Asheville NC Vacation The Ultimate Vacation Destination
  • Apr
    10

    In the Blue Ridge Mountains, part of the Appalachian Mountain Range, you’ll find MOUNT PISGAH standing at 5,721 feet.  It is easily accessed from the Blue Ridge Parkway (milepost 407) about 15 miles southwest of Asheville NC.  Mt. Pisgah is easily spotted from many miles away by the identifying 339 foot TV tower perched at its peak.  In fact, it is the highest TV antenna east of the Mississippi at 6,023 feet above sea level.

     

    At the site of Mt Pisgah is an Inn, Gift Shop & the fabulous Pisgah Inn Restaurant with floor to ceiling windows offering spectacular long range views and the food served is excellent!  You can hike the 1.6 mile trail up to the peak for awesome views (moderate difficulty and steep toward the top) and we would suggest NOT hiking during a lightning storm!  At the Mt. Pisgah parking area you’ll also find the Buck Spring Trail leading to the historic exhibit of the stone remains of the George Vanderbilt Hunting Lodge which was quite popular with his Biltmore Estate guests. 

     

    We highly recommend taking a leisurely drive up the Blue Ridge Parkway from Asheville.  Pull off at the various look-outs along the way to enjoy the awesome views and maybe take a stroll along one of the many hiking trails, then head on to the Mt. Pisgah Restaurant to indulge in a delicious meal or dessert.

     

    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
    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
    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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