I was looking for a vacation rental from which my son and I could explore the Smoky Mountains. Because he's autistic, it was important to find a home where he would be comfortable. Within 10 minutes of our arrival, he was sprawled on the couch like he'd lived there his whole life.
If you seek a party pad with a lot of nightlife, this ain't it.
But if you seek a peaceful mountain home from which to base your adventures and feel as if you're part owner, you owe it to yourself and your companions to investigate RiverDance.
Mountain views from nearly every window, a cliff-top view of the river far below, privacy when you want it and a family atmosphere when you don't. Funny thing about the river - while RiverDance is perched 300ft. above, the canyon's shape carries the sound of rippling water through your window.
Weather was too chilly for us to enjoy the deck and Carolina Porch (early April), but both are extremely inviting and I'm sure much time could be spent there from late spring into late fall.
While Bear River Lodge is considered a residential development, on the 1/2-mile-long drive up the mountain you only pass a few other homes.
I heartily recommend this vacation rental to:
1. Those who wish to explore backcountry adventures like hiking, paddling, fishing, bicycling, sight-seeing, etc. We hiked on the Appalachian Trail, visited Smoky Mtns. National Park, climbed Mt. Mitchell, NC (highest peak east of the Mississippi) and Clingman's Dome (2nd highest peak).
2. Couples/Families who wish to divide and conquer - one element into the woods/streams/mountains to play, while the other hunts for antiques or enjoys the cultural diversity of Asheville, just 30 minutes away.
3. Those who take a vacation for relaxation. A lot of books could be read on/near the porch/deck/fireplace, etc.
RiverDance is not a vacation rental slapped together as an investment opportunity. This is a beautiful, well-designed home built for the long haul by a wonderful couple who enjoy sharing their home with those who cherish mountain life as much as they do.
We will return and I've already recommended a stay at RiverDance to several close friends and family members.
BTW - I've rented vacation homes in three other locales throughout the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Hand's down, RiverDance was the most enjoyable and most memorable.