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Getting There -- To reach Banner Elk from Asheville, take I-40 East to U.S. 221 North, passing through Marion to Linville. Exit onto N.C. 105 North at Linville until you reach the intersection of N.C. 194 East. Turn left onto N.C. 194 East and proceed for roughly 4 miles into Banner Elk.

Visitor Information -- The Avery/Banner Elk Chamber of Commerce, N.C. 184, no. 2 Shoppes at Tynecastle (PO Box 335), Banner Elk, NC 28604 (tel. 800/972-2183 or 828/898-5605; www.averycounty.com), will mail you information on activities in the area. It's open Monday to Saturday 10am to 4pm and Sunday 10am to 3pm.

Special Events -- Kilt-clad Scots from Scotland (as well as from all parts of North America) gather here early in July for the annual Grandfather Mountain Highland Games and Gathering o' Scottish Clans (tel. 828/733-1333; www.gmhg.org). Bagpipe music, dancing, wrestling, and tossing the caber (a shaft that resembles a telephone pole), as well as the colorful mix of people bent on 4 days of fun, make this a spectacle not to be missed.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.