December 30, 2011

Enjoy Life More in 2012: Gather Together in Asheville

The results are in: spending more time with family is America's number one new year's resolution. If trying to squeeze valuable moments into already hectic schedules just won't do, everyone will celebrate when you plan a family vacation.

Downtown Asheville, North Carolina, on a Snowy Day

Asheville, North Carolina, has all the elements to make a family vacation memorable. There's the scenic beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville's small town charm coupled with gourmet restaurants and top-notch entertainment options, and an amazing selection of outdoor sports to experience. You want to go shopping at the boutiques in Biltmore Village and the kids want to go skiing? Good thing you're staying for a whole week!

Carolina Mornings wants to help you stay true to your new year's resolution. Staying at an Asheville vacation rental cabin is a great way to spend time with family. There's the advantage of family gathering areas, such as sitting around the fireplace or enjoying the panoramic mountain view from the deck of your mountain vacation house. There's the bonus of having a fully-equipped kitchen so the whole family doesn't have to eat every meal out while you're on vacation. Start a new tradition for the new year with home cooked family dinners!

Enjoy a Family Dinner at Eagle's Wing Lodge

Plus, at a vacation rental, everyone in the family gets their own space at the end of the day. While you may all enjoy watching a movie together after dinner, part of a relaxing vacation is getting a good night's sleep. And who can do that in a cramped hotel room? Just imagine, at your luxury vacation home, the kids are tucked in their cozy beds and you get your own master bedroom with a king sized bed and a jacuzzi bathtub! Even the family dog can come--many of Carolina Morning's luxury vacation homes are pet-friendly.

From convenient in-town homes, like Eagle's Wing Lodge, to country living without a compromise in luxury, like the fabulous creature comforts at Pie in the Sky, Carolina Mornings has your family's wishes covered.

Luxuriate at Pie in the Sky with Wintertime Goodness

Call our Vacation Planners at (877) 902-9441 to learn more about the North Carolina vacation cabins offered by Carolina Mornings. Happy New Year from the Carolina Mornings Team!

December 27, 2011

Winter Sports in Asheville, North Carolina: Free Lift Tickets!

It's just about time to get outside and enjoy winter sports, and Wolf Ridge Ski Resort offers the best snow season outdoor adventures in Western North Carolina! Every Asheville vacation rental from Carolina Mornings comes with a complimentary Mountain Discovery Pass, which covers one free lift ticket for each night you stay. Book your reservations for a luxury vacation cabin now and give yourself something to look forward to: it'll help you get through January with a smile on your face!

Go Snowboarding with the Mountain Discovery Pass

Wolf Ridge Ski Resort offers a little something for everyone and is conveniently located only minutes away from Asheville. They've got 22 ski runs, three of which are black diamond rated, a Snow Sports School for all levels and ages, plus two tubing runs. The ski lodges at Wolf Ridge offer tremendous views of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains, along with rental equipment and gift shops. At the end of a thrilling day of riding the slopes, there's a roaring fire to sit by and warm your bones, and a delicious meal at The Lodge Steak and Ribs Restaurant will fill your growling belly.

Wolf Laurel Cabin's Hand-Hewn Warmth

Carolina Mornings has two vacation rental cabins within two miles of Wolf Ridge Ski Resort, and both are located inside the luxurious Wolf Laurel Country Club, a 5,000 acre resort bordering Pisgah National Forest. The Appalachian Trail runs through the property, and the resort offers 80 acres of alpine skiing. Wolf Laurel View and Wolf Laurel Cabin both include private hot tubs and stone fireplaces so you can enjoy the ultimate in relaxation during your winter getaway!

Enjoy Wolf Laurel View from the Hot Tub

Call our Carolina Mornings' Vacation Planners at (877) 902-9441 to make reservations and get your complimentary Mountain Discovery Pass. Western North Carolina winters are postcard perfect and snow season is here ~ come get your vacation fix on the slopes at Wolf Ridge!

December 21, 2011

A Riverside Stroll in Dog-Friendly Asheville

The French Broad River Park, Carrier Park, and Hominy Creek Park are three great spots to get outside in Asheville and walk the pups without making a mountain trek. All three West Asheville parks are connected by paved trails and are easily accessible.

A Dog's Delight Strolling Along the French Broad River

Amboy Road offers access to the parks and is within minutes from any part of town; it's conveniently located between the Biltmore Village area and the River Arts District; click here for a Google Map.

The 2.5 mile paved riverside path rings Carrier Park, cuts through an RV area, and then connects to Hominy Creek Park. Delight in wildlife sightings and catch glimpses of the Biltmore Estate across the river. The path offers plenty of picnic tables, is great for runners, and is well maintained and always clean.

Carrier Park is home to Asheville's Mellowdrome, a paved track that was once the Asheville Speedway where NASCAR races occurred. Now its a spot for numerous recreational activities, mainly bicycle racing and rollerblading, and also the site of the annual Mountain Sports Festival in May. Carrier Park has volleyball courts, lawn bowling courts, basketball courts, and a large playground, all next to the steadily rolling river. The whole area is dog-friendly with wide open fields, plus there's a fenced-in dog park that gives your pup a chance to get off the leash and socialize.

