Asheville NC Vacation The Ultimate Vacation Destination
  • Apr
    9

    Awesome panoramic views from Mount Mitchell

    Awesome panoramic views from Mount Mitchell

     

    A beautifully scenic 50 minute drive northeast from Asheville NC on the Blue Ridge Parkway will take you to the 1855 acre MOUNT MITCHELL NC STATE PARK, which at 6684 feet is the highest point east of the Mississippi!  Once there, stroll around the 1385 SF visitor exhibit area full of interesting information on the unique flora and fauna found at this altitude. Take the short hike (1/4 mile) to see breath-taking vistas from the Observation Deck lookout.  Explore the variety of nature paths and hiking trails….the highest hiking trails in North Carolina.

     

    Since you are a bit far from civilization, be reassured that there is a pleasant restaurant on the grounds where you can enjoy a meal while you watch the awesome views from the huge picture windows.  Remember to bring a jacket since even during the summer it can be chilly at this altitude.

     

    Ø  Admission:  is FREE and open year round (except Christmas). 

    Ø  Hours:  Park opens at 8 AM year round and closes at 6 PM Nov – Feb, 7 PM March & October, 8 PM April & September, and 9 PM May – August.  Be aware that with winter snow conditions, the Blue Ridge Parkway is often closed and you’ll need to call the park to check which roads are open.

    Ø  Phone:  828-675-4611.

    Ø  Website:  http://www.ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/momi/main.php

    Ø  Email:  mount.mitchell@ncmail.net

     

    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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  • Apr
    2

    Carl Sandburg, known as the Poet of the People,” moved his family to North Carolina in 1945. Today the picturesque Sandburg “Connemara” 264 acre farm estate in Flat Rock, NC is now open year-round to the public with 5 miles of hiking trails (moderate to steep), beautiful gardens and meadows where Mrs. Sandburg raised her championship dairy goats.  It was during his 22 years here that Carl Sandburg wrote and published more than one-third of his works….poetry, biographies, newspaper articles, American fairytales….championing the spirit of the American people….even winning two Pulitzer Prizes.    

    Managed by the National Park Service to preserve the Sandburg legacy, there is NO park entrance fee and it is FREE to wander the beautiful grounds with lakes & ponds, trails and barn.  There is a small charge for the guided house tour ($5 Adults, $3 Seniors & Children 15 & under are FREE – checks & cash only).

    Open Daily: 9 AM to 5 PM.  Closed Christmas day.    

    Location:  81 Carl Sandburg Lane, Flat Rock NC 28731.  The park is located three miles south of Hendersonville, NC on Little River Road off of the Greenville Highway/Rt. 225 in Flat Rock, NC. 

    Directions:  From Interstate 26 take exit 53:  from I-26 east, turn right onto Upward Road OR from I-26 west, turn left onto Upward Road. At intersection with light (176/Spartanburg Hwy) continue straight. Upward Road turns into Highland Lake Road. At the light past the golf course, turn left onto Hwy 225/Greenville Hwy south. At next light take a right onto Little River Road. Visitor parking on left.

    Visitor Information:  828-693-4179

    Website: www.nps.gov/carl/

    While visiting our Hendersonville and Asheville areas, you are invited to stay at one of our deliciously luxurious vacation rental homes complete with hot tub, 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
    23

    Western North Carolina is famous for its outdoor activities including fishing, whitewater rafting, kayaking, rafting, mountain hiking, mountain bike riding, golfing and much more!  FISHING in our numerous stocked mountain streams is a year-round activity.  The PISGAH FOREST FISH HATCHERY, open to the public, is both informative and experiential.  It’s fascinating to walk beside the numerous open waterways and view the fish at various stages of development.   The N. C. Wildlife Resources Commission this year will stock more than 818,000 rainbow, brook and brown trout from March through August.  All will be above 10” in length, with about 4% exceeding 14 inches.  For more information, go to http://www.ncwildlife.org/.

    Just off the Pisgah Forest Fish Hatchery parking lot are numerous hiking trails…one of our favorites is Cat’s Gap Loop.  At the top of the trail is a huge rock face where you can rest and enjoy the awesome views including Looking Glass Rock.  At the far end of the parking lot, look for the bulletin board with trail information.  As you might guess, just down the road is the trail head for Looking Glass Rock and Looking Glass Waterfalls.  To see the Pisgah National Forest attractions, including the falls and the hatchery, go to http://ncnatural.com/NCUSFS/Pisgah/lkglass.html.

    The Pisgah Chapter of Trout Unlimited offers fly-fishing schools from time to time, and has more information regarding trout fishing in the area.  Email Mark.Coffin@bellsouth.net  for more information.  Google “Fly Fishing Asheville” for a list of the numerous fly fishing guide outfitters in Asheville.

    We hope you have a chance to enjoy fishing in our area and would love for you to stay at one of our nearby vacation rental cabins, cottages and chalets.  We promise you’ll be outrageously spoiled by all our wonderful amenities!   We are an authorized Biltmore Estate ticket distributor and can sell you discounted tickets good for 2 consecutive days instead of just 1 day at the higher gate price.  See our website for more details: www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com or call us at 828-274-9777 or email us at joyah@aol.com 

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  • Mar
    16

    For astonishing 75 mile gorgeous views in the Hickory Nut Gorge of the Blue Ridge Mountains, a 404 foot waterfall and outstanding hiking trails, be sure to visit North Carolina’s 4000 acre CHIMNEY ROCK STATE PARK in Lake Lure, just 25 miles from Asheville and 20 miles from Hendersonville NC.  Privately owned for 105 years, Chimney Rock is now state-owned but privately managed to maintain the original integrity and vision of the founding Morse family. 

