asheville

A Visit to Asheville NC Always Means a Fun Vacation

A Visit to Asheville NC,  is the rare vacation destination that will show you a little bit of everything. Distinctive architecture and funky public art make the city an eye-popping place to be, and the surrounding mountains, parks and waterfalls provide an element of unmatchable natural beauty. Everywhere you turn there is something to examine, investigate and engage in, so take a few days off work and head this way for your next vacation.

The Blue Ridge Mountains are an impressive and activity-filled sight to behold. Miles and miles of hiking and biking trails, raft-worthy rushing rivers, wildlife, and the general sense of calm that goes along with immersing yourself in an ancient forest are what you’ll have to look forward to. Guided tours of the area are available, or if you’re an thrill seeker who’s been stuck too long in an office, lace up your hiking boots and set out on an adventure of your own making. The lush greenery, exhilarating altitudes, fragrant wildflowers and craggy cliffs are sure to erase all evidence of worry lines from your face and anxiety from your muscles, so don’t miss the chance to explore nature’s offerings.

After you’ve whetted your appetite for all things wild, check out the fascinating city of Asheville. More dynamic, progressive, and artistic than you might think, this southern town is filled with idiosyncrasies. The Urban Trail is a path through the city that stretches for nearly two miles and shows off a number of intriguing pieces of art. Not only will your aesthetic senses be delighted, but you’ll actually learn something too; Asheville’s history has been mapped out with artistic flair by means of plaques and sculptures along this enchanting pathway.

The Art Deco influences make for another nice touch, so as you amble through the pedestrian-friendly downtown be sure to notice the buildings that surround you. Take a seat on one of the many park benches, or even better, plop yourself down on the patio of a café or restaurant for some high-quality people watching. Sip a latte or order a sandwich at one of the many bistros and you’ll find yourself quite entertained. After this, do some window shopping or seek out the perfect souvenir at a one-of-a-kind boutique or antique store. A great way to visit Asheville NC

Other attractions in Asheville itself include yearly festivals, live bluegrass music, art galleries, theatres and much more. For travelers who live the energy of a big city but the comfort and charm of small-town life, Asheville provides a happy medium. Check the calendar of events before you make your lodging and transportation plans so that you’ll fill your trip with the best possible sights, sounds and smile-inducing pursuits.

So whether you want to enjoy a cosmopolitan vacation with a little nature mixed in or a wilderness getaway with a touch of the city, Asheville is the place to be. From a quiet canoe trip on Lake Powhatan to a banjo concert with a few hundred of your new best friends, every mood you find yourself in will be met with a complementary experience. All that’s left to figure out is where to stay.

Vacation rentals make a good choice when it comes to squeezing every drop of fun and excitement, not to mention relaxation, from your Asheville trip. The possibilities range from cute and cozy to luxurious and large, so narrow down your goals and expectations before seeking out the perfect home away from home. Unlike many hotel rooms, your vacation rental will be blessed with extra amenities and a certain unique charm. If you want to see the fall foliage up close and personal, pick a quaint cabin in the woods. If you’re bringing the kids for a fab family trip, check out the condo options nestled in the majestic mountains. There’s something for everyone, so start investigating ASAP for the best selection and the best deals.

Your Visit to Asheville NC vacation is sure to be a success, so get the planning process started today. Choose an Asheville Vacation Rental, pull the suitcases down from the attic, and be sure to take enough time off work to properly enjoy all that this exciting destination has to offer.

Learn more about a Visit to Asheville NC

The Honeymoon Hotspots: Where You Need To Go In The Asheville Mountains

Enjoy the Asheville Mountains Today!

Advice on how to go about choosing where to go on your honeymoon in the Asheville Mountains.

So you’re engaged…congratulations! One of the most fun parts about getting married is planning that honeymoon trip of a lifetime. And if you haven’t even narrowed it down to a destination, don’t worry–many (if not most!) honeymoon couples are in the same boat.

Some couples start by leafing through travel or bridal magazines and looking for pictures that are appealing and romantic-you can do this, but you’re more likely to settle on the best-MARKETED destination rather than the best destination for your wants, needs, and style.

The following are questions you should ask yourself–it’ll help you figure out what your options are, and help you ask better questions of your travel agent…which will help you plan that perfect honeymoon.

When are you going?

Every destination has its high and low seasons–and this is typically a combination of weather and the times of the year that their tourists typically take vacations. Some destinations, such as Hawaii, have very little variance in their weather year-round; others, like the Caribbean have a definite hurricane season. The Ashville mountains are beautiful in both spring and summer, and in fall, they are hopping, as tourists come to see the leaves changing colors.

