Tag Archives: Blue Ridge Mountains

A Culinary Tour of the South

The French have a phrase – “la route du bonheur” or ‘the road of happiness’ and it means a touring route of exceptional inns offering wonderful food, hospitality and insight into the region. Such a magical trip would make anyone happy.

Fearrington House has partnered with other Southern members of Relais & Chateaux to create a Southern ‘Route du Bonheur’, spanning from near our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., to the South’s historic crown jewel, Charleston, SC. Travelers can experience the finest of the South’s cuisine, tour some of its most scenic byways and stay at three of its finest independently owned properties.

This self-guided tour allows you to experience three distinct Southern regions and three properties each with a unique character, offering you a wealth of rich experiences for you to treasure. Learn more:

  • The Inn at Little Washington. Only an hour’s drive from Washington, D.C. at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this 18-suite hideaway in the country was created by Patrick O’Connell. Centered in the charming colonial village of Little Washington, the Inn offers lovely accommodations and American gourmet cuisine locally sourced from the Virginia countryside.
  • The Fearrington House. Five hours south by car lies The Fearrington House, in a tranquil farm setting just outside of Chapel Hill in the cultural and academic center of the state. Guests at the 32-room inn enjoy expansive gardens, boutique shops, a spa, and gourmet restaurants. The Fearrington House, recently voted one of America’s top 50 best restaurants on OpenTable, is located in the former farm homestead, serving sophisticated contemporary American cuisine.
  • Planters Inn. Five hours south is Planters Inn in Charleston, SC, one of America’s most historically significant and romantic cities. Expect to find upscale period-style furnishings and four poster beds in each of the inn’s 64 luxurious rooms. Antique shops, art galleries and the theatre district are just outside the door. The Peninsula Grill, consistently named Charleston’s best restaurant, offers award-winning gourmet dining.

 

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or contact us at 1-888-700-8747.

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BMW Action Weekend

“A truly once in a lifetime opportunity for those who have a love of fast, luxury cars! Gain exclusive access to BMW’s race track, choose your choice of M vehicles and take the wheel to test your skills on the track with a BMW Performance Driving Instructor. Then take to the open road in your luxury M or X class BMW and drive through the Blue Ridge mountains to the sumptuous Biltmore Estate. Overnight in these palatial surroundings before driving back to Greenville the following day along an alternative scenic route.”

Quick Facts about This Trip:

Trip Start/End:
South Carolina (Greenville) / South Carolina (Greenville)
Duration:
4 days
Tour Type:
Luxury trips showcase the finest properties and most indulgent experiences in a region, and have insider access to exclusive sights with a private expert guide.
Travel Style:
Once in a Lifetime – Our Once-in-a-Lifetime trips are just what they sound like – trips that are designed for travellers seeking the ultimate travel experiences to cross off their personal bucket list. The itineraries are as diverse as people’s travel fantasies, but they share in common the pursuit of the rare, the unusual, the exotic, the extraordinary, and they do it in comfort and in style.
Price Range:
$3,520 pp to $5,195 pp *
  • * USD per person, double occupancy. Prices subject to change. This tour is fully customizable.

Trip Description

Fast cars, luxury accommodations and gourmet fare – a perfect short escape! Tour the BMW plant and experience a behind the scenes peek into the production of these great vehicles. Then take to the race track – which you have on an exclusive basis – and hone your driving skills alongside a Pro Driving Instructor. Spend time in the lively city of Greenville before taking your choice of M class BMW on a scenic drive through the Blue Ridge Mountains to Asheville – one of “America’s Top 25 Arts Destinations” according to AmericanStyle magazine. Relax in the sumptuous surroundings of The Inn at Biltmore, Vanderbilt’s former home and America’s largest residence. Then take an alternative route back to Greenville before your onward travels.

