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Asheville NC Vacation » 2009 » May

Asheville NC Vacation

The Ultimate Vacation Destination

  • May
    27

    Yes, it’s the BILTMORE WINERY located on the Biltmore Estate in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Western North Carolina.  Your entry ticket to the world-famous Biltmore Estate includes much more than just a tour of the George W. Vanderbilt’s spectacular 250-room home (the largest in the U.S.), it also is the passport to visit the incredible grounds, restaurants, outdoor activities….and the Biltmore Winery. 

     

    Ginny begins her self-guided tour at the beautiful Biltmore Winery building designed by the Biltmore Estate architect, Richard Morris Hunt, originally used as the Biltmore Dairy

    Ginny begins her self-guided tour at the beautiful Biltmore Winery building designed by the Biltmore Estate architect, Richard Morris Hunt, originally used as the Biltmore Dairy

    Sheltered in the mountain valley of the French Broad River, the 94 acre vineyard is in a perfect climate for grape cultivation producing award-winning wines including Chardonnay, Riesling, Viognier, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot.  The hand-picked grapes produce an annual harvest averaging 250 tons of grapes. 

     

    Ginny gazes at the long row of Wine Vats.  The sign on each vat reads:  "Bottling Termenter and storage.  Capacity 3190 gallons. 17.6 gallons/inch"

    Ginny gazes at the long row of Wine Vats. The sign on each vat reads: "Bottling Termenter and storage. Capacity 3190 gallons. 17.6 gallons/inch"

    1971 saw the first plantings of grapes by George W. Vanderbilt’s grandson, William A. V. Cecil, who felt this would be a natural extension of the self-sustaining economy of the Biltmore Estate.  Indeed, this has proven to be a huge success with the ever-expanding vineyard and a 90,000 square foot wine-producing and bottling facility opened in 1985.  This beautiful facility, converted from the dairy barn with underground tunnels with perfect temperatures for wine making, was designed by the Biltmore’s architect, Richard Morris Hunt. 

     

    Experience it for yourself on your self-guided tour of the winery operation that ends in the Tasting Room where you can sample (and purchase!) the wide range of award-winning Biltmore Wines now available.  For a full listing of the wine offerings, the many awards and details on the winery, visit their website at: http://www.biltmore.com/our_wine/

     

    Ginny views the Wine Cellar.  During the days of the Biltmore Dairy, this was a service area.  The 8 tunnels were used to dispose of waste from the milking rooms.  It is an ideal place with natural temperatures of 54 degrees to 60 degrees, for aging and storing sparkling wines.

    Ginny views the Wine Cellar. During the days of the Biltmore Dairy, this was a service area. The 8 tunnels were used to dispose of waste from the milking rooms. It is an ideal place with natural temperatures of 54 degrees to 60 degrees, for aging and storing sparkling wines.

    If you need discount tickets to the Biltmore Estate good for TWO CONSECUTIVE DAYS, feel free to contact us at 828-274-9777 or joyah@aol.com or http://www.ashevillevacationhomes.com/BILTMOREESTATETICKETS.html

    While visiting in the area, you are invited to stay at our romantic & luxurious vacation rentals:  www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com 

     

    Ginny is entralled with the multitude of wine barrels!

    Ginny is entralled with the multitude of wine barrels!

    Ginny "hangs out" admiring the dusty bottles of vintage wines on the other side of the locked gates.

    Ginny "hangs out" admiring the dusty bottles of vintage wines on the other side of the locked gates.

    At the end of the tour, Ginny finds herself in a huge tasting room and is invited to sample the wide variety of wines made here.

    At the end of the tour, Ginny finds herself in a huge tasting room and is invited to sample the wide variety of wines made here.

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  • May
    27

    White Squirrel is plays in the tree at the Story Book Cottage romantic vacation rental home in Hendersonville NC.

    White Squirrel is plays in the tree at the Story Book Cottage romantic vacation rental home in Hendersonville NC.

