Asheville NC Vacation The Ultimate Vacation Destination
  • Mar
    12

    NORTH CAROLINA DUPONT STATE FOREST FOR HIKING, BIKING, FISHING, HORSEBACK RIDING AND HUNTING

    The 10,400 acre North Carolina DuPont State Forest in the Blue Ridge Mountains between Hendersonville and Brevard NC is famous for its astounding waterfalls on the Little River and Grassy Creek including the High Falls (150′), Triple Falls (120′), Bridal Veil Falls (you can walk behind the falls) and Hooker Falls (a popular swimming hole).  This was the location for some of the waterfall scenes in the movie, The Last of the Mohicans.  In addition, the park is a leading mountain bike destination with nearly 100 miles of beautiful trails (some with challenges and many with gentle grades) used for bicycling, hiking and for horseback riding.  Enjoy fishing in the five lakes, warm water streams and cold water streams.  Hunting is allowed in specified areas during season.  No camping is allowed.  Please see their website for specific times, licenses, rules and driving directions for your desired activities:  www.dupontforest.com   

    Whatever your reason for visiting the DuPont State Forest, you will be awe-struck by the astonishing scenery of the area.  We highly recommend visiting this state forest to our vacation rental guests staying at our nearby Hendersonville and Asheville cabins, cottages, chalets and homes:  www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com  Call 828-274-9777 or email Joyah@aol.com if you wish to make reservations to stay with us. 

    Photos by Stephanie Joy Johnson, www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com for luxury Asheville and Hendersonville vacation rental cabins, cottages, chalets and homes.  We are authorized Biltmore Estate ticket distributors. 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 at their higher price one day price!

    Email:  Joyah@aol.com

    Phone:  828-274-9777

    The astonishing Triple Falls in NC DuPont State Forest Photo by Stephanie Joy Johnson for www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com

    The astonishing Triple Falls in NC DuPont State Forest Photo by Stephanie Joy Johnson for www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com

    The beautiful Hooker Falls in NC DuPont State Forest - Photo by Stephanie Joy Johnson for www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com

    The beautiful Hooker Falls in NC DuPont State Forest - Photo by Stephanie Joy Johnson for www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com

    Hooker Falls in NC DuPont State Forest - Photo by Stephanie Joy Johnson for www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com

    Hooker Falls in NC DuPont State Forest - Photo by Stephanie Joy Johnson for www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com

     

    The awesome High Falls in the NC DuPont State Forest

    The awesome High Falls in the NC DuPont State Forest

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  • Mar
    7

    The lovely 60 acre Fletcher Community Park bordered by Cane Creek River is conveniently located between the Blue Ridge Mountain towns of Asheville and Hendersonville NC and open year round.  The small town of Fletcher, encompassing 5 square miles incorporated in 1989 with a population of about 5000, is a growing family-oriented community dedicated to enhanced quality of life for its residents and visitors. 

     

    Our Dream Chalet and Joy Chalet vacation rental homes located in Fletcher NC (www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com) are only a few miles from the recreational Fletcher Community Park.  Our guests often take advantage of the pretty nature walking trail by the Cane Creek, eat at the tree-shaded picnic tables or play horse-shoes.  In addition, there are a total of 5 walking trails from the longest Outer Loop of 1.4 miles to the shortest .2 mile Cane Creek trail.  Enjoy the disc (frisbee) golf, fishing, youth and adult softball fields, soccer fields, playgrounds, bicycle trails, large grill, concession stand and restrooms.  Dogs are welcome as long as you keep them on a leash and clean up after them. 

     

    Directions:  On Hendersonville Road in the town of Fletcher turn at the light signal on Howard Gap (just opposite the Blue Sky Café – yummmm! – and the Go Grocery & Dollar Stores).  After you turn on Howard Gap, the park is less than a mile on your left.  

    Address:  85 Howard Gap Road, Fletcher NC 28732

    Phone:  828-687-0751  Fax:  828-687-7133

    Website Info:  www.FletcherParks.org

    Hours:  6:30 AM to Dusk

    Admission:  FREE

     

    Reviewed by Stephanie Joy Johnson of 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 by our awesome amenities!!! 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!  828-274-9777  Email: Joyah@aol.com

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  • Mar
    7

     

    Whether you want to fish, sail, canoe, paddle boat, camp or picnic, LAKE JULIAN, open daily year around, is a great family recreational park located at the south edge of Asheville NC.  Lake Julian is a deep lake about a mile long and .3 to .5 miles wide.  Due to its use as a cooling agent for our local Carolina Power & Light electric company located on its shore, the Lake Julian is a “thermal” lake staying warm even during the winter months.  Some of the best fishing and bird watching is from October through March where you can expect to find catfish, bass, bluegill, crappie and Tilapia.  A local $3 lake fishing permit is required.  For a reasonable fee, you may rent a fishing boat or launch your own (only electric motors allowed – gasoline motors are prohibited).  Rent one of their big pavilions with plenty of picnic tables for family reunions or large group gatherings. 