Walk Your Dog from Lady Victoria to Downtown Asheville

Carolina Mornings welcomes dogs to many of our Asheville vacation rental cabins. Whether your vacation calls for in-town convenience like you'll find at Lady Victoria, or a mountainside getaway like Hillside Charmer, Carolina mornings has a wide variety of pet-friendly luxury vacation homes to choose from. Call our vacation planners at (877) 902-9441 to find the one that's just right for you and your furry best friend!

December 18, 2011

Gift Finds in Asheville, North Carolina, for Our Feathered Friends and Their Faithful Fans

Wintertime brings challenges for birds who live in the North Carolina mountains as they seek shelter to stay warm and forage for food among the bare trees and bushes. Show your holiday spirit by finding the perfect gift for the bird watcher on your Christmas list, or by showing a little love to our backyard friends. Erecting a birdhouse or feeder will draw a flurry of color and activity to your backyard this winter. During the snowy season, the birds are especially grateful for a helping hand!

Happy Birds Bring Joy to Your Yard 

Outdoor Bird Company, at 946 Merrimon Avenue in North Asheville, offers a wide array of great gift ideas for bird enthusiasts, including bird ornaments, calendars, wind chimes, clocks, and even toys. This locally owned shop is Asheville's go to spot for backyard birding supplies.

Wild Birds Unlimited, at 1997 Hendersonville Road in South Asheville, is an independently owned by bird enthusiasts Chris Jaquette and Simon Thompson. Wild Birds Unlimited has everything you could possibly need to share your love of feathered friends, from feeders and food to gifts and gear, plus they offer educational birding tours and trips to places as far away and exotic as Chile and Tanzania, and spots as close as Fletcher Park, where they host a bird walk on the third Saturday of every month.

See Birds Soaring at Eagle's Landing

The Compleat Naturalist, at 2 Brook Street in the Biltmore Village, carries all kinds of gifts, tools, and toys inspired by nature, including art, books, and clothes, and of course, birding supplies.

By staying at an Asheville vacation rental cabin, you'll have opportunities that would never fly at a hotel. What good is a yard in winter, you ask? Besides the wonderful wildlife you might encounter, especially North Carolina's bright blue jays and cardinals, a yard also means Fido can come along on your vacation! Most of Carolina Morning's luxury mountain vacation cabins are pet-friendly, because we love our dogs too!

Enjoy Treetop Scenery at Fabulous Red Wolf 

Plus, with a view like the one you'll find at Eagle's Landing, you're sure to see more than just chickadees -- there's hawks, owls, and eagles soaring the sky. Or if a majestic view right from the living room is more your speed, a spread like Red Wolf is perfect for you. This luxurious log cabin is perched up on Burney Mountain in Fletcher, North Carolina.

Call Carolina Mornings' Vacation Planners at (877) 902-9441 to find the vacation rental home that best suits you. Don't go batty this winter, go birdy instead with a beautiful Blue Ridge mountain getaway!

December 14, 2011

Nothing Improves Christmas Cheer Like a Good Glass (or Bottle) of Wine at One of Asheville's Wine Bars

If you're vacationing in Asheville, North Carolina, this holiday season, you're already on the right track for a wonderful winter break. You're hip, so surely you've booked a week at a luxury Asheville vacation rental cabin from Carolina Mornings, all you need now to complete your relaxation package is a delicious dinner at one of Asheville's many fine dining establishments, followed up with a fine bottle of wine. Here'a few suggestions on where you might find that perfect wine for your palette.

A Winter Hike on Asheville's Roan Mountain

Celebrated for their fine cuts of meat, Ruth's Chris Steakhouse just opened in the Biltmore Village, and their wine collection is unparalleled in the area. The picture below says it all. They've established their commitment to community involvement by donating all sales of Silver Oak wine during three pre-opening events to the local Habitat for Humanity. You can't miss the impressive brand new building just outside the Biltmore Estate entrance.

If drinking fine wine and meeting a few eclectic Asheville residents sound like good evening activities, the 5 Walnut Wine Bar is the neighborhood bar for you. Located, of course, at 5 Walnut Street downtown, this casual bar regularly features live music and also has beers on tap. Just down the block at 85 Walnut Street, Zamba has hundreds of wines to choose from, and also serves absinthe. Zambra, a tapas restaurant serving contemporary twists on the food of Spain and North Africa, was awarded the Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence in 2011.

The Expansive Wine Cellar at Ruth's Chris

Battery Park Book Exchange Champagne Bar is a lovely spot in the Grove Arcade offering wine tastings and book signings with over eighty different wines and champagnes on their menu and cozy leather chairs for reading, plus dogs are always welcome! Sante Wine Bar, also on the Grove Arcade block, is for both the connoisseur and the layman, boasting an oft-changing menu of bottles from around the world, and offering half-pours so you can create your own tasting flight, or choose their Flight of the Month. They're hosting a GRINCH PARTY on December 23rd!

Warm Up at Biltmore Villa Hideaway

So, did you do yourself a favor and book that dream week at a North Carolina mountain vacation cabin? Let Carolina Mornings help you out with that one! Call our Vacation Planners at (877) 904-9221 and tell us what you need; we'll do the rest of the work to get your dream winter vacation all lined up. Cheers!

December 10, 2011

New Year's Eve Plans? Why Not Treat Yourself with a North Carolina Mountain Getaway? Polar Plunge Your Worries Away!

Decompress your holiday stress with a relaxing stay at an Asheville vacation rental cabin. The Carolina Mornings team thinks you deserve some pampering! Our Vacation Planners and on-staff Concierge are ready to help you design your dream winter wonderland escape to the Blue Ridge Mountains. While in the Asheville area, take the Polar Plunge for charity at Lake Lure on New Year's Day, or, if you're not down with an arctic dip, just take it easy.

