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MONTREAT, NORTH CAROLINA

The Biltmore Estate and Beyond: Discover the Wonders of Western North Carolina

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Road Scholar
Program #18073RJ
6 Days | 5 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderate
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.
Elevation Note
Participants may wish to hike on their own in surrounding mountains, which peak elev. exceed 5,400.

Itinerary for May 19 — May 24, 2013

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Type: Conference Center

Description: This stately hotel overlooks a small lake. It has a beautiful, spacious lobby with a fireplace. The building was made from native stone that sparkles with mica.

Ship Information: Items to be shipped to guests (UPS/Fed Express, etc.) should be addressed to the participant, c/o Tracy Bailey, 401 Assembly Drive, Montreat, NC 28757. Items sent regular mail should be addressed the same as above, but use P. O. Box 969.

Contact info:
401 Assembly Drive
Montreat, NC 28757 USA
phone: 828-669-2911 x316
web: www.montreat.org/accommodations.htm

Room amenities: Rooms have a desk, clock radio, kleenex, closets and bed lamps. Blankets, sheets, pillows, bath mat, and a towel set will be provided (clean towels available daily). No phones or televisions in the rooms.

Facility amenities: Internet access (with personal laptop) in the lobby private baths for all participants. Television and courtesy telephone in the lobby

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

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before:
Rooms are not typically available, due to retreats. Participants may call to check availability. If no rooms are available, the coordinator will assist them in finding a hotel nearby.

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day One: Sunday, May 19 - Orientation
Afternoon: Arrival at the Assembly Inn, check in between 4 - 5:30 PM.

Dinner: Assembly Inn Dining Room, Dinner will be served from 5:30 to 6:30 PM.

Evening: Our opening program and orientation will be at 7 PM.

Lodging: Assembly Inn, Montreat Conference Center

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Conference Center

Description: This stately hotel overlooks a small lake. It has a beautiful, spacious lobby with a fireplace. The building was made from native stone that sparkles with mica.

Ship Information: Items to be shipped to guests (UPS/Fed Express, etc.) should be addressed to the participant, c/o Tracy Bailey, 401 Assembly Drive, Montreat, NC 28757. Items sent regular mail should be addressed the same as above, but use P. O. Box 969.

Contact info:
401 Assembly Drive
Montreat, NC 28757 USA
phone: 828-669-2911 x316
web: www.montreat.org/accommodations.htm

Room amenities: Rooms have a desk, clock radio, kleenex, closets and bed lamps. Blankets, sheets, pillows, bath mat, and a towel set will be provided (clean towels available daily). No phones or televisions in the rooms.

Facility amenities: Internet access (with personal laptop) in the lobby private baths for all participants. Television and courtesy telephone in the lobby

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

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before:
Rooms are not typically available, due to retreats. Participants may call to check availability. If no rooms are available, the coordinator will assist them in finding a hotel nearby.

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Two: Monday, May 20 - The Biltmore Estate
Breakfast: Assembly Inn Dining Room, Breakfast 7:30 - 8:30 AM.

Morning: Bill Adam will present two topics this morning, both related to the Biltmore Estate. "The Men Who Built the Biltmore" and the "Vanderbilt Family History." Morning classes will be broken up with a 30 minute refreshment break.

Lunch: Box Lunches on the way!

Afternoon: Pick up box lunches from the dining room, board the transportation, and we're on our way to the Biltmore House for a self guided walk though the Biltmore House (audio tapes available), gardens and conservatory. From there, we'll travel down to the winery, farm and barn area. Info from the Biltmore Estate website: The History of America's Largest Home Building Biltmore was, at the time, one of the largest undertakings in the history of American residential architecture and the results were astounding. Over a six-year period, an entire community of craftsmen worked to build the country's premier home. The estate boasted its own brick factory, woodworking shop, and a three-mile railway spur for transporting materials to the site. A New World Château The celebrated architect Richard Morris Hunt modeled the house on three châteaux built in 16th-century France. It would feature 4 acres of floor space, 250 rooms, 34 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms, and 65 fireplaces. The basement alone would house a swimming pool, gymnasium and changing rooms, bowling alley, servants' quarters, kitchens, and more. An Environmental Wonder The grounds of the 125,000-acre estate were designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the creator of New York's Central Park and the father of American landscape architecture. He not only developed acres of gardens and parkland, but in his efforts to protect the environment and reclaim over-farmed land, Olmsted established America's first managed forest. A True Family Home George Vanderbilt officially opened the home to friends and family on Christmas Eve in 1895. He had created a country retreat where he could pursue his passion for art, literature, and horticulture. After marrying the American Edith Stuyvesant Dresser (1873–1958) in Paris during the summer of 1898, George and his new bride came to live at the estate. Their only child, Cornelia (1900–1976), was born and grew up at Biltmore.

