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JUL-AUG 2017

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20 selecttraveler.com J U L Y / A U G U S T 2 0 1 7 S T A T E o f M I N D C all it a triple threat: North Carolina boasts a beautiful mountain region, a thriving and sophisticated city set, and a seashore that many other destinations would envy. Groups that travel through the state can plan stops in these three distinctive regions to experience and enjoy the diversity of North Carolina. MOUNTAINS: BILTMORE AND MORE e forested mountainous region of North Carolina is spectacularly scenic. e Blue Ridge Mountains dominate the landscape in this part of the state, providing ample opportuni- ties for driving tours, adventure activities and other outdoor pursuits. e area also has plenty of history and other points of interest that allow it to offer complete tour experiences. Asheville has become one of the state's most popular tourist destinations, and nearly everyone who visits makes a point of seeing the Biltmore Estate. Built by George Wash- ington Vanderbilt III and completed in 1895, Biltmore's 250 rooms include 34 bedrooms, 42 bathrooms, 65 fireplaces, three kitchens, an indoor swimming pool and a bowling al- ley. After 35 years as a private home, the Biltmore House opened to the public in 1930. Today, there are a variety of tours of the massive estate, among them overview tours, tours of the servants' quarters and others that offer "behind the scenes" views of areas of the house not often seen by the public. Groups visiting the estate can also enjoy 250 acres of gardens; shop or dine at Antler Hill Village; and do a tour and tasting at the Biltmore Winery. Groups traveling in the western part of the state should also plan time to visit Cherokee, which sits just across the state line from Gatlinburg, Tennessee, in North Carolina's portion of the Great Smoky Mountains. As its name sug- gests, the area boasts a strong Cherokee heritage, which visitors can explore at Oconaluftee Indian Village, a his- toric interpretive site. And an outdoor drama, "Unto ese BY BRIAN JEWELL NORTH CAROLINA OFFERS URBAN EXCITEMENT AND OUTDOOR WONDERS Biltmore Estate is an icon of North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains. mountains to the sea from the

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