Asheville NC Vacation The Ultimate Vacation Destination
  • May
    25

    Ginny feels she just stepped into an Italian Restaurant with the open kitchen on the left where she can see the fresh food being prepared.

    Ginny feels she just stepped into an Italian Restaurant with the open kitchen on the left where she can see the fresh food being prepared.

    Even though you are in the heart of the Smoky Mountains, as soon as you enter the doors of the Bistro Restaurant on the Biltmore Estate, you’ll feel that you’ve been transported to a beautiful Tuscany café. At the center of the restaurant is a large open kitchen where you can see the delicious meals being grilled, sautéed and prepared with the utmost care with the freshest foods (vegetables, herbs, greens and beef) from the estates own fields and farms. 

    Lunches are a treat with delectable wood-fired pizzas, appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches and entrees.  Dinners are to be savored with the extraordinary meals prepared with care.  We’ve always experienced great service the many times we’ve eaten here.  Be sure to have a reservation for dinners so they will have your name at the entry gate to be allowed on the estate after hours. 

    As with all restaurants on the Biltmore Estate, you will need an estate admission ticket.  If you have yet to purchase your ticket, just give us a call at Asheville Vacation Homes to purchase your discounted ticket good for two consecutive days!  Call us at 828-274-9777 or see our website at www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com .

    Phone:  828-225-6230 for reservations

    Hours for Lunch:  Noon – 5 PM

    Hours for Dinner:  5 PM – 8:30 PM

    Website for Menu:  www.biltmore.com/visit/dining/bistro/

     

    Reviewed by Stephanie Joy Johnson of www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com  You are invited to experience the luxury of our Asheville and Hendersonville Vacation Rental Homes where we promise you will be outrageously spoiled!  Call us at 828-274-9777 or email at Joyah@aol.com 

    Ginny can hardly wait to be seated because she knows how delicious the food is here!

    Ginny can hardly wait to be seated because she knows how delicious the food is here!

    Ginny is just outside the Bistro Restaurant that is just across from the Winery where she just completed the awesome tour!

    Ginny is just outside the Bistro Restaurant that is just across from the Winery where she just completed the awesome tour!

     

     

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  • May
    22

    Ginny quickly decides she like the relaxed garden feel of the Arbor Grill located near the Winery...and she's hungry for lunch after the long stroll she's taken around the Biltmore Estate grounds!

    Ginny quickly decides she like the relaxed garden feel of the Arbor Grill located near the Winery...and she's hungry for lunch after the long stroll she's taken around the Biltmore Estate grounds!

    During your visit to the world famous Biltmore House in Asheville NC, be sure to dine at their absolutely wonderful eateries & restaurants!  During our visit in May, we had lunch at the outdoor ARBOR GRILL by the Winery (be sure to take a tour of the Winery!). As you can see by the photos, it’s a divine space to enjoy a relaxed meal. Their delicious selections include a special tapas menu as well as salads and sandwiches.  For this visit, we ordered the Balsamic Marinated Chicken Sandwich with cilantro-artichoke pesto and the Roasted Vegetable Quesadilla with smoked provolone, pickled carrots, pico de gallo and sour cream….yummmy!!!  You can also enjoy great local beer and Biltmore wine, and even listen to live music later in the afternoon on special occasions.  Arbor Grill is open from noon until 8pm.

     

    If you plan to stay in the Asheville NC area, you are invited to stay with us at one of our near-by romantic vacation rental homes.  You will be outrageously spoiled with all our sumptuous amenities!  We can even provide you with discounted Biltmore Estate tickets good for TWO consecutive days!  Call us at 828-274-9777 or email at Joyah@aol.com or see our website at www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com 

    Ginny now sees the Arbor Grill's posted menu and decides this is the perfect place for lunch!

    Ginny now sees the Arbor Grill's posted menu and decides this is the perfect place for lunch!

     

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  • May
    14

    Ginny follows the romantic, etherial music through the greenhouse Conservatory and discovers two musicians seated among the flowers serenading her.

    Ginny follows the romantic, etherial music through the greenhouse Conservatory and discovers two musicians seated among the flowers serenading her.

