Jochen Lucke

Photographer Spotlight

Growing up in Western North Carolina is something that can be hard not to take for granted. From the very beginning, professional photographer Brittany Scales noticed the beauty that surrounds us and felt the draw to capture its essence.
The Blue Ridge Mountains have a way of inspiring creativity that some might find indescribable. Behind every ridge, in every flowing waterfall and stream, there is a constant sense of awe that just begs to be photographed. It’s this inspiration that motivates Brittany in her work every day. Whether a quick drive down the Blue Ridge Parkway, or a five-mile hike to a mountain summit; whether it’s in the details of the trail below or the way the light hits the ridge just right, the beauty is everywhere.
After attending Savannah College of Art and Design to obtain her photography degree, Brittany recognized and learned to appreciate her ability to view the world in such a unique way. With her camera, Brittany aims to bring her viewers to see what can so often be overlooked and, as a result, gain the same sense of admiration that she has for the natural world.
Although the majority of her work comes from her home of the Western North Carolina mountains, being able to travel and photograph new places is a huge passion of Brittany’s. “Maui and Yosemite National Park have to be two of my absolute favorite photographic destinations. The landscapes there are breathtaking, and there’s always something new to catch your eye, no matter how many times you visit.” On her bucket list, locations to photograph include Alaska, Iceland, and New Zealand.
To see more of her work or to inquire about print requests, please visit her website at brittanyscales.com.

Lakefront Home Perfect for Memory-Making

Many priceless summertime memories await once you fall in love with this charming three-bedroom, two-bath lakefront home! The property is located on the desirable east side of Lake Glenville in the quiet Lakewood Shores neighborhood. The path down to the lake's shore and private dock is a short, gentle walk that's easy for kids carrying lake toys and supplies.

As you enter the home, you're greeted by an expansive, up-close view of Lake Glenville and the mountains beyond. Continuing through the home, you'll find a cozy breakfast nook, a massive stone fireplace, and a spacious deck that's perfect for enjoying the cool summer evenings and the lakefront breeze. The master bedroom also has fantastic lake views and features an en-suite master bath.

Ideal for guests, the lower level of the home offers a family room with a second stone fireplace, two bedrooms, a full bathroom, and an inviting screened-in deck. The home has been updated and is in move-in ready condition. It's tastefully decorated and the furnishings are negotiable, just bring a toothbrush and enjoy! The home's convenient location is just a quick five or ten-minute drive from Cashiers dining, shopping, and more.

One-Level Getaway with Complete Privacy and Magnificent Views

On the market for the first time, this amazing property in Continental Cliffs is situated on eight-and-a-half acres of serene privacy that will make you feel like you’re in another world-yet you’re only three miles to the center of Cashiers. This is one of the most breathtaking and awe-inspiring views that can be seen anywhere. Perched at a cool elevation of just under 4,000 feet, you’ll feel as if you’re able to reach out and touch the famed Whiteside Mountain in one direction, and with just a tilt of your head, you can see all the way into South Carolina.
 
The home offers one-level living with four bedrooms, an office, and another bonus room. Impeccably maintained, a master suite and a magnificent chef’s kitchen have recently been added and appointed with the latest cooking amenities. If expansion might be in your plans, there are a couple of near-level spots within the acreage to build a guest cottage. 

This property is for a seasonal or year-round resident who’s looking for a great home with privacy, jaw-dropping views, and great location between Cashiers and Highlands. A whole-house generator is already in place. 

 

Spacious Luxury and Majestic Views of Whiteside

Offered for the first time, this warm and inviting home offers majestic views of Whiteside Mountain from every room. Entertaining family and friends is a joy in the beautiful great room with wet bar, formal dining space, gourmet kitchen with large center island and breakfast bar, and an expansive porch with its own cozy fireplace and hot tub. 

Perfect for casual entertaining and hosting guests, the spacious two-story floor plan features two bedrooms on the main floor with his and her bathrooms, while the lower level includes two bedrooms, two baths, a sitting room with fireplace, and another covered deck. Kids and pets will love the fenced-in yard and garden area. 

