Southern Road Trip, Day 3: Asheville *Chattanooga* Huntsville

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We woke up in the gorgeous Princess Anne Hotel and headed downstairs for the cooked-to-order breakfast.  We both ordered the Eggs Benedict variant with crab and greens.  It was delicious.  After breakfast, we packed up and headed…to a doughnut shop.  Argh!  I know!  Such connoisseurs of the second breakfast concept!

We went to Hole Doughnut, where one of their doughnuts was voted 2016 Dessert of the Year by Bon Appétit.  The interior is super-cute and the line moves fast for the freshly-made, served-warm doughnuts.  There are four flavors each day and, well, we tried them all.  Although this is a very me-style move, it was actually SMS’ idea!  The four flavors of the day were vanilla glaze, beignet, cocoa nib and sesame glaze. They were all delicious and we saved what we couldn’t eat for our hike later that day.

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We headed over to the River Arts District and checked out the local skatepark and a few of the artists’ galleries.  There was also some interesting graffiti murals around the site.  After poking around, we decided to head to the Great Smoky Mountains Park for a hike.

SMS and I decided on the manageable Andrews  Bald hike.  At just over three miles with a beautiful view at the Bald (a cleared area of the mountain top), we thought it sounded perfect.  A lot of people were in the same general area since Clingman’s Dome shares the trailhead.  Clingman’s is a short hike up a paved trail and is the highest point in the Park so a lot of people were there over the holiday weekend.  We ultimately gave up trying to get to the parking lot and we parked on the side of the road and hiked the half mile in.

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The hike was through the forest, mostly downhill on the way to the Bald and mostly uphill on the way back.  The view was spectacular, made even more beautiful by several remaining flowering Flaming Azalea bushes, which bloom in June.  We took in the view for a bit and then headed out.

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We were on our way to Huntsville to see the Space & Rocket Center the next day.  On the way, we stopped just outside Chattanooga for a sunset dinner at the Boathouse.  We ate outside and it was so beautiful.  We shared oysters, guacamole, ceviche and a sweet potato.  After we were full from our healthiest meal of the day, we continued to Asheville where we checked into the Marriott right next to the museum.  Space nerds alert!

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