Trip Summary

Day Activities Hotel
Day 1
Greenville
  • Transfer – Airport – Vehicle/Driver
  • Meet the Driving Instructor over lunch
  • Hot Lunch at M Cafe – BMW Plant
  • Shared – BMW Factory Tour & Zentrum Museum (self guided)
  • Self-Guided – Exploring the city
  • Shared – Culinary Chef’s table Dining Experience (2.5 – 3hrs)
Westin Poinsett
Traditional King/Double ()

1 DBL (2 Adults)
Day 2
Greenville
  • Optional Activities: Golf, Spa & Wine Tasting
  • 1/2 d Exclusive Track access – Choice of BMW M Vehicles
  • Gastronomic Dinner – Chef’s 5 Course Tasting Menu with Wine Flight
Westin Poinsett
Traditional King/Double ()

1 DBL (2 Adults)
Day 3
Greenville – Asheville
  • Transfer – Greenville – Asheville [Scenic Mountain drive in BMW accompanied by a Pro] – M or X Class BMW
  • Lunch (not included)
  • Optional Activity: Afternoon Tea at The Biltmore
  • Dinner at leisure
Inn at Biltmore Estate (4*)
Standard (Mon -Thu) ()

1 DBL (2 Adults)
Day 4
Asheville – Greenville
  • Transfer – Asheville – Greenville [Scenic Mountain drive in BMW accompanied by a Pro] – M or X Class BMW
  • Transfer – Airport – Vehicle/Driver
Depart (Int’l Airport)
B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner, 1/2d = Half Day, Al = All Inclusive

Day 1: Greenville

Avail of a private vehicle and driver for your airport transfer. The Westin Poinsett Hotel also provides a complimentary shuttle between the airport and hotel – please let your Sales Advisor know if you would prefer to use this shared mode of transportation and this can be arranged in advance of your arrival.

Often it is possible to arrange to have a senior member of BMW and/or the driving instructor join you for lunch which will give you an informal forum to learn more about the behind the scenes happenings within the plant.

Enjoy a hot lunch at the M Cafe in the BMW plant this afternoon. Choose from one of the Chef’s daily offerings such as marinated flank steak or stuffed chicken breast, tossed salad, two hot vegetables, rolls, expanded desserts, sodas, water.

BMW’s only American factory is a marvel of the blending of modern engineering and design aesthetics. See for yourself how the ultimate driving machine is built during a guided plant tour.

The BMW Zentrum Museum is unlike any other building in North America. Here you can experience the power and history of the BMW brand firsthand, from its beginnings in aviation and motorsports to its rise to prominence on the global stage. Take a historical walk to see BMW’s numerous milestones in both racing and touring vehicles. View rare and important vehicles from BMW’s past, such as the famous Isetta “Bubblecar,” BMW Motorcycles, and Art Cars featuring designs by world-renowned figures like Andy Warhol, Frank Stella and Roy Lichtenstein. You can also explore what’s current in BMW, with exhibits that feature state-of-the-art technologies in transportation safety and the latest in environmental engineering with the Hydrogen Car.

With wide sidewalks, outdoor plazas, and streetside outdoor dining opportunities, Downtown Greenville offers a pedestrian-friendly atmosphere that has been compared to that of a European city. One of downtown’s biggest attractions is the Falls Park on the Reedy, featuring two sets of waterfalls. Located in the West End area and adjacent to the Peace Center for Performing Arts, the Park also has miles of walking and bicycle trails that follow the river along Downtown greenway. The West End Historic District, known as the arts and entertain-ment center of the city, is anchored by the West End Market and Falls Park on the Reedy. While visiting the West End , you can browse through the shops in the West End Market and surrounding streets, dine in one of the area’s unique restaurants, enjoy a theater performance, or view the progress of the construction of a world-class pedestrian bridge across the Reedy River falls.

America’s dedicated foodies and top chefs alike have turned their heads to Greenville’s dynamic 21st century culinary scene. From its wide-ranging variety of ethnic foods to its award-winning chefs and unique architecture environments, Greenville restaurant patrons have opportunities to enjoy delights that are traditionally only thought of in America’s big cities.

Your Chef’s table culinary experience will take you to five culinary destinations within the city—each with the opportunity to meet other chefs and dine at their tables. The first stop will bring you to one of downtown Greenville’s most unique private dining/living/meeting spaces: The Loft at Soby’s. Here your own personal chef will create and serve the first culinary creation while you learn about the historic building and surroundings. A kitchen visit to Soby’s on the Side will bring you behind-the-scenes for the next tasting from the deli, bakery, and catering hub of the Table 301 restaurant group. A historic walking tour crossing Court Square and the Reedy River will fill you in on some of downtown’s rich past as well as modern monuments to its successful revitalization. Not only will we cross the city’s river, but we’ll cross the Big Pond on a culinary journey to the Mediterranean at The Lazy Goat where more special touches and fine food await. The next stop, Soby’s New South Cuisine, will bring you back to the roots of Greenville’s restaurant boom and will introduce its explorations of taste with Southern dishes with a fresh twist. Finally, a decadent dessert served in a special private dining room at Devereaux’s Restaurant will complete your culinary adventure.

