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Cradle and Culture


This tour of the Cradle of Forestry showcases the culture and music of the Southern Appalachian Mountains.

Depart the hotel by motor coach at 0815 and return at 1630. The tour begins with a scenic drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway, with a brief stop at the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Cente. At the Cradle, enjoy a delightful presentation by Marci Spencer, author of Pisgah National Forest - A History, followed by lunch. After lunch, explore the historic cabins, center and museum, with Cradle guides. End the day with a performance by renowned Appalachian musician and storyteller, Sheila Kay Adams.



Difficulty: Walking level is easy and mostly on paved surfaces.

Group Size: Limited to 100 guests, reserved in advance. Cost: $50 per guest.

Who has signed-up for this tour

Planned Itinerary (Subject to modification due to conditions on the day of the tour):

8:15 Depart Crowne Plaza by motor coach after breakfast.
9:00 Approximate arrival at Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center (Mile Post 384)
10:00 Depart for Cradle of Forestry with stop at Cradle Scenic Overlook (Mile Post 411).
11:00 Approximate arrival at the Cradle of Forestry
11:15 History of Pisgah National Forest talk by Author Marci Spencer.
12:00 Lunch buffet
1:00 Self-directed walking tour of the Cradle exhibit hall and grounds with guides stationed at key locations.
2:00 Performance by Appalachian Musician/Storyteller Sheila Kay Adams
3:00 Motor coach departure for return to the Crowne Plaza Resort
4:30 Approximate return to the Crowne Plaza Resort.

The Cradle of Forestry grounds, exhibit hall, and gift shop will be available to explore throughout the tour.


Biltmore Behind the Gate


This fabulous tour will take you behind the locked gate on the Biltmore Estate to locations not open to the public.

Depart the Crowne Plaza Resort by motor coach at 0815 and return at 1600.

At the Estate, one group will board Biltmore Estate shuttles and be treated to the story of this singular place by experts on the Vanderbilt family’s history and vision, including the conservation connection with Gifford Pinchot and Carl Schenk.

The other group will choose to explore the house and gardens, or the winery and shops. Enjoy a buffet lunch with seasonal offerings. After lunch, the groups will be reversed, so that everyone gets a chance to enjoy both the forest history tour and see the rest of the Estate.

Difficulty: Walking level will be moderate. Some of the stops will be on non-paved areas and the paths could be rough or uneven. Shuttle transportation will be provided for the forest history tour.

Group size: Limited to 100 guests, reserved in advance. Tours will be conducted in two groups of 50.

Cost: $125 per guest.

Who has signed up for this tour.

Planned Itinerary (Subject to modification due to conditions on the day of the tour):

8:15 Depart Crowne Plaza by motor coach after breakfast.
8:45 Arrive at Biltmore Estate.
9:00 - 
Break out into two groups of 50. AM Group will be guided by Biltmore staff on a morning “Forestry at the Biltmore” tour. PM Group will be free to enjoy a self-guided tour of the Estate, including the house, gardens, and winery.
11:30 - 12:45 Buffet lunch with seasonal offerings at the Deerpark Restaurant on the Estate.
1:00 -
PM Group will guided by Biltmore staff on an afternoon “Forestry at the Biltmore” tour. AM Group will enjoy a self-guided tour of the Estate, including the house, gardens, and winery.
3:30 Motor coach pick up for return to Crown Plaza.
4:00 Approximate return to Crowne Plaza Resort.

Note - Guests are welcome to stay longer to explore the Estate. To do so, you will need to arrange your personal transportation back to your hotel. Asheville has taxis, Uber and Lyft available.

Reality Research

Southern Research StationThe Southern Research Station and Director Rob Doudrick invite you to spend a half day with them at the Bent Creek Experimental Forest, exploring upland hardwoods research.

The Forest is a short drive south of Asheville and is a popular destination for hikers and bikers. Guests will need to provide their own transportation to the Bent Creek Experimental Forest.

The Station will provide transportation on the tour. The tour will begin with an overview of the Southern Appalachian ecology and geology. Researchers have planned stops to view old growth stands, fire studies, sideby-side silvicultural treatments, and management solutions.



Difficulty: Walking level will be moderate, with some uneven ground.

Group Size: No set limit. We are asking for expressions of interest in advance for planning purposes. A sign up opportunity will be provided on the first day of the Reunion.

Cost: There are no additional cost for the tour.

Planned Itinerary: Will be tailored to the guests who choose to join in, and conditions on the day of the tour.

City of Asheville


Unique culture. Stunning scenery. A bounty of independent restaurants and local brewers. A thriving arts scene and world-class attractions. Come experience this gem nestled in the Blue Ridge Moutains.

Explore all of Asheville on board Gray Line’s Hop on/Hop off Trolley Tours. Visit for tour information and options to discover Asheville.

The Explore Asheville Convention & Visitor Bureau will have a booth in the Crowne Plaza lobby all week with information about other touring opportunities

To learn about all the wondeful things you can do in Asheville, check out Explore Asheville.

Fun Things to Do in Cherokee North Carolina

Cherokee North CarolinaLooking for fun things to do in Cherokee NC?

Come explore trails of legends and adventure in Cherokee, a place of great beauty nestled in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains.





Other Fun Thing to Do in North Carolina

Factory Tours USA (North Carolina)



North Carolina History and Heritage


North Carolina HistoryVisit Biltmore in Asheville, explore Cherokee history in the Smokies, or stand where the Wright brothers flew on the Outer Banks. Browse trip ideas and things to do at North Carolina historic sites, national memorials, heritage museums and historic homes.

Visit North Carolina