Convenient Airport Hotel with Indoor Pool
The Biltmore Estate is an American landmark and the single largest private residence in the nation, replete with an indoor pool and a bowling alley. George Vanderbilt had the estate constructed in 1895 on more than 8,000 acres of Carolina countryside, and today, visitors can tour the expansive property’s gardens, winery, and commercial village. The Clarion Inn Asheville Airport, located just 10 miles away, makes visiting the Biltmore—and Asheville’s other attractions—a breeze. The free shuttle that runs from the airport to the hotel similarly simplifies travel.
There’s plenty to do at the hotel—take a dip in the heated indoor pool, or work up an appetite in the exercise room. Chefs at Christy’s Café prepare hot eats, and the Hangar Lounge serves beer and cocktails. Free WiFi courses throughout the inn like soft jazz in the produce section.
Asheville, North Carolina: Artsy Town in the Blue Ridge Mountains
Tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville is the largest city in the western half of North Carolina, with a population of roughly 85,000. Downtown is an eclectic mix of boutiques, eateries, and art galleries housed in buildings designed in art-deco, Beaux-Arts, and neoclassical styles. Asheville’s premier attraction is Biltmore, billed as the largest residential home in the United States. You can take a self-guided tour of the 250-room chateau, which was built for steamboat-and-railroad tycoon George Vanderbilt in 1895. Be sure to visit the gardens designed by renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted—they’re in full bloom in early spring.
While you’re in the area, you can take off on one of the most scenic drives in the country—the Blue Ridge Parkway, a 469-mile highway that winds through the mountains. If you want to stretch your legs, hike up to the panoramic lookout at Looking Glass Rock in Pisgah National Forest, or amble along a portion of the Appalachian Trail; the famed footpath goes past Asheville on its 2,180-mile journey from Mount Katahdin in Maine to Springer Mountain in Georgia.