August 29, 2008

Labor Day weekend at Biltmore

From our lovely Biltmore representative (official job title 'Partnership Development Sales Coordinator'), Ashley Jenkins. Thank you Ashley for always keeping us informed (and for those discounted guest tickets)!

We invite you to visit Biltmore on Friday, August 29, for the newest extravaganza- Flower Carpet! Come see the vivid, living carpet on the South Terrace at Biltmore House. Over a ¼ of an acre will be devoted to more than 144,000 brightly colored flowers to form the live tapestry.

The Flower Carpet is a larger-than life combination of natural beauty blended with creative inspiration. The intricate pattern of colorful plants is drawn from architectural elements of Biltmore House, and interpreted in a grand size and style. Click on the following link to see a video about Flower Carpet! Flower Carpet

....swing by the Winery and River Bend Farm for live entertainment and activities! Enjoy soloist performances in the wine bar, and cool off with complimentary wine seminars and wine tasting. For tips on how to incorporate fresh flavors into your summer cuisine, sit in on our fun-filled cooking demonstrations.

Sample Local Flavors at the Winery:
Biltmore chefs fire up the grills and showcase the best barbeque from North and South Carolina. Guest can enjoy a sampling of the best pulled-pork served with our famous regional sauces—Western Carolina red, Eastern Carolina vinegar, and South Carolina mustard—or dig into a plate of Southern-fried fish and hushpuppies. Dinner is served 1:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m. with live local music starting at 2:00 p.m.

Youth Tickets: This will be the last weekend that youth ages 10-16 will be admitted free. Beginning September 6, youth will again need a ticket to be admitted to the estate.

Enjoy your weekend!


Several Carolina Mornings properties are still available for rental this holiday weekend. Take advantage of everything Biltmore and stay at the Biltmore Luxury Condos in Biltmore Village. Or give us a call to hear a complete list of all properties available! Toll free 800.770.9055

August 28, 2008

Weekly Weekend in Asheville

All Weekend
Flatrock Playhouse presents "And then there were none" -
This classic story comes from the imagination of legendary mystery author, Agatha Christie. Ten people, each with something to hide and something to fear, are invited to a mansion where they are cut off from everything but each other and the inescapable shadows of their own past lives.
Showtimes: Friday 8:15 pm; Saturday 2:15 and 8:15 pm; Sunday 2:15 pm
Tickets: $25-29 dollars
Buy tickets online, or call toll-free 866.732.8008.

The Carbon-Free Home: 36 Remodeling Projects to Help Kick the Fossil-Fuel Habit.
Learn how to go green one step at a time with Stephen and Rebekah Hren’s The Carbon-Free Home: 36 Remodeling Projects to Help Kick the Fossil-Fuel Habit. The Durham-based authors will share their own tried and tested methods for retrofitting an existing home with green, cleaner energy, as well as tips for conserving in all areas of your life.
Malaprops. Friday 7pm.


Wines of the Old World Dining Train.
Enjoy a ride on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad dinner train, featuring the pairing of premium wines from select vineyards of the Old World.
Call 1-800-872-4681 for more details and pricing.

Saturday at the Movies - The Coen Brothers' The Big Lebowski. Free screening and local movie critics' discussion afterwards.
Pack Library Downtown, Saturday 2pm

Poet Glenis Redmond reads at Malaprops
Glenis Redmond is a 2005-2006 North Carolina Arts Council Literary Award recipient and a Denny C. Plattner Award winner for Outstanding Poetry sponsored by the Appalachian Heritage journal. She has been inducted in the Mt. Xpress' Hall of Fame for Best Poet in Western North Carolina after winning for over seven years. She is a Kennedy Teaching Artist and her work has aired on National Public Radio. She is a past winner of the Southern Fried Slam and a finalist of National Poetry Slam. She has been published most recently in Meridians, African Voices, EMRYS, The Asheville Poetry Review, 2006 Kakalak: A Journal of Carolina Poets, Appalachian Heritage and the Appalachian Journal. Glenis is a native of Greenville, South Carolina. She presently resides in Asheville, North Carolina with her twin daughters Amber and Celeste. When she is not writing Redmond frequently travels the country teaching poetry to all age levels.
Saturday 7pm

Grilled foods and wine at the Asheville Wine Guy. Tasting of nine wines made to pair with food from the grill. Examples of grilled food will be served.
Saturday 7-9pm
Tickets: $25

Shindig on the Green
Martin Luther King Jr Park
Saturday 7pm

PLUS It's Labor Day Weekend...
and Carolina Mornings has dropped to a 2 night minimum. There's still a dozen or so properties available for Friday-Sunday rental, even more for Friday/Saturday - Monday.

Call us at 800.770.9055 to book your last minute weekend getaway!
*Book by 3pm for same-day arrival.

