by Mimi Montgomery
A weekend trip to the mountains is one way to escape the swelter. The Swag bed-and-breakfast is a secluded, luxuriously rustic boutique getaway in Waynesville, cozied right up to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Four of North Carolina’s six highest mountain ranges – the Great Smokies, the Plott Balsams, the Richland Balsams, and the Black Mountains – are visible from the Swag. The inn has a network of trails for rambling and exploring, and offers guided hikes, too. There’s plenty to do indoors, as well – the lodge has a sauna, massage therapy room, racquetball court, and extensive library. It’s also an easy drive to Asheville or the Blue Ridge Parkway.
The best part? The food. The Swag is all-inclusive, which is particularly great when you’re excited to dig in: The award-winning restaurant puts on a daily breakfast buffet and dinners with seasonally-inspired menus featuring fresh vegetables, fruits, and herbs from its gardens. The kitchen will pack a picnic lunch for you every day, and often hosts outdoor barbecues, too.
The Swag only has 14 guest rooms, so it pays to make reservations well ahead of time. You won’t want to miss out on these digs – the perfect blend of refined and rustic, many of the rooms have wood-burning fireplaces and private balconies overlooking the mountains, and some even have outdoor soaking tubs and showers.
The Swag opened for its 35th season last month, and will stay open through November 26. Check it out this summer, and you may develop a sudden interest in foliage this fall.
2300 Swag Road, Waynesville; theswag.com