Asheville NC Vacation The Ultimate Vacation Destination
  • 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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  • 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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  • 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
    22

    For 73 years this renowned music institute hosting 400 extremely talented students ages 14 to post-college, 75 world-renowned visiting guest artists & artist faculty, and a full contingent of support staff gathers from mid-June to early August.  During an intensive 7 week program, students partake in a demanding and rewarding program of music instruction. 

     

    The huge benefit to all the communities in Western North Carolina is that there are over 80 concerts given by students and the artist faculty during this 7 week festival at this incredibly beautiful wooded 150 acre campus in the Blue Ridge Mountains!  Evenings are beautiful in the mountains especially when accompanied by an open air concert (covered building but open sided).  Go early to enjoy patio fine dining or order a picnic to eat on the lawns.  Go to their website to decide what of their multitude of offerings will please you the most and buy your advance tickets. 

     

    WEBSITE:  http://www.brevardmusic.org/

    ADDRESS (PHYSICAL):  Brevard Music Center, 349 Andante Lane, Brevard, NC 28712

    ADDRESS (MAILING):  Brevard Music Center,  P.O. Box 312,  Brevard, NC 28712

    PHONE (BOX OFFICE):  (828) 862-2105 or Toll Free (888) 384-8682
    PHONE (MAIN OFFICE):  (828) 862-2100
    DIRECTIONS:

    From Asheville, NC

    Take I-26 E to the Asheville Airport exit, #40. Turn right off the exit onto Highway 280 and drive 16 miles into Brevard. As you approach downtown Brevard, you will see directional signs to the Music Center. Travel time: 45 minutes from downtown Asheville.

    From Hendersonville, NC

    Take Highway 64 W to Brevard. At the intersection of Highways 280 and 64, turn left toward Brevard. As you approach Brevard, you will see directional signs to the Music Center. Travel time: 30 minutes.

     

    If you plan to be in the area, we invite you to stay at one of our luxury vacation rental homes where we promise you will be outrageously spoiled by all our wonderful amenities!  See our website at www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com or call us at 828-274-9777 or email us at joyah@aol.com 

     

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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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  • May
    12

    Ginny eyes her favorite ice cream parlor anticipating the best ice cream cone anywhere!

    Ginny eyes her favorite ice cream parlor anticipating the best ice cream cone anywhere!

     

     

    For the freshest, creamiest, homemade ice cream you’ll probably ever taste, you’ve got to experience the Marble Slab Creamery in Asheville NC!  Every batch of ice cream is homemade and their hand-rolled and dipped waffle cones are baked right there.  You can select from an astonishing selection of ice cream flavors made of the finest and freshest ingredients (never processed or preserved).  Once you’ve made your ice cream selection, it is then scooped onto a frozen marble slab where it will be blended with your choice of additional ingredients such as nuts, candies, cookies, fruits, etc.  It will then be piled high on your waffle cone of choice.  This is way beyond just ice cream in a tub plopped on a cone….this is an experience….a really yummy experience!  For a special celebration, order an ice cream cake or pie, or custom make your own ice cream in pints or quarts to go.  They will even bring along a marble slab and cater an ice cream event.

    LOCATIONS: 

    In Downtown Asheville: 14 Biltmore Avenue, Asheville NC 28801 Phone: 828-225-5579

    In Historic Downtown Hendersonville: 421 N. Main Street, Hendersonville, NC 28792  Phone: (828) 697-0480

    WEBSITE:  www.marbleslab.com

    We at www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com happily recommend the Marble Slab Creamery to our guests staying at our nearby-by vacation rental homes and cottages.  Call us if you would like to reserve a home for your stay in Asheville.  828-274-9777 or email us at joyah@aol.com 

    Ginny approaches the counter to decide from the huge selection of ice cream choices....

    Ginny approaches the counter to decide from the huge selection of ice cream choices....

     

     

    Ginny and her Chocolate Swiss Ice Cream Cone....yummmmm.....

    Ginny and her Chocolate Swiss Ice Cream Cone....yummmmm.....

     

     

     
     
     
     

     

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