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Monday, January 27, 2014

Best Asheville Cabin Rentals in the NC Mountains

Looking for the perfect romantic cabin or vacation rental near Asheville in the North Carolina mountains? Our Asheville Travel Guide now has more than 500 choices, including log cabins, large mountaintop homes, condos and more. Find the complete list at Here is a sampling:
  • Cabin Fever, Saluda: Take a trip back in time in a rustic cabin at this secluded eco resort and enjoy a few days away from it all. Pull up a rocker and enjoy your screened-in porch. Snuggle by the wood burning stoves on cool nights. Near waterfalls, rafting, tubing and zip lines. Nestled between Saluda and Hendersonville. 25 minutes from Asheville and 5 minutes from I-26.
  • Round Knob Lodge, Old Fort: Looking for a place for a family reunion, wedding or other gathering, this estate on 20 acres includes a trout stream, two stocked ponds, mountain views, many quiet places, and a beautifully renovated historic lodge with several huge fireplaces and 1000+ sq. feet of outdoor living space. 40 minutes to Asheville and 15 minutes to Black Mountain.
  • Driftwood Riverside Cottages: Located a quick 10 minutes from vibrant downtown Asheville, these two cottages are side-by-side on a quiet residential tree lined street and on the banks of the Swanannoa River. has two bedrooms, Each vacation rental has two bedrooms, fireplace, deck and river views. Very quiet and secluded for your privacy. Biltmore Estate is a 15 minute drive and the Folk Art Center and Blue Ridge Parkway are minutes away.
  • Cottages at Spring House Farm, Chimney Rock: These luxury cabins near Asheville, located on 92 acres of private and secluded mountain property, have a four-person hot tub and wood burning fireplace. One cottage is a restored 1835 Appalachian two BR cottage. "Spa Treats" include Swedish massage. Couples only. Outside Traveler: "Top Ten Hideaway." 35 miles SE of Asheville.
  • Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds: Luxury cabins, one, two, and three bedrooms on a 40-acre four seasons Woodland Garden in the city of Asheville only 3.5 miles from Biltmore Estate. Each fully equipped cabin has it’s own hot tub, designer touches, and woodburning fireplaces. 6 miles to downtown Asheville.
  • Carolina Mornings, Asheville: Whatever your needs, they've got you covered with the finest vacation homes and cabin rentals in and near Asheville - whether it's a mountain chalet, an upscale log cabin, an elegant downtown loft or a Biltmore Village condo. Be showered with free activities and concierge services from Carolina Mornings. Cabins sleep up to 10 guests.
  • Scenic Wolf Cabins, Mars Hill: Large luxurious cabins perched atop Wolf Ridge have 70 mile views and sleep up to 10 people each, perfect for multi-unit group rentals and/or family reunions. Find the perfect cabin for your vacation with last minute discounts and plenty of free activities in and around Asheville.
  • The Barn at Mountain Meadows, Asheville: Located on a secluded property five miles from downtown Asheville and less than one mile from the Blue Ridge Parkway, this richly appointed, newly renovated luxury cabin features views from 3,500 feet elevation, a fully equipped kitchen with modern appliances, granite countertops, radiant heated floors.
  • Bullhead Mountain Lodge, Black Mountain: Sleep up to 16 all under one roof! This luxurious 8 bedroom, 6 bath custom home boasts a private swimming pool, hot tub, sauna, and fenced back yard. Pet-friendly and perfect for all your large get-togethers and retreat needs. Easy paved access with view of Bullhead Mountain, and nearby all Black Mountain conference centers.
  • Parkway Lane Cabins, Asheville: Luxury to the more modest pet friendly log cabins on the banks of the French Broad River (third oldest river in the world) across from Biltmore Estate. A three hole golf course is available for perfecting one’s wedge shot. Nearby is hiking and biking at NC Arboretum and Blue Ridge Parkway. Two miles from shops/dining at Biltmore Park.
  • Greybeard Vacation Rentals: Choose from a big vareity of vacation rentals in Asheville, Black Mountain, and Montreat. Many of the cabins are pet-friendly and feature high-speed internet, hot tubs, breathtaking views, and more. Whether it’s a secluded getaway on top of a mountain or a romantic cottage in charming Black Mountain, they’ve got the perfect cabin for you.
  • Black Wolf Cabins: This secluded creekside 1880s log cabin is surrounded by wildlife in the country. Originally built by a young groom for his new bride, the current owner restored it for his wife and their honeymoon. Since it was first built more than 130 years ago, it is amazingly warm, inviting and romantic.15 miles from Asheville
  • Asheville Vacation Rent: Choose from several comfortable properties convenient to West Asheville, the River Arts district and downtown. From studios to two-bedroom single family homes, these vacation rentals are located in quiet residential neighborhoods, but close to many shops, restaurants and plenty of entertainment.
  • Bittersweet Cottage & Suite: Tucked away on Elk Mountain with views of Asheville and the Blue Ridge Mountains, you'll find a renovated Arts and Crafts style cottage or a new Asian-inspired suite. 6 miles N of downtown.
  • Four Seasons Cottages & Cabins: These charming cottages and log cabins are walking distance to the beach at Lake Lure and feature screened porches, Jacuzzis, and fireplaces. They sleep from 2 to 10 people. 25 miles from Asheville.
  • Cottages at Mountain Magnolia Inn: Located in Hot Springs, recently voted Best Small Mountain Town from Georgia to West Virginia, choose from the Garden House with three bedrooms, two baths and a full kitchen adjacent to the Inn; Fowler's Bend with two large suites in a fully renovated 100-year-old general store overlooking a bold creek and waterfall; Spring Creek Chalets or the eight-sided Octagon House. 32 miles north of Asheville.
  • Barkwells, Dog Lovers’ Vacation Retreat: Vacation with your four-legged best friend in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Run, swim, play on 8+ fully fenced acres with a pond. Come, sit, stay in fully-equipped comfy log cabins each with fireplace, hot tub, gated porch and fenced yard. Get away from it all or stay connected with Internet access and satellite TV. Located 5 minutes from I-26 and WNC Agricultural Center, and 20 minutes from downtown Asheville, Hendersonville, Brevard