Snowy Mountaintops Over Lake Lure

If your pleasure is post-holiday rejuvination, peace, and quiet, Ekho Cottage is perfect for you. Ekho Cottage has a private spa and a bedside wood stove for warming up on freezing winter nights, and the firewood is provided compliments of Carolina Mornings. Located in Fairview, Ekho Cottage is conveniently situated between Asheville and Lake Lure.

Warm Up Your Spirit at Ekho Cottage

Take a load off at Leatherwood, a quaint cabin located just a couple miles from historic Hendersonville, and a short drive from Chimney Rock and Lake Lure. At Leatherwood, there's a quintessential cabin feel, with a giant river rock fireplace and a rough, wooden exterior, plus the luxury of modern furnishings and comfortable surroundings.

The River Rock Fireplace at Leatherwood

If you're looking for a spot custom designed for festivities, Cloud 9 at The Camp has the ultimate amenities and accommodations--all you need to provide is the party! Cloud 9 is an entertainer's delight with room for over twenty guests, a fully-equipped kitchen, multiple lounging areas, and access to The Camp's myriad of facilities, including a bubbling hot tub, an indoor gymnasium with a full basketball court, a recreation hall, and endless outdoor adventures.

Call Carolina Mornings at (877) 902-9441 to make reservations for New Year's Eve, or anytime you desire, at one of these amazing North Carolina mountain vacation rental homes. Start your year off right, treat yourself!

December 8, 2011

A Winter Wonderland Full of Christmas Cheer: Asheville Holiday Events Part 2

Asheville, North Carolina, is a magical place this time of year. With holiday music echoing through the valleys and festive celebrations all around around town, there's plenty of holiday cheer to make your mountain experience truly unforgettable. A few family fun activities not to be missed:

The Nutcracker Ballet by the Ballet Conservatory of Asheville at Diana Wortham Theater, December 15-16 (note, The Asheville Ballet will also be performing The Nutcracker on December 9 & 10)

A Swannanoa Solstice Concert, a night of music, dance and storytelling at the Diana Wortham Theater, December 18

A White Christmas on Roan Mountain

12 Dates of Christmas, a holiday comedy with Julia VanderVeen, North Carolina Stage Company, through December 18

The 28th Annual Bernstein Family Christmas Spectacular, 372 Depot Street in Asheville's River Arts District, through December 21

Home for the Holidays, a yuletide story at the Playhouse Downtown in Hendersonville, through December 22

David Sedaris' The Santaland Diaries by the Asheville Community Theater, December 12-24

A Handcrafted Holiday Market sponsored by the Handcrafted Artisan Revitalization Program, 91 Biltmore Avenue in downtown Asheville, through December 24

"Autumn and Winter in the Southern Appalachians" photography exhibit, from the Carolina Nature Photographers Association at Deerpark Inn at the Biltmore Estate, through December 31

Soak Your Weary Bones at Laurelwood Glen

Carolina Mornings still has plenty of Asheville vacation rental cabins available for the holidays. Carolina Mornings is offering a Christmas Tree Delivery Service, and we'll even put up the Christmas decorations for you! Plus, all of our rentals include the Mountain Discovery Pass,which includes complimentary ski passes at Wolf Ridge Ski Resort. Call our Vacation Planners at (877) 902-9441 to find out which luxury home is just right for your North Carolina mountain winter getaway!

December 6, 2011

Christmas Tree Delivery Service from Carolina Mornings Vacation Rentals: Joy to the World!

Wouldn't a relaxing Christmas be a nice change of pace? Carolina Mornings wants to help. That's why we're offering Christmas Tree Delivery Service to all of our mountain vacation rental homes. All you have to do is:

Carolina Mornings Offers Christmas Tree Delivery

1) Make reservations at a Carolina Mornings vacation property by calling us toll free at (877) 902-9441

2) Mention Christmas Tree Delivery Service

3) Decorate your tree with your loved ones & enjoy!

Ideally, holiday time should be spent enjoying the company of your family and friends, not stressing out and rushing around. This year, avoid the hassle of tying a tree to the hood of your car, or messing up the minivan with a million little pine needles, and let Carolina Mornings bring the tree to you. Plus, we offer the luxury of having an on-staff Concierge who will help attend to your vacation planning needs.

A couple dozen of Carolina Mornings' Asheville vacation rental homes are still available for the holidays. Here's a few luxury properties to choose from:

The Great Escape - Breathtaking views of the Asheville skyline, warm wood interiors, and a stone fireplace

Mockingbird Hill - Two fully equipped kitchens, a downstairs suite, and a Japanese soaking tub

A Snowy Day at Deer Run

Biltmore Villa Hideaway - The ultimate in convenience, located in Biltmore Village, with well appointed living spaces

Reems Creek - A wood burning fireplace, mountain views from the covered porch, and easy access

Villa Arista - A Mediterranean-inspired home with a sun-filled atrium, artistic furnishings, and a gourmet kitchen

Warm Up by the Stone Fireplace
at The Great Escape

Deer Run - A newly-constructed, cozy cabin with wood beam ceilings, plus peace and tranquility in a park-like setting

Call the Vacation Planners at Carolina Mornings today to make your reservations for a holiday escape to the North Carolina mountains!

