Western North Carolina questions

Old Mar 2nd, 2021, 04:53 PM
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Western North Carolina questions

We have both had 2 vaccines. We are meeting with life long friends, who has also been vaccinated, in the first week of June in western North Carolina.

We will be there for a week. One day trip to Biltmore. Hope to do a waterfall hike. also going with a realtor to look at properties, maybe one or one/half days.

Any suggestions for other easy (senior) hikes? Museums? wineries? BBQ places?

Our house is midway between Boone and West Jefferson. https://www.vrbo.com/323022?adultsCount=2

Starrs, calling you
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Old Mar 3rd, 2021, 02:42 AM
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You will want to visit the Ben Long frescoes in West Jefferson.
https://www.visitnc.com/story/ZbpQ/s...country-beyond

Blowing Rock is a fun little town. You could do a day trip to Asheville for its sites. Do some driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway with some hikes from it.
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Old Mar 4th, 2021, 05:20 AM
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"Starrs, calling you"
LOL! Wish I could help. That's more eastern "western NC" to me. I've driven through that area quite a bit but don't have personal recommendations. Sorry.

I love the Valle Crucis area and you really should visit the original Mast General Store -
https://www.mastgeneralstore.com/cms.../valle-crucis/
The Boone/ Blowing Rock/ Valle Crucis/ Banner Elk area is lovely.

I'm more familiar with the Asheville/ Black Mountain area and SW from there. Brevard, Hendersonville, Highlands and on into the NE corner of GA.

For hikes, I'd check out the nearby national forests. That's usually the best place for hiking.

Gretchen's ideas are good ones, especially exploring along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

If you are planning for retirement, my #1 concern would be the nearest place for emergency care and the closest "real" hospital.

Have a good time and good luck with finding a place you want to "plant yourself".


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Old Mar 6th, 2021, 02:42 PM
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rnchryl. I live about 1 hour from Asheville and Blowing Rock. I would highly recommend going to Blowing Rock, it is a great little town! The Speckled Trout is a great restaurant there. The Gamekeeper restaurant is located between Boone and Blowing Rock and is excellent, especially if you like big game meat. Please do drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway, you can get on it right near Boone. We always pack or pick up a lunch and just pull over - you can stop anywhere on the Parkway.
There is excellent health care in Asheville. We drove there to have my husband's total knee because they are just that good. I would definitely go to Asheville. Biltmore is always worth a visit and they do have a wine tasting tour. I would highly recommend going to the GrovePark Inn just to explore. There is so much history to read about there and it is an awesome place to have a drink and sit in front of the HUGE fireplaces! The Sierra Nevada beer company has a great brewery in Asheville and you can do a tour and tasting. My favorite restaurant is there as well, Curate, it is Spanish tapas and just lovely.
I don't have much information on hiking except to say that there are 100's of trails and you can find quite a bit of information about each of them. I hope you have a great time....it is a beautiful part of the country.
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Old Mar 7th, 2021, 07:40 AM
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Thanks willowjane!

I agree with several of her recommendations, especially the Biltmore Estate including the amazing home and gardens. For spring travelers, the walled garden is gorgeous!

Love the Grove Park too. Eating on the Sunset Terrace is one of my favorite things.

A good restaurant nearby, a favorite of Grove Park area locals is Avenue M =
https://www.avenuemavl.com/

The Biltmore Estate has wonderful trails as well -
https://www.biltmore.com/blog/explor...les-of-trails/

The grounds are gorgeous and the work of Frederick Law Olmstead, who also designed Central Park in NYC.
https://wncmagazine.com/feature/olms...esign_biltmore

"Olmsted saw Biltmore as the crowning jewel of his career,” Alexander says. The historian is quick to quote a key passage from one of Olmsted’s letters in 1890, when he was beginning the project: “This is to be a private work of very public interest in many ways. Of much greater public interest—utility, industrial, political, educational and otherwise, very possibly, than we can define to ourselves. I feel a good deal of ardor about it.” By that time, earning Olmsted’s enthusiasm for grand projects was no mean feat. Already accomplished and on his way to becoming the founding father of American landscape architecture, in 1858 Olmsted and a partner had designed New York City’s Central Park, one of the highlights of a career that included the U.S. Capitol Grounds, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, and myriad other American landmark spaces.

But Biltmore would top them all. “This is a place and [Vanderbilt] is a man that we must do our best for,” Olmsted wrote to his business partners. “It is far and away the most distinguished private place, not only for America, but of the world, forming at this period. It will be critical and reviewed and referred to for its precedents and for its experience, years ahead, centuries ahead.”"

The house is amazing - the largest home in the country. But so are the grounds.
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