Location: Little Switzerland, Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina, USA (Little Switzerland, NC)
Accommodations: House, 2 Bedrooms + Den, 2 Baths (Sleeps 6-7)
Right off the Blue Ridge Parkway, one of America's most beautiful scenic routes is your own private mountain getaway. Enjoy the spectacular view of the Blue Ridge mountains while relaxing in the 6 person hot tub on the deck (open year-round).
Tucked away in your own hollow of 10 acres, there is cleared land for badminton, volleyball, croquet, barbecue and hiking. And in the winter months, hot tubbing and riding a tube or sled down a hill in the snow. Of course there is nearby skiing (Banner Elk).
Fine dining is less than 1 mile away. The Biltmore House, America's premier castle is 40 minutes away in Asheville, NC. Linville Caverns are 30 minutes away via the Parkway. You are a teo hour drive from Charlotte and 40 minutes from Boone. Golfing and hiking easily accessible.
We call our mountain getaway in Little Switzerland the 'Rieke Retreat'. It has been in the family since 1970. It used to be an old homestead for the 'McKinney family' starting in the 1920's.
Starting Dec. 1st, we decorate the entire house with Christmas decorations including a Christmas tree with lights in the main room. Outside there is a live Blue Spruce Christmas tree below the deck which is strung with little white lights. You just plug in the outdoor extension cord, and the tree lights up. It can be seen from all over. Wreaths, bows, and lots of special effects for Christmas are yours and stay until mid-February. All you have to do is pray for snow and put another log on the fire.
What is 'LSD'? 'LSD' means Little Switzerland Downtown. It is only nine-tenths of a mile from our house. In the non-winter months, the New Book Exchange is the highlight. Here you can relax on a sofa in front of a big fireplace, sip coffee or wine and get lost in the book of your choice (I forgot the classical music in the background). Hungry? Go next door to the Little Switzerland Café and have the best Trout BLT in the world followed by apple pie and ice cream! Need a bottle of wine and some cheese for later on? Go through the doors to the Little Switzerland General store and they have quite a selection. You have entered another world. And you are not dreaming.
In the non-winter months, Grassy Creek Golf course is a public course only 10 minutes away in Spruce Pine. Mount Mitchell Golf Course is about 20 minutes away and is under the largest mountain East of the Mississippi River - Mt. Mitchell. It is well-established and famous for its layout and views.
In the winter months (Dec., Jan., Feb., March) there is great North Carolina skiing only 40 minutes away. Main resorts are Sugar Mountain, Beech Mountain and others near Blowing Rock and Banner Elk. Many people stay at our house to rest and use the hot tub after a long day day of skiing nearby. Keep in mind we are at 3500' elevation and it snows often. (Our driveway is not steep, don't worry).
Other Activities: Gem Mining
In the summer, the best organized whitewater rafting which is closest to the Rieke Retreat is the Nolichucky River about 45 minutes from the house in Erwin, Tennessee. Little Switzerland is the perfect place to train for bicycling. You can start at the Little Switzerland entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway and try to 'Assault on Mt. Mitchell' which is about 33 miles. Lance Armstrong has been known to train in this area.