December 3, 2011

A Winter Wonderland Full of Holiday Cheer Awaits You in Asheville, North Carolina

Christmas in the Blue Ridge Mountains has a unique charm. Imagine drifting snowflakes and banjo picking, a cozy hillside cabin with a warm wood fire, and the sparkle of 57 decorated Christmas trees at the Biltmore Estate. Of course, Asheville, North Carolina, also has outstanding restaurants and shopping opportunities to make your end-of-the-year getaway truly wonderful.

A Picturesque Christmas in Asheville

The only difficult part of planning your vacation will be deciding which of Carolina Mornings' luxury mountain vacation rental cabins to stay in. A romantic log cabin with a fireplace like Little Knotty Pine Place? Or a spacious homestead with a woodstove like Pie in the Sky? (Both homes have bubbling hot tubs!)

If you're planning a holiday stay in Asheville, here are a few area entertainment events in celebration of the season.

A Christmas Carol by the Montford Park Players at the Asheville Masonic Temple, weekends, December 8-23

The Nutcracker by the Asheville Ballet at Diana Wortham Theater, December 10-12

Blue Ridge Orchestra Holiday Concert at the Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway, December 11

A Winter Wonderland at Little Knotty Pine Place

Christmas on the Mountain, An Evening with Sheila Kay Adams at Thomas Wolfe Memorial House, December 17

Asheville Symphony presents Holiday Pops! at Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, December 18

"Rediscovering Christmas" Theater Production at the Black Mountain Center for the Arts, December 21-22

The Vacation Planners at Carolina Mornings are ready to assist you in finding an Asheville vacation rental cabin to suit your needs, and our and on-staff Concierge will help you plan your ideal holiday adventure. Happy Holidays from the Carolina Mornings Team!

November 29, 2011

Plan the Perfect Holiday Party at The Camp, A 150-Acre Paradise in Bat Cave, North Carolina

Are you searching for an extraordinary setting for this year's holiday party? If you're planning a gathering and need a unique location that can accommodate over fifty guests, with enough indoor and outdoor space to entertain a crowd, Carolina Mornings has exactly what you've been looking for: The Camp has it all!

It's Holiday Party Time: Plan the Perfect Event at The Camp

The Camp is the perfect place to host an unforgettable holiday party. The Camp is a 150-acre mountain paradise in Bat Cave, North Carolina, including three luxury homes and endless options for entertainment. Camaraderie comes naturally at The Camp no matter what adventure you choose: plan festivities in the social hall, shoot hoops in the gymnasium, play baseball on the athletic field, gather around a bonfire, or simply enjoy the company of your guests in one of The Camp's many large gathering areas.

The Camp's Spacious Social Hall

The Camp's Holiday Event Package includes:

• The Camp's 5,000 square foot Social Hall with a catering kitchen
Three luxury homes, Cloud 9, Eagle's Nest and the Pond House, each with a fully-equipped kitchen and multiple gathering areas, with total sleeping accommodations for up to 55 people
• Set-up and breakdown of tables and chairs
• An on-site host to assist with event and guest requests

• Access to The Camp's Sports and Activities Facilities, including:

◊ Hot Tub
◊ Exercise Room
◊ Athletic Field (Volleyball, Soccer & Baseball)
◊ Indoor & Outdoor Basketball Courts
◊ Tennis Courts
◊ Giant Trampoline
◊ Ropes Course
◊ Recreation Hall with Game Tables & Coin-less Arcade Games
◊ Multiple Fire Pits
◊ Biking and Hiking Trails

The Camp has everything you need to make your holiday party unforgettable! For more information about The Camp's Holiday Package, call Carolina Mornings toll free at (877)902-9441. We look forward to helping you plan the perfect party for this holiday season!

November 27, 2011

Baby It's Cold Outside... Let's Go for a Hike!

Bundle up and grab your mittens; the North Carolina mountain views are better now than ever! Without leaves on the trees, you can see panoramas that are hidden in the summer and stretch far into the distance on a sunny day. Here's a couple of popular hikes to get you started.

Cold Mountain Views in the Wintetime

Take a drive above the tree line for a walk up to the peak of Pisgah Mountain, a 5,721 foot elevation. The 3-mile Buck Spring Trail starts from the Mt. Pisgah parking area, just down the road from the Pisgah Inn on the Blue Ridge Parkway. From the observation deck at the summit, enjoy 360 degree views of the surrounding national forest, including an excellent vista of Cold Mountain and the Shining Rock Wilderness.

The AT Runs Right Through Hot Springs

Hot Springs, a scenic 45 minute drive from Asheville, is situated in the valley at the intersection of two winding rivers. A dozen trails, including the Appalachian Trail, start at the Silvermine Trailhead, just across the French Broad River bridge from town. While you're in Hot Springs, relax with a soak in the therapeutic mineral waters that have been enjoyed by guests for over 200 years. Private tubs are available by the hour at the Hot Springs Resort and Spa. Get maps of the area here.

Begin Your Asheville Adventure at Doolittle Mountain Cabin

Carolina Mornings offers several NC mountain vacation rental homes between the thriving city of Asheville and the gorgeous Hot Springs area. Enjoy the scenic view from the front porch of easily-accessible Reems Creek, located in Weaverville. Escape to Mountainside Getaway, a modern log home with cedar-lined walls, located just minutes from the Appalachian Trail access point in Mars Hill. Or, after a day of adventure, cozy up by the fire at Doolittle Mountain Cabin in lovely Marshall, NC. Call Carolina Mornings' Vacation Planners at (877) 902-9441 to arrange the perfect Asheville vacation rental cabin for your wintertime getaway.

