Autumn in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Looking forward to enjoying the fall color display, we drove over the mountains to visit Banner Elk, NC, on Friday before the weekend rains.

Banner Elk is a town in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It lies between two ski resorts: Sugar Mountain Resort to the south and Beech Mountain Resort to the north. In town, the Banner House Museum displays period furnishings, tools, and clothing in an 1860s home. Wildcat Lake has a beach and a pier. Grandfather Mountain is home to a nature museum, trails, and the Mile High Swinging Bridge to the southeast.

I dressed in layers since the weather is always about ten degrees cooler in Banner Elk than Johnson City. I tied my favorite thirty-five-inch square silk scarf into an infinity style. Instructions: Fold the scarf on the bias to form one narrow band, as shown here. Tie the ends together in a tiny knot and place the resulting circle around your neck. Twist it into an 8 and drape it around your neck again. Move the knot to the back and hide it within the folds. The post here shows you how to tie the infinity knot.

The black jeans are here, and the long-sleeved T‑shirt is here. A similar denim jacket is here. (Mine is old.) The loafers are here. A similar bag is here. A similar scarf is here. The no-show socks are here. My simple pearl earrings are here. (Use the code SAS10 For $10 off any one item at Beauty in Stone Jewelry.)

My skincare routine is here. In these photos, I am wearing the lip color “Plum” found here.

We enjoyed a late lunch on the porch at LP on Main in Banner Elk. When there isn’t anything on the menu that appeals to me, I always order either a salad or sauteed vegetables from the sides. We also ordered sides of shoestring fries and smoked cheddar mac and cheese to share. Mr. Mickey had the crab cake. We shared dark chocolate truffles for dessert.

Ready for another adventure!

We sought out a less hectic fall color experience this week. Instead of heading for the very crowded areas such as the Blue Ridge Parkway or Blowing Rock, we drove through a few neighborhoods and along mostly empty country lanes.

On Thursday, I will share all that I’ve learned about finding a denim jacket for your lifestyle, shape, and personality.

When you use the shopping links in my posts, they may provide a small commission for me at no additional cost to you.

  1. Breathtaking fall photos! An absolute treat this morning.

    I really think you have come into your own with style lately. Classic and beautiful.

  2. What a lovely outing at this pretty time of the year. I really like your loafers and matching shoulder bag!

  3. Looking forward to your post on Thursday. Just bought (incredible clearance sale at Kohl’s) a jean jacket. All my life I have been an hourglass shape. Remeasured recently. Definite rectangle. Love that menopause middle! You talk about being a reverse triangle. Would love a post on how to dress different body types in your style. Thanks for keeping it fun!

    1. Yes please! The menopause “middle” is such a struggle! Makes wearing belts and tucking in shirts more of a challenge and “flowing” tops just seems to make it visible what I’m trying to hide! Argh! Inverted triangle shape is such a blessing, I am envious! Only extra weight I have is in the middle!

  4. Such stunning pictures to wake up to! I so look forward to your posts. Looks like you had a wonderful weekend! The fall colors are gorgeous!

  5. I can’t wait for the denim jacket tips. I’ve actually been looking for one. Beautiful pictures of Banner Elk! I am afraid of heights and that mile high swinging bridge was a challenge for me, but I did go across one year. Just gorgeous!

  6. Thank you for sharing those beautiful photos! Autumn is my favorite season and your part of the world is so romantic. Thank you also for sharing all your how to dress tips with us. We appreciate you.

  7. Just returned home after spending a week in the Asheville area. We were treated to spectacular fall color and perfect weather.

  8. Such beautiful photos! I love denim jackets and look forward to your post on Thursday! You look so together in yours!

  9. Beautiful fall colors my favorite time of the year. Can’t wait to read your post on denim jacket. I’d like to buy one but have no idea what style I’m looking for or that would flatter me. I have small shoulders with large chest….

  10. Thank you for sharing your fall. I love the red leaves. I grew up in Ontario but now live in Alberta. We get yellow leaves but they have already been blown off the trees. Thankful for the evergreen trees here

  11. Beautiful post, susan, scenery and you and Mr Mickey!
    I own several jean jackets and vests. I love them. Looking forward to Thursday’s post.
    Have a great week!

  12. You take the most beautiful pictures. Living in Scottsdale, AZ, we don’t see those beautiful trees. We do have beauty here, but so different. Thank you Susan for sharing your travels.

  13. Photos are wonderful. Spectacular scenery, Mother Nature at her best. Thanks for sharing pictures of your journey.

  14. Absolutely gorgeous! We are headed to New Hampshire mountains this weekend and hoping for some beautiful scenery too! If you are going to be walking, would you wear those shoes, or sneakers?

  15. thank you for all these photos, your blog is always interesting but I truly love the many photos of the areas I cannot see in real life! ann lee s Vancouver Island, BC, Canada (come see our wonderful, beautiful Island) !!

  16. As always, love your style! I like having the availability to check out your apparel for various outings (even though somewhat limited during these times). Thanks for all of your hard work and consistency on your blog.

