Asheville NC Vacation The Ultimate Vacation Destination
  • Feb
    16

    Ginny is ready to enjoy a bit of history and delicious food!

    Ginny is ready to enjoy a bit of history and delicious food!

    Adjacent to the entrance of the Biltmore Estate in Asheville NC is the charming Biltmore Village with original 1890’s cottages now home to unique galleries, shops, boutiques and delicious places to eat.  One of my favorite restaurants is the delightful Corner Kitchen where the home is rich in history and the food is scrumptious!  Delicious breakfasts, lunches and dinners are served here, so come most any time to enjoy their tasty menu!   The breakfast and lunches have a small but varied selection at average prices, and their dinner menu is quite wonderful and a bit more pricey.

     

     As the name suggests, the Corner Kitchen is on the corner of 3 Boston Way and All Soul’s Cresent.  There are a variety of rooms in this two story century old home to enjoy your meals: the romantic “Parlor” with its welcoming fireplace, the “Porch” which is an all glass sunroom where you have a street view, or follow the staircase to several upstairs rooms.  The day we most recently dined there, we were seated on the Porch.  For lunch I ordered their Roasted Portobello Sandwich Sliced which was served open faced with warm Goat Cheese, Field Greens, Fresh Basil leaves and Pickled onions on a Griddled Ciabatta.  This is the best Portobello sandwich I’ve ever had!  Instead of a big hunk of mushroom, there were tiny slivers piled high of wonderfully seasoned portabellos.  Yummmm! 

    You will find the Corner Kitchen at 3 Boston Way in Biltmore Village, Asheville NC 28803. Phone:  828-274-2439  See their website for menus and more details:  www.thecornerkitchen.com 

    Reviewed by Stephanie Joy Johnson, www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com for luxury Asheville and Hendersonville vacation rental cabins, cottages, chalets and homes.  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!

    Ginny seated in the "Porch" room, ponders over her lunch menu choices....

    Ginny seated in the "Porch" room, ponders over her lunch menu choices....

     

     

     

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  • Feb
    16
    Our famous White Squirrels found in Hendersonville & Brevard NC

    Our famous White Squirrels found in Hendersonville & Brevard NC

     Recommendations by Robert Bowles of www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com   

    The wildlife being so accessible in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina and especially at the unique and wonderful natural habitats found at our Asheville and Hendersonville vacation rental homes & cabins locations, has led me to explore digital photography.  We often see falcons, white squirrels, wild turkeys, deer, bear, muskrats, kingfishers, raccoons and more.  I’ve done a great deal of research about taking wildlife photographs, and creating digital movies, and have been experimenting with several types and makes of cameras and camcorders.  The choices of features are huge, and the types of photography formats can be confusing.

    I suggest choosing an actual optical zoom feature, not digital zoom, on both picture taking and movie making.  I find combining the use of the digital zoom function when using the optical zoom is a waste of time and energy.  The resultant pictures and movies are much more blurred, and do not take advantage of the high resolution the cameras are capable of.

    Choose the highest resolution you can afford for both pictures and movies.  Higher resolution means larger files, but a simple USB plug in hard drive for your computer will take anything your photography may produce.  They are available with large capacities, and cost between $80 and $160.  Look for the deals in Sunday ads.

    A few notes about movie resolution:  HD (high definition) is tons better than anything else.  1080P will give you excellent details on computer screens and HDTV’s.  It will also look great on a standard TV.  1080i will look good on 1080i HDTV’s, but makes for poor video on computers.   720P has less detail, but on smaller screens (17” or less on computers, 44” or less on HDTV’s) is still very good.  I haven’t tried the 720i resolution, but imagine it too would be annoyingly sparse with horizontal lines when shown on computers, like the 1080i is.  Both the 1080 and 720 resolutions are MUCH better than the 640×480 and the 320×180 movie picture formats encountered on the lesser camcorders, and in movie mode on many digital cameras.  Those are good for fun, but will be disappointing if you are looking for crisp and clear results.