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Dolly Parton Coming to Harrah's Cherokee Casino on May 25

Dolly Parton performs at the Harrah's Cherokee Event Center for the first time! An internationally renowned superstar, the iconic and irrepressible Dolly Parton has contributed countless treasures to the world of music entertainment, penning classic songs such as "Jolene," "Coat of Many Colors," and her mega-hit "I Will Always Love You." With 1977's crossover hit "Here You Come Again," she successfully erased the line between country and pop music without noticeably altering either her music or her image. "I'm not leaving country," she said at the time, "I'm just taking it with me."
Making her film debut in the 1980 hit comedy 9 to 5, Dolly earned rave reviews for her performance and an Oscar nomination for writing the title tune, along with her second and third Grammy Awards. Roles in Steel Magnolias, Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Rhinestone, and Straight Talk followed, along with two network television series, made for television movies, network and HBO specials, and guest-starring roles in series television. In 2006, Dolly earned her second Oscar nomination for "Travelin' Thru," which she wrote for the film Transamerica.
The concert begins at 7:30 PM. Tickets go on sale January 14, 2014 at Ticketmaster or by calling 1-800-745-3000.  Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort's spectacular 3,000 plus seat Event Center is the leading events, entertainment and concert venue in the Southeast. The massive Event Center stage is 60-foot by 40-foot and framed by large HD resolution 32-foot screens. The facility boasts a sophisticated, state-of-the-art speaker system as well as the highest quality theatrical lighting available and was selected to Billboard Magazine's Top 25 Hottest clubs in North America for two consecutive years. 

For more information about Cherokee, go to

Friday, January 17, 2014

Roads Closed in Pisgah National Forest Due to Weather

The U.S. Forest Service has closed the following roads in the Pisgah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest (in the Looking Glass Rock area) near Asheville NC for public safety and resource protection:

• FSR 475B (Headwaters Road) from the intersection of FSR 475 (Davidson River Road, near the Pisgah Fish Hatchery), to Gumstand Gap (Sunwall Trailhead)

• FSR 476 (Wolf Ford Road)

• FSR 477 (Avery Creek) from the Pisgah Stables north to Route 276

• FSR 479 (Bent Creek) from just after Ledford Branch Trailhead to the Blue Ridge Parkway

• FSR 5000 (Wash Creek) from the Blue Ridge Parkway to the junction of FSR 142 (Hendersonville Reservoir Rd.)

Motorized access to trailheads in the Bent Creek Experimental Forest, Wash Creek Horse Camp and Trace Ridge Trailhead will remain open.

The following additional roads (or portions of roads) will be closed if changing weather conditions cause further deterioration:

• FSR 140 (Courthouse Creek)

• FSR 1206 (Yellow Gap)

Seasonal freeze and thaw has caused soft road conditions that make driving difficult. Additional traffic can increase damage to roads and cause sediment runoff into adjacent streams. These conditions also create a public safety concern because of the likelihood of having difficulties traveling on the road, including the possibility of becoming stranded. The duration of these closures will be determined by weather conditions.

