September 30, 2012

Moogfest Brings Electronic Music Magic to Asheville, NC

The last weekend of October, crowds of costumed festival-goers take over the streets of downtown Asheville. Halloween sets the tone for a little late night noise, but Moogfest is so much more than that. Named in honor of Bob Moog, a sonic pioneer and inventor who called Asheville home for 30 years, Moogfest is a two-day event that draws fans of electronic music from around the world.

Here's ten reasons to visit Asheville, NC on October 26 and 27, 2012:

1. Electronic music. The obvious number one reason to attend Moogfest. If you're into electronica, this is the event of the year. The line-up includes Orbital, Miike Snow, Santigold, Squarepusher, Shpongle, Black Moth Super Rainbow, The Magnetic Fields... over 30 acts in total.

2. Multiple venues host Moogfest. The urban festival format allows ticket-holders to check out some of Asheville's best stages, including the intimate Asheville Music Hall, the sound-enhancing Diana Wortham Theater, and the much-loved Orange Peel.

3. Primus 3-D. You know Primus. Now get ready to know Primus up-close-and-personal-in-your-face. 3-D glasses provided at the door.

4. This year's hip-hop edge. Moogfest adds a dash of rap this year with favorites like Nas, Death Grips, GZA, and Killer Mike.

5. Dr. Bob's Interactive Sonic Experience. Make your own electronica on this interactive display of Moog instruments. The setup gives you the opportunity to "Delve deep into the sonic depths as you connect with bays of synthesizers, theremins, effect pedals, oscilloscopes and more."

6. Invisible: The New Obsolete. A manual typewriter that controls a synthesizer? Presented in conjunction with the Asheville Art Museum, this exhibition is the work of instrument maker Mark Dixon. Tickets are available at a discount to Moog attendees.

7. Artist sightings aplenty. Dozens of notable electronic musicians in one place means you'll spot them everywhere around town: eating at Asheville's best restaurants, perusing art galleries, shopping at The Grove Arcade, and buying organic carrot juice at Greenlife.

8. The Moog Music Factory is the first thing you see when exiting I-240 for Merrimon Avenue and downtown. This renovated brick building on the corner of Broadway is decked out with murals, houses the headquarters' store, and is open to the public all weekend long.

9. The whole city gets involved. Bars and dining establishments will be geared up and expecting hundreds of Moog music fans. There's sure to be after-shows you won't want to miss.

10. Asheville is an amazing place. While you're in town, stick around and check out the River Arts District, the hip and happening Westside, nearly twenty local microbreweries (this is Beer City USA), and, of course, the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains.

Carolina Mornings, Asheville's premiere provider of vacation rental cabins, can hook you up with a sweet spot to stay during Moogfest, and beyond. With dozens of cabin locations available, and plenty of pet-friendly properties, Carolina Mornings gives you options. Call our Vacation Planners today to reserve a luxury mountain vacation rental!

September 29, 2012

Spectacular Sunsets are Only the Beginning

With colorful sunsets that will stay with you for a lifetime, you cannot go wrong with a mountain vacation at Sunset Lodge. Located at the Scenic Wolf Resort, this beautifully appointed three-bedroom cabin offers you and your guests the space, comfort and amenities that you all deserve.

Once unpacked and settled in, step out onto the wrap-around deck where breathtaking long-range mountain vistas await you. Hours can be spent out here simply gazing at these magnificent Blue Ridge Mountains. And be sure to catch the spectacular sunsets and inspiring sunrises for which Western North Carolina is known.

Let the mountain vacationing fun begin! Grab the family and friends and walk over to the Wolf Ridge Ski Resort for a day of exhilarating skiing, snow boarding, year-round snow tubing or zip-lining. Sunset Lodge is conveniently one of the closest cabins to the ski resort and you and your guests will be just steps away from all its thrilling outdoor activities. More local adventures await down the road from the resort such as golfing, whitewater rafting and horseback riding - just to name a few.

