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FLAT ROCK, NORTH CAROLINA

The Vanderbilts and Asheville

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Road Scholar
Program #1787RJ
6 Days | 5 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Active
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 Aug 17 — Aug 22, 2014

Expand all
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: Located in downtown Asheville with numerous restaurants, shops, museums and art galleries within walking distance.

Contact info:
31 Woodfin Street
Asheville, NC 28801 USA
phone: 828-252-8211
web: http://www.marriott.com/hotels/fact-sheet/travel/avlbr-renaissance-asheville-hotel/

Room amenities: Air conditioned (individually climate controlled) - Alarm clock - Bottled water - Coffee/Tea maker - mini fridge - Iron and ironing board - Telephone with voice mail - cable TV - Pay per view movies.

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

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: varies
Contact the hotel direct for availability and to schedule additional overnight stays. Prices will vary depending on the time of year. Call Paula at 828-210-3006 or Sharon at 828-210-3009 for questions and reservations. Please mention that you are with the Mars Hill University Road Scholar group.

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day One: Sunday, August 17 - Check-in and pick up program materials, orientati...
Check-in and pick up program materials, orientation, meet the staff and other Road Scholar participants.

Arrive To: Check-in to hotel beginning at 4:00pm. Registration begins at 4:30pm. Prepare for an exciting week, exploring the surprisingly sophisticated and historic city of Asheville, NC. You will take in the grand home and breathtaking gardens of George Vanderbilt's Biltmore Estate, as well as other unforgettable western North Carolina attractions.

Dinner: A delicious dinner will be served in the hotel at the Writer's Bistro, a casual chic restaurant inspired by North Carolina's rich literary history.

Evening: Dinner will be followed by an orientation meeting, getting the week kicked off in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. Participants will receive written material to supplement the educational and historical values of their week.

Lodging: Renaissance Hotel Asheville

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: Located in downtown Asheville with numerous restaurants, shops, museums and art galleries within walking distance.

Contact info:
31 Woodfin Street
Asheville, NC 28801 USA
phone: 828-252-8211
web: http://www.marriott.com/hotels/fact-sheet/travel/avlbr-renaissance-asheville-hotel/

Room amenities: Air conditioned (individually climate controlled) - Alarm clock - Bottled water - Coffee/Tea maker - mini fridge - Iron and ironing board - Telephone with voice mail - cable TV - Pay per view movies.

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

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: varies
Contact the hotel direct for availability and to schedule additional overnight stays. Prices will vary depending on the time of year. Call Paula at 828-210-3006 or Sharon at 828-210-3009 for questions and reservations. Please mention that you are with the Mars Hill University Road Scholar group.

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Two: Monday, August 18 - Blue Ridge Parkway Destination Center, the North ...
Blue Ridge Parkway Destination Center, the North Carolina Arboretum, the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Cradle of Forestry and Looking Glass Falls.

Note: There is a considerable amount of leisurely walking today as we explore the vast lands that George W. Vanderbilt owned. Our visit to the Cradle of Forestry includes a 1.3 mile hike on a paved trail.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet will be served in the Writer's Bistro. Choose from a selection of hot foods, cereals, fruit, breads, pastries and drinks.

Morning: George Vanderbilt's Western North Carolina estate once encompassed 125,000 acres. After breakfast we'll board the coach to begin our adventure over these vast lands. We’ll make our first stop at Looking Glass Falls in the beautiful Pisgah National Forest. Looking Glass Falls is one of the most photographed and most popular waterfall in Western North Carolina, so be sure to bring your camera!! We’ll then spend the remainder of our morning at the Cradle of Forestry, the site of the first forestry school in America. The school was founded by Dr. Carl Schenck, chief forester for George Vanderbilt's Biltmore Estate. The wonderfully restored buildings, including a schoolhouse, a commissary and student quarters, a portable saw mill and logging locomotive, give visitors a glimpse of life at the school in the early 1900's.

Lunch: A delicious lunch at the Pisgah Inn Restaurant on the Blue Ridge Parkway!

Afternoon: This afternoon we’ll travel North on the Blue Ridge Parkway, meandering through the rocky tunnels and climbing in elevation to the peaks of Mt. Pisgah and Fryingpan Mountain. The parkway is America's longest and most narrow national park, 469 miles long, connecting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina to the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. After stopping for photo opts along the parkway we’ll visit the beautiful North Carolina Arboretum. The arboretum, established in 1986, is a public garden consisting of 434 acres in the Pisgah National Forest that serves as a center for botanical education, research, conservation, economic development and garden demonstrations. Our final stop before returning to the hotel will be The Blue Ridge Parkway Destination Center where we will learn about the parkway's history, climate and habitat through innovative, high-tech interactive exhibits. A great day of learning... and travelling the vast Vanderbilt lands!!

Dinner: A delicious dinner will be served in the hotel at the Writer's Bistro, a casual chic restaurant inspired by North Carolina's rich literary history.

Evening: This evening a local historian will present a program on the unique and beautiful city of Asheville, North Carolina.

Lodging: Renaissance Hotel Asheville

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: Located in downtown Asheville with numerous restaurants, shops, museums and art galleries within walking distance.

Contact info:
31 Woodfin Street
Asheville, NC 28801 USA
phone: 828-252-8211
web: http://www.marriott.com/hotels/fact-sheet/travel/avlbr-renaissance-asheville-hotel/

Room amenities: Air conditioned (individually climate controlled) - Alarm clock - Bottled water - Coffee/Tea maker - mini fridge - Iron and ironing board - Telephone with voice mail - cable TV - Pay per view movies.

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

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: varies
Contact the hotel direct for availability and to schedule additional overnight stays. Prices will vary depending on the time of year. Call Paula at 828-210-3006 or Sharon at 828-210-3009 for questions and reservations. Please mention that you are with the Mars Hill University Road Scholar group.

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Three: Tuesday, August 19 - A Gray Line Historical Trolley Tour of Asheville ...
A Gray Line Historical Trolley Tour of Asheville will be the highlight for today!!!

Note: Learn of 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 at your own pace.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet will be served in the Writer's Bistro. Choose from a selection of hot foods, cereals, fruit, breads, pastries and drinks.

Morning: This morning learn more about Asheville's early settlers, famous citizens and authors aboard the historic Gray Line Trolley. The tour will give you a first hand glimpse into the architecture, the history and the arts that make Asheville a very unique and special place.

Lunch: Enjoy a delicious lunch at Pack's Tavern, a quaint eating establishment 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 see...the River Arts District, Pack Square, 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. When you're finished exploring simply hop on the trolley and ride it back to the hotel.

Dinner: Downtown Asheville has numerous eating establishments within walking distance of the hotel. Tonight is your night to taste some of those delicacies. Enjoy a meal in one of the local eateries or dine-in at the Writer's Bistro in the hotel on your own.

Evening: A free evening! There's lots of things to do in Asheville at night within walking distance of the hotel - restaurants and sweet shops, theatre, shopping and even baseball (if schedule permits, ballpark about a mile from hotel) to name a few... or, just enjoy a swim in the hotel pool, relax in the hot tub, or just kick back and watch a little TV! Your decide!!

Lodging: Renaissance Hotel Asheville

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: Located in downtown Asheville with numerous restaurants, shops, museums and art galleries within walking distance.

Contact info:
31 Woodfin Street
Asheville, NC 28801 USA
phone: 828-252-8211
web: http://www.marriott.com/hotels/fact-sheet/travel/avlbr-renaissance-asheville-hotel/

Room amenities: Air conditioned (individually climate controlled) - Alarm clock - Bottled water - Coffee/Tea maker - mini fridge - Iron and ironing board - Telephone with voice mail - cable TV - Pay per view movies.

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

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: varies
Contact the hotel direct for availability and to schedule additional overnight stays. Prices will vary depending on the time of year. Call Paula at 828-210-3006 or Sharon at 828-210-3009 for questions and reservations. Please mention that you are with the Mars Hill University Road Scholar group.

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Four: Wednesday, August 20 - Today, we'll enjoy a lecture on the Vanderbilts a...
Today, we'll enjoy a lecture on the Vanderbilts and the Estate. After lunch we'll take a short stroll to tour the Asheville Art Museum and the Thomas Wolfe Memorial.

Note: There will be a fair amount of walking as we visit the Asheville Art Museum and the Thomas Wolfe Memorial.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet will be served in the Writer's Bistro. Choose from a selection of hot foods, cereals, fruit, breads, pastries and drinks.

Morning: We will begin our day learning about the van der Bilt family who came to America from Holland around 1650. We'll learn of George Vanderbilt's ancestors as well as his descendants, individuals who remain active in the life of the estate today. We'll also learn of the history of the estate since it's opening in 1895.

Lunch: A delicious lunch will be served in the hotel restaurant.

