Whether you want to sink beers in the bars of Asheville or spend days taking on the trails of the Appalachian range, we’ve waymarked a selection of stays to suit everyone, all of them bookable with Culture Trip.
We’ll put money on the Blue Ridge Mountains being the absolute best part of the expansive Appalachian Mountain Range. From Georgia to Pennsylvania, these 600mi (965km) of mountainous terrain have so much to offer beyond their scenic views. Small salt-of-the-earth towns serve tasty home-cooked meals, embrace their roots and bring a little modern luxury to charming B&Bs. Searching for an ale trail, hiking route or art walk? These Blue Ridge Mountain hotels will point every type of traveler in the right direction.
If you favor local flavor over corporate chains, you’re guaranteed to get an authentic taste of Asheville at the Princess Anne Hotel & Breakfast. This century-old property welcomes you into town like an old friend with made-to-order breakfasts and a lively wine and hors d’oeuvre hour. Comfortable, casual rooms will make you feel right at home, and the staff will point you toward local haunts such as the Orange Peel concert venue and the River Arts District, where you’ll eat, dance, drink and shop like North Carolina natives.
Documenting your every moment on Instagram? The Foundry Hotel will help envy go viral among your followers. Pinned in the heart of downtown, you can race around the city snapping posts of buzzy brunch spot Biscuit Head, the mural-lined Good Vibes silo and the city’s many rooftop bars. As for your stories, a tour of the exposed-brick lounge, modern suites and bright terrace of the industrially elegant Foundry Hotel will have your notifications pumping. It goes without saying that a picture-perfect plate of Appalachian soul food at the hotel’s Benne on Eagle must be swiped into your schedule.
Those with an eye for architecture will enjoy exploring the Historic District of Montford from the Black Walnut. This turn-of-the-century bed and breakfast inn was designed by the supervising architect for the Biltmore Estate. A pebbledash exterior, original diamond-paned windows and a half-timbered English style are just a few of the characterful hallmarks of the inn. Consider an evening stroll to take in the detail of the Queen Anne, colonial revival, and Arts and Crafts homes throughout the neighborhood.
Art lovers will savor the curated collection throughout the lobby, hallways and suites of the Windsor Boutique Hotel. Along with the many pieces purchased from local artists and imported from Paris, the hotel has the Benjamin Walls Gallery. You can admire the acclaimed photographer’s environmentally conscious work while decompressing with wine and chocolate truffles from the adjoining hotel bar. To appreciate more of the creativity on show in Asheville, trot over to the Momentum Gallery and Lisa Lane Art right across the road.
Craft beer aficionados need not worry about a designated driver at the Grand Bohemian. Catawba Brewing Company’s IPAs, Hillmen Beer’s robust porters, and French Road Brewery’s classic kölsch are all within a few paces of your suite. Mix things up with the exclusive wines at the Red Stag Grill adjacent to the lobby, or ask the concierge to book you a cab to the Colorado transplant New Belgium Brewing Company that’s now embraced as a local by the beer lovers of Asheville.
If opulence and magnificence are necessities, we dare you to do better than the Blue Ridge Village on the wondrous Biltmore Estate. From the Winery to the Antler Hill Village and everywhere in between, the 8,000-acre (3,237ha) grounds are yours to explore. As you step softly through the gardens or around the farmyard, you’ll relish the comfortable and casual atmosphere despite walking across such a breathtaking backdrop.
Blowing Rock Inn was built for the no-frills outdoor enthusiast. Though their clean and comfortable rooms will have you sleeping like a rock, it’s their location close to the trailheads that’s key. Within a few minutes, you can walk or drive to the Glen Burney Falls Trail, cast a line at Bass Lake Trail or explore the woods of Mayview Park on horseback. When you’re ready to loosen your laces, the best place to enjoy Blowing Rock Brewing Company’s Fresh Trail Golden Lager is right on their terrace.
Your health and happiness are always first priority at the Art of Living Retreat Center. This Boone getaway helps you break away from the negative energies of everyday life with meditation, yoga and detoxification. Finely curated programs are designed for your specific needs, whether they be mental, physical or spiritual. The Happiness Retreat will leave your chakras smiling, while the Silence Retreat offers the rare opportunity to let go and get lost in yourself – and the mountains.
La Quinta Inn & Suites knows that the picturesque views along the nearby Blue Ridge Parkway are all too alluring. Though the staff are ready to show you all of Boone’s beauty, this pet-friendly hotel also caters to drivers who can’t wait to cruise through the mountains. Fuel up on a delicious breakfast then soak your tired feet in the pool. If you want to keep your keys in your pocket for the afternoon, trade the miles for the mines and go gem hunting.
Those who appreciate the finer things in life know there’s a difference between five-star service and Southern hospitality. The Omni Grove Park Inn specializes in the latter, delivering world-class warmth with signature North Carolina courtesy. Allow the concierge to book a tee time at the Donald Ross 18-hole course, or schedule a few hours of delicate pampering in the subterranean spa. When you return, reservations at the Sunset Terrace will be waiting alongside award-winning wines and hand-cut steaks.
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meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
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Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.