    For more information, see www.cnet.com/camcorder-buying-guide.  Click around once there for information on digital cameras, TV’s, computers and more.

    Come see our natural habitat wildlife for yourself and take your own photos! See our 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!!!  We have Discounted Biltmore Estate tickets that are good for 2 consecutive days instead of just 1 day.  No waiting in lines!

    Our Guests at the Dream Chalet and the Joy Chalet often see families of wild turkeys wandering out from the woodlands into the back yard.

    Our Guests at the Dream Chalet and the Joy Chalet often see families of wild turkeys wandering out from the woodlands into the back yard.

    The White Stone Lake Manor vacation rental home is a great place to observe all the lake's wildlife in action!

    The White Stone Lake Manor vacation rental home is a great place to observe all the lake's wildlife in action!

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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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  • Feb
    14

    Restaurant Recommendation for our guests at our vacation rental homes in Asheville & Hendersonville:  www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com 

     

    You would never know passing by this bright blue little building on Highway 25 (3987 Hendersonville Rd) in Fletcher (half way between Asheville and Hendersonville NC) that the some of the tastiest food around is served here!  Let the full parking lot clue you in that locals know where to find really great food!  You immediately feel welcomed in the fun and relaxed atmosphere.  Sit inside with the blue sky ceiling filled with stars and planes or in the patio out back where there’s even a full size playhouse for your kids (they also have a great kid’s menu).

     

    It’s not your ordinary fare of burgers or country food….the menu is filled with delightful food combinations that will have you coming back again and again!  We often order the “Trio Salad Plate” for a sampling of their dill chicken salad, pesto penne and hummus with pita & veggies.  Another of our favorites is their Spinach Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette & hot Grilled Chicken. There’s a selection of about 20 wonderful wraps made with sun dried tomato flour tortillas and tofu can be substituted for meats in you prefer.  Try their Blackened Chicken wrap or their Sesame Veggie wrap. They have Super-duper Sandwiches and “Bodacious Burgers” and delicious “Cosmic Chicken” choices.  Vegetarians will find a huge selection!  Of their delightful side dishes, served as part of your menu selection, their Sweet Potato Fries are the best we’ve ever, ever tasted! 

     

    The Blue Sky Café is open for lunch and dinner from 11 AM – 8 PM and is closed on Sundays.  You can also order your meals “to go.”  Their phone number is 828-684-1247.  Located at 3987 Hendersonville Road, Fletcher, NC.  The full menu is on their website at www.ILoveBlueSkyCafe.com 

     

    Reviewed by Stephanie Joy Johnson and Robert Bowles, owners of Asheville & Hendersonville luxury vacation rental cabins, chalets, cottages and homes where you deserve to be spoiled!  www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com   We have Discounted Biltmore Estate tickets that are good for 2 consecutive days instead of just 1 day.  No waiting in lines!

     

    Ginny eyes her sweet potato fries....the best anywhere around! Robert & I are sharing the Spinach Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette & Grilled Chicken

    Ginny eyes her sweet potato fries....the best anywhere around! Robert & I are sharing the Spinach Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette & Grilled Chicken

    Ginny decides where to sit....always enchanted by the playful atmosphere.

    Ginny decides where to sit....always enchanted by the playful atmosphere.

    Ginny spots her favorite Blue Sky Cafe where she dines on a regular basis!

    Ginny spots her favorite Blue Sky Cafe where she dines on a regular basis!

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  • Feb
    8

     

    One of the most fun aspects of having vacation cabins, chalets and cottages in Asheville and Hendersonville NC is equipping them with the latest HDTV and wireless computer technology.  In our six Asheville vacation rental homes with televisions in every bedroom and gathering rooms, we have a total of 27 TV’s!  We have at least one HDTV in each home, and surround sound in the three largest homes, so we’ve gained lots of information on shopping for home theater components.

