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Western North Carolina The Mountain Region including Asheville
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Old 03-14-2011, 03:48 PM
Location: RTP area, NC
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Reviving this thread because I have started taking my family to some of the little towns mentioned. It started by me re-visiting this thread to find out where to take them this past weekend.

We visited Blowing Rock village - the historic area this past Saturday - yes -- the first really gorgeous Saturday this spring. I hadn't realized there was a great park in the middle of the historic area. Kids enjoyed nice pizza @ mellow mushroom then we had a nice time poking our heads into the various shops & galleries. We plan on going back to do more things in the surrounding area so we just focused on the downtown area this day because there were people but it wasn't jam packed like weekends can be.

We also went to West Jefferson. Love the downtown!! We were able to show the kids what a real downtown looked like when we were kids. Non-chain, cute & useful stores on main street. Loved the murals.

Amazing pizza @ Brickstone and Mom/Dad were able to get some good pasta. We were able to do *useful* shopping in these cute stores. eg: I actually found my daughter sneakers, my son the new model rocket kit he had wanted as well as start in on some birthday presents for family. The hobby store, the 'year round sports' store, the 'emporium', the amish furniture store, the guitar store all yielded some useful items that we had been meaning to pick up. They have a great and helpful hardware store where I picked up a pair of reasonably priced work gloves so prickers are no longer going to get my hands doing yardwork. There was even an ABC store on the way out of town so DH was able to get the bottle of scotch he has been hankering for all week.

So....thanks for offering up the cute small towns! Keep the ideas coming!
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Old 03-14-2011, 04:11 PM
Location: Blue Ridge Mntns., NC
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Saluda. Just cute shops, cute cute cute. Dine at the Green River Bar B Q. Yum. There is also Ward's restaurant for old timey sandwiches and fries etc. Then head down to Tryon, another quaint town with most of the stores uphill and downhill, but on one side of the street. Same rail line is on the other side. From Saluda take Rt. 176 down the mountain to Tryon, very pretty, and stop at Pearson Falls, weather permitting. In Tryon, don't miss eating at The Side Street Cafe ! Eat your way through every town possible. You have our permission to keep on going over the county line to Landrum SC, and eat at the Hare & Hound.... nice main street, lovely antique shops and a 5 and 10 cents store is still there I believe. Stone Soup is another nice place to eat out on the main road. Then you can just head out toward I-26 and head back to A'ville.

If you want another darling town, nearby but over the TN line .... don't miss Jonesborough. Not sure if the trees will be in bloom yet over there might be ... definitely worth a day trip, maybe an hr. from A'ville or less. See if the storytelling is scheduled in town by asking at the visitor's center, the kids would love that. A lot of history in Jonesborough. That's it, I'm tired of driving .. c'ya.
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Old 03-14-2011, 10:02 PM
Location: Florida
595 posts, read 715,893 times
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Hendersonville but my wife and I like Highlands/Cashiers as well. Downtown Brevard is great shiopping and food.

Last edited by DASULAR17; 03-14-2011 at 10:03 PM.. Reason: formating
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:07 PM
Location: New York, NY on the west bank of the East River
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I might just have to cast my vote for Black Mountain, entirely because of the ridiculously beautiful scenery. Other than that, I also like Highlands, but there are only a few shops I will go into because most of that junk is priced for tourists with M3 BMWs. That's the sad thing about Highlands: it has become such a gentrified tourist mecca, and if you drive down 64 from Cashiers to Highlands (and even beyond that stretch a ways) it is just nothing but country club after country club, full of $5 million homes and people who are only in them for half the year at best.

A friend of mine grew up in Highlands but had to move away from there not too terribly long ago because he and his family could not afford to live there anymore. They were forced out by the outrageous gentrification. I am not against prettying up a town, but there's a difference between that and just blowing it out into a full-blown tourist trap full of stupid stores that no local in their right mind would shop at. Such a shame. I would love to be able to live in a town at that high of an elevation, but alas, it will not happen for me. I would never be able to afford that place.

Oh, and Waynesville is really nice too. I might be moving to Waynesville in about a year and a half or a little bit less, in order to be closer to WCU. I hope that if and when I move there, I can find a nice place to live with a bit of elevation to it. Personally, I am starting to look forward to getting away from all the traffic and hustle and bustle of Asheville. It's funny, I never thought I would say that about a city this small, but with the amount of people being jammed in here, it's a task just to drive from Oakley to Merrimon Avenue to have some lunch. Bummer man.
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Old 03-15-2011, 12:16 AM
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Highlands has been expensive for a very long time. I'm surprised your friends are only just now feeling the need to escape.
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Old 03-16-2011, 02:58 PM
Location: New York, NY on the west bank of the East River
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Well, it's a friend of mine and his family (parents and one sister). And they had to move out of Highlands about eleven years ago. So yeah, not just now, it's been a while. My aunt actually is a full-time resident in Highlands because she is a doctor, so she is able to have an income that will allow her to live there. Still, she tells me that the cost of living there is getting to be too much for her, and she might move. Which is really a shame because she's in her late 50's and has been there for thirty years. I would hate to uproot and move after being somewhere for that long.

Personally I think it's completely disgusting what has happened to Highlands. I always get a weird mixture of pleasure and disgust when I go there, because the area is so beautiful, but I cannot STAND to see what was once a nice town in the mountains now filled with $100,000 cars and $5 million homes. It makes me sick to my stomach. Regular people just can't catch a break in WNC, it seems. Still, it's a beautiful town, and it's very much worth visiting.
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