Blue Ridge Explorer: Relax at a North Carolina Mountain Resort

Relax at a North Carolina Mountain Resort…

One of my favorite travel haunts is exploring the beauty of wonder of The Blue Ridge Mountains. I grew up a a few hours from The Blue Ridge Parkway and have been blessed to visit a few times a year, taking in the scenic byway and exploring the mountain towns of North Carolina.

Today, I thought it’d be fun to virtually travel to a few of the best mountain resorts in the NC and VA Mountains.

Let’s start in southwestern North Carolina…near the Waterfall Highway of Highway 64 from Franklin NC to Brevard NC.

This area is pristine, defined by winding canyons like The Cullasaja Gorge to soaring vistas like Whiteside Mountain. The narrow gorges that hug the rocky forested Appalachian Mountains open up into mini valleys where you’ll discover charming resort towns like Highlands, Cashiers and Sapphire NC.

Highlands has a quaint downtown lined with boutiques and delicious restaurants. It is artsy and fashionable. Highlands caters to mountaineers and shopaholics a like.

The ideal spot to splurge in Highlands is The Old Edwards Inn. Tucked in the middle of Highlands and yet nestled on acres of picturesque grounds, The Old Edwards Inn has the perfect blend of mix rustic hideaway and high mountain luxury. Enjoy fine dining and a drink with a mountain view…relax at The SPA or read a book in the cozy corners of the hotel.

  • Also in Highlands is the lovely

Skyline Lodge: situated on a mountain top in the middle of a lush forest, this is a place to escape the hubbub of the world and relax with nature while enjoying a delicious meal and good drink. Learn more here.

High Hampton Inn in Cashiers:

For nearly a century The High Hampton Inn has welcomed guests to mountain resort luxury. The property’s history dates back to the mid-1800s as a farm before opening as a resort in 1922.

In the 1920s and 30s, the area of Cashiers (and Highlands and Sapphire) became a popular destination for golfers, recreation enthusiasts and those simply looking to beat the summer heat.

For years The High Hampton Inn has carried the tradition of relaxed mountain luxury. Learn more on their website.

  • This resort is great if you enjoy tennis and golf.

Sapphire Valley Resort:

In truth there are several resorts within this planned community just east of Cashiers. We stayed at The Fairway Forest condos in 2020. The condos had an odd layout, but the access to Fairfield Lake with views of Old Baldy were amazing. Plan your own Sapphire Adventure here.

  • Pro tip: this is a good resort on a budget and has kids activities, golf and trails!

Greystone Inn – Lake Toxaway:

One of my favorite resorts in NC. If you can’t stay the night take in the views while dining in their amazing lakeside restaurant and exploring the relaxing hotel lobby.

The Greystone has tons of history (read here) and is the perfect getaway for adults looking to chill and tune out the world, while soaking in lakefront mountain living.

Book your trip here.

  • Secluded and right on scenic Lake Toxaway, the thirty room inn has a bed and breakfast feel with lakefront recreation, boating and even horseback riding activities.

Pisgah Inn (Near Canton, NC off The Blue Ridge Parkway)

One only a few lodging options right off The Blue Ridge Parkway, The Pisgah Inn has been luring visitors to stay a while since the first hotel was build on this site in 1918. The current laid back mountain inn was built in the 1960s. It’s location over looking the area around Pisgah Mountain provides jaw dropping vistas. The hotel also serves breakfast, lunch and dinner so you can truly just relax and enjoy the view. Ideal for Parkway goers.

  • Rooms book far in advance, but you can usually get in for lunch or dinner with a reservation or wait list.

Learn more here.

Lake Lure Inn:

Since 1927, The Lake Lure Inn has been the standard for mountain relaxation and luxury. The hotel on the shores of bucolic Lake Lure near Chimney Rock State Park and The Hickory Nut Gorge is one of the prettiest spots in North Carolina. Thirty miles from Asheville, this hidden gem is a MUST-Stop in NC.

Lake Lure was the film location for Dirty Dancing…the hotel has hosted everyone from F. Scott Fitzgerald to Presidents and the cast of Dirty Dancing.

Book your reservation here.

Fontana Lake: I love visiting this secluded paradise on the banks of manmade Fontana Lake. Fontana Village was originally part of a TVA settlement and now serves as an off the beaten track camping and lodging spot. Many Appalachian Trail hikers pass through Fontana Lake as a ‘rest stop’ and Wi-Fi location. Learn more here.

My photo of a turnoff near Pisgah Inn off Blue Ridge Parkay

The Grove Park Inn (Asheville, NC) We recently visited this amazing historic hotel on American Nomad…Check out the post here.

Resorts at Biltmore Estate:

Biltmore Estate has over 8000 acres of Blue Ridge scenery. Home to the largest home in the United States…Biltmore is an American Castle. Built by George Vanderbilt…the vision of Biltmore has always been more than just a mansion – but George wanted to create a working estate that provided good jobs and a community built around farm to table food (even before this was a modern trendy idea).

Biltmore has several lodging options, which range in the $250 plus per night range. The advantage of staying on the estate is you get full access to the grounds and can enjoy the peaceful scenery of the surrounding meadows and gardens designed by famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted in the late 1800s (He designed Central Park in NYC)

For more information click here.

  • If you want to tour Biltmore but need to budget – I recommend The Hampton Inn near Biltmore Estate. Great family-friendly hotel and decent price point with quick access to Biltmore.
  • If you are wondering if visiting Biltmore is worth the price of admission (around $100) – ABSOLUTELY. I’m always on a budget, and have never left Biltmore feeling as though I wasted money. Between the house tour, grounds and winery you’ll get a once in a lifetime experience. In fact I go back every year!

Little Switzerland: I return every year and never tire of the views and fun at this popular historic mountain resort located halfway between Asheville and Blowing Rock right off The Blue Ridge Parkway.

View from Little Switzerland Resort


One of my favorite getaways – Chetola is located in the heart of the charming mountain town of Blowing Rock (northern NC Mountains), near The Blue Ridge Parkway.

Chetola features a 73 acres of fun including a pond for paddling, indoor pool, outdoor firepit and live music, good eats and rustic luxury.

Christmas at Chetola, the resort lights up the lake and is home to The Festival of Trees – a wondrful fundraiser to get you in the Christmas spirit.

Book your getaway here.

  • In addition to Chetola, Blowing Rock offers a number of wonderful mountain hideaways – I also love The Cliff Dwellers (overlooks Chetola pond), Old Rag Inn and Ridgeway Inn. The historic Green Inn has a deep history and ideal if you love to check into tradition For a complete list click here

Hot Springs Resort:

Around forty-five minutes from Asheville, this is the only hotel in NC that has natural healing thermal springs. Laidback and relaxing – you can’t go wrong with a weekend at Hot Springs Check into adventure here.

Lake Junaluska:

This quaint town west of Asheville, off I-40 is a Methodist retreat that welcomes all weary travelers searching for rest. It is one of the most beautiful spots in the NC Mountains. Lake Junaluska offers an abundance of outdoor activities, including swimming and tennis. Learn more here.


A Presbyterian Retreat – the stone Montreat Lodge reminds me of the style and structure of The Grove Park Inn. I used to come here as a child with my youth group. While run by The Presbyterians it offers spiritual retreats for all Christian denominations. The charming town of Black Mountain is just down the road an a perfect spot for a mountain renewal. Learn more here.

These are just a few of the amazing resorts and beautiful retreats to relax in the North Carolina mountains.

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