The Pinecrest Bed and Breakfast Asheville NC

A Day Spent Being a “Tourist” in Asheville

June 29th, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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/

Asheville, NC is a Vegetarian, Gluten Free and Vegan Diner’s Dream

February 28th, 2012

Asheville, North Carolina continues to live up to it’s title of Best Vegetarian-Friendly Small City.  Asheville is a vegetarian, gluten free and vegan diner’s dream. Starting in downtown Asheville and heading north along a 2 mile stretch of road, locals affectionately refer to as the Merrimon Shuffle, you will find two exclusively vegetarian restaurants; the Laughing Seed and  Rosetta’s, Posana, a gluten free restaurant, Plant, a vegan restaurant and VegHeads, a vegetarian drive thru. Only in Asheville.  Along the way you will also go by Greenlife  Grocery store which features everything from “simple vegetarian to “raw” cuisine in a mostly local food approach. And this is just the Merrimon Shuffle. You will find many more  food co-ops, grocers and other restaurants that fulfill the needs of any dining desires.

Asheville has built itself into quite the vegetarian-friendly city, and continues to add more animal-free  dining options.  The Laughing Seed, a perennial favorite  and well-known to visitors and locals alike calls itself a global fusion vegetarian restaurant and offers an eclectic vegetarian menu.  This Asheville tradition also serves organic, seasonal, farm-to-table, vegetarian cuisine with an international flair.

Global fusion is very much alive at the Laughing Seed.  Right now, you can experience the deep, slow cooked tastes of Thailand as well as the simple, but intensely satisfying flavors of the Mediterranean and Caribbean. Sunflower seed pesto and cashew nut ricotta form a deliciously satisfying filling for their raw Spinach Pesto Manicotti.  Their sushi offering changes nightly, along with their pasta special and authentic Indian thali plate.  And nothing says “comfort food” more that their classic Harmony Bowl, Tempeh Reuben, or Tico Burrito

The new kid on the block, Plant, another farm-to-table  concept brought to Asheville by the partnership of Jason Sellars (the former chef at The Laughing Seed) and Leslie Armstrong and and Alan Berger (former owners of the best independent video store in the city — Rosebud.  Plant has only been open a short time, but is already drawing a sophisticated crowd who appreciates the quality of the food, prepared from fresh local ingredients. The farm-to-table concept is strong in Asheville and continues to grow, benefiting our local farmers and the restaurant clientele.

Plant, also a completely vegan restaurant, describes itself as “A restaurant with roots; sophisticated scratch-made food from the earth.” Nothing is served that is an animal or a by-product of any animal. This can be quite unnerving to the uninitiated, but trust us — your taste buds will revel in the new experience.  Our favorites were the Mushroom Risotto, the smoked Portabello and the truffle fries (of course).  We do hear that the Reuben and the Peppercorn encrusted Seitan are out of this world.

As a locally-owned independent business, Plant is committed to a deep concern for the environment, our individual and collective health, and ethical and compassionate lifestyles.  Success for them means that their guests feel rewarded for choosing the compassionate and exciting dining experience that Plant offers.

If you are looking for an epicurean adventure that is sure not to disappoint — shuffle up to 165 Merrimon Avenue (a short trip from this Asheville Inn.

Here at Pinecrest Inn Bed and Breakfast we strive to accommodate our guests special dietary requests. We source local and support our area farms and grocers. We also promote the restaurants that use the same approach.  For more information visit us at www.pinecrestbb.com or contact our Asheville Bed & Breakfast for reservations 888-811-3053.


TripAdvisor Recommends Visiting Asheville

February 28th, 2012
TripAdvisor has announced that Asheville is one of 15 destinations on the rise for travel and tourism. According to their website, travelers are raving about this mountain town, and creating quite a buzz. This comes on the heels of another designation by TripAdvisor in October, 2011 when Asheville was voted by the website’s users as being a Top 10 Destination for Food & Wine.
Here’s what TripAdvisor had to say about Asheville:
There’s something about Asheville that makes its blend of remote Appalachian charm and cosmopolitan sophistication seem perfectly natural. The city abounds in cultural attractions and events, many stemming from the literary greats who have lived here. Thomas Wolfe, Carl Sandburg and O. Henry all once called Asheville home. The city has historically been a resort for the wealthy. But there’s also a friendly, small-town atmosphere; the city has a way of making visitors feel right at home. Located at the confluence of two rivers and nestled in the mountains, Asheville is a magnet for outdoor enthusiasts, who have their pick of hiking, mountain biking, whitewater rafting, hot air ballooning and many other activities. So breathe in the fresh mountain air, take a spin along “America’s most scenic drive,” the Blue Ridge Parkway, and soak up the beauty and spirit of this lovely mountain city.
For reservations at our Asheville Inn, visit www.pinecrestbb.com or call 888-811-3053.

 

Curate Bar de Tapas and the Fine Arts Theatre presents “El Bulli Cooking in Progress” March 5th

February 28th, 2012

In celebration of Curate’s first anniversary the restaurant will host a showing of the movie El Bulli: Cooking in Progress at the Fine Arts Theatre on March 5, 2012 at 7:00 pm followed by a  Q & A by Curate’s Katie Button and Felix Meana.

El Bulli: Cooking in Progress” fastidiously documents one year in the creative life of the esteemed Spanish chef Ferran Adria.” New York Times. Hear about Katie and Felix’s experiences at elBulli, a restaurant the New York Times proclaimed, “The Most Influential Restaurant in the World.”

The start of a new career for Asheville’s own Executive Chef Katie Button, co-owner of Curate Bar de Tapas located downtown Asheville, who went from a PhD student studying neuroscience to helping her mother pursue her dream of opening a restaurant. Katie rapidly honed her culinary skills: apprenticing at Jean Georges in NYC for James Beard Award Winner Johnnie Iuzzini, followed by working for Jose Andres, winner of James Beard 2011 Most Outstanding Chef Award and Top Chef Winner Michael Voltaggio at The Bazaar in Los Angeles, CA. While working for Jose Andres ThinkFoodGroup, she fell in love with Felix Meana, Jose Andres’ consultant for new projects and the Chef de Rang (service manager) from elBulli, Ferran Adria’s famous restaurant in Spain. Felix introduced her to Spain and to the kitchen of elBulli.

Felix Meana, part of the family team which owns and operates Curate (and recent husband to Katie!), brought his many years of front-of-house management skills to create a restaurant in downtown Asheville reminiscent of his beloved country, Spain.

Tickets: $10.00 and $8.00 senior/children Available at the Fine Arts Box Office.

Need a cozy place near downtown to stay as you sample the culinary delights and fine arts of Asheville, visit www.pinecrestbb.com or call 888-811-3053 to book your reservation. Ask about spring specials at our Asheville NC Inn when you call.

 

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