the day at Raffaldini Vineyards. The setting is reminiscent of the rolling hills of Tuscany and Our State Magazine claims it to be "One of the Prettiest Places in NC". We enjoy tasting award winning wines and a tour of the Vineyard. We conclude our visit at Raffaldini and travel back to the hotel for a a private farewell social and dinner with a fall themed menu.
Day 3 - 9:15am Departure for Old Salem -Today, history of the Moravians and their unique culture comes to life. We begin at the Old Salem Visitor Center which is literally minutes from the hotel where we pick up our self-guided maps of the village. Cross through the Heritage Bridge and travel back in time to start your living history experience. We have four hours to stroll the acres of historically restored buildings and landscape, enjoy the world class Museum of Early Decorative Arts and interact with Moravians performing daily tasks as they were done in the 18th & 19th centuries. Autumn is a special season here, with beautiful fall leaves, the scents of harvest (be sure to visit Winkler's Bakery) and carved pumpkins. Grab some lunch on your own before we make our journey back Leland and Wilmington. A stop at the Farmers Market in Raleigh for North Carolina apples completes this fall themed trip!