Ryan and I retreated to the Great Smoky Mountains for the 4th of July. We stayed in Bryson City, North Carolina at The Everett Hotel. We have visited Bryson City many times over the past five years, because it’s a charming town tucked away in the mountains. If you’ve never visited, I highly recommend it during the holiday season. It’s only about a three hour drive from Atlanta and makes the perfect getaway.
We decided to stay at The Everett Hotel instead of Harrah’s or the Hampton Inn, both of which we have stayed at previously. It’s a luxury boutique hotel located in the heart of downtown. The hotel was formerly a bank and renovated to include guest rooms and a restaurant. The rooms were very clean and comfortable. The owners were also wonderful! I can’t praise our stay enough. It was perfect! The hotel also features a rooftop terrace, which was a fantastic spot to watch fireworks. We had drinks and cookies while we watched the show. Bryson City has a great firework show. I also loved the privacy of this hotel and the lack of children. The restaurant is also very good, and breakfast is included. All that said, I look forward to stay there again in the future.
There were two main activities on our itinerary since this was a short trip. The first was a drive up to Asheville to visit the Biltmore Estate. The estate in its entirety is beautiful, and there are a variety of activities to enjoy. My favorites included the winery and gardens. My least favorite was actually the tour of the house. I just didn’t enjoy walking through an old house without air conditioning. Don’t do this tour in July! The history of the home was interesting, but the house was just so ugly and dark. Somebody really loves burgundy. It wasn’t my cup of tea, but I’m glad I can say I’ve done it. If I have the opportunity to visit again, and I will spend more time in the gardens.
If you decide to plan a visit to the Biltmore Estate, purchase your tickets ahead of time to save money. The tickets are quite expensive.
You can’t visit Bryson City without enjoying the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad. A variety of experiences are available. I’ve been dying to ride the #1702 Steam Engine that was recently restored. It’s one of only two remaining engines of its class in the United States. We chugged through beautiful scenery to Nantahala Gorge, where we enjoyed an hour by the river. It was a relaxing four and half hour excursion. We enjoyed lunch while on the train. Ryan had barbecue, and I had a grilled chicken salad. It was a true American experience and the perfect way to celebrate Independence Day. No matter which experience you choose, the crew is always pleasant and knowledgeable. We really enjoyed it. If you want to learn more about the Polar Express, click here.
I highly recommend eating at Boots Steakhouse in Dillsboro and The Filling Station Deli in Bryson City. We have visited both multiple times. The food is always good and the service is great. Just wanted to share those two gems for those of you that enjoy delicious food.
We made more progress outside yesterday, and I hope to share that with you all soon. I’m actually meeting with a gentleman later this week to discuss a patio. I’m super excited about that possibility, so be sure to check back. Have a great week!