Planning a trip to either Western NC or Western Virginia, and need to decide what towns we want to visit. Basically, we want to hike and bike all day and eat great at night, without too much unnecessary driving once we get to the area. A lake in the vicinity would be a plus but is not mandatory.
Oh, and my girlfriend does not eat meat, so I must decide this on some grounds OTHER than proximity to great barbecue. Sorry 'hounds!
People keep mentioning that Blowing Rock and Asheville, NC have a number of well-liked places to dine. Any other towns or locales that would fit the bill?