North Carolina's Far West

Return to the Historic Tapoco Lodge


July 9 - 12, 2024


  • The inviting 1930 Tapoco Lodge, serenaded by the cascading Cheoah River
  • Excellent farm-to-table fare - including a special meal by an acclaimed local chef
  • Drives on the stunning Cherohala Skyway, with intriguing stories along the way
  • Stories of the Snowbird Cherokee and Junaluska
  • Exploration of Fontana Lake and Dam and stories of the TVA, ALCOA, and mountain industry
  • Special encounters with local artisans, storytellers, and more!

Trip Description

Does Graham County (NC’s) Tapoco Lodge occupy the best site of any inn in the Southeast?!  Let’s mull that over while dining on the terrace, watching cedar waxwings frolicking in the mist of the tumbling Cheoah River.  July is the perfect time for a Snowbird Mountain sojourn!  Elevations in the region offer a wild range – stretching to 5500 feet on the stunning Cherohala Skyway (parkway) that connects to Tennessee.  Rivers, streams, and lakes – like nearby Santeetlah and Fontana – also keep things cool and fresh. 

Our trip is built around the impressive “nature scene” (which includes on-site trails; also Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest), outstanding mountain history (including the Cherokee and post-Civil War “industry” coming to the region), and scenic drives with telling viewpoints.  We’ll join up with local artisans to learn about their craft and lifestyle; with a local historian who has traipsed the early Native paths of the region; and a Johnson and Wales chef who will prepare us a special lunch.  And each afternoon, we’ll embrace the vibe and ambiance of the Tapoco Lodge, in its beautiful setting.  It’s the perfect place to enjoy a drink on the terrace overlooking the river; make casual conversation with fellow travelers; and to explore the indoor and outdoor nooks and vantage points, or to enjoy a walk in the woods among ancient giants. 

Featured Experiences

Tapoco Lodge

Nestled on the banks of the Cheoah River, our historic Tapoco Lodge has been a North Carolina mainstay for outdoor adventurers, gear heads, and nature enthusiasts since 1930. Whether you want to explore our 120 acre campus via groomed trails, visit Nantahala National Forest, enjoy a wine whilst seated around one of our riverbank fire pits, or drive the Tail of the Dragon, we have something for everyone. At Tapoco Lodge, we don’t just say ‘welcome,’ we say ‘Welcome Home’.

What's Included

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

Trip Price

$2,479 / person (double occupancy; single supplement, $455)

What's Not Included

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

You planned everything perfectly - just the right pace, and a wonderful trip!

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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