Fairfield Sapphire Valley
Club Wyndham Resort at Fairfield Sapphire Valley is located in Sapphire, NC. The address of the resort is 70 Sapphire Valley Road Sapphire, NC 28774.
For me, the drive from Virginia Beach was not too bad at less than an 8-hour trip. The drive was half on interstate 85 and then about half that distance again on interstate 40. At times the drive in scenic at other times it is a reminder of the advice I was told when I was young. To never drive fast at all in 1 stoplight towns.
This resort is in a rural location, and that is kind of its charm and focal point.
Video by Silver Creek Real Estate Group
Day One Arrival in nature
I arrived after the drive that I started early in the morning. On the way in to the area I stopped at a grocery store in an area called White Oaks called Food Matters Market I thought given how rural the location is that it would be nice if I could snack and maybe eat a few meals at the resort.
It was also late in the afternoon, almost check-in time so I figured I might as well grab a meal too. I went to Twin Dragons Grand Buffet, which was a smaller local Asian restaurant. It was good and since it was a buffet fast.
Pulling up at the resort a few minutes after my meal about 4PM, I was able to find the guest services building easy enough. There are blue and white signs pointing the way to guest registration when you drive into the roadway. If you get turned around somehow, just look for the village shops. The turn into the resort is near those shops on the other side of the road. You will see the resort sign right up ahead on the left from the village shops, and also you pass by the Blue Ridge Public Safety building. Which is the least law enforcement looking building I believe I have ever seen. From the outside, it looks more like a place that should be selling hammocks.
My room was a very nice size for a 1-bedroom deluxe unit 880 sq ft.
The unit has some standard amenities.
- Cable TV
- Coffee Maker
- DVD Player
- Ice Maker
- Iron/Ironing Board
Then the resort itself offers all of these options.
- Activities Center
- BBQ Grills
- Business Center/Fax
- Beach (Lake)
- Fitness Room
- Game Room
- Arcade Games
- Hot Tub
- Indoor Pool
- Internet Access
- Kid’s Activities
- Laundry Facilities
- Marina/Boat Launch
- Casual Dinning
- Fire Pit
- Golf Courses (18-9-Hole)
- Gift Shop
- On-Site Security
- Outdoor Pool
- Concierge Services
- Conference Room
- Computer with Internet
These rooms have a Pullman kitchen. Which, if you are not aware of the term, kind of means a kitchenette. The room has a queen bed and a sleeper sofa.
The resort also has other sizes and layouts of the 1-bedroom units, as well as 2-bedroom units that start at about 1,250sq ft. The kitchens I believe are the same size here, unless you are staying in a lockout unit. In that case, you may have one kitchen on each side.
The resort has a nice outdoor and separate indoor pool. I loved the indoor pool for its old school rustic charm. The outdoor pool was nice to, but it felt like someone’s large family pool which made it nice in its own way. It was a little cool for the outdoor pool today being in the 60s now. But I did hit the indoor pool for a while tonight.
I got up and rolling in the morning. I decided to go to a local place for breakfast. It was about 13 miles away and called the Blue Bike Café. Once I saw the menu here, I knew I was in trouble. They had a bit of everything I like, but to get them all I would end up getting like 2 entrees. Which is OK, but I would end up taking something back with me to the resort for sure. I ordered a John Candy, which was pancakes with about every topping you can imagine. Then I ordered a bike themed special that was the recumbent bike which was country fried steak, 2 eggs, hash browns or grits, biscuits, or toast. It by itself was a giant breakfast.
This was a great local spot with a menu that is great. My guess is that this is the best food in at least 100 miles in any direction. But we will see since I will probably try another place out on my trip. But I was very impressed with Blue Bike and would recommend it to everyone.
After that amazing breakfast, I wanted to get involved with some exercise and burn at least a few hundred of those calories off.
This area has ski runs for those skiers in the family or reading. The area also boasts one of the tallest waterfalls in the East. When you are at the resort, you are only about one hour and twenty minutes from Biltmore Estate. I have seen tours online, and on some documentary once, but I wanted to see it for myself in person. I also figured the walking would help burn off breakfasts. It is an amazing site, but with the ticket price you kind of feel like you take on the responsibility of paying the light bill for the day by yourself. If you select the exclusive tour option, you may be paying the bill for 2 days.
