The Pinecrest Bed and Breakfast Asheville NC

Archive for the ‘Asheville Inn’ Category

Gluten Free Restaurants in Asheville, NC

August 28th, 2012 by Stacy Shelley

Kale Salad from Posana

It seems that lately we have been seeing a lot of guests with different dietary needs.  The big one these days is gluten intolerance.  So it’s a good thing they are vacationing in Asheville, because this is just a fabulous place to visit and live if you have any type of dietary challenges.  At our Asheville Inn we embrace these challenges and find ways to insure that all our guests needs are met.  We recently had a lovely lady visit us who was a vegetarian and gluten-free. She authors a gluten free blog and wrote a wonderful article on her site Gluten-Free Cat about her experience at Pinecrest B and B.  She posted lots of pictures of our breakfasts and the desserts I got for her from my friend who is a professional gluten-free baker, Dolci di Maria.

As stated in previous blogs we have vegetarian restaurants, a vegan restaurant, a drive through vegetarian “fast food” place and a gluten-free restaurant.  I send guests to Posana Cafe, the gluten-free restaurant all the time.  In fact it is not unusual for them to go back several times during their visit.  So this  weekend I met up with some friends at Posana to confirm that the food is as good as everyone says it is . I was not disappointed.

Posana Cafe is located located in downtown Asheville on Historic Pack Square.   We sat outside on the patio on an unseasonably cool August night. There is probably no better people watching spot than Pack Square.  Posana Cafe has a self described Contemporary American Cusine menu which features local seasonal ingredients. With the emphasis on seasonal the menu naturally changes frequently.   One of the staples of the menu however, is the Kale Salad, which I could have eaten 2 pounds of easily.   The Kale is minced and tossed with pumpkin seeds, currants, lemon and olive oil and outstanding  Three Graces Dairy  manchego cheese.  I love kale but if you don’t,  this salad will surely convert you.  Next up was a roasted beet and peach salad with Three Graces Dairy Feta cheese.  Again….very good.  Lastly we had the gnocchi, which was equally divine.  Sadly we skipped dessert, which some say is their best effort. Our server was very professional and pleasant.

All in all a very good experience that you do not have to be gluten free to enjoy !  For more information on how Pinecrest Bed and Breakfast can accomodate your dietary needs, please call 888-811-3053 or email at innkeeper@pinecrestbb.com.

 

 

Trolley Tours are a Great Way to Experience Asheville

August 8th, 2012 by Stacy Shelley

Taking you on an adventure this time around, we have a guest blog from my parents (Pinecrest Bed and Breakfast resident innkeepers), who ventured out with some friends of theirs visiting from Indiana.   There isn’t a better way for them to get a good feel for our fair city than to hop aboard a historic trolley tour.

And so, off they went to the Asheville Visitor Center to board the Gray Line Trolley. The Visitors center is 5 blocks from this Asheville Inn. The trolley tours are fully narrated by a professional tour guide, who is well versed in historic tid bits about the city of Asheville. One great thing about taking the trolley is that you get to let someone else hold the wheel – letting the driver worry about traffic and parking and allowing you to enjoy the sights without causing any traffic mishaps.  Plus, the ticket is good for 2 consecutive days and you are allowed to hop off the trolley at any one of the stops and get back on when you feel like it. Every 30 minutes the trolley glides by each stop. The cost is 21.00 per adult and 10.00 for children ages 5 – 11.  They also offer AAA and AARP discounts of 2.00 per ticket. For your convenience we sell the tickets from our Asheville  bed and breakfast .

After departing the Visitor Center, the trolley made its way through the Montford Historic District, which just so happens to be where our Asheville Bed and Breakfast is located.  This District Montford retains more than 600 buildings, most of which were built between 1890 and 1920, and includes a variety of architectural influences reflecting the cosmopolitan character of Asheville during the turn of the 20th century.

Famous Asheville architect (and supervising architect of the Biltmore House) Richard Sharp Smith designed many of the residential homes in Montford. Smith’s architectural leanings contribute to the character of this area.

Montford has always been primarily residential, but also has a history of including several board houses and sanitariums (for the treatment of tuberculosis and other ailments) included in the neighborhood mix.  In recent years, Montford has developed into a bed and breakfast community with numerous inns included in the mix.

