Ken Burns most recent documentary series, National Parks-America’s Best Idea, is a brilliant assemblage of stories full of mystery, suspense and adventure, definitely not a tired travel log. In the last episode of the twelve part series that covers the years from 1945-1980, the focus is on the American tourist that is keen on getting out and exploring their country. There was a renewed sense of wanderlust in those post WWII years and vacationing in our national parks was the perfect place for young families to enjoy themselves easily and affordably. Beyond 1980 and into the present, we see a renewed wanderlust, where today’s contemporary traveler is searching for meaningful getaways and experiences that promote togetherness among travelers and for destinations that encourage connections to nature, history, or culture.
What better way to connect with nature than with a visit to one our treasured parks and rediscover what many US travelers have ignored over the past years as they trekked off to Europe or vacationed in high priced island resorts. Yet beyond our National Parks, and often right next door, there are countless areas of quiet, peaceful scenic beauty that await our visits, places that renew our spirit and make that connection to nature and history so genuine. There is one place that has been a retreat for the soul for countless generations of travelers from the Cherokee to today’s contemporary destination seeker, Lake Lure, North Carolina.