  17. Thank you for sharing the gorgeous countryside where you live. It is a most beautiful time of the year. It does keep the spirits up to be out enjoying nature.

  18. Susan, Thank you and Mr Nicky for taking me on a lovely tour. I enjoyed the fall scenery this is my favorite time of the year. As always you looked lovely and I am looking forward to Thurs and the denim jacket info.

    Stay well both of you. Joy

  19. It’s wonderful seeing you out and about despite illness and the isolation caused by Covid. You set a positive example of how to carry on and find joy in little things. Love living vicariously through your adventures.
    On a more personal level, for those of us who need frequent stops, how do you find safe bathrooms along the way? We love day trips but are unsure of how to handle these situations and stay safe. Thx!

    1. We were gone for only about four hours, so one pit-stop while masked at the restaurant was enough. I plan for travel by cutting back on my water consumption until we return.

  20. Looking forward to your next blog on denim jackets. Beautiful scenery! Thank you the styling tips. You have a classic “classy” style.

  21. I’m excited to see fall color next week while staying in Cashiers! Also looking forward to your post about denim jackets! Please, please address how to fold up cuffs so they stay put and look neat…yours always do!! Thanks!

  22. Love the fall pics. We don’t get anything like that here in SW FL. Also enjoy the food pics as well. Wish I could see the blouse and slacks plus scarf look without the jean jacket. Did you take any pics like that?

  23. Susan, your photos are so lovely and provide a computer-side view of your trip. Just wonderful! Thanks for sharing these.

  24. Hi Susan, I so enjoy your posts! We are currently vacationing in Highlands NC so your pictures all look very familiar.
    I am interested in trying Beauty Counter products. How do I get started?
    Thanks again

  25. Love your drives into the surrounding area and the pictures. My grandmother was a Tipton from Elizabethton. Nice area, nice people. Thank you. – Wynne

  26. Susan, Thank you for posting such beautiful photos!
    I miss autumn in my upstate New York & Ashland, Oregon former homes. Your pics gave me a lift, they are breathtaking!

  27. I’m looking forward to your post on denim jackets! I am tall and curvy and have bought many denim jackets over the years but don’t feel very feminine in them. Any tips to find one that would work for my body type? I love your advice and read your posts every day! Thanks!

  28. Your pictures were lovely! My husband and I went up Tuesday. I was pleasantly surprised how many of the trees had already changed up at Grandfather Mountain. We ate a late lunch at the Ham Shoppe in Banner Elk. They have the best sandwiches, salads and baked goods. It’s always a great day when we can leave Clemmons NC and head to the mountains. I know you enjoyed your day too.

  29. Hello Susan, I’m trying to pattern myself after you. I’m built like you , and have been wearing mostly tunics as you did in the past. In trying to update my wardrobe, I am buying more solid colors, shorter tops, and adding more accessories to my closet. Thanks for all the tips, and ideas that I am getting from you!

  30. Stunning pictures, you have the most beautiful scenery so close the jacket and the way you put everything together.
    Here in UK our county has just been put into local lockdown for at least 4 weeks, so no trips out of local vacinity for a while. Seeing your photos helped to remind me of all the autumn colours out there at the moment and cheered me. Thank you.

  31. Outstanding! I’ve seen pictures friends and family have posted on Facebook of the N.C. Mtns. that were taken over the weekend and I think the autumn color is the prettiest this year. Looking forward to your post about denim jackets. I’ve never purchased one because I think they won’t suit my “apple” figure.

  32. Thank you so much for the pics! I am considering a move from Memphis to West Virginia and I just imagine it having these beautiful fall views as well. (W. VA is cheaper than N. Carolina! 🙂

  33. What a wonderful “day-cation”, such a beautiful drive. Looking forward to your information on denim jackets. Thank you.

  34. God has given us such a beautiful earth! Thanks for the pictures – they are a feast for the eyes. You and Mr. Mickey look great!

  35. You both look healthy and vibrant. I have a wonderful semi stretch denim jacket I purchased at Macy’s. Can’t do autumn in the Pacific Northwest without it!

  36. I look forward to your posts because they help me so much to figure out how to put things together! I am excited for the denim jack info; I can never find one that fits or suits me correctly! Thank you for sharing your info with us!

  37. I truly enjoy your blog. I am from Greeneville, TN. Now I reside in eastern NC. I miss the fall colors in the mountains. I can relate to all of the places you visit. I am amazed at the way you changed your life for the better. I also enjoy your pics and comments about Mr. Mickey. Thank you.

  38. Susan,
    I Love your shorter haircut, it shows off your pretty face! I love the ensemble you have on as well. Thank you for taking the time to make such great, helpful videos.
    I’d like to also say that a couple of years ago as you were winding down your online shop, I spoke to you for your advice about scarves. What a lovely southern, kind person you are! You made me feel so good about my purchases of several of your scarves. I never fail to hear compliments every time I wear them! Thank you so much Susan!

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I share tips and inspiration for using what you already have in contemporary ways. Defining words include effortless, classic, refined, discreet, and elegant. My style is chic, minimal, and timeless with a bit of edge.