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Guidebook for Hot Springs

Monisha

Guidebook for Hot Springs

Food Scene
Fresh, local, southern comfort to specialized organic. Check their events schedule as they often have live music and even an Open Mic during the week. Try to get a table by the fireplace. This is one of the better dining establishments for the area.
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Iron Horse Station
24 Andrews Avenue South
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Fresh, local, southern comfort to specialized organic. Check their events schedule as they often have live music and even an Open Mic during the week. Try to get a table by the fireplace. This is one of the better dining establishments for the area.
This is a sweet spot for something a little more leisurely and romantic with excellent local and mostly organic food. This historic property sits a little bit up the road from the hustle and bustle of town. You can also join them for the breakfast for $15. Call in advance to make a reservation. Try to get a seat by the fireplace in the window. Menu is seasonal. Celebrating something special? Call ahead to enquire about the availability of the Chef’s Table, a 5-course meal with the option to add wine pairings. Plan on a 2 hour meal, and one that you won’t soon forget! If you have special dietary requests, they will typically work around it.
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Mountain Magnolia Inn
204 Lawson Street
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This is a sweet spot for something a little more leisurely and romantic with excellent local and mostly organic food. This historic property sits a little bit up the road from the hustle and bustle of town. You can also join them for the breakfast for $15. Call in advance to make a reservation. Try to get a seat by the fireplace in the window. Menu is seasonal. Celebrating something special? Call ahead to enquire about the availability of the Chef’s Table, a 5-course meal with the option to add wine pairings. Plan on a 2 hour meal, and one that you won’t soon forget! If you have special dietary requests, they will typically work around it.
For you early birds, Smokey Mountain diner opens at 6am and goes through to the evening. Whether it be the breakfast skillet, the biscuits and gravy or beyond, this is basic southern comfort food a plenty for breakfast. If the special happens to be cinnamon buns, don’t resist! For lunch or dinner, they offer typical diner-fare but with a southern twist, fried okra, collard greens and the like. If you are vegetarian or carnivore, there are options for you both. I love to get a little hike in at the Appalachian Trail first thing in the morning to really work up my appetite, and then slip into the diner for breakfast or brunch. Parking is rough, so I suggest you walk (5-10 minutes).
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Smoky Mountain Diner
70 Lance Ave
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For you early birds, Smokey Mountain diner opens at 6am and goes through to the evening. Whether it be the breakfast skillet, the biscuits and gravy or beyond, this is basic southern comfort food a plenty for breakfast. If the special happens to be cinnamon buns, don’t resist! For lunch or dinner, they offer typical diner-fare but with a southern twist, fried okra, collard greens and the like. If you are vegetarian or carnivore, there are options for you both. I love to get a little hike in at the Appalachian Trail first thing in the morning to really work up my appetite, and then slip into the diner for breakfast or brunch. Parking is rough, so I suggest you walk (5-10 minutes).
Drinks & Nightlife
Basic bar fare with 50 bottled brews and 12 on tap with American menu for lunch or dinner, including wood-fired pizzas. Walk there and back and you can burn off all the carbs from the pizza! Live music on some weekends, but not as much as you will find at the Iron Horse. I prefer to sit out on the deck overlooking Spring Creek (they do have heaters outside for the cool mountain nights). Go for the drinks and have low expectations of the food.
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Spring Creek Tavern
145 Bridge Street
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Basic bar fare with 50 bottled brews and 12 on tap with American menu for lunch or dinner, including wood-fired pizzas. Walk there and back and you can burn off all the carbs from the pizza! Live music on some weekends, but not as much as you will find at the Iron Horse. I prefer to sit out on the deck overlooking Spring Creek (they do have heaters outside for the cool mountain nights). Go for the drinks and have low expectations of the food.
Arts & Culture
Best place for wine, juices/smoothies and has good coffee and ice cream. It could easily be a go to for breakfast fare. All of that, and, it is a gallery that displays some great photography, metalwork, stonework, lotions, oils, candles, etc. It is great if you are looking for a gift to bring back home or just to grab a little afternoon delight.
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Artisun Gallery and Cafe
16 Andrews Avenue South
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Best place for wine, juices/smoothies and has good coffee and ice cream. It could easily be a go to for breakfast fare. All of that, and, it is a gallery that displays some great photography, metalwork, stonework, lotions, oils, candles, etc. It is great if you are looking for a gift to bring back home or just to grab a little afternoon delight.