Dinner: Assembly Inn Dining Room, Dinner, 6:00 - 7:00 p.m.

Evening: "Fun in the Mountains" recreational program. Games/cards and tv available in the lobby of the Inn for fellowship.

Lodging: Assembly Inn, Montreat Conference Center

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

Description: This stately hotel overlooks a small lake. It has a beautiful, spacious lobby with a fireplace. The building was made from native stone that sparkles with mica.

Ship Information: Items to be shipped to guests (UPS/Fed Express, etc.) should be addressed to the participant, c/o Tracy Bailey, 401 Assembly Drive, Montreat, NC 28757. Items sent regular mail should be addressed the same as above, but use P. O. Box 969.

Contact info:
401 Assembly Drive
Montreat, NC 28757 USA
phone: 828-669-2911 x316
web: www.montreat.org/accommodations.htm

Room amenities: Rooms have a desk, clock radio, kleenex, closets and bed lamps. Blankets, sheets, pillows, bath mat, and a towel set will be provided (clean towels available daily). No phones or televisions in the rooms.

Facility amenities: Internet access (with personal laptop) in the lobby private baths for all participants. Television and courtesy telephone in the lobby

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

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before:
Rooms are not typically available, due to retreats. Participants may call to check availability. If no rooms are available, the coordinator will assist them in finding a hotel nearby.

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Three: Tuesday, May 21 - Downtown Asheville and the Thomas Wolfe House
Breakfast: Assembly Inn Dining Room, Breakfast 7:30 - 8:30 AM.

Morning: The first morning presentation will focus on Asheville History and the second lecture will speak to it's long time resident, and author, Thomas Wolfe. Morning classes will be broken up with a 30 minute refreshment break.

Lunch: Assembly Inn Dining Room, Lunch 12:30 - 1:30 PM.

Afternoon: Board transportation for trip into Asheville We'll explore downtown Asheville (both on the transporation and in a guided walk) and visit the Thomas Wolfe's Home where we'll visit a the museum and have a guided tour of the "Old Kentucy Home" boarding house where Wolfe grew up. Considered by many to be one of the giants of 20th Century American Literature, Thomas Wolfe immortalized his childhood home in his epic autobiographical novel, Look Homeward, Angel. Wolfe's colorful portrayal of his family, his hometown of Asheville, North Carolina, and the Old Kentucky Home boarding house earned the historic Victorian home a place as one of American Literature's most famous landmarks.

Dinner: Assembly Inn Dining Room, Dinner, 6:00 - 7:00 p.m.

Evening: Prepare for tomorrows excurison with a discussion about the background and history of Chimney Rock Park and Lake Lure.

Lodging: Assembly Inn, Montreat Conference Center

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

Description: This stately hotel overlooks a small lake. It has a beautiful, spacious lobby with a fireplace. The building was made from native stone that sparkles with mica.

Ship Information: Items to be shipped to guests (UPS/Fed Express, etc.) should be addressed to the participant, c/o Tracy Bailey, 401 Assembly Drive, Montreat, NC 28757. Items sent regular mail should be addressed the same as above, but use P. O. Box 969.

Contact info:
401 Assembly Drive
Montreat, NC 28757 USA
phone: 828-669-2911 x316
web: www.montreat.org/accommodations.htm

Room amenities: Rooms have a desk, clock radio, kleenex, closets and bed lamps. Blankets, sheets, pillows, bath mat, and a towel set will be provided (clean towels available daily). No phones or televisions in the rooms.

Facility amenities: Internet access (with personal laptop) in the lobby private baths for all participants. Television and courtesy telephone in the lobby

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

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before:
Rooms are not typically available, due to retreats. Participants may call to check availability. If no rooms are available, the coordinator will assist them in finding a hotel nearby.

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Four: Wednesday, May 22 - Chimney Rock Park and Lake Lure
Breakfast: Assembly Inn Dining Room, Breakfast 7:30 - 8:30 AM.

Morning: At 8:30 a.m. transportation departs Montreat for Chimney Rock Park. Experience fantastic views from the top of Chimney Rock--Climb to the top of this towering 315-foot monolith located on the very edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains high above beautiful Hickory Nut Gorge. At a soaring elevation of 2,280 feet with its 75-mile views, this mountain top experience will take your breath away. And, you can get to the top of the "Rock" with great ease or some effort. It's up to you! Next, we will explore the village of Chimney Rock (located just beside the town of Lake Lure).

Lunch: Box lunches 12:00 - 1:00 P.M.

Afternoon: After, enjoy a narrated boat ride tour on Lake Lure! Discover the beauty and charm of Lake Lure. Relax on a covered boat while your skipper guides you past local attractions and landmarks such as the locations used in filming the popular Dirty Dancing and the recently restored historic 1927 Lake Lure Inn and Spa. Listen to the legends, and learn about the natural and cultural history of Hickory Nut Gorge, home to Lake Lure, North Carolina. Return to Montreat enjoy the rest of the afternoon for relaxation or other explorations

Dinner: Assembly Inn Dining Room, Dinner 6:00 - 7:00 P.M.

Evening: Your evening lecture on The Life of Carl Sandburg will prepare you for the next days activities. Carl Sandburg spent a lifetime exploring what it meant to be an American and asked the eternal questions, "Who am I, where am I going and where have I been?" He did this through poetry, song, lectures, writing and lasting friendships with kindred spirits.

Lodging: Assembly Inn, Montreat Conference Center

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

Description: This stately hotel overlooks a small lake. It has a beautiful, spacious lobby with a fireplace. The building was made from native stone that sparkles with mica.

Ship Information: Items to be shipped to guests (UPS/Fed Express, etc.) should be addressed to the participant, c/o Tracy Bailey, 401 Assembly Drive, Montreat, NC 28757. Items sent regular mail should be addressed the same as above, but use P. O. Box 969.

Contact info:
401 Assembly Drive
Montreat, NC 28757 USA
phone: 828-669-2911 x316
web: www.montreat.org/accommodations.htm

Room amenities: Rooms have a desk, clock radio, kleenex, closets and bed lamps. Blankets, sheets, pillows, bath mat, and a towel set will be provided (clean towels available daily). No phones or televisions in the rooms.

Facility amenities: Internet access (with personal laptop) in the lobby private baths for all participants. Television and courtesy telephone in the lobby

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

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before:
Rooms are not typically available, due to retreats. Participants may call to check availability. If no rooms are available, the coordinator will assist them in finding a hotel nearby.

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Five: Thursday, May 23 - Carl Sandburg Home and Goat Barn; Show at the Fla...
Carl Sandburg Home and Goat Barn; Show at the Flat Rock Playhouse, the state theatre for NC

Breakfast: Assembly Inn Dining Room, Breakfast 7:30 - 8:30 AM.

Morning: 8:30 departure on provided transportation to the Carl Sandburg Home located in Flat Rock, NC. You will enjoy a guided walk-through of the Carl Sandburg House, as well as explorations of the goat farm and beautiful walking paths. Guided Tours of the Sandburg Home Taking a guided tour of the historic Carl Sandburg Home with over 65,000 artifacts on display is an insightful glimpse into the lives of the Sandburg family. Visiting Connemara Farms Goat Dairy Mrs. Sandburg owned and operated a premier goat dairy from 1935 to 1965. Here at Connemara the dairy became a Grade A operation, with milk being distributed to local dairies and sold in stores around the community. Mrs. Sandburg's goat breeding program produced champion goats and led to the improvement of goats as milk producing animals. Enjoy the Connemara Farms' goat-herd. The park service raises goats that represent the three breeds of goats Mrs. Sandburg raised at Connemara. Rangers and volunteers are on hand to share this facinating story about goats and Mrs. Sandburg's dairy goat operation. Outdoor Pursuits "It is necessary now and then for a man to go away by himself and experience loneliness; to sit on a rock in the forest and to ask of himself, 'Who am I, and where have I been, and where am I going?'...If one is not careful, one allows diversions to take up one's time-the stuff of life" -Carl Sandburg as quoted from a letter to his friend, Ralph McGill. Enjoy the solitude of Connemara. Hike its many trails and take from it the energy to avoid diversions.

Lunch: Box lunches at the picnic area at the Carl Sandburg home.

Afternoon: Experience a theatre show at the Flat Rock Playhouse, the state theatre for NC! After, we will return to Montreat and enjoy some free time. The State Theater of North Carolina As the beautiful Western Carolina region continued to grow, so did the Playhouse and in 1961, by a Act of the North Carolina General Assembly, Flat Rock Playhouse was officially designated The State Theatre of North Carolina. What began as a few weeks of summer performances in 1940 is now an eight month season of plays including Broadway musicals, comedy, drama, and theatre for young audiences. The Playhouse Today The Playhouse’s dual mission of producing the performing arts and providing education in the performing arts includes a ten-show professional series; a summer and fall college apprentice and intern program; performances and cabaret series by the YouTheatre; year-round classes and workshops for students from kindergarten through adults. Flat Rock Playhouse now hosts over 90,000 patrons annually and is a major contributor to the local economy and the Arts in North Carolina. TREASURE ISLAND - Oct 27 – Nov 21: Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic tale of piracy and adventure on the high seas. Join Jim and a one-legged scoundrel named Long John Silver on an unforgettable adventure to Skeleton Island in this legendary tale of piracy and heroism.