November 23, 2011

Go Local in Asheville, NC: Shopping Suggestions Part 2

"Occupy Black Friday!" has become a catch phrase. Skip the long lines and email spam. Change the pace by patronizing the local stores in your area. If you're in Asheville, you're in luck, we have a ton of amazing independently owned shops, offering just about anything you want.

Local shopping in support of independent retailers is catching on, and Asheville is quickly becoming a leader in this movement by setting a positive example of how a city can revitalize and its economy with community pride. The Asheville City Schools Foundation and the Asheville Grown Business Alliance have teamed up to offer the Go Local Discount Card. The card costs $15 and provides year-long exclusive discounts at all kinds of local businesses ($10 goes to Asheville City Schools, and if you have a preference, you can even choose which school you'd like $5 to go to directly!).

Catch Some Rays & Enjoy
the Breathtaking View from Sunset Haven

So far, 50 businesses are participating, and many more are expected to join in the program. The Go Local Discount Card will be available in January for use beginning on February 1st, and will be valid for a full year. They're on pre-sale right now, so you can give local savings as a holiday present; a gift that keeps on giving!

In a continuing effort to support Go Local this holiday season, Carolina Mornings has brought you a list of local boutiques, local restaurants, local bakeries and sweet spots, local places to spoil your doggie, and local toy stores. (Note: there's a brand new toy store in town! It's called curio and is located at 2 Battery Park Avenue in downtown Asheville.)

Here's a few more suggestions across the board. We hope you'll frequent these Asheville establishments!

The Littlest Birds, 647 Haywood Road - all natural clothing, diapers and kid's accessories, including locally made Tooth Fairy Pillows

The Natural Home, Biltmore Park Town Square - a unique collection of bedding, bath products, home accents and extraordinary gifts

Malaprops Books, 55 Haywood Street - the region's largest locally-owned independent bookstore specializing in local authors and hosting regular readings

Firestorm Cafe & Books, 48 Commerce Street - community powered and worker owned, offering offbeat, underground and independent literature

Second Gear, 444 Haywood Road - all types of outdoor gear, sporting goods, clothing, shoes, boots, and accessories

Black Dome Mountain Sports, 140 Tunnel Road - a full-service outfitter and core climbing store

Liberty Bicycles, 1378 Hendersonville Road - everything a cyclist needs, from repair to safety tips to classes to maps

True Blue Art Supply, 30 Haywood Street - an Asheville landmark with art supplies for atists of most mediums

Musician's Workshop, 319 Merrimon Avenue - carrying a wide assortment of instruments and accessories, with an emphasis on hand-played and handcrafted instruments

Guitar Mama, 610A Haywood Road - repairs, gear and parts for fretted instruments

Harvest Records, 415B Haywood Road - selling vinyl, record players, related accessories and original recordings

Foundry, 92 Charlotte Street - the place for upcycled goods and gifts

Charlotte Street Computers, 252 Charlotte Street - voted best of WNC Computer Repair for 8 years running, your local specialists for Macs and PCs, offering tutoring, data backup, repairs, and upgrades

After a Long Day of Shopping,
Relax in Mockingbird Hill's Soaking Tub

When you reserve a vacation rental from Carolina Mornings, you're going local! This is a major advantage of staying at a vacation rental property, rather than a chain hotel. Carolina Mornings is proud to offer the finest in Asheville vacation rental cabins. Many of our luxury vacation rental homes are pet-friendly and our Vacation Planners are dedicated to making sure your visit to the North Carolina mountains is so enjoyable that you'll come right back! Call (877) 902-9441 to experience the luxury of the mountains!

November 21, 2011

Unbeatable Black Friday Deal: Pay for Two Nights, Stay for Three! + Free Skiing with Two Lift Tickets at Wolf Ridge Resort!

Carolina Mornings is offering an unbeatable deal this Black Friday: Make a reservation for two nights at a luxury vacation rental home of your choice by November 30th and we'll throw in a free bonus night on us. Plus, we'll also give you two free lift tickets at Wolf Ridge Ski Resort.

Ski for Free: An Unbeatable Black Friday Deal

Our Vacation Planners are ready to assist you in finding the perfect vacation rental home for your Western North Carolina mountain getaway. Reserve any of our properties for at least two nights anytime between Black Friday (November 25th, 2011) and February 29th, 2012, and you'll receive a free extra night at your vacation rental home. Plus, you'll want to get out and enjoy all the fun that the mountains have to offer, so we're including two complimentary ski lift passes at Wolf Ridge Ski Resort, a $108.00 value.

Spend the Holidays at The Camp

With 22 ski runs and 2 timber-frame lodges, Wolf Ridge is the premiere ski resort in the Asheville area. Their Snow Sports School instructors offer private and group lessons for all ages in skiing, snowboarding, and telemark skiing. After an exciting day on the slopes, enjoy breathtaking views with your dinner at the Ridge Lodge Steak and Ribs Restaurant. Then escape the holiday madness by retreating to your Asheville vacation rental cabin, where you can enjoy the privacy of a bubbly hot tub and a recliner by the raging fire.

