What to Do in Asheville, NC: 10 Things You Must Try When You Visit

By the Reynolds Mansion B&B in Asheville NC

Asheville has long been a popular stop for visitors to North Carolina.  Along with its breathtaking natural setting, Asheville is a center of arts and culture.  Located between the streets of downtown you will find the most elegant gourmet restaurants, a vibrant arts scene and eclectic shops not seen anywhere else in the state. One thing is certain, Asheville is sure to make an impression on you.  Here are the 10 things you must do in Asheville, NC when you visit next!

1. Biltmore Estate was built in 1895, is the most famous symbol of Asheville, and must be seen!

2. Blue Ridge Parkway winds south of the city and offers panoramic views of the Smoky Mountains.

3. Asheville is prized for its non-chain establishments downtown, as shown by the sign in each window that says Go Local. Support Asheville businesses and buy local products.

4. Take a tour. Visit the Chamber of Commerce.  Segway tours run daily.

5. Grove Park Inn Spa luxury at its best in the historic Grove Park. The spa is considered one of the best 10 in the U.S. The main building, with its stone facade resembles the early 1900 lodges.

6. Stay at a world-class bed and breakfast and be pampered.  At the top of the list is the Reynolds Mansion B&B in Asheville, NC, ranked #1 on TripAdvisor.com.

7. Gallery crawl.  Downtown is full of art galleries, and you can find many artist studios in the River Arts District.

8. Visit some great microbreweries: Highland Brewing, French Broad Brewery, Asheville Pizza and Brewing.

9. Eat! The wide variety of options can overwhelm you, but some sites are remarkable, including Zambra on Walnut St. (Spanish tapas).

10. Biltmore Village is a planned community over 100 years old filled with stores, restaurants and galleries.

For more ideas on what to do in Asheville, NC when you visit, see DowntownAsheville.com.

Looking for a place to stay on your visit?  Book with us at the Reynolds Mansion B&B in Asheville.

Blue Ridge Mountain Hiking On The Appalachian Trail

Your Gateway to the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Reynolds Mansion Bed and Breakfast Inn, Asheville NC

The passing of the Blue Ridge Parkway and The Appalachian Trail through the Blue Ridge Mountain Host Area provides 2 different types of access to this beautiful destination. The Parkway makes it easy for motorists to explore all that this area of the Blue Ridge Mountains has to offer . For the adventurist, there is The Appalachian Trail. The “A.T.,” as it is called by hikers, is much more than merely a path thru the woods. It’s a countrywide pretty trail, part of the same national park system that includes Yellowstone, Yosemite, and the Great Hazy Mountains. Its official name is the Appalachian State Breathtaking Trail. However unlike those famous parks, it is not a concentrated preserve, with campgrounds and paths within its bounds.

As the longest, skinniest part of America’s national park system, the A.T. Stretches over fourteen different states and passes through more than 60 Fed, state, and local parks and forests. Hundreds of roads cross it. In some pieces, the Trail “corridor” is only a few hundred feet wide. In the Blue Ridge Mountain Host area, The Appalachian Trail passes from one end of Madison County to the other with many access points, giving day hikers a great opportunity to walk short segments of the trail. As it winds itself thru Madison County it passes through the picturesque town of Hot Springs, home of Hot Springs Resort and Spa. Visitors can pick up the A.T. Here and hike north or south for as far as they would like – and then return to this relaxed hamlet to unwind under the stars with a calming mineral bath along the banks of the French Broad River.

A popular destination on the Appalachian Trail near Hot Springs is Max Patch Mountain, a 350-acre tract of open land on a high knob with 360-degree perspectives. On a clear day visitors can see to Mt. Mitchell on the east, and to the Great Hazy Mountains on the south. A perfect place for a picnic, flying a kite, star gazing and enjoying wildflowers.

