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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Chicago Suburbs, IL

    Default Suggestions for Gatlinburg/Asheville area?

    Hello there!

    I am planning a road trip from Chicago to the Gatlinburg/Asheville area. I (29) am going with my parents (57, 60). My mom wants to see the Biltmore estate but other than that we are not sure what is there.

    I have tried to do some research about this area but it's difficult to narrow down what is a 'must see' and what's not.

    We enjoy art, animals, nature, and going on tours. Does anyone have any suggestions of must see things in this area of the country?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Here is a field report from the area

    Quote Originally Posted by etoiles View Post
    I have tried to do some research about this area but it's difficult to narrow down what is a 'must see' and what's not.
    I think this article written by Megan will give you some ideas.


  3. Default

    I live in central NC, but have visited Asheville many times. There is much to do there and summer is a great time to visit- it is very lush and green and cooler than other parts of NC in the summer.
    Here is a pretty good website for checking out local events, attractions, etc.

    Biltmore house is definitely a must see- very cool place to visit but it IS a lot of walking ( just an FYI for your parents)

    Don't know where you are planning to stay but there are some great B&B's in the area to check out. We've stayed at The Black Walnut Inn, which was fantastic. We also stayed at The Albemarle Inn which was also very nice. As far as big hotels go, we used to stay at The Renaissance Hotel a good bit- it is right downtown and walking distance to all the cool shops and restaurants. If you do stay there, make sure you ask for a "mountain veiw" room because the "city view" rooms back up to a large park and a restaurant that often plays loud music well into the night!! As well, we have stayed at the Doubletree Biltmore and that was quite nice.
    Restaurants : Avoid some of the touristy trap place right in the downtown area, they are not so good. Some suggestions are : The EarlyGirl Eatery on Wall St. Tupelo Honey's for breakfast is quite nice. There is also a fantastic mexican restaurant called Limones....really really really good.
    One of the other good things about staying at a B&B...the owners often know all the good places to visit and eat.

    Good Luck!

    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 02-18-2008 at 10:42 AM. Reason: Preferred URL format herein

  4. Default

    I haven't been to Biltmore House in years, but I'll throw in a few details:

    If you must go during the spring months, go EARLY in the day and view the house first thing. Crowds are unbearable during the flower festivals, and you'll not enjoy the lovely interiors.

    The gardens, on the other hand, can be enjoyed later in the day with or without crowds. It's easy to assume that Mr. Vanderbilt built his home in this spot because of the incredible forests, but it's not true: when he began, the area was a big void -- an early environmentalist, he planted the forests. Well, I doubt he personally had a trowel in his hand, but you know what I mean.

    Take the servant's tour. I found the "downstairs" areas -- the kitchens and the laundry -- more interesting than the beautiful areas upstairs. The house is really quite incredible; it even has an indoor pool and bowling lane!

    The Biltmore House is fairly expensive to visit, but it's worth the cost. There's also a winery on the property.

  5. #5
    Traveldude Guest


    Go to the national park for sure. Gatlinburg has alot to do and see for example the aquarium, ski lift, ripleys museum, and tons of shopping and food.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Chicago Suburbs, IL


    Thanks for all of your suggestions! I am really looking forward to going there now!

  7. #7
    Traveldude Guest


    We stayed in a cabin in the mountains outside G-burg, it was great. Plus it's the black bear capital of the U.S. So if you go hiking bring bear protection. Another fun thing to do there is go to haunted houses they have, their pretty neat.

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