    We decided on a quick visit to the Biltmore Estate gardens in Asheville NC to witness the ever-changing blooming gardens and happened upon delicious music floating on the air in the greenhouse Conservatory.  Rounding the corner, we discovered two musicians playing the most pleasing, ethereal music just perfect for the heavenly floral setting!  It is called “Musical Performances in the Walled Garden” and the hours are from 11:30 AM for half hour intervals until 4PM during most of May.  We visit year-round and are always surprised and delighted with all the extra special touches visitors receive.  Thanks, Biltmore Estate!

    If you are visiting the mountains for your vacation (after all, beach vacations get to be quite boring!), we welcome you to stay at one of our luxury vacation rental cottages, chalets or homes.  Expect to be outrageously spoiled at our homes with all our fabulous amenities!  We are also authorized ticket distributors for the Biltmore and we sell our tickets at a discount and they are good for two full consecutive days! 

    Our website:  www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com

    Phone:  828-274-9777    Email:  joyah@aol.com

    Ginny just loves to visit the ever-changing blooms in the Conservatory!

    Ginny just loves to visit the ever-changing blooms in the Conservatory!

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  • Apr
    10

    Stately & Elegant McDonalds in Biltmore Village, Asheville NC just outside the Biltmore Estate entrance is a unique experience with a player grand piano, fireplaces & elegant surroundings!

    Stately & Elegant McDonalds in Biltmore Village, Asheville NC just outside the Biltmore Estate entrance is a unique experience with a player grand piano, fireplaces & elegant surroundings!

    There's real gold leaf in these golden arches!  A unique & unexpected McDonalds is a delightful experience!

    There's real gold leaf in these golden arches! A unique & unexpected McDonalds is a delightful experience!

    If you’re in the mood for fast food but would like to eat in a beautiful building in an extraordinary setting, you’ve got to experience the McDonalds (#1661) in Biltmore Village just outside the entrance to the Biltmore Estate in Asheville NC.  They even were featured on the Travel Channel a few years back.  Who would expect to find a player grand piano, elegant fireplaces, marble tile, vaulted exquisite ceilings, modern art or a waterfall in a McDonalds???  Even the golden arches are of real gold leaf! Regardless of what the service and food may or may not be, it’s worth the visit to experience such an elegant and unique McDonalds!  Coming soon will be their McCafe.  

    Ø  Location:  35 Hendersonville Road, Asheville NC  28803

    Ø  Phone:  828-274-2308

     

    Photos by Robert Arthur Bowles of www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com

     

    While visiting our Asheville area, 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! 

    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 one day price! 

    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
    28

    Produced by Asheville Parks, Recreation & Cultural Arts Department, BELE CHERE (pronounced Bell Share and translates to mean “Beautiful Living”) is in its 31st year and has evolved into an awesome entertainment, food and arts festival attracting over 300,000 visitors….AND IT IS FREE!  Taking over Asheville’s downtown core area with streets closed to traffic, the city is transformed into a vibrant and colorful festival where you can experience the best this region has to offer in the way of music, food, fine art, local crafts, dancing, street performers and much more! 

    Enjoy wandering the multitude of booths with every conceivable item for sale and visit the Arts Park with amazing craftsmen/artists selling their unique jewelry, furniture, paintings, glassware, pottery and more!  Plan to stay all day until 11 PM to enjoy the many and varied music performances….from bluegrass, country, jazz, song-writer ballads, blues….held on stages throughout downtown.  As experienced every year, plan to see incredible local talented bands along with famed national entertainers.  It’s well worth the price….FREE!!!

    And the FOOD!  The Asheville Independent Restaurant Association of local restaurants presents the TASTE OF ASHEVILLE food court at Bele Chere where you can experience the delectable specialty dishes they are famous for.  And for the carnival feel, you can still go for those hot dogs, ice cream and funnel cakes as well. 

    Kids love it here with their special children’s area with all sorts of rides, games, clowns, storytellers and entertainment just for them!  This is an alcohol-free zone.

    Parking lots are all open downtown, but you may want to take advantage of their shuttles ($3 round trip) that run about every 20 minutes to outlying parking areas.  See the festival website for details.

