Located in the western part of North Carolina, the Blue Ridge Mountains offer amazing views, small towns, and abundant activities. Visit in the summer months for mild weather to get out and discover nature, or drive up the Blue Ridge Parkway in the autumn to see the leaves changing colors. In the winter months, your family has its choice of popular ski resorts to hitting the slopes. Find the perfect vacation rental in the Blue Ridge Mountains for your family in one of the small towns or larger urban areas. Here are a few towns to check out in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

1. Asheville, North Carolina

Choose an urban loft in the downtown area or a cozy cabin on the outskirts of town as your family’s vacation rental for a week of fun, or for a romantic weekend with your sweetie. Asheville offers an eclectic, artistic vibe, ideal for a walk through the downtown area with shops featuring local artists. An eclectic mix of one-off eateries and nationwide chains make it easy to satisfy your foodie side. Spend a day visiting the Biltmore Estate, which is one of the largest privately own homes in the United States.

2. Black Mountain, North Carolina

Find a mountain view cabin just outside the small town of Black Mountain. Spend your days relaxing, exploring the small shops in town, or visit one of the nearby state parks. Enjoy an afternoon at the Black Mountain Ciderworks and Meadery to learn a little more about the production of hard cider, and sample some of the offerings. Then buy a six-pack to take home to remind you of your trip to the mountains.

3. Brevard, North Carolina

Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, you and your family can settle into a small vacation rental, or spread out in a wooded cabin with a hot tub on the back deck. While staying in the area, take the family out hiking to catch sight of one of the 250 waterfalls. You can visit the Sliding Rock waterfall, Looking Glass Falls, or Moore Cove Falls.

4. Lake Toxaway, North Carolina

Take the family for a lake vacation tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains at Lake Toxaway. Spend a day on the lake fishing, and then enjoy a fish fry at your lakeside vacation rental. For a day of family fun, take the group to Gem Mining at the Log Cabin, and try your luck at finding precious stones. Who knows what you might find!

5. Sapphire, North Carolina

Just outside of town, you can rent a luxurious chalet beside a lake or a cabin with stunning mountain views. During the day walk around town, or hike one of the many local trails. Grab your cowboy boots, and take the family to the Whitewater Equestrian Center for a trail ride. While you enjoy the scenery, the center’s owner shares the history of the area and surrounding mountains.

6. Banner Elk, North Carolina

Settle into a mountain cabin or choose a vacation rental in town with all the conveniences. In the winter months, this town is just a short drive from two popular ski resorts, Sugar Mountain Resort and Beech Mountain Resort. No matter which resorts your family skis at, you can rent equipment there or take lessons.

7. Chimney Rock, North Carolina

Choose this small, historic town as a base for your Blue Ridge vacation. Vacation rentals in the area include large family homes and rustic cottages that sit beside a creek. Use your time to explore the famous Chimney Rock State Park. If you enjoy rock climbing, make sure to pack your climbing gear to rappel down the side of Chimney Rock.

8. Lake Lure, North Carolina

Kick back for a week with water and mountains when you make Lake Lure your home away from home. You’ll find many lakeside cottages and cabins with the mountains within driving distance. After a few days of boating and fishing, take the family to the Boulderline Adventure Program. Here, you can test your nerve with a zip line adventure, or try your hand at the 32-foot climbing wall.

9. Burnsville, North Carolina

In Burnsville, you can rent a lakeside cottage, or a cabin, near one of the two state parks in the area. When the weather is good, bike or hike at Pisgah National Forest. This national forest offers more than 200 miles of trails made for hiking or cycling with ponds, lakes and amazing views along the way.

10. Little Switzerland, North Carolina

With a name like Little Switzerland, it’s no surprise that this town has a quaint and friendly charm. Choose a cabin with a breathtaking view or find something in town for easy access to the handful of shops and restaurants. For the daredevils in your family, drive The Diamondback. This 12-mile stretch of road features 190 steep curves as it climbs up the mountain. It’s not for the faint of heart.