Hotel at a Glance: Archer’s Mountain Inn
This inn’s two lodges 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 Mountains scenery. The estate feels a bit like a home, which is appropriate: it was once the residence of renowned college-football coach Paul Dietzel.
- Onsite dining: Jackalope’s View serves escargot and duck breast amid floor-to-ceiling mountain vistas. Your stay includes two glasses of wine, one appetizer, and daily breakfast for two.
- Stone fireplaces are in each room; Hawk’s View rooms have sitting areas and large porches with mountain views.
- Go fishing at Grandfather Trout Farm, which provides complimentary bait, tackle, and rods.
- Mountain adventure: Carpeted in deep-green woodlands, the surrounding mountains make for scenic hikes with long-range, panoramic views.
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 Parkway 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.