    White squirrels roam an area in North Carolina near Asheville in the towns of Hendersonville and Brevard.  The area starts around Cashiers and continues through Brevard to Hendersonville, and beyond, about a 60 mile stretch.  Locals say the squirrels came to Brevard from Hawaii, via Florida.  In 1949 an overturned carnival truck in Florida eventually resulted in the beginnings of the white squirrel population here in Henderson and Transylvania Counties.  Read details at http://www.whitesquirrelinstitute.whitesquirrelfestival.com/ and http://whitesquirrels.com/cart/

     

    Our now famous white squirrels actually belong to the Eastern Gray Squirrel family.  They are not albino, their coats are naturally white and their eye color is dark like gray squirrels.   Most have a dark patch on the head that leads down their backs in a thin dark line. 

     

    Although most white squirrels have some gray markings, this white squirrel is entirely white!  Photo was taken at the Rose Cottage vacation rental home sitting on the lawn of the volleyball play area.

    Although most white squirrels have some gray markings, this white squirrel is entirely white! Photo was taken at the Rose Cottage vacation rental home sitting on the lawn of the volleyball play area.

    It is quite entertaining to watch them.  They play, eat and climb with their gray squirrel families, yet their every movement is magnified so much that no matter how many of their gray cousins are with them, all you see is the white one(s).  They are a delight to watch, you must come see!  My explanations and descriptions cannot match the actually visual treat in store for you. 

     

    A frequent visitor at the Rose Cottage vacation rental home in Hendersonville NC, this white squirrel has found the children's fort/swing/slide playground a fun place to hang out!

    A frequent visitor at the Rose Cottage vacation rental home in Hendersonville NC, this white squirrel has found the children's fort/swing/slide playground a fun place to hang out!

     

     

    Our guests at the White Stone Lake Manor in Hendersonville NC are delighted when they spot our resident white squirrel that visits our private lake.

    Our guests at the White Stone Lake Manor in Hendersonville NC are delighted when they spot our resident white squirrel that visits our private lake.

    Photos and article by Robert Bowles  www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com  Come see the white squirrels while you stay at one of our cottage, chalet, cabin & home vacation rentals.  Call us at 828-274-9777 or email us at www.Joyah@aol.com for your reservations. 

     

     

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  • May
    25

    Ginny feels she just stepped into an Italian Restaurant with the open kitchen on the left where she can see the fresh food being prepared.

    Ginny feels she just stepped into an Italian Restaurant with the open kitchen on the left where she can see the fresh food being prepared.

    Even though you are in the heart of the Smoky Mountains, as soon as you enter the doors of the Bistro Restaurant on the Biltmore Estate, you’ll feel that you’ve been transported to a beautiful Tuscany café. At the center of the restaurant is a large open kitchen where you can see the delicious meals being grilled, sautéed and prepared with the utmost care with the freshest foods (vegetables, herbs, greens and beef) from the estates own fields and farms. 

    Lunches are a treat with delectable wood-fired pizzas, appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches and entrees.  Dinners are to be savored with the extraordinary meals prepared with care.  We’ve always experienced great service the many times we’ve eaten here.  Be sure to have a reservation for dinners so they will have your name at the entry gate to be allowed on the estate after hours. 

    As with all restaurants on the Biltmore Estate, you will need an estate admission ticket.  If you have yet to purchase your ticket, just give us a call at Asheville Vacation Homes to purchase your discounted ticket good for two consecutive days!  Call us at 828-274-9777 or see our website at www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com .

    Phone:  828-225-6230 for reservations

    Hours for Lunch:  Noon – 5 PM

    Hours for Dinner:  5 PM – 8:30 PM

    Website for Menu:  www.biltmore.com/visit/dining/bistro/

     

    Reviewed by Stephanie Joy Johnson of www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com  You are invited to experience the luxury of our Asheville and Hendersonville Vacation Rental Homes where we promise you will be outrageously spoiled!  Call us at 828-274-9777 or email at Joyah@aol.com 

    Ginny can hardly wait to be seated because she knows how delicious the food is here!

