"Haven of Rest" Surrounded by Appalachian Beauty
Tucked away in a quiet pocket of the Blue Ridge Mountains lies Chetola Mountain Resort, built in 1846 as a way station. Since then, the home has served as a post–Civil War family home and a Coca-Cola magnate's estate. Today, it's a rustic getaway that lives up to the name Chetola, a Cherokee word meaning "haven of rest." With a private lake and 87 acres of rolling hills, the property hosts a long list of outdoor pursuits, ranging from fishing to hiking, complemented by an indoor jacuzzi, a blond-wood sauna, a full spa, and a kids' play area.
The resort's secluded location borders forests and waterfronts alike, leading Frommer's to call it "the grandest resort in the area." Hiking trails connect to neighboring Moses H. Cone Memorial Park, a 3,600-acre wilderness with a turn-of-the-century manor. The resort sits along the banks of Chetola Lake, which you can navigate by paddleboat starting in mid May or plumb the depths of by renting a fishing rod.
In the evening, savor duck breast, Carolina trout, freshly prepared pizza, bison fillet, or another delicacy at the new Timberlake's Restaurant. From its spot overlooking Chetola Lake, the restaurant invites guests to sup in a hunting-lodge-themed dining room, complete with a fireplace believed to be more than 100 years old. Afterward, retire to a guest room inside Chetola Lodge or the Bob Timberlake Inn, rustically decorated with wooden furnishings. Rooms at the at the Chetola Lodge boast microwaves and refrigerated wet bars to prevent the need for squirreling astronaut rations into suitcases.
There's also a full spa to soothe muscles after branch wrestling one too many spruce trees. Maple floors, sea-stone inlays, and a wall fountain set the mood for a 90-minute Swedish massage that uses essential oils. Alternatively, fitness classes include yoga sessions to realign spines and mental equilibrium.
Blowing Rock, North Carolina: Picturesque Rock Formations in the Blue Ridge Mountains
Located along Pisgah National Forest in northwest North Carolina, the town of Blowing Rock shares its name with a local rock formation, which towers about 3,000 feet over the Johns River Gorge. Thanks to its high altitude (3,566 feet above sea level), the town has long been a refuge for southerners seeking cooler weather.
Though many come to visit the nearby Appalachian State University in Boone, others wander Appalachian slopes via the Blue Ridge Parkway, a 459-mile scenic drive that goes just north of town. One of the parkway’s prettiest stops is Linville Falls, located about a 45-minute drive south of Blowing Rock. There, a 90-foot cascade roars over jagged stones before crashing into the Linville Gorge.
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