Car Reviews travel

A weekend mountain adventure with the 2021 Chevy Trailblazer


If you aren’t familiar with the Trailblazer, be aware there is a difference between the Blazer and the Trailblazer. The Blazer is a more full size SUV while the Trailblazer is all new for 2021 and is a compact SUV. The Trailblazer has so much to offer as far as comfort, tech, roominess and stylishness.

Stylish and sporty grill on the Chevy Trailblazer

We took the Trailblazer up to Highlands, NC for a long weekend and what a peppy ride up in the mountains. The ride from Atlanta is about 2.5 hours. I was surprised that Highlands is just a couple miles across the state line. You’ll stop at many scenic vistas on the way up, so make sure to stop and take a picture especially if the day is beautiful.

Bear Shadow Music Festival with the Chevy Trailblazer

Just look at that gorgeous backdrop for the concert!

The main purpose of our strip was to attend the Bear Shadow Music Festival. The three day long event is an outdoor music festival that features numerous bands of different genres. Though we were staying in Highlands, the event took place on a farm in the town of Scaly Mountain, about 10 minutes away. 

Winfield Farm is a fantastic spot for an outdoor concert

I certainly appreciated that the organizers had organized shuttles back and forth, so festival goers could enjoy libations and still be responsible. But hubby agreed to be designated driver and we were enjoying the Trailblazer so much on the mountain roads, we decided to take advantage each day and drive it to the venue. 

We had a fabulous time at Bear Shadow Music Festival in Highlands, NC

I loved being able to attend this concert and highly recommend checking it out next year. You may know some of the bands such as Mandolin Orange, St. Paul and the Broken Bones, Jamestown Revival. The backdrop of the mountain is gorgeous as you meander from your designated COVE to get drinks or snacks from the food trucks. 

Cool retro cars at Bear Shadow in Highlands NC

It was rather cool in the mountains, with a temp of around 50 – 55 during the evenings of the concert, so you better believe I was using the heated seats and was very thankful for them. 

Day in Cashiers zooming around in the Chevy Trailblazer 2021

The town of Cashiers is only about a 15 minute ride from Highlands, and I highly recommend you visit if you have the opportunity. Since Glen had a friend, David, who lives there he offered to show us around for the afternoon and we had a blast. Seriously don’t overlook this town. 

Such beautiful lakes in Cashiers, NC

We picked him up and zipped around in our Trailblazer. He was rather comfortable riding around in the backseat of the Trailblazer. There’s 39 inches of legroom and 38 inches of headroom. I was  surprised that for a car that would be considered more of a compact SUV, there was such generous room in the back for adults. 

So many scenic spots in Cashiers, NC

David grew up in the area. He took us to see the farm where he grew up, his parents house that he helped build, and the store where he works. Seriously if you make it up to Cashiers and you consider yourself a foodie, check out Cashiers Kitchen Company.

As we were driving around town we came across a car that David used to own, a retro 1940s Chevrolet! How cool is that. 

Retro Chevrolet Car
Chevrolet cars sure have come a long way (see vintage Chevy above)

Exploring Waterfalls and Hiking in Highlands, NC

Make sure to visit Glenn’s Falls in Highlands for picturesque waterfalls!

Our first morning in the Highlands we went hiking on a trail called Sunset Rock. True, it would be the best at its namesake time, the morning view was pretty spectacular. You don’t realize the slow incline you are walking in the half hour that you are going to end up at the top of the town looking over all the cool buildings. 

Sunset Rock Trail in Highlands provides a super view of the city!

Though that first hike had a pretty payoff, the route was just a gravel road. The best part of hiking in the Highlands is the plentiful waterfalls that you can see without much effort at all. On our way in town we stumbled across a sign for Glenn’s Falls, since my hubby’s name is ‘Glen’ we had to stop and take a peek.

Since we had a concert to get to and check into our hotel we made a note to come back and boy I’m glad we did. This trail has at least 3 waterfalls within a mile of each other. I think we could have kept walking and seen more but we decided to head home. Thanks to the backup camera in the Trailblazer we were able to scoot into a spot – there aren’t many here, so if you visit, don’t come on a weekend or you may not be able to snag one of the ten or so spots. 

At the end of day 3 we only just had to fill up our tank. We’d driven to the car on several trips back and forth from our hotel to the concert, all around Cashiers and to and from there from Highlands. 

Confession – I drove the Chevy Trailblazer an entire week without realized that this car is only a 3-cylinder. Can you believe that? My daily driver, a Kia Optima is a 4-cylinder struggles each time I step on the gas. This Trailblazer has a 1.3 L turbo that gives it pep!

Lots of storage space in the Chevy Trailblazer

There’s ample space in the backseat for adults, wireless charging, Android and Apple Play (usually you just get one). This car was peppy and handled the mountain roads effortlessly. I love that for such a compact car it still feels roomy and has an upscale design. Specific features I love are the two toned (black and almond color seating) and pretty stitching as well as the big infotainment display system. Surprisingly, the price starts at $27,000 and my model was just $30,730. 

Stunning grill on the 2021 Chevy Trailblazer

If you are looking for a stylish SUV with good tech, easy on gas mileage and adequate space, you can’t beat the Chevy Trailblazer. 

About the author

Malika Bowling

Malika is the author of several books including Culinary Atlanta: Guide to the Best Restaurants, Markets, Breweries and More! and the founder of Roamilicious. She is also a Digital Marketing and Social Media Consultant. Follow us @Roamilicious on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest for the content not shared on the blog. And don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter (subscribe box below) and never miss a contest, giveaway or the latest must visit restaurant!