Once I spend money on an adventure, I try to block out the ticket price, and go in and enjoy myself, so that is what I did. I chose a ticket package that included a winery tasting room visit. I figured I would want a drink or two after walking the giant estate and gardens. With this option, you get a well-executed audio tour and a little hand-held player. Footnote it would be nice if they made it available on an app, and you could use your own Bluetooth earpiece.
The self-paced tour audio lasts a good bit, then you can go around some of the three main floors a little more following their open path. Next to it is the gardens which are impressive for anyone to see. Overall, the house and gardens property encompass 8,000 acres, which is just well overwhelming in size and scope.
To think that the bulk of this fortune started from a $100 investment and grew to what once was 100 million dollars in the 1800s which would be the equivalent of likely a trillion today. In fact, in 1877 that was more than the entire treasury of the nation.
Given the cost for the few hour experience, I think it is worth the try for someone like me who is interested in history and Americana. Or for someone who is just amazed by such a piece of real estate. Also, you can do the gardens tour for any plant or garden lover it is a must see. I was here in the late spring, so the gardens were amazing.
The winery was a bit like any winery you may visit, and the tasting room and wines were good as well. I would likely do that separately, but it was a nice finish to my trip. Though after all the walking part of me just wanted to stay too long and drink, but I did not.
When traveling I typically try to avoid chain restaurants, but Ashville has a Texas Roadhouse and they are just hard to beat for the quality and affordability. Their stakes and menu are favorites of mine, so after the win that is where I headed.
I started the meal with a combo appetizer then I had a Dallas Fillet both were outstanding. With a little over an hour’s drive back to the resort, I stayed away from any adult beverages and stuck with soft drinks.
Day Three a Day at the resort
This resort has a ton to offer. So today I started with a breakfast in my unit since I did not want to take the breakfast items back home with me tomorrow. I figured I would eat breakfast and lunch here, then try somewhere else local for dinner. That would save me enough for breakfast early tomorrow before checkout and the drive home.
I started out to Gorges State Park to check out the two waterfalls there and just enjoy watching the water go by. There are few things as peaceful as ocean waves, or in this case the sound of water running in a stream. But to hear the changes from the stream sound here to the impressive waterfalls was amazing. Seeing it was even more impressive.
I liked both falls I think had it been summer Turtle Back would have won my vote for the best fall because there is a side you can actually slide down and that would be amazing. But Silver Run Falls were more visually appealing to me.
It is hard to believe as much space as this state park has with two waterfalls, and all this land that it is still smaller than the Biltmore Estate. The park is about 500 acres smaller, though you would never notice.
After this I went to Fairfield Lake and Beach and checked it out. Today the weather was fine, and it was 68 degrees so I did not get in the water, but I enjoyed just spending time looking over the lake. I think I was here a little in between seasons because I had the whole place to myself most of the time, which was amazing.
One of the things I like to do in nature is take a nap. There is just something about being in an ideal spot in nature and being one with it, letting down your guards and just living in the moment. I had done some very neat things on this trip, but I think this was my favorite.
Dinner time was here, and I wanted to go grab something to eat from somewhere new. For me today, this meant the Highlands Smokehouse in nearby Highlands, NC. The menu here was as you would expect all things BBQ and smoked meats. The food here was great, but it was not what I think of as NC BBQ it was much more its namesake smokehouse style. It was very good, just not what I was expecting.
Funny how my brain is stuck on NC BBQ being only the vinegar based version I am used to. But again, this was exceptional BBQ, and smoked meats. Also, here the sides were great. If you love BBQ, I would certainly put in on your list of places to visit.
After a busy day doing very little but enjoying it all in nature and now a huge dinner, I was ready to swim a little more and hit a sauna, then settle in for some good sleep before hitting the road in the morning.
If you too want to take a vacation to this amazing part of North Carolina, you can not do better than this location. Just make sure you travel TZort style.