Beautifully landscaped and on a very quiet street, this lovely property offers privacy and luxury behind the gates of The Chattooga Club, an elegant, immaculately maintained gated community in the very desirable area of Highway 107 South. Amenities include Lake Chattooga, stocked yearly with trout, and a picnic area with gorgeous views of Whiteside Mountain. Gather some friends to enjoy the stunning vistas and watch the incredible sunsets. Club membership is by invitation only.

 

California Roadtrip: Destination Big Sur

With the top down, the cool wind plays with my hair and sunshine illuminates my face. My husband happily sits behind the wheel ready for our adventure. We both breathe in the gorgeous scents that permeate the airsalt, eucalyptus, pine, and an elusive fragrance of pepper and cinnamon that we can’t identify. We later learn this heavenly aroma comes from the bay laurel tree. California, almost a country of its own, never ceases to surprise me with its vast beauty, diverse landscape, flora, and fauna.  
As our convertible cruises south from the San José airport toward Route 1, glamorously referred to as the PCH or the Pacific Coast Highway, I manage my expectations as we travel closer towards the highly regarded and much-anticipated destination of Big Sur. A bucket list item for some time, we look forward to taking in Carmel (the wine country), Pebble Beach, 17-Mile Drive, and the remote landscapes of Big Sur. Our trip reveals this and so much more. 
As we drive south, the mosaic topography slowly unfolds with deep canyons, xeric foothills, massive mountains, thick conifer forests, and copious fields of artichokes. The vistas remind us of the Scottish Isles with their dramatic cliffs, the Spanish Rioja with the golden mountain landscapes, and Tuscany with conifers like cypress, the occasional palm, and of course, vineyards. Looking up provides another nice view with the vast blue sky, golden sunshine, and the occasional endangered condor, North America’s largest land bird. 
Our four-day, three-night trip was purposefully planned for late October to avoid the crowds that traditionally flock to Monterey County and majestic Big Sur in the summer months. We base ourselves in the small charming town of Carmel-by-the-Sea, known for its artist and writer inhabitants. It sits snugly between Monterey and Big Sur, enabling us easy access to our points of interest. 
Our bespoke itinerary plans for us to be outdoors walking among the giant redwoods, the tallest measured tree species on Earth, hiking in coastal state parks, strolling on the beach admiring the natural sculptures of driftwood, and taking in a sunset or two. Aside from seeking the natural eye candy, we find art gallery hopping is almost a sport in these parts. And the same can be said for visiting vineyards in Carmel Valley or their tasting rooms in Carmel-by-the-Sea. Of course, dining on the freshest of local seafood and witnessing the allure of the quaint towns are on our checklist. 
We had imagined the drive to Big Sur, but nothing can compare you for the journey. We marvel at how the PCH tightly hugs the coastline (thank goodness for the guardrails) as enthusiastic waves pound the enormous jagged cliffs below. Big Sur’s remote landscapes take our breath away with photo ops at every turn. How did they cut a road through here in the 1960s?  
By day four, we are rewarded with beautiful memories and adventures to share. Our souls are fed, expectations exceeded and a future trip is planned already to venture further south past Big Sur to Santa Barbara.

ITINERARY 
Day 1 
Take a Delta Airlines flight out of Atlanta to San Jose International Airport, and 4.25 hours later you arrive! Drive the scenic Route 17 through beautiful Scott’s Valley and Patchen’s Pass.  
 
1st Stop: Walk among giant redwoods at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park (access via CA-17 S, 45 minutes from the airport and 10 minutes north of Santa Cruz). 
 
2nd Stop: Drive the picturesque 17-Mile Drive in Pebble Beach off of Route 1. Experience the Del Monte Forest, Spanish Bay, the Lone Cypress, Spyglass Golf Course, and the most famous of all sites, Pebble Beach. If time allows, have a snack on The Lodge’s terrace overlooking the Pebble Beach course. 
 
3rd Stop: Carmel-by-the-Sea, where you can check in at L’Auberge Carmel, a Relais & Chateaux property with rates starting at $269, or the beautiful pup-friendly Cypress Inn with rates starting at $229. 
 
Stroll the town taking in the quirky houses, gorgeous gardens, and shops. With the Carmel Valley Appellation nearby, you’ll find numerous wine tasting rooms all within walking distance. Pick up a bottle at Caracciolo Cellars and drop down to the beach to catch the sunset.  
 
Enjoy a sumptuous Italian dinner at Cassanova just a few minute walk off Main Street. 
 