Carolina Mornings has dozens of premiere vacation rental homes to choose from, like these luxury properties:

Blue Moon Lodge

Eagle's Crest

Five Kings Retreat

Great Escape

Mountain Sky

Eagle's Nest at The Camp

Call our Vacation Planners toll free at (877) 902-9441 to experience a winter-time getaway at one of Carolina Mornings' premiere luxury vacation rentals. Simplify: Experience the Luxury of the Mountains!

November 17, 2011

Go Local in Asheville, North Carolina: A Nationwide Trend to Save Our Economy (Suggestions, Part One: Boutiques)

Asheville's Unique Boutiques

What better way to get in the holiday spirit of giving than to buy local? Asheville is a perfect destination for combining Christmas shopping with a picturesque mountain vacation. The Indie City Index 2011, which ranks American metropolitan areas based on retail activity generated by independent businesses, favorably ranks Asheville in the top 10 percent of all metro areas. The Indie City Index also shows that Asheville has the lowest chain store saturation of any metro area in North Carolina.

Shopping at independent retailers is catching on nationwide with movements like Shift Your Shopping, a campaign to strengthen local economies, expand employment, and nurture a sense of community. Even credit lenders are keeping up: American Express is sponsoring Small Business Saturday on November 26th, offering a bonus for shopping at independent stores.

Where should you spend your dollars in order to participate in the Go Local movement? An organization called Asheville Grown is championing the area's effort to redirect consumers to local businesses. Here's a few suggestions for shopping in Asheville, focusing on clothing boutiques. This is just a small sampling of boutiques, and is by no means comprehensive...

Boutiques in Downtown Asheville

Virtue, 58 N. Lexington Ave - An eclectic array of ladies clothing, including dresses, scarves, hats, and denim.

Minx, 64 N. Lexington Avenue - Fun, affordable, stylish and unique clothing and accessories for a diverse community. "Voted "Best Women's Clothing" in the Mountain Xpress' Best of WNC for 7 years running.

Hip Replacements, 72 N. Lexington Ave - A vintage-inspired boutique carrying locally made lingerie, dresses, and jewelry.

Spiritex, 14 Haywood St - Locally sewn, organically grown, unique cotton clothing.

Ad Lib, 23 Haywood Street - Style. Comfort. Value. Since 1990, offering a special shopping experience with great customer service and a warm ambience.

Frock, 4 Battery Park Avenue - A cornerstone of Asheville's downtown retail scene, offering fashion lines that are Made in America.

Boutiques Elsewhere in Asheville

The Circle, 426 Haywood Rd in West Asheville - Featuring upcycled funky fashion by local designers and artists.

Moda, Biltmore Park Town Square - Offering fresh styles by designers with distinct views of style.

Bette, Biltmore Park Town Square - Life's little luxuries for the fashionable femme.

Another chance to get a good glimpse of Asheville's fashion movement is by visiting the vendors at The Big Crafty, an event to support local designers that will be at Pack Place in the heart of downtown Asheville on December 4th. Many of the vendors seize the opportunity of this twice annual event to showcase their hand-crafted clothing and jewelry outside of their workshops.

Go Local for Your Vacation: Stay at Mimi's Cottage

In addition to plentiful local retailers, Asheville also boasts numerous independent restaurants, no traffic, and luxury mountain vacation rental cabins from Carolina Mornings, the area's premiere vacation rental company, offering Asheville vacation rentals that are just minutes away from downtown, like Mimi's Cottage. Carolina Mornings is an independent small business, which means that even in your choice of vacation lodging, you can Go Local! Call our Vacation Planners at (877) 902-9441; they're ready to help transform your stay in Asheville into a dream vacation!

November 14, 2011

Food Destination Asheville: Specialty Olive Oil and Vinegars Please the Foodie on Your Gift List

Is there a foodie in your family? Are you a wizard in the kitchen? Good meals start with incredible basics, and the foundation to many culinary creations is superior olive oil. To add enjoyment, enhance the final flavor with creative balsamic vinegar infusions. Asheville, North Carolina, is no stranger to this concept: we have three specialty oil and vinegar stores, each offering a little something different.

Tree and Vine, located in Biltmore Village, is Asheville's premiere independent oil and vinegar store, featuring both local and regional products. This shop is owned by a husband and wife team who are proud of the fact that they don't have one distributor or supplier, rather they choose their products based on quality and are always searching for the very best. They are passionate about their olive oils and infused vinegars, and would love to extend their invitation to you to try any product in their store.

Tree and Vine's Hand-Selected Specialties

Olive & Kickin' is a locally-owned business on Biltmore Avenue in downtown Asheville, specializing in the tactile experience of a store visit by providing bountiful samples and daily tasting sessions. Their hand-selected products include the freshest and finest olive oils, white truffle pressed oil, and vinegars from Modena, Italy, including flavor creations like espresso balsamic vinegar and jalapeno vinegar. Plus, they offer the fun option of having a custom label made for your selection.

Inviting Hot Tub at Hidden Pond

Oil and Vinegar is a culinary gift shop located in the Biltmore Park Town Square in South Asheville. This is The Spot for finding a foodie the perfect gift. They carry a wide variety of gift-worthy items, most of them in impressive packaging, such as mustards, dressings, spreads and spices. And of course, they have oil and vinegar on tap, over 40 varieties, for which you can select a custom bottle to be filled.