    We have found the perfect combination of quality and price by buying mostly over the Internet from factory refurbished outlets like www.savinglots.com, www.refurbdepot.com, www.amazon.com, and others.  We buy factory refurbished units, which arrive in factory boxes, with full manufacturer warranties.  We do buy the extended warranties in most cases since they are being used in vacation rental homes.  Our favorite supplier is Toshiba, and the best quality picture we’ve seen is the DLP Rear Projection models.  If you have room for a few inches more in depth than LCD and Plasma, you’ll find the picture out shines both, and it still weighs a third of the weight of the old style CRT tube TVs we’ve all used for years.

    The warranties come with in-home repair.  We did have one set that kept shutting down on its own after a few hours of being on.  The factory service truck came to the home it was in, and fixed it on the spot, at no charge!  We didn’t have to carry it into a big box store, we didn’t have to send it to the manufacturer, the technicians were both polite and knowledgeable, and quick.

    One big thing to make sure any HDTV you purchase has:  the ability to show a standard 4:3 ratio screen size, without stretching it out and distorting everything on the screen.  16:9 is the HDTV standard screen size, and 4:3 is the size we’ve been used to for decades.  Many broadcasts still come into our homes in the older 4:3 style.  Having the option of showing an undistorted 4:3 picture on the bigger screen will be important for your total enjoyment of your new HDTV.  The 4:3 picture is centered on the new screen, with black bars on each side blanking out the unused portion of the screen.

    A few more tips:  720p resolution is excellent from about 51 inches on down.  Above, get at least the 1080i, and if you can afford to, get the 1080p.  Most cable and satellite companies broadcast in 1080i, but Blue Ray HD does the 1080p, as will most cable and satellite companies in the future.  You can find all sorts of articles on what those numbers mean, but if you follow my advice, you’ll be happy with the results.

    Finally, what screen size should you get?  Generally choose a HDTV screen size equal to the average distance you’ll be sitting from the TV divided by 2.5.  So if you sit somewhere around 9 feet from the screen, you’ll want a 42-45” HDTV.  When in doubt, get the bigger selection.  You will not regret it!  Here’s a good explanation from Forbes.com:  http://www.forbes.com/2008/02/01/hdtv-fix-problems-tech-personal-cx_mb_0204hdtv.html

    If you are replacing a standard TV, and are satisfied with the screen size, do not simply replace it with a HDTV using the same screen size in inches.  You’ll end up with a much smaller vertical viewing dimension.   35” 4:3 older style screen needs to be replaced with a 42” HDTV 16:9 screen TV.  If you order a 35” 16:9 HDTV, you’ll be looking at a picture equal to a 29” tube TV.  Confused?  See this calculator:  http://www.cnet.com/1990-7874_1-6307377-1.html

    Written by Robert Bowles from Asheville Vacation Homes with cabins, chalets, cottages and homes in Asheville and Hendersonville, North Carolina  www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com 

    52" HDTV with Surround Sound At View Chalet - www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com

    52" HDTV with Surround Sound At View Chalet - www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com

    50" HDTV & Surround Sound at Rose Cottage, Hendersonville NC - http://www.ashevillevacationhomes.com/ROSECOTTAGE.html

    50" HDTV & Surround Sound at Rose Cottage, Hendersonville NC - http://www.ashevillevacationhomes.com/ROSECOTTAGE.html

    57" HDTV with surround sound in Media Room at White Stone Lake Manor. www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com

    57" HDTV with surround sound in Media Room at White Stone Lake Manor. www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com

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  • Jan
    31

    Restaurant Review:  P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, Biltmore Park Town Square, 26 Schneck Parkway, Asheville NC 28803, (828) 681-2975, www.pfchangs.com

    Recommended by Stephanie Joy Johnson for our www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com guests of our vacation rental cabins, cottages and chalets.  You’ll find this restaurant just off Interstate 26, Exit 37 heading east, left at first light signal on Schenck Parkway and it’s down about a block on the left….just follow the signs. 

