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Itinerary & B&B for May 2010 / Blue Ridge Parkway

Berea, Ohio
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Itinerary & B&B for May 2010 / Blue Ridge Parkway

Recently returned from nine days in Seattle/Friday Harbor/Port Angeles WA, I'm in the vacation-begets-thoughts-of-future-vacations mode right now -- macro-planning for 2010. My husband and I have hopes of exploring Asheville (including Biltmore) and Blue Ridge Parkway in mid-May. Even though I think we'd prefer Asheville in the spring and BRP in fall, it makes sense to combine the two, doesn't it? We are not interested in areas like Gatlinburg. Any feedback on a plan for a week in the area?

Generally when I'm planning our vacations, I like to gather advice about things to do, places to eat and stay and how to organize this in a way that's not a crammed-full schedule but rather a relaxing time to appreciate the area. We're in our 60s; regularly see art exhibitions in the cities we visit or catch some live music; prefer distinctive, though not necessarily lavish, lodging (already considering three nights at 1889 WhiteGate Inn near Asheville) and dining; particularly appreciated the natural splendor of CA (Oct. 2008) and WA (July 2009).

Greensboro, NC
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1. Re: Itinerary & B&B for May 2010 / Blue Ridge Parkway

Have patience......you have asked for more than a simple answer.......will get back to you soon.

Clemmons, North...
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for North Carolina, Winston Salem
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2. Re: Itinerary & B&B for May 2010 / Blue Ridge Parkway

I can vouch for the Whitegate Inn--it is a wonderful B&B. I would also suggest the Grove Park Inn if you've never stayed there...everyone should experience it at least once in their lives.

If you like natural beauty, you won't be disappointed. You can drive north or south on the Blue Ridge Parkway from Asheville and see some spectacular scenery along with interesting stops along the way (e.g., Mt. Pisah/Cradle of Forestry, Craggy Gardens, Mt. Mitchell, NC Folk Arts Center, etc.) You might consider scheduling a trip on the Great Smoky Mountains Railway, which is lots of fun and a unique way to see the mountains (see http://www.gsmr.com). And for sure you'll want to spend at least one day bumming around the shops and restaurants of downtown Asheville.

If you're into performing arts, check out the Flat Rock Playhouse (http://www.flatrockplayhouse.org), located just south of Asheville in Hendersonville. It has a great reputation for putting on excellent shows.

Hope this helps...

Greensboro, NC
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3. Re: Itinerary & B&B for May 2010 / Blue Ridge Parkway

Pat Picks:

I see you've already picked a lovely B&B in Asheville. You have good taste. I must agree with Arbyunc that if you want to taste some of the gracious living in Asheville (with a view that is almost breathtaking), either try or at least have a meal at the Grove Park Inn. It's a classic!

Your time span of mid-May 2010 takes the Brevard Music Center out of play. They are in session from the end of June through the 1st week in August. Once again, I will agree with Arbyunc that Hendersonville should be on your itinerary for its' art shops, antique shops and its' unique center of town.

You can get on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Asheville and head south which, if you stay on all the way, will put you almost in Cherokee, where you can have a taste of Indian life at Oconaluftee Indian Village. You might want to speand a few hours at Harrah's Cherokee Casino.

From Cherokee you can drive further through the Great Smoky National Park to Bryson City, where you can board the Great Smoky National Park RR http://www.gsmr.com/ for a slow ride through some absolutely beautiful mountains.

There is, if you wish, the opportunity to do some white-water rafting in the Nantahla National Forest, at http://www.noc.com/, but if that is not your bent, you can drive through some charming mountain towns such as Dillsboro, Sylva, Waynesville, and Maggie Valley. You could turn right in Waynesville and drive through the Pisgah National Forest.

If you want to try something you probably have never done, you could turn right in Dillsboro and drive down to Franklin, NC and get your fingers dirty doing some gem hunting in on of the myriad of gem mines in that area. franklin-chamber.com/visitorInformation/gemM… There are many waterfalls in Western NC.

Going north on the BRP, you will drive through beautiful mountains and be able to see (at times) how the Great Smoky Mountains got its' name. It's a slow drive on the BRP, so I wouldn't ask that you drive too far.

I hope this has given you some ideas of things to see and do in one of America's treasures.

I hope this helps your planning. Enjoy North Carolina!

Berea, Ohio
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4. Re: Itinerary & B&B for May 2010 / Blue Ridge Parkway

Thanks for such a well-considered and comprehensive responses. I'd like to save both in the TA trip folder I had created for Asheville. but I don't see the "save" box in this new forum design.

Greensboro, NC
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5. Re: Itinerary & B&B for May 2010 / Blue Ridge Parkway

Print them.

Berea, Ohio
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6. Re: Itinerary & B&B for May 2010 / Blue Ridge Parkway

<<Print them.>>

Yes, that will be my solution, but I've appreciated being able to gather info over months of research and maintain it in an electronic folder until I print it just before our trip.

Nonetheless I very much appreciate your insights.

7. Re: Itinerary & B&B for May 2010 / Blue Ridge Parkway

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