A Well Kept Secret

Nestled high in the mountains of Johnson County, Tennessee, there is a rare gem of an escape.

Mr. Mickey had no clues about where we were going on Saturday because I planned everything about this surprise getaway dinner. I told him to dress for an upscale casual meal and instructed him to turn as we wound through the beautiful mountains surrounding Watauga Lake. The anticipation grew as we approached our destination.

The RedTail Mountain Resort is named after the majestic Red-tailed hawks that are often seen soaring above. It is located in a serene valley surrounded by breathtaking green mountains reaching far above the horizon in every direction. We arrived a bit early to have time to explore all that this fabulous retreat has to offer before we approached the lodge.

There is a stunning golf course, tennis courts, swimming pool, workout facility, equestrian center with miles of riding and hiking trails, elegant accommodations, and a beautiful rustic lodge with views that will take your breath away. Come to stay for a weekend or a lifetime. Homesites dot the forests surrounding the golf course. You can make your dreams of a home in the Appalachian Highlands a reality. This fifty-five hundred acre property is only twenty minutes away from Boone, NC, and about an hour and twenty minutes away from Johnson City, TN.

During this evening, we enjoyed a life-changing meal at Vistas Land and Sea Grille. Life-changing because it is the new higher standard by which all other fine dining experiences will be judged for the rest of Mr. Mickey’s life.

Mr. Mickey is enjoying the view (below) while waiting for Lisa to bring us glasses of champagne.

Have you ever seen more beautiful salads?

The wild-caught salmon was the best.

The vegetarian lasagna was out of this world. It alone is worth the drive!

If we had ordered one of those chocolate chip cookie cups, it would have arrived filled with homemade ice cream.

This exceptional young man is Peter, the chef extraordinaire who entertained us and visited us often throughout our meal. His parents are the owners of the resort, and he owns this fabulous restaurant. His talent and passion were evident in every beautiful dish that was presented to us.

This evening’s look included a top by Clara Sunwoo layered over the extender tank, which is also by Clara Sunwoo. The pants are by Lior Paris, and all these items are from ShopMyFairLady.com. The shoes were by Nine West last year. The bag is a couple of years old from T.J.Maxx. The necklace is from Chico’s.

The sun was slipping below the mountains as we drove home along the banks of beautiful Watauga Lake, already planning for our next visit to the RedTail Mountain.

  1. What a beautiful evening surprise; I think you may be returning before long! Great pictures; thank you for sharing. You both look wonderful.

  2. The scenery, resort, food, decor is stunning!! And your outfit too, of course. I’m curious about the under layer piece – is that for warmth or to extend the line of the top?
    The golf course looks amazing…. I may just have to visit there!

      1. Thank you for your reply Susan. That is a brilliant idea having the tank the same fabrication of the top so that appears to be part of the top – so versatile – love it!

  3. What a beautiful property and in such a stunning part of the world. You look lovely too Susan – lady in red!

  4. I am keeping this venue in mind for next winter. We were so enamored of our trip south last spring that we have decided to repeat it this February. Winter weather might change the view, but I can imagine warm and cozy surroundings while we enjoy a fabulous meal and overnight stay. We will repeat our itinerary from last year as we make our way to Florida for a few weeks of respite from Northeast cold.

    A boutique in my area carried Clara Sunwoo items, but I haven’t stopped in lately. You are a wonderful model for her brand and I am dying to try it out. I love the idea of the longer neutral top under the brighter topper. Stunning. And Mr. Mickey is rather attractive too, isn’t he?

  5. Love your look! Just curious about the extender. I like how it covers a little more than the top itself but I’m 5’3″ and wondering if it would be too long for me. No measurements online for length.

  6. Omg I want to go there!!! The pictures are beautiful and the food looks fabulous! Thank you so much for sharing…. You are the best!!!!!!

  7. You look great in this outfit & the food & resort are wonderful. Great getaway. Do you & Mr M regularly take turns making the arrangements your excursions? Best wishes for a great week.

  8. What stunning views and sumptuous food! So glad you had such a well-deserved, memorable evening. Also glad you shared it with us!

  9. You’ve just decided our next trip. We have been fans of Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tn for years. This looks like another great inn to explore. Thanks for the suggestion.

  10. I love that you include travel spots as well as fashion. What is that soup in the blue pot? You don’t wear red often but you look beautiful in it.

  11. Great pictures! Would you mind telling us what you used to take such nice pictures. Always enjoy your posts

  12. I am so glad I found your blog! I’m loving it! Love the photos, fashion, and scenery! Wish you could dress me for my class reunion next month! 😉 Joyce

  13. Loved the views and you and Mr Mickey are so sweet to share it with my husband

    and me. We enjoy all those special weekends …..was a great part of our lives.

    Thank You..

    Lorraine Lorenzo

  14. Now this gorgeous place can be a well-kept secret among those of us who follow your blog.

    The photos of the magnificent grounds gave us a real feel for the resort, and the food does indeed look to be “life changing.” So often we see pictures of food and it’s uninspiring, but my mouth was watering (at 7:50 AM!) at the dishes you posted here.

    Thanks for sharing, it looks like a romantic destination for me and my husband!


  15. I too have enjoyed the salad and salmon at Red Tail. Luckily I live close enough to be able to sample many of the wonderful dishes Peter prepares. Next time try the beef tips!

  16. What a lovely blog! We live near the Red Tail on the NC side of the mountains. We have eaten there often and have never been disappointed. Perhaps one day we’ll bump into one another. I am Susan over 60 also!

  17. Thank you for sharing this. Beautiful Pic’s and all….I’m happy to call this HOME. I’m proud of Peter, he
    does a fantastic job.
    Iris Greer

  18. Susan, It was such a pleasure to meet you at the beautiful Vistas at Red Tail Mountain Resort. It is truly a very special place and an absolute family favorite during our time spent at Watauga Lake! Peter is an amazing talent and always provides an incredible culinary experience! Thank you for sharing this lovely post!

  19. Yes Susan , we totally agree with you the attention to detail is unparalleled. What an amazing Resort …..

  20. What a wonderful surprise for Mr. Mickey. The scenery is beautiful, the resort and restaurant look gorgeous. The food looks beautiful and yummy. Again, I love your outfit and you & Mr. Mickey make an adorable couple.

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