Hotel at a Glance: Buffalo Creek Vacations
This rural Great Smoky Mountains resort sprawls across 65 wooded acres but features just three cabins, offering a peaceful retreat. By day, you can hike the mountainside, or lounge on your log cabin or lodge's private deck. After dark, grab some firewood and roast s'mores under the stars in your outdoor fire pit.
- Farm-fresh eggs and bison steaks are available to cook up on your private outdoor grill.
- Rustic cabins and lodges are outfitted with hot tubs and wood-burning fireplaces.
- Animals abound: Buffalo, llamas, goats, and mini horses roam the property.
- Ride a zipline or climb a rock wall in the kid-friendly play area.
Clyde, North Carolina: Charming Town just Outside Asheville in the Great Smoky Mountains
This tiny town is nestled in the woodlands of the Great Smoky Mountains, a short drive from Great Smoky Mountains National Park's more than half a million acres of hickory, dogwood, and century-old hemlock trees. Here, you can hike on trails that wind past rhododendrons and other colorful wildflowers. Popular pursuits include bird watching and fly fishing for brown and rainbow trout.
It's a scenic half-hour drive to Asheville—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.