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ROAD TRIPS | 2013 Carolinas Travel Guide

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5 swanky N.C. mountain stays

Western North Carolina has long attracted high-rolling vacationers, and these elegant, expansive and expensive destinations are on the top of many lists.

The Grove Park Inn, Asheville. The core of the celebrated resort hotel (AAA Four Diamond; Travel + Leisure’s Top Spa Resorts) was constructed in 1912-1913 and has never lost its elegant edge. The original Arts and Crafts look of the interior remains strong. Enjoy the history, plus vistas of Asheville’s skyline and the Blue Ridge Mountains. ( www.groveparkinn.com)

Chetola Resort, Blowing Rock. Here’s an oldie (from 1846) but goodie on 87 acres just off the parkway overlooking Chetola Lake. Besides the main hotel, the resort has the Bob Timberlake Inn, a B&B with furniture, artwork and accessories by noted N.C. artist/designer Bob Timberlake. ( www.chetola.com)

Greystone Inn, Lake Toxaway. Of similar vintage to the Grove Park, but an hour south of Asheville on the largest private lake in North Carolina – where it has a 26-passenger mahogany launch. The resort (AAA Four Diamond; high rankings in Conde Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure) also boasts a top-notch golf course. ( www.greystoneinn.com)

High Hampton Inn, Cashiers. What began as the Blue Ridge hunting lodge of Confederate Gen. Wade Hampton is today a 1,400 acre resort – a 1932 lodge (on the National Register of Historic Places) plus 17 cabins – offering golf, tennis, hiking, fly fishing and a European spa. ( www.highhamptoninn.com)

Old Edwards Inn & Spa, Highlands. Here’s an acclaimed luxury destination (Conde Nast Readers Choice spa winner) that’s a bit different: Housed in several downtown buildings in well-heeled Highlands are the inn, a lodge, cottages and a group-event “farmhouse.” Of note is its upscale, sustainable-fare Madison’s Restaurant (Wine Spectator awards) and various food-related packages and programs. ( www.oldedwardsinn.com).

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