In addition to hiking the Appalachian Trail, the Hot Springs area offers other outside activities like whitewater rafting. In and around Hot Springs are “put-ins” and “take-outs” for the French Broad River. Outfitters like French Broad Rafting Expeditions, Huck Finn Rafting Journeys, Nantahala Outdoor Center and USA Raft offer guided brook trips and outfitter buying the out of doors experience. After a day of adventure, visitors can turn in at one of many camping sites, cabins, cottages, or bed and breakfast inns the area has to offer.

Book your stay at the Reynolds Mansion, a top visitor-ranked bed and breakfast in Asheville, NC.

Hiking Asheville NC: Advantages of a Waist Pack

By Your Friends at the Reynolds Mansion Bed and Breakfast in Asheville, NC

Hiking Asheville, NC is an activity that virtually anyone can do and enjoy. Of course there are several levels of the activity but overall, it’s really a satisfying experience when done correctly. If you are going hiking for the 1st time, you will notice other hikers and what they are using and carrying to make their hikes more pleasurable.

The options are many when hiking the Blue Ridge Mountains. Should you wear a hat? Should you use hiking poles? And one particularly crucial consideration is what type of pack should you carry. When piled high with weight, a back pack that’s supported on the shoulders can cause you to feel just like leaning forward even if you don’t realize it. It is a delicate effect, like carrying a purse on your left shoulder all your life and then one day realizing that you are leaning to the right to support it. And that happens irrespective of how much weight.

So try and imagine how a backpack with heavy weight in it can have an effect on your balance. Hiking trails aren’t the same as a paved walking path. They can be rough, rocky, steep, or sandy and greasy. So of course, proper footwear is important, but so is your pack. A waist backpack, or lumbar pack as it’s often called, puts the weight precisely on your hips, uniformly balanced by the huge muscles of the legs where weight is supposed to be supported. You will not find yourself leaning forward or backward but rather walking along as though there is no pull in any direction aside from the pull of gravity your usually feel when walking. Waist backpacks offer the most stable and balanced solution for carrying weight, including water, which you’ll need lots of. A waist pack which has two water bottles, one on each side is ideal for balance.

And access to the water is simple and convenient, so you are not running the risk of shoulder strain by taking a shoulder strap back-pack on and off. Often when you are hiking long distances or hiking in bad weather, you will need to carry a pack that’s larger than a waist style pack. A good choice for this sort of pack will be one with a waist or lumbar belt to support at least some of the weight on your hips. So how do you select a great waist backpack for your walks? First consider size. How long will you hike? Buy one that is adequate in volume, but no need to get one that’s too big if you’re only hiking brief distances.

Buy one of very high quality materials and if possible get one made in the USA because it’s going to be made well and last an entire lifetime. Stay balanced using a waist backpack and you will enjoy hiking for years!

Planning on Hiking Asheville, NC on your next vacation?  Visit us at the Reynolds Mansion Bed and Breakfast, your gateway to the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Book today!

What to See in the Blue Ridge Mountains and Asheville NC

By Top Rated Asheville NC Bed and Breakfast, the Reynolds Mansion

The Blue Ridge Mountains, a strand of the Appalachian Mountains, contain the highest mountain elevations in the eastern United States and occasionally called the “Rocky Mountains of the East.” Through big changes, each generation has cherished their Blue Ridge Mountain culture and kept their mountain practices alive thru their music, story telling, folks art, and way of life. On your travels through the Blue Ridge Mountains, one area to think about visiting is Ashe County. Located in the heart of the Blue Ridge and the most northwestern county of North Carolina, a paradise for nature lovers, Ashe contains tons of acres of preserved state and Fed parks. Here you’ll find one of the planet’s oldest streams, the New Stream, great for canoeing, the famous Blue Ridge Parkway, many hiking trails, local trout streams, and scenic perspectives of the Blue Ridge Mountains, backcountry roads to explore, barn art across the county, tiny family farms and some of the friendliest folk in the world. Within Ashe County, there are 3 tiny towns.