One of the best things about a vacation in Asheville is experiencing all of the amazing shopping opportunities. The North Carolina mountains offer the whole package: dining, shopping, adventure, entertainment, and the perfect accommodations. Carolina Mornings has dozens of Asheville vacation rental cabins to choose from. Reserve one of these luxury vacation rental homes:

Mockingbird Hill - Offering a panoramic view and plenty of room with two separate levels.

Escape in the Heart of Biltmore Village

Hidden Pond - Escape to this private and modern cabin featuring gorgeous interiors and a bubbling hot tub, plus a prime location.

Biltmore Villa Hideaway - This well-appointed condo is right in Biltmore Village for the ultimate in convenience (and shopping!).

Call Carolina Mornings at (877) 902-9441 to connect with one of our Vacation Planners, who can help you select the perfect Asheville vacation rental for your next vacation.

November 11, 2011

It's Turkey Time! Adventures in Asheville for Thanksgiving Weekend

You know what to do on Thanksgiving, right? Watch the Macy's Day Parade and eat a ton of food, of course. But what else is there to do during your Asheville, North Carolina, holiday vacation?

The National Gingerbread House Competition at the Grove Park Inn is an absolute must for any Asheville vacation. You'll be surprised by the artistry of the entries, and how many there are! Select gingerbread houses will be featured on Good Morning America on December 23rd; this is your chance to see these wonderful creations in person. Public viewing days are Sunday through Thursday. Also, the Biltmore Estate, all dressed up in fabulous holiday splendor, is open for the entire holiday weekend.

Crazy Gingerbread Houses at Grove Park Inn

Need to balance out all that indulgence? There's a 5K Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day that starts at 9 a.m. at the French Broad River Park off Amboy Road. The first 1,200 runners to finish the run get a commemorative T-shirt! If you'd rather ride than run, LaZoom is offering their Happy Jollidays Tour, but you'll need to make reservations soon to ride on this funny bus, they sell out quick!

When you're out hitting the stores over the weekend, you'll want to do some shopping at Biltmore Park Town Square. The majestic 25-foot Christmas tree is worth the visit. But if you're in town before Thanksgiving on Wednesday, November 23rd, you'll have a chance to Buy Local! City Market South will be set up at Biltmore Park Town Square from 2 to 5 p.m., with dozens of vendors selling locally-made and locally-grown products.

And before you head back home, don't forget to pick up a Christmas tree right from the farm where it was grown; the North Carolina mountains are the #2 producing region for Fraser firs (second only to Oregon). Take a little bit of mountain magic home with you!

Relax by the Fire at Reem's Creek

Carolina Mornings has Asheville vacation rental cabins still available for Thanksgiving weekend. Reem's Creek is a relaxing place to spend the weekend, with rocking chairs on the front porch where you can take in the wide lawn and mountain view, and a wood fireplace in the comfortable family room. Just across the street from Vance Birthplace, a North Carolina State Historic Site, Reem's Creek sleeps 10, plenty of room for the whole family. Wouldn't it be just perfect to escape for Thanksgiving to a Asheville vacation rental home?

November 10, 2011

Buy Local: Asheville's Awesome Neighborhood Toy Stores + Thanksgiving Vacation Specials

This Friday, November 12th, is Neighborhood Toy Store Day, recognizing independently-owned toy stores that provide specialty toys for their communities. This event is just in time start your holiday shopping by supporting local businesses. Asheville, North Carolina, is fortunate enough to have several toy stores worthy of a community-friendly shopping spree. In addition to feeling good about where your money is being spent, a distinct advantage of frequenting neighborhood toy stores is that they have superior customer service, thanks in part to passionate retailers that truly care about the products they sell.

A Furry Friend Who's Always Good

Voted Number One in Mountain Xpress' Best of WNC Poll, Dancing Bear Toys has two locations in the Asheville area, Tunnel Road in East Asheville and Main Street in Hendersonville. They specialize in toys that are Made-in-America or Europe, including wooden toys, unique dolls, and durable, attractive items for all ages. Among the many reputable lines they carry are plush creations from Melissa & Doug and Gund.

To honor Neighborhood Toy Store Day, The Toy Box, on Merrimon Avenue in North Asheville, is having a Meet Santa event. The Toy Box offers their customers, the little ones, the opportunity to make a Christmas List when they visit. Then The Toy Box keeps a copy so that friends and family can get exactly the right thing when holiday shopping. Your kids will freak for all of the cool toys that they have!

O.P. Taylor's lives up to its reputation as "The Coolest Toy Store on the Planet," offering goofy promotions like if you sing "Zippity Do Dah" at the checkout counter, you get 10% off. There's two convenient locations in the Asheville area, Biltmore Park Town Square and downtown Brevard (6,000 square feet of fun!). O.P. Taylor's is even gaining a reputation; it will be featured in the December 2011 issue of Southern Living, and was also in last December's Our State Magazine.

If you're in need of gift suggestions, or just want to be sure your kids get the very best, The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association has put together recommendations of Best Toys for Kids 2011. It's time to make a list and check it twice, and tell your kids they better be nice!

Spacious Luxury for the Whole Family at Villa Artista

While you're making a wish list, put something on it for yourself! Carolina Mornings has premiere Asheville vacation rental cabins that are still available for the Thanksgiving holiday:

Villa Artista - luxuriate in this Mediterranean-inspired home featuring an expansive gourmet kitchen

Lone Pine Lodge - a re-constructed hand hewn log cabin with wide porches to take in the panoramic mountain view

Hillside Charmer - a private mountain paradise only 15 minutes from downtown Asheville; enjoy complimentary wood for the fireplace!