     

    Website for daily hours and rental rates:      http://www.buncombecounty.org/common/parks/LakeJulianBrochure.pdf

    Phone:  828-684-0376

    Address:  75 Long Shoals Road, Asheville NC

    Directions to Lake Julian Park:  From Asheville take Exit #37 off Interstate 26 E.  Turn left onto Long Shoals Road.  Go 1.1 mile to a light signal & turn right on Overlook Ext. The park entrance is .1 mile. 

    Reviewed by Stephanie Joy Johnson, www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com for luxury Asheville and Hendersonville vacation rental cabins, cottages, chalets and homes.  We are authorized Biltmore Estate ticket distributors. 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 at their higher price one day price!

    Email:  Joyah@aol.com

    Phone:  828-274-9777

     

     

     

     

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  • Mar
    7
    Ginny takes a break on her winter hike on the Blue Ridge Parkway overlooking the French Broad River in Asheville NC.  During the summer months the scenery will be lush and wildlife abundant!

    Ginny takes a break on her winter hike on the Blue Ridge Parkway overlooking the French Broad River in Asheville NC. During the summer months the scenery will be lush and wildlife abundant!

    The stunningly beautiful FRENCH BROAD RIVER flows through the heart of Asheville, North Carolina as well as the picturesque Biltmore Estate.  You can see why this free-flowing wide river attracted the establishment of such a unique mountain city on its banks.  Today it provides fabulous recreation including fishing (small mouth bass & catfish), rafting, kayaking, canoeing or just the pleasure of watching the amazing river as it flows by.  It is only one of two rivers that flows toward the north in the U.S. and is the third oldest river in the world.  Beginning at Rosman NC, it flows 210 miles northwest through the Appalachian Mountains into the Tennessee River, then into the Mississippi River and on to the Gulf of Mexico.  Take a gentle ride or experience a rapids raft adventure down the French Broad River for an experience of a life time.

     

    RECREATION ON THE RIVER: 

    • Check out the local in town Asheville Outdoor Center for a gentle French Broad River trip by canoe, raft or kayak.  It’s a great way for kids and families to experience the natural beauty, wildlife and history of this mountain area. You can even see the Biltmore Estate grounds as you float through its property.  The Asheville Outdoor Center now has added mining for fossils, minerals and precious stones along the river as part of your mountain experience.  You can call them at 800-849-1970 or 828-232-1970 or go their website for more details: www.paddlewithus.com.
    • For a white water rafting adventure on the French Broad River and only 24 miles out of Asheville, check out the French Broad Rafting Expeditions with various river tours from 9 miles to 5 miles and from class I to class IV rapids.  It promises to be a memorable adventure!  They are open 7 days a week from March through October. Their number is 800-570-7238 and their website is:  www.frenchbroadrafting.com/whitewater.htm.
    • If you are visiting The Biltmore Estate, for a fee additional to entrance admission price, you can enjoy their French Broad River float trips by raft or kayak either with a guide or on your own.  Available April through October.  See below on how to buy your DISCOUNTED Biltmore Estate entry tickets.

    WHERE TO STAY:  You are invited to stay at our luxurious Asheville vacation rental cabins, cottages and chalets while in the area.  Visit our website at www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com for your choice of a quality home with all the amenities to pamper you….hot tubs, massage chairs, king beds & sumptuous bedding, beautiful settings, high speed wireless Internet, gas log fireplaces and so much more!  Call us at 828-274-9777 for your reservation.

     

    We are authorized Biltmore Estate ticket distributors.  Buy your DISCOUNTED Biltmore tickets from us to save on gate entry price, avoid waiting in ticket lines, tickets upgradeable to season passes, free wine tasting tickets and best of all, tickets are good for TWO CONSECUTIVE DAYS instead of just one day!  Contact us at 828-274-9777 or email us at Joyah@aol.com or see our website at www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com 

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  • Mar
    4

    A top recommendation on our list of casual lunch eateries for our Asheville/Arden vacation rental home guests (www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com) to experience is the 12 Bones Smokehouse with the absolute best, most yummy, most excellent BBQ meats in the world!  12 Bones (the number of ribs in a full rack of ribs) specializes in slow-smoked, cooked-to-perfection babyback ribs with amazing sauces, pulled pork and chicken….as well as scrumptious unusual side dishes that would please any vegetarian….no kidding!  It’s the only place in town to get melt-in-your mouth REAL BBQ with very generous portions!  No longer a local secret, their incredible blueberry-chipotle ribs won the 2008 “Best Bites Challenge” on ABC’s Good Morning America and they’ve been featured in Southern Living magazine as well. 

