Asheville NC Vacation The Ultimate Vacation Destination
  • Feb
    16
    Our famous White Squirrels found in Hendersonville & Brevard NC

    Our famous White Squirrels found in Hendersonville & Brevard NC

     Recommendations by Robert Bowles of www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com   

    The wildlife being so accessible in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina and especially at the unique and wonderful natural habitats found at our Asheville and Hendersonville vacation rental homes & cabins locations, has led me to explore digital photography.  We often see falcons, white squirrels, wild turkeys, deer, bear, muskrats, kingfishers, raccoons and more.  I’ve done a great deal of research about taking wildlife photographs, and creating digital movies, and have been experimenting with several types and makes of cameras and camcorders.  The choices of features are huge, and the types of photography formats can be confusing.

    I suggest choosing an actual optical zoom feature, not digital zoom, on both picture taking and movie making.  I find combining the use of the digital zoom function when using the optical zoom is a waste of time and energy.  The resultant pictures and movies are much more blurred, and do not take advantage of the high resolution the cameras are capable of.

    Choose the highest resolution you can afford for both pictures and movies.  Higher resolution means larger files, but a simple USB plug in hard drive for your computer will take anything your photography may produce.  They are available with large capacities, and cost between $80 and $160.  Look for the deals in Sunday ads.

    A few notes about movie resolution:  HD (high definition) is tons better than anything else.  1080P will give you excellent details on computer screens and HDTV’s.  It will also look great on a standard TV.  1080i will look good on 1080i HDTV’s, but makes for poor video on computers.   720P has less detail, but on smaller screens (17” or less on computers, 44” or less on HDTV’s) is still very good.  I haven’t tried the 720i resolution, but imagine it too would be annoyingly sparse with horizontal lines when shown on computers, like the 1080i is.  Both the 1080 and 720 resolutions are MUCH better than the 640×480 and the 320×180 movie picture formats encountered on the lesser camcorders, and in movie mode on many digital cameras.  Those are good for fun, but will be disappointing if you are looking for crisp and clear results.

    For more information, see www.cnet.com/camcorder-buying-guide.  Click around once there for information on digital cameras, TV’s, computers and more.

    Come see our natural habitat wildlife for yourself and take your own photos! See our Asheville’s luxury vacation cabins, chalets, cottages and homes:  www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com .  YOU DESERVE TO BE SPOILED and you will be outrageously spoiled at our vacation rental homes!!!  We have Discounted Biltmore Estate tickets that are good for 2 consecutive days instead of just 1 day.  No waiting in lines!

    Our Guests at the Dream Chalet and the Joy Chalet often see families of wild turkeys wandering out from the woodlands into the back yard.

    Our Guests at the Dream Chalet and the Joy Chalet often see families of wild turkeys wandering out from the woodlands into the back yard.

    The White Stone Lake Manor vacation rental home is a great place to observe all the lake's wildlife in action!

    The White Stone Lake Manor vacation rental home is a great place to observe all the lake's wildlife in action!

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  • Feb
    16

    COME SEE WHY EVERY YEAR….

    THERE ARE OVER 1 MILLION VISITORS TO THE BILTMORE ESTATE IN THE BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAINS OF ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA!  

    OUR GUESTS MAY PURCHASE DISCOUNTED TICKETS GOOD FOR 2 CONSECUTIVE DAYS INSTEAD OF JUST  THE ONE DAY GATE PRICE!!!

     

    Listed in the Top 10 of American Institute of Architects

    “America’s Favorite Architecture”

     

    The world famous Biltmore House, built by George Vanderbilt in 1895, is America’s largest home with an astounding 250 rooms.  It sits like a precious gem in the heart of 8000 acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Styled as a French Chateau, you can imagine as you wander through the multitude of rooms, what life must have been like in a real live American Castle! 

    Plan to spend a day….better yet 2 days….touring this exquisite home with its priceless treasures and exploring the fabulous gardens and grounds.  There are self-guided tours, audio tours as well as very special behind the scenes guided tours of the home. 

    Visit the many spectacular gardens throughout the year to experience the ever-changing seasonal display of flowers, fields and forests.  Wander the many garden paths and trails throughout the grounds, by the peaceful Bass Pond or by the French Broad River that flows past the Estate.  Take a 90-minute motor coach tour to hear stories about the history of the land and its former residents. 

    Visit the restored Conservatory of amazing exotic plants and flowers.

    Take a tour of the Biltmore Winery and visit the Tasting Room to sample the award-winning wines.   

    Enjoy fine dining at a number of special restaurants throughout the Estate…or indulge in the goodies served at the Bake Shop or the Ice Cream Parlor. 

