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Western North Carolina The Mountain Region including Asheville
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Old 02-09-2007, 05:04 PM
 
33 posts, read 108,933 times
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Hello everyone~!!!

My fiance and I are planning a honeymoon in the NC mountains this October. We'd like to go to the Asheville, Sylva, Dillsboro, Smoky Mountains area including the Cherokee Reservation and Chimney Rock park.

We are coming from CA and neither of us have ever been to NC. Can anyone suggest some great things to do that might be a little off the beaten path and not so "touristy"? Any great hotels, restaurants, experiences that you can suggest in the Western NC mountain towns, etc?

We're considering renting a cabin rather than staying in a lodge or hotel....any thoughts?

Thanks in advance~!!!
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Old 02-09-2007, 05:51 PM
 
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The Grove Park Inn is supposed to be beautiful and has a spa overlooking Asheville. It is very expensive but would be lovely for a honeymoon. The Biltmore house is in Asheville as well and is very pretty.

We stayed at a B & B for an anniversary tripin the NC mts., but didn't care for that as we felt that we had to "chat" with our caretakers.

There are some beautiful areas depending on how much sight seeing that you want to do and how much down time you want.
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Old 02-09-2007, 06:16 PM
 
Location: in & around the Triangle
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We honeymooned in the mountains this past May & it was wonderful. We rented a cabin for the week. It was great to relax! We both grew up in NC, but it was still nice to get out and see the mountains, etc. The cabin that we rented was in a gated horse farm. It was actually at least 3 bedrooms, but it was a lot cheaper than hotels would have been & it was super secluded with a hot tub out on the deck. The only thing to consider about a cabin is where you'll eat. We grabbed something quick for breakfast, ate lunch while we were out & then grilled supper at the cabin. Some friends were completely against cooking on the honeymoon, but we had a lot of fun. Once you get there you'll see tons of maps, etc. and we just stopped when something looked like fun. You can visit the NC tourism web-site and get them to mail you lots of info about the NC mountains to help you get an idea of what to see while you're here. Have fun on your honeymoon
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Old 02-09-2007, 06:28 PM
 
Location: God's Country
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We love Maggie Valley, it's a very neat little town. Also you might try renting a house on the VRBO website. It's about the same as a hotel in price and you have your privacy. Anything in North Carolina in October will be fun!
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Old 02-09-2007, 06:54 PM
 
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Thank you for all the responses~!!

I think we'll go the route of renting a cabin....we figure we can cook a quick breakfast and have lunch out. What about restaurants for dinner? I personally LOVE to cook, so wouldn't mind being rustic and cooking on our honeymoon, but would like to have options for dinner a couple of nights if possible.

Has anyone done the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad? Is it worth the cost?
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Old 02-09-2007, 08:32 PM
 
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i stayed at the Grove Park Inn and can highly recommend it.It is $$ but a nite or two would be worth every penny.The spa is fabuous,the restaraunts and bars top notch...have a glass of wine for me on the porch outside overlooking Asheville..(make sure you ask for a newer "top notch" room,,some are moldy oldies.)
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Old 02-09-2007, 11:26 PM
 
Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
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Several restaurant suggestions depending on where you end up visiting: the Frog and Owl in Franklin, Lulu's Cafe in Sylva, the Weaverville Milling Co. (set in a century-old mill) in Weaverville. For a healthy lunch and great coffee in a 180-degrees-opposite from Starbucks atmosphere, try Panacea on the "Frog Level" in Waynesville.
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Old 02-09-2007, 11:48 PM
 
Location: North Carolina
2,657 posts, read 6,935,505 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyggress View Post
Hello everyone~!!!

My fiance and I are planning a honeymoon in the NC mountains this October. We'd like to go to the Asheville, Sylva, Dillsboro, Smoky Mountains area including the Cherokee Reservation and Chimney Rock park.

We are coming from CA and neither of us have ever been to NC. Can anyone suggest some great things to do that might be a little off the beaten path and not so "touristy"? Any great hotels, restaurants, experiences that you can suggest in the Western NC mountain towns, etc?

We're considering renting a cabin rather than staying in a lodge or hotel....any thoughts?

Thanks in advance~!!!
Wellll ... if you are wanting non-touristy stuff, I'd stay away from Cherokee. Unless you want to gamble at the casino. Lately, that area has become more focused on the Native heritage and history; there is a very interesting museum and living history village; but it is somewhat overwhelmed by the tons of tourist tat When we last visited (2003) we had embarrassed grins on our faces as we skirted around the "have your picture taken with an Indian Chief - $5" stand. There isn't a lot of stuff that can be categorized as "off the beaten path". Tourism is the major industry for the mountains, so anything that a tourist might be interested in has its own website, brochures and billboards.

