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FLAT ROCK, NORTH CAROLINA

Trains, Native Americans, and Other Southern Appalachian Adventures

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Road Scholar
Program #10403RJ
6 Days | 5 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderate
Road Scholar has thousands of educational adventures to choose from. A good way to narrow down our list is to browse our collection of "Most Popular" programs.
See all of our Most Popular programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.

Itinerary for Oct 27 — Nov 1, 2013

Expand all
Type: Conference Center

Description: Lodge has all the modern facilities, plus a nice lobby with a large fireplace, glass enclosed dining area to frame the beautiful views, hotel type rooms with private baths, and an elevator. All activities are in same building as rooms. A television room is on the first floor, and for all the "early risers" there is plenty of coffee available in the lobby. Wi-Fi is available for guests as well. Two laptop computers are set up in the meeting room for individuals to surf the internet and check e-mail during free times.

Contact info:
84 Blue Ridge Circle
Black Mountain, NC 28711 USA
phone: 828-669-8422
web: www.blueridgeassembly.org

Room amenities: Telephones, private baths, clock radio.

Facility amenities: Tennis courts, trails, craft center, outdoor pool.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day One: Sunday, October 27 - We welcome you to Western North Carolina in the b...
We welcome you to Western North Carolina in the beautiful fall season. Arrive, check-in, and prepare for a wonderful week of interesting and fun adventures!

Note: Today you'll check-in to your room, register and pick up your program materials, have dinner, and attend a program orientation and reception.

Arrive To: After a short drive on the beautiful wooded entrance road you will check-in to your room at the Blue Ridge Assembly Conference Center. Check-in begins at 3:00 PM, however if you arrive early, you will find a comfortable lobby in which to wait and relax, or you may opt to take a leisurely walk around the landscaped grounds and streams to enjoy the views. Program registration and material pick-up begins in the Conference Center lobby at 4:30 PM.

Dinner: Program begins with a full dinner buffet inside the spacious, glassed-in dining area of the Blue Ridge Assembly. A salad and hot food bar are yours to enjoy, accompanied by drinks, coffee and desserts. Sugar free desserts are available by request.

Evening: As we gather after dinner you'll have time to get to know your fellow travelers and your program leaders. We will review the schedule and printed materials for the week, give you information about the campus and answer any questions you might have. The orientation/information session is followed by an informal reception in the hotel lobby. Wind down from your day and get acquainted with the new friends with whom you'll be enjoying this Western North Carolina/Asheville Adventure. There's a piano and a fireplace in the lobby; we welcome you to share your musical talents if you are so inclined.

Lodging: Blue Ridge Assembly - Blue Ridge Center

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Conference Center

Description: Lodge has all the modern facilities, plus a nice lobby with a large fireplace, glass enclosed dining area to frame the beautiful views, hotel type rooms with private baths, and an elevator. All activities are in same building as rooms. A television room is on the first floor, and for all the "early risers" there is plenty of coffee available in the lobby. Wi-Fi is available for guests as well. Two laptop computers are set up in the meeting room for individuals to surf the internet and check e-mail during free times.

Contact info:
84 Blue Ridge Circle
Black Mountain, NC 28711 USA
phone: 828-669-8422
web: www.blueridgeassembly.org

Room amenities: Telephones, private baths, clock radio.

Facility amenities: Tennis courts, trails, craft center, outdoor pool.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Two: Monday, October 28 - Spend the day exploring the beautiful estate of G...
Note: Self-guided tour through the Vanderbilt home; see the gardens and the conservatory; visit the estate winery and other exhibits at Antler Hill Village. A late afternoon stroll in the North Carolina Arboretum will be a perfect way to finish the activities of the day!

Breakfast: Full buffet breakfast.

Morning: After breakfast we'll depart for the Biltmore Estate. En route a brief video will introduce us to the world of the Vanderbilt's. We'll spend the rest of our morning visiting the 250 room mansion, America's largest privately-owned home.

Lunch: Enjoy lunch on your own at the Biltmore Estate. The Stable Cafe Restaurant has a nice selection of sandwiches and gourmet lunches.

Afternoon: Our afternoon continues on the estate with an opportunity to walk through the beautiful estate gardens and visit the conservatory. Early-afternoon we'll depart for Antler Hill Village, home of the estate winery. The first vineyards were planted in 1971 and eight years later in 1979 the first bottle of wine was sold. You'll have an opportunity to tour the winery complex and enjoy a complimentary wine-tasting. Several exhibits and shops are in Antler Hill Village for your enjoyment as well. Late afternoon we will travel to the North Carolina Arboretum The arboretum's 464 acres is nestled in one of the most beautiful settings in America.

Dinner: Full dinner buffet at Blue Ridge Assembly.

