Asheville NC Vacation The Ultimate Vacation Destination
  • Mar
    23

    Western North Carolina is famous for its outdoor activities including fishing, whitewater rafting, kayaking, rafting, mountain hiking, mountain bike riding, golfing and much more!  FISHING in our numerous stocked mountain streams is a year-round activity.  The PISGAH FOREST FISH HATCHERY, open to the public, is both informative and experiential.  It’s fascinating to walk beside the numerous open waterways and view the fish at various stages of development.   The N. C. Wildlife Resources Commission this year will stock more than 818,000 rainbow, brook and brown trout from March through August.  All will be above 10” in length, with about 4% exceeding 14 inches.  For more information, go to http://www.ncwildlife.org/.

    Just off the Pisgah Forest Fish Hatchery parking lot are numerous hiking trails…one of our favorites is Cat’s Gap Loop.  At the top of the trail is a huge rock face where you can rest and enjoy the awesome views including Looking Glass Rock.  At the far end of the parking lot, look for the bulletin board with trail information.  As you might guess, just down the road is the trail head for Looking Glass Rock and Looking Glass Waterfalls.  To see the Pisgah National Forest attractions, including the falls and the hatchery, go to http://ncnatural.com/NCUSFS/Pisgah/lkglass.html.

    The Pisgah Chapter of Trout Unlimited offers fly-fishing schools from time to time, and has more information regarding trout fishing in the area.  Email Mark.Coffin@bellsouth.net  for more information.  Google “Fly Fishing Asheville” for a list of the numerous fly fishing guide outfitters in Asheville.

    We hope you have a chance to enjoy fishing in our area and would love for you to stay at one of our nearby vacation rental cabins, cottages and chalets.  We promise you’ll be outrageously spoiled by all our wonderful amenities!   We are an authorized Biltmore Estate ticket distributor and can sell you discounted tickets good for 2 consecutive days instead of just 1 day at the higher gate price.  See our website for more details: www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com or call us at 828-274-9777 or email us at joyah@aol.com 

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  • Mar
    21

    Robert and Ginny pause to admire the Biltmore Estate Conservatory "Green Houses" Building.  Ginny is anxious to explore inside!

    Robert and Ginny pause to admire the Biltmore Estate Conservatory "Green Houses" Building. Ginny is anxious to explore inside!

     

     

     

    Be sure to allow plenty of time to explore the exquisite grounds surrounding the Biltmore House in Asheville NC.  There are acres of winding walkways and trails through the natural and formal gardens of flowers, shrubs and trees.  Colorful blooms can be seen throughout the spring, summer and fall seasons. 

    In the center of the gardens, displayed like a diamond on a ring, is the beautiful, fully restored (after 2 years & 2.5 million dollars spent), glass-roofed Conservatory with a fabulous collection of tropical plants.  Designed by the world famous architect Richard Morris Hunt and preserved to its original grandeur, the Conservatory supplies the mansion with fresh flowers and plants.  Stroll through the various hot and cool houses to experience this extensive plant collection.  Downstairs you’ll find a delightful gift and plant store to take home your own collection of garden decorations and plants.  There’s even a wine and sandwich cart to serve you while you sit in a nearby bench to enjoy the gardens. 

    To the front of the Conservatory is the formal Walled Garden planted each season with a planned symmetry of colorful annual flowers and award-winning rose bushes.  Down the center of this Garden leading to the Conservatory are several long arbors adorned with vines and flowers.  

    In order to enjoy the full experience of the Biltmore House AND the exquisite grounds and activities offered, we advise spending two days on the Estate.  As authorized ticket partners, we are able to sell you DISCOUNTED Biltmore Estate tickets good for TWO CONSECUTIVE DAYS for less than their one day entry price.  Contact us at www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com or email at joyah@aol.com or call us at 828-274-9777. 

    Ginny hides in the tropical flowers of the Conservatory.

    Ginny hides in the tropical flowers of the Conservatory.

     

    Ginny is ready to explore all the green house rooms of the Conservatory.  Such a wonder of foliage & blooms year-round!

    Ginny is ready to explore all the green house rooms of the Conservatory. Such a wonder of foliage & blooms year-round!

    Ginny and Stephanie relax in one of the pretty sitting areas provided in the Conservatory.  What a beautiful place to unwind!

    Ginny and Stephanie relax in one of the pretty sitting areas provided in the Conservatory. What a beautiful place to unwind!

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  • Mar
    16

    For astonishing 75 mile gorgeous views in the Hickory Nut Gorge of the Blue Ridge Mountains, a 404 foot waterfall and outstanding hiking trails, be sure to visit North Carolina’s 4000 acre CHIMNEY ROCK STATE PARK in Lake Lure, just 25 miles from Asheville and 20 miles from Hendersonville NC.  Privately owned for 105 years, Chimney Rock is now state-owned but privately managed to maintain the original integrity and vision of the founding Morse family. 