For more about Pisgah National Forest, go to

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Great Winter Specials at Biltmore House: America's Downton Abbey

Biltmore House with a rare winter snow.
We love to explore Biltmore Estate in Asheville during January through March. Gone are the holiday crowds. It's certainly the most tranquil time of the year, plus you get the best deals on tickets to tour Biltmore House.
Discount Tickets
Take advantage of the lowest admission prices of the year January 13 through March 19, 2014. Biltmore Estate admission begins at $39 when tickets are purchased online seven or more days in advance. Regular tickets are $49, and kids aged nine and younger are free. For more info, go to

Free Audio Tours
Available at no additional charge January 13 through March 19, two new audio tours give an updated interpretation of Biltmore’s grand rooms, architecture, collection of art and antiques, as well as true stories about the Vanderbilt family, their guests and servants. For the first time, Biltmore has introduced a children’s audio tour in addition to the standard audio tour, created to give kids an imaginative connection to life in the Vanderbilt household. Biltmore’s curators and hosts narrate the standard audio tour, while the children’s tour is told from the point of view of Cedric, the Vanderbilt’s beloved Saint Bernard. Both tours follow the same route through Biltmore House for families to enjoy together.
Free Garden Orchid Talks
Biltmore's Conservatory in the beautiful walled garden is filled with thousands of tropical plants, including an expansive orchid display at its showiest peak in March. Orchids and Biltmore have a long history; in fact, some 800 orchids were on Vanderbilt’s list to be purchased for the Conservatory in 1894. A new educational tour is offered in the Conservatory Mondays through Fridays, January 20 through March 19 at 11 AM. Expert gardeners discuss the many types of orchids in bloom and topics such as Biltmore’s heritage orchids, the history of orchid cultivation, and details about the Conservatory. Growing tips and general care information will also be offered.
Downton Abbey of the South
As the fourth season of “Downton Abbey” airs on PBS, fans of the show have taken note of similarities between Biltmore and the period drama hit. Thematic story lines and the era of the show overlap with the time when George and Edith Vanderbilt lived in the 250-room Biltmore House and raised their daughter Cornelia. Parallels between Biltmore and Downton Abbey can be brought to life in two specialty tours at Biltmore. During the Butler’s Tour, discover how Biltmore House functioned, past and present, and learn about the work of the Vanderbilt’s domestic servants. As for the opulence upstairs, it’s easy to imagine what it would have been like to stay at Biltmore (1895 to the early 1930s) with the Vanderbilts as your hosts during the Vanderbilt Family & Friends Tour. Each tour is $17 per person in addition to estate admission.
Free Winery Tour & Wine Tasting
Stop at the Biltmore Winery for a free guided tour of the production facility and complimentary tastings. Antler Hill Village is just steps away from the Winery and features “The Vanderbilts at Home and Abroad,” an exhibition highlighting archival letters, personal items and exotic treasures collected around the world.
Special rates at the Inn on Biltmore Estate
Their four-star hotel, Inn on Biltmore Estate, has special winter pricing with savings up to half off. Rooms start at $149 per night. Finishing an afternoon with English tea at the Inn on Biltmore Estate, complete with traditional English finger sandwiches, scones, fruit breads, and tea pastries, will round out a day in the spirit of “Downton Abbey.”

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Top 10 Budget-Saving Asheville Things to Do with Your Valentine

If you are dreaming of a romantic getaway to Asheville and the North Carolina mountains without breaking the bank, here are ten ideas to save money right now:

1. Spend a day at the Biltmore Estate without the big crowds and get the lowest admission rates of the year through March. Plus save up to 50% at their hotel, Inn on Biltmore.

2. Save a bundle with winter packages and specials at hotels, cabins and B&Bs. Save the most by staying on Sunday-Thursday nights. For Valentine getaways, go the weekend before or after the 14th.  

3. Browse hundreds of interesting boutiques and stops in downtown Asheville and Biltmore Village. It doesn’t cost to look! And many are still having year-end sales.

4. Ski on Monday-Friday for the best deals. Beech Mountain has a $99/person "Ski & Stay" package for two nights lodging in a condo or hotel plus a lift ticket.

5. Soak in the 100-degree mineral waters in the natural Hot Springs for just $15/person.

6. Take a pub crawl in “Beer City USA” with an amazing selection of 50+ local brews. Hang out in one of the many coffee shops and wine bars in downtown Asheville.

7. Enjoy live music at many bars and restaurants. Often, there is no cover charge, so enjoy for a price of a drink or dinner.

8. See a huge variety of art without paying a museum admission price at 30 downtown galleries or the artist studios in the River Arts District. The Folk Art Center has free demonstrations and exhibits.

9. Find some of many waterfalls. Most are free to visit, including favorites Linville Falls and DuPont State Forest.

10. Hike and see the best vistas of the year since there are no leaves to block the views. Add cool temperatures and few hikers, and this may become your favorite time to hike. There are hundreds of free hiking trails in Pisgah and Nantahala National Forest in lower elevations that receive little snow.
You'll get the best deals of the year in January-March, since it’s the slowest time of the year for tourism. That also makes it the perfect time for a peaceful, stress-free escape. 
For more ideas for winter and valentine outings, go to