Accommodation: Westin Poinsett

See one of South Carolina’s most beautiful towns while staying at The Westin Poinsett, Greenville. The only four-diamond hotel in Greenville, guests enjoy quality service and an unbeatable location. The hotel is located just a few blocks from over 50 shops and restaurants as well as The Peace Center for the Performing Arts, Falls Park on the Reedy River, and the Bi-Lo Center. Whether you’re visiting for leisure or business, guests are invited to enjoy the inspiring service and amenities for which Westin is known.


Day 2: Greenville

There are a number of great golf courses in the general vicinity of Greenville including Pebble Creek, River Falls, Willowcreek, Cherokee Valley, Furman University and The Cliffs at Keowee. The River Falls full service Spa is located next door to the Westin Poinsett and has a wide range of treatments available. if you are interested in doing some wine tasting and learning more about various varietals, a wine tasting class can be arranged. Please let your Sales Advisor know if you would like a round of golf or a spa treatment arranged for you.

And now for the moment you have been waiting for…head out on the track which is exclusively for you for the next few hours. Choose your model of choice from all of the M Vehicles (subject to availability but every effort will be made to accommodate). Take the wheel and test your skills on the track with a certified BMW performance driving instructor. Your driving proficiency will help determine the specific driving sessions. Regardless of the focus of the session, with the expertise of your personal instructor, you will get to hone in on finesse, quick reflexes and eye coordination through a variety of exercises on the slalom, autocross and Real Roads Course, as well as spend time on the wet skid pad. With more horsepower and sharper chassis dynamics at your controls, you need to be at the top of your game! Your instructor will make sure you get there…

Enjoy a gastronomic dinner this evening in Greenville – a fine way to end a wonderful day’s adventure! Devereaux’s is located in the heart of Downtown Greenville, within walking distance from the Westin Poinsett Hotel. The restaurant is housed in a century-old cigar factory that has been transformed into a first-rate restaurant which is quickly becoming one of the most recognized culinary establishments in the South. The contemporary American menu features French, Asian and Southern-influenced dishes that are often described as culinary masterpieces. The culinary team works in an open-air kitchen, allowing guests to get a front row seat in the culinary magic. Enjoy a five course tasting menu accompanied by a wine flight this evening – your taste buds are in for a treat!

Accommodation: Westin Poinsett


Day 3: Greenville – Asheville

Spend the day out in the magnificent Blue Ridge Moutain range and feel the exhileration of driving an M or X class BMW along winding mountain roads. A BMW Professional Driving Instructor will lead you on the route in a seperate vehicle so you will have support throughout the day but the freedom to drive yourself. The drive through the mountains to Caesar’s Head or Chimney Rock and the Highlands is spectacular – especially in the fall when the leaves are changing colors. End the day in Asheville, North Carolina, and roll up the majestic driveway of the impressive Biltmore Estate, home of the Vanderbilt’s and America’s largest home, which was modelled on Versailles.

You may like to avail of afternoon tea in the Library of the Inn at Biltmore. Complete with traditional English finger sandwiches, scones, fruit breads, and tea pastries, you’ll feel like the Lord (or Lasdy!) of the manor! Choose from an assortment of quality teas from Mighty Leaf Tea, a glass of Kir Royale, or a flute of sparkling wine. Served daily from 2:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m. Reservations are needed and can be arranged by your Sales Advisor in advance if you wish.

Why not dine at the restaurant in the Inn at Biltmore this evening and delight in creative interpretations of regional cuisine in a friendly atmosphere with impeccable service. The renowned chefs prepare culinary delights harvested from the local fields, including seasonal vegetables, fresh beef, and lamb. Reservations are required and can be done by your Sales Advisor in advance.

