Asheville NC Vacation The Ultimate Vacation Destination
  • Nov
    4

    A delightful new way to discover the Biltmore Estate in Asheville NC is by riding an all-terrain personal Segway through the many Biltmore trails past the lagoon, river, scenic hills and ridges of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Our guests who have taken this two-hour guided tour had “fun, fun, fun!!!”  Rides are from 11 AM to 3 PM daily.

    Our vacation rental guests rave about how much they enjoyed taking the two hour guided Segway tour of the Biltmore Estate.  What fun!  Photo by www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com

    Our vacation rental guests rave about how much they enjoyed taking the two hour guided Segway tour of the Biltmore Estate. What fun! Photo by www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com

     

    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!!! BILTMORE HOUSE TICKETS:  Purchase your tickets from us and enjoy two days at Biltmore for the price of a one day admission ticket!  With advance tickets you can  avoid waiting in ticket lines, tickets upgradeable to season passes, free wine tasting tickets, and best of all, tickets are good for TWO FULL CONSECUTIVE DAYS! Our tickets also allow extended gate access entry up until 6 PM instead of the usual 4 PM.  Tickets are good everyday of the week throughout the year.  Even if you don’t stay with us, you can still buy the tickets.  828-274-9777  Email: Joyah@aol.com

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  • Oct
    27

    Living in Western North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains affords fantastic nature viewing opportunities, and one of our favorites to watch and photograph are the birds that frequent our White Stone Lake Manor vacation rental home near Asheville NC.  One of the most intriguing is the Kingfisher.  Our resident bird is around most of the year.  I usually hear him before I see him, as he is quite vocal when hunting fish in our wildlife lake.  I’m not sure how that serves him, because even as he swoops across the lake, his cries fill the air.  I would think it would warn his dinner, but that is not the case.  He is quite well fed.  Pictured:  He sits in his favorite tree, eyeing his buffet. 

    A frequent fisher of our White Stone Lake is the well-fed Kingfisher.

    A frequent fisher of our White Stone Lake is the well-fed Kingfisher.

    His hearing is quite sharp too, evident by his ability to hear any sound we make when photographing and videoing him.  His head tilts back towards the sound, even when it is from 50 feet away, inside the vacation rental home.  Just after taking this photo from inside the home, I quietly slid open the window.  Somehow he heard it, tilted his head back toward me, and then took off.  I have that on HD video, which I’ll post in the near future.  In that video, after flying back and forth across the lake, he landed in his favorite tree, and the video clearly shows how the movement of the limb transfers into his body, but not his head.  His head stays perfectly level as he eyes the lake surface, while his body moves considerably with the limb.

    Kingfisher rests on the bench overlooking our White Stone Lake deciding on his selection for lunch!  The plentiful birds at our vacation rental home here are quite entertaining for our guests!

    Kingfisher rests on the bench overlooking our White Stone Lake deciding on his selection for lunch! The plentiful birds at our vacation rental home here are quite entertaining for our guests!

    We invite you to stay at our White Stone Lake Manor vacation rental home in Hendersonville NC and experience the abundance of wildlife that gathers at our small lake….blue herons, falcons, kingfishers, hummingbirds, hawks, turkey buzzards, owls, pileated woodpeckers, robins, cardinals, ducks, geese, yellow tufted titmouses, and numerous others.  www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com  828-274-9777 or email us at joyah@aol.com 

     

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  • Oct
    26

    Western North Carolina offers the best of many birding environments:  high mountain peaks, wetlands, forests, rivers, meadows, lakes, ponds, brush and much more.  Our area also has a bird friendly attitude, both in our federal and state parks, as well as our official and unofficial bird sanctuaries.  Bird feeders, bird houses and birding supply stores are seen everywhere in Asheville & Hendersonville NC. Food is plentiful here for the bird population, and the numerous protected areas bring us a huge array of bird species from the largest to the smallest.  From the American Bald Eagle to the hummingbirds, both usual and unusual sightings entertain us daily.

    This falcon is a regular fisher at our White Stone Lake Manor vacation rental home in Hendersonville NC which has its own private wildlife lake sanctuary.  I took this picture from inside the vacation home, and using the actual measurement of our swing set he is perched on, he measures 20” from head to tail.

    This falcon is a regular fisher at our White Stone Lake Manor vacation rental home in Hendersonville NC which has its own private wildlife lake sanctuary. I took this picture from inside the vacation home, and using the actual measurement of our swing set he is perched on, he measures 20” from head to tail.

    From another HD movie I took from inside the home, as he turned, a wind gust came up, offering me this display.  Note his talons!

    From another HD movie I took from inside the home, as he turned, a wind gust came up, offering me this display. Note his talons!

