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Step Into Simpler Times: Black Mountain Inn – near Asheville

05/20/2010

Chestnut staircases…. A breath of mountain breeze floating through the window screens…. Cozy creaky wooden floors…. Goosedown pillows and mattress with soft white cotton sheets…. French toast and granola with warm peach compote…. A relaxing stay in a historic home… Immerse yourselves, history lovers, while enjoying a getaway just a few minutes from the Biltmore area of Asheville. Look no further than The Black Mountain Inn. Inn-keeper June was lovely and gracious, host of guests for more than 20 years in the quiet undisturbed area of Black Mountain, just about 16 miles from the Biltmore Estate and downtown Asheville. Our first morning we enjoyed meeting and chatting over breakfast with a couple (married 25 years) from IL.

History of the inn lends itself through times of the days of stagecoach, when it was built (circa 1830’s) as a stop for overnight guests heading to Asheville, to being a TB Sanitorium for several years and winds up in the artistic community of the early 20th century when Mary Aleshire purchased, renovated and reopened the home as the Oak Knoll Studio to welcome her friends (who included Norman Rockwell, Joan Sutherland and Ernest Hemingway), likely visiting the progressive Black Mountain College of Art. Then an isolated area, the Black Mountain Inn now sits conveniently just off I-40’s Exit #65 (Biltmore is exit 50).

We stayed on the third floor in what was turned into the Artist’s studio loft – a pulley and weight door system opens to a quaint and large room with a sitting area, comfortably sized bathroom, kitchenette area and Queen size bed and a fold-out futon. The row of windows overlooks the meadowy backyard where tables and chairs and a rope swing call to those looking for a relaxing, electronic-free time. Wireless is available, but cell service is limited. Other rooms on the second floor feature 2 sided windows with screens, cozy with quilts and hewn board walls. Truly a step back into simpler times, the Black Mountain Inn has definitely earned a place on our visit-again list, next time with our dog and children (pet friendly and child-entrancing).

A variety of rooms lend themselves to reasonable rates of $128-$169 per night, and breakfast each morning was delicious.

Warning: Directions from both my phone app and our GPS led us to exit too late and travel towards the wrong inn. Black Mountain Inn is located just off of Hwy. 70, on a parallel OLD Hwy. 70. If coming from downtown Black Mountain, veer off of 70 to the right, about a mile past town, at Duke’s Hot Dogs. The Inn drive is off Old Hwy. 70 behind the Sherwin Williams paint store that is on “new” Hwy. 70. Maps.Google.com shows it correctly.

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