Accommodation: Inn at Biltmore Estate (4*)

Inn at Biltmore Estate (4*) was built on the grounds of the renowned Biltmore Estate and was part of Mr. George Washington Vanderbilt’s original vision when he completed a 250-room French Renaissance chateau and country estate in 1895. Still family owned and maintained by the Cecil family (descendents of the Vanderbilts) the Inn has some of the same details, such as walnut floors and oak moldings from trees harvested on the property, that make the family’s estate a national treasure. It features 210 guest rooms, a dinning room, a lobby bar, a fitness center and an outdoor pool.


Day 4: Asheville – Greenville

Enjoy the drive from Asheville, North Carolina, to Greenville, South Carolina, in the comfort of your own luxury M or X class BMW which you will have control of! A Pro Instructor will accompany you in a seperate vehicle to provide support to you while giving you all the flexibility and freedom that you desire.

Avail of a private vehicle and driver for your airport transfer. The Westin Poinsett Hotel also provides a complimentary shuttle between the airport and hotel – please let your Sales Advisor know if you would prefer to use this shared mode of transportation and this can be arranged in advance of your arrival.

Accommodation: Depart (Int`l Airport) (standard)


What’s Included:
Guaranteed departure – Accommodation, Activities, Transfers, Meals, Fees where indicated as per the itinerary – Local and international traveler assistance during your tour – Specialised and personalised services
What’s not Included:
Tips – Laundry – Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages unless explicitly noted – Optional activities/extras – Visas (unless noted) – Vacation insurance
Trip Terms & Conditions
Your deposit is due immediately on booking (30% of program price, minimum $250). The balance is due 90 days prior to departure. We accept payment via credit card, certified check, wire transfer or money order.
Tour quotes do not include airfare to/from the trip start point unless noted on the itinerary
Cost increases in currency exchange, government fees, taxes, surcharges or hotel/lodge tariff increases between quote date and start date are payable by the client.
Availability cannot be guaranteed until booked. We will exercise best efforts to book hotels per the itinerary, however, in busy seasons and with client bookings made within 90 days of tour date we may be forced to offer substitutes.
Cancellations of confirmed bookings 90 days or more prior to departure will receive full refund minus a $350 administrative fee and any non-refundable paid fees (e.g. non-refundable airfare, cruise or hotel deposits). 60-89 days will be subject to loss of deposit. 30-59 days will be subject to loss of 50% of program price. 29 days or less will be subject to 100% of program price.
Payment of the program price constitutes your acceptance of the terms and conditions set out at http://www.horizon-co.com/terms-and-conditions
Living Standards and practices at destination may differ from those in North America with respect to provisions of utilities, services and accommodation.

President’s Day ~ Patriots’ Passage Family Vacation 2012

8 days from Washington DC to Philadelphia

Vacation Overview

While it can be interesting to learn history from textbooks, nothing brings history to life like seeing the places and landmarks that are part of America’s history.

On this family vacation, you and your family will have an opportunity to visit some of America’s historical treasures, including Independence Hall in Philadelphia and Arlington National Cemetery in Washington DC. Step back in time in Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in the new world, and Colonial Williamsburg, where costumed villagers reenact life in 18th -century Virginia. See the meeting place for Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, and other patriots, and enjoy a colonial-style lunch at a local tavern, where you’ll experience a recreated dining experience savored by 18th-century patriots. Tour Gettysburg National Military Park, where you’ll hear about the Battle of 1863, and have fun on a ghost tour of this historical area.

Historical treasures are not the only thing offered on this marvelous vacation. Discover the Luray Caverns—a subterranean wonderland with stalagmites, stalactites, and even sparkling lakes—and the breathtaking beauty of Shenandoah National Park. Learn about a new culture when you visit an Amish farm and house, and hear about a way of life that excludes the use of modern conveniences such as electricity and telephones. For chocolate lovers in your family, a chocolate-making experience at Hershey’s Chocolate World is sure to delight.

History, nature, fun experiences, and hassle-free travel…What more could you ask for on a family vacation?

Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrive in Washington DC

Welcome to Washington DC, capital of the United States! This evening, mingle with your fellow travelers and meet a historical personality at a 7 pm WELCOME PARTY & DINNER. Later, your Tour Director prepares you for your upcoming adventure. (Dinner)

Day 2 – Discover the Nation’s Capital

See what makes Washington DC so magical on a half-day guided sightseeing tour featuring ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY with the KENNEDY GRAVESITES; the VIETNAM, KOREAN, and WORLD WAR II MEMORIALS; a stop for photos at the White House and Capitol Hill; and much more. This afternoon, why not visit one of the Smithsonian Museums or tour the International Spy Museum, focusing on the art of intelligence-gathering and the role spies have played in world events throughout history? Tonight, head out for an ILLUMINATION TOUR of the monuments and memorials. (Breakfast)

Day 3 – Explore Mount Vernon & Jamestown Settlement

Heading south today, stop and visit MOUNT VERNON, the home of George Washington, America’s first president. Tour the mansion and its lovely gardens, as well as the slave quarters, stables, and George and Martha Washington’s tomb. Then, continue to JAMESTOWN SETTLEMENT, where costumed historical interpreters in faithfully recreated settings—a Powhatan Indian village, three replica ships that sailed from England in 1607, and a Colonial fort—show what daily life was like for people who lived here 200 to 300 years ago. (Breakfast)

Day 4 – Step Back in Time at Colonial Williamsburg

Enter the COLONIAL WILLIAMSBURG’S HISTORIC AREA for a guided tour among costumed villagers who add to the authenticity. Stroll down its quaint streets, browse through the historic trade shops, see the Public Gaol (prison), and drop in at Raleigh Tavern, the meeting place for Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, and other patriots. While here, vote for or against American independence, join the militia, or participate in the Election of Burgesses. This afternoon, roll up your sleeves and dig in to a COLONIAL-STYLE LUNCH at a famous local tavern, a recreated dining experience that would have been truly savored by 18th-century patriots! Spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure—maybe join an optional excursion to nearby Busch Gardens with its thrilling rides, attractions, and entertainment. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 5 – Go Spelunking in Shenandoah National Park

Today, head into the Blue Ridge Mountains to LURAY CAVERNS. Journey into a subterranean wonderland, 4,000,000 centuries in the making, and see the enormous cave with chambers of stalagmites and stalactites and even sparkling lakes. This natural wonder is a must-see! Continue to breathtaking SHENANDOAH NATIONAL PARK. Keep your eyes open for the white-tail deer, coyotes, owls, hawks, eagles, big brown bats, and other wildlife, and stop to admire the panoramic views from Skyline Drive. Check into your lodge inside the park, where you will enjoy a BBQ dinner. After dinner, gather ‘round the campfire for s’mores! (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 6 – Walk the Battle Lines of Gettysburg

Today you get to relive one of the Civil War’s most pivotal battles at GETTYSBURG NATIONAL MILITARY PARK. Walk with a Local Guide on the fields where the Battle of 1863 was waged, and experience what the Union and Confederate soldiers did in your own reenactment. The afternoon is free to enjoy at your leisure—perhaps relax at your hotel’s pool. This evening, join a Colonial candlelight dinner at the elegant DOBBIN HOUSE TAVERN, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Later, a guided GHOST TOUR takes you to some of the houses and fields in and around the town of Gettysburg, where haunted sightings of Civil War soldiers, moving again in battle lines, are common. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 7 – Indulge Your Sweet Tooth & Learn About the Amish Way of Life

Travel east to HERSHEY’S CHOCOLATE WORLD, where you’ll experience chocolate making from bean to bar at a simulated factory and, of course, get a sample of the real Hershey’s product! On to Lancaster to visit an AMISH FARM & HOUSE and to enjoy a real Amish lunch. Learn about the Amish faith, culture, and traditional way of life that excludes the use of modern conveniences such as electricity and telephones. You will even take a ride in a traditional horse & buggy used by the Amish to get around. Continue to Philadelphia, where your Tour Director hosts a special SEND-OFF CELEBRATION DINNER. Begin with a walking tour of some of Philly’s historic district’s landmarks, which you will find populated with Colonial characters. After dinner at the Historic City Tavern, your Colonial host “sneaks” you into INDEPENDENCE HALL after hours, where you will witness several Founding Fathers deep in discussion over the creation of the Declaration of Independence. It’s the perfect ending to your historic family vacation! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 8 – Take a Walk Through History in the City of Brotherly Love

This morning you may wish to see the Liberty Bell and learn just how it cracked, or enjoy a traditional Philly cheese steak before departing for the Philadelphia International Airport for guests with homebound flights (please schedule flights from Philadelphia Airport after 1:30 pm). For passengers who would like to return to Washington DC, the motorcoach will provide a transfer to the Capital Hilton at no additional cost. (Breakfast)