Shopping
Organic coffee shop that talks there brew seriously and great place to buy a walking stick, or pick up poison ivy balm. Located just outside of Hot Springs a few miles, this does require you to get in your car, but is a great way to explore some of the local crafts women. Check out their freezer for the infamous “The Hop” ice cream from Asheville, or in the summer, go for a Snowball in 35 different flavors! Typically opens at 7am. If you don’t find a parking space up front, cross over the bridge and park across the river. Also, this connects onto the Big Laurel River Trail, a 3.5 mile (7 mile round trip), old railroad grade trail that follows the Big Laurel River all the way down to the
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Laurel River Store
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Organic coffee shop that talks there brew seriously and great place to buy a walking stick, or pick up poison ivy balm. Located just outside of Hot Springs a few miles, this does require you to get in your car, but is a great way to explore some of the local crafts women. Check out their freezer for the infamous “The Hop” ice cream from Asheville, or in the summer, go for a Snowball in 35 different flavors! Typically opens at 7am. If you don’t find a parking space up front, cross over the bridge and park across the river. Also, this connects onto the Big Laurel River Trail, a 3.5 mile (7 mile round trip), old railroad grade trail that follows the Big Laurel River all the way down to the
Entertainment & Activities
Heated deep within the earth, the crystal clear waters are world famous for their mineral content and legendary healing powers. Natural mineral waters are piped into modern outdoor hot tubs and are drained and sanitized after each use. You and/or your group will have privacy in your own hot tub with views of Spring Creek or the French Broad. I believe the last reservations is taken at 11:45pm, but make a reservation, these tubs book up quickly. Enjoy a relaxing soak in the natural hot mineral spring, get a massage, or meander about the resort to learn more about it’s fascinating and troubled history. If your feet are tuckered after a big hike, book the “Treat Your Feet” service.
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Hot Springs Resort And Spa
315 Bridge Street
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Heated deep within the earth, the crystal clear waters are world famous for their mineral content and legendary healing powers. Natural mineral waters are piped into modern outdoor hot tubs and are drained and sanitized after each use. You and/or your group will have privacy in your own hot tub with views of Spring Creek or the French Broad. I believe the last reservations is taken at 11:45pm, but make a reservation, these tubs book up quickly. Enjoy a relaxing soak in the natural hot mineral spring, get a massage, or meander about the resort to learn more about it’s fascinating and troubled history. If your feet are tuckered after a big hike, book the “Treat Your Feet” service.
Advance reservations required to guarantee space Think of a ski slope, but in the summer and on a bike. This gravity-specific bike park features over 1000 vertical feet of elevation with 15 downhill and flow trails. This is for an advanced or intermediate mountain biker. If you are an adrenaline junkie, this is quite the rush. Wear long pants and long sleeve shirts. You can rent bikes and safety gear from here and even request a guide which if you or members of your group have not been down hilling before, I would suggest!
Bailey Mountain Bike Park
1370 Bone Camp Rd
Advance reservations required to guarantee space Think of a ski slope, but in the summer and on a bike. This gravity-specific bike park features over 1000 vertical feet of elevation with 15 downhill and flow trails. This is for an advanced or intermediate mountain biker. If you are an adrenaline junkie, this is quite the rush. Wear long pants and long sleeve shirts. You can rent bikes and safety gear from here and even request a guide which if you or members of your group have not been down hilling before, I would suggest!
Fun yaks, tubing or rafting, guided or unguided, gentle floats or white water adventures, this is a great customize your own adventure outpost. Whether half day or fully day rafting, self-guided funyak (inflatable kayak also called duckies) or pretend you are Huck Finn and float on down the river in a tube. Make sure to reserve in advance as tubes and rafting trips go fast. River tube rentals are ~$20 per day from 9am – 430pm.
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Hot Springs Rafting Co.
22 U.S. 25
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Fun yaks, tubing or rafting, guided or unguided, gentle floats or white water adventures, this is a great customize your own adventure outpost. Whether half day or fully day rafting, self-guided funyak (inflatable kayak also called duckies) or pretend you are Huck Finn and float on down the river in a tube. Make sure to reserve in advance as tubes and rafting trips go fast. River tube rentals are ~$20 per day from 9am – 430pm.
Float, tube, rent an inflatable kayak (or duckie as they call it) or venture a little farther away for a zip lining adventure. Mix and match to customize your own adventure.
