Romance is a marriage between the company and the atmosphere. You bring the company, and Mountain Magnolia Inn in Hot Springs will provide the atmosphere.
Where to Stay in Hot Springs
The Mountain Magnolia Inn, originally built in 1868 as a Victorian Home, is the perfect backdrop for a romantic weekend getaway. Set on three acres of gardens overlooking the town of Hot Springs you will have everything you need for a romantic weekend at your fingertips.
The room we stayed in had a balcony overlooking a giant Magnolia Tree over 80 feet high with the Appalachian Mountains in the background. The in-room fireplace, lounge chair, and soft lighting gave the room a serene and romantic feel.
Even though the Inn has origins over a century and a half old, the rooms and bathrooms were spacious, compared to most encounters with historic properties.
Everything about Mountain Magnolia Inn preserves the history of the place from the ornate ceilings to the antique doorknobs.
After relaxing in our room, we came down for dinner. Our waitress, Sarah, seated us next to a fireplace and for a few minutes we had the room to ourselves. Exceptional service, five-star food, in a historic Victorian Home, sets the stage for a quiet weekend for two.
The Extras at Mountain Magnolia Inn
We started the meal with steamed mussels. They contained a rich tomato based sauce that required additional bread as I delighted in every bite.
The pan seared steak and lobster etouffee along with a dessert of Crème Brulee felt like a feast.
On warm days, enjoy a meal on the terrace and soak up the scenery of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
After dinner, we retreated to the lounge, where my husband strummed his guitar while sitting by the fire. I flipped through a couple of books detailing the history of the Inn along with the restoration process completed by the owners Pete and Karen Nagle, between 1996 and 1999. In 1999 the home reopened as the Magnolia Inn Bed and Breakfast.
I was taken back in time as I realized the pictures on the walls included photographs of the original owner’s detailed in the books.
Colonel James and Carrie Rumbough originally built the home in 1868. When he left to fight in the Civil War, Carrie cared for their children in Hot Springs. To save the town, she burned the bridge which crossed the French Broad River and was the only road leading to town. This prevented Union soldiers from entering Hot Springs. Later she held a young Union soldier in her arms in his dying moments, then sent a lock of hair to his mother. The two women continued their correspondence years after the war ended.
Exploring Hot Springs North Carolina
There is something about Hot Springs that makes you want to wander. Maybe it’s the absence of buses, taxis and other trappings of city life. Maybe it’s the Appalachian Trail, which runs right down Main Street, or perhaps it’s just the slow pace of country living that made us want to meander, sip a cup of tea or savor an ice cream cone along the side of the railroad tracks.
Fortunately, there is a lot of opportunity for meandering. Wander around the Artisan Gallery and Marketplace which features local artists. The shop offers unique woodworking, artwork, and other items which capture the local talent. These items make a much better souvenir than the typical trinkets of shot glasses, and I Love New York T- shirts found in most tourist town gift shops. They also sell ice cream and smoothies in the small café.
Around the corner, you can grab lunch or dinner at the Iron Horse Station. Their menu features local trout, chicken, sandwiches, or burgers. Located in a historic building, The Tavern and Hotel shares a rich history maintaining its historic feel with exposed brick and stamped tin ceilings. A few doors down, drop in to see Keith, the second-generation owner of Gentry Hardware. They stock everything from hiking supplies to kitchenware and is a popular place to find unusual items.
History of Hot Springs
Towards the end of Main Street, stop by the visitor’s center. The Center doubles as the town’s history museum detailing interesting facts about the town. Learn about how Hot Springs suffered through the Civil War. The town converted the famous Mountain Park Hotel and surrounding acreage near the French Broad River into an Internment camp during World War I. The camp housed approximately 2500 German Merchant Sailors. With a history dating back to the days when the Cherokee Indians roamed the land, I was yearning for a walking tour to learn more about its fascinating history.
Romance is in the Air
To complete your romantic adventure hike the Lover’s Leap Trail, running along part of the famous Appalachian Trail. Pack a picnic lunch and head up the ridge for magnificent views of Hot Springs and the surrounding mountain ranges. The Lovers Leap Trail begins less than a mile from the center of town. The loop is approximately 1.5 miles long.
As evening fell, we headed to the Hot Springs Resort for a soak in the famous mineral springs, giving the town its name. They range in temperature from 100 to 104 degrees depending on the springs. Each tub is encased by a wooden structure that provides a level of privacy. Yet each opens on the back side to the either the French Broad River or Spring Creek.
Either way, you enjoy a private mineral soak in Jacuzzi style tubs with the rambling water a few feet away. Pure heaven.
Hot Springs had everything we were looking for in a romantic weekend away.