    • Hike a challenging trail to the top or….go through the almost 200 foot tunnel and up the amazing 26-story elevator ride through solid granite to the spectacular vistas, snack bar and gift shop at the top.  From there it is just a short walk to the famous “Chimney” rock jetting out from the cliff face.  Whether you want to hike to the 404’ Hickory Nut Falls, explore the various trails (easy to challenging) around the mountain, or just relax at the snack bar to feast on the views, there is something for everyone to enjoy! 
    • Chimney Rock Park has been the setting for such movies as “Firestarter,” “A Breed Apart” and “The Last of the Mohicans” with Daniel Day-Lewis – the famous fight scene end of the movie was filmed at the Hickory Nut Falls.  “Dirty Dancing” was filmed just down the road at Lake Lure.
    • The park is open 7 days a week and only closed for a few holidays. Go early to avoid the crowds during the summer months, wear comfortable hiking shoes and remember to carry water with you. 
    • For complete details on the Park, rules, ticket prices, hours and more go to their website at:  http://www.chimneyrockpark.com   
    • Lodging is available at www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com 

     

    Stephanie & Robert - we love to wander the various trails and waterfalls at Chimney Rock State Park near Lake Lure NC

    Stephanie & Robert - we love to wander the various trails and waterfalls at Chimney Rock State Park near Lake Lure NC

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  • Mar
    14

    WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA AGRICULTURAL CENTER & FAIRGROUNDS (locals refer to as the “Ag Center”) is one of the premier facilities in the U.S. praised for its design and multi-use functions!  Not only is it home to the famous 10-day N.C. Mountain State Fair, almost every weekend there are horse shows, rodeos, motorcycle rallies, dog shows, children clothing sales, RV shows, truck shows, fiber arts shows, and even a weekly cowboy church.  Buildings can be rented for reunions, weddings, business meetings and almost anything you can imagine. 

     

    The Ag Center is under constant upgrade and improvement.  Currently under construction, a beautiful 4,615 SF log Arts & Crafts Building is due to be completed by the September 2009 Fair.  It’s also in the plans to build a new Expo Building for the ever-expanding livestock shows and events held here.  Most of the buildings are slated for major renovations and minor face-lifts to make this a world class facility. 

     

    A brief overview of some of the facilities offered are:

    • McGough Arena:  65,000 SF enclosed indoor show facility with a 3000 seating capacity and a 120’ x 240’ show ring.
    • J. Clayton Davis Arena: 45,000 SF covered facility with a 120’ x 240’ ring with a 150’ x 50’ to corral cattle.
    • Three outdoor Warm-Up Rings.
    • Livestock Facility with 500 seating and a 50’ x 250’ attached barn.
    • 603 well-ventilated permanent and 271 portable Stall Barns under roof.
    • Private Meeting Facility with 99 Seating, air conditioned.

     

    DATES:  for the 2009 NC Mountain State Fair is September 11 – 20, 2009.  Check their website for upcoming events or to arrange a rental for your own event. 

    LOCATION:  1301 Fanning Bridge Road, Fletcher NC 28732 (across the street from the Asheville Airport.)

    PHONE:  828-687-1414

    WEBSITE:  www.agr.state.nc.us/markets/facilities/agcenters/western/

    NEAR-BY LODGING:  www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com  for vacation rental homes in walking distance to the Ag Center. 

     

    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
    13

    Open year-round in the heart of historic Hendersonville, North Carolina is the public PATTON PARK offering 19 acres of recreational activities including an OLYMPIC-SIZE SWIMMING POOL with a kids pool (open from Memorial Day through Labor Day), tennis courts, basketball courts, racquetball courts, baseball fields, picnic areas, restrooms, kids’ playground and nature trails.  In 2008, the city of Hendersonville spent $300,000 in refurbishing the pool & surrounding area, the showers and restrooms.

     

    At the cost of $360,000, the latest addition to Patton Park due to open in April 2009 is a 20,000 SF SKATE PARK PLAZA.  It is styled to look like a downtown plaza with landscaping, trees, planter boxes, but with curbs, stairs and rails made for skateboarding and in-line skating. 

     

    Patton Park is a public park with no membership required.  Pool fees are reasonable.  It is located about a mile north of downtown Hendersonville just off Asheville Highway (Hwy 25).  Turn onto Clairmont Drive at the light signal by the First Citizens Bank (1700 Asheville Highway).  

    Phone Park Information at 828-697-3084

     

    YOU ARE INVITED TO STAY WITH US!  Patton Park is a half mile from our romantic woodlands Story Book Cottage (sleeps 4) and less than 2 miles from our 4000 SF, 5 Bedroom, 4 Bathroom, White Stone Lake Manor (sleeps 20) with its own private lake.  It’s about 4 miles from our secluded Rose Cottage (sleeps 9).  There is a wealth of things to do and see in Hendersonville NC!  We would love for you to stay with us while you explore this lovely mountain town.  All our homes are in scenic settings, with hot tubs, massage chairs, quality furnishings, central heat/air, gas log fireplaces, complete kitchens and so much more! We are authorized Biltmore Estate ticket distributor and will provide you with discounted tickets good for 2 consecutive days instead of just the one day ticket purchased at a higher price!  See our website at www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com or call us at 828-274-9777.

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  • 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
    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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