When everyone is ready to relax, take a soothing dip in the glass-enclosed heated pool or head back to the cabin to enjoy your own private bubbling hot tub on the deck.

Take time to gather around the large stone hearth and warm up while you reminisce about the day's events and make plans for tomorrow. You'll love catching up with family and friends on the soft leather couches in Sunset Lodge's spacious and inviting living area. These quality time moments are wonderful memories in the making!

Carolina Mornings is offering a fantastic fall special when you stay 2 nights now through October 11th. Get $50 in dining gift certificates to your choice of our most highly recommended Asheville restaurants PLUS a complimentary photo session at Sunset Lodge! Call our Vacation Planners today to take advantage of this great deal and plan your mountain vacation.

September 25, 2012

The Annual Elk Rut Brings Autumn Excitement to Asheville, NC

Autumn is a busy season in the mountains surrounding Asheville, not just for people taken by the stunning colors, but also for wildlife. The annual elk rut draws crowds to the remote Cataloochee Valley to catch a glimpse of the herd's wild behavior. It's a memorable excursion that'll invigorate your Blue Ridge vacation.

What's so exciting about an elk rut?
The rut is the autumn mating season for elk, which includes several distinctive behavioral displays, including bugling and antler wrestling between the males. Mature bulls compete for the attentions of the female elk and attempt to build harems for the winter by challenging their opponents to sparring matches. The bulls also make a loud bellowing sound, known as bugling, which can be heard for miles. He who wins the antler wrestling and bugles the loudest is considered a desirable mate and attracts the most females. Dawn and dusk are the best times of the day to observe the elk in action.

There's elk herds in North Carolina?
In 2001, 25 elk were brought to Great Smoky Mountains National Park in an attempt to repopulate the region with a once native animal. The last natural herds to roam the Appalachian Mountains were killed off by hunters over 200 years ago. The past decade has seen great success from the repopulation experiment. A current count of approximately 140 elk live in the Cataloochee Valley section of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which is located about an hour west of Asheville. Directions to reach Cataloochee Valley can be found on the National Park Service website. Elk can also be spotted near the Oconaluftee Visitor Center in Cherokee, NC.

Caution! Give the elk a little privacy please...
There are a few rules to keep in mind when observing the elk rut. Directly approaching the animals or taking any antlers you may find in the park are both illegal by federal regulation. While observing elk, be sure to stay back at least 50 yards. The park service recommends that you keep to the roadside, and do not hike into a field where elk are present. Autumn is a precious time for the elk to breed. Calves are born in late spring and stay by their mother's side for nearly a year. In 2012, fourteen calves were born in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, thirteen of whom are still alive and well.

Carolina Mornings cabins get you close to the action
When planning your getaway this fall, give Carolina Mornings a call!

Our Vacation Planners are ready to help you find the perfect luxury mountain cabin to make your trip one to savor all winter long. We can even put you and your group up in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park! Check out these stellar mountain rental cabins, each of them west of Asheville and close to Cataloochee Valley:

-- Among the Clouds
-- Momma Bear
-- Baby Bear

Offering dozens of properties, many of them pet-friendly, Carolina Mornings is the area's premiere source for Asheville vacation rentals!

September 23, 2012

Leaf Peeping and the Biltmore Concert Series: A Spectacular Autumn Getaway in Asheville, NC

Imagine your first vacation day in Asheville starts like this, with a leisurely drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway, stopping at an overlook on top of Mount Pisgah. The breeze up here is chilly enough to warrant wearing a sweater, and the mountain air smells crisp as apples. The valley below is painted in shades of orange, red, and gold, an autumn quilt of treetops.

You stop in at the Pisgah Inn Dining Hall, the "The Peak of the Parkway," and savor a snack of Southern Corn Fritters and Fried Green Tomatoes, taking a couple of chilled wraps for later. As you make your way back down through the tunnels leading to Asheville, you look forward to a romantic evening at the Biltmore Estate.

