February 28, 2011

Dogs, Diamonds and Denim in Asheville, NC

As you probably know (or maybe this is new information for you), Carolina Mornings is CRAZY about dogs!! It should come as no surprise that we are posting this blog... :)
On Thursday, March 3, 2011 (this Thursday), the Asheville Humane Society and the Asheville Symphony pair up to present Dogs, Diamonds and Denim. This fundraiser will support both organizations and will be held at the Humane Society here in Asheville. Who ever thought to pair symphony music with furry friends, the best of both worlds?? Brilliant!! To purchase your tickets, click here.

Hidden Jewels: Gem Mining In Asheville

Up in the heart of the Smoky Mountains, Sandy Bottoms Trail Rides takes you back to a time where Snow White’s dwarfs sang “Heigh-Ho” and collected sparkly gems by the cartload. Now’s your chance to relive your childhood. The 3-hour Little Gem Mine Tour is Sandy Bottom’s most popular tour and a North Carolinian favorite.  Choose your ride (horseback, covered wagon or buggy) and venture out to Little Pine Gem Mine, a historic 200 year-old garnet mine right on the property. The naturally occurring garnet gems are yours to find and keep as the perfect souvenir to the perfect vacation getaway. Enjoy breathtaking mountain views from the secluded trails on your way back (hold on tight to your saddle as you take pictures!) As a guest of Carolina Mornings, get $5 off per person!  

February 26, 2011

Cabin Spotlight: Look down from the sky at Eagle's Crest

Eagle's Crest has it all: it sits so high on a mountain that you need 4x4 year round to reach the property, yet it is only 15 minutes from Asheville!! This beautiful newly built log home offers breathtaking views from it's wall of windows, yet leaves nothing to be desired indoors either. The tasteful yet cozy decor is easy to relax in, or you can spend your time surrounded by nature from one of the spacious decks. Sleeping eight, you can bring the whole family (including Fido, as this is one of our pet-friendly rentals) and have plenty of room to breathe. Join Carolina Mornings here in Asheville, NC for a time in the Appalachian Mountains that you won't forget!

February 24, 2011

The Organic Growers School Farm Soiree in Asheville, NC

As discussed before, next weekend, March 5 & 6, 2011, is the 18th Annual Organic Growers School here in Asheville, NC. On Saturday night (March 5) we will also be given the chance to celebrate the event sans notebooks and questions: the Farm Soiree Benefit held at The Orange Peel from 8pm-12am. There still will be some great information, as there are to be guest speakers sharing in the good times. This is a chance to get yer dancin' shoes on, grab a delicious local brew and move to the beat of Firecracker Jazz Band, all while supporting the Grower's School. Sounds like a blast to me (no pun intended)!!

February 23, 2011

Tips for Vacation Home Seekers!!

The people at Smarter Travel put together a great write-up called "Tips for Securing A Perfect Vacation Rental in 2011." The article discusses the vacation rental industry and what you, the customer, can do to ensure the best vacation ever! Here are some of the tips and secrets they shared about securing a vacation home, mixed in with my own experience in business here at Carolina Mornings.

For first time renters:
-Be sure you understand how the property is managed (either by a management company, or cared for by the homeowner). This will help you understand how you deal with any "issues" that may arise for you during your stay.
-Be sure you understand the rental contract! If there is no contract, be sure you understand how everyone is protected in your exchange (without a written contract, you may end up not having a vacation rental and losing money!!)
-Be sure you understand how the payment is processed and handled.
-Be sure you understand how transfers, refunds and cancellations are handled before you secure your rental!!
-Be ready for pre-departure steps; when dealing with a whole house rather than just one room, there is usually a few things required before you leave to make the job faster for the cleaning crew(like throwing in a load of laundry and stripping the bed).

"The benefits of renting from a company you can trust with your family, your credit card, and your invaluable vacation time can't be understated," says Geoff Ballotti, president of a fellow rental company. It is true- dealing with a company that has BBB credentials and has been in business for years usually will prove a better transaction than dealing with an individual that you are completely unaware of.

For all renters:

-Be sure you know the nightly minimum. No longer do most places require a full week's visit, but most places do have nightly minimums which fluctuate throughout the seasons.
-Be a smart traveler and aware of what you are looking for. If you know that you usually prefer an upper-end vacation, do not secure a rental that is rustic!!
-Know the area you are visiting. If you are coming from the beach, realize that driving in the mountains is much different.
-Be sure you are ready for your destination at the time you have scheduled; many destinations have "seasons" of heavier tourist traffic than others. Educate yourself on where it is you want to go and be ready for the experience.

