Asheville itinerary / B&B opinions

Old Jun 17th, 2004, 07:51 AM
  #1  
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Asheville itinerary / B&B opinions

My husband and I will be visiting Asheville in September, I was wondering if I can get opinions on a few things. First I want to lay out my planned itinerary and I want to know if I have apportioned my time right. We are not spending the entire week in Asheville, but will be also driving to the Smoky Mountains NP. Anyway here are my plans:

Day 1 (Saturday)- Fly into Asheville from NY(only a 2 hr flt). Arrive at noon. Since check in isn't until after 3pm, we will have most of the day to explore. My first stop will be to the visitor's center.
Day 2 and Day 3 spent in Asheville (sun and mon)
Day 4 (tues)- Leave early and head out to Chimney Rock Park. After that, head out on the parkway towards the park where we will spend the night in Cherokee. I am leaving this day open to stopping wherever we see fit.
Day 5 (wed)- Head into GSMNP and explore the NC side of the park, head towards TN, where we will spend the next 2 days.
Days 6 & 7 (Thrs/Fri)- Stay in Tn and further explore the park and whatever else we decide to do.
Day 8 (sat)- Fly home out of Knoxville.

So, do I have enough time to see Asheville? Another thing I want an opinion on is finding a B&B. I know there are lots of them but I narrowed them down to a few. Any ideas or comments are welcomed:

1. A Hill House B&B
2. North Lodge on Oakland
3. A Bed of Roses
4. Carolina B&B
5. The Lion and the Rose
6. Chestnut Street Inn

I think there may be a couple more that I forgot but that's pretty much it. Sorry for the incredibly long post. I really appreciate those of you who took the time to read and respond!

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Old Jun 17th, 2004, 08:13 AM
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I can't help you with B&B's. You have enough time to see Asheville. Austin, who posts as Hauntedhead, has some wonderful suggestions on what to see in Asheville. Also the Thomas Wolfe house has reopened/or is reopening soon. Near Asheville is the Carl Sanberg House, that is also worth a visit.

Cherokee,NC and Gaitlinburg, Tenn. compete hard for the title of tackiest place in the US. Be prepared. In Cherokee there is a museum of real Cherokee arts. Try to find it (it's on the road the casino isn't).
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Old Jun 17th, 2004, 10:00 AM
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Thank you for your response. I am well aware of those tourist traps. The only reason I decided to stay in Cherokee is so we can get an early start in the park the next morning. I don't really plan on seeing anything while I am there because I don't know what time I will even be arriving. As for Gatlinburg, I am actually still not sure where to stay. I don't really want to deal with the craziness but I want to be centrally located. I have gotten a few suggestions, but haven't made a decision yet. Thanks again!
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Old Jun 18th, 2004, 09:22 AM
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I would say that 2 days is sufficient to see Asheville, but considering that you have a week, I think you may not have allocated enough of it to Asheville, especially since one of those days is Sunday, and some stuff will be closed. If it were me, I would probably go to Chimney Rock on Sunday and then go back to Asheville. Chimney Rock is on the East side of Asheville, park on the west, so you would go right back through Asheville on your way from there to the Smokies.

I assume you like to hike and do other outdoor siteseeing, so I would say add another day in the Asheville area to hike in Pisgah.

I'm confused why you say you want to be "centrally located"...to what?

My parents have a vacation home in TN about 20 minutes from Gatlinburg. I have been to visit them there once in about 15 years and that was because I owe them a favor. On the other hand, I go to Asheville and/or Pigah Forest every weekend. That's how awful Gatlinburg is.

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Old Jun 18th, 2004, 09:50 AM
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bonniebroad
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I agree with Litespeed_Chick, I would give Asheville another day! Beautiful place, wonderful vibes...... you could spend a good part of one day at Biltmore Estate. It's one of my favorite spots in our N.C. mountains.
 
Old Jun 18th, 2004, 09:51 AM
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bonniebroad
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Oh, we stayed at Richmond Hill Inn, and it is lovely, with a wonderful restaurant, Gabrielle's..........
 
Old Jun 18th, 2004, 10:09 AM
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idauria,
I've stayed at A Bed of Roses and we
really liked it. We have also stayed at Richmond Hill at one of the cottages
rather than in the house. We liked that too, but for the price, I would pick A Bed of Roses. Be sure to see
the Grove Park Inn. They have a display of pictures that show the construction of the building. It is
amazing and interesting to see.
Asheville is beautiful, have a nice visit.
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Old Jun 18th, 2004, 10:39 AM
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If you devoted yourself to seeing everything there is to see in Asheville you could eat up a week or more, but two days is enough time to see some good stuff and get an adequate feel for the city.