Evening: This evening a noted scholar and researcher will present an enlightening program on the trains of Western North Carolina. Trains have played a major role in the development of this area. The Murphy Branch of the Western North Carolina Railroads carried thousands of mountaineers from the wilderness of their landlocked hills. All aboard on Thursday as we travel on part of the tracks of the Murphy Branch on the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad!

Lodging: Blue Ridge Assembly - Blue Ridge Center

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Conference Center

Description: Lodge has all the modern facilities, plus a nice lobby with a large fireplace, glass enclosed dining area to frame the beautiful views, hotel type rooms with private baths, and an elevator. All activities are in same building as rooms. A television room is on the first floor, and for all the "early risers" there is plenty of coffee available in the lobby. Wi-Fi is available for guests as well. Two laptop computers are set up in the meeting room for individuals to surf the internet and check e-mail during free times.

Contact info:
84 Blue Ridge Circle
Black Mountain, NC 28711 USA
phone: 828-669-8422
web: www.blueridgeassembly.org

Room amenities: Telephones, private baths, clock radio.

Facility amenities: Tennis courts, trails, craft center, outdoor pool.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Three: Tuesday, October 29 - Gray Line Trolley Tour will highlight your day in...
Note: Learn about the history, culture and architecture of Asheville aboard the Gray Line Trolley, then enjoy the remainder of the day visiting the sites of your choice.

Breakfast: Full breakfast buffet.

Morning: This morning learn about Asheville's early settlers, famous citizens and authors aboard the historic Gray Line Trolley. As we travel around the city you will learn of the diverse Montford Historic District, the stately Grove Park Historic District with the legendary Grove Park Inn, the art deco downtown, the ever artsy River Arts District and the Biltmore Village. You'll also learn of the architecture, the history and the arts that make Asheville a very unique and special place.

Lunch: Lunch on your own in downtown Asheville.

Afternoon: This afternoon enjoy the hop-on and hop-off services of the Gray Line Trolley. Visit the sites that you want to explore... the River Arts District, Pack Square, the Thomas Wolfe Memorial, the Basilica of St. Lawrence, the Grove Arcade... you decide! Simply hop-on and hop-off at the designated stops along the tour route. Trolleys run throughout the day and pick up in 30 minute intervals.

Dinner: Full dinner buffet provided

Evening: This evening we will enjoy a presentation on the Cherokee Indians and the land of the Great Smoky Mountains. The Cherokee roamed these lands for hundreds of years before the arrival of early European settlers. Overcoming many obstacles, the Cherokee have developed a government and a society that match the most civilized cultures of the day. They are a proud nation as they well should be. They treasure their heritage and continually strive to keep their Cherokee traditions alive. Tonight we welcome a tribal member who will share his story of the Cherokee!

Lodging: Blue Ridge Assembly - Blue Ridge Center

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Each room has a private balcony overlooking the beautiful Oconaluftee River. A private river walk. In-room coffee. Guest laundry. Free Cherokee Shuttle service. Trout fishing!

Contact info:
Hwy 441 Bypass
Cherokee, NC 28719 USA
phone: 828-497-4702
web: www.qualityinncherokeenc.com

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Four: Wednesday, October 30 - Museum of the Cherokee Indians, Oconaluftee India...
Museum of the Cherokee Indians, Oconaluftee Indian Village and Smoky Mountain National Park

Note: Exploration into the history and culture of the Cherokee.

Breakfast: Full Buffet Breakfast.

Morning: This morning we depart for a two-day visit to the Great Smoky Mountains and the Cherokee Nation. The Cherokee are the second largest Indian tribe in the United States. They reside on land that is federally-recognized as a truly sovereign nation, not a reservation. En route to Cherokee, NC we will enjoy an educational video of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Once in Cherokee we'll spend the remainder of our morning visiting the recently renovated Museum of the Cherokee Indian. The museum combines computer imagery, special effects and audio with an extensive artifact collection to tell the story of the Cherokee and their ancestors from twelve thousand years ago to the present.

Lunch: A buffet lunch of local flavor will satisfy your appetite before we begin our afternoon adventures!

Afternoon: This afternoon we'll visit the living Oconaluftee Indian Village, an authentic replica of an 18th century Cherokee community. Cherokee guides will explain the history, culture and life-style of their ancestors. Watch Cherokee craftsmen demonstrate their skill in making arrowheads, baskets, blowguns, beaded belts, ceremonial masks, dugout canoes, pottery and wood carvings. You'll also enjoy the 7-sided Council House and replicas of typical Cherokee homes as they were 250 years ago. You will have the opportunity to walk through the woods and see a variety of trees and plants indigenous to the western NC area. We will finish our afternoon with a drive into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and a visit to an old mountain homestead.