    Shopping!  It’s always a delight see the varied and delightful selection of goodies to buy at their gift shops!

    Outdoor Experiences at the Biltmore Outdoor Center include:

    • Sporting Clays School where you learn the techniques of shooting clay targets with a Beretta shot fun
    • Biking – daily trail passes and bike rentals
    • Fly-Fishing School
    • Morning Woods Walk at River Bend Farm where you can see historic sites and structures of the beaten path.
    • Wagon Tour of River Bend Farm
    • Land Rover Offerings including Land Rover Experience Driving School or a Ride-Along Expedition

    You can see why one day may not be enough to experience all this fabulous Biltmore Estate has to offer.  WE OFFER OUR GUESTS AT www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com TICKETS GOOD FOR 2 FULL  CONSECUTIVE DAYS for the price of just a 1 day gate ticket….and AT A DISCOUNT!

    With our tickets:

    • You save money from the gate entry price,
    • We accept VISA and Master Card – NO Sales Tax charged
    • You can avoid waiting in long ticket lines,
    • There is a free wine tasting ticket included,
    • Tickets are upgradeable to season passes,
    • Children ages 9 and under are FREE,
    • And best of all, our tickets are good for TWO CONSECUTIVE DAYS instead of just one day! 

    Just give us a call to order your tickets and we’ll have them waiting for you when you arrive.  Or if you decide last minute, just give us a call and we’ll drop them by.  

    You deserved to be spoiled!

    We are authorized ticket dealers

    www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com

    828-274-9777

    Come visit the Biltmore House and stay in your own luxurious home.  Make your reservation at one of our Asheville NC luxury vacation rental cabins, chalets, cottages & homes.  www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com

     

     

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  • Feb
    14

    We are often asked by our vacationing guests where we find our unusual and delightful home décor for our Asheville & Hendersonville luxury vacation rental homes.  (To see photos of our home furnishings at our various vacation cabins, chalets & cottages, go to www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com )  The answer is we find out-of-the-way home decorator stores such as “The Outlet on Kanuaga Bend,” where there are wonderful new and used decorator furniture and accessories such as unusual decorator pillows.  The mix of what is available is always changing and always a delight.  I often stop by to see what charming treasures I can find….and I always do find something to please me!  I think the reason we keep adding more vacation rental homes is so I can have a place to house all the enchanting furniture, artwork and decorator items I can’t resist buying!

     

    You’ll find the store just south of Historic Hendersonville downtown Main Street.  Follow Church Street and turn right on Kanuga.  The store is just down a block where Kanuga takes a 90 degree turn left. “The Outlet on Kanuga Bend” store is straight ahead “at the bend.”  The address is 401 Kanuga Street, Hendersonville, NC 28739  (828) 693-3343.

     

    Reviewed by Stephanie Joy Johnson of Asheville’s luxury vacation cabins, chalets, cottages and homes:  www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com   828-274-9777.  YOU DESERVE TO BE SPOILED and you will be outrageously spoiled at our vacation rental homes!!!  We have Discounted Biltmore Estate tickets that are good for 2 consecutive days instead of just 1 day.  No waiting in lines! 

    Don't let the rather plain exterior fool you....inside has wonderful decorator treasures!

    Don't let the rather plain exterior fool you....inside has wonderful decorator treasures!

    Ginny likes to shop here!

    Ginny likes to shop here!

     

     

    Fun New & Consigned Furniture and Accessories - Always Something New!

    Fun New & Consigned Furniture and Accessories - Always Something New!

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  • Feb
    14

    Restaurant Recommendation for our guests at our vacation rental homes in Asheville & Hendersonville:  www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com 

     

    You would never know passing by this bright blue little building on Highway 25 (3987 Hendersonville Rd) in Fletcher (half way between Asheville and Hendersonville NC) that the some of the tastiest food around is served here!  Let the full parking lot clue you in that locals know where to find really great food!  You immediately feel welcomed in the fun and relaxed atmosphere.  Sit inside with the blue sky ceiling filled with stars and planes or in the patio out back where there’s even a full size playhouse for your kids (they also have a great kid’s menu).

     

    It’s not your ordinary fare of burgers or country food….the menu is filled with delightful food combinations that will have you coming back again and again!  We often order the “Trio Salad Plate” for a sampling of their dill chicken salad, pesto penne and hummus with pita & veggies.  Another of our favorites is their Spinach Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette & hot Grilled Chicken. There’s a selection of about 20 wonderful wraps made with sun dried tomato flour tortillas and tofu can be substituted for meats in you prefer.  Try their Blackened Chicken wrap or their Sesame Veggie wrap. They have Super-duper Sandwiches and “Bodacious Burgers” and delicious “Cosmic Chicken” choices.  Vegetarians will find a huge selection!  Of their delightful side dishes, served as part of your menu selection, their Sweet Potato Fries are the best we’ve ever, ever tasted! 