Call one of our Vacation Planners at (877) 902 9441 to reserve your dream mountain vacation rental home; spoil yourself with a much deserved retreat!

November 8, 2011

Treat your Family to the Ultimate Holiday Getaway: Cloud 9 at The Camp

Imagine a place where your family has limitless entertainment opportunities on a 150-acre property, where you have a beautiful, fully-eqipped kitchen to prepare your Thanksgiving feast, where luxury is a given and unexpected surprises are delightful discoveries. Cloud 9 at The Camp is waiting for you and yours to land in a mountain paradise. The Camp is the only vacation rental property of its kind, a fully renovated summer camp in the North Carolina mountains that has been transformed into a year-round playground for kids and adults alike.

Thanksgiving Dinner Delight in
Cloud 9's Fully-Equipped Kitchen

The kids will squeal with glee when they get their first glimpse of The Gymnasium, a full-size basketball court with original squeaky hardwood floors and a giant trampoline. They'll be equally geeked when they discover the Recreation Hall, an arcade with video games, a pool table, ping-pong, air hockey, foosball, and more. And after your plentiful dinner, toss some ball around on the athletic field, play a game of tennis on the tennis courts, or explore one of The Camp's many hiking trails. In the evening, a campfire in one of the fire pits will warm the whole family while they enjoy mountain silhouettes against a nighttime sky. You'll even consider waking up early in the morning to throw out a line on the fishing pond and see what you reel in. The Camp provides all-ages adventure all day and night long!

Enjoy The Camp' s Mountain View
from Cloud 9's Covered Porch

Cloud 9 is an entertainment mecca in and of itself. This fabulous vacation rental can sleep up to 21 people with plenty of room to gather together in two dens, a sunporch, and a screened-in porch. The roomy kitchen features stainless steel appliances and a breakfast table, plus an adjoining dining room. Cloud 9 also has a full bar and plasma screen TV so you can make the best of adult time, and a kid's area on the lower floor has two flat screen TV's and double bunk beds. Bring the family dog along; all of The Camp's properties are pet-friendly!

Luxury Awaits You
in The Owner's Suite

After a dip in the hot tub, when you're ready to truly escape, The Owner's Suite awaits. This private, luxuriously appointed suite has a fireplace, king sized bed and large windows to take in the mountain view. For the ultimate relaxing experience, the Owner's Suite bathroom has double marble sinks, a spacious glass shower and a claw foot soaking tub.

The Pond House, The Camp's newest vacation rental, is also available for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Discover The Camp, Carolina Mornings' premiere mountain vacation rental, located only 40 minutes from Asheville, North Carolina. Call one of our Vacation Planners at (877) 902-9441 to learn more about this one-of-a-kind mountain getaway. Have the experience of a lifetime this Thanksgiving by treating your family to The Camp!

November 6, 2011

Food Destination Asheville: Where to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth - Part 2, Every Side of Town

Part two of the incredible desserts installment of Food Destination Asheville explores the best places to get sweet treats on each side of Asheville, North Carolina. In North Asheville, The Hop on Merrimon Avenue serves truly incredible ice cream in flavors you've never heard of (Butternut Squash? Cesspool of Cinnamon?) but you'll instantly love. Further up the road, visit Sisters McMullen for muffins that'll keep you smiling all day. They've got great whoopie pies, too. A dessert list wouldn't be complete without mention of the bakery at Greenlife Grocery, a must-stop on the way back to relax at your vacation rental cabin.

Flaky Baklava at Filo Pastries

If you're Eastside, you've got to try Ultimate Ice Cream, hidden behind Pomodoro's on Tunnel Road (they also have a location on Charlotte Street), famous for their wildly awesome flavors like Brown Sugar Maple Bacon. If baklava is your weakness, you'll find the best in town at Filo Pastries & Coffee on Tunnel Road, where they specialize in Greek desserts like kourabeides, kataifi, koulourakia and galaktoboureko.

Short Street Cakes Cute Little Shop

Craving something both sweet and classy? In South Asheville, the Red Stag Grill at The Bohemian Hotel has a dessert table to die for, perfect for a romantic evening. Plus, each week they feature a different sorbet martini with locally made seasonal sorbet.

Westside has the hidden gems of Asheville. Short Street Cakes on Haywood Road has a bakery that'll baffle you because there's so many mouthwatering confections to choose from. Owner Jodi Rhoden is making waves in the literary world, too, with her recent publication of Cake Ladies: Celebrating a Southern Tradition. Farther up Haywood is another location of The Hop , and one more block lands you at our last stop, West End Bakery, where every Friday they host Cupcake Happy Hour!

Spend a Deluxe Thanksgiving at Eagle's Wing Lodge

Carolina Mornings is currently offering sweet deals on over two dozen Asheville Vacation Rental Cabin Specials. And speaking of sweet, Eagle's Wing Lodge is still available for Thanksgiving. This gorgeous Eco-Friendly home sleeps 12 and is one of Carolina Mornings' most luxurious Asheville vacation rental homes, with features such as two gourmet kitchens with granite countertops, a gas-log fireplace and outdoor fire pit, and a nearby Shoji Japanese Style Spa. How's that for a special treat? Eagle's Wing Lodge truly satisfies. Call our Vacation Planners at (877) 902-9441 and let us assist you in planning the perfect holiday getaway.