Free time fun at CAMP

Check here regularly for suggestions and tips for using your free time at CAMP.

Mary C. Curtis is our “cruise director” this year. She’s checked out the options and these are her recommendations.

Try these shorter trips for free time on Friday and Saturday, with Sunday reserved for more structured tours. Or, you can always schedule a massage at the hotel!

Restaurants: Asheville is a foodie’s delight. We will provide a list of great restaurant suggestions, with starred items from clued-in local residents. Don’t miss the variety of vegetarian offerings, the gluten-free Posana Café and President Obama’s favorite (he visited twice), 12 Bones barbeque. Eateries are located downtown, inside and outside the Biltmore Estate and in West Asheville.
Obama at 12 Bones:

Downtown activities: Antique shops, book shops, crafts and art studios, folk art trolley tours. A hotel shuttle (at $5 round-trip, just call when you want to be picked up) drops you off in downtown Asheville, where you can take a walking tour or just wander, stopping in Grove Arcade for shopping, Malaprops Bookstore Café (an independent you will love) or the Thomas Wolfe house for literary inspiration. You can go home again!

Zipline, on Crowne Plaza property, with discounts for guests:

Asheville Racquet Club, on Crowne Plaza property, free for guests: With 4 tennis courts (racquet rental is $3) and a coach for all levels, indoor and outdoor pools and Jacuzzis, cycle and fitness rooms for classes, yoga classes and a large, well-equipped workout room (I tried this one out).

Blue Ridge Parkway, driving, sightseeing, hiking: It’s gorgeous, and if the weather turns chilly, we might see some early fall color on the tree canopy. You’ll need to rent a car. We’ll supply an informational map.

After-hours entertainment: Jack of the Wood: Celtic music in downtown Asheville:

Friday Night Drum Circle in downtown Asheville:

Sunday, trips that take some time

Biltmore Estate: It’s not just George Vanderbilt’s 250-room French château, completed in 1895. Admission includes Biltmore House and Gardens, the new Antler Hill Village, featuring the Winery (the whites are especially tasty), the Biltmore legacy exhibit, village green and farm.

JAWS will be in time for a special show of Tiffany glass!

Other activities on the property, some for a fee: hiking, horseback riding, rafting and kayaking, off-road Segway tours and more.

If you don’t want to enter the estate, take a left instead to visit Biltmore Village across the street, with a variety of stores, restaurants and galleries, including New Morning Gallery, consisting of several stores with art and crafts of every sort, from metal to pottery to fiber. (Wearable art!)