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French Broad Adventures
9800 U.S. 25
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Float, tube, rent an inflatable kayak (or duckie as they call it) or venture a little farther away for a zip lining adventure. Mix and match to customize your own adventure.
Combine a fishing and bear or turkey hunting trip with local guides. They also serve real pit-smoked BBQ. As one reviewer said, “Great food and guns who could ask for more.” For more information on fishing in Madison county visit: https://advguides.com/madison-county-fishing-guide
High Ridge Adventures Outfitting & BBQ
Combine a fishing and bear or turkey hunting trip with local guides. They also serve real pit-smoked BBQ. As one reviewer said, “Great food and guns who could ask for more.” For more information on fishing in Madison county visit: https://advguides.com/madison-county-fishing-guide
Ride to mountain high vistas to see deep valley views and smoky mountain ridge tops on this Historical 550 acre property. The terrain is dramatic and rugged. Special pricing for 5 people or more. Make sure to visit their bison farm if you go here! Only open in the summer.
Smoky Mountain Trail Rides
1959 Walnut Creek Rd
Ride to mountain high vistas to see deep valley views and smoky mountain ridge tops on this Historical 550 acre property. The terrain is dramatic and rugged. Special pricing for 5 people or more. Make sure to visit their bison farm if you go here! Only open in the summer.
They call it “golf with a shotgun” and it is the newest and fastest growing shotgun sport in America. A fifth generation family business, the Fowlers provide this 11 course sporting clay course in the midst of their beautiful land. Each course station provides a different type of bird flight to keep things interesting and your skills sharp and you’ll get a little hiking in too. Any shotgun up to a 12 gauge is permitted and any level experience. If you don’t have a shotgun, or left yours at home, shotguns can be rented at the farm for about $15 per person. Relieve a little stress and try something that may be new to you or other members of your party!
Fowler Farms Sporting Clays & Game Preserve
490 Fowler Farm Rd
They call it “golf with a shotgun” and it is the newest and fastest growing shotgun sport in America. A fifth generation family business, the Fowlers provide this 11 course sporting clay course in the midst of their beautiful land. Each course station provides a different type of bird flight to keep things interesting and your skills sharp and you’ll get a little hiking in too. Any shotgun up to a 12 gauge is permitted and any level experience. If you don’t have a shotgun, or left yours at home, shotguns can be rented at the farm for about $15 per person. Relieve a little stress and try something that may be new to you or other members of your party!
Parks & Nature
My favorite hike thus far in the Hot Springs area is Max Patch, with a summit of 4,616 feet above sea level. It is a mountain bald, meaning no trees grow on top, so you get incredible 360 degree views of the Blue Ridge of both Tennessee and North Carolina. I think it takes much longer to get to than anticipated given the winding gravel roads, but the views are incredible. I suggest going at sunrise or sunset to take in the magnificence of nature and bring a picnic and blanket to fully enjoy the experience. This can be a very special and romantic place, or just an incredible view.
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Max Patch Trail
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My favorite hike thus far in the Hot Springs area is Max Patch, with a summit of 4,616 feet above sea level. It is a mountain bald, meaning no trees grow on top, so you get incredible 360 degree views of the Blue Ridge of both Tennessee and North Carolina. I think it takes much longer to get to than anticipated given the winding gravel roads, but the views are incredible. I suggest going at sunrise or sunset to take in the magnificence of nature and bring a picnic and blanket to fully enjoy the experience. This can be a very special and romantic place, or just an incredible view.
A lot of confusion and work for what feels like little reward. I know people talk about this one a lot, but it was not my favorite. It was confusing on how to get to, does not have signage, and the way I went in was very steep, and the views, though offering an overview of the quaint town of Hot Springs, just paled in comparison to other vistas like Max Patch that I had seen. I also kept trying to reach the summit, but was never found, so we turned around and headed back down once we had more than depleted our water reserves. Lover’s leap Loop is a 1.8 mile dog-friendly trail and is recommended for very experienced adventurers.
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Lover's Leap Hiking Trail
138 Silver Mine Rd
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A lot of confusion and work for what feels like little reward. I know people talk about this one a lot, but it was not my favorite. It was confusing on how to get to, does not have signage, and the way I went in was very steep, and the views, though offering an overview of the quaint town of Hot Springs, just paled in comparison to other vistas like Max Patch that I had seen. I also kept trying to reach the summit, but was never found, so we turned around and headed back down once we had more than depleted our water reserves. Lover’s leap Loop is a 1.8 mile dog-friendly trail and is recommended for very experienced adventurers.