We will be visiting North Carolina in August for a family wedding in Raleigh. We'll have 4-5 days before the wedding and planned to head for Asheville or Boone/Blowing Rock. We'd like to do some day hikes on the Appalachian Trail. Any recommendations on:
-- Lodging in or near Asheville that is budget priced but with a little charm? Would we be better off staying in a smaller town?
-- Day hikes on A.T. and/or Smokey Mountains?
-- Any other don't miss day trips or activities in the area?