West Jefferson, a flourishing tiny mountain town, being the biggest and most active of Ashe County’s 3, is a favorite High Country destination. The city lies in a valley, with the mountains surrounding the city. Mount Jefferson State Park, with 539 acres of natural area and elevations up to five thousand feet rise way up above the city. Magnificent from a distance, the mountain it is best appreciated from the top offering amazing long-range perspectives into Virginia and Tennessee. There you will find hiking trails, picnic areas and bird watching venues. The charm and personality of downtown West Jefferson include an arts district, with art galleries and outside murals, unique shops, a town park and wonderful eateries. During summer weekends, you’ll find mountain music in the park, street dancing, gallery crawls, festivals and folk gathering to look at cheese made at the Ashe County Cheese Factory, partaking a pitcher of New River Winery’s famous blueberry wine, or shopping at the back street farmers market.

There is something for everybody in central West Jefferson. Take a short drive to the community of Glendale Springs, to the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church where world-renowned Ben Long, painted his first frescoes. At Glendale Springs, an exit from the Blue Ridge Parkway, you’ll find the famous Glendale Springs Hotel, Silver Designs, The Northwest Trading Post, Blue Ridge Bakery and Cafeacute, and The Paul and Florence Thomas Memorial Art College.

During your travels through the Blue Ridge Mountains, you will find many engaging things to do and see in the North Carolina High Country. A few of these attractions include a trip to Grandfather Mountain, the Biltmore House in Asheville, the Mast General Store, Tweetsie Railroad, Emerald Village, and Lineville Caves. These attractions along with the elegance of the Blue Ridge make the North Carolina High Country a good spot to visit or to spend a whole life.

Be sure to visit us at the Reynolds Mansion, top ranked Asheville NC Bed and Breakfast on Trip Advisor.

Survival Gear: The Top Ten Things To Have To Be Safe On A Hiking Trip

Your Guide to Safety When Hiking the Blue Ridge Mountains in Asheville, NC

Hiking is the ultimate method to get out into nature and experience the world, it is also an incredible technique to get some exercise and stay physically fit. Sadly, it can be deadly if you don’t take the right precautions. You will be out away from civilization, moving through the unpredictable wilderness. The following is the top ten things you should have to make sure you are safe.

1. A Radio or Cellphone – One of the best pieces of field and survival gear you may have is a way to quickly communicate with the external world. A cellular telephone is excellent so long as you have telephone coverage.

2. A GPS – This should work wherever you are so long as the batteries hold out, and you can keep from ever becoming lost.

3. A Knife – You need to use these to clean fish if you need to eat or to build a lean-to out of tiny tress and branches.

4. An Emergency Medical Kit – This may give you a basic way to fix minor injuries. You won’t be able put a cast on a damaged leg, but you can confirm a minor injury doesn’t lead directly to major difficulties.

5. Additional Water – Folk are often thinking so hard about what tactical gear they require that they forget the fundamentals. You’ve got to have water to stop dehydration and heat exhaustion on your Blue Ridge Mountains hike.

6. Food That Lasts – Along similar lines, some of the best survivalist kit you can have is also the most obvious.  You need to have food that is in packaging and can be rationed out for a long time if you are lost.

7. Something To Build A Shelter – As discussed, a knife can be beneficial in this process. It’s also a great idea to have a poncho or some other kind of garment you can use to keep off the rain.

8. Layers Of Clothes – You want to have thin clothes for hiking under the sun and thicker layers for staying warm at night. Clothing to repel the rain, for example caps and hats, is also a smart idea. Having the layers gives you the power to adjust what you are wearing for whatever the weather is doing.

9. Boots – Having the right footwear is crucial.  You are going to be hiking for a long distance and you need your feet to be well placed to take the abuse. This is particularly true if you become lost because it is so hard to hike your way out of the woods if your feet are wounded.

10. A Flashlight – This can literally save your life at night. If you’re lost, hiking at night can be exceedingly perilous — this is true also regardless of if you know where you are. A torch can permit you to see pitfalls and hazards before you stumble on them in the dark.

Need a home base for hiking the Blue Ridge Mountains?  Stay at the Reynolds Mansion Asheville Bed and Breakfast Inn.  See our deals and packages for your stay in Asheville, NC.