     

    The food is soooo fabulous and affordable that there most always is a line….so come early….strike up a conversation with the friendly customers waiting in line with you!  It won’t take long to reach the order counter. With two locations (listed below) our vacation homes are closest to the new Arden (South Asheville) location on Sweeten Creek (Hwy 25A) housed in a reclaimed garage/gas station.  It is casual, funky and nothing pretentious….just good food in a Spartan setting….sit outside on the picnic benches or inside the “garage.”  (There’s plenty of parking behind the building.) A down side are their short hours….from 11 AM to 4 PM from Monday through Friday and open Saturdays only at the South Asheville location. 

     

    Unlike Robert who loves the pulled pork, my passion happens to be their mouth-watering turkey sandwich….I’ve never knew turkey could be this flavorful, tender…and addicting!  Their smoked portabella sandwich with fried green tomatoes is quite orgasmic as well.  For their sides, the collard greens are a “must” to experience as well as their delectable corn pudding.  Go to their website for all the menu details.  All their menu items are made from scratch.  If you have a large event, they will cater the yummiest food your guests are sure to appreciate.

     

    12 Bone Smokehouse Locations:

    • 3578 Sweeten Creek Rd, Arden NC 28704    Phone: 828-687-1395 
    • 5 Riverside Drive, Asheville NC  28801 (a bit difficult to find in the River Arts District so look at their online map)   Phone:  828-253-4499
    • Catering:  828-606-7880
    • Website:  www.12bones.com 

    Reviewed by Stephanie Joy Johnson, www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com for our guests at our Asheville and Hendersonville vacation rental cabins, cottages, chalets and homes.  We are authorized Biltmore Estate ticket distributors. 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 at their higher price!

     

    George (still a bit camera shy) has arrived quite early at the 12 Bones best BBQ in the world....soon there will be a line of loyal, addicted customers for lunch.  Located in a funky, converted garage on Sweeten Creek (Hwy25A), the food is sensational!

    George (still a bit camera shy) has arrived quite early at the 12 Bones best BBQ in the world....soon there will be a line of loyal, addicted customers for lunch. Located in a funky, converted garage on Sweeten Creek (Hwy25A), the food is sensational!

    The former garage/gas station is now a casual, funky home to the best BBQ ribs and smoked pulled pork around!

    The former garage/gas station is now a casual, funky home to the best BBQ ribs and smoked pulled pork around!

     

     

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  • Mar
    3

    Ginny is exhausted before she even starts up this strenuous but gorgeous trail leading up to Mount Pisgah!  Hike this trail in sections unless you are ready to do some serious hiking!

    Ginny is exhausted before she even starts up this strenuous but gorgeous trail leading up to Mount Pisgah! Hike this trail in sections unless you are ready to do some serious hiking!

    The famous Shut-In Trail, which parallels the Blue Ridge Parkway up to the 5721’ Mount Pisgah (about 30 – 40 minutes by car from Asheville), was originally part of a trail built by George Vanderbilt for his family and friends staying at his Biltmore Estate leading to his hunting retreat at Mount Pisgah.  Hiking this trail is definitely NOT for the faint of heart….or body!  It’s a long, steep, up and down ridge trail….and incredibly beautiful.  If you were part of the Biltmore Estate guests visiting during its era, you would have been provided horses from the Biltmore Estate Stables and have ridden up to their Mt Pisgah lodge. Much of the original trail that was graded is no longer in existence and it now follows the ridge line.  (Of course, the Estate servants would have been sent in advance to prepare for the guests’ comfort!)  The 900+ mile long Mountain-To-Sea Trail (marked with a white circular blaze) also shares this route for part of the distance.  We like to enter the Shut-In Trail just off the Blue Ridge Parkway by Hwy 191 before the entrance to the WNC Arboretum (a sign marks the spot – see Ginny’s photo).