     

    I first noticed PF Chang’s because of the magnificent eleven foot tall horse statue at the entrance.  Newly built in Biltmore Park Town Square, this restaurant is a blend of upscale bistro with 12th century China.  Even though it was 4:00 in the afternoon mid-week, this elegant restaurant had a number of tables already filled.  As I was led to my table, I discreetly peeked at what people were eating as I passed by.  The portions looked generous and the food was colorful and well presented….I was hoping tasty as well! 

     

    I was pleased to be told that each dish is prepared to order with very fresh, quality ingredients and there is even a special gluten free menu available on request.  It was a challenge to decide what to order from the many items, but with a friend’s recommendation I made my selection.  My appetizer was a little slow in arriving so when the entry arrived before I was ready for it, my waitress immediately apologized and ordered a new entry prepared that would be fresh when it was served 10 minutes later.  Now I call that attention to freshness!  I ordered the Sweet Ginger Peach Tea (as good as it sounds), Chang’s Vegetarian Lettuce Wrap (firm iceberg lettuce shells with the very delicious filling that you roll up in the shell) and Ma Po Tofu (delicious sauce, tender flavorful tofu, and broccoli).  The generous portions were enough for two people.  The dessert tray looked tantalizing but I was way too full to order more!  Next time, I think I’ll order dessert first!  I want to try the Great Wall of Chocolate….an extremely rich slab of chocolate cake which from the size of it looks big enough to serve 4 people!  I’m definitely coming back!

    Elegant ,comfortable dining

    Elegant ,comfortable dining

    Ginny spots the attractive horse at the entrance....

    Ginny spots the attractive horse at the entrance....

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  • Jan
    30

    To our Asheville NC cabin vacation rental guests who are particular about the quality of foods you cook with and eat, I highly recommend shopping for your groceries at the beautiful new Earth Fare in South Asheville.  This is a full service grocery store and café devoted to the health conscious.  If you are gourmet cook, you’ll enjoy all the fine ingredients you can find here.  I especially appreciate that the store is well laid out and the friendly staff is extremely helpful whenever I’ve needed assistance. 

     I never thought I’d go into a grocery store just to admire how beautiful it is, but Earth Fare on Hendersonville Road changed my outlook forever (I love the floors)!  The elegant and sophisticated ambiance is a perfect setting for the vibrantly colored (and, of course, organic) fruits and vegetables, immense cheese and wine selection, countless isles (well, maybe you can count them, but this IS a large store!) of packaged foods, frozen foods, chemical-free meats, teas and coffees, bulk foods and spices, herbal remedies and supplements, chemical-free cosmetics, deli counter with delicious already prepared foods, decadent dessert counter (including the “World’s Best Carrot Cake” by our good friend Avi at www.WorldsBestCarrotCake.com) ….and not to forget the salad/hot foods bar where you can load up your plate (priced by the pound) and have it to go or eat it in their dining area.  As with all organic stores, the prices will be a bit higher than the conventional grocery store…and well worth it!

    Ginny wheels her cart to the cheese deli and huge wine selection
    Ginny wheels her cart to the cheese deli and huge wine selection

    Visit the Earth Fare website for more details: http://www.earthfare.com/storeinfo/1200/details/3111  Their address is 1856 Hendersonville Rd, Asheville, North Carolina 28803  Phone:  828-210-010

    Reviewed by Stephanie Joy Johnson of Asheville’s premier luxury vacation homes, cabins, cottages and chalets.  www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com 

     

    Beautifully Presented Organic Produce, Earth Fare, Asheville NC

    Beautifully Presented Organic Produce, Earth Fare, Asheville NC

    Earth Fare on Hendersonville Road for Healthy Groceries & Cafe

    Earth Fare on Hendersonville Road for Healthy Groceries & Cafe

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  • Jan
    22

    Welcome to Asheville NC Vacation! We will be giving information on a regular basis about Asheville NC. Everything from basic tourist information to Asheville Vacation Rentals. Categories will include area restaurants, attractions, rentals and “things to do” and much much more.

    Stephanie
    www.AshevilleNCVacation.com

    See our vacation rentals
    http://www.ashevillevacationhomes.com/

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