Past the Biltmore gate, as you wind along the road that explores the 8,000-acre grounds, you snap a few photos of a willow tree leaning over a pond covered in floating red maple leaves. A formal garden striped with colorful chrysanthemums makes the perfect backdrop for your picnic at dusk.

On a relaxing after-dinner stroll, you discover the aromatic Italian Garden, and note how carefully designed the Biltmore grounds are, thanks to Frederick Law Olmsted, famed for his landscaping at Central Park and Niagara Falls. Finally, it's time to find your reserved seats for the show.

The concert starts on a high note, and the setting sun turns the sky pink with streaks of purple over the mountains peaks that surround the South Terrace. Just as the band begins to play your favorite song, you wonder if this is paradise. A twinkle from the evening's first star confirms that this must be paradise indeed.

The same thought comes to you again hours later as you pull up to your vacation cabin, a conveniently located Carolina Mornings rental home that is a welcome luxury after a long day. Settling into in a remarkably comfy chair in front of the fireplace, you sip a steaming mug of apple cider with cinnamon and recall the day's events.

You'll sleep soundly tonight. As a way to thank your loved one for such a wonderful vacation, you decide that in the morning you'll cook a big breakfast in the cabin kitchen, then serve it on the back deck where you can enjoy the long-range views. What will day two in the Blue Ridge Mountains bring?

Each autumn, The Biltmore Estate treats visitors to an exciting line-up of memorable concerts. The 16th Annual Biltmore Concert Series for Fall 2012 is:

September 28 - The Lettermen
October 5 - David Cassidy in Concert
October 12 - Mary Wilson of the Supremes
October 19 - Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers

Call Carolina Mornings today to take advantage of specials such as discounted Biltmore Estate tour tickets and the Mountain Discovery Pass, which includes free tickets for golfing at Reems Creek, whitewater rafting, a comedy bus tour of Asheville, and skiing at Scenic Wolf Resort.

Carolina Mornings, the area's premiere provider of luxury vacation rentals, offers concierge service and dozens of Asheville cabins, many of them pet-friendly. Our Vacation Planners are ready to help you discover paradise. Your Spectacular Autumn Getaway in Asheville, NC awaits!

September 22, 2012

Simple Mountain Luxury at its Best

For those seeking the best in simple mountain luxury, Creekside Chalet is not one to disappoint. From the pristine Blue Ridge Mountain views to the spacious and beautifully decorated interior, this Western North Carolina cabin invites you to escape and find complete bliss on your vacation.

Tucked away in a gated mountain community in Rutherfordton, Creekside Chalet is perfect for getting some much needed rest and relaxation with plenty of room for everyone.

Start the day off with a stroll over to the scenic community park complete with a gazebo and picnic area while the kids have fun on the playground. A small creek borders the edge of the property and offers tranquil sounds of water trickling over the creek stones. This makes for ideal background music while enjoying your family outing or a romantic picnic.

When you and your guests are ready to take the fun inside, there's plenty of entertainment to be had. Choose from a challenging game of foosball or pool in the fun game room or curl up in front of the living area's stone fireplace with a good movie. Before turning in, you'll want to experience the peaceful evenings out on the large covered deck with ample seating for everyone. Be sure to have your morning coffee out here too where the majestic views await!

On days for getting out and about, take a quick 30-minute trip and explore the natural beauty of Lake Lure and Chimney Rock State Park. If everyone is in the mood for further venturing, Creekside Chalet is only about an hour south of the Biltmore Estate and downtown Asheville. Your home-away-from-home vacation is ready for you at Creekside Chalet! And Carolina Mornings is offering great fall specials so you can take advantage of this simple mountain luxury.

Now thru September 30th, stay four nights or more and your next night is only $11! - OR - Enjoy our new 2-night minimum in October thru the 11th! Call Carolina Mornings today to take advantage of either fall special.

