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NJ to Asheville NC in November

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Feb 1st, 2011, 10:40 AM
  #1
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NJ to Asheville NC in November

Hi,

Driving to Asheville NC this Thanksgiving for about a week trip with my DH, we are mid 40's, no kids , will be about 12 hour drive from NJ to NC. Would like to stop along the way here and there in any states on the route, overnight stays if needed, and see some interesting sights or tourist attractions (and some tourist traps are okay too, haha). We will be staying about 3 days in Asheville, rest of the week is open.

Never been to any of the cities in N.C . like Raleigh, Winston-Salem, Chapel Hill, or Greensboro so not sure if they have anything interesting to stop off and see , or nice hotels to stay in, etc.

Any recommendations? Thinking of stopping at Tanglewood Park to see the Christmas light display on the way back to NJ. Not sure how worthwhile that will be.

Any ideas and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Feb 1st, 2011, 11:41 AM
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If you are wise about your trip you'll take the interstate across PA (is it 78?) to I81 to I77 to I40 to Asheville.
If you wanted to return via I85 to I95 then the towns you mention are on the way.
Winston salem would be a lovely stop to see Old Salem and the Muserum of Southern antiques (that's not quite the name).
Chapel Hill and Durham are great towns to shop, see the universities, eat well.
Have some really good authentic NC BBQ at Lexington NC (on I85.
The Vietri pottery outlet is in Hillsbourough, just outside Chapel Hill off I85. Beautiful stuff.
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Feb 1st, 2011, 06:18 PM
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If you want to see a beautiful castle try Biltmore House and The Grove Park Inn has the GingerHouse display at that time too. Really a nice place. The buffet is to die for at the GPI. Good luck
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Feb 1st, 2011, 08:02 PM
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I'm not sure Winston-Salem would be on my must see for NC list.

Raleigh/Durham or Chapel Hill would be stops with more to see/do/eat. There are bound to be light displays and special events in both towns around your dates, possibly special music presentations or even free concerts at colleges and churches. Richmond is also right on your way and there's a poster in the lounge who knows everything about what to do, go and eat there. It's a mid-size city and probably has some great goings on around the holidays. I plan to visit there in the spring when I am in Virginia . . . have heard it is really very nice.
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Feb 3rd, 2011, 08:26 AM
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Thanks so much for the recommendations. Has anyone stayed at the Umstead Hotel or the Carolina Inn or Siena Hotel in NC?
Getting some nice reviews!
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Feb 3rd, 2011, 08:57 AM
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The Carolina Inn, not a doubt. THE place in CH. The others are newcomers!!
As for Winston at that time of year, Old Salem will have wonderful holiday displays and music like you will not hear anywhere else--and it's on the way, which is one reason I mentioned it. I wonder if the poster above has been to Winston.
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Feb 3rd, 2011, 10:41 AM
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Yes, Gretchen, I have been twice, and while it is a nice little town It doesn't compare to the others mentioned, IMO. The op did not specify what he was looking for so I answered based on my own preference.
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Feb 3rd, 2011, 12:27 PM
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There is a great deal worth seeing in Winston-Salem. Certainly Old Salem, a living museum, is one of the top destinations in North Carolina. As Christmas approaches many special events are held there to celebrate the holidays. It is an extraordinary refurbishment of original buildings which are open to tour as opposed to a reconstruction.www.oldsalem.org The Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts is also worth a visit. http://www.oldsalem.org/mesda.html
Lunch at the Salem Tavern and a visit to Reynold Village would add to a pleasant day. You could also stop in the Reynolda House museum while you are there.http://www.reynoldahouse.org/index.php
The Lights at Tanglewood is a wonderful holiday light display set up on the old Reynolds Estate.
Winston Salem is home to many excellent restaurants. I suggest Bernardins, 1703, Milnors, West End Cafe, Salem Tavern, and Mozelle's, although there is a very wide choice.
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Feb 3rd, 2011, 12:29 PM
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Oh, I just saw your question about the Siena. I enjoyed my stay there very much. The room was well decorated, room service breakfast was delicious, high degree of comfort, cleanliness and service. The Umstead is on my target list for a weekend stay.
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Feb 3rd, 2011, 01:45 PM
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Thanks CMcfong. I Love Old Salem--it is a true historic area and very unique in the US. Don't forget to tell him to have some Moravian sugar cake from Winkler's. I can't think of any place in Durham, Raleigh or Chapel Hill--and maybe Richmond that would rival it. Lots of fun places but not the same thing.
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Feb 3rd, 2011, 01:53 PM
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Thanks so much for all your suggestions! I definitely will stop and check these places out along the way. That Moravian sugar cake definitely sounds like something I'd love to try!
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Feb 3rd, 2011, 01:58 PM
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I see I failed to suggest any lodging options for Winston-Salem.
Manor House at Tanglewood would be fun that time of year...you could have the park lights all to yourself! The Zeverly Inn in Old Salem is also quite nice. If you are interested in a really special experience come up to Pilot Mountain (about twenty five miles north on US 52)and stay in a refurbished tobacco shack at Pilot Knob Inn.
Gretchen, I agree, Winston Salem is a very special destination and there are many wonderful experiences to be had here...not the least of which is the sugar cake! We Moravians can cook.
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Feb 3rd, 2011, 03:24 PM
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So you know, Moravian sugar cake is a yeast bread with lots of butter and brown sugar--delicious, and I can give you a good recipe. Old Salem is a Moravian community, and their Christmas service, for example, is a love feast. That is the name of it. For "communion", they pass coffee and the sugar cake. Their music is largely brass bands--and is wonderful. You will not be sorry to see a bit of history that I do not know of anywhere else--maybe a bit up in PA, but not quite the same.
It is worth much more than a passing glance, bars and restaurants on up the road aside.
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Feb 3rd, 2011, 04:06 PM
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I so agree. We used to go to the Moravian services at Christmas and bring home goodies. Old Salem is definitely worth the trip.
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Feb 3rd, 2011, 06:53 PM
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I am glad we convinced you to give Winston Salem a try. You won't be disappointed. If the timing is right the sisters of Home Moravian Church do a Candle Tea every year beginning just after Thanksgiving. It is a wonderful local tradition and certainly a highlight of the season for me. www.candletea.org

If you want some sugar cake I recommend either Winkler's Bakery in Old Salem or Dewey's, there are several branches in town. there is really nothing like it. And do try some Moravian cookies. Mrs. Hanes' makes the best ones.www.hanescookies.com
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Feb 4th, 2011, 05:07 AM
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One time when we took our children to OS, we went in Winkler's and bought bread, sugar cake and cookies. The kids went out and sat on the curb and ate the bread!!
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Feb 4th, 2011, 08:52 AM
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I will definitely put Old Salem on my places to stop for sure ! That Moravian bread and Mrs Hanes cookies are on my list, they soundsdelicious!!!
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Feb 5th, 2011, 08:49 AM
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Agree Siena is a great place to stay!
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