This is a shout out to one and All. My wife and I are heading to the Asheville, NC area this weekend. Although a development (cliffs) is putting us up in a home on one of their properties, we know nothing else about the area. We will be spending a lot of time looking at potential retirement properties, but would love to hear of any "must do's" in the area. Of particular interest would be dining establishments, but points of interest would also be welcomed. By the wayt, we will be spending 1 night in a property that is part of the new AUTOGRAPH Collection by Marriott. The name of the property is The Grand Boheniam Hotel of Asheville. I will review next week some time when life slows down a bit.
thanks in advance
Not sure how much time you've got, but scenery is great in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. Also, even though I don't have any specific recommendations, the BBQ in NC is 2nd to none (even TX). BTW, there's also a Cliffs development in the upstate of SC if I remember correctly. May be something else to consider.
NUHUSKER - you're right about the Cliffs. There are actually 7 different properties stretching from the Asheville area down to upstate South Carolina. If you live in one community, you are welcome in all of them for golf, etc. I'm with you on the bbq, I hope someone has a special place to try. Thanks for the info.
There are a lot of things to see and do in the area.Gorgeous part of the country and fastest growing retirement area in the country. Cannot talk to restaurants much but there are a few. Just east is a town called Black Mountain off I-40. Wonderful unique shopping area. Further east about 50 min from Asheville is Morganton and Lake James area. I would retire in that area myself. Mimosa Hills Country Club, Donald Ross design is fantastic and the people are real. Lake James is spring fed from 3 streams and a Duke Power lake. Lots of good properties there to explore for retirement. Best BarbQue in the country is on Old Elizabethton Hwy between Bluff CIty and Elizabethton, TN. Ridgewood Bar B Q. Once in a while I have to go home for a fix, but I love New Orleans too much to move back.
The daugther of life-long friends got married in Asheville, the hometown of the groom. We stayed at the Asheville Renaissance and had the opportunity to experience several wonderful restaurants that I'm pleased to suggest. Since you'll be staying at the Grand Bohemian you must try the Red Stag Grill. Reservations recommended. For a casual night out with country music and foot stomping, head over to the Fiddlin Pig Bluegrass BBQ.
If you're in the mood for a Saturday brunch, check out the Blue Ridge Dining Room at the Grove Park Inn & Spa. And, if you stick around for dinner, check out the 3 for $30 dinner special at the Sunset Terrace. Reservations required. Asheville fuses Appalachia with alpine Bavaria. In fact the Grand Bohemian looks and feels like a German inn straight out of the Brothers Grimm (IMO). Very quaint and charming.
The Grove Park Inn & Spa is the focus of investment and retirement condos are popping up everywhere. Be prepared for lavish luxury and sticker shock. It's one of the very few areas of the country that did not experience a downturn. Grove Park is the home of the National Gingerbread House competition. It's lavishly decorated at Christmastime and wonderful anytime of year.
We didn't have the time the last trip, but the Vanderbilt Castle is a must see. It's immense and you can spend a whole day there. Depending upon your faith tradition, one point of interest worth stopping by is the Basilica of St. Lawrence. Built in the Spanish Renaissance style, and finished in glazed terra cotta, the nave of the basilica has the largest freestanding eliptical dome in North America. It's a beautiful soaring space designed by the architect, Signor Rafael Guastavino who is buried in a crypt there.
We'd go back to Asheville in a heartbeat. Enjoy your trip!
Located on Tunnel Ave. the Fiddlin Pig Bluegrass BBQ is less than a 7 minute drive from the Renaissance Asheville. The place is so popular among locals it will take longer for shoeman to find parking!
What was so surprising is that college friends of the bride and groom hosted a dinner party there. There's a romantic story behind it. The bride and groom attended university in NYC and met during campus-hosted square dancing lessons. Bluegrass is among the young couples' favorites so amidst BBQ and beer it was a very memorable time filled with foot stomping, hand-clapping and smiles ear-to-ear.
Speaking of fusion, the handsome groom is pedigree North Carolinian and the stunning bride of French, German, Italian and Central American ancestry. Marriott's expansion with the Autograph Collection and the Grand Bohemian specifically should be extremely successful. Be prepared for a fun time!