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Western North Carolina The Mountain Region including Asheville
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Old 06-24-2014, 01:30 PM
 
16 posts, read 20,178 times
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Hi everyone,

We are taking a weekend trip to Asheville with another couple in their late 20s and our 2 dogs and are very excited! I've heard so many amazing things about this area of NC.

I'm overwhelmed with the amount of info out there about what to do so I'd love your must do / must see's. We are active/adventurous and enjoy hiking with the dogs but also love to go out and have a good time.


Hiking:
We would love to hear your favorite hike giving the most spectacular view, moderate intensity is fine. We would also love to see a waterfall. We'd prefer to stay within a 45 min drive of downtown.

Found the site romantic asheville to be very informative. I've read about graveyard fields/skinny dip falls (I know the parking area is closed but read that you can still hike into the area - any additional info on that? And does that hike result in some awesome mountain views?)

Also read about chimney rock, craggy gardens, grandfather mountain, etc. what's your number 1 recommendation??

Also, I've heard we should drive the blue ridge parkway, any specific recommendations on that route coming from asheville?


Adventure:
We were considering horseback riding in the mountains or whitewater rafting. Any recommendations on this kind of stuff? Preferably affordable.


Downtown / Nightlife:
As for nightlife, we like live music and cool laid back bars, no clubs and nothing packed shoulder to shoulder. Recommendation on where to grab drinks and maybe hear some music? We'd like to spend an evening walking around the city grabbing a few drinks.


And of course, what else? Anything you'd consider a must see or do??


We'd love to checkout some local recommendations as our friends are considering a move to the area! We'd love to see local flavor. Went to college in a progressive small liberal college town in the mountains in NY and loved the local amenities it had to offer, including blackberry picking and a mountain stand with awesome apple cider donuts.


We will be there this Friday afternoon until Sunday evening.


Accommodations:
On a different note, most pet friendly hotels in our price range (under 200-220 a night) were booked so we are debating between renting a cabin 15 min outside of Asheville or one of these hotels below. If you see one thats better or one that is in a bad area, please let me know! Recommendations on this are appreciated too!

Best Western Biltmore East Asheville
Bestwestern.com, the World's Biggest Hotel Family®
160 per night
5 minutes to downtown
Free breakfast
3 stars, 83% recommended

Comfort Inn Biltmore West Asheville
Comfort Inn Biltmore West (Asheville, NC) - Hotel Reviews - TripAdvisor
150 per night
10 minutes to downtown
Free breakfast
3 stars, 81% recommended

Quality Inn and Suites Asheville Biltmore East
choicehotels.com: Room Availability
125 per night
May not have any pet friendly rooms with king bed, have to call back
Free breakfast
9 minutes to downtown
3 stars, 66% recommended

Any and all info is very much appreciated!!

Thanks in advance!
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Old 06-24-2014, 03:14 PM
 
Location: In the Zombie Room
1,603 posts, read 2,505,963 times
Reputation: 2454
Did you check out
the Residence Inn - Biltmore and also the Doubletree Hotel are both Pet friendly.

Have you thought about Air BnB? I've had lots of friends use it and they all have raved about how great it was. I personally have no experience but it might be a good option for you.
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Old 06-24-2014, 03:27 PM
 
221 posts, read 361,268 times
Reputation: 251
I've stayed at the Best Western before. Decent location for the price, and a nice enough place (typical BW). I'm not familiar with the other two.

The drive to Graveyard Fields along the Blue Ridge Parkway would give you the mountain views you want, and the hike would give you waterfalls. I don't think the trail itself has mountain vistas, but there are many overlooks on the BRP that are well worth stopping for. I don't know the status of the parking lot there right now, or how else you can access it. Grandfather Mountain is farther than you want to go. Chimney Rock is nice, but there is a charge to get in. Craggy Gardens is spectacular when the rhododendrons are in bloom. They're likely done by now, but there are still gorgeous 360 mountain views. Head north on the parkway from there and there are many great vistas. For waterfalls, I love the Hooker Falls/Triple Falls/High Falls hike in DuPont. I'm sure others will have different favorites.

One adventure you didn't mention is ziplining. There are several near here that are a lot of fun. Navitat is probably the most scenic, but there is also an urban zipline in Asheville where you can see views of the city (behind the Crowne Plaza hotel). They recently added a whole Treetops Adventure park, which sounds like fun (but maybe not for your dog).

A cool place to get a drink downtown is the Sky Bar. It's basically a multi-level fire escape with overpriced drinks, but they take you up in a cool old-fashioned elevator and the views are amazing. It does get packed, so if you want to see the sunset you'll need to go early. The Social Lounge and Tapas also has a rooftop bar. Plenty of other places to get a drink and hear music - it's not such a big downtown that you can't walk the whole thing in a night.

You may enjoy the drum circle on Friday evening in Pritchard Park if you're looking for local flavor. Also, Shindig On the Green is a free concert in Pack Square Park on Saturdays in the summer.

Have fun!
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Old 06-25-2014, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Full Time Resident of City of Asheville
492 posts, read 680,240 times
Reputation: 675
I suggest going to the overlook at the top of Craggy Dome at Craggy Gardens, a spectacular view. The parking lot is North past the Visitors Center, thru the tunnel on the left. Then go on to Mt. Mitchell State Park just north. You can drive close to the top and then walk up to the observation deck to be at the highest point in the East. White water rafting has more options than horseback riding. Also, Wicked Weed on Biltmore is very popular for their craft brews and eats.
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