September 16, 2012

The LEAF Festival Experience: Music, Arts, Camping, and World Culture in Black Mountain, North Carolina

The Lake Eden Arts Festival (LEAF) brings a world of culture to Black Mountain, North Carolina, twice each year. With attractions ranging from international music acts to barn dancing to a much anticipated poetry slam, a weekend at LEAF is delightful for the entire family. This fall marks the 35th anniversary of the festival, taking place October 18th through 21st, 2012.

Lake View, photo by Alissa Whelan

Here's a few reasons you'll want to pack up the family for a fall break and head to Black Mountain for LEAF:

1. Music from around the world: Saharan Desert blues from Tinariwen; bluegrass with The Tony Rice Unit; Canadian folk from The Be Good Tanyas; funky New Orleans jazz by George Porter Jr. and the Runnin’ Pardners. Whirl around the dance floor and get your body groovin!

2.Cultural and artistic inspiration in an idyllic mountain setting. Settle into the village of tents for three nights of family bonding and fun with your neighbors. There's nothing like a late-night campfire by the waterside in the cool autumn air.

3. Fun for the whole family at LEAFlet, an entire section of the 600-acre site that's dedicated solely to kids' activities. They'll be laughing all the way to the tent at bedtime.

4. Dozens of craft booths featuring local artists making wares such as pottery, fiber arts, metalsmithing, hand-blown glass, photography... It's a chance to finish up your holiday shopping!

5. Canoeing, hiking, a walk around the lake each morning, and dancing: Contra, Salsa, Swing, and Waltz!

Contra Dance Hall, photo by David Simchock
6. A Healing Arts Area with experts who specialize in the nourishment of your body and soul. Visit a massage therapist or a psychic reader to let your worries go.

7. Gourmet international food vendors, with all food prepared fresh on site and over 20 culinary vendors, from vegetarian fare to spicy gumbo to Pisgah beer brewed right down the street. Yum!

8. Support the local arts community by attending LEAF. When they're not putting on festivals, the organization supports music and arts outreach efforts in schools, hosts workshops, and empowers youth globally through international programs in 8 countries including Guatemala, Rwanda, Mexico, India, and Haiti.

9. October brings leaf peeping season and the surrounding mountains are full of colorful splendor.

Spend a few extra days in the Asheville area at a Carolina Mornings mountain rental cabin. After all that dancing, imagine soaking your bones in a private hot tub and watching golden leaves gently drift from the trees above. Carolina Mornings has a wide selection of Blue Ridge vacation rentals to choose from, including the cabins at Scenic Wolf Resort that sit at 4,300 feet with 360-degree long-range views. Call a Vacation Planner today to reserve your fall fantasy vacation and experience luxury mountain living!

September 15, 2012

Ahh.. Enjoy the Sweet Life

Life is short and everyone needs to stop and "smell the roses" as they say. So if you're in need of a taste of the sweet life, then look no further than La Dolce Vita (The Sweet Life). At an elevation of 4,000 feet, La Dolce Vita at Scenic Wolf Resort invites you to take in the breathtaking panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains from the wrap-around decks. So let your worries go!

Start every morning of your vacation off right with a home-made latte, cappuccino, or espresso from the unique European-style sidewalk cafe on the lower level. The perfect jolt of caffeine will get the whole gang going for a long eventful day of outdoor adventures at the Resort and around the area.

After breakfast head next door to Wolf Ridge Ski Resort and get everyone's adrenaline pumping with zip-lining above the gorgeous treeline or snow tubing across the year-round snow covered ridge. Then take a cool swim in the glass-enclosed, heated pool showcasing more incredible mountain views. You can also take a quick trip down the road where a variety of other outdoor activities await like whitewater rafting, horseback riding, golf and even gem-mining!

