2020 has been a year of challenges. Even while staying at home we still seem to be busy. And with the cases of COVID-19 apparently on the rise across the country, maybe this holiday season is the time to take a romantic getaway in a nearby locale rather than gathering family members that live in different communities into one place and risking spreading the virus. Regardless of when you choose to enjoy a romantic getaway, we have some options and ideas for you to consider.
The lodging opportunities along the Blue Ridge Parkway, Great Smoky Mountains and Shenandoah Valley range from historic inns to rental cabins to swanky resorts, so you’re sure to find something that suits your taste. Bed & Breakfast Inns may offer a room in a private home or they may be in a larger inn with many rooms. Whichever is the case, they all have one thing in common: a hearty breakfast! The Asheville Bed & Breakfast Association includes distinctive inns from historic to rustic in which to enjoy your stay; many do not accept children under a certain age so that you can have a quiet, relaxing time away. Cabins, Cottages & Rentals also run the gamut. You might select a secluded cozy log cabin with a fireplace, a historic refurbished caboose, a creekside room, or a villa complete with hot tub.
Hotels, Motels & Lodges may offer a luxurious room or suite or may be more budget-friendly. Some are chain hotels and some are quaint family-owned locations; you’ll find a clean, comfortable room at any of them, and you don’t even have to make the bed! For a truly memorable stay, Resorts and Ranches offer special touches like ranch-style meals, horseback rides and other outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and water sports. Some lodging facilities fall into two categories, for example, some B&Bs also offer a rental unit on property, or a resort or ranch may also be classified as a B&B; these lodging choices can be found at two of the links above since they offer such a variety of options. Some sites even have a restaurant, spa, or shopping right on the property!
Regardless of which lodging you choose, the pros at the Asheville Bed & Breakfast Association have some tips to make the most of your time: visit midweek/ off season when there are fewer crowds; leave the kids at home, whether pets or children, so you can enjoy a time of no responsibilities; slow down and savor a decadent breakfast that you don’t have to cook or clean up after; and stay THREE nights. The typical visitor arrives after work on Friday, stays all day on Saturday and Saturday night, then departs on Sunday, leaving only really one full day of “vacation.” Whether you visit on the weekend or midweek, stay at least two full days so you have time to unwind, relax, and see some of the sights in the area without feeling rushed.
And in case you need some ideas of social distancing activities for your time away, we’ve compiled a short list:
- Sit still and enjoy the fireplace, hot tub, or each other’s company
- Participate in an outdoor activity like skiing, other winter sports, hiking a trail, horseback riding, or a water sport
- Compare several waterfalls to determine which is your favorite
- View an outdoor nighttime light display, whether holiday lights (our events calendar offers some options) or the stars
- Put on a cozy sweater and snuggle together to watch a sunrise, sunset, or both!
- Sleep in
- Discover a small town/ explore a new area
- Explore a winding road to see where it leads
- Do something fun together like following a mural trail or taking a self-guided walking tour
- Order some delicious local cuisine to go and have a candlelight dinner at your lodging or an outdoor picnic
- Take pictures of your experience to remember and enjoy later.
We wish you a safe and enjoyable romantic getaway this season, with many more to come! As you are around people that don’t live in your household, please remember to wear a mask, wash your hands, and keep at least a 6-foot distance from others that don’t live in your household.