    Be sure to book your stay early!  Our homes fill up fast for this amazing festival event.  Contact us at 828-274-9777 or see our website at www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com  to stay the week at one of our luxury vacation rental cabins, cottages or chalets.

    Bele Chere website:  www.belecherefestival.com

    Bele Chere Days/Hours for 2009:

    Friday, July 24:  Noon – 11 PM

    Saturday, July 25:  10 AM – 11 PM

    Sunday, July 26:  Noon – 6 PM

    While you are in the area, be sure to visit our world famous BILTMORE ESTATE with 250 room home and acres upon acres of gardens, nature trails, winery, restaurants, hiking, biking, horseback riding and more!  We at Asheville Vacation Homes are authorized ticket agents and can sell you DISCOUNTED Biltmore Estate tickets that are good for TWO CONSECUTIVE DAYS instead of the higher priced one day tickets sold at the gate!  www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com  or call us at 828-274-9777 or email 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
    20

    Ginny is awed by the magnificent Biltmore House.  The Stables is to the far right where she plans to eat a delicious lunch.

    Ginny is awed by the magnificent Biltmore House. The Stables is to the far right where she plans to eat a delicious lunch.

    As the name suggests, the STABLES RESTAURANT adjoining the Biltmore House, was the former stables for the Biltmore Estate in Asheville NC.  And not just any stables!  This equestrian mansion for horses is a wonder to behold!  Along with this fabulous restaurant, there are a variety of wonderful gift shops and specialty stores housed here as well.  In the entry courtyard you’ll find a Bakery Shop with yummy treats and an Ice Cream Shop perfect for those warm sunny days.  There’s plenty of seating outside in the courtyard fresh air and an undercover area in case it rains.  This is an experience recommended to all our vacation rental home guests staying at our cabins, chalets, cottages & homes at www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com

    Retaining the original stables architecture, you’ll find the STABLES RESTAURANT dining tables privately situated inside the former horse stalls….mind you, these are not just ordinary horse stalls but elegant wrought iron and wooden rooms!  The center of the restaurant is also set with dining tables.  The upstairs of the stables (I assume this spectacular space was used as a massive hayloft) has a second kitchen and a huge dining area.  The Biltmore Estate has created a wonderful capacity to feed and delight its thousands of daily visitors.

    But back to our delightful luncheon at the STABLES RESTAURANT where Robert and I (and Ginny) shared one of the most deliciously seasoned soups we’ve tasted!  It was their soup of the day: Cream of Zucchini and Yellow Squash and served with warm corn bread.  Our sandwiches and sides were equally delicious and the proportions were huge!  Mine was their “Grilled Chicken Panini special: Marinated, grilled chicken breast, mozzarella cheese, Arugula & spicy roasted tomato mayonnaise on toasted ciabatta bread.”  Since their servings are overly generous, next time we plan to share a soup and a sandwich so we’ll have room to sample their wonderful desserts!  They have a wide variety of offerings sure to delight your tummy!  It’s all good! 

    There may be a wait, so go there first to be on their waiting list, then wander down the long hallway to explore the delightful shops.  Your personal pager will buzz, vibrate and light when your table is ready. Enjoy!!!

    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

    Ginny enters the Stables Courtyard anticipating the shopping and yummy food!

    Ginny enters the Stables Courtyard anticipating the shopping and yummy food!

    Ginny has put her name on the lunch wait list and is browsing through the variety of gift shops while she anticipates the specials she saw posted for lunch.

    Ginny has put her name on the lunch wait list and is browsing through the variety of gift shops while she anticipates the specials she saw posted for lunch.

    Ginny is about to be seated and is hoping for a horse stall booth!

    Ginny is about to be seated and is hoping for a horse stall booth!

    Ginny is impressed with the massive "hayloft" above the downstairs restaurant. During busy days, the upstairs Stables Restaurant with a separate kitchen is ready to serve!

    Ginny is impressed with the massive "hayloft" above the downstairs restaurant. During busy days, the upstairs Stables Restaurant with a separate kitchen is ready to serve!

    Another view of the downstairs Stables Restaurant taken from the floor above.

    Another view of the downstairs Stables Restaurant taken from the floor above.

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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
    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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