Weekend Warriors- Chimney Rock, NC

Photo by Robby Edwards

The Weekend Warrior series is designed to give you a taste of your hometown, or somewhere within a drive of it. Today’s destination: Chimney Rock, North Carolina. Chimney Rock is located about 45 minutes southeast of Asheville, North Carolina. I’ll break down the trip into threes: Play, Eat and Stay.

Play: The obvious site in town is Chimney Rock Park. If you’ve ever seen The Last of the Mohicans then you have probably seen some of the sites from this park. The park offers many trails to hike and you can bring your dog with you while you walk. The Skyline Trail provides an amazing aerial view of the surrounding lands but may be a more strenuous hike. The Great Woodlands Trail is a much calmer hike full of discovery stations. You can also take the Outcroppings Trail or the Elevator up to the Chimney Stack. To find the trail right for you, click here.

Lake Lure WinterPhoto by Lake Guy

If you want to do something besides mountains and hiking, try Lake Lure. The Beach at Lake Lure offers sand, sun and a waterpark with a slide and beach canons. The Lake Lure Marina offers pontoon boat rentals, kayaks, canoes and paddle boats.

Eat: After a busy day in Chimney Rock Park, head down the trail to Duncan’s BBQ. The place offers up some amazing pork and rib plates. During my stay in Chimney Rock, I found it a perfect filler after walking all day at the park up above. Plates come with three sides and to do it right, two of them have to be beans and coleslaw. I’m a fan of the chopped pork but some diehards on the other side of the BBQ fence may prefer the sliced.

For a fancier treat, look no further than Parise’s New American Bistro. On certain days at lunch you can help yourself to a buffet with soups and salads and meats for $10. At all the meals, expect to find comfort foods with local flavors including steroid, hormone and antibiotic free, grass fed meats and free-range chicken eggs. Dinner offers a wide range of these steaks and other entrees and can be matched with wine pairings. As a bonus, look to Restaurant.com to save 60% on a gift certificate to Parise’s.

Stay: If you decide you don’t want to head back home after spending a long day at Chimney Falls, there are many hotels and B&Bs nearby. I’m fond of the Carter Lodge. Having stayed here in 2006, I found the hotel clean and quiet. My room exited onto a beautiful grassy lawn overseeing the Rocky Broad River. There were benches and grills outside, perfect for a picnic, and swings to just relax on. Chimney Rock overlooks the hotel and you feel right at home with nature.

Another option down the road is the historic Lake Lure Inn. In the past, historic figures such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Franklin D. Roosevelt stayed here. You may know the Inn best for its role in Dirty Dancing. They even offer two cabins themed around Dirty Dancing. This hotel has restaurants and entertainment on-site and a spa to help you unwind after your long day in the park.

As always, I have not been compensated in any way for these reviews. These reviews are based upon other reviews or past experiences and the author of this post is in no way responsible should you be less than satisfied with one of these locations.

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I'm Julie, I love to travel, I'm very hyper and I like to "hype" things and from that, TravelHyper was born. I'm a Missouri native and I cover St. Louis travel ideas as well as my own travels. I also like to focus on places I want to visit and budget travel ideas by creating trip plans. There's so much world out there and I hope you'll find that it's worth seeing and that vacation doesn't have to be out of reach to you.

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