Honeymoon adventure in North Carolina
Surrounded by mountain ranges, lush national forests and raging rivers, North Carolina is dream for couples looking for some honeymoon adventure.
A million miles away from a typical beach holiday, this is a chance to get away from it all, reconnect with nature and enjoy the stunning panoramic views.
Relax in true Southern style
Head to Glendale Springs in the west where you can totally relax in true Southern style at Mountain View Lodge.
Choose from one of their rustic oak Lodge Cabins and absorb the cool mountain breeze, then spend the evening curled up beside a campfire under the stars.
Kayaking on the New River
The River House Inn Restaurant is a romantic gem for couples, who can relax with a glass of locally-produced wine from the nearby Yadkin Valley, overlooking a view of the meandering New River and open meadows.
The New River is one of the world’s oldest rivers that offers exhilarating kayaking or white water rafting experiences. Or if you hire a canoe and wade through Piney Creek, River Camp USA will even supply you with a ‘just married sign’ for the back!
America’s favourite scenic drive
You can see why the mountain route from Virginia to the Great Smokey Mountains was voted America’s favourite scenic drive – the road twists and turns along the Blue Ridge Parkway offering some truly breathtaking views.
Plenty of snow sports
If you’re snow-sports enthusiasts who are heading to North Carolina in the winter months then a stop-off at Boone or one of the four ski-resorts surrounding it, is a must. Here you can enjoy cross-country skiing, snowboarding or snow tubing.
On a brighter day, try an energetic (but romantic!) walk up to Blowing Rock. It’s worth the climb for the magnificent views over the Blue Ridge Mountains. From here you can see as far as Grandfather Mountain, the highest peak in the range and across to Mount Mitchell, the highest peak east of the Rockies.
Try horse riding, picnics, treks and rodeos!
If horse-riding is more your thing, Clear Creek Ranch is hidden in a quiet valley just off the Blue Ridge Parkway where you can find numerous riding trails within the surrounding Pisgah National Forest.
Pack a picnic and enjoy a canter across acres of open space or if you’re feeling more adventurous, trek up into the mountains.
In the evenings, cosy up in front of a log fireplace, or if you still have energy, try out Rodeo – you’ll be taken by wagon for refreshments on the nearby river and can experience a true cowboy cookout, before relaxing in a hot tub under the stars.
Visit bohemian Asheville
Take a trip to the bohemian city of Asheville which attracts artisans and world-famous authors.
This is a city with a laid-back vibe though; locals stop to talk to visitors in the street and cars will wait patiently for pedestrians to cross the road with no sense of urgency.
This is also the place to come to experience the local jazz and bluegrass scene as many restaurants offer live music while you dine.
Pampering in Asheville
If all this activity has left you in need of some pampering, then your next stop should be the Grove Park Inn.
Overlooking Asheville’s skyline with the Blue Ridge Mountains beyond, it’s renowned for its luxury accommodation and a spa that’s been voted one of the best in the world.
Enjoy typical North Carolina massages such as a ‘Mountain View Massage’ in your own outdoor pagoda.
Scenic North Carolina
Best time of year to travel
The most popular time to visit North Carolina is in the autumn when leaves begin to change colour.
The average temperature in Asheville is warm but refreshing at around 25 degrees celsius in the summer and around 6 degrees celsius in the winter. Make sure you take those extra layers for when you head in to the Blue Ridge Mountains as temperatures are generally 6-8 degrees cooler.
Snowfall has been known to reach three to four inches (during January to March) in Asheville in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and occasionally some of the highest peaks in the range are shut when the weather is particularly bad.
All visitors visiting USA need complete an ESTA which you can do at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/
Flights cost around £300 return from Gatwick to Charlotte with US Airways; the only airline to fly direct to Charlotte. Internal flights from Charlotte to Asheville cost around £140, or alternatively hire a car from www.americacarrental.com where prices start at £135 for a week.
Visit www.visitnc.com for more information
Photos: VisitNC, Sarah Bromley.