Being able to affordably rent a whole house rather than just a room is priceless. Above all, take the personal responsibility to educate yourself and ensure that your safety and comfort (no one else has the same comfort level as you!) are cared for. This is your vacation, and you can be sure you have set the mood to have a great one!

February 22, 2011

Property Spotlight: The Promise Keeper Cottage promises a great vacation for you!

The Promise Keeper Cottage is a great place to retreat on your own or bring a friend (and Fido too, of course, as this is one of our pet friendly rentals). Small and quaint, this cottage offers total relaxation on 45 acres of serene Appalachian Mountain woodlands. Just 25 minutes north of Asheville in Mars Hill, NC, the Promise Keeper Cottage gives you mountain peace and close proximity to town! Settle into this studio cottage with a screened-in porch equaling in size to the interior- a wonderful place to read a book, write in a journal, play a board game, or just listen to the birds. Whatever our desires for relaxation, Promise Keeper Cottage has it for you!

February 21, 2011

Organic Growers School in Asheville, NC is upon us again!!

One of my favorite Asheville events is right around the corner- the Organic Growers School! Locals, and some from far away, gather together for this weekend of reminders and new knowledge, all to get us psyched for the 2011 growing season that is upon us. The event takes place on March 5 & 6, 2011 at the University of North Carolina- Asheville, with the Farm Soiree taking place the night of March 5 (more about the Soiree in an upcoming blog :). If you don't remember from past years, the School provides incredible learning potential, a kids program, delicious food for lunch, an exhibit hall, a silent auction... all focused on organic gardening and agriculture. Asheville is a mecca for local foodies and growers, and we are growing more each day!!! This is one event not to be missed!

February 20, 2011

Horseback Riding In Asheville

The most authentic mountain excursion is only possible when horses are involved. Try something classic and exciting this vacation, and connect with Asheville’s nature-scene in the purest of ways. At Sandy Bottoms Trail Rides, horseback riding is a year-round event. Located in Marshall, a charming mountain town near Asheville, NC, Sandy Bottoms is easily accessible from any of our cabin vacation rentals especially,  Doolittle Mountain Cabin and High Rock Mountain. One of 60 Belgian horses will take you on an exciting escapade through the secluded Smoky Mountain trails where no evidence of humanity stains the pristine land. Or if you prefer, ride in a covered wagon or buggy for the grand pioneering adventure you’ve been dreaming of since playing The Oregon Trail. A good old down-to-earth vibe keeps this family-owned establishment friendly and affordable (Please don’t be afraid to emulate your favorite cowboy or cowgirl when you stop by). Take $5 off  per person for Carolina Morning guests!

February 19, 2011

Ahhh, the beautiful weather we have had in Asheville, NC!!

It is that time of year, when Mother Nature gives you the best of two worlds: stretches of time with warm temperatures and a shining sun, then sunny days with frost and snow. We get to experience the remains of winter, then just when we think we can't handle anymore, a gorgeously warm day will begin. This is a great time of year to visit Asheville, NC: you beat the crowds to enjoy the town and attractions, you get incredible specials and deals on great properties with Carolina Mornings, you can wake one day with a nip in the air and frost on the ground, then awaken the next to a springtime warmth! The Blue Ridge Mountains are gleaming, the air is crisp and clear, the trails are empty. Give us a call at 800.770.9055 or book a property online to take advantage of the last of the wintertime savings (even Biltmore Estate tickets are a great deal for the remainder of winter through us!)

February 18, 2011

Dine to Be Kind in Asheville, NC

Join the community on Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2011 for the 8th annual Dine to Be Kind event. Over 50 local restaurants will donate a portion of proceeds from the day's dining to the Animal Compassion Network's benefit. The Animal Compassion Network offers spay/neuter assistance as well as many other life saving programs. Please visit the website to check out a complete list of participating restaurants, and join this animal-loving town in supporting the Network while dining on delicious chow... I mean, grub!!

February 17, 2011

Cabin Spotlight: Snuggle up in Pike's Peak 19

Our newest of the Deerborn Cottages, Pike's Peak 19 is a perfect cozy retreat for two (plus Fido!). These cottages have the best of both worlds: located on 17 acres of woodland and pasture, but within a 15 minute drive to Asheville! Pike's Peak 19 is a comfortable cabin within a cabin community, perfect for those needing peace but still needing to be close to town. Relax in the hot tub, enjoy cable t.v. and Wifi internet, or turn everything off and listen to the sounds of the mountains. And then the bonus of being a pet friendly rental! As always, Carolina Mornings has just what you need to get away!!

