I am looking into making the 10 hour drive from central Florida to Beech Mountain this summer 2018. Any and all local knowledge would be greatly appreciated to make the experience worth the trip. The wife (sadly not a mtb’er) may come along for the drive, so locations/activities that can keep her busy would also help (Happy wife, happy life and did I mention a 10 hour drive)
Lots of cool small mountain towns up there for shopping/food. Several breweries within a 15 mile radius. Tons of hiking. Several rafting outfitters nearby. Grandfather Mountain, Linville Falls and Cavern are all pretty cool.
I also highly recommend stopping at Pisgah for riding, which is sort of on the way.