With fall color season on the horizon,
Begin at the century-old Omni Grove Park Inn, which has been visited by no less than ten presidents. The 44,000-square-foot resort with its subterranean spa was inspired by Edwin Wiley Grove who was known as the “Father of Modern Asheville.”
Grove, a Civil War veteran, purchased a pharmaceutical company in his mid-20s. He believed the climate in
The original property opened in 1913 with Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan delivering the keynote address to more than 400 distinguished southern gentlemen.
Though expanded several times, the favorite rooms are still in the original building with its oversized fireplaces at each end of the lobby and the outdoor balcony overlooking a jagged expanse of bluish-gray mountains.
About an hour away is Cherokee, home of the original Cherokee nation and the starting point for “Trail of Tears” in 1838. At that time Cherokees controlled over 140,000 square miles covering what is today part of eight states.
The drive is beautiful any time of year, but during the fall season it is especially vibrant with its myriad palette of rust oranges, buttery yellows and candy apple reds.
Historians date the ancient civilizations in the area more than 11,000 years ago, to the end of the last Ice Age. Europeans arrived in the territory in 1540 in search of gold and other riches.
For non-historians, the Harrah’s Casino at the outskirts of Cherokee offers a contemporary alternative.
Moving forward to the 1800s, head north out of town along the winding road that hugs a rushing stream leading into Cades Cove. Preserved by the
Another day trip from
Sandburg’s wife, Lilian, also needed extensive pastureland for her award winning dairy goats. The goats remain and are a favorite with visitors. In summer, live readings of Sandburg’s works and excerpts from the play about his life are performed in the amphitheater at the park. Sandburg spent the last 22 years of his life at
Wolfe was strongly influenced by his hometown of
Last stop: the famed Biltmore Estate of George Vanderbilt. The Chateau-style mansion took just six years to build, opening on Christmas day in 1895.
Still in the family, it is owned and operated by William A.V. Cecil, Sr., one of Vanderbilt’s descendants. The estate has become a major national attraction, the setting for several movies and has undergone considerable renovations to open more of the property to the public.
Sometimes known as “
The grounds were designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, who also did Central Park in
Go for the fall colors, but Christmas is also a great time to visit when the estate magically changes with the season.
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About the Author: Peabod is Bob Taylor a veteran travel writer for more than three decades. He is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com) and his goal is to visit 100 countries or more during his lifetime.
Read more of Travels with Peabod and Bob Taylor at The
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