Also within the Montford Historic District is Asheville’s Riverside Cemetery,  It is the cemetery where you will find the final resting place for Thomas Wolfe and William Sydney Porter (better known as O. Henry) as well as Confederate General Robert B. Vance and North Carolina Governor Zebulon Vance, among other Asheville luminaries.

The large houses that line the streets of this neighborhood reflect a more prosperous time in Asheville.  Montford and Pinecrest Bed and Breakfast is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.  The district is located an easy walk or bike ride from downtown Asheville.

Unfortunately, it misses passing our inn — also a “Robert Sharp Smith” — by a block. Their trolley cruised by an old home which years ago was a sanitarium. It is where Zelda Fitzgerald, the beautiful debutante flapper from Alabama who inspired F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Jazz Age stories was a patient and where she died in March of 1948.

After leaving Montford, the trolley meandered through the Grove Park neighborhood until it reached the Grove Park Inn. It is here that George Vanderbilt stayed during his first trip to Asheville. My parents and their friends decided to jump off the trolley and check out the Grove Park Inn, more specifically the spectacular view of the mountains from the terrace. The trolley guide informed them it was this terrace where George Vanderbilt looked out and decided he would buy all the land he could see.

Next stop: the Thomas Wolfe House.  Your trolley ticket allows you free admission to the historic home where the writer, Thomas Wolfe lived as a boy. Mr. Wolfe is also buried at the Riverside Cemetery.  Hopping back on board, the trolley headed toward downtown and into Pack Square.  Following the depression, many art deco buildings were constructed and through the years the city has tried to retain the architectural heritage by maintaining and restoring these beautiful structures.  After driving through the square the trolley made its way over to the Haywood Hotel. Everyone was ready to stretch their legs so they hopped off and wandered around downtown for a while. They strolled through the Woolworth building which houses 2 floors of artist galleries and an old fashion soda fountain. They then crossed the street and indulged in some sinfully delicious chocolate at the Chocolate Fetish, a local Chocolatier,some might say “chocolate artists.”

Rejoining their fellow tourists, and a few locals enjoying the tour, the trolley made its way down toward the French Broad River.  The River Arts District is currently experiencing a major resurgence and is quite the happening place these days. Several breweries are moving in and more restaurants are surfacing in this lively center of art, artists, galleries and studios.

The trolley then headed south to Biltmore Village. Biltmore Village was built by George Vanderbilt in the late 1890′s as a classic planned community at the entrance to the Biltmore Estate. Today the Village is a cottage community of shops, restaurants and art galleries. At this point everyone was getting hungry so they departed the trolley and walked around the Village, which has tree-lined streets and brick sidewalks. They ended up at Chelsea’s Tea Room for afternoon tea and finger sandwiches. They sat outside in the lovely courtyard and despite the warm temperatures they really enjoyed themselves…even the men. As they strolled back to the trolley stop they passed some of the original buildings, such as All Souls Church (now All Souls Cathedral) the church built for the Vanderbilt’s, the old train depot which is now a restaurant, and some of the original estate cottages.

Although you can take the entire tour in about an hour and a half, this little adventure took all of 5 hours.  Crazy kids!

For more information or to book a room visit www.pinecrestbb.com or call 888-811-3053.

Day Excursions from our Asheville Bed & Breakfast

July 10th, 2012 by Stacy Shelley

Lately we’ve been recommending some day trips, that are easy to take from our Bed & Breakfast in Asheville. I have to say - these little adventures we have been going on have been pretty cool and lots of fun. Our latest expedition took us south of Asheville to Hickory Nut Gorge area, Chimney Rock and Lake Lure.  Many of our guests ask about these destinations so we ventured down to check them out again. It has been some time since we were in that area and it appears that not a lot has changed. The view from Chimney Rock is still awesome and the town and the lake perhaps a little more touristy. If you are visiting just for a weekend, this is probably not a side trip we would recommend — since there is just so much to see and do in and around Asheville. If however, you are planning on staying longer, or if your trip into or out of Asheville can take you that way, then it is great way to spend the day or a long afternoon.

