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Things to Do & See Around Boone, NC?

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Dear Fodorites,

I have an opportunity to home exchange with some folks who have a vacation home in Boone, NC which appears to be in the "mountains" near the TN border. I would go during peak fall colors and they tell me that would be about the 2nd week in Oct. Is that correct?

Also, it looks like Ashville is close enough for a day trip. Any other things to see and do besides hiking? I'm a little concerned that a week will be too long for me in the mountains.

I've never been to the area before and might consider combining this with a few days in Charleston and Savannah to make it worthwhile.

Suggestions and comments? Thanks in advance!

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