    Ginny can hardly wait to be seated because she knows how delicious the food is here!

    Ginny is just outside the Bistro Restaurant that is just across from the Winery where she just completed the awesome tour!

    Ginny is just outside the Bistro Restaurant that is just across from the Winery where she just completed the awesome tour!

     

     

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  • May
    22

    Ginny quickly decides she like the relaxed garden feel of the Arbor Grill located near the Winery...and she's hungry for lunch after the long stroll she's taken around the Biltmore Estate grounds!

    Ginny quickly decides she like the relaxed garden feel of the Arbor Grill located near the Winery...and she's hungry for lunch after the long stroll she's taken around the Biltmore Estate grounds!

    During your visit to the world famous Biltmore House in Asheville NC, be sure to dine at their absolutely wonderful eateries & restaurants!  During our visit in May, we had lunch at the outdoor ARBOR GRILL by the Winery (be sure to take a tour of the Winery!). As you can see by the photos, it’s a divine space to enjoy a relaxed meal. Their delicious selections include a special tapas menu as well as salads and sandwiches.  For this visit, we ordered the Balsamic Marinated Chicken Sandwich with cilantro-artichoke pesto and the Roasted Vegetable Quesadilla with smoked provolone, pickled carrots, pico de gallo and sour cream….yummmy!!!  You can also enjoy great local beer and Biltmore wine, and even listen to live music later in the afternoon on special occasions.  Arbor Grill is open from noon until 8pm.

     

    If you plan to stay in the Asheville NC area, you are invited to stay with us at one of our near-by romantic vacation rental homes.  You will be outrageously spoiled with all our sumptuous amenities!  We can even provide you with discounted Biltmore Estate tickets good for TWO consecutive days!  Call us at 828-274-9777 or email at Joyah@aol.com or see our website at www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com 

    Ginny now sees the Arbor Grill's posted menu and decides this is the perfect place for lunch!

    Ginny now sees the Arbor Grill's posted menu and decides this is the perfect place for lunch!

     

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  • May
    22

    For 73 years this renowned music institute hosting 400 extremely talented students ages 14 to post-college, 75 world-renowned visiting guest artists & artist faculty, and a full contingent of support staff gathers from mid-June to early August.  During an intensive 7 week program, students partake in a demanding and rewarding program of music instruction. 

     

    The huge benefit to all the communities in Western North Carolina is that there are over 80 concerts given by students and the artist faculty during this 7 week festival at this incredibly beautiful wooded 150 acre campus in the Blue Ridge Mountains!  Evenings are beautiful in the mountains especially when accompanied by an open air concert (covered building but open sided).  Go early to enjoy patio fine dining or order a picnic to eat on the lawns.  Go to their website to decide what of their multitude of offerings will please you the most and buy your advance tickets. 

     

    WEBSITE:  http://www.brevardmusic.org/

    ADDRESS (PHYSICAL):  Brevard Music Center, 349 Andante Lane, Brevard, NC 28712

    ADDRESS (MAILING):  Brevard Music Center,  P.O. Box 312,  Brevard, NC 28712

    PHONE (BOX OFFICE):  (828) 862-2105 or Toll Free (888) 384-8682
    PHONE (MAIN OFFICE):  (828) 862-2100
    DIRECTIONS:

    From Asheville, NC

    Take I-26 E to the Asheville Airport exit, #40. Turn right off the exit onto Highway 280 and drive 16 miles into Brevard. As you approach downtown Brevard, you will see directional signs to the Music Center. Travel time: 45 minutes from downtown Asheville.

    From Hendersonville, NC

    Take Highway 64 W to Brevard. At the intersection of Highways 280 and 64, turn left toward Brevard. As you approach Brevard, you will see directional signs to the Music Center. Travel time: 30 minutes.

