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Bed and Breakfast Getaways

These six enchanting bed-and-breakfasts will have you packing a bag, filling up your tank, and hitting the road for a much-needed getaway just as the leaves are beginning to turn. (Oct 2014)

Written By:  Kristin Luna

Photographers:  Various

The Swag Country Inn — Waynesville, North Carolina

Oftentimes bed and breakfasts trend toward older, more antiquated homes outfitted in antiques, but this rustic, remote cabin in the middle of the Smokies is a breath of fresh air—quite literally, as the Swag Country Inn opens out onto a welcoming, wraparound porch with stunning vistas of the surrounding range. It’s worth the drive up the long, winding road that reaches 5,000 feet in altitude to get to this quiet mountaintop retreat, situated along the Cataloochee Divide, one of the boundaries of the national park. Large picture windows in the lodge’s main living room overlook the canopy of treetops that are just beginning to change colors this month.

While the service is on point and the amenities top notch, you won't find the Swag pretentious in the least. Rather, it's country chic at its finest: patterned quilts, woven rugs, high-beamed wooden ceilings, and stone-framed, wood-burning fireplaces mingle seamlessly with rain showers, soaking tubs, and technologies like satellite radio and a Bose sound system. Many of the visitors who check into the Swag prefer to take a personalized walking stick—yours to keep—and hit the extensive system of trails that surrounds the inn, but there's plenty to do on property: an outdoor hot tub, a sauna, massages, and even racquetball and wallyball courts.

Owners Deener and Dan Matthews, an Episcopal clergyman, began construction of the house, made from reassembled log buildings that dated as far back as 1795, in 1971; 11 years later, they decided to open it as an inn. Each suite is unique in feel and design. While one of the pricier accommodations, Gail's Room is one of the most popular, with a corner perch and a front row view of the Smokies. Visits to the Swag are all-inclusive—so your breakfast, lunch, and dinner are covered (though the inn doesn't sell alcohol, so bring your own)—and require a two-night minimum stay.
Rooms from $495; theswag.com

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