Lake Lure is nestled in the heart of the Hickory Nut Gorge and is fed by the Rocky Broad River that makes its way down a series of rapids through the Gorge.  Lake Lure is a town in Rutherford County.  As of 2009, the population was 1007 – down 5 folks since 2008.  Lake Lure was incorporated in 1927 and acquired its namesake lake in 1965.  The town and lake make up all of 15 square miles and boasts a new marina and a beach front. You can rent just about every type of water craft at the marina or take an hour guided tour around the Lake. The guide lets you in on all the secrets of the lake including an underwater city and the scoop on filming of the Dirty Dancing movie. It is a picturesque lake and was designate one of the “top ten man made lakes” by National Geographic. We hit the beach and swam in the lake for a short bit before dark clouds and lightening swept in forcing us to change plans – much to the chagrin of our little tourist who was having fun on the two water slides.  We took a drive around the lake and ended up at “Larkin’s on the Lake,” situated as it name implies right on the water.  We sat outside under the awning, sipped on drinks, ate a bite and watched the storm roll in and eventually over us.  As the sun began to reappear, we ventured back out and headed back toward the beach and toward Chimney Rock about 2 miles away.

Once you turn into Chimney Rock State Park you drive along a narrow road, up and up, paying at the gate approximately half way up and then arriving at the Welcome Center, further up and approximately 3 miles from turning in.  Out of your car, you face a difficult decision:  whether to venture up to the towering 315-foot monolith located on the very edge of a mountain, perched above the Hickory Nut Gorge at 2280 feet, by your own two feet by trail OR take a leisurely 30 second ride up an elevator to the Old Rock Café and entrance to breathtaking views.  Built within the mountain is a 198 foot tunnel which cuts into the mountain to a 26 story elevator, which was constructed in 1949 (using 18 tons of dynamite).

Whatever your choice, you arrive at the top of the “Rock” where the gorge unfolds around you with a view that extends 75 miles with Lake Lure directly below.  I must confess that we took the elevator, but mainly because of the time we had and that we were tugging a 7 year old along with us.  The view was spectacular, but should come with a word of caution.  If you have any fear of heights, you may have some difficulty crossing the bridge and then walking up the stairs to the actual “rock”. It is well fenced and safe, but it could make anyone a bit nervous. Our son was a little hesitant, but we all made it out onto the rock and it was well worth it. Even though the focal point of the park is the “rock” there are many hiking trails and an amazing 404 foot waterfall.  The Park holds special events throughout the season so check before launching your own expedition at http://www.chimneyrockpark.com/index.php

The trails are surrounded by oak, hickory, maple, beech, poplar, locust and basswood harbor trees. The plant life includes rare and endangered wildflowers as well as native Solomon’s-Seal and Jack-in-the-pulpit.  An easy ¾ mile trek that leads to the aforementioned waterfall: Hickory Nut Falls.  If you have ever seen the movie, “The Last of the Mohicans” you are sure to remember the climatic fight scene at the end of the movie. This scene was filmed at the top of Hickory Nut falls.  It’s an easy walk and well worth experiencing. Admission to the park is a little steep at $15 per adult, but if you are planning a day of it, you will get your money’s worth.  You can eat at the café or take a picnic along.  Enjoy! For more information about accomodations or local attractions, please call Pinecrest Inn, a premiere Asheville Bed and Breakfast at 888-811-3053.

A Day Spent Being a “Tourist” in Asheville

June 29th, 2012 by Stacy Shelley

It looks like I am going to be forced into taking more time off work to do more hiking and sightseeing (a.k.a. “guest research”). The response to my last blog on our trip up to Max Patch was over the top. Honestly, I really didn’t appreciate how many people actually read our blogs. Many of our guests have been inquiring about Max Patch and venturing up there for a hike and to take in the beautiful views. Several have even made their way over to Hot Springs for a relaxing soak. One guest suggested that I emphasize the road is narrow, gravel and winding, but well worth traveling to see the views.

