We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Need help with planning Ashville visit

Carle Place, New...
Level Contributor
704 posts
Save Topic
Need help with planning Ashville visit

We are planning a trip in mid June to Ashville. Thanks for the firefly info ! Hope we get a chance to see them.

Although we do want to see the Biltmore, don't want to spend too much time there. We'd like to see Grandfather Mtn and Chimney Rock...visit one of the spas along the parkway for a dip in the hot tubs...hopefully find some "nature" things to see...birds, butterflies, wildlife....and gardens.

We'll be arriving on a Tues night, staying Tues, Wed, Thurs night before heading out to Charlotte area for a full moon kayak tour on Fri night.

Can you give a suggested itinerary to maximize our time ? Also, hotels restaurants, anything "not to miss".

Thanks.

Adirondack, New York
Level Contributor
3,968 posts
90 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Need help with planning Ashville visit

To see fireflies/lightning bugs you need to drive to Smoky Mountains National Park in TN and probably stay there overnight since you see them only late in the evening/at night. It has to be dark and the beginning of June.

You'll see plenty of birds, butterflies and beautiful gardens in Biltmore. Bring your binoculars and get on the trails, leave the crowds behind. For more birds, flowers, gardens, butterflies go to the Arboretum www.ncarboretum.org

Mid-June is an ideal time to see blooming rhododendrons in Craggy Gardens along Blue Ridge Parkway.

You have only two full days so visiting Biltmore, Arboretum, Grandfather Mountain, Chimney Rock, Craggy Gardens is already more than a full schedule. "Nature" things are all around in western NC but to see more you would need more than two days.

Maybe this is not important to you but for those who read this post and thinking about saving a few $ you may get $5.00 off admission to Biltmore if you show the Ingles rewards card. It is a local supermarket with many stores around the area so it is easy to get this free card.

Carle Place, New...
Level Contributor
704 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: Need help with planning Ashville visit

Thanks PLACES. Where in TN at Smokey Mtn Ntl Park are the fireflies ? Will they be listed in the Natl Pk brochures ?

Also...how about some recommended hotels ?

Adirondack, New York
Level Contributor
3,968 posts
90 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Need help with planning Ashville visit

Check these two links for more info on fireflies

www.nps.gov/grsm/naturescience/fireflies.htm

www.nps.gov/grsm/parknews/firefly07.htm

As to hotels I only stayed at the Inn in Biltmore and Richmond Hill Inn (cabins). Both great places to stay but for a short visit I wouldn't recommend Richmond Hill. It is a little far so you need to drive to the town and restaurants. Although Richmond has a great restaurant, Gabriell's. Renaissance is very nice and you could walk to many restaurants but I don't have a personal experience with it.

Weaverville, North...
Level Contributor
790 posts
60 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Need help with planning Ashville visit

Take a look at the Crowne Plaza. I just heard on the local (Asheville) news that they are giving out gas cards for stays of 3 nights are more. CP is situated on a golf course about 5 minutes drive into town. It is a pretty good resort-type hotel, my husband's company put people up there.

Fairview, North...
Level Contributor
40 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Need help with planning Ashville visit

The Arboretum is a must for your interests, as an earlier poster said. There's a nice, reasonable, rustic B&B near there and the Parkway called the Bent Creek Lodge that you might want to check out: www.bentcreeknc.com.

Lynchburg, VA
Level Contributor
499 posts
74 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Need help with planning Ashville visit

My husband and I just did a short trip to the Asheville area last month. We didn't do a few of the things that you are thinking about, but I can comment on Chimney Rock Park. This was one of the best parts of our trip. We brought our dogs and walked the stairs to the "chimney rock" and it was difficult but worth every step once we got to the top. If walking the steps isn't your thing there is also an elevator. We couldn't take it since we had our dogs. We also did the trail to the waterfall where parts of Last of the Mohicans was filmed. We had great weather and took lots of pictures. (I'll try to upload some soon.) It took us approximately 30 minutes to get there from Asheville. I think you could do the park and another activity in one day, but I guess it depends on how much walking you really feel like doing in one day. The park fee is a little privey ($14 per person) but it has a lot to see and enjoy. We plan on going again on our next trip to the area.

north carolina
Level Contributor
121 posts
22 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Need help with planning Ashville visit

I would also recommend visiting the Western NC Wildlife Center- they are a rescue/ education facility for native animals and have bald eagles, wolves and bears etc. Also, if you're going to the Biltmore, I'd say you need to spend at least a half day there to make the ticket prices worth it.

Franklin, Tennessee
Level Contributor
28 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Need help with planning Ashville visit

Hi We stayed at Residences at Biltmore and it was very nice; call directly for best rates.

For a great lunch, the pizza at Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company is wonderful. Beer there is great, too.

A nice dinner out, you should try Zambra's. Tupelo Honey is a wonderful breakfast place.

Have a great time!

Western North...
Level Contributor
407 posts
46 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Need help with planning Ashville visit

We have fireflies all over our property at night time, I don't think it will be a problem seeing them.

We just spent the last weekend camping at Lake Powhatan at Bent Creek (where the Arboretum is located) and saw fireflies every night. The just stocked the lake with 2000 trout, so if you like fishing that would be a great place to try your luck.

Currently in the bug department the trees are filled with Cicadas. Every 17 years, this noisy lot emerges from the earth for a brief residency to mate and die, all while providing a distinctive humming soundtrack for their unique existence. The sound is incredible and I cannot describe it. It is almost like being at Jurassic Park. Haunting and Beautiful at the same time. There are zillions of them..... upon zillions. I am listening to them right now as I type. And since they only show up every 17 years..... it is a great time to check them out!

Nantahala has great river rafting and we just love Nantahala Outdoor Center.

Since you like the outdoors, grab a picnic lunch at Picnic's on Merrimon Avenue. They make AWESOME rotisserie chicken and desserts. Bring it with you to the parkway and eat overlooking our beautiful mountains! Ah! Pura Vida!

Chimney Rock is fun and close to Lake Lure. Nice scenic drive too.

Hope some of this helps.

Western North...
Level Contributor
407 posts
46 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Need help with planning Ashville visit

Also

Have you heard of the Brown Mountain Lights? We love heading over there and waiting for them to appear. The lights dance in the distance and the mystery that surrounds them is so cool.

Another great picnic dinner location and a sight you wont see anywhere else. There should be plenty of fireflies here as well.

Brown Mountain Lights: www.westernncattractions.com/BMLights.htm

http://www.ibiblio.org/ghosts/bmtn.html

mysterious-america.net/brownmountainlig.html