August 25, 2008

Mountain Biking Park - with chair lift! First and only in the southeast

From the Asheville Citizen-Times, writer Karen Chavez:
Adventure of the Week

[The] Park is open 2-8 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sundays through Nov. 1.

Where: Breakaway Village, at Wolf Ridge Ski Resort in Madison County.

Cost: Day pass is $24, not including bike or gear rental. Season passes are $179.

Highlights: Billed as the only mountain bike park at a ski resort in the Southeast, 26 West Mountain Bike Park officially unveils its 30 acres of downhill biking terrain, after a couple of months testing a “soft” opening, said owner/general manager Ryan Taylor.

Part of the bike park is on the ski slopes, while part is in the woods.

“The big difference between a bike park and a ski slope is skiers are limited to where they can clear the trees,” said Taylor, a professional downhill racer. “Mountain bikers happily welcome the trees.”

But the park is all about safety, Taylor said, and offers a safe environment for families as well as pro riders to practice their downhill skills. Emergency medical technicians are part of the bike park staff. Bikes, helmets and other gear are available for rental, and Taylor said once the park is up and running, he will offer clinics, camps and a venue for races.

One of the best features of the new park, he said, is the lift-assisted trail system.

“People can enjoy the chairlift up and their bikes get transported up by truck and trailer,” Taylor said. “You don’t have to worry about climbing up hills all day. It’s all about having fun.”

What to bring: Helmets are mandatory in the park. Also bring gloves, long pants, long sleeve shirt, arm and leg armor and running or bike specific shoes.

Directions: The park is 25 miles north of Asheville. Take Interstate 26 west to Exit 3. Turn right onto Bear Branch Road, then turn right at the stop sign onto U.S. 23. Take the first left onto Laurel Valley Road. Take first left onto Puncheon Fork Road. Go 3.5 miles and turn right onto Wolf Ridge Road at the Breakaway sign.

Information: Call Taylor at 553-5856 or visit

Pretty cool. Maybe this is something Carolina Mornings can add to our Mountain Discovery Pass - we currently offer free passes, for each day of your stay, to golf at Reems Creek Golf club, Asheville Historic Trolley Tour, whitewater rafting, and more... with plans for more to come! We started this amenity pass in April, and it is going strong. Every reservation with Carolina Mornings gets the Asheville Mountain Discovery Pass, free of charge. We love being able to offer this pass - the first of it's kind in Asheville & Western North Carolina!

Feedback is always appreciated, use this blog to provide us with comments about our offers or your stay! Thanks!

August 23, 2008

Adorable, Affordable Asheville vacation rentals - 2 studios available to rent

We currently have two ADORABLE studios available. These are comfortable and affordable for couples or individuals wanting to come to the Asheville area or the mountains. Both are beautiful rentals and are just $257 for 2 nights, $96 each additional night.

Promise Keeper is a newly built property located in Mars Hill. This is a very peaceful, quiet mountain location but is also close to lots of outdoor activities. Pet friendly (with additional $75 cleaning fee).

Dogwood Studio is a newly renovated property, with lots of restored period antiques. It is located 15 minutes from Downtown Asheville, in Candler, on beautiful gardens/farmland. The owners (who run a bakery below the studio) provide complimentary continental breakfast during your stay.

Visit to see more photos (scroll down to the bottom of the page, select "view properties" and click the property you wish to see more about). Book online or call 828.298.0712, 800.770.9055

August 20, 2008

20 pound boxes of local organic tomatoes - just $12!!

I just got this update from BlogAsheville, and it sounds so good I have to help spread the word...
Twenty-lb. boxes of local, certified organic summer tomatoes are going for $12/box through this Saturday while supplies last. Freeze and can!

From an email from local tailgate market coordinator Harry Hamil, some info about helping a Fairview farm and getting some cheap organic tomatoes in the process:

Cane Creek Valley Farm in Fairview is a family owned, certified organic farm which grew out of a family's long time dairy in the Cane Creek Community. In only its second year, owner/farmers Amanda and Jeremy Sizemore have come face to face with the reality of selling on a large wholesale basis. In an attempt to better package their product, they added a divider to the 20# tomato boxes. Unfortunately, the divider was a shade off in size and flattened the shoulders of most of the tomatoes in each box. As a result, about 13,000 pounds of large red tomatoes became unsellable through Cane Creek Valley's usual markets.

The "bruises" where so insignificant that I didn't see them the first time Kathryn tried to show them to me. I had to turn the tomato in the light to be able to see it. Before I agreed to help, I gave the tomato the taste test I knew it would pass... And it did with flying colors. It's a good WNC tomato!

: Twenty-pound boxes of certified organic WNC tomatoes for $12. One-box minimum.

