Whether from a rooftop, terrace, patio, or deck, after a day of adventuring, there’s nothing like enjoying a meal from the vantage of an exquisite view. In celebration of this magnanimous pairing, here are five outdoor activities coupled with a restaurant experience offering scenery and mouthwatering cuisine.
Do: Tour Moses Cone Park on horseback. Enjoy over 25 miles of trails winding through the fields and forests of Gilded Age conservationist and textile tycoon Moses Cone’s 3,500-acre historic Flat Top Manor estate. www.blueridgeheritage.com
Dine: Restaurant at Gideon Ridge. Revel in the world-famous Blowing Rock view while feasting on a customizable, three-course menu of artful creations, such as rabbit liver paté with sorghum mustard or North Carolina red drum with pearl couscous and local watermelon radish pico. Request a table on the stone terrace to dine alfresco. www.gideonridge.com
Sugar & Beech Mountains
Do: Mountain Bike Sugar Mountain Resort. In the summer months, this ski resort opens its 10 miles of trails to hikers and mountain bikers. Those up for a thrill can try the expert downhill trail, which drops 1,200 feet in just over a mile. www.skisugar.com/summer
Dine: Archers Family Restaurant. The former Jackalope’s View, rechristened and reopening in June, is perched high atop Beech Mountain. The view from the porch opens onto a horizon of mountains prefaced by a long stretch of wooded valley. Enjoy classic southern fare such as fried chicken, fresh mountain trout, and pot roast. www.archersinn.com
Do: Zip line through the Green River Gorge. At The Gorge, the country’s steepest and fastest zip line adventure, catch staggeringly gorgeous views of this chasm while zooming along 11 zip lines. www.thegorgezipline.com.
Dine: Newman’s Restaurant at the Orchard Inn. Chef Stuart Partin updates his menu weekly based on what’s locally available. Views of rolling, mountain forests from the inn’s wraparound porch pair well with a steaming dish of fresh, North Carolina-caught scallops. www.orchardinn.com
Do: Explore Art in Asheville. With exhibits ranging from contemporary installations to early Appalachian folk art, the Asheville Art Museum makes for an inspiring afternoon. Other notable downtown galleries include The Haen Gallery, Van Dyke Jewelry & Fine Craft, and the Center for Craft, Creativity & Design. www.ashevilleart.org, www.ashevilledowntowngalleries.org
Dine: Edison Craft Ales + Kitchen at the Omni Grove Park Inn. Take a spin through the locally sourced menu: Try, for instance, the shrimp ‘n’ grits, with Carolina shrimp, green-tomato chutney, local stone-milled grits, corn, and soft-poached free-range egg, and enjoy a craft beer while basking in sunset views of Asheville and the surrounding mountains. www.omnihotels.com/hotels/asheville-grove-park
Cashiers & Sapphire
Do: Hike Whiteside Mountain. This two-mile hike near Cashiers ascends to almost 5,000 feet and is known for its stunning vistas and the 700-foot sheer cliff at the summit. highlandhiker.com/dayhikes
Dine: Canyon Kitchen at Lonesome Valley. Chef Adam Hayes, 2014 winner of Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen, serves up seasonal cuisine (much of which is grown in the kitchen’s garden) in a lovely open-air setting, with views of the valley’s surreal rock formations. www.lonesomevalley.com