     

    If you plan to be in the area, we invite you to stay at one of our luxury vacation rental homes where we promise you will be outrageously spoiled by all our wonderful amenities!  See our website at www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com or call us at 828-274-9777 or email us at joyah@aol.com 

     

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  • May
    14

    Ginny follows the romantic, etherial music through the greenhouse Conservatory and discovers two musicians seated among the flowers serenading her.

    Ginny follows the romantic, etherial music through the greenhouse Conservatory and discovers two musicians seated among the flowers serenading her.

    We decided on a quick visit to the Biltmore Estate gardens in Asheville NC to witness the ever-changing blooming gardens and happened upon delicious music floating on the air in the greenhouse Conservatory.  Rounding the corner, we discovered two musicians playing the most pleasing, ethereal music just perfect for the heavenly floral setting!  It is called “Musical Performances in the Walled Garden” and the hours are from 11:30 AM for half hour intervals until 4PM during most of May.  We visit year-round and are always surprised and delighted with all the extra special touches visitors receive.  Thanks, Biltmore Estate!

    If you are visiting the mountains for your vacation (after all, beach vacations get to be quite boring!), we welcome you to stay at one of our luxury vacation rental cottages, chalets or homes.  Expect to be outrageously spoiled at our homes with all our fabulous amenities!  We are also authorized ticket distributors for the Biltmore and we sell our tickets at a discount and they are good for two full consecutive days! 

    Our website:  www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com

    Phone:  828-274-9777    Email:  joyah@aol.com

    Ginny just loves to visit the ever-changing blooms in the Conservatory!

    Ginny just loves to visit the ever-changing blooms in the Conservatory!

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  • May
    12

    Ginny eyes her favorite ice cream parlor anticipating the best ice cream cone anywhere!

    Ginny eyes her favorite ice cream parlor anticipating the best ice cream cone anywhere!

     

     

    For the freshest, creamiest, homemade ice cream you’ll probably ever taste, you’ve got to experience the Marble Slab Creamery in Asheville NC!  Every batch of ice cream is homemade and their hand-rolled and dipped waffle cones are baked right there.  You can select from an astonishing selection of ice cream flavors made of the finest and freshest ingredients (never processed or preserved).  Once you’ve made your ice cream selection, it is then scooped onto a frozen marble slab where it will be blended with your choice of additional ingredients such as nuts, candies, cookies, fruits, etc.  It will then be piled high on your waffle cone of choice.  This is way beyond just ice cream in a tub plopped on a cone….this is an experience….a really yummy experience!  For a special celebration, order an ice cream cake or pie, or custom make your own ice cream in pints or quarts to go.  They will even bring along a marble slab and cater an ice cream event.

    LOCATIONS: 

    In Downtown Asheville: 14 Biltmore Avenue, Asheville NC 28801 Phone: 828-225-5579

    In Historic Downtown Hendersonville: 421 N. Main Street, Hendersonville, NC 28792  Phone: (828) 697-0480

    WEBSITE:  www.marbleslab.com

    We at www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com happily recommend the Marble Slab Creamery to our guests staying at our nearby-by vacation rental homes and cottages.  Call us if you would like to reserve a home for your stay in Asheville.  828-274-9777 or email us at joyah@aol.com 

    Ginny approaches the counter to decide from the huge selection of ice cream choices....

    Ginny approaches the counter to decide from the huge selection of ice cream choices....

     

     

    Ginny and her Chocolate Swiss Ice Cream Cone....yummmmm.....

    Ginny and her Chocolate Swiss Ice Cream Cone....yummmmm.....

     

     

     
     
     
     

     

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  • May
    8

    Situated at the base of Chestnut Mountain in Western North Carolina, this scenic mountain valley 18-hole championship golf course, with its spectacular 360 degree views and variety of challenging terrain, is a golfer’s paradise!  Located in Arden/Mills River, halfway between Asheville and Hendersonville NC in the private gated community of High Vista, this lush course is open to the public.  Just be sure to have a tee time reservation to be allowed in at the main gate. 