Come home to La Dolce Vita after a thrilling day and stretch out in its spacious open floorplan where there's plenty of room for all. Everyone will love gathering around in front of the massive stone fireplace to reminisce the fun events of the day. Whether grilling a delicious feast or relaxing in the hot tub, all will want to spend plenty of quality time hanging out on the wrap-around decks with magnificent vistas ahead.

Before the day's end, more fun is still to be had in the large downstairs gameroom. Turn the music up and challenge family and friends to a game of pool or choice of board games. There's also a 42" LCD TV perfect for creating a cinema-like feel if the evening calls for a good movie.

The ultimate place for family gatherings, reunions and retreats, La Dolce Vita provides generous comfort and lots of highly-appointed amenities to make everyone happy and plan a return trip. Remember, life is short so enjoy the sweet life when you can!

Hurry and take advantage of our September Fall Season Special! Stay 2 nights and receive $50 in dining gift certificates to your choice of our fine Asheville restaurants. PLUS - You'll also receive a complimentary professional photo session at your cabin to commemorate your vacation! Call Carolina Mornings today and book your La Dolce Vita stay!

September 9, 2012

Art Aficionados and Collectors Flock to Asheville, NC for the Annual Art in the Park Downtown Market

Asheville's Art in the Park draws hundreds of people to the Blue Ridge Mountains each fall. The event, which takes place October 6th, 13th, and 20th, 2012, gives visitors the chance to meet local artists and craftspeople as they stroll though the central downtown market. Many different types of high quality arts and fine crafts are available, including painting, quilting, pottery, lamp working, blacksmithing, jewelry, woodworking, metalsmithing, and paper making.

Give your support to the local arts community
By shopping at Art in the Park, not only will you be gathering home decor and crossing names off of your holiday list, you'll also be supporting the Asheville arts community. Ten percent of all sales from the market are donated to a local, art-based nonprofit. A different organization benefits each Saturday, making a direct impact on artists' lives and career opportunities. A few of the nonprofit organizations that have participated include the Open Hearts Art Center, Handmade in America, and the Asheville Area Arts Council.

Asheville's nationally recognized thriving arts scene
For over a decade, AmericanStyle Magazine's annual readers' poll has consistently listed Asheville as a Top 25 Small City Arts Destination. This comes as no surprise to locals and fans of the Asheville art scene. The River Arts District is booming, there are dozens of art galleries in the downtown district, and hundreds of artists make their home in the inspirational mountains surrounding Asheville, where art festivals and studio tours occur regularly.

Just in time for fall foliage season
Every October, nature proves herself the finest artist in Asheville. Folks from all over the world visit the North Carolina mountains during leaf peeping season. Activities abound, such as a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway, a hike up nearby Pisgah Mountain, and a zip-line tour at Navitat. Savvy travelers also relish the opportunity to admire panoramic views from the deck of a luxury vacation cabin.

Carolina Mornings, the area's premiere provider of vacation rental homes, offers a wide variety of luxury mountain cabins that will enhance your leaf season experience. Plus, you'll receive a complimentary Mountain Discovery Pass, which includes free admission to Reems Creek Golf Club, French Broad Rafting Expeditions, and LaZoom City Bus Tours. Give our Vacation Planners a call today and make your reservations for the autumn experience of a lifetime!

September 7, 2012

Stay at the Top with Endless Blue Ridge Views

Sitting at an elevation of 4,700 ft, on the peak of Wolf Ridge,
Sky Box is one of the more secluded cabins here at Scenic Wolf Resort. Once you arrive, you will appreciate the privacy and fantastic views it offers. Bring your large family or group as everyone will be quite comfortable in the open, two-story floor plan.

These breathtaking, panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains are easily seen from its grand wall-of-windows and wrap-around decks both facing the west for gorgeous sunsets. Every evening, a fantastic display of color slipping behind the mountains will end your day.