Afternoon: After lunch, we'll trek up the hill to the Asheville Art Museum. Don't worry, it's only a short walk!! The museum web page describes it best: "Founded by artists in 1948 in Asheville, NC, the Asheville Art Museum annually presents an exciting, inviting and active schedule of exhibitions and public programs based on its Permanent Collection of 20th and 21st century American art. Any visit will also include experiences with works of significance to Western North Carolina’s cultural heritage including Studio Craft, Black Mountain College and Cherokee artists. Special exhibitions feature renowned regional and national artists and explore issues of enduring interest." We'll then visit the Thomas Wolfe Memorial, a beautiful Victorian style home built in 1883. Wolfe, one of America's greatest writers was born in 1900 and lived with his mother Julia who bought the "Old Kentucky Home" in 1906 and opened it as a boarding house. The famous author mentions the house in his 1929 autobiographical novel, "Look Homeward Angel."

Dinner: A delicious dinner will be served in the hotel at the Writer's Bistro, a casual chic restaurant inspired by North Carolina's rich literary history.

Evening: Learn about the architecture and treasures of the Estate as well as receive glimpses into tomorrow's visit to America's Largest Home!

Lodging: Renaissance Hotel Asheville

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: Located in downtown Asheville with numerous restaurants, shops, museums and art galleries within walking distance.

Contact info:
31 Woodfin Street
Asheville, NC 28801 USA
phone: 828-252-8211
web: http://www.marriott.com/hotels/fact-sheet/travel/avlbr-renaissance-asheville-hotel/

Room amenities: Air conditioned (individually climate controlled) - Alarm clock - Bottled water - Coffee/Tea maker - mini fridge - Iron and ironing board - Telephone with voice mail - cable TV - Pay per view movies.

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

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: varies
Contact the hotel direct for availability and to schedule additional overnight stays. Prices will vary depending on the time of year. Call Paula at 828-210-3006 or Sharon at 828-210-3009 for questions and reservations. Please mention that you are with the Mars Hill University Road Scholar group.

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Five: Thursday, August 21 - Spend the day at the Biltmore Estate!
Note: This is your day! Spend it in the grand house, in the gardens, and on a special guided behind-the-scenes tour showing you additional rooms of the chateau. Bring your walking shoes and your camera!

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet will be served in the Writer's Bistro. Choose from a selection of hot foods, cereals, fruit, breads, pastries and drinks.

Morning: This morning we make our first visit to the Biltmore Estate for a self-paced, self-guided tour of the 250-room Vanderbilt home. There, you will see the luxurious living areas of the Vanderbilt family, lovingly restored to the grandeur of Vanderbilt's time, and filled with priceless, carefully preserved artworks and furnishings. You will also enjoy a special behind-the-scenes guided tour where you will see additional rooms that are not on the self-guided tour.

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

Afternoon: Afternoon continues at the Biltmore Estate, as you spend time wandering the gardens and shops or enjoying the beautiful views afforded from the home itself. Visit the glass-roofed Conservatory, which was designed by Biltmore House architect Richard Morris Hunt, and which operates much as it did in Vanderbilt's Day. There, thousands of flowers and plants for Biltmore Gardens are nurtured before transplant. The central room of the conservatory is a Palm House, where a large collection of palms, ferns and other foliage plants have thrived for many years. Annexes include a cool house, a hot house and an orchid house.

Dinner: Enjoy a wonderful catered dinner in the Sams Dining Room of Pittman Dining Hall on the campus of Mars Hill University.

Evening: This evening we will take a short stroll across the beautiful campus before being entertained by some performing arts students of Mars Hill University. Mars Hill has participated in Road Scholar programs since the 1970's. Tucked beneath the lofty Bailey Mountain, the institution, founded in 1856, is the oldest educational institution of Western North Carolina existing on it's original site. Following our visit to the university enjoy a short 20 minute ride back to the hotel.

Lodging: Renaissance Hotel Asheville

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day Six: Friday, August 22 - A return to the Biltmore Estate to visit the wine...
A return to the Biltmore Estate to visit the winery and Antler Hill Village.

Note: Moderate walking as we visit the winery and Antler Hill Village.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet will be served in the Writer's Bistro. Choose from a selection of hot foods, cereals, fruit, breads, pastries and drinks.

Morning: This morning we'll depart for a visit to Antler Hill Village, home of the Biltmore 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 juice or wine tasting. Several exhibits and shops are in Antler Hill Village for your enjoyment as well. We will return to the hotel by 11:30.

Meals Included: Breakfast

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, 3 lunches, 4 dinners
6 Expert-led lectures
9 Field trips
2 Hands-on experiences
1 Performances

Ratings

4.8
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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