Ashe County and the River House Inn

The Appalachian Explorer


August 25 – 28, 2023


  • Three nights at the River House Inn, featuring a converted historic farmhouse & buildings, and the delightful Sunday Salon with live music, hors d'oeuvres and a four-course Chef's Menu.
  • The best of North Carolina's craft cheeses, and farm-to-table fare!
  • Majestic mountain drives throughout the trip
  • Discover the original Ben Long Fresco Churches, which dot this rural area
  • Local farm and craft shop visits!

Trip Description

North of Boone, North Carolina, lie the magnificent high valleys of the New River – North and South Forks. 

It’s a bucolic country . . . that seems to have more in common with Virginia, just to the north, than the craggier mountains that dominate most of NC’s mountain west.  Ashe County is the mother of the “mountain farm”:  You’ve heard of Ashe County Cheese?  Well, that’s just the beginning.  This adventure will be a top-shelf odyssey in farm to table – with meals in delightful eateries.  And our home for three nights?  The River House Inn.  The River House Inn is a hotel with a soul, with a wonderful story of preservation. Located beside the bucolic New River, with a “sitting porch,” rolling grounds, and restaurant that serves as a festive gathering place for food, live music, and conversation. Our drives take us by working farms, local artisan shops, and the community of Lansing, NC on the Virginia Creeper Railroad, undergoing an arts infusion and revitalization of its downtown. 

This trip is the latest in our unique “Appalachian Explorer” itineraries, where we’ll discover mountain stories, historic foodways and folkways, and a peaceful environment that eludes commercialism and tourist crowds.  Join us!

Featured Experiences

The River House Inn

River House is a North Carolina Bed and Breakfast and a true Country Inn that's really in the country, located in Grassy Creek, North Carolina on the New River. There's a mile of riverfront for strolling, wading, tubing, canoeing and fishing. Brown trout and rainbows abound. Walking trails wind through 160 acres. Our neighbors include deer, rabbits, wild turkeys, a great blue heron, eagles and an occasional bear - just no mosquitoes. The inn's twelve uniquely decorated guest rooms are converted farm buildings with king-size beds, private bathrooms, jacuzzis, art, books and country antiques.

And then, there's the on-site restaurant: elegant but unpretentious, known for its great food and ambiance. Only minutes from West Jefferson, River House is the first choice for fine dining in the Ashe County High Country area.

What's Included

  • Comfortable transportation
  • Accommodation for 3 nights
  • Breakfast, 2 lunches, and 3 dinners
  • All activities / admissions per the itinerary
  • Guide and concierge service throughout the trip

Trip Price

$2,188 / person (double occupancy; single supplement, $280)

What's Not Included

Price does not include alcohol, other meals, or optional trip insurance.

..well-planned, from interesting and fun excursions planned each day, to comfortable lodging and transportation. Our trip leaders, Chumley and Khal, were impressive with their knowledge of each area we explored and gracious in their planning of every aspect of our trips.

Trip insurance safeguards your travel investment, your belongings, and most importantly, you. Though trip insurance is optional, we strongly encourage travelers to purchase trip insurance in the event you have to cancel or leave a trip for any reason. Please note, all trip participants should wait for confirmation from Explore Up Close that the trip has the minimum sign-up required to be a “go” before purchasing travel insurance. Please confirm with Explore Up Close before making any additional travel arrangements.

Once you have received confirmation from Explore Up Close, we recommend contacting a travel insurance provider directly to request a quote and compare pricing and features. You can find other providers that may fit your needs at, or we can gladly connect you with our travel agent.

This trip departs from Greenville / Spartanburg, South Carolina and Asheville, North Carolina. If you live elsewhere, please contact us to discuss travel arrangements, and we will look forward to assisting you!

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