     

    The Blue Sky Café is open for lunch and dinner from 11 AM – 8 PM and is closed on Sundays.  You can also order your meals “to go.”  Their phone number is 828-684-1247.  Located at 3987 Hendersonville Road, Fletcher, NC.  The full menu is on their website at www.ILoveBlueSkyCafe.com 

     

    Reviewed by Stephanie Joy Johnson and Robert Bowles, owners of Asheville & Hendersonville luxury vacation rental cabins, chalets, cottages and homes where you deserve to be spoiled!  www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com   We have Discounted Biltmore Estate tickets that are good for 2 consecutive days instead of just 1 day.  No waiting in lines!

     

    Ginny eyes her sweet potato fries....the best anywhere around! Robert & I are sharing the Spinach Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette & Grilled Chicken

    Ginny eyes her sweet potato fries....the best anywhere around! Robert & I are sharing the Spinach Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette & Grilled Chicken

    Ginny decides where to sit....always enchanted by the playful atmosphere.

    Ginny decides where to sit....always enchanted by the playful atmosphere.

    Ginny spots her favorite Blue Sky Cafe where she dines on a regular basis!

    Ginny spots her favorite Blue Sky Cafe where she dines on a regular basis!

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  • Feb
    8

     

    One of the most fun aspects of having vacation cabins, chalets and cottages in Asheville and Hendersonville NC is equipping them with the latest HDTV and wireless computer technology.  In our six Asheville vacation rental homes with televisions in every bedroom and gathering rooms, we have a total of 27 TV’s!  We have at least one HDTV in each home, and surround sound in the three largest homes, so we’ve gained lots of information on shopping for home theater components.

    We have found the perfect combination of quality and price by buying mostly over the Internet from factory refurbished outlets like www.savinglots.com, www.refurbdepot.com, www.amazon.com, and others.  We buy factory refurbished units, which arrive in factory boxes, with full manufacturer warranties.  We do buy the extended warranties in most cases since they are being used in vacation rental homes.  Our favorite supplier is Toshiba, and the best quality picture we’ve seen is the DLP Rear Projection models.  If you have room for a few inches more in depth than LCD and Plasma, you’ll find the picture out shines both, and it still weighs a third of the weight of the old style CRT tube TVs we’ve all used for years.

    The warranties come with in-home repair.  We did have one set that kept shutting down on its own after a few hours of being on.  The factory service truck came to the home it was in, and fixed it on the spot, at no charge!  We didn’t have to carry it into a big box store, we didn’t have to send it to the manufacturer, the technicians were both polite and knowledgeable, and quick.

    One big thing to make sure any HDTV you purchase has:  the ability to show a standard 4:3 ratio screen size, without stretching it out and distorting everything on the screen.  16:9 is the HDTV standard screen size, and 4:3 is the size we’ve been used to for decades.  Many broadcasts still come into our homes in the older 4:3 style.  Having the option of showing an undistorted 4:3 picture on the bigger screen will be important for your total enjoyment of your new HDTV.  The 4:3 picture is centered on the new screen, with black bars on each side blanking out the unused portion of the screen.

    A few more tips:  720p resolution is excellent from about 51 inches on down.  Above, get at least the 1080i, and if you can afford to, get the 1080p.  Most cable and satellite companies broadcast in 1080i, but Blue Ray HD does the 1080p, as will most cable and satellite companies in the future.  You can find all sorts of articles on what those numbers mean, but if you follow my advice, you’ll be happy with the results.

    Finally, what screen size should you get?  Generally choose a HDTV screen size equal to the average distance you’ll be sitting from the TV divided by 2.5.  So if you sit somewhere around 9 feet from the screen, you’ll want a 42-45” HDTV.  When in doubt, get the bigger selection.  You will not regret it!  Here’s a good explanation from Forbes.com:  http://www.forbes.com/2008/02/01/hdtv-fix-problems-tech-personal-cx_mb_0204hdtv.html

    If you are replacing a standard TV, and are satisfied with the screen size, do not simply replace it with a HDTV using the same screen size in inches.  You’ll end up with a much smaller vertical viewing dimension.   35” 4:3 older style screen needs to be replaced with a 42” HDTV 16:9 screen TV.  If you order a 35” 16:9 HDTV, you’ll be looking at a picture equal to a 29” tube TV.  Confused?  See this calculator:  http://www.cnet.com/1990-7874_1-6307377-1.html

