Hotel at a Glance: Best Western Mountain Lodge
Drive about 10 minutes off the famous Blue Ridge Parkway and you’ll find Best Western Mountain Lodge. Here, views of Grandfather Mountain are as abundant as the items on the lodge’s complimentary breakfast; you can see the mountaintop from the outdoor pool and its sun deck. Before you head out for the day, fill up on scrambled eggs and fresh fruit in the breakfast room. Take a cup of coffee to go if you need an extra boost.
- Curl up on pillowy feather bedding in your guest room and watch movies on a TV with satellite and cable channels.
- Grill burgers and roast corn on the outdoor barbecue grills.
- Go for a swim in the seasonal outdoor pool, which is surrounded by trees and is open until Labor Day.
- Perks: a fitness center, plus microwaves, refrigerators, and free WiFi in guest rooms
- Recent recognition: AAA Three Diamond rating, as well as the 2015 Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor.
Banner Elk, North Carolina: Gateway to Blue Ridge Mountains
Perched in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the tiny town of Banner Elk is a popular jumping-off point for enjoying the great outdoors in North Carolina. It’s close to both Sugar Mountain Resort and Beech Mountain Resort, two large ski areas with hiking and biking trails in the warmer months. Nearby Hawksnest features snow-tubing lanes and ziplines with spectacular mountain views. You can head to Elk River Falls for fishing, or visit Linville Caverns to see delicate limestone formations and an underground stream.