     

    Designed by Tom Jackson in 1978, this 18 hole, par 72 golf course has 6,935 yards of golf from the longest tee.  There are 4 sets of tee boxes to accommodate all skill levels.  The course rating is 74.5 with a slope rating of 142 on grass. 

     

    Ø  Phone:  828-891-1986   Extension 100

    Ø  Address:  88 Country Club Road, Mills River, NC  28759-2603

    Ø  Directions:  From Interstate-26, take exit #40 (Asheville Airport Exit) and turn towards the airport on Highway 280. Follow 280 towards Mills River for a few miles and turn right at Highway 191(Old Haywood Road). After turning onto 191, the entrance to High Vista Country Club is approximately 1.5 miles on the left.

    Ø  Golf Course Website:  http://www.highvistagolf.com/

    Ø  Open:  7 days a week

    Ø  Hours:  8 AM – 5 PM (last tee time)

    Ø  Cost:  $30 to $50 depending of day and time of play

    Ø  Driving Range:  Yes

    Ø  Dining:  Robinson Pub

     

    This fabulous golf course is located near our Fletcher, Arden and Hendersonville NC vacation home rental cabins, chalets and cottages.  You are invited to experience being pampered with all the delightful amenities at our vacation rentals:  www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com or phone us at 828-274-9777.

     

     

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  • May
    5

    Considered one of the oldest golf courses in Western North Carolina, the Asheville Municipal Golf Course was designed by the famous golf architect, Donald Ross, in 1927.  This beautiful 18 hole, par 72, 6356 yard golf course is both demanding and fun (slope varies from 122/Championship to 110/Senior).  The par 36 front nine is level and open while the par 36 back nine is narrow, wooded and hilly requiring more accuracy and skill. 

     

    Ø  Address:  226 Fairway Drive, Asheville NC  28805

    Ø  Directions:  Take Interstate 40 exit 53B.  Take Interstate 240 to Exit 8.  Turn Right on to Fairview Road and travel .7 mile to light signal.  Turn left on to Highway NC81 (Swannanoa River Road) and go .2 mile.  Turn right on to Fairway Drive and travel .4 mile to clubhouse.

    Ø  Phone:  828-298-1867   Call for tee times (required)

    Ø  Website:  Although this is not the municipal website, this site will give you plenty of information:  www.golfholes.com/nc/buncombe-golf.htm

    Ø  Times/Hours:  March through October 7 AM to 8 PM; November through February 7 AM to 6 PM

    While visiting in the area, you are invited to stay at our www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com for luxurious amenities that will pamper you outrageously!  Phone us for a reservation at one of our vacation rental cottages, chalets, cabins or homes:  828-274-9777

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  • May
    5

    Featuring 2,139 yards of golf from the longest tee, the Orchard Trace Golf Club opened in 1993 has a course rating of 54 and a slope rating of 113.  It’s perfect for a quick 18 hole game where you get a lot of value for the very reasonable green fees.  Night golf is a great treat! 

     

    Ø  Location:  3389 Sugarloaf Road, Hendersonville NC 28792

    Ø  Directions:  From Interstate 26, take Exit 49A (toward Bat Cave). Go 0.6 miles and turn right on Sugarloaf Road for 3.3 miles.

    Ø  Phone:  828-685-1006

    Ø  Fees:  $10 to walk and $17 to ride (electric cart) 

    Ø  Open: 7 days a week, 364 days a year (closed on Christmas)

    Ø  Hours:  7 AM until whenever  (If they have players, they’ll turn on the lights for night golf)

    Ø  Note:  No Credit Cards accepted.  First come, first serve….no reserved tee times.

    Ø  Putting green available.  No driving range.

    Ø  Website:  none

     

    Reviewed by Stephanie Joy Johnson from www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com 

    Enjoy renting a luxury vacation rental home, cottage, chalet or cabin while you visit Hendersonville or Asheville NC in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  We promise you’ll be delighted with all the luxurious amenities of our homes!  828-274-9777

     

     

     

     

     

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