    We invite you to stay at our White Stone Lake Manor vacation home in the mountains of Western North Carolia and experience the abundance of wildlife that gathers at our small wildlife lake….blue herons, falcons, kingfishers, hummingbirds, hawks, turkey buzzards, owls, pileated woodpeckers, robins, cardinals, yellow tufted titmouses, and numerous others.  www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com  828-274-9777 or email us at joyah@aol.com 

         

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  • Oct
    24

    When visitors first begin their walk from the parking area toward all the wonders of the Biltmore Estate in Asheville NC, it is a delightful surprise to come across the small temple with the famous statue of goddess Diana, daughter of Zeus and Leto and twin sister of Apollo.  From the hillside overlooking the entrance to the Biltmore House and the Blue Ridge Mountains, she is a faithful guardian of all she surveys.  As the protector of wild animals, she is a perfect sentinel of the area’s large deer population.  Carved out of Carrarra marble by Italian artist H Whinery Oppice in the 1970’s, the statue replaces the original carving.

    Goddess Diana and her faithful dog overlook & protect the famous Biltmore House (seen in the distance).  Photo by www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com

    Goddess Diana and her faithful dog overlook & protect the famous Biltmore House (seen in the distance). Photo by www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com

     

    Wonderful News!  Just added this summer (2009) behind the glorious Diana statue in a secluded hemlock grove, there are now full guest facilities called “Diana at Biltmore” offering a very private, exclusive setting to hold special events.  What fabulous place with spectacular views for a wedding!

    Ginny gazes at the temple of the elegant Diana, protector of wild animals...including giraffes?...and wants to get a closer look. Photo by www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com

    Ginny gazes at the temple of the elegant Diana, protector of wild animals...including giraffes?...and wants to get a closer look. Photo by www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com

    Ginny, after a short visit with Diana, adds her giraffish charm to the photo!  Behind both ladies is the new Diana venue for special events.  Photo by www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com

    Ginny, after a short visit with Diana, adds her giraffish charm to the photo! Behind both ladies is the new Diana venue for special events. Photo by www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com

     

    When you are in the area visiting the Biltmore Estate, you are invited to stay in luxurious accommodations at our vacation rental homes:  www.AshevilleVacationHomes.  .comPurchase your Biltmore Estate tickets from us and enjoy two days at Biltmore for the price of a one day admission ticket!  We will have them waiting in the home when you arrive.  828-274-9777 or email:  Joyah@aol.com    

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  • Oct
    23

    Always changing with the seasons, the famous Biltmore House and grounds take great pride in presenting the most fabulous works of art….including their own ever changing artistic creations in landscaping.  Just off the Biltmore House library is a large area often used for summer outdoor concerts, which is transformed at the end of summer into a “CARPET OF FLOWERS.”  As seen in the photo, the beauty sculpted in a floral carpet design is displayed against the backdrop of the awesome Blue Ridge Parkway and Blue Ridge Mountains in the distance. 

    Ginny is delighted to be back at the Biltmore Estate to visit the awesome "Carpet of Flowers" on display in August.

    Ginny is delighted to be back at the Biltmore Estate to visit the awesome "Carpet of Flowers" on display in August.

    During your stay in our area, you are invited to stay at one of our luxury vacation rental homes where you will be spoiled with fabulous amenities including hot tubs, massage chairs, king beds, gas log fireplaces, beautiful settings, gorgeous furnishings and so much more!  Purchase your Biltmore Estate tickets from us and enjoy two full days at the Biltmore for the price of a one day admission ticket!  www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com  Contact us at 828-274-9777 or email us at joyah@aol.com. 

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  • Oct
    18

    Asheville & Hendersonville NC is famous for many things, and in the Fall, a main attraction is the “Changing of the Leaves.”  The Blue Ridge Parkway gives “leaf peepers” a show throughout the entire Fall season.  The leaves begin changing to awesome colors at the higher elevations first and then sweep down the mountains as the days and weeks pass.  This year (2009) at the end of September and early October, the colorful leaf pallets began at Mount Mitchell (over 6500 feet) and at Mount Pisgah (over 5500 feet).  The truly spectacular colors have now begun spreading down the mountains towards Asheville & Hendersonville, and as of October 16, 2009, they are just beginning their transformation into breathtaking huge splashes of colors at these lower elevations.  As you can see in the photos, the forests surrounding the Biltmore Estate are just beginning to brighten. 

    Biltmore Estate in Asheville NC as seen from the Blue Ridge Parkway in mid-October 2009.  Fall colors are just beginning to show.  www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com

    Biltmore Estate in Asheville NC as seen from the Blue Ridge Parkway in mid-October 2009. Fall colors are just beginning to show. www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com

     

    You still have time to come experience it for yourself.  One of the best ways to really “feel” the changing of the leaves is to hike one of our many trails.  You can witness the changing forests as you walk through the fallen leaves underfoot, see the sun dancing through the leaves above, and see them drop and swirl around you.  It is a simple, heart-felt joy to be here at this time of the year!  You are invited to stay at our luxury vacation rental homes where you will be spoiled with fabulous amenities including hot tubs, massage chairs, king beds, gas log fireplaces, beautiful settings, gorgeous furnishings and so much more!  Purchase your Biltmore Estate tickets from us and enjoy two full days at the Biltmore for the price of a one day admission ticket!  www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com  Contact us at 828-274-9777 or email us at joyah@aol.com. 

