Road Scholar : Home
Trains, Native Americans, and Other Southern Appalachian Adventures

Program Number: 10403RJ
Start and End Dates:
10/20/2013 - 10/25/2013; 9/20/2015 - 9/25/2015; 9/27/2015 - 10/2/2015; 10/4/2015 - 10/9/2015; 10/11/2015 - 10/16/2015; 10/18/2015 - 10/23/2015; 10/25/2015 - 10/30/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Flat Rock, North Carolina
Price starting at: $799.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: History & Culture; Train Treks Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 12; 5 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free; None; None    

Amid the breathtaking foliage of the Appalachian Mountains, step back in time as you take an authentic ride on a storied railroad, experience a centuries-old Native American village and explore a gilded mansion that defies imagination as your extraordinary adventure takes you to the top peaks of the Blue Ridge Parkway — perhaps the most scenic road in America.




Highlights

• Ride the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad through rivers, valleys and the scenic Smoky Mountains themselves.
• Visit a living Cherokee Indian Village from more than two centuries ago, an existing reservation and an authentic craft market.
• Marvel at the incomparable beauty of the 255-room French Renaissance Biltmore House and Estate, the largest private residence in the United States.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to one mile, some uneven paths. Elevations up to 6,000 feet.




Date Specific Information

10-20-2013

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



9-27-2015

Accommodations will be in Founder`s Hall at Bonclarken Assembly.



10-18-2015

This week`s program will be held at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Asheville, North Carolina.



10-25-2015

Accommodations this week will be in Founders Hall on the Bonclarken Assembly campus.



Coordinated by Mars Hill University.




Flat Rock

In Henderson County, N.C., the village of Flat Rock is home to the Flat Rock Playhouse, the state theater of North Carolina; and to Connemara, the home where award-winning poet, historian, novelist, and folklorist Carl Sandburg lived and died. The nearby Blue Ridge Mountains attract outdoor enthusiasts with a wealth of recreational opportunities.



Black Mountain

Tucked into the glorious mountains of Western North Carolina, Black Mountain is an ideal location to take advantage of the history, culture and natural environs of Asheville and the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains. Its historic downtown features local craftsmen demonstrating iron works, dulcimer making and hand-thrown pottery.



Accommodations
Conference center with beautiful views of mountain splendor. Note: One night will be spent in Cherokee, North Carolina.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Kevan Frasier

Kevan Frasier is an enthusiastic lecturer with an amazing depth of knowledge of the local region, with particular interest in the Vanderbilt family and the Biltmore Estate. Kevan was as a member of the history faculty at UNC Asheville, teaching both United States and African history. Since that time, he has continued to teach but today serves as the university’s Associate Vice Chancellor for Alumni Relations.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Blue Ridge Assembly - Blue Ridge Center
  Blue Ridge Assembly 3 nights
   Cherokee Quality Inn
  Cherokee, North Carolina 1 night
   Blue Ridge Assembly - Blue Ridge Center
  Blue Ridge Assembly 1 night
 Blue Ridge Assembly - Blue Ridge Center
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.
  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 allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Check out time: 10:00 AM

 Cherokee Quality Inn
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 allowed: Yes


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Hotel Check-in begins at 3:00pm, Road Scholar Program registration and material pick-up begins in Conference Center lobby at 4:30pm. You will be staying at Blue Ridge Assembly - Blue Ridge Center that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends after breakfast at 10:30 AM. You will be staying at Blue Ridge Assembly - Blue Ridge Center the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Free parking available
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Blue Ridge Assembly
  Nearest city or town:  Black Mountain/Asheville, NC
  Nearest highway: I-40
  Nearest airport:  Asheville, NC Asheville Regional Airport (828-684-2226) Paging Airport Lobby (828-687-7243) The Asheville Regional Airport offers a total of 20-25 flights a day served by four airlines, U.S. Airways, Delta, Continental and Northwest Airlines. The airport is located at 708 Airport Road off I-26 Exit 40 (Old Exit 9)
  From End of Program
  Location: Blue Ridge Assembly
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Asheville, NC

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Diamond Executive
phone: 828-281-8139
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

call for rates
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

0.5 hours (1/2) 

 

Distance:

 

15 miles

   

Please call Diamond Executive at (828) 281-8139 to arrange for ground transportation from the airport or bus station to the program location. All transportation arrangements must be made directly by the participant. Please make ground transportation arrangements prior to your arrival. Please inquire at Diamond Executive about the Mars Hill College/YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly discount.

