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Where to go in NC or Tennessee after Asheville early October

Where to go in NC or Tennessee after Asheville early October

Old Sep 18th, 2013, 08:32 AM
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Where to go in NC or Tennessee after Asheville early October

My husband and I are traveling by car from Buffalo NY to Asheville NC in early October to meet up with some college friends. We will be spending a night/day in Blowing Rock on Day 1 and then will be spending 4 nights in Asheville in a rented house just outside of town. I'm looking for a destination for 3-4 nights before returning to Buffalo. I thought about going to the ocean but have changed my mind. Any ideas on where to continue our trip? Would be willing to drive as far as Nashville. We are in our 50's and enjoy small quaint towns with nice shopping, restaurants, scenery and hiking as well as cities. Am open to suggestions as to where to stay ($200 per night budget) as well as activities, restaurants, etc. Thanks in advance for your help.
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Old Sep 18th, 2013, 10:16 AM
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A wonderful, scenic area approximately an hour east of Nashville you might consider is Fall Creek Falls State Park. The foliage is usually gorgeous in October and there are many hiking trails with beautiful waterfalls throughout the park. Also, the Great Smokey Mountains would be good for hiking and viewing fall foliage. Gatlingburg and Pigeon Forge are close by, but can be a tourist trap, so you may want to avoid these towns. Tennessee is a beautiful state! Hope you have a wonderful trip!
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Old Sep 19th, 2013, 09:40 AM
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I used to live in the Carolinas and when I go back, I go to the places I visited as a child. From Asheville I usually head east to Spruce Pine and Little Switzerland areas. In Spruce Pine you can mine for gems (http://www.sprucepinegemmine.com/) and in Little Switzerland you can stay in cottages or inns that give you an amazing view of the mountains, like Little Switzerland Inn or Big Lynn Lodge (http://www.littleswitzerlandnc.com/).
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Old Sep 19th, 2013, 10:46 AM
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I absolutely agree with Denise. Avoid Gatlinburg at all costs. What a mind numbing experience that was. Wild horses couldn't get me to go back! The crowds of people mindlessly trudging along the sidewalk, lines and lines of cars through Cade's Cove...it was all so very bad it ruined any sense of the beauty of the surroundings. One word for it. Awful. (And I grew up in one of the hot spots for fall foliage and summer concerts so am not unfamiliar with crowds. These are The Worst!)
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Old Sep 19th, 2013, 11:49 AM
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Well, you could go back toward Blowing Rock and up the Parkway--Spruce Pine and Little Switzerland are in that area.
If you wanted a bit of city experience you could go to Winston-Salem, visit Old Salem, eat well, then head north again to the Parkway at Fancy Gap or such on your way onward north.
If you love pottery you could head east from Asheville and visit the area around Seagrove (south of Greensboro) for more pottery than you will find ANYwhere, I do believe. All kinds--traditional to glass to raku to modern. Wonderful stuff. Then go north from there.
There are also wineries around Winston Salem if that is of interest.
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Old Sep 19th, 2013, 02:49 PM
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I think we've decided to go to Nashville for a few days. We've never been there and we figured after almost a week of small towns, mountains and nature we would enjoy a city. In between Asheville and Nashville I would like to spend a day exploring Great Smokey National Park. I would like to avoid staying the night in Gatlinburg. Is there another town you would recommend to stay in after a day in the park? Thanks everyone for your advice so far.
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Old Sep 19th, 2013, 04:09 PM
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Well, you have made it a difficult trip. From Asheville to Nashville and wanting to do the smokies, AND THEN go back to Buffalo it's a long haul.
Go to Nashville first, and work back IF you want Nashville. Just think about it.
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Old Sep 19th, 2013, 04:10 PM
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My real point is, you have changed the entire trip.
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Old Sep 19th, 2013, 04:59 PM
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I am not following your reasoning. My plan is to go to Asheville first, which we have to because we are meeting friends and have rented a house. Those dates are not flexible. From there my husband and I are planning to go west, first to Great Smokey National Park and then continue west to Nashville. From there we will head north back to Buffalo. How have I changed the entire trip? We are locked into the Asheville dates and looking for a side trip from there?
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Old Sep 20th, 2013, 03:02 AM
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You might want to consider Charlottesville instead. It's a pretty drive, there are nice wineries, and Monticello is a treat.
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Old Sep 20th, 2013, 03:56 AM
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I think Nashville is fine. It's a sort of long and basically uninteresting drive to and from Nashville from the east, which you will be doing twice.
I just think there are more interesting things to do coming back to the east and more on your way back to Buffalo.
And you are locked into the Asheville time.
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Old Sep 20th, 2013, 04:22 AM
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Heading up towards Virginia and Charlottesville was my first thought too. One of the prettiest parts of the country that time of year. And would mean much less driving than Nashville (though Nashville can be fun).
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