Asheville NC Vacation The Ultimate Vacation Destination
  • 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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  • Feb
    27

    LEAF FESTIVAL:  LAKE EDEN ARTS FESTIVAL at Camp Rockmont in Black Mountain, North Carolina (Just a few miles from Asheville)

    Come participate in this mountain celebration of family, community and life!  The LEAF (Lake Eden Arts Festival, “a non-profit organization established to build community and enrich lives through the Arts”) weekend gala has something special for everyone of all ages: folk arts, handcrafts, healing and culinary arts, poetry, music and dancing, camping, hiking, swimming and so much more.  There is a special kids’ play zone, art market, petting zoo, costumes, face painting, games and more.  There’s even a “Mommy and Me Baby Tent.” Come play, learn and share!  Go to their website to see the list of this year’s stellar performers.  (No pets allowed.) Camp onsite or stay at local area vacation rental cabins & homes: www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com 

     

    Tickets are limited and must be purchased in advance!  This popular mountain event is always sold out!  Per day on site there will be about 5500 people.  Choose from a variety of day or weekend passes (see their ticket webpage for all your prices, options and deadlines).  They always need volunteers (about 500!) and you can trade your time toward ticket purchases. 

     

    While you are in town, plan to visit the world famous, American’s largest home, the Biltmore Estate!  Purchase DISCOUNTED BITLMORE HOUSE TICKETS for less than the gate price and enjoy a pass for 2 consecutive days instead of just one!  Buy these tickets from http://www.ashevillevacationhomes.com/BILTMOREESTATETICKETS.html   or call 828-274-9777.

     

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  • Feb
    24

    The 434 acre botanically diverse North Carolina Arboretum, located near Asheville, NC, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway near milepost 393, is a beautiful nature center where relaxing with nature has never been so easy.  Flowers and butterflies soothe the mind as you follow the Arboretum trails with the musical sound of Bent Creek stream keeping time with your steps.  Mountain biking, quilting, birding, bonsai viewing, segway touring, and much more are available in this portion of the Pisgah National Forest.  Part of the University of North Carolina, it is focused on education, research, conservation and economic development with a wide variety of educational programs for all ages. The Arboretum is a “must-see” for visitors!  

     

    The Arboretum has numerous trails open to hikers and bicyclists.  Details:  http://www.ncarboretum.org/Horticulture/trails.htm.  Plants, flowers and trees are marked with informational signs throughout the park.  The Mountain-to-Sea Trail runs through a portion of the Arboretum site, and is easily accessed from outside the gate, on the road leading to the Blue Ridge Parkway.  You can park off the pavement in the graveled areas.  The trail heading south will put you at Mt. Pisgah, the former site of George W. Vanderbilt’s hunting lodge.  Vanderbilt, who built the Biltmore House, could see Mt. Pisgah from his home, and would send his servants up a day before he and his guests would make the trip, via horseback.  They’d signal from the top of the mountain to let him know of their progress and any unforeseen needs.

     

    The Arboretum staff and volunteers are loaded with information, and classes of all types are available.  See their website for details.   http://www.ncarboretum.org/  So, make a day of it, and enjoy nature as much as the bees do on Rhododendron flowers!  Tuesdays have free entry and other days there is a nominal charge of $6 per car. 

      

    Article & Photos by Robert Bowles for our guests staying at our Asheville & Hendersonville vacation rental homes, cabins, chalets & cottages.  www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com  Buy your DISCOUNTED Biltmore Estate Tickets from us good for 2 Consecutive Days instead of just 1! 

    Arboretum Rhodendron attracts bee visitor

    Arboretum Rhodendron attracts bee visitor

     

     

     

    Wandering through the many Arboretum trails, you'll notice carefully marked foliage signs identifying the diverse plant life.

    Wandering through the many Arboretum trails, you'll notice carefully marked foliage signs identifying the diverse plant life.

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