Unfortunately, I am at the inn 7 days a week and do not have many opportunities to go on such adventures. However, this last weekend my husband and I found ourselves kidless, which rarely happens in our active house of three of the little time traps.  On Saturday, my husband had to pick up a rental car for a work trip to his surprise they suited him up in a neon-lime sherbert colored convertible mustang. It screamed “rental” or at least we hope it did as we made our way through downtown Asheville on a sunny Saturday afternoon. We decided to meander through town with no plans except to hit the Fine Arts Movie Theatre at 7 for a movie. I know most people do not come to Asheville to see a movie, but we have a great small theatre downtown, which features mostly smaller independent films. It has two screens, serves adult beverages and doesn’t show blockbusters or Disney films so kids are a rarity. It is a very adult experience and you really can’t go wrong with whatever is playing here.

Gourmet Potato Chip Company

We started our adventure at the south location of 12 Bones restaurant after dropping our youngest off at his friends on that side of town.  12 Bones is well known for great barbeque and may be more famous as President Obama’s first stop when he arrives in Asheville.  I dined on the Wedge salad – yes, 12 bones does have lighter fare and my husband made a mess of their award winning Blueberry Chipotle ribs.  We sat outside and sipped ice tea and reveled in how it felt to be sans kids.  We decided to do a little shopping at the outdoor adventure stores, Diamond Brand and REI before heading back into town. We visited the newest bicycle shop Beer City Bicycles on Biltmore Ave. Asheville has a slew of bike stores but this one serves local brew and chips and salsa. My husband has been mounting a steadfast campaign to convince me he needs a new road bike. I guess he thought if I had a beer while we shopped that I might warm up to the idea. Even in Asheville there is probably not enough beer — especially since road bikes can cost as much as a new car for me to give in.  After leaving there without a bike, we parked downtown and started walking. Asheville’s sidewalks are always bustling with people and it always fun to take in the sights and unique shops.  We stopped in the Gourmet Potato Chip Company…seriously they hand make and then sell just potato chips, seasoned in many creative and delectable ways.  Only in Asheville.

We checked out some of the local street performers and heard some music at Pritchard Park.  Eventually making our way over to the Grove Arcade to check out the local craft artists selling there merchandise outside.  We had developed a thirst from our walk so we secured an outdoor table at Carmel’s, wolfed down a pizza and slaked our thirst with blueberry lemonade.   This is one of the better spots for people watching in Asheville.

We needed to get home to shower and then head back out in time to see our movie. This seems to be the way our guests go about their visit – returning the Bed & Breakfast in the late afternoon after their day’s activities before heading back out for dinner. We skipped dinner, but did hit Limones (conveniently located just around the corner from the Fine Arts Theater) for a quick margarita. Limones has the best margaritas in Asheville. They also happen to have great food and great people working there. We did make it to the movie, but got talked into seeing Bernie instead of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.  It was funny and Jack Black did a wonderful job.

After the movie, we walked over to the restaurant Storm Rhum Bar and again sat outside and enjoyed a late dinner and some crazy rum drinks. The food was fabulous, the atmosphere intoxicating and the company delightful. What a day. I just wish I could visit here all the time. But alas, we have to retrieve the kids and get back to work.  I guess we can live vicariously through the guests that visit our Asheville Bed and Breakfast.  We will keep up the research.

For more information about Pinecrest Bed and Breakfast Inn, visit www.pinecrestbb.com or call 888-811-3053.

Stunning Views and Easy Hike 40 miles from this Asheville Inn

June 3rd, 2012 by Stacy Shelley

The Pinecrest Inn in Asheville is located a short drive from some pretty amazing hiking destinations. If you want to see stunning 360-degree views of the mountain ranges from the Black Mountains (Mt. Mitchell) on the east to the Great Smokey Mountains to the southwest, then you have to go no further than 40 miles west of Asheville to Max Patch Mountain. The origin of such grassy balds that dot the mountain landscape in the region has been long debated.  Some believe that Max Patch was cleared by sheep and cattle in the 1800s.  The area is maintained as a bald by the U. S. Forest Service today.

Today Max Patch is part of the Pisgah National Forest and is 300 acres of a grassy bald at an elevation of 4600 feet and the famous Appalachian National Scenic Trail (AT) passes through the area.

