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Southern Highlands Attractions
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Southern Highlands Attractions
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North Carolina Attractions


Biltmore Estate; Asheville, NC


Biltmore EstateLocated in Asheville, North Carolina, Biltmore includes America's largest home, Gardens, Antler Hill Village and Winery, and the Inn on Biltmore Estate. Built in 1895 by George W. Vanderbilt, 250-room Biltmore House was inspired by European châteaux. Magnificent gardens, designed by Central Park landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, range from formal to more natural settings. One of the country's finest native azalea collections, an award-winning rose garden, and the outstanding conservatory attract visitors to the gardens.

America's most-visited winery demonstrates how Biltmore's fine wines are made and offers complimentary wine tasting for guests aged 21 and older. Antler Hill Village provides a relaxing place for dining, shopping, historical exhibits, and new ways to experience Biltmore's hospitality. Outdoor activities showcase the estate's natural beauty, while the Inn on Biltmore Estate offers the ultimate getaway with Vanderbilt-inspired hospitality.
Biltmore is privately owned, accepting no government or outside funding. Annual events include Biltmore Blooms with a Festival of FlowersBiltmore Concert SeriesChristmas at Biltmore, and Candlelight Christmas Evenings.

Admission: Yes
When open: Open daily, including Thanksgiving and Christmas days
Location: Located on U.S. Highway 25 just north of Exit 50 or Exit 50B off I-40 in Asheville, North Carolina.
Phone: 800-543-2961 or 828-225-1333
Web site:

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Cherokee Historical Association; Cherokee, NC

Unto These Hills

As the lights dim you are transported back to the beginning of time, through the pageantry of one ofthe longest running outdoor dramas in the U.S., now revised to better portray the unique story of the Cherokee from a historical perspective. The play traces the Cherokee people through the eons, through the zenith of their power, through the heartbreak of the Trail of Tears, ending in the present day, where the Cherokee people continue to rewrite their place in the world . . . A place based on traditional Cherokee values and modern sensibilities.

Oconaluftee Indian Village 

As you step into the Oconaluftee Indian Village, you’re transportedback to witness the challenges ofCherokee life at a time of rapid cultural change. Visitors are able to take self-guided tours to explore the historic events and figures of the 1760's, and interact with villagers as they participate in their daily activities. The Village also hosts live reenactments, interactive demonstrations, and Hands-On Cherokee Pottery for Kids classes.


Admission: Yes
When open: See the complete schedule on our web site
Location: 564 Tsali Blvd. (Hwy. 441), Cherokee, NC 28719
Phone: 866-554-4557
Web site:


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Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park; Chimney Rock, NC


Chimney Rock Park

Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park is the perfect place to reconnect with nature and spend time with family and friends. The Park, located 25 miles southeast of Asheville, North Carolina, offers the best of the mountains in one place – spectacular 75-mile views, hiking trails for all ages, a 404-foot waterfall, a variety of special events such as guided hikes and workshops, and of course, Chimney Rock. The Park is the centerpiece of the still-developing Chimney Rock State Park. Pet-friendly.


Admission: Yes
When open: Open year round, weather permitting, except Christmas and New Year's Day; 10:00 am - 6:00 pm (DST; 8:30 am - 7:00 PM). Check for winter hours of operation.
Location: Highway 74-A at Chimney Rock, NC
Phone: 800-277-9611 or 828-625-9611
Web site:

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Grandfather Mountain; Linville, NC


Grandfather MountainGrandfather Mountain; Linville, NC Known for its spectacular views and the famous "Mile High Swinging Bridge", Grandfather Mountain is also home to seven different natural habitats that allow visitors to see and photograph native species such as black bears, otters and cougars "up close and personal!" When combined with some of the best walking and hiking trails in the South, Grandfather Mountain offers adventure and excitement for the whole family.


Whether you're seeking a challenging trek through the mountains, an educational experience in a natural setting or just an incredible place to picnic, be sure to include your "Grandfather" in your vacation plans.


Admission: Yes
When open: Open daily (in winter, weather permitting)
Location: Located on U.S. 221 in Linville, North Carolina, one mile from the Blue Ridge Parkway (Milepost 305); 18 miles south of Boone and Blowing Rock and 70 miles northeast of Asheville
Phone: 800-468-7325 (Office) or (828) 733-4337 (Entrance)
Web site:

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Great Smoky Mountains Railroad; Bryson City, NC



Climb Aboard for Rail Adventure and See the Smokies in Style! That’s an invitation to a delightful journey by train along the colorful countryside of the Western North Carolina mountains! Old-time train travel that takes you through some of the most beautiful country imaginable. All trains depart out of Bryson City, NC. Enhance your adventure by combining a daytime train excursion with whitewater rafting -- from rails to river, you'll make unforgettable memories with the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad.


Be sure to call ahead for advance reservations and details about our special events calendar. Premier special events include; NEW FOR 2012 DINOSAUR TRAIN this July and August and your favorite PEANUTS Gang return with Charlie Brown's "The Great Pumpkin Patch Express". Of course the favorite holiday tradition "The Polar Express" returns this winter!


