THE BEST WAY
From LAX to Asheville, N.C., Continental, Delta, Northwest and US Airways have connecting service (change of plane). Restricted round-trip fares begin at $418.
WHERE TO STAY
Squire Watkins Inn, 657 Haywood Road, Dillsboro; (800) 586-2429, www.squirewatkinsinn.com. The inn, built in 1880, is a nod to the days when guests were received at friends' country homes. Only four guest rooms and a cottage. Doubles from $99.
Mountain Magnolia Inn and Retreat, 204 Lawson St., Hot Springs; (800) 914-9306, www.mountainmagnoliainn.com. This 1868 home of Col. James Rumbough, one of Hot Springs' early settlers, features six guest rooms, a guest house and Fowler's Bend, converted from a turn-of- the-last-century general store to living quarters. Doubles $95.
WHERE TO EAT
The Jarrett House, 100 Haywood St., Dillsboro; (800) 972-5623, www.jarretthouse.com. Huge family-style portions of local trout, chicken, biscuits and old-fashioned vinegar pies. Dinner entrees $13.95 to $14.95. Open April through December.
Dillsboro Smokehouse: 403 Haywood Road, Dillsboro; (828) 586-9556. Hickory-smoked barbecue, ribs basted in Southern peachy barbecue sauce, $3.95 to $13.95
Bridges Barbecue Lodge, U.S. 74, Shelby; (704) 482-8567. Get a single-serving tray of chopped barbecue with slaw and hush puppies for $5.40. Open Wednesdays through Sundays.
Patio Bistro & Coffee Shop, 26 Church St., Waynesville; (828) 454-0070, www.patio-nc.com. Picnic cuisine, including sandwiches and wraps with side dish, $5.95 to $7.95.
THINGS TO DO
Huck Finn Rafting Adventures, 158 Bridge St., Hot Springs; (877) 520-4658, www.huckfinnrafting.com. Rafting $30 to $65, unguided float trips $10 to $35.
Chimney Rock Park, Highway 64/74A, Chimney Rock; (800) 277-9611, www.chimneyrockpark.com.
Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, 119 Front St., Dillsboro; (800) 872-4681, www.gsmr.com. Fares from $49.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times