Century-Old B&B with Views of Mountaintops
The Yellow House Bed & Breakfast sits on a hilltop overlooking the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains; as Our State magazine contributor Kathy Grant Westbrook wrote, the stately Victorian inn makes "an unforgettable first impression." It's easy to see why: its lemon color makes it look like a shiny beacon, and it's situated on 5 acres of rolling mountain gardens with two ponds.
Originally built as a private summer home in the 1880s, the inn became a bed and breakfast in 1995. The inn's focus is now squarely on entertaining: you can join a complimentary hors d'oeuvres hour each evening and enjoy coffee, tea, soft drinks, and snacks throughout the day. Staffers also serve daily breakfast, which they'll bring to you in your room, the dining room, or on the veranda. When you're not eating, take a minute to stroll the grounds' walking paths and check out the two ponds, stream, and waterfall.
When you want to relax, feel free to slip into terry-lined robes and light candles in your room. Each guest room has a gas-log fireplace and a refrigerator as well as herbal bath salts, thick towels, and piped-in music you can turn off at any time. Many of the suites are decorated to look like cottages in fancy vacation spots from across the globe. The St. Paul de Vence suite, for example, is done up like a French cottage in the Southern French Alps. It features a sun-baked tile floor, a two-sided fireplace, and a jetted tub. A private terrace overlooks the peaceful lily pond, where you can watch a knot of frogs croon Barry White's voicemail message every night.
Waynesville, North Carolina: Scenic Drive Through Smoky Mountains and Blue Ridge Mountains
Waynesville is tucked into the scenic Pisgah National Forest, which is home to Cold Mountain as well as the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Great Smoky Mountains. You can get great views of the Great Smoky Mountains by hiking or biking.
At the end of the day, stop by the town of Asheville, which is located 30 miles to the west, for some dining and entertainment. Biltmore, the legendary 250-room estate of George Vanderbilt, was constructed here in 1895. It's possible to take self-guided tours of the property, which spans more than 8,000 acres; it's been called "America's Largest Home" and also the "Hardest to Decorate with Christmas Lights."
The southernmost stretch of the 469-mile-long Blue Ridge Parkway—located near Waynesville—is home to some of the area's tallest peaks, which reach nearly 6,000 feet in elevation. The winding motorway passes through soaring forests and has exceptional views of the mountains.