By Jane Izard

Bordering the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Western North Carolina, Bryson City is a laid-back, non-touristy town where ones does not have to worry about what to wear or having a set of concrete plans. It was named in 2016 by The Smithsonian as one of the “20 Best Small Towns to Visit.” The town offers so much for visitors to explore with waterfalls, hiking, rafting, fishing, shopping, the Cherokee Indian Reservation and much more. Bryson City is the perfect place to spend a long weekend.

By Jane Izard

Flat Rock Playhouse

The MainStage presents Dial M for Murder through November 11. A classical whodunit just in time for Fall at the Playhouse, Dial M for Murder is a sophisticated, chillingly sinister thriller brimming with madness, murder and mayhem that will hold you spellbound with suspense.

By Charles W. Waring III

I lost any potential “cool points” because I was three months too early to see the total eclipse of the sun. Nonetheless, when we had the opportunity as a family to bid on renting a house in Nova Scotia, I heard all I needed to know — plenty of nearby trout fishing, extraordinary natural beauty, abundant wildlife, friendly locals, comfortable accommodations, historic towns and villages of cultural interest and — best of all — seriously cool temperatures. Remote and relaxation roll together with vigor when I am seeking a spring/summer family trip.

By Louise Cameron

Genoa, according to most of the Italians we encountered, is vastly under-rated as a travel destination. The entire hillside port city is a World Heritage Site full of Renaissance palaces and six-to eight-story buildings stunningly enhanced with a panoply of architectural and artistic trompe l’oeil. Unsurprisingly, the food is delicious and the people are warm and welcoming.

By Jane Izard

There is a new kid on the block of the Little Rainbow Row in Flat Rock. The restaurant Honey and Salt debuts in March and it is going to be good — really, really good. Imagine this: Clean eating marrying the flavors of Hubba Hubba Smokehouse to make (what chef Mary Mujica calls) “Southern fresh food.” I expect it will quickly become the area’s new favorite brunch and breakfast spot. The restaurant is the brainchild of Starr Teel (Hubba Hubba’s owner and pitmaster), Erin Hill and chef Mujica.

Mercury newspapers can be found at the following locations:

Burbage's

Buxton Books

Caviar & Bananas

The Meeting Street Inn (Rack)

Clair's Service Station, Folly Rd. (Rack)

Harris Teeter, Houston-Northcutt Blvd. (Rack)

Mt. Pleasant Library, Mathis Ferry Rd. (Rack)

Pitt St. Pharmacy

The Square Onion, I'On (Rack)