This past weekend, my family and I ventured up to Max Patch for a short day hike, which even our 7 year old could master. Having read about the fairly easy loop around the bald and interested in the view, we thought this would be a pretty good fit for the day. We headed out with a picnic around 11:00 and hit the road. We took 40 west to exit 7, which is a beautiful drive. Once we exited we turned right onto a gravel road and drove another 6 miles of switchbacks through the Pisgah National Forest. You can’t miss the parking area at the end of the road and just below the grassy dome.  Getting out of your car you are instantly wowed!

One of the reasons Max Patch is so appealing is it offers something for everyone. You can hike around the bald on one of 2 loops or you can just take a short walk up, up, up to the summit, but well worth the very short steep hike.

After checking out the map (displayed at the trailhead), we decided on the 2.4 mile loop, which circles the mountain for magnificent views from all sides. As you leave the parking lot, take the trail on the left which is also the AT. It makes its way up the grassy bald, through shaded forest and meadows — finally emerging on the back side of the dome with a short uphill that delivers you out onto the top of the grassy bald and to the most amazing, breathtaking, 360° view of the southern Appalachian mountains.

After taking several pictures at the first trail junction, which presents another option to summit the dome, we took a left and continued along the way, looping around the bald through forest and meadow, stopping for a picnic and finally up the summit from the back side. The summit is a pasture of wild flowers and breathtaking views and caused the girls to break out into an over the top rendition of “The Sound of Music.”  I can’t think of a better picnic spot or a place to star gaze. We decided we would have to comeback another time at dusk or even a night trip for the stars.

As we headed back in the early afternoon, we decided to venture over to Hot Springs, NC and visit the Hot Spring Resort for a mineral springs soak. Hot Springs, located along the banks of Spring Creek and the French Broad River, is a town rich in history and natural allure. The hot 100° mineral water was first discovered by Native Americans over 200 years ago.  The town’s name comes from the hot springs and this little town tucked away in the mountains has been a resort destination since the turn of the century. Hot Springs serves as an Appalachian Trail town, passing right through town as it passes along the ridges of the Southern Appalachian Mountains (from Georgia to Maine). At the heart of this town is a 100 acre Resort and Spa featuring private modern Jacuzzi style hot tubs, positioned outside along the picturesque banks of Spring Creek and the French Broad River. The resorts tubs are supplied with a continuous flow of natural mineral water. We soaked for about an hour and then got some ice cream downtown (just across the street and across the railroad tracks), finally heading back into Asheville only 30 minutes away.

We had a wonderful family outing and so can you! As you can probably imagine, this can also make a great trip just for the two of you.  If you are spending a few days in Asheville, this is an easy way to see the remarkable mountains and enjoy the great outdoors.  This is just one of the day trips that we can recommend to our guests.  Whatever your pursuit — scenic views, a hike, some awesome waterfalls or just a scenic drive, we can offer some suggestions that will help you make the most out of your visit to Asheville.   Call Stacy at 888-811-3053 or email innkeeper@pinecrestbb.com for more information and let this Asheville Inn  be your guide. Need a place to stay? Check out our Bed & Breakfast specials.

Special Rates this Weekend (June 1-3, 2012) at this Asheville Bed and Breakfast

May 31st, 2012 by Stacy Shelley

Take advantage of our special rates this weekend, June 1st through 3rd.  Enjoy a quiet weekend at this lovely historic Asheville Bed and Breakfast. We offer a grand breakfast, delicious afternoon deserts, complimentary beverages, luxurious accommodations and lush grounds.  The forecast for Asheville this weekend calls for sunny conditions and in the low to mid 70′s.  Perfect weather to enjoy the gardens at the Biltmore Estate, take a hike, drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway and walk to downtown for dinner at any one of the fabulous downtown restaurants. We sell 2 day Biltmore Estate tickets at the lowest rate of $45.00 per ticket. Please let us know in advance of arrival if you need tickets.

June 1 – 3, 2012 Special Rates!
  • The Grace suite normally $220.00 per night, this weekend only  $195.00 per night.
  • The Wible and Thomas Wolfe suites normally $195.00 per night, this weekend only $ 175.00 per night
Accepting one night reservations. Taxes are not included.  Book online or call 888-811-3053 to reserve your suite at this Bed and Breakfast Asheville.