Though tucked away, you and your guests still have the immediate convenience of onsite outdoor activities like swimming in the sky-high heated pool, zip-lining above the trees, and year-round snow tubing the ridge - all within walking distance. From the thrill-seekers to those who just want to kick-back, there's an activity for everyone here at Scenic Wolf Resort.
If you're looking for more outdoor action, many adventures await you just minutes away such as whitewater rafting, horseback riding, golfing and more!

After a fun-filled day, make a quick dinner or some snacks in the beautiful, modern kitchen then cozy up to a warm fire at the massive stone hearth. The open living and dining area of Sky Box is perfect for everyone to spread out and relax after a long, eventful day.

Still up for some fun? Then have everyone head downstairs to the large gameroom and start a challenging game of air hockey or poker! Mix up some refreshing cocktails at the wet bar to your favorite tunes while the games are going. When the competition is over, stretch out on the sectional couches and watch an epic flick or two on the large LCD TV. The good times keep on rolling when you stay here at Sky Box!

With its ready-to-roll attitude, this cabin is ideal for reunions, family gatherings, retreats, and other special events. If you're looking for the perfect combination of privacy, relaxation, fun, and adventure, Sky Box is the place you'll come back to again and again!

Call Carolina Mornings today toll-free (877) 902-9441 to reserve your unforgettable mountain vacation in the sky or book Sky Box online!

September 2, 2012

Questions That Will Get Your Mouth Watering and Your Kids Screaming to Go to the NC Mountain State Fair in Asheville this September

The North Carolina Mountain State Fair returns to the WNC Agricultural Center in Fletcher, just south of Asheville, this September 7-16, marking the beginning of fall festivities in the Blue Ridge. And with it comes the questions we all just can't wait to answer...

How much does the Blue Ribbon Giants of the Garden Pumpkin weigh? What kind of pie will win the best recipe award? Horticultural and agricultural competitions abound, discovering the best WNC has to offer, from poultry to pork to pecans. Crafters celebrate their handiwork too, with awards for hand weaving, holiday ornaments, needlepoint, macrame... you name it. There's even a Spam Cooking Contest.

Will the Leigh Glass Band play "Mr. Thunderjeans"? This year's music line-up also includes local favorites like the Buddy K Big Band, the Sharkadelics, the Caribbean Cowboys, voted "Favorite Local Band" in Mountain Xpress' Best of WNC, and songstress Nikki Talley. Plus, Old North State from Durango, CO, make a stop on their Southern Tour, and the ever-popular Original Nuthin' Fancy Band reunites on the big stage.

Will you be able to convince your kids to leave the midway rides so you can hear some bluegrass and Appalachian music? A Family Fun Pack might be the smartest way to go, giving you an excuse to set a family limit of four rides (the deal also includes five admission tickets and vendor discounts). Traditional mountain music is performed nightly on The Heritage Music Stage, including clogging, gospel, and plenty of pickin'.

How in the world does Josh Knotts get out of that straightjacket? Extreme illusions and escape shows are the specialty of Josh Knotts and Lea, with Las Vegas-style magic acts and daring escapes. You'll also want to see Comedy hypnotist Mike Bishop make people fall out of their chairs and forget where they are.

Will the two additions to this year's entertainment line-up satisfy your craving for extreme sports? 2012 brings the excitement of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Rodeo and The Haywood Community College Timber Sports Team to the NC Mountain Fair. Get a grip on your lumberjack skills! Top-notch entertainment shows are also provided by the Kenya Safari Acrobats and the Dixie Starlight Express cowgirls.

Which little squealer will win at the Hogway Speedway? Will your timing be right to catch a live birth at the Mooternity Ward? Witness the miracles of nature with racing swine and newborn calves. The kids love a chance to meet all of the barnyard animals like llamas, goats, ducks, ponies, and piglets.

How many funnel cakes and corn dogs can you eat in one day? Don't forget the nachos, chili cheese fries, kettle corn, hot sausage, bloomin' onions, and Philly cheesