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Where to visit between Christmas and New Year in Southeast?

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Sep 15th, 2009, 07:56 PM
  #1
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Where to visit between Christmas and New Year in Southeast?

I'm looking for destinations within a 10 hour drive of southwest Alabama for a week's visit between Christmas and New Year. DH and I would like a relaxing week away, possibly sitting in front of a fire in a cabin somewhere, but in an area where there's at least some sort of town to explore. Suggestions? Romance, interest and affordability are our priorities. We did Savannah last year and it was right up our alley. Thanks in advance for all your suggestions!! We rarely get the time and $$ to travel, so we want this trip to be just right.
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Sep 16th, 2009, 03:18 AM
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Charlston, SC should be a nice place to spend that kind of trip. Plenty of places to stay, lots of history, nice waterfront, etc.
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Sep 16th, 2009, 05:57 AM
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How about Ashville, NC? Visit the Biltmore Castle. Here's a travel log link:
http://www.ashevillevisitorguide.com/
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Sep 16th, 2009, 05:58 AM
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Also, the Joe Wheeler State park in north AL has cabins with fire places.
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Sep 16th, 2009, 06:41 AM
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Both good suggestions...I'll add Amelia Isalnd, Fl. For that amount of time though I think Asheville is your best bet, as you not only have the city, but are also close to so much more.
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Sep 16th, 2009, 06:19 PM
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Great suggestions. Asheville was our first choice originally, but I was afraid of two things:
1. The weather. Specifically, I was concerned about the possibility of snow/ice on the road on our drive up. (Since we're from the Deep South we're not too familiar with that type of thing. Esp on mtn roads!)
2. The scenery factor. I know Asheville has magnificent scenery in the fall, but I wondered about the winter landscape not being much to look at.
Anyone know anything about Asheville in the dead of winter?
Will check out Joe Wheeler State Park.
We did the Charleston thing during our Savannah vacay. Great city.
Thanks for the ideas!
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Sep 16th, 2009, 06:29 PM
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I understand ( but have only seen in pictures ) that Biltmore goes 'all out' with the Christmas decor & carriage rides, etc. It's been many years since I was there ( not during winter ) but, during summer months, some of the smaller outlying towns had clogging in the streets & wonderful little shops with local artisans - dulcimer playing & making, etc. At that time, there was a huge arts/crafts show at the civic center as well, I believe. I would just expect there to be some interesting things to do, but am not certain as to specifics.
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Sep 16th, 2009, 08:17 PM
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Biltmore does indeed go all out at Christmas! We were there several years ago and had a good time touring not only the main house but also the rest of the grounds. In addition to the regular tour of the house there was also a separate "behind the scenes" tour that included the servants' quarters, kitchen, and such. It was very enlightening and well worth the time and cost.

Another neat place to visit was the Grove Park Inn. It had beautiful architecture, and there also was a large display of gingerbread houses that was fun to see.

Yes, there is the possibility of snow and ice on the drive up or back. We drove from N Alabama and did run into snow on the way over, but it was not too bad, and the city was pretty the next day. I would not let that stop you from going.

If Asheville is too intimidating, another possibility is Callaway Gardens in Georgia. That might seem an odd winter destination, but they have a "trail of lights" that you can ride through, and some beautiful floral displays in their "greenhouses". There are also gardening shops, as well as other things on the property that I can't remember now. And they have cabins (with fireplaces) that you can rent - it can be pretty cool (or even cold) there in late December.

Warm Springs, the vacation home of FDR, is nearby and makes an interesting excursion, too.
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Oct 5th, 2009, 06:19 PM
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Bamabelle15 & others,

I am also wanting to do something in the SE for Christmas - albeit with my husband and 3 boys (ages 17, 13, and 8). I was already thinking about Biltmore - which I think would be beautiful at Christmas. I've never been, but I worry my kids will find it boring. After looking into it a little, I was worried there might not be enough things to do that will appeal to the whole family. By the way - we are from North Alabama (Huntsville). I've never even been to Joe Wheeler.

I'd love to go to Savannah - it's high on my list of places to visit one day. Was there lots to do at Christmas when you went? Anything that would appeal to kids of all ages?

As to other possible locations; I've never really done the mountains thing, but always thought it would be neat even though we are more warm weather people & not into skiing. My kids might like to try it, but I'm not sure I'd be brave enough to let them.
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Oct 5th, 2009, 07:29 PM
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Oh, Mama, you've got to get out more...& let your kids experience skiing - supervised & with lessons of course. IMO the best thing you can do is expose your kids to new challenges & fun WITH you.
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Oct 5th, 2009, 09:14 PM
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OSB is right - be brave and let them ski. The ski slopes will have lessons you can sign them up for. Just be prepared for big crowds during the week between Christmas and New Years, along with big prices to match!
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Oct 7th, 2009, 04:49 AM
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I agree! It's also important for the planner to be able to relax during vacay, and not worry about keeping everyone entertained.
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Oct 7th, 2009, 06:23 AM
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I like Beaufort, S.C. and Coastal Georgia--St. Simon's Island--

M.
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