Serenity at Old Edwards Inn

Old Edwards offers a state-of-the-art fitness facility and a heated mineral pool with a winter enclosure

Old Edwards offers a state-of-the-art fitness facility and a heated mineral pool with a winter enclosure

Every once in a while, serenity finds me. Sipping a frothy cappuccino at Old Edwards Inn & Spa in Highlands, North Carolina, I’m relaxing on the emerald lawn, listening to a bird symphony. Bunnies hop across the lawn; a fat robin chases another worm. Golden clouds billow over the Blue Ridge Mountains. White magnolias, pink azaleas, and lavender hydrangeas adorn the inn’s splendid gardens under a shimmering robin’s egg blue sky. Sometimes you don’t need to do anything to be happy. Just close your eyes and listen.

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‘Cue the Flavor! Lexington Barbeque, NC

Chopped 'cue and slaw flanked by hush puppies and pork skins

Oh, the sweet and sour sacredness of Lexington-style barbecue! Forget the sloppy sauced stuff from out West that ends up as much on your lap as on your waistline. This North Carolina speciality, celebrated annually at The Barbecue Festival of North Carolina, is the refined lady of this nation's sprawling barbecue family. (The pork skins also pictured above, however, are another story.)

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Luxury in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Gorgeous scenery surrounds the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina

The Grove Park Inn Resort and Spa is just five hours north of Charleston. Treat yourself to a relaxing getaway at this elegant member of the Historic Hotels of America. Plan a long weekend playing 18 holes of golf, indoor/outdoor tennis, browsing boutiques, and dining on fabulous cuisine. The outdoor terrace rocking chairs are perfect for admiring the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains.

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