 

Asheville, NC

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Black Mountain Cab Company
phone: 828-230-1121
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

call for rates
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

0.5 hours (1/2) 

 

Distance:

 

15 miles

   

Please call Black Mountain Cab Company to arrange for ground transportation from the airport or bus station to the Blue Ridge Assembly Conference Center. All transportation arrangements must be made directly by the participant prior to your arrival. Please inquire at Black Mountain Cab Company about the Mars Hill College/YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly discount.

 

Asheville, NC

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Customer Inspired Services
phone: 828-258-1623
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

varies
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

0.5 hours (1/2) 

 

Distance:

 

15 miles

   

Participant is encouraged to make arrangements in advance.

 

Asheville, NC

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Pegasus Airport Limo
phone: 828-281-4600
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

varies
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

0.5 hours (1/2) 

 

Distance:

 

15 miles

   

Participant is advised to make arrangements in advance.

 

Asheville, NC

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Marvels Upscale Transportation
phone: 828-280-1698
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

varies
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

0.5 hours (1/2) 

 

Distance:

 

22 miles

   

Participant is encouraged to make arrangements in advance. Email: mr.marvels@yahoo.com. Please mention that you are with the Mars Hill University Road Scholar Program.

 
Driving Directions
  Asheville, NC YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly is located approximately 14 miles east of Asheville, NC. Follow I-40 E to exit 64-Black Mountain/Montreat and turn south onto Highway 9 at the end of the exit ramp. Proceed .5 mile to the fork in the road and veer right on to Blue Ridge Road. Drive .9 miles and look for the YMCA sign on your left. Turn onto Blue Ridge Assembly drive and proceed to the end of the road and our entrance. Please note, once on our property, the roads are all one-way.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: 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!
(Sunday, October 20)

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.
   
Accommodations: Blue Ridge Assembly - Blue Ridge Center
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Spend the day exploring the beautiful estate of George W. Vanderbilt
(Monday, October 21)

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



   
 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. Mid-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. The remainder of your afternoon can be spent visiting the other exhibits and shops of Antler Hill Village.
 Dinner: Full dinner buffet at Blue Ridge Assembly.
 Evening: This evening a local historian will present a program on the unique and beautiful city of Asheville, North Carolina, in preparation for tomorrow's visit.
   
Accommodations: Blue Ridge Assembly - Blue Ridge Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3: Gray Line Trolley Tour will highlight your day in Asheville.
(Tuesday, October 22)

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. 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 see... 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: An expert will present a program on the Cherokee Indians and the land of the Great Smoky Mountains, preparing us for our upcoming two day visit.
   
Accommodations: Blue Ridge Assembly - Blue Ridge Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4: Museum of the Cherokee Indians, Oconaluftee Indian Village and Smoky Mountain National Park
(Wednesday, October 23)

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



   
 Breakfast: Full Buffet Breakfast.
 Morning: 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, where the Cherokee story is told using innovative displays and extensive artifices.
 Lunch: Lunch provided.
 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!
 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!
   
Accommodations: Cherokee Quality Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad and the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway.
(Thursday, October 24)

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: 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.
 Lunch: Lunch included.
 Afternoon: After departing the train, we'll return to Asheville via the Blue Ridge Parkway! 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: Cultural presentation.
   
Accommodations: Blue Ridge Assembly - Blue Ridge Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: 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.
(Friday, October 25)
   
 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 Attractions
Many 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: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


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As a not-for-profit organization, we are dedicated to providing all-inclusive educational programs at great value. From lectures to gratuities to field trips to accommodations - the tuition you pay up front is all that you pay.



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