Dinner: Assembly Inn Dining Room, Dinner 6:00 - 7:00 P.M.

Evening: Free Evening to relax (perhaps a wine & cheese party) Games/cards/tv in lobby for fellowship

Lodging: Assembly Inn, Montreat Conference Center

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Six: Friday, May 24 - NC Arborteum
Breakfast: Assembly Inn Dining Room, 7:30 - 8:30 a.m.

Morning: 8:45 departure on provided transporation to the NC Arborteum Peter Loewer, naturalist, as your guide. The North Carolina Arboretum is a 434-acre public garden located within the Bent Creek Experimental Forest of the Pisgah National Forest. Surrounded by the dense folds of the botanically diverse Southern Appalachian Mountains, the Arboretum is nestled in one of the most beautiful natural garden settings in America. Established in 1986 by the General Assembly as an inter-institutional facility of the University of North Carolina, the Arboretum came into existence nearly a century after this country's father of landscape architecture, Frederick Law Olmsted, first envisioned such an institution near Asheville. Around 11:30 a.m. we will return to Montreat for checkout and closing program.

Lunch: Assembly Inn Dining Room, 12:30 - 1:30 (box lunches provided for those who do not wish to stay through lunch)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch


Free Time Opportunities


Montreat, NC
Asheville Area Chamber of CommerceThe Asheville Chamber has specific information on Asheville and the surrounding area. Plenty of shops and places to visit! Enjoy a trolley tour of the city...
For additional information, visit: www.ashevillechamber.org
Biltmore EstateGeorge Vanderbilt's 255-room mansion built at the end of the 19th Century, with a magnificent art collection and gardens covering 35 acres.
For additional information, visit: www.biltmore.com
Black Mountain / Swannanoa Chamber of CommerceChamber of Commerce located in downtown Black Mountain. Phone number 828 669-2300 Quaint small town with lots of unique shops to explore. Several of these shops are "art" based -- with items the owners make. Information on all area attractions!
For additional information, visit: www.exploreblackmountain.com
Black Mountain Golf CourseBoasts the world's longest fairway. Beautiful course with views of the mountains on all sides.
For additional information, visit: townofblackmountain.org
Blue Ridge MountainsThe Blue Ridge Mountains are part of the Appalachians -- and offer some of the most beautiful scenery anywhere. Hiking trails abound, both in Montreat and in the surrounding area with seasonal flora and fauna.
Carl Sandburg HomeA simple farmhouse and goat farm donated to the Park Service by Mrs. Sandburg after the famous author and poet's death. Video about the Sandburgs--his literary work--and hers in breeding goats. House kept as though they could come home any minute!
For additional information, visit: nps.gov/carl
Cherokee Indian VillageThe Oconaluftee Indian Village, the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, and Unto These Hills outdoor play (seasonal).
Chimney Rock ParkLocated in the Hickory Nut Gorge. Enjoy an elevator ride up 26 stores in a granite shaft to the chimney level. Gorgeous views from the top of the "chimney," and lots of hiking trails. Admission fee required.
For additional information, visit: chimneyrockpark.com
Folk Art CenterHome of the Southern Highland Handicraft Guild (located on the Blue Ridge Parkway) in east Asheville
For additional information, visit: southernhighlandguild.org/folkart.html
Grandfather MountainLocated in Linvolle, NC; attractions include a mile-high swinging bridge, natural habitat area, and hiking trails
For additional information, visit: grandfather.com
Harrah's CasinoHarrah's Casino on the Cherokee Indian Reservation
For additional information, visit: www.harrahs.com/our_casinos/che/index.html
Linville CavernsA 35-minute walking tour through caverns deep under the Humpback Mountain.
For additional information, visit: linvillecaverns.com
Thomas Wolfe HomeThe childhood home of the famous author -- includes a video about him. House has been made into a museum.
For additional information, visit: www.ah.dcr.state.nc.us/sections/hs/wolfe/wolfe.htm

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

Except for the occasional meal on some programs, Road Scholar programs are all-inclusive. That means there are no extra “options,” no passing the hat for tips and no surprises. From lectures and field trips to gratuities and accommodations – the price you pay up front is the price you pay.

Ratings

4.6
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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