Admission: Yes
When open: Open year-round
Location: From Asheville, North Carolina, take I-40 West to Exit 27 onto U.S. 74 West
Phone: 800-872-4681 or 828-586-8811
Web site:

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Museum of the Cherokee Indian; Cherokee, NC


Museum of the Cherokee IndianFrom its extensive collection of artifacts to the high-tech displays that help bring them to life, this museum is dedicated to "perpetuate the history, culture, and stories of the Cherokee people". Totally renovated in 1998, the museum maintains permanent exhibits, archives and promotes educational programming and artists' series as well as publishing The Journal of Cherokee Studies. This non-profit center relies on admission revenues and gift shop sales and provides an invaluable resource to scholars and historians. Whether you're interested in past history or modern happenings, the Museum of the Cherokee Indian will give you a new perspective on an ancient people.
Admission: Yes
When open: Open daily except for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Days
Location: Located at Highway 441 and Drama Road in Cherokee, North Carolina, home of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, a federally recognized tribe
P.O. Box 1599, Highway 441 and Drama Road
Phone: 828-497-3481
Web site:

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Nantahala Outdoor Center


Nantahala Outdoor CenterThe original whitewater outfitter, Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC) offers whitewater rafting on six southeastern rivers: the Nantahala, Pigeon, French Broad, Ocoee, Chattooga, and Nolichucky. Rafting is a great vacation activity for families, friends, couples, and groups. We offer kid-friendly and novice rafting, as well as action-packed trips with a little more adventure.


Our riverside campus on the Nantahala also offers kayak and canoe instruction, kayak lake tours, restaurants, lodging, group programs, hiking and walking trails, an outfitter's store, mountain bike rentals, races and festivals, and more. Founded in 1972, NOC has earned an international reputation for the quality of our staff and programs.


Admission: Yes
When open: NOC raft trips are available March to early November. The NOC Guest Relations Office is open daily during rafting season and open weekends in the winter
Locations: There are six different rivers locations:
1. The Nantahala, 13 miles west of Bryson the Nantahala Gorge. (This is our main campus.)
2. The French Broad, 25 miles north of Asheville. The meeting place is Walnut, NC, on Hwy 25/70.
3. The Nolichucky is just across the NC line into TN off I-26, near Erwin. About 45 miles from Asheville.
4. The Pigeon is just across the NC line into TN off I-40, at Hartford. About 60 miles from Asheville.
5. The Ocoee is in TN near Cleveland, TN on Hwy. 64.
6. The Chattooga is on the SC/GA line, just a few miles east of Clayton, GA on Hwy 441.
Phone: 800-232-7238 fax 828-488-0301
Web site:

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Old Salem Museums and Gardens; Winston-Salem, NC


Old Salem

You'll step back in time more than 200 years during your visit to this Moravian congregational country trading town. Old Salem is considered one of the most authentic living history sites in the nation; well documented history is brought to life through costumes and demonstrations of traditional, everyday activities such as shop-keeping, trading and commerce.


First founded in 1766, Old Salem has remained an important link with the past and continues to delight visitors to its charming houses and streets. Stroll through a colonial-era business district that seems as vital today as it must have two centuries ago and get a glimpse of a less hectic pace of life. Don't miss such delights as the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, Winkler's Bakery and other shops, restaurants and gardens that offer a unique perspective on this period of American life.


Admission: Yes
When open:

Open daily Tuesday through Saturday (9:00 am - 5:00 pm) and Sundays (12:30 pm - 5:00 pm) except Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Location: Located southwest of the Business 40 and U.S. 52 intersection in Winston-Salem, NC, near downtown. Look for the brown Old Salem exit signs off I-40 (Exit 193B), U.S. 52 (Exit 108C), or Business 40 (Exit 5D heading east or Exit 6A heading west). Old Salem is less than 30 minutes from Greensboro and High Point, just under 2-1/2 hours from Asheville, two hours from Roanoke and 90 minutes from Charlotte, Boone, and Raleigh.
Phone: 888-653-7253 or 336-721-7300 or fax 336-721-7335
Web site:

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Tweetsie Railroad; Blowing Rock, NC


Tweetsie Railroad

Take an exciting ride into the Wild West! Enjoy a scenic and action-packed three-mile train ride through the Blue Ridge mountains behind one of Tweetsie's historic coal-fired narrow-gauge steam locomotives. Since Tweetsie Railroad opened in 1957, generations of visitors have enjoyed North Carolina's first theme park.


Take a spin on the amusement rides at the Country Fair and enjoy live entertainment throughout the park. Ride the chair lift up to Miner's Mountain for gem mining and the Deer Park Zoo. Browse through unique shops and places to eat. Tweetsie Railroad -- it's a memorable experience for the whole family!


2014 Admission Adults $39 / Children 3-12 $26  / Children 2 and under free
2014 Schedule

Friday-Saturday-Sunday April 11 through May 26

Every Day May 30 through August 17

Friday-Saturday-Sunday Aug. 22 through Nov. 2 (and Labor Day Monday Sept. 1)

2014 Special


Letterland© Days May 6-7-8; 13-14
David Holt and the Lightning Bolts May 25

Day Out With Thomas™ June 6 through 15

Fireworks Extravaganza Friday July 4th

Cool Summer Nights July 5, 12, 19 and 26
Scooby-Doo and Shaggy© July 11-13
K-9's in Flight Frisbee® Dogs July 19 through 27

Riders In The Sky August 9 and 10

Railroad Heritage Weekend Sept. 6 and 7

Ghost Train® Halloween Festival Friday and Saturday nights: Sept. 26-27; Oct. 3-4; 10-11; 17-18; 24-25; 31-Nov.1

Check our web site for the latest information!

Location: Highway 321 between Blowing Rock and Boone, NC
Phone: 800-526-5740 or 828-264-9061
Web site:

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