Also, ask yourself if you’re willing to delay the start of your honeymoon a couple of weeks or months. Summer months are very popular for weddings, as it tends to be easier for family and friends to get to the wedding; plus, if you’re having an outdoor wedding, the odds of good weather are more in your favor. However, this also tends to be the expensive (and sometimes more crowded) season for many honeymoon destinations. Giving yourself a month off after the wedding before leaving on your honeymoon can give you time to relax and wind down from the wedding, write your thank-you notes, and take advantage of the lower prices of what’s known as the “shoulder season” (between high and low season).

Travel time/vacation time in the Asheville Mountains

How much time off work are you going to take? And how much of it are you willing to spend on an airplane?

If you’re going on an African safari, you’re going to consume about a day and a half traveling each way from the U.S. This is fine if you’re going to be there a couple of weeks, but if those days are coming off your total of 7 days on vacation, you might consider someplace closer. And distance isn’t the only factor: how many stopovers is it going to take to get where you’re going? If you’ve got to land on a main island, then wait around for 4 to 6 hours for the “island hopper” flight to take you out to your remote private island retreat, that’s going to consume your vacation time too.

A great option, if it’s available, is a red-eye flight, where you sleep on the plane and wake up at your destination, saving a day of vacation time.

Cost

The big question! First, some statistics: the average U.S. couple spends about $3700 for their honeymoon package…and this doesn’t included expenditures once they’re at their destination. Take some time to research the area and find out what meals cost, what a hiking trip costs, what taxis cost, etc. Tourist bureau sites are a good place to start.

Costs of excursions and meals can easily add up to much more than your airfare and hotel, and you need to be realistic and prepared for this. Consider staying at multiple hotels on your honeymoon–perhaps one or two nights at someplace really nice to start, then a more moderate property with perhaps less of a view for the remainder.

People, people, people

There are a number of important considerations here. First off, who else is going to be at your resort? Are most of the guests at the resort in your age group? Are they young and adventurous, or older and mostly interested in golf? Does the resort market to families-are you going to find a ton of kids splashing around in the pool when you’re trying to have a romantic, relaxing time? Is the bar going to be lively, with your kind of music? Are you going to feel right at home, or a bit out of place?

Next, let’s talk about density: do you prefer to be in the middle of the action, with lots of other happy honeymooners all around, or quieter and more secluded? Think about whether you want to be in a hotel with 400 rooms, or a secluded inn.

Accommodations

How sensitive are you to humidity and temperature? This can determine not only the destination, but also the choice of resort, as not all A/C systems are created equal. How close do you want to be to nature?

How important is your living space in your hotel room? Do you feel claustrophobic easily? Do you like to lounge around in the morning, have breakfast in bed, or do you like to get up and out there exploring the mountains? Is a spa on-property important to you? Is a view of the mountains from your room important to you?

Also think about how you typically spend your day on vacation. If you go back and forth from the room to the pool and the restaurant, you might want a place with ground-level villas. If you’re going to spend most of your days out exploring the area, this might not matter so much.

Food in the Asheville Mountains

How adventurous of an eater are you? How about your fiance? Do you like to try the local food, try many different restaurants? Often resorts will have very good menus, but for authentic local cuisine you’ll have to venture outside the resort.

In Asheville, you have lots of choices for dinner.  If you’re staying at a secluded and isolated resort, it’s possible that you have no choice but to dine at the resort (and pay their prices, if it’s not included!).

More about the Asheville Mountains

 

Asheville, NC: Gateway to the Appalachian Mountains

By the Reynolds Mansion B&B in Asheville, NC

Henry David Thoreau once related, “In wilderness is the preservation of the world.” There is not any larger example of this than the North Carolina Mountains. Western North Carolina (WNC) offers residents some of the most diverse climates, trees and wildlife in the world. It’s a place full of breathtaking, spellbinding, naturally occurring phenomenon including forests, mountaintop vistas, waterfalls and riverside. Over the years, people, local communities, state officers and the central government have worked to preserve the pretty landscape in Western North Carolina, along with the animals and plants that live there. This effort continues today and every year.

And, as new folks relocate to the area looking for a better standard of living, they discover an ancient mountain.

The Mountains in North Carolina Tell Their Story: Appalachian Mountain Facts

The Appalachian Mountains are a record of Earth’s history. According to the U.S. Geological Survey:  The Appalachians are old. A look at rocks exposed in the present day’s Appalachian Mountains exposes lengthened belts of folded and thrust faulted sea sedimentary rocks, volcanic rocks and slivers of ancient ocean floor.

Robust proof [shows] that these rocks were deformed during plate collision. The birth of the Appalachian ranges, some 480 million years back, marks the first of several mountain building plate collisions that ended in the construction of the supercontinent Pangea with the Appalachians close to the center.