Day 2 
1st Stop: After a morning walk on the beach or shopping in town, drive East into Carmel Valley to experience the wine country. Favorite wine stops include Cowgirl Winery, Georis, and Bernardus. Find lunch in the garden at Corkscrew Restaurant with its mission-style architecture. Try their famous Lemon Pizza! 
 
2nd Stop: On the way out of The Valley, stop at Folktale Winery for a lively game of giant Jenga or bocce ball while sipping wine and listening to live music. 
 
3rd Stop: Uber to Passionfish in Pacific Grove for dinner, which is known for their sustainable seafood and modern menus. Feast on super fresh Dungeness crab and wild-caught tuna. You will love the super low markup they put on their hard-to-find wines. 
 
Day 3 
Off to see the much anticipated Big Sur! 
1st Stop: Experience Point Lobos State Natural Reserve with gently sloped paths through forests of Monterey cypress and viewing points along rocky cliffs to spot sea lions, otters, seals, gray whales (December-May), cormorants, and pelicans. 
 
2nd Stop: If time allows, visit Garrapata State Park with two miles of beachfront and coastal hiking. 
 
3rd Stop: Enjoy the slow curvy drive along coastal cliffs to the famous Bixby Bridge—one of the most photographed bridges in the world. Pull off at the turnout just before the bridge to admire this 1930s massive feat of architecture. 
 
4th Stop: Lunch!  
Option one: Sit outside on the terrace and enjoy the long-range views of mountains and sea at The Sur House at Ventana Inn & Spa. You may spot the stunning condor, North America’s largest land bird with a 10-foot wingspan. Almost extinct, it was reintroduced into the wild in 1997 by the Ventana Wildlife Society.  

Option two: Pick up a picnic lunch at Big Sur Deli and head to Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. 
 
5th Stop: On the return trip back to Carmel, step back in time at the Henry Miller Memorial Library, a cozy literary retreat where one can sit by the fire, read and listen to music. 
 
6th Stop: A quick stop just south of Carmel is Mission Ranch, an 1880s ranch beautifully restored and renovated by longtime resident Clint Eastwood. There are plenty of photo ops of sheep in the meadow, Point Lobos, and Carmel River Beach. 
 
7th Stop: Dinner at the snug European bistro La Bicyclette just off Main Street in Carmel-by-the-Sea. Try the charcuterie board (enough to feed a party of four). 
 
Day 4 
Departure: Drive the 1.5 hours north via Route 1 to the 101 back to the San Jose airport. 

 

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Elegant Getaway on Trout-filled Lake Chattooga

Skylark is a charming lakefront home with a two-car garage in the exclusive gated community of The Chattooga Club. Located on a serene, private street, this well-maintained home exudes elegant yet relaxed Southern style with heart pine floors, reclaimed timbers, and hand-hewn beams.

Perfect for quick getaways or hosting family and friends, the comfortable floor plan features a roomy master bedroom with his and her baths on the main floor, as well as two roomy bedrooms, two baths, and an office area with a wet bar. The lower level has one large bedroom and bath, a family room, wine cellar, and a full bar-perfect for entertaining! A wonderful covered living porch overlooks Lake Chattooga, and three wood-burning fireplaces add to the welcoming feel.

Trails meander throughout the property for leisurely strolls down to the lake. Lake Chattooga is restocked with trout annually. Homeowners also have access to a quiet picnic area known as Mac's View, boasting breathtaking views of three states. It's the perfect spot to watch a colorful sunset against the dramatic backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Club membership is by invitation only.

 

Premier Estate Home in Prestigious Cedar Hill

This premier estate home in prestigious Cedar Hill offers loads of curb appeal, fine finishes, a spacious open floor plan, and year-round mountain views on a private, gently rolling 3.49-acre lot. This fantastic mountain retreat was custom built with great attention to detail and features five oversized bedrooms and bathrooms, a gourmet kitchen, whole home surround sound with exterior speakers, double decks, a screened living porch with wood burning fireplace, an attached two-car carport, and much more. Loaded with mountain charm, this inviting and roomy retreat is sure to have something for everyone! 

The community of Cedar Hill is an upscale, gated community offering the best of luxury mountain living in the heart of Cashiers. Full Sapphire Valley Resort amenities are available as well.