WNC Chef’s Challenge

May 29th, 2012 by Stacy Shelley

The WNC Chefs Challenge competitions are underway  Tuesday nights at Pack’s Tavern  in downtown Asheville. The Asheville area’s coolest culinary competition is back going strong.  Fourteen of the areas top chefs square off in weekly match-ups that determine who triumphs as  Best Chef in WNC.

At each challenge,  the two chef teams prepare  six dishes – three from each team.  Earlier in the day the chefs are given a   “secret ingredient” that has to be featured in each culinary creation.  The diners are not told which team prepared each dish and score the dishes using the same guidelines as a professional food critic. At the end of the evening the scores are tallied and the winning team moves on to the next round.

The last two teams standing  will face off during the finale at the Asheville Wine & Food Festival Grand Tasting on August 23, 2012.

Want to judge for yourself ?  Call Pack’s Tavern at 225-6944 to reserve your space. Tickets are $49 per person and do not include beverages, tax or gratuity. For additional information speak with Stacy at Pinecrest Bed and Breakfast.

Our Asheville B & B Association has a New Look !

May 2nd, 2012 by Stacy Shelley

Pinecrest Bed and Breakfast is a member of the Asheville Bed and Breakfast Association.  For over a year now the ABBA has been working on a new Logo,  new Website and an interactive Kiosk, which will be placed in our Asheville Visitor Center. Visitors can engage with a touch-screen interactive display on the kiosk and select a Bed & Breakfast based on individual needs. Guests can  can book online right at the kiosk, or make a phone call, to secure their stay.

The Asheville Bed and Breakfast Association is comprised of some of the most beautifully decorated historic Inns in Asheville.  And while each of these 16 homes is charming in their own way, they are not memories of grandmother’s house.

On May 8, 2012 we will be unveiling the new Kiosk, website and logo at  our ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Asheville Visitor Center.

To visit our own historic Asheville Inn, go to www.pinecrestbb.com today.

 

 

Montford Music and Arts Festival in Asheville

April 11th, 2012 by Stacy Shelley

The Montford Music and Arts Festival is the largest one day music and arts festival in Western North Carolina and will be in its 9th year  May 19, 2012. Head  out the door of this Asheville Inn, turn left onto Soco Street and you are there, it’s that close.

The festival has really grown  the last few years and now includes two streets in the Historic Montford District.  The homes built in Montford Most were constructed between 1890 and 1920, and include a variety of architectural influences in Asheville during the turn of the 20th century.  Any street could have a  Queen Anne, Victorian and Arts and Crafts home on it. Pinecrest Bed and Breakfast was built in 1905 and embodies a traditional tudor style architecture.

Over 100 art, crafts, food and plant vendors will be located on Montford Avenue and Soco Street.  Two stages, one on each street, will offer the perfect setting for all day fun and over 20 bands and musical acts will take the stages. The festival is an exciting way to experience one of Asheville’s most fascinating neighborhoods.

Come rain or shine and join in the fun on Saturday May 19, 2012, at 10:00am and running till 7pm. The festival is free to the public. Take in the festival while staying at this Asheville Bed and Breakfast. Reserve your room online at www.pinecrestbb.com or call 877-811-3058 to book your room.

 

 

Biltmore Estate Festival of Flowers

March 26th, 2012 by Stacy Shelley

Welcome spring with acres of azaleas, thousands of tulips and spring blooms at Biltmore Estate Festival of Flowers.  During April, thousands of tulips in the Walled Garden and around the estate will shine in various colors.  By May, the show continues with irises, peonies, and acres of azaleas, with summer annuals soon to follow.

Also enjoy live music daily in the Biltmore House and the Conservatory;  Biltmore  has a “Ask a Gardner” station featuring horticulture experts who can answer questions on the weekends;  Daily “free” seminars at A Gardner’s Place  located in the Conservatory and Music in the Bandstand at Anter Hill Village every weekend starting at 4p.m.

Notify us in advance and our Asheville Bed and Breakfast will have your tickets here on arrival. Take advantage of our 2 day tickets for a special rate of $45.00 per ticket any day of the week.

Our Asheville Inn welcomes the opportunity to assist you in your trip planning. Please call our toll free 888-811-3053 or visit our website at http://pinecrestbb.com/

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