The start of the Appalachian Mountains led on to many millions of years of Earth changes. Ultimately, approximately 60 million years back, the Appalachians we all know today began to take shape. The exact boundaries of the Appalachian Mountains are debatable, but most professionals agree the range extends over 1,500 North to South miles from Canada to Georgia. As a system of ridges split into several distinct ranges, the Appalachian Mountains span two nations and 15 states : Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. Perhaps the most famed attraction is the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail (AT) that runs from Springer Mountain in Northern Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine.

Access to the AT is easily found in Western North Carolina agricultural areas like Hot Springs, Max Patch, a well known bald, or on the Blue Ridge Parkway, just outside of Asheville, wherein you will also find the Reynolds Mansion B&B.

The Magic of the Blue Ridge Mountains

One of the most well known provinces in the Appalachian Mountains is the Blue Ridge. The Blue Ridge Mountains stretch through Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina and Georgia.

They are home to the highest peaks in Eastern Northern America, the highest being Mount Mitchell in Western North Carolina at 6,684 feet. The trees are what give the Blue Ridge its name. According to the Nation’s Park Service, hydrocarbons released into the atmosphere by the trees create their signature color. The Blue Ridge offers a range of natural attractions including 2 countrywide parks : the Shenandoah in the North and the Great Smokies in the South. The Blue Ridge Parkway, a 496-mile scenic road that connects the 2 parks, provides amazing mountain lookouts and access to hundreds of hiking trails. The Great Hazy Mountains : A Union of Forest Preservation and Land Conservation The Great Hazy Mountains cover the border between North Carolina and Tennessee. The Great Hazy Mountains Countrywide Park is one of the biggest forest preservation areas in the Eastern United States.

According to StateParks the park was once part of Cherokee homeland and now pulls over nine million visitors every year. There are over 800 miles of hiking trails that range all the way from straightforward to difficult including seventy miles of the Appalachian Trail. In the summer, weather in the park consists generally of abundant rainfall and high humidity, making healthy growing conditions. Overall, Western North Carolina climate and Asheville weather brings four balanced seasons.

Winters and summers are moderate compared with other regions. Native trees, plants and flowers bloom during 3 seasons, and in the winter, snow-peaked mountain views peek thru barren, forest trees. StatePark reports that, “some 100 species of local trees find homes in the Smokies, more than any other Northern US state park.” The site adds that “almost 95% of the park is forested, and about 25% of that area is old growth forest — one of the biggest blocks of deciduous, temperate, old-growth forest remaining in North America.” The Nation’s Park Service explains that no other area of equal size in a gentle climate can match the park’s superb variety of plants, animals, and invertebrates. Over 10,000 species have been documented. The mountains in North Carolina, surrounding Asheville, are a place where the mountains, rivers, trees and animals tell an ancient story.

Be still and listen and you’ll hear the voice of the land.

Come enjoy the splendor of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Appalachian Trail, and stay with us at the Reynolds Mansion B&B in Asheville, NC.

Hiking Asheville NC With Your Android Phone

By the Reynolds Mansion, Asheville Bed and Breakfast Inn

One of the most well liked sports today that can be enjoyed alone or with family is hiking. It is cheap and doesn’t require any special equipment except a good solid pair of trainers, comfortable attire and most significantly, a map. It is always useful to carry terrain maps of maintained tracks and to take a break continually to test the area. Map-reading is more significant when one ventures off a well trodden path. On adventure walks, plotting a course becomes much more crucial and significantly complicated. Hiking on a deserted natural area alone and without a map is inviting catastrophe as the prospect of getting lost is high. The introduction of GPS-enabled devices changed the way we all travel.

Since the launch of GPS-enabled Android cell phones, the mobile market has gone through a gigantic transition. Among various features of an Android phone, the most valuable is its capacity to function as a navigation device. Android phones have already made a contribution to the amazing transition in the way folk hike. The Android GPS can receive location from GPS satellites with no regard for the location. If you’re in areas with no signal your GPS will work, but you will need a program that stores maps on the phone to utilize it. With an ideal Android hiking app to read pre-downloaded maps even without network coverage, an Android phone turns into a able out of doors GPS machine.

One of the best and must have Android hiking app is the kind that can let you store hiking maps and aerial pictures to your storage card and use it while out of doors even without network coverage. With the use of GPS for navigating, you can see the hiking terrain and your location on those maps. Support for radio-based connectivity is also one of the serious traits of a good Android hiking app. It must enable the user to download GPS maps and info on the go and must also have the capability of storing custom way points. Another critical feature that a good Android app must possess is access to topo maps of USA and Canada among the selection of map sources because all of these maps are free or public domain.