     

     

    While visiting our Blue Ridge Parkway and Asheville areas, you are invited to stay at one of our deliciously luxurious vacation rental homes complete with hot tubs, massage chairs, king beds with sumptuous bedding, delightful surroundings and so much more!  After a long day on the trail, you’ll appreciate these important amenities!  www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com 

    BILTMORE HOUSE TICKETS:  We are authorized Biltmore Estate ticket distributors.  Buy your DISCOUNTED Biltmore tickets from us to save on gate entry price, avoid waiting in ticket lines, tickets upgradeable to season passes, free wine tasting tickets  and best of all, tickets are good for TWO CONSECUTIVE DAYS instead of just one day at their higher price!  Contact us at 828-274-9777 or email us at Joyah@aol.com or see our website at www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com 

     

    Shut In Trail is a lush forest trail just off the Blue Ridge Parkway.

    Shut In Trail is a lush forest trail just off the Blue Ridge Parkway.

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  • Mar
    2

    Known as “America’s Favorite Drive,” the scenic 469 mile long BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY winds through the spectacularly beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains (part of the Appalachian Mountain chain).  Starting at the Shenandoah National Park, Virginia and ending in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina, the Blue Ridge Parkway runs directly through the mountain city of Asheville NC.  Be sure to stay in or near Asheville (www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com) to explore the wonders of this amazing Blue Ridge Parkway National Park.  Throughout the length of the Parkway, you’ll find many pull out areas and marked hiking trails.  Visit the many waterfalls, visitor centers, picnic areas, panoramic vista overlooks, Mount Mitchell, Mount Pisgah, the Pisgah National Forest, Folk Art Center, and so much more! 

     

    While in the Asheville area, we suggest exploring from Mile Post (MP) 350 to 412 (Smaller numbers are to the north and larger numbers head south):

    • MP 350:  MOUNT MITCHELL (about 30 minutes north of Asheville) the highest point East of the Mississippi at 6684 feet and the Mount Mitchell State Park with nature trails, museum, campground, restaurant and awesome views from the look out tower and restaurant.
    • MP 364:  CRAGGY DOME view with an elevation of 5640′ and the Craggy Gardens Visitor Center (MP 364.6)  During June and July you’ll witness the awesome blooms of the rhododendron, mountain laurel, azaleas and other wildflowers.
    • MP 382:  FOLK ART CENTER VISITOR CENTER  More than just a visitor center, this is one of our favorite places to shop for unique gifts by the Southern Highlands Handicraft Guild!  The beautiful building houses wonderful exhibits, artwork, jewelry and crafts for sale. Also housed are a library and auditorium for informative presentations, and of course, visitor information.  
    • MP 407: MOUNT PISGAH (about 30 miles south of Asheville) at 5721.’  Once a part of the Biltmore Estate, there is a winding trail from off the Pisgah parking lot that leads to the top with fabulous vistas.  There is also a motel and quality restaurant with floor to ceiling picture windows with out-of-the-world views!   
    • MP 412:  View of COLD MOUNTAIN  at 4542’ made famous by the best-seller book and movie with the same name. 

     

    BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY DETAILS SUMMARY:

    • Length of Road:  469.1 miles Virginia to North Carolina
    • Speed Limit: 45 MPH unless posted slower
    • No Entrance Fee – This is a FREE park
    • Winter Months:  The road is not maintained during the winter so winter conditions may force some closures.  Note: through the city of Asheville, the Parkway is usually open except during snow or ice conditions. 
    • Construction:  Begun during the Depression in 1935 as a public works, the Parkway was completed in 1987 at Grand Father Mountain.
    • Websites: 

    Great for Mile Post Views:  http://www.virtualblueridge.com/

    Blue Ridge Parkway Association:  http://www.blueridgeparkway.org/ 

    National Park Service:  http://www.nps.gov/blri/

    We invite you to visit stay at one of our luxury vacation rental cabins, cottages, chalets or homes in the Asheville and Hendersonville NC locations:  www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com  or call us at 828-274-9777 to make your reservations. 

     

    BILTMORE HOUSE TICKETS:  Buy your DISCOUNTED Biltmore Estate tickets from us to save on gate entry price, avoid waiting in ticket lines, tickets upgradeable to season passes, free wine tasting tickets  and best of all, tickets are good for TWO CONSECUTIVE DAYS instead of just one day!  Even if you don’t stay with us, we can still sell you the tickets!  http://www.ashevillevacationhomes.com/BILTMOREESTATETICKETS.html

     

    Ginny enters the Blue Ridge Parkway ready for her hike on the Mountain-To-SeaTrail.

    Ginny enters the Blue Ridge Parkway ready for her hike on the Mountain-To-SeaTrail.

     

     

    Pull out at any of the number of turn-outs along the Blue Ridge Parkway for magnificent panoramic views!

    Pull out at any of the number of turn-outs along the Blue Ridge Parkway for magnificent panoramic views!

     

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