Just a car ride away is a quiet place called Hot Springs, North Carolina.
Depending on the road construction, you'll have to take a couple detours, but they are worth the extra minutes here and there.
As you pass the sign welcoming you to North Carolina, you can feel your troubles melting away. You will also notice, depending on who your carrier is,l that your cell phone may not work- a great thing if you want to get a way. Not so good if you are using GPS to find the perfect spot.
As you make your way down the green covered hills and come to a stop sign with a gas station on your right and a little set of stores boasting fun things to do on your left, you realize that there are people hiking through the quaint town.
Lucky for you, you are right on the Appalachian Train so many of these people are headed to Maine or coming from Georgia.
Unless you are a crazy TV show from Knoxville, then you are there trying to soak it all in in a few hours.
I seemed to have taken the road less traveled when I went to the right on Bridge Street. Driving up the side of the mountain, I was lucky enough to find a place where I could turn around because I was yes, lost. When I turned into the look-out, all I could see was amazing green, so I got out to get some video and was welcomed by the sound of the French Broad River running over rocks in the valley.
After I got my video and a quick Instagram picture, it was back down to Hot Springs proper. As you drive slowly, you'll see older homes in the area and people meandering around, taking in the sights. Then you come to the railroad tracks, with the Hot Springs Resort and Spa on your left and a caboose on your right. Yep, just a caboose, sitting in a field.
Go a little further and you pass over a bridge. To your right, you can see Lovers Leap and to your left, more rolling waters.
The town's history is an ever-changing one. What was once a bustling place is now known for it's relaxing properties.
In the 1700's, the hot springs that give the place its name were used for medicinal purposes by the natives. They could not keep these a secret for long, and soon many came to the area hoping to relax in Mother Nature natural baths.
The Hot Springs Resort and Spa has changed over the years, but the waters have not. The minerals are said to have healing properties. You can stay at the resort or just visit for a quick dip in the water.
After you are done relaxing, you can go for a bike ride around town or maybe do some white water rafting. You can find out more about the happenings here.
The one police car town has pretty much everything you would need, whether you are driving or walking through: places to stay that are one with the Earth or a little fancier, wood-fired pizza and local ice cream at a lunch-type counter.
Hot Springs is a hidden gem for many and home to about 600 people. If you are looking to unplug or unwind you might take a trip that's less that a tank of gas away.
Mountain Magnolia Inn
204 Lawson St Hot Springs, NC 28743
Spring Creek Tavern
145 Bridge St,
Hot Springs, NC, 28743
Hot Springs Tour Company
(Electric Bus Tour)
Blue Heron Whitewater