Nevertheless if you download maps using your cellular phone, the correspondent information transference charges incurred will be billed by your service supplier. An Android hiking app with wi-fi capacity is another feature that everyone should look for. This can give users an opportunity to download maps when hooked up to wi-fi hot spots away from home, store it, and then view it through through the same hiking app even in areas without network coverage. Having a GPS-enabled Android telephone together with a good hiking app is really helpful when you go for a hike especially if you’re not familiar with the place. A good hiking app must support current and future Android powered telephones with GPS capacities.

One of the best hiking applications for Android can be purchased and downloaded from the Android Market. An Android phone and a trusty Android hiking app is an ideal pair for hiking fans. It not only guides them with their exact location and point of direction, it also shows them other places which they can add to their list of future walks.

Stay with us at the Reynolds Mansion, your top rated Asheville bed and breakfast.  See our special Asheville b&b package deals.

Whitewater Rafting in Asheville, NC

The French Broad River is the closest outfitter for whitewater rafting near Asheville, North Carolina, just 22 miles northwest of Asheville near Marshall, NC.

You can select from a variety of white water and float trips on the beautiful and historic French Broad River. Just select a river trip to suit your group and schedule. You can do a half day of whitewater rafting, which is an average of 5 miles of class II-III rapids and amazing scenery. Whitewater rafting half-day morning trips usually include a fresh deli-style lunch. All-day white water rafting on the French Broad River gives you 8 miles to enjoy the rapids and mountain scenery of beautiful North Carolina along with a fresh deli-style lunch and a fun class IV rapid. The minimum age is 8. Families with young children can choose a more serene float, and the minimum age is 4.

When water levels permit, adventurers have the option of paddling inflatable kayaks or your own raft. In the calm pools between rapids, your guide will teach you about the natural and human history of this ancient river corridor. When you book your trip, your outfitter will provide all equipment necessary in connection with the river.

Before your trip, you must sign a waiver, and you can change clothes and do a check for anything you need: companions, cameras, shoes, river, sun cream, sunglasses, etc. You will attend a short talk about gear (helmets, PFDs, paddles, etc.), procedures, and the logistics of the journey on the river itself. When all questions have been answered and your equipment is checked to be a good fit, it’s time to load buses and head to your whitewater or calm water float trip on the beautiful French Broad River, home to some of the best North Carolina whitewater rafting near Asheville.

North Carolina is blessed with a long whitewater rafting season. Here in the southern Appalachians, rafting trips and float trips can be booked from mid-March to early November. And unlike other cold water rivers in western NC, the French Broad River is warmer and inviting. More than just another river trip, whitewater rafting on the North Carolina French Broad River near Asheville offers an excellent combination of White Water Rapids, serene pools, beautiful landscapes, history and wildlife.

You can book your Whitewater Rafting Trip for your visit to Asheville with Blue Heron Whitewater.

And don’t forget where to stay in Asheville— the Reynolds Mansion Bed and Breakfast Inn!

Buying the Right Kind of Boots for Hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Planning to go hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains when you visit Asheville, NC?  It’s a popular destination, and for good reason, since we have some of the best views and scenic outlooks in the country!  Just make sure you come prepared.  Here’s how to select the right hiking boots for your excursion:

For the everyday outdoorsman, you may have experienced hits and misses with the gear you purchase. Some gear may prove advanced for your talents and some gear may speedily become insufficient. One gear purchase nonetheless, customarily leads the pack in ‘regret potential’, and that’s the hiking boot. Sadly when many individuals realize their boots don’t fit, or offer the right support, they’re a couple of days’ hike from civilization and in a lot of agony.

However, even an amateur walker can avoid these missteps if they just follow some easy rules. When buying hiking boots, make sure the base of the boots have good friction with ground even in mud and rain. For those walkers who like heading out onto rocky trails, the best hill-climbing boots for that sort of ground is a heavy usage pair.  These are great for those rugged paths you will be hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Many of these sorts of boots are waterproof and have higher rise up the side of the ankle for foot steadiness and protection. This will help to avoid any formation of blisters and also won’t permit any type of moisture to come into contact with your feet. One other thing to consider is wearing double socks with your mountain-climbing boots.

After you put on both boots be certain to move around in them for a minute or two to be certain they fit fine. Almost all of the shoe stores will have some variety of angled walking surface to let you experience natural hiking movement.

Taking some time to find the best fitting boots for your hiking trip will save you lots of blisters and pain later, so make sure you get the right ones for your feet and enjoy your vacation hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains!

For more activities for your vacation, see our list of Things to Do in Asheville.  And be sure to make your reservations at the Reynolds Mansion, rated one of the best bed and breakfasts in Asheville!