    Here's a view from the Blue Ridge Parkway taken in mid-October 2009 of downtown Asheville, with the Biltmore Estate Sheep Barn in the foreground. www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com

    Here's a view from the Blue Ridge Parkway taken in mid-October 2009 of downtown Asheville, with the Biltmore Estate Sheep Barn in the foreground. www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com

     
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  • Jul
    13

    Ginny anticipates her scrumptuous meal at Carrabbas Italian Restaurant!

    Ginny anticipates her scrumptuous meal at Carrabbas Italian Restaurant!

    Although CARRABBAS ITALIAN GRILL is a chain restaurant, it has consistently wonderful, mouth-watering Italian food that makes us return again and again!  The menu features a variety of delicious appetizers, soups, salads, brick oven pizza made on a wood burning grill, pasta specialties, and family classics.  For a change of pace, it’s entertaining to eat at the open kitchen bar….they may even slip you samples of food as they are being prepared.

     

    There are two fabulous restaurants in Asheville and we highly recommend just about everything on the menu!  We often choose several entrees to share just to extend the flavorful taste experiences.  This last meal we ordered the CHICKEN BRYAN a grilled chicken breast with goat cheese, sundried tomatoes and a basil lemon butter sauce, and the INSALATA FIORUCCI mixed field greens salad with artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers and grilled eggplant in vinaigrette, topped with a hazelnut goat cheese medallion.  We always order their TIRAMISU, the most heavenly Italian dessert on earth and Carrabbas makes the best by far!   

    Ginny is deciding which meal to eat first...the Chicken Bryan or the Insalata Fiorucci....

    Ginny is deciding which meal to eat first...the Chicken Bryan or the Insalata Fiorucci....

     

     

    Ginny  selects from BACINO  “Little Kisses,” mini-desserts….small, guilt-free versions of their favorite desserts, made fresh daily.

    Ginny selects from BACINO “Little Kisses,” mini-desserts….small, guilt-free versions of their favorite desserts, made fresh daily.

    RESERVATIONS:  Although they do not take reservations, you can call when you are on the way and they will put you on the waiting list.

     

    WEBSITE for menus & locations:  www.carrabbas.com

    LOCATIONS:

    10 Buckstone Place, Asheville, NC 28805   Phone:  (828) 281-2300

    Directions:  I-240 to Asheville. Exit south on Tunnel Rd. Located on left behind the Hampton Inn (not visible from road).  This is near the Asheville Mall in East Asheville.

     

    332 Rockwood Road, Arden, NC 28704   Phone: (828) 654-8411
    Directions:  Highway 26 to Asheville Airport exit #40. Head East and take a left at the second light signal.

     

    HOURS: 

    Sun: 11:30am-10pm
    Mon-Thur: 4-10pm
    Fri: 4-11pm
    Sat: 12-11pm

    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 ESTATE TICKETS from us…save money, no waiting in line and tickets are good for TWO FULL CONSECUTIVE DAYS instead of just one!  828-274-9777  Email: Joyah@aol.com

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  • Jun
    5

    Ginny is enthralled with the wood-fired oven and just loves the beautiful colors!  She knows her pizza is in the oven and anticipates how delicious it will be!

    Ginny is enthralled with the wood-fired oven and just loves the beautiful colors! She knows her pizza is in the oven and anticipates how delicious it will be!

    When you are enjoying a day of exploring all the delightful shops, galleries, boutiques and antiques stores on Main Street in downtown Hendersonville, be sure to eat at WEST FIRST WOOD-FIRED restaurant located a half block off of Main Street on 1st  Avenue West.  All their dishes are thoughtfully prepared with quality ingredients cheerfully served in an artistically dramatic setting.

     

    Whatever the wood fired oven does in the cooking process of the pizza and other dishes, it adds a distinct delicious flavor that we love!  Their pizzas are hand-made with organic wheat crest and are topped with freshly-grated Romano cheese.  The pizza we order this week was their Goat Cheese Pizza with fresh basil pesto with spinach, marinated artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes and, of course, goat cheese….yummmmm!  Robert and Ginny shared their made-from-scratch tasty bean soup and for dessert, we all shared in their chocolate hazelnut tiramisu….creamy, rich and so very decadent!

     

    Hours:  Tuesday – Saturday:  Lunch 11am – 2pm;   Dinner 5pm – 10pm

    Address:  101 1st Avenue, West, Hendersonville NC  28792

    Phone:  828-693-1080

    Website is coming soon

    Email:  westfirstwoodfired@yahoo.com

     

    What a beautiful atmosphere with the stained glass windows and artwork.

    What a beautiful atmosphere with the stained glass windows and artwork.

    Article is written by Stephanie Joy Johnson for our guests staying at our luxury vacation rental homes nearby.  For information on vacation rental homes in the Hendersonville to Asheville areas, please see our website at www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com  or call us at 828-274-9777. 

    Ginny and Robert share a bowl of tasty home-made bean soup.

    Ginny and Robert share a bowl of tasty home-made bean soup.

    Ah yes, the pizza is served!

    Ah yes, the pizza is served!

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  • 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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