Asheville NC Vacation The Ultimate Vacation Destination
  • 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
    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
    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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  • Feb
    16

    COME SEE WHY EVERY YEAR….

    THERE ARE OVER 1 MILLION VISITORS TO THE BILTMORE ESTATE IN THE BLUE RIDGE MOUNTAINS OF ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA!  

    OUR GUESTS MAY PURCHASE DISCOUNTED TICKETS GOOD FOR 2 CONSECUTIVE DAYS INSTEAD OF JUST  THE ONE DAY GATE PRICE!!!

     

    Listed in the Top 10 of American Institute of Architects

    “America’s Favorite Architecture”

     

    The world famous Biltmore House, built by George Vanderbilt in 1895, is America’s largest home with an astounding 250 rooms.  It sits like a precious gem in the heart of 8000 acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Styled as a French Chateau, you can imagine as you wander through the multitude of rooms, what life must have been like in a real live American Castle! 

    Plan to spend a day….better yet 2 days….touring this exquisite home with its priceless treasures and exploring the fabulous gardens and grounds.  There are self-guided tours, audio tours as well as very special behind the scenes guided tours of the home. 

    Visit the many spectacular gardens throughout the year to experience the ever-changing seasonal display of flowers, fields and forests.  Wander the many garden paths and trails throughout the grounds, by the peaceful Bass Pond or by the French Broad River that flows past the Estate.  Take a 90-minute motor coach tour to hear stories about the history of the land and its former residents. 

    Visit the restored Conservatory of amazing exotic plants and flowers.

    Take a tour of the Biltmore Winery and visit the Tasting Room to sample the award-winning wines.   

    Enjoy fine dining at a number of special restaurants throughout the Estate…or indulge in the goodies served at the Bake Shop or the Ice Cream Parlor. 

    Shopping!  It’s always a delight see the varied and delightful selection of goodies to buy at their gift shops!

    Outdoor Experiences at the Biltmore Outdoor Center include:

    • Sporting Clays School where you learn the techniques of shooting clay targets with a Beretta shot fun
    • Biking – daily trail passes and bike rentals
    • Fly-Fishing School
    • Morning Woods Walk at River Bend Farm where you can see historic sites and structures of the beaten path.
    • Wagon Tour of River Bend Farm
    • Land Rover Offerings including Land Rover Experience Driving School or a Ride-Along Expedition

    You can see why one day may not be enough to experience all this fabulous Biltmore Estate has to offer.  WE OFFER OUR GUESTS AT www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com TICKETS GOOD FOR 2 FULL  CONSECUTIVE DAYS for the price of just a 1 day gate ticket….and AT A DISCOUNT!

    With our tickets:

    • You save money from the gate entry price,
    • We accept VISA and Master Card – NO Sales Tax charged
    • You can avoid waiting in long ticket lines,
    • There is a free wine tasting ticket included,
    • Tickets are upgradeable to season passes,
    • Children ages 9 and under are FREE,
    • And best of all, our tickets are good for TWO CONSECUTIVE DAYS instead of just one day! 

    Just give us a call to order your tickets and we’ll have them waiting for you when you arrive.  Or if you decide last minute, just give us a call and we’ll drop them by.  

    You deserved to be spoiled!

    We are authorized ticket dealers

    www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com

    828-274-9777

    Come visit the Biltmore House and stay in your own luxurious home.  Make your reservation at one of our Asheville NC luxury vacation rental cabins, chalets, cottages & homes.  www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com

     

     

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  • Feb
    14

    We are often asked by our vacationing guests where we find our unusual and delightful home décor for our Asheville & Hendersonville luxury vacation rental homes.  (To see photos of our home furnishings at our various vacation cabins, chalets & cottages, go to www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com )  The answer is we find out-of-the-way home decorator stores such as “The Outlet on Kanuaga Bend,” where there are wonderful new and used decorator furniture and accessories such as unusual decorator pillows.  The mix of what is available is always changing and always a delight.  I often stop by to see what charming treasures I can find….and I always do find something to please me!  I think the reason we keep adding more vacation rental homes is so I can have a place to house all the enchanting furniture, artwork and decorator items I can’t resist buying!

     

    You’ll find the store just south of Historic Hendersonville downtown Main Street.  Follow Church Street and turn right on Kanuga.  The store is just down a block where Kanuga takes a 90 degree turn left. “The Outlet on Kanuga Bend” store is straight ahead “at the bend.”  The address is 401 Kanuga Street, Hendersonville, NC 28739  (828) 693-3343.

     

    Reviewed by Stephanie Joy Johnson of Asheville’s luxury vacation cabins, chalets, cottages and homes:  www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com   828-274-9777.  YOU DESERVE TO BE SPOILED and you will be outrageously spoiled at our vacation rental homes!!!  We have Discounted Biltmore Estate tickets that are good for 2 consecutive days instead of just 1 day.  No waiting in lines! 

    Don't let the rather plain exterior fool you....inside has wonderful decorator treasures!

    Don't let the rather plain exterior fool you....inside has wonderful decorator treasures!

    Ginny likes to shop here!

    Ginny likes to shop here!

     

     

    Fun New & Consigned Furniture and Accessories - Always Something New!

    Fun New & Consigned Furniture and Accessories - Always Something New!

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