February 16, 2011

After Hours Cabaret Bash in Asheville, NC on Feb 18

This night sounds like a winner all around! The After Hours Cabaret Bash is a gathering of some great local musicians and artists (Laura Blackley, the Swayback Sisters, the storyteller David Novak, some improv comedy...) all to support ArtSpace Charter School, a charter school whose mission is focused on arts-integrated learning. Entertainment begins at 630pm, and for $20 you get to nibble on some yummy treats too! This is a great way to experience Asheville- people joining together to listen to some great local music and laugh at Diana Wortham Theatre, all while supporting a good cause.

February 14, 2011

Appalachian Old Time Music and Contra Dancin' in Asheville, NC

Just a reminder of what a rich music community we have here in western NC! The roots of Old Time Music are deep, and you can find Old Timers all over town.
Does that Old Time music make you want to move? Contra dancing goes hand-in-hand with Old Time, and you can always come a bit early to the dances to get a lesson. Don't worry-it is a group dance and everyone is a teacher of sorts; you'll learn! Here is a couple places to check out Contra around town (and of course the good ol' live music that is playing for the dancers!):

Monday nights at The Grey Eagle, 8pm

Thursday nights at Warren Wilson College, 8pm

Wednesday nights (every Wednesday) Old Time jam at Jack of the Wood, 6ish, and another 9ish

Check out the Old Farmer's Ball site if you are really interested!

February 12, 2011

Oh how Carolina Mornings loves thee...

Let me count the ways...

-Small, friendly office to help create your getaway, or easy to maneuver website to set it up on your own.
-Over 90 beautiful, cozy homes for you to choose from, whatever your occasion, whatever your need.
-Great pet friendly properties, because no one enjoys the mountains more than Fido!
-Wonderful property specials to help you save a buck or two, changing monthly.
-Special packages and discounts, including massages and in-house chef services.
-Our Mountain Discovery Pass, giving FREE tickets to area attractions.
-Many concierge services to choose from, or create your own- just ask!
-Discounted Biltmore tickets, discounted gift certificates to area restaurants, discounted horseback riding.
-This wonderful blog that keeps you posted on area events :)
Give us a call at 800.770.9055 or check us out at www.carolinamornings.com for your next vacation!

February 7, 2011

Cabin Spotlight: Enjoy the Wildlife at Deer Run

A cozy little cabin in the mountains, Deer Run is perfect for a couple or small family (sleeps four) to relax and unwind. Surrounded by trees with a creek on the property, this is a perfect place to view wildlife (or the nearby farm animals!). If you are looking for a couple of homes near each other for a larger group, Deer Run sits right by Red Barn, providing a wonderful getaway for all! Give us a call here at Carolina Mornings to set up your trip now- this is the perfect time of year to beat the crowd and enjoy winter in the mountains!

February 3, 2011

Spreading the love in Asheville, NC

Not that we don't believe in loving all year long, but when it comes to an official telling-your-honey-I-love-you time, February is it. We are honoring Valentine's Day for the entire month!

Asheville is known for it's beautiful scenery, amazing local restaurants and a plethora of places to say "I Love You." Whether you want to scream it from the rooftop of a romantic getaway home or whisper it during the symphony, Carolina Mornings has the home away from home that you need to share your love in just the rightway.

-Celebrate love and romance by sharing the blissful experience of massage with your loved one! A 60 minute couple's session with complimentary aromatherapy and chocolate dipped strawberries. Both relaxing and refreshing, it is the sweetest deal in town! Save $20 off our Couple's Massage.
-Or for an antidote to the cold winter days, try the Hot Stone Massage. This blissful experience applies deep penetrating heat using hot volcanic basalt stones, releasing aches and muscle spasms, and increasing circulation. We are offering the 90 Minute Hot Stone Massage for $95, another $20 savings.
-Perhaps you would rather have a dozen roses awaiting your arrival? Maybe rose petals scattered through your vacation cabin, or chocolates on your pillow... if you have another idea, we can usually make your wish come true! Let us help you plan your romantic weekend.

February 2, 2011

Valentine's Day with Carolina Mornings

Wondering what to do this Valentine's Day? Surprise your beloved with a weekend getaway to the Smoky Mountains with Carolina Mornings!! Asheville, NC is a great destination all times of the year, but especially when we are talking about celebrations, and especially when we are saying I love you!! The restaurants are stellar, the town is unique and fun, and the scenery is beautiful! Reserve a mountain top getaway and lock your love away for days, relaxing by the fireplace, making meals, and releasing in the hot tub. Want more pizazz this Valentine's Day? Stay closer to town and enjoy the delicious cuisine and wonderful nightlife. Whatever your preference, Carolina Mornings has a getaway for you! Take advantage of our services: we offer packages and specials, gift baskets, couple'smassages, concierge services... whatever you need to relax and love!