    Written by Robert Bowles from Asheville Vacation Homes with cabins, chalets, cottages and homes in Asheville and Hendersonville, North Carolina  www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com 

    52" HDTV with Surround Sound At View Chalet - www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com

    52" HDTV with Surround Sound At View Chalet - www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com

    50" HDTV & Surround Sound at Rose Cottage, Hendersonville NC - http://www.ashevillevacationhomes.com/ROSECOTTAGE.html

    50" HDTV & Surround Sound at Rose Cottage, Hendersonville NC - http://www.ashevillevacationhomes.com/ROSECOTTAGE.html

    57" HDTV with surround sound in Media Room at White Stone Lake Manor. www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com

    57" HDTV with surround sound in Media Room at White Stone Lake Manor. www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com

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  • Feb
    6

    We highly recommend the Papas & Beer Mexican Restaurant to guests staying at our near-by Hendersonville luxury vacation rental homes (www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com). You might just drive by this restaurant on 1821 Asheville Highway and never realize that inside is the best Mexican food in Hendersonville.  You can tell by their full parking lot that local residents know this is the place!  We’ve been eating there for years and have consistently received great food and service.  My test of a good Mexican restaurant is whether I like their guacamole dip…and theirs is yummy!  My favorite entrees are their chicken burritos and the spinach enchiladas.  They have a large menu of typical and unusual Mexican dishes.  Their phone number is 828-692-9915.  Their hours are Sunday – Thursday 11 AM – 9 PM; Friday & Saturday 11AM – 10 PM.  As far as I know, they do not have a website.  You’ll just have to trust us that you won’t be disappointed when you eat at this cheerful restaurant!

     

    Reviewed by Stephanie Joy Johnson, www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com for luxury Asheville and Hendersonville vacation rental cabins, cottages, chalets and homes. Buy your discounted BILTMORE HOUSE TICKETS from us…save money, no waiting in line, free wine tasting ticket and tickets are good for TWO CONSECUTIVE DAYS instead of just one!

    You wouldn't guess from the street view that inside is the best Mexican food in Hendersonville NC!

    You wouldn't guess from the street view that inside is the best Mexican food in Hendersonville NC!

     

    Ginny reads over Robert's shoulder to decide which delicious meal she will order

    Ginny reads over Robert's shoulder to decide which delicious meal she will order

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  • Feb
    5

    Our most favorite pizza in the whole wide world is served at this funky North Asheville NC restaurant & movie house that has been voted “Best Pizza In WNC” for 7 years in a row. Here you can watch $3 first run movies that are ready to leave the big screen.  Theater times are 1 PM, 4 PM, 7 PM and 10 PM.  This theater only seats 150 people, so with these prices it’s best to go way early, especially for the evening shows….better yet, buy your tickets the day before.

     

    In case you want to try our favorite highly recommended pizza, it’s the “Shear Delight” with a pesto base, portabella mushrooms, walnuts & gorgonzola cheese….be sure to request it on the poppy seed crust!  What can be better than to watch a big screen movie in comfortable chairs and eat a great meal–there’s a big selection to choose from, especially the pizza!   However, if you’re not in the mood for pizza, there is a large menu selection of unique & yummy appetizers, salads, sandwiches, quesadillas, pastas, and more!   If you want to experience their tasty food, but not quite up for a movie, they have a full restaurant and pub there as well.  Yes, a pub…I should mention this is also a micro-brewery serving 8 of their own specialty beers, from their most popular pale ale “Shiva” to the dark ales.  See ya at the movies!Asheville Pizza & Brewing Company, 675 Merrimon Avenue, Asheville  NC 28803.  828-254-1281.  Click on a picture to visit their website for more details. 

     

    Reviewed by Stephanie Joy Johnson of Asheville’s luxury vacation cabins, chalets, cottages and homes:  www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com   828-274-9777.  YOU DESERVE TO BE SPOILED and you will be outrageously spoiled at our vacation rental homes!!!  Buy your discounted BILTMORE HOUSE TICKETS from us…save money, no waiting in line and tickets are good for TWO CONSECUTIVE DAYS instead of just one!

     

    Ginny got here plenty early to make sure she got in!  The pizza is ordered and will soon be ready!

    Ginny got here plenty early to make sure she got in! The pizza is ordered and will soon be ready!

    Funky place with the best pizza anywhere...and $3 movies!

    Funky place with the best pizza anywhere...and $3 movies!

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