Hidden Gems of Asheville, North Carolina

Everyone agrees Asheville is a wonderful place to vacation. When visiting, many people have a must-see list - the Biltmore Estate, the fall colors, perhaps zip-lining, hiking Pisgah Mountain, maybe exploring the beer culture. In addition to those great activities, there are many hidden gems to explore in and around Asheville.

A Trip Back in Time
The little town of
Saluda lies about 40 minutes south of Asheville. It is a charming village reminiscent of days gone by; driving in can feel like driving back to another time. Print out the map from the city's website, grab some coffee at the Saluda Grade Café, and take a walking tour of historic Saluda. Make sure to include a visit to the train depot, where you can check out a genuine 19th century caboose from the Southern Railway line.

A Lake of Fun
Another fun and lesser known attraction is 
Lake Julian. Located just south of Asheville in Arden, the park has 300 acres for picnicking, boating, and fishing. Make a day of it. Paddle Boats, fishing boats, and canoes are available for rent - and don't forget the fishing permit and poles! The lake is chock full of great fish - catfish, bass, crappie, and even imported tilapia. Imagine a lovely day at the lake followed by a relaxing evening grilling up your big catch on the deck of your vacation rental. Rainbow Ridge, Asheville Getaway, and Mountain Escapade are all a couple miles from the lake and give you the opportunity to coin a new buzz-phrase: "lake-to-table".

Off-Roading Adventure
TheMountain Discovery Pass
(which is included with each stay at a Carolina Mornings rental) includes entry into the Biltmore Estate. Driving and off-roading enthusiasts can make the most of their visit to the Biltmore property by booking an adventure with the Land Rover Driving School. These lessons get you behind the wheel of a Land Rover and allow you to master off-roading with the majestic vistas of the Biltmore estate as the backdrop. Lessons are available for first timers as well as seasoned off-roaders. Plus, there is even a kiddy course where children can learn the rules of the off-road in a mini electric Land Rover.

Creative Inspiration
While many people are drawn to Asheville by the outdoor activities, a good number of visitors also enjoy the thriving art scene. In the nearby town of Marshall, located in Madison County, the
Marshall High Art Studios consists of 28 art studios housed in the former Marshall High School, which sits on Blanahassett Island in the middle of the French Broad River. The school was built in 1925 and operated until the late 1970s. Now, the studios utilize the spaces of the former classrooms and auditorium. Located just 25 minutes from Asheville, it is a great place for art lovers to visit and possibly find a treasure from a local artist or become inspired to create their own works of art.

Artists, writers, and anyone looking for a bit of quiet sanctuary will find their creativity sparked in the solitude of the Rivertime cabin. Built on the banks of the Ivy River in nearby Weaverville, it is set away from the crowds. This certified eco-friendly property gives you the room to create masterpieces while providing all the comforts and amenities you've come to expect from Carolina Mornings properties. The sparkling waters of the Ivy River glisten like liquefied gems and the privacy at Rivertime is a true treasure unto itself.

Asheville Rocks!
No list of the hidden treasures of Asheville would be complete without the museum that focuses on gems themselves - the Colburn Museum. Science buffs as well as rock and mineral lovers should add the Colburn Museum to their list. This museum is located downtown and focuses on earth science and the historical landscape of Western North Carolina. There are plenty of interactive, hands-on exhibits for kids as well as a scavenger hunt that adults and children can both enjoy.

Asheville, the shining gem of Western North Carolina, awaits you. With so many things to do and see, you can rest assured that a trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains will provide you with precious memories to last a lifetime.

Call Carolina Mornings today at (877) 902-9441 to reserve your Asheville mountain cabin. A professional Vacation Planner will help line up your vacation rental accommodations, Biltmore Estate tickets, and outdoor adventures such as ziplining and golf (included with every Carolina Mornings rental!).

By: Carmen Ybarra

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