Saturday, November 16, 2019

DESTINATION: Ashland, North Carolina

By October 2019 we were ready for another travel adventure so we packed up TK's parents, booked a flight, and headed to Asheville, North Carolina, to start a tour of the Great Smokey Mountains.

We landed at the Asheville airport and picked up our rental car which, to our surprise, turned out the to be the perfect mountain touring ride, a Jeep Rubicon!




We spent the night in Asheville at the Holiday Inn Biltmore West.  This hotel had an attentive staff and clean, spacious rooms but was desperately in need of a renovation. We understand that by spring they will start their remodel.  We ate at the Cracker Barrel near the hotel.  Our waitress was the first, of what would be many, friendly people we met in North Carolina and Tennessee. During our trip we lost count of how many times we were called southern pet names like... sweetie, honey, baby, or sugar!  



Friends and family that had already visited Asheville prompted us to go to the Biltmore Estate but we rarely do what people tell us and don't enjoy overly priced tourist traps.  Instead we found the Riverview Station Art District.  This unique 1902 historical building houses 60 local artists.  One of them our favorite potter, 
Akira Satake.






The next morning we traveled the Blue Ridge Parkway towards our next destination of Dillsboro, NC.

This beautiful drive had many tunnels and scenic view points. We passed on scenic over look after another along the parkway so we decided to venture off the main road and visit Looking Glass Falls.  This waterfall is literally right off the road making it an easy adventure for TK's parents.


















In Dillsboro we stayed at a Best Western Plus River Escape Inn & Suites that overlooked the Tuckaseegee River.  This amazing hotel did not disappoint us!  Not only is is beautifully decorated with quiet rooms but the outside walkway and deck spans the entire length of the hotel and gave us an amazing view of the river.  We didn't use it but there was a community fire pit sitting along side the river for guests to use.  We grabbed a bottle of wine and enjoyed cocktails on the patio before we headed to dinner.






Take it from two self proclaimed Texas BBQ experts when we say that we found the most amazing Texas Style BBQ right in the middle of Dillsboro, North Carolina, at The Haywood Smokehouse!!! Portions were so big that we shared platters and dined on their delicious burnt end beans, perfectly smoked, melt in your mouth brisket and mac-n-cheese!



Leaving fatter and happier than when we arrived we had a good night's sleep and were ready to hit the road again the next morning!