Frogurt Boone’s staff sprinkles 96 dessert garnishes, including granulated peanuts and mandarin oranges, onto fro-yo flavors such as root-beer float, cranberry-hibiscus tart, or french vanilla. Frogurt frozen yogurt ($0.43/oz.) nourishes bodies with digestive-friendly probiotics, calcium, and modest amounts of sodium and cholesterol, making it a healthier alternative to scarfing down cookies or chugging Pepsi-flavor toothpaste. Sugar-free and dairy-free flavors also await yogurt-craving tongues.
Crave treats diners to the fine art of food shrinkage with their internationally influenced menu of tapas. Tapas are smaller plates intended for snacking, sharing, combining, and carting home in microscopic doggy bags to create unique full-course meals. Crab-cake sliders layered with roma tomato and remoulade ($4.15) slip past dental defenses to tickle exposed taste buds, and fried goat cheese ($3.95) fills tonsil caverns with the echoing flavors of its pecan crust and granny-smith apple garnish. Chefs reflect their global modus operandi with battered plates of vegetable tempura ($5.95), bowls of spicy tomato-tortilla soup ($3.95), and miniature cowboy hats filled with 4-ounce portions of filet mignon ($9.95). Those saddled with heftier hunger pangs can satiate themselves with a large plate, such as duck confit with mushroom risotto, french beans, and mushrooms ($16), before stifling cacophonous sweet chompers with a delectable dessert of poached anjou pear with Grand Marnier sauce ($4.55).
The zipline at Vance Toe River Lodge zigzags through Plumtree's lush canopies, sending tour-goers on three-hour airborne adventures. After masking their appearance with helmets, harnesses, and gloves to ease ziplines' innate fear of humans, zippers travel across the 11 cables and four sky bridges that run through the forest's tallest topiaries. Along the way, guides enlighten patrons to the ecosystem that surrounds them, the underground mining system that sits beneath them, and the 5,500-foot height that separates danglers from the distant sea. Complimentary lunch at the Lodge Cafe after the trip awaits morning zip-liners unwilling to barter with squirrels for their acorn stockpiles and afternoon groups to fill up on food to give them energy prior to taking off.
Originally the homestead of a miner, River House has grown to cover 170 acres of Blue Ridge wilderness along the North Fork of the New River and encompasses several converted farmhouses, three cabins, and the Inn House Restaurant. Like a Mercedes wrapped in burlap, the rooms at River House combine rustic façades with luxurious interiors. Though every room has its own distinctive personality—from the porch swing and packed bookshelves of Room Five to the honeymoon-friendly Chicken House's chicken-coop coffee tables and private deck looking out onto the river and mountains—each is outfitted with a mammoth bed (all but one are king-size), a gas-log fireplace, and a jacuzzi. Every morning, you'll wake up to find fresh coffee waiting for you outside your door. A cooked to order breakfast in the main house quells the morning munchies and is best enjoyed from rocking chairs between the porch's pristine white columns.
Louisiana Purchase Food and Spirits' Creole and Cajun twists on upscale, seasonal steakhouse offerings garnered a Three Diamond rating from AAA. Open a menu to begin a meal-journey with baked oysters, which make room in their half shells for pancetta and spinach before being topped with a gruyere canopy ($12). The mumbo gumbo a embellishes a traditional mix of chicken, okra, and andouille sausage with seasoned rice and a topping of gumbo ﬁlé powder ($8), and the salad of exotic greens supports house-made boursin cheese encapsulated in crispy kataifi dough, roasted mixed nuts, and walnut vinaigrette ($10). For a meaty entree, avail taste buds of the New York strip ($28), complementing sizzling Angus beef with strategically plated garlic mashed potatoes, haricot verts, and green peppercorn sauce. The blackened fish Bourbon Street brings the lively atmosphere of its namesake to the menu, topped with sautéed crawfish tail meat, shallots, and green onions in étouffée sauce and finished with a choice of béarnaise, capers, or a rollicking tale of the capers of the ‘85 Bears ($23).
High Country's Blue Ridge Mountains and surging rivers set the stage for whitewater-rafting and cave tours. In the winter, the snow-capped slopes double as runs for skiing and sledding. In addition to undertaking outdoor adventures, vacationers can step into the past at nostalgic general stores and sift for precious stones and docile pet rocks at old-fashioned gemstone mines.