Grandfather Mountain is known to many as an iconic peak in North Carolina. Part of the state park – offering awe-inspiring scenery and ecological diversity – hikers come for the long network of alpine trails. Book a stay nearby on Culture Trip.
Included in Grandfather Mountain State Park is the ‘Forrest Gump Curve’ – named after the scene where Tom Hanks’ character runs in the film. Whether you’re an avid hiker or are simply looking to soak up some nature, enjoy our favorite picks of these stunningly scenic places to stay near Grandfather Mountain State Park – that you certainly won’t be running from.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Almost every part of this rustic country motel – on a large green plot in Newland – is clad in wood. Fans of mountain-style cabins will swoon at the all-wood interiors with cherry red fabrics and hot tubs to hop in after a day’s hiking the wooded terrain of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains. Rooms in the main lodge are more traditional, sleeping two to four – with painted walls, red fabrics and smart wooden beds. Socialize on the wooded deck of the Tap Room bar over a craft beer or two.
Just 0.6mi (1km) from the Sugar Mountain Resort ski area – in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains – this one is for lovers of the great outdoors. Cozy up by the stone fireplace in your one-bedroom cabin with sleek kitchens and whirlpool tubs – not to mention balconies for taking in the scenic view. Bigger groups pick the two-bedroom cabins – some of which spread across two floors – and add traditional dining areas. After a day’s skiing or hiking, relax your muscles in the indoor heated pool and redwood sauna before a beer on the balcony as the sun goes down.
Tucked away in 10-acres (4ha) of serene scenery rolling down to the River Elk, just 2mi (3.2km) from downtown Banner Elk. Romantics will love the outdoor fireplace and a fire pit by the river. Five intimate rooms cocoon you with sink-into log-style or metal beds, gable-window views, outside hot tubs, hammocks and a hanging bed for soaking up the scenery – where you can sink into an Adirondack chair while you spot local wildlife. Ready to mingle? Compare travel notes at the complimentary cheese and wine party. Loosen your belt for breakfast – which may take all day – including homemade pastries, eggs, quiches, soufflés, sausage, bacon, hash browns, waffles and French toast.
Within easy walking distance of Blowing Rock village, nature lovers will go wild for the lodge element of this all-things-to-everyone resort among 87-acres (35ha) of pine tree-clad woodland. Balconied rooms – many overlooking the fish-filled lake – are less rustic and more old-fashioned with a blend of browns and patterned fabrics. Families love the large indoor pool housed in a curved wooden building complete with a pore-opening sauna and relaxing hot tub here. Dine on classic American burgers and fries in the rustic-meets-ski-lodge style restaurant by the stone fireplace – surrounded by vintage ski poles and mounted deer antlers.
Hugged by the Blue Ridge Mountains in scenic Blowing Rock, North Carolina, enjoy the rural feel while being just a block from the upscale shops, restaurants and galleries on Main Street. Grown-up grand rooms feature stone fireplaces you can cozy up to, wooden floors and countryside views. Fans of swimming will love the Pool Suite, which adds a private pool and whirlpool tub to the shared features – there’s also a pool and gym for every health-conscious guest to use. Eat al fresco with a picnic packed up by the kitchen for a day out soaking up the scenery in Blue Ridge Parkway, just five minutes away.
From standard to suites, rooms at this 1891-built white clapboard manor share a graceful period style with polished half tester beds and prettily patterned wallpaper. Go full-on turn-of-the-century in the Victorian Suite with a surprisingly modern-day spa tub in the room. Eat well on well-executed, refined country fare: from roasted beet salad with butternut squash, spiced pistachios, chevre cheese and apple vinaigrette to cast-iron cornbread with pickled jalapeno and honey butter. At the gateway to the Blue Ridge National Parkway – 3mi (4.8km) from Blowing Rock – skiers are just a couple more from the Appalachian Ski Mountain.
Fitness fans will love the numerous opportunities for exercise at this hillside rural retreat in Banner Elk, set among the hiking trails of the Blue Ridge Mountains. For skiing, you’ve got Sugar Mountain, Hawksnest, or Beech Mountain – all within 2-8mi (3.2-12.8km) away. When heading back to the lodge, swim lengths in the indoor pool or a enjoy spin in the gym before kicking back in the sauna. This low-key, low-rise lodge keeps you comfortable in one and two-bedroom suites with full-on flowery fabrics and cute kitchenettes for creating your favorite dishes. Buy a bottle of something nice at the Grandfather Vineyard and Winery, just a five-minute drive away.
This romantic resort near Boone is a popular wedding spot for the tree-lined setting and collection of attractively furnished rooms, suites, villas and cottages – and the short 14-minute drive from the Grandfather Vineyard and Winery. The Grandfather suite has a tree-top terrace for sipping your wine on as the sun dips down behind the mountains – and smooch over the elegant à la carte menu with mussels and whiskey mushroom soup. Oh, and you’ll love a length or two in the indoor pool, finished with grand white columns and surrounding leafy forest views.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
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.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
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.