Besides, if you wanted to see EVERYTHING in town you'd burn out on art, architecture, and gardens, which are our strong points.

I agree with Litespeed that you'd do better to devote Sunday to Chimney Rock Park -- it's not far, only about 20 miles to the southeast, and the drive there is an attraction in itself if you go through Hickory Nut Gorge via Highway 74-A. More things in Asheville are open on Monday than Sunday, though perversely, some things like the museums at Pack Place (including the impressive Colburn Earth Sciences Museum) are open on Sundays and not on Mondays.

I guess it all depends on what you're really in the mood to see. I do applaud your decision to hit the visitors center though. It's an often-overlooked resource that could help you pinpoint what, among our legions of attractions, you're most interested in seeing.
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Old Jun 18th, 2004, 10:43 AM
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Hi, Can I recommend the Aberdeen Inn. We wanted to see the Biltmore on the way to Richmond, VA and stopped in Asheville and tried the Aberdeen Inn. The hostess was so nice we wanted to see what the other guest rooms looked like and since people hadn't checked in yet she showed us. All the rooms have down comforters. The breakfast is wonderful and they have bikes you can ride for free and menus from local restaurants you can look at and they have a big hot tub. It is very nice; we stayed in the Wisteria Room. Here is the website. www.aberdeeninn.com Hope this helps. You need to visit the Biltmore while in Asheville. Have fun
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Old Jun 18th, 2004, 03:20 PM
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Thanks everyone. I will make a note of it to visit chimney rock on sunday. I don't plan or expect to see all there is to see in Asheville on this trip. We really wanted to visit the park but decided to add Asheville first because we don't need a whole week in the park. I also know that there are lots to see in the entire region, which is making my trip planning confusing and difficult. I know that Gatlinburg is a complete tourist trap. It seems that is the place with most dining options and wider park access. Hopefully the week I am there it won't be that crowded either. I was also planning on staying on the TN side of the park so we don't have to drive all the way back to Asheville to fly home. We can just fly from the knoxville airport. This way it is a straight trip instead of back and forth, and I get to see more stuff this way too.
Hauntedhead - thanks for the kudos! That means a lot coming from you! I don't have a specific itinerary planned yet. We want to play most of it by ear, especially since we don't know what the weather will be like either. We may be forced to do indoor stuff, so I rather have lots of options and keep them open. I don't think I really want to spend more than 3 days there honestly. So, do you think I should change my plans to leave Asheville on Wed instead of Tuesday, leaving 2 days to see the smokies instead of 3? I think I will keep it the same because I might use one of those days for the Cherohala Skyway or something else in that region. Besides I still count Sat as a day since we are getting in pretty early. Maybe we will do the urban trail that day.
Thanks for the B&B info. I will check those places out too. I didn't list the Grove Park Inn or Biltmore or Richmond Hill because they are beyond my price range. Besides I don't need all that fancy stuff.
So, are there any other words of advice out there??
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Old Jun 18th, 2004, 03:31 PM
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maj
 
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I think your trip sounds fine. You'll get a taste of the area and find out what is interesting to you. My only suggestion would be to ask for "suggestions" for places to eat. The reason I say this is that a few years ago we drove the Blue Ridge Parkway to Biltmore Estate without reservations because we didn't know when we would get there or how long we wanted to stay (it was out of season, so no problem). We stayed at a Hampton Inn which was fine, but could only find a TGIFridays to eat--which was fine with us also--but I'm sure there are plenty of good restaurants in Asheville--we just didn't know where they were. Since there is so much good information on this forum, when you decide where you are going to stay, I'd ask for opinions on eating places nearby. At least, that is what I will do in the future.
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Old Jun 18th, 2004, 03:39 PM
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idauria,

I don't know your price range, but not all of the rooms at the Richmond Hill are expensive. It might be worth a look since Sept. is considered off season and it is a wonderful place to stay.

Instead of G-burg, I suggest looking into Townsend. It borders the park and there are plenty of lodging and dining choices--all very simple but nice.
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Old Jun 18th, 2004, 03:54 PM
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Jayne, Richmond Hill's cheapest rate is $195 Sun-Thurs, $245 Fri-Sat and holidays, from April, 2004 thru March, 2005. They have three rooms for that price, everything else is pricier.

