Enjoying sunrise at the Pisgah Inn is not a trip that i would have planned with a toddler, but the entire trip turned into a wonderful excursion that gave us the essential “Welcome to the Mountains” after our move. The wife and I were looking for ideas for the last weekend of October when one of her coworkers told us that the blue ridge parkway closes in November and the weekend was the last chance to catch sunrise. So we did what any sane couple would do, wake a sleeping toddler at 5am and jump in the car.
We planned to head up to the Inn by taking Highway 151 (Pisgah Highway) to the Blue Ridge Parkway. We were worried about driving in the mountains before the sun was up and taking 151 would delay the twisting segment of the road until the end of our drive. The last four miles of highway 151 before the parkway is a very twisty section. We slowed down and both were glad that our car was the only one on the road during that segment of the drive. Once on the Blue Ridge, the drive was much smoother. In hindsight, taking the Blue Ridge up from the Bent Creek area would have been easier. With the hour drive and the winding roads, we made it to the parking lot with about 10 minutes before sunrise. We parked by the hotel, quickly dressed our daughter in the many layers of sweaters and jumped out of the car. This is the view that greeted us.
We sat down in the row of rocking chairs and enjoyed the moment. Guests of the hotel started coming out of the rooms and sitting down, but the area is large enough that even during peak tourist season, you can enjoy a space for your family without feeling crowded. We were very cold as the sunrise whipped up the wind and it was about 15 degrees cooler than in the city. The restaurant was opening, so we walked down and were seated by the hostess. We received a table against the window overlooking the sunrise. We noticed that the Inn had a brand new patio that opened this year. The sun peaked over the ridge and Sam ran out to take a picture as did half of the restaurant. I was able to snap this candid picture from my seat at our breakfast table. Talk about a chair with a view. Throughout the meal, we looked down into the valleys and watched the shadows melt away.
The food was as good as the reviews, and i was pleasantly surprised at how affordable our meal was. We enjoyed coffee and hot chocolate, french toast and an omelet. The waitress was very nice and kept a close eye without being intrusive. I walked out afterwards impressed with the experience and ready to recommend to everyone. We plan on visiting again during each season. As we left the Inn, Sam caught a candid picture of the exit.
That was the end of visit to the Pisgah Inn and we headed east on the Blue Ridge back towards Bent Creak and Biltmore Village area. We stopped at two different rest stops and walks to let Riley burn off energy which you can read about here.
I’m so glad a coworker recommended this trip. If you have recommendations for the area, please share!