4 luxury Appalachian Mountains resorts to visit this season

The Appalachian Trail is the longest hiking footpath in the world, according to the trail's website. It stretches from Georgia to Maine.

The beach is a popular destination, but not the preferred vacation spot for everyone. Even though its appeal can increase as the temperature goes down, taking a winter trip to the mountains can create special memories.

“Winter escapes make for a great time to cozy up to a warm fire with a beverage, see new places, take a hike, read a good book and enjoy mountain views,” Emily Sullivan, an independent travel advisor at Becky Lamb Travel, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Sullivan said amenities such as food, outdoor spaces, spas and food – plus views – can set apart a mountain resort.

Here are a few across the Appalachian Mountains to consider visiting.

Forrest Hills Mountain Resort

In the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains, this Dahlonega resort has an on-site restaurant, massage rooms, horseback riding, and walking trails. With guest rooms, suites, lodges, and cabin rentals all available, staying here puts you within easy reach of Dahlonega’s 12 wine-tasting rooms and eight wineries.

135 Forrest Hills Road, Dahlonega. 770-534-3244. frontdesk@forresthillsresort.com. forresthillsresort.com

A spa room at Old Edwards Inn in Highlands, North Carolina

Credit: Provided

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Credit: Provided

Old Edwards Inn and Spa

In Highlands, North Carolina on a plateau in the Blue Ridge Mountains, this inn and spa offers a wide variety of activities. For a more active trip, visit the Nantahala National Forest to take a scenic hike or sightseeing tour. If you’re looking for ice skating, snow tubing, boutique shopping and dining out, check out downtown Highlands.

445 Main Street, Highlands, N.C. 866-526-8008. centralreservations@oldedwardsinn.com oldedwardshospitality.com/old-edwards-inn-spa

Idle away a morning as the mist rises over the Smoky Mountains at Blackberry Farm. Contributed by Beall + Thomas Photography

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Blackberry Farm

On 4,200 acres in the Great Smoky Mountains, this Walland, Tenn. resort includes a long list of on-site activities perfect for winter. You’ll find a spa, whiskey or wine tasting, carriage rides, and guided excursions walking the property. There’s also an on-site restaurant. You can reserve a guest room, suite, cottage or house.

1471 West Millers Cove Road Walland, Tenn. 800-557-8864. blackberryfarm.com

The Omni Grove Park Inn Spa is a subterranean respite and home to 20 water features.
Courtesy of The Omni Grove Park Inn

Credit: Handout

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Credit: Handout

The Omni Grove Park Inn

With a subterranean spa and an adult-only floor, this Asheville, N.C. resort puts you right in the middle of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Tour the Blue Ridge Parkway by car or take the Wild Food Foraging Tour. There’s also hiking and other outdoor activities, on-site shopping, and dining.

290 Macon Avenue, Asheville, N.C. 800-438-5800 omnihotels.com/hotels/asheville-grove-park

Regardless of the winter mountain vacation you take, whether going with your grandchildren or sneaking away for a romantic weekend, there’s a lot to attract vacationers to these resorts.

Outdoor activities such as hikes and charming small towns with unique eateries are big draws according to Sullivan, who stresses the importance of packing appropriately for this specific type of trip.

“Don’t forget weather-appropriate clothing for outdoor activities, cozy socks, hat and gloves for wandering small towns, and hiking boots or sturdy shoes,” Sullivan said.

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