Hotel at a Glance: The Omni Grove Park Inn
Home to one of the Top 20 Resort Spas in the U.S. according to a Condé Nast Traveler 2013 readers’ poll, The Omni Grove Park Inn has everything you’ll need for a deeply relaxing getaway. Tee off on a golf course where the greats have played, or enjoy dinner at one of the four restaurants on property.
- Subterranean spa: The resort’s $50 million underground spa features caverns and tunnels, plus 10 pools, three fireside lounges, and 6,500 fiber-optic stars embedded in the ceiling. Spa access is available to those 18 or older with a reservation for a spa service.
- Multiple dining options onsite, including gourmet restaurants and lounges
- Dueling piano bar: Sing along in a fun and lively atmosphere at Elaine’s Dueling Piano Bar, Thursday through Saturday nights.
- Donald Ross golf course: Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, and President Obama have all played the historic course here.
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.