We stayed right outside Hot Springs last year for our anniversary getaway, but we didn't venture into the "city." Hot Springs, NC is an adorable tiny town which the Appalachian Trial runs right through. We were lucky enough to snag a "cottage" (more like an older house) at the last minute. It was equipped with a hot tub (a necessity for any of our mountain trips) and within walking distance to downtown Hot Springs.
The first night we got some snow. It was cold and rainy, but we did venture into town to have dinner. The Iron Horse Station had some great craft beers on draft and pretty good food.
On our last full day, we walked into town and explored. There are some really cute shops & restaurants.