But the city itself is diverse, meaning there's lots of art, music, and culture. People of all ages and ethnic backgrounds find lots to enjoy here.
We stayed at the Mountaineer Inn, a wonderful family-owned place run by an 80 year old Greek man who will sit and chat with you when you sign in.
It's clean and you'll recognize it on Tunnel Road because it has a big neon sign of a mountain man. It was very reasonably priced; less than half the downtown hotels and it's only a three-minute drive from downtown Asheville.
Downtown Asheville is just a fun vacation idea. There are great restaurants (Salsa and Tupelo Honey to name two) that are a mix of southern rich cooking and healthy natural food for a very affordable price. There's music on every street corner in the warm months, and many art galleries.
Even an old Woolworth's has been turned into an art gallery, and it still serves ice cream sodas and sandwiches at the original counter.Asheville is a great town for exploring art or driving into the mountains to explore nature.
They have RV sites (which we used), tent sites, and cabins (which my friend stayed in). The campground is on a creek which comes out of the National Park. You can rent an inner tube for the day, drive 15 minutes to the park and then tube down the creek directly to your campsite. It was great!
The town was very unique and quaint. The shops were filled with original merchandise from local artists and craftsmen. The restaurants were affordable and tasty. The town also had a train museum and day long train rides into the mountains. We had a choice of different types of cars to ride in and the tour guide was entertaining the entire day.
Bryson City is also a fairly short distance from several great things to do. We drove to Pigeon Ford for the day (about a 90 minute drive) and stopped in Cherokee for a brief visit on the way.
Another day, we drove to Asheville to visit the Biltmore Estate (again a 90 minute drive). As always, the Biltmore Estate is fascinating and a must see on any North Carolina trip.
We checked in to our Comfort Suites a mile and a half south of the famous uptown. We checked in and stood around looking at maps of the streets trying to plan our next few days when the front desk agent told us that we should use the light rail and enjoy walking.
After consideration it was decided that is what we would do. So the next day we walked down to the rail tracks, and I must say it was awesome. The train was clean and fast very well taking care of. Within minutes we had arrived quietly and safely. It was very amazing watching the city rise up and greet us as we got closer to uptown.
After departing we set off to see the sights. The first place we came across was the Bank of America stadium home of the Panthers. It was awe inspiring and quite large. We moved on to the fire museum an 1800 court yard and several civil war sites all within blocks of each other.
The day was blissful the weather was perfect and the city was the cleanest city I’ve ever seen. While wandering, which was better than any planed destination trip, we found a little restaurant called Nix Grill on a side street hidden as if it was for locals only.
The food was excellent the atmosphere was comfortable and just made the day better. As the sun started to set and we wrapped up our wandering of historical sights we wondered back to the light rail, not yet wanting to call it a day because it was too perfect to end, we rode the rail past the hotel and found a mall with a theater.
Here we proceeded to shop and then watch a movie before returning and calling it a night. Even though it was only a day in this wondrous city it made a very lasting impression and has inspired a return trip with more time dedicated to it coming soon in a few months. Charlotte is on of the loviest vacation spots in North Carolina.
The hotel is beautiful and the view from our room was amazing. The hotel is near some of our favorite Outer Banks attractions including