Dinner: Paula Deen is known as the "Queen of Southern Cuisine" and tonight we'll dine in Paula Deen's Kitchen! The restaurant located within the Harrah's Casino complex, seats 404 guests and features an ambiance of Paula Deen's home and kitchen in Savannah, Georgia.

Evening: Enjoy a free evening after your busy day in the Great Smoky Mountains and the land of the Cherokee. Shop in the village, take a relaxing stroll, try your luck at Harrah's Casino or simply kick back and relax... you decide!

Lodging: Cherokee Quality Inn

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Conference Center

Description: Lodge has all the modern facilities, plus a nice lobby with a large fireplace, glass enclosed dining area to frame the beautiful views, hotel type rooms with private baths, and an elevator. All activities are in same building as rooms. A television room is on the first floor, and for all the "early risers" there is plenty of coffee available in the lobby. Wi-Fi is available for guests as well. Two laptop computers are set up in the meeting room for individuals to surf the internet and check e-mail during free times.

Contact info:
84 Blue Ridge Circle
Black Mountain, NC 28711 USA
phone: 828-669-8422
web: www.blueridgeassembly.org

Room amenities: Telephones, private baths, clock radio.

Facility amenities: Tennis courts, trails, craft center, outdoor pool.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Five: Thursday, October 31 - The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad and the scenic...
Note: Travel in style through the Great Smoky Mountains and see the beautiful fall foliage from your "Crown-Class" vintage train car . Afterwards, lunch and a scenic ride along the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway, "America's Favorite Drive."

Breakfast: Continental Breakfast included.

Morning: Today we'll depart Cherokee and travel to the small quaint town of Bryson City, approximately 10 miles southwest. There you will have time to explore the town and visit the Smoky Mountain Trains Museum before we board the train. The museum has over 7,000 "Lionel" engines, cars and accessories with impressive realistic displays. Several toy trains travel all day meandering through the crafted villages and mountain settings. As a guest on board the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, you will enjoy the scenic beauty of the area as the train journeys across fertile valleys and across river gorges in a spectacular region called the Great Smoky Mountains. This section of western NC offers a wide array of ever changing vegetation and fantastic landscapes, especially beautiful during the fall color season. With the romance and mystique of an era gone by, you will ride a real train in one of their crown vintage cars. You will receive a souvenir tumbler to fill with fountain sodas, coffee or hot chocolate in the Conductor's Cafe Car during your ride, a souvenir for you to take home to remind you of your journey.

Lunch: Today we'll enjoy a nice lunch at the Jarrett House in the quaint town of Dillsboro, NC. The Jarrett House, established in 1884 is a beautiful bed and breakfast inn with Victorian style furnishings and family style dining. The old passenger trains from Asheville used to stop in Dillsboro for 20 minutes at noon for dinner. Food reservations were telegraphed ahead from the Balsam Mountain stop so it would be ready for the passengers upon their arrival. Unlike the train passengers of olden times, we'll have plenty of time to savor and enjoy our meal!

Afternoon: After a leisurely lunch and a brief time to explore Dillsboro, we'll return to Asheville via the Blue Ridge Parkway! The Parkway runs 469 miles along the Blue Ridge, a part of the Appalachian Mountain chain, connecting the Shenandoah National Park and the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Seeing the fall colors from some of the highest peaks of Western NC is an amazing experience that you don't want to miss! We'll stop for pictures, so be sure to bring your camera!!

Dinner: Full dinner buffet provided.

Evening: This evening we'll have a cultural presentation featuring some of our local talented musicians or performers from the region. These performances are always a big hit with our groups!

Lodging: Blue Ridge Assembly - Blue Ridge Center

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Six: Friday, November 01 - The Biltmore Estate is a popular tourist destinat...
The Biltmore Estate is a popular tourist destination at Christmas. We will end our week with a presentation on "Christmas at Biltmore." Check out and program wrap-up will follow.

Depart From: Program usually ends at approximately 10:30 AM.

Breakfast: Full breakfast buffet provided.

Morning: Asheville and the mountains of Western North Carolina have become a major holiday tourist destination in the winter. This morning we will wrap-up our week with a presentation on "Christmas at Biltmore," followed with an opportunity to ask questions and say good bye to new friends.

Meals Included: Breakfast


Free Time Opportunities


Blue Ridge Assembly
Local AttractionsMany sightseeing opportunities, art galleries, museums, arts and crafts, natural attractions, National Parks, shopping areas, and more in the area.
For additional information, visit: www.exploreasheville.com

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
5 nights of accommodations
12 meals: 5 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 5 dinners
4 Expert-led lectures
11 Field trips
3 Hands-on experiences
1 Performances

Ratings

4.8
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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