It has become a yearly Christmas tradition in our family. We eat dinner at a local restaurant, go to the Festival of Trees and Trains at the Paramount Arts Center, and finish the night by driving around Central Park to see Winter Wonderland of Lights while listening to our favorite holiday music––usually “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby or the “Home Alone Soundtrack.”
When you take a trip to the Portsmouth area, you’ll find established businesses and some new ones that hone in on the market and demand. Whatever you are looking for, you can find it in Portsmouth.
You don’t have to ask the Winter Wonderland of Lights committee a second time. That is a sentiment they have been taking seriously since 1989 when the first display of lights was erected at Central Park in Ashland.
If something seems different in downtown Ashland these days, that’s because it is. There are more events, more businesses and a whole bunch more people wandering around, carrying a cup of coffee or a smoothie purchased from one of those aforementioned businesses.
With a permanent home in the woods and weekly hikes in the hills, I’m not one to get too excited about visiting other mountain retreats, but after hearing from savvy travelers that Blackberry Farm was a must, it was time to see it first-hand. Never that simple, I discovered the Blackberry brand was now two as the farm had expanded with a sister property that encompassed an entire mountain, appropriately called Blackberry Mountain. “Which one should I visit?” I asked my new travel agent whom I call when I’m stumped. “Why not visit them both?” she suggested. They are only 30 minutes apart near Walland, Tennessee, outside of Knoxville and on the neighboring mountain to the Smokey Mountain National Park.