    • Hike a challenging trail to the top or….go through the almost 200 foot tunnel and up the amazing 26-story elevator ride through solid granite to the spectacular vistas, snack bar and gift shop at the top.  From there it is just a short walk to the famous “Chimney” rock jetting out from the cliff face.  Whether you want to hike to the 404’ Hickory Nut Falls, explore the various trails (easy to challenging) around the mountain, or just relax at the snack bar to feast on the views, there is something for everyone to enjoy! 
    • Chimney Rock Park has been the setting for such movies as “Firestarter,” “A Breed Apart” and “The Last of the Mohicans” with Daniel Day-Lewis – the famous fight scene end of the movie was filmed at the Hickory Nut Falls.  “Dirty Dancing” was filmed just down the road at Lake Lure.
    • The park is open 7 days a week and only closed for a few holidays. Go early to avoid the crowds during the summer months, wear comfortable hiking shoes and remember to carry water with you. 
    • For complete details on the Park, rules, ticket prices, hours and more go to their website at:  http://www.chimneyrockpark.com   
    • Lodging is available at www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com 

     

    Stephanie & Robert - we love to wander the various trails and waterfalls at Chimney Rock State Park near Lake Lure NC

    Stephanie & Robert - we love to wander the various trails and waterfalls at Chimney Rock State Park near Lake Lure NC

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  • Mar
    12

    NORTH CAROLINA DUPONT STATE FOREST FOR HIKING, BIKING, FISHING, HORSEBACK RIDING AND HUNTING

    The 10,400 acre North Carolina DuPont State Forest in the Blue Ridge Mountains between Hendersonville and Brevard NC is famous for its astounding waterfalls on the Little River and Grassy Creek including the High Falls (150′), Triple Falls (120′), Bridal Veil Falls (you can walk behind the falls) and Hooker Falls (a popular swimming hole).  This was the location for some of the waterfall scenes in the movie, The Last of the Mohicans.  In addition, the park is a leading mountain bike destination with nearly 100 miles of beautiful trails (some with challenges and many with gentle grades) used for bicycling, hiking and for horseback riding.  Enjoy fishing in the five lakes, warm water streams and cold water streams.  Hunting is allowed in specified areas during season.  No camping is allowed.  Please see their website for specific times, licenses, rules and driving directions for your desired activities:  www.dupontforest.com   

    Whatever your reason for visiting the DuPont State Forest, you will be awe-struck by the astonishing scenery of the area.  We highly recommend visiting this state forest to our vacation rental guests staying at our nearby Hendersonville and Asheville cabins, cottages, chalets and homes:  www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com  Call 828-274-9777 or email Joyah@aol.com if you wish to make reservations to stay with us. 

    Photos 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

    The astonishing Triple Falls in NC DuPont State Forest Photo by Stephanie Joy Johnson for www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com

    The astonishing Triple Falls in NC DuPont State Forest Photo by Stephanie Joy Johnson for www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com

    The beautiful Hooker Falls in NC DuPont State Forest - Photo by Stephanie Joy Johnson for www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com

    The beautiful Hooker Falls in NC DuPont State Forest - Photo by Stephanie Joy Johnson for www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com

    Hooker Falls in NC DuPont State Forest - Photo by Stephanie Joy Johnson for www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com

    Hooker Falls in NC DuPont State Forest - Photo by Stephanie Joy Johnson for www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com

     

    The awesome High Falls in the NC DuPont State Forest

    The awesome High Falls in the NC DuPont State Forest

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  • Mar
    3

    Ginny is exhausted before she even starts up this strenuous but gorgeous trail leading up to Mount Pisgah!  Hike this trail in sections unless you are ready to do some serious hiking!

    Ginny is exhausted before she even starts up this strenuous but gorgeous trail leading up to Mount Pisgah! Hike this trail in sections unless you are ready to do some serious hiking!

    The famous Shut-In Trail, which parallels the Blue Ridge Parkway up to the 5721’ Mount Pisgah (about 30 – 40 minutes by car from Asheville), was originally part of a trail built by George Vanderbilt for his family and friends staying at his Biltmore Estate leading to his hunting retreat at Mount Pisgah.  Hiking this trail is definitely NOT for the faint of heart….or body!  It’s a long, steep, up and down ridge trail….and incredibly beautiful.  If you were part of the Biltmore Estate guests visiting during its era, you would have been provided horses from the Biltmore Estate Stables and have ridden up to their Mt Pisgah lodge. Much of the original trail that was graded is no longer in existence and it now follows the ridge line.  (Of course, the Estate servants would have been sent in advance to prepare for the guests’ comfort!)  The 900+ mile long Mountain-To-Sea Trail (marked with a white circular blaze) also shares this route for part of the distance.  We like to enter the Shut-In Trail just off the Blue Ridge Parkway by Hwy 191 before the entrance to the WNC Arboretum (a sign marks the spot – see Ginny’s photo).

     

     

    While visiting our Blue Ridge Parkway and Asheville areas, 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!  After a long day on the trail, you’ll appreciate these important amenities!  www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com 

    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 price!  Contact us at 828-274-9777 or email us at Joyah@aol.com or see our website at www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com 

     

    Shut In Trail is a lush forest trail just off the Blue Ridge Parkway.

    Shut In Trail is a lush forest trail just off the Blue Ridge Parkway.

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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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