Smithmore Castle in North Carolina Is the Stuff of Sugar Plum Fairy Dreams

Complete with hiking paths, caves, archery, and more!

Smithmore Castle in snow

A snow-draped castle nestled in the woods with a nearly 4,000-foot mountain view sounds pretty dreamy for holidays, if you ask us. Turns out that vacation can be a reality if you book a stay at Smithmore Castle on English Knob Mountain in Spruce Pine, North Carolina.

The 100-acre property is an outdoor and fantasy lover's dream. Hiking paths dotted with Old English riddles, three caves, archery lessons, a Scottish-themed bar, gourmet dining in the original castle hall, multiple European-themed guest suites, and more await at this straight-out-of-a-fairytale stay.

Rob Smith bought the almost 50-year-old castle in 2008 and refurbished it with his family, he says. He opened the property to events in 2017 and eventually listed it on VRBO and Airbnb in 2019. "We loved it so much that we wanted to open it up to other people," Smith says.

The castle, formerly called the "Castle Inn," was renamed with Smith's last name and the property's idyllic surroundings in mind. "Our view is the Eastern Continental Divide, the Toe River Valley, Black Mountain, and Mount Mitchell, which is the highest point on the East Coast," Smith says, "so we have this spectacular view and the word 'more' from Old English means 'upland, rolling hills'; it just fit."

Smithmore Castle can host up to 20 guests at one time. Guests have the option to book the whole castle or any number of the suites, which are decorated with French wallpaper original to the castle. Some of the suites also feature hot tubs and balconies that look out from the castle turrets.

Each stay at Smithmore is curated to exactly what the guests are celebrating, Epicure says. A stay at Smithmore Castle is unlike a stay at any other resort or hotel because of the time and attention devoted to guests throughout their stay, he adds.

Smithmore Castle is also serious about the holidays. Each December, you'll find that the already-stunning setting gets a bit more magical with towering Christmas trees, garlands, wreaths, a roaring fire, and a visit from Santa. But it's not just visitors who are privy to the festivities. Anyone can book a ticket to visit Santa via the Smithmore website.

Ready to make your most fantastical holiday dreams come true? Book a suite and start packing!

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