Let me recommend this restaurant in Asheville if you like REAL Mexican food (nothing against Taco Bell, but it ain't the same!) We always eat here at least once, if not twice, when we're in the area:

La Paz Restaurante Y Cantina
10 Biltmore Plaza
Asheville, NC 28805

(828-277-8779, Voted as being the "Best Mexican Restaurant" three years running, this Mexican restaurant entices the diner with its eclectic atmosphere and flair for distinctive Southwestern cuisine and memorable margaritas. They are open daily for lunch and dinner)

 
Old Jun 18th, 2004, 05:21 PM
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Bonnie - Thanks for the tip on the Mexican place. I am sure hubby would love it.
As far as my price range goes for lodging, I am trying not to spend more than $150-160 a night. A good thing is that since I am staying Sat-Tues, I get to pay a reduced rate Sun-Tues, and only pay the higher rate for Sat. All the places I have selected fall within my range. I also don't have a lot as far as requirements. I don't need my breakfast served on fine china and linen. Heck, just give me some scrambled eggs! I do like the atmosphere of the B&B's and enjoy the personalized service. Wherever I end up staying I will ask my hosts about restaurants, etc. Oh, another thing - where should I stay if I want to be close to downtown? Many of the B&B's I have selected are in the Montford district. Is this close enough? I don't necessarily need to be walking distance, unless that is recommended, since I don't know what parking is like downtown. If it's anything like nyc then I surmise I will need to be walking there instead of driving.
As far as staying in Townsend rather than Gburg, that is what I have been wrestling with. I know you feel stongly that my trip will be better served by staying in Townsend. I have the notion that Townsend is a little too remote and I haven't found any cabins in that area that I really liked. They all appear to be more simple than I would like. Not that I am a snob, I am not. This whole thing is making me insane and I wish wish I could make a decision already! Someone told me that staying in the ares between Pigeon Forge and Gburg would be a good idea for me so I would be located closer to more of the park. If I stay in Townsend, what is to see at that side of the park besides Cades Cove and how far will it be to drive to other places in the park? I don't know where exactly where I will be going yet, but I want to have more options available to me.
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Old Jun 18th, 2004, 07:10 PM
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Idauria,

I just realized that you were the one asking about G-burg on another post! Wow--you still haven't come up with a place in that area?!

I'm the one that suggested you stay on the stretch between PF and G-burg, but if you recall, when I checked that out with my friend who lives up there she told me that area wasn't very nice any more.

As I think I said, I don't find Townsend at all remote with the new road. You are correct that many of the cabins are more rustic, however, Townsend is barely clinging to its rustic roots with all the growth in the area. My friend sold six cabins to walk-in customers last month! Her place that she rents is newer and it's beautiful. She has impeccable taste and inspects it regularly for cleanliness. If you're interested, I'll get the website for you.

Try to find a park map and look at it in relationship to the areas you're insterested in staying. The NPS sells them online for all the national parks.

Back to Ashville, this same friend likes the White Gate B&B, but I don't know the prices. They aren't big spenders so it's probably not bad.

Sooner or later it will all come together and all your hard work and planning will pay off!
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Old Jun 19th, 2004, 07:46 AM
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Jayne - Yup, it's me! Thanks for the suggestions. I have decided to take yours and someone else's advice and stay in Townsend. This other person is also helping me to find a cabin. I think I will enjoy the solitude over the crowds. I was just concerned about being too far from places in the park I may want to see. I guess that's what a car is for! I am sure my trip will be great no matter what. And yes, if you wouldn't mind, I would love to see that website you mentioned.
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Old Jun 19th, 2004, 08:28 AM
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Jayne, I would like the website as well. We go to the area frequently and like to fish near Elkmont.
Some friends phoned and wanted to go up next weekend and it took me forever to find availability. My favorite place, Oak Haven Resort, was totally booked for the dates I needed.
Finally found a place at Hidden Mountain Resort which is also very nice.
idauria, you may want to check out Hidden Mountain. They have 2 locations..one in Sevierville behind The Apple Barn (it's hidden so you can't see it from the road!) and the other is out traffic light #3 in Pigeon Forge off of Hwy. 321 which runs from Pigeon Forge to Townsend.
Again, Jayne, please post the website you are speaking of!
Thanks all
 
Old Jun 19th, 2004, 10:27 AM
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I just emailed my friend so I'll post the website as soon as I here from her.

Idauria, I think you will be happy with your decision to stay in Townsend. Otherwise you will have several of us to flog when you return!I'll also ask my friend for restaurant recommendations.
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Old Jun 19th, 2004, 10:30 AM
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I meant "hear" of course--had to correct that because I just red a post and the spelling was atrocious.

Of course I meant "read" LOL
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Old Jun 19th, 2004, 10:39 AM
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LOL Jayne! I promise not to flog anyone. Thanks for the encouragement to make the decision. Now if I can only find a nice place to stay. I remembered that I had a TN vacation guide that has lodging listings for all the towns and Townsend had more listings than I thought. Which ones are good remains to be seen. I can't wait to hear from your friend. And thanks for asking about restaurant recommendations. I will definitely need those. Looking forward to your next posts...
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