You won't have any problem finding a cabin to rent - no siree The building of cabins to rent is a major industry there. But you might want to make reservations as soon as possible. The good places go first. The location would be more a critical factor, to me. Someone mentioned Maggie Valley - that would be a good choice if you want to be close to the mountains without it being crowded. Stay awaaaay from Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge

I could list a plethora of websites for things to see, but you can find that yourself. PLANNING is the key. You didn't mention how long you planned to stay, so organization is very-very critical if you are a first-timer to the mountains and have never even been to this part of the country. Arm yourselves with maps and calculate that driving time on anything other than major 4-lane roads is going to be limited to about 35 mph. The roads going through the mountain areas are very twisty and you may run into traffic - in fact I guarantee it. October is THE month for everyone to head to the mountains, which is why we never go there at that time anymore.

Weather - October tends to be a rainy month, plus any hurricanes that might be blowing through can affect your trip. The mountains are rarely directly impacted, but when remnants of those storms pass thru, as Ivan and Frances did in September 2004, they cause this http://www.stowy.net/asheville/avlflood.htm (broken link) It's not something that should scare you away, just bring wet weather gear and don't be disappointed if the views from the higher elevations are periodically obscured by cloud cover. Also, October mornings and evenings are cool in the mountains. Be prepared to dress in layers so you can be warm going out in the mornings and strip down as the temperature rises in the afternoon. And, it's probably superfluous to say this; most cabins do have fireplaces; but make sure you have one in your cabin. October is a good time of the year for cuddling up in front of the fire and having snuggle bunnies

Again, planning ahead of your trip is the best way to get maximum enjoyment out of the area. There is a lot of neat stuff to see, but if you get here and try to wing it by just picking up brochures as you walk into the restaurants, you're going to end up wasting a lot of time trying to figure out the area. Go to the bookstore and get NC and TN maps. E-mail the tourist bureaus and ask for vacation planners. Those of us who live around here more or less take the mountain area for granted. It's there, we can pretty much say "hey, let's go to the mountains for the weekend!", and it's just a thing to do. Since you are coming from the other side of the country, and it's your honeymoon, I'm sure you want to make it more memorable
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Old 02-10-2007, 05:47 AM
 
Location: North Carolina
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Default What to see in western NC

In Asheville you might want to see Grove Park Inn and of course Biltmore...and soak in the attractive diverse downtown. Whatever you do, don't miss choosing from hundreds of wonderful hikes off the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway (my favorite drive) and the Smoky Mountain National Park. Just know if you plan to travel longer distances on the Parkway, it will take a while..particularly with the October fall traffic. Also reservations a must that time of year. Waynesville and Sylva are great towns. I would concur with Lulu's in Sylva (and Spring Street Cafe), and Frog and Owl and Chef and his wife in Franklin...all of the above good eats. Another lodging option is Bed and Breakfasts...some nice ones in the area. There's one in Sylva area that has a European ambiance...called The Chalet Inn. The train is ok...particularly if you haven't gone on it before. I would suggest Bryson City to Nantahala rather than Dillsboro to Bryson City. Ideally you could have a car at one end and ride it one way...the round trip can take a while...but very nice on an October day! There is a drive from Franklin to Highlands on Highway 64 that is VERY scenic...and not much on the tourist maps. Nice waterfalls along the way. If you make it to Highlands...make sure you get an ice cream at Sweet Treats..yummy!

Hope it is a great trip...let us know if you've other questions!
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Old 02-12-2007, 12:26 PM
 
33 posts, read 108,933 times
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You guys are the best~!!! Thank you for all the tips and suggestions. So far, I'm really looking into this great cabin outside of Sylva up the mountains...no phone, no TV, has a fireplace, jacuzzi tub and a sauna in the cabin~! :-)

I am DEFINITELY a planner~! I have some books on NC and have gotten travel info from the State, etc...the traffic might be a bummer that time of year, but we're getting married in the Fall and REALLY want to see the East Coast during that time.

We'll be out there for 6 nights and 7 days...flying into Charlotte, driving to Asheville and visiting Biltmore, etc...then up to the mountains for 4 days before heading back to Charlotte to fly out. I know we can fly directly into Asheville, but it's much more expensive, and we thought driving through parts of the state may be beautiful. (Now I'm worried about the traffic, though~!).

We wanted to give ourselves plenty of time to see things and do things without feeling "rushed"....so we can take our time and have fun....
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