Varieties: Mountain Fresh (developed at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research Station) and Crista (a new disease-resistant tomato). Tomatoes vary from 7 - 18 ounces with a mix in every box.

Participating Markets through Saturday, August 23rd only:
Black Mountain Farmer's Market 664-0060
French Broad Food Co-op 255-7650 (ask for produce)
Haywood Road Market 225-4445
Hendersonville Community Co-op 693-0505
Pisgah View Community Peace Garden 989-0893 (ask for Bob White)

August 18, 2008

Late summer season specials on our Asheville cabins and vacation rentals

Come spend Labor Day weekend in Asheville, without having to take time off work - we've dropped the nightly minimum for our Asheville cabins and vacation rentals down to just TWO nights for the holiday weekend. See all of our properties.

Plus, we have almost 30 properties currently running specials!

"Fill in our calendar gaps" on 2 properties - unbelievable savings (including 7 nights for the price of 5) at A Bird's Nest & Asheville's Downtown Loft, both located RIGHT in the heart of Asheville.

"Amazing Price Cuts" for August at Hidden Pond, Red Wolf, and Black Bear Cabin. These 2 bedroom/2 bath Asheville and Black Mountain vacation rentals are now just $302 for 2 nights, and $111 each additional night.

Summer, Fall, and "Back to School" discounted rates at 8 properties, including TreeTops (Asheville), Red Barn (Asheville), Wolf Creek (Mars Hill), and Mountain Sky (Weaverville).

PLUS the Biltmore Luxury Condos Bed & Breakfast package, gift certificates, free gas and gas cards.

And check out these cute studios with great low prices - Dogwood (complimentary breakfast, just 15 minutes to downtown) and Promise Keeper (tucked away in the mountains).

It's not too late to enjoy a summer Asheville vacation, and there's still plenty of time to book your Labor Day in Asheville with Carolina Mornings. Check out the web listings above, or give us a call at 800.770.9055!

August 15, 2008

The Weekly Edition of This Weekend in Asheville

Music on Main
Downtown Hendersonville
TONIGHT! 7:00-10:00 pm

Downtown After 5

Downtown Asheville. Headliners Jeff Sipe and Shannon Whitworth Band with local performer Peggy Ratusz.
TONIGHT! 5:00-9:00 pm

Tomato Tasting at the WNC Farmer's Market
Saturday, 11:00 am - 2:00 pm

Studio tour of 22 Leicester artists
Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 am - 6 pm

Coen Brothers Critique and Film Series
Pack Library, downtown Asheville
Showing of "Blood Simple" (rated R), followed by a rumble between four of Asheville's most well-known movie critics as they argue, grumble and answer fiendish questions about the Coen brothers. Win door prizes - a pair of movie tickets to Carmike Cinemas and a framed copy of the movie poster!
Saturday, 2:00 - 5:00 pm

Shindig on the Green
Martin Luther King, Jr Park (downtown Asheville)
Saturday, from about 7:00 - 10:00 pm

ALL of these events are free to the public! Enjoy!

August 13, 2008

Asheville included on list of 'Best Green Places'

Yahoo! - Real Estate has the article of the Best Green Places for 2007 and how they were chosen. A collaboration of Country Home Magazine and Sperling's BestPlaces, the article declares Burlington, Vermont the top Best Green Place. Asheville also makes the list, which probably won't surprise many residents - or visitors for that matter.

The article goes into full detail about how the places were chosen. Here is an excerpt:
The Best Green Places study, which is based on data discovered by Sperling's BestPlaces, examines 24 data metrics in 5 major categories -- including air and watershed quality, mass transit usage, power usage, farmers markets, organic producers, and number of green-certified buildings -- to determine which metro areas are the best places to live a green life. Sperling's BestPlaces ranked the 379 major metropolitan areas, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau. Over 80 percent of all U.S. residents live in these 379 metro areas.

Keeping with Asheville's green living theme, Carolina Mornings has an eco-friendly certification program for our Asheville vacation rental properties. You can read more here, and also view our certified cabins and rentals here.

August 11, 2008

We're still going strong in Asheville - it's a good time to visit

The Mountain Xpress reported at the end of July that the Asheville economy is still going strong, despite the national downturn. Both fundamental economic sectors - health services and tourism - in Asheville are still seeing growth, according to economists.

Asheville had 51 straight months of job growth through the beginning of 2008. And, while home prices and new construction are declining, home appreciate rates are staying strong. The article breaks down each of Asheville's strongest sectors: industry serving new residents, professional and business services, manufacturing, health services and tourism. I'll stick to the tourism review.

Tourism saw the most new jobs, the restaurant industry counting for 80% of them. There was a small increase in leisure travel, a decrease in business travel, and less restaurant spending. Hotel and motel occupancy rates were also down for the first time since 2004 (at Carolina Mornings, we'd like to think it's because people are choosing the benefits of vacation rentals!).

What does this mean for you? If you live in Asheville, it's good news for your pocketbook or wallet. If you want to visit Asheville, it means you'll be contending with fewer travelers - making your reservations easier to secure, restaurant waits shorter, events less crowded, and your accommodations offering quite a few specials... like these with our Carolina Mornings Asheville vacation rental owners.

August 8, 2008

Green Home Information Tour - Saturday, Aug 23

ECO (Environmental & Conservation Organization) of Western North Carolina has 5 homes to display during the 2008 Green Home Tour. This tour requires guests to drive themselves, but encourages carpooling by offering discounted tickets to those who will drive in a group of 3 or more.

You will view the homes and have the opportunity to meet owners and local eco builders. You will learn about green technology and how it saves energy and water (and as a bonus, saves you money!) and works with the natural environment.

The 5 homes include: garden watering with rain barrel technology, edible landscaping, salvaged wood for building materials, passive solar heating, radiant floor heating, a newly constructed home with the distinction as a Gold Certified Healthy Built home, energy efficient renovation, computerized energy consumption measurement, and more.

Saturday, August 23
10 am - 4 pm
$15 per person, $13 if traveling in a group of 3 or more

August 6, 2008

This weekend in Asheville...

On Friday, step back in time...
  • ...simultaneously to the days of folklore and Thomas Wolfe. Listen to local folklore from storyteller Marilyn McMinn-McCredie at Thomas Wolfe's house. She was born in Henderson County and weaves her Appalachian heritage and personal experiences into her storytelling material.
Thomas Wolfe Memorial
7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Admission $6

AM from MyWeaverville commented to let us know about another Friday event! It sounds like a lot of fun too.

The Secret Garden in Weaverville is hosting a Summer Evening Concert Series starting this Friday. Tickets are $12 or 2 for $20 if you buy in advance, or $15 at the door. Doors open at 7 p.m. and shows start at 7:30 p.m. They'll have a cash bar with wine and beer, and you can bring lawn chairs and/or blankets if you want. To reserve tickets or for more information, call 658-9317 or visit

August 8 - The Sireens
The series kicks off on Friday, August 8 with The Sireens, a 1920’s and 30’s style Jazz vocal group backed up by members from the Firecracker Jazz Band. The ladies sing in three-part harmony, reminiscent of the Boswell Sisters with the fabulous sounds of stride piano and styling swing guitar.

See the full series schedule here.

On Saturday, make a choice or choose to do it all...
  • Morning:
Shop with a Chef at Asheville City Market. Local chef Mark Rosenstein (of the MarketPlace and Bar 100) performs two cooking demonstrations, providing samples, advice and answering questions. Don't worry, if you can't make it this time, it happens on the 2nd Saturday of each month.

Cooking demonstrations at 9 and 10:30.

  • Afternoon:
Hang out in quaint Black Mountain, recently written up in the New York Times as a "haven" to escape to, for the 31st Annual Sourwood Festival. According to the Explore Asheville Web site, the festival "is named after the regions important honey source, the Sourwood tree, which blooms in mid to late summer each year. Two hundred booths and areas of crafts, food, games and fun attracts over 30,000 visitors from all over the country."

10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

  • And, of course, at night:
Get a dose of traditional local music and dance at Shindig on the Green. String bands, bluegrass, ballad singers, big circle mountain dancers and cloggers entertain you outside on the lawn at Martin Luther King, Jr Park. Bring a blanket and/or a chair, a light cover up (hey, it cools off after sundown in the mountains!), and of course a little bit of cash for the concession stands.

Starts around 7:00, winds down around 10:00 p.m. - the timing is laidback to fit the lazy mountain summertime!

Enjoy! And as always, share things I haven't mentioned, or if you decide to attend any of these events, let us know how they go!

August 4, 2008

Asheville is key: beer enthusiasts make NC brewery documentary

Thanks to Google alerts, I just found a really interesting article on the Winston-Salem Journal's Web site.

Seven friends in their early 20s (all of legal drinking age) are making a nine-day North Carolina road trip documentary of state breweries. They'll cover all 26 breweries across the state. Asheville is a huge stop on their route, with our seven brewing companies and six breweries.

The plan is to have the documentary available in beer and wine shops across the state around the winter holidays.

To read the rest of the article, click here.

Asheville micro-breweries:
Asheville Brewing Company
French Broad Brewing Company
Highland Brewing Company
Green Man Brewing
Pisgah Brewing Company
Wedge Brewing Company - Asheville's newest

Check out the Asheville Brews Cruise - A bus tour of the local breweries. 21 and over only.