Hotel at a Glance: Archer's Mountain Inn
This inn’s two lodges and collection of private cabins are set amid the rolling green hillsides of Beech Mountain, an ideal location for mountain biking, hiking, or just taking in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountain scenery. The estate feels like a home away from home, which is fairly appropriate: it was once the personal residence of renowned college football coach Paul Dietzel.
- Onsite dining: Jackalope’s View serves escargot, jumbo-lump crab cakes, and triple-sausage-stuffed chicken amid floor-to-ceiling mountain vistas.
- Nifty in-room amenities: Each room has a stone fireplace; Hawk’s View Lodge rooms have sitting areas and large porches with mountain views.
- Cast out: Fish for trout at Grandfather Trout Farm, which provides complimentary bait, tackle, and rods.
- Mountain adventure: Carpeted in deep-green woodlands, the surrounding mountains make for a scenic hike with several waterfalls scattered throughout.
Banner Elk, North Carolina: Scenic Highlands near Appalachian State University
Banner Elk is located in the middle of Pisgah National Forest in northwestern North Carolina. It’s one of a cluster of charming towns in the area: follow the Blue Ridge Highway northeast for 15 miles and you'll reach the college town of Boone, home of Appalachian State University and several vintage clothing shops and bookshops. Boone is also an excellent place to meet up with outfitters for expeditions through Pisgah National Forest on horseback, mountain bike, or steam-powered sleigh.
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