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Fun facts about Asheville, Smoky, Blue Ridge, Shenandoah Mountains

Things to do / Travel Guide

  • The western tip of Virginia is closer to eight other state capitals than it is to its own, Richmond.
  • The stuff of James Bond movies: From 1962-1992, a top-secret bunker was in place in West Virginia, ready for a time when the U.S. government, specifically the Legislative Branch, would have to go underground. Where was this bunker, safe from nuclear holocaust and every war scenario? Directly underneath the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs. What remains of the bunker system is sporadically open for touring.
  • Roanoke's Mill Mountain Star, made out of neon, is the largest, manmade, standing star in the world. IN THE WORLD, folks! Stats: 88.5 feet tall, 2,000 feet of neon tubing, and equivalent to a 17,500 watt bulb.
  • The Biltmore Estate, near Asheville, North Carolina, has served as the set for many movies. These include “Forest Gump,” “Patch Adams,” “Hannibal,” “Last of the Mohicans,” “Richie Rich,” and more.
  • Mountain Dew was first marketed, in 1948, in the city of Knoxville. True to form, it was originally concocted as a mixer for whiskey.
  • Contrary to what you might think, the South during the Civil War wasn't all pro-slavery. There were pockets of abolitionists throughout the western stretches of the Confederacy. One such area was Cades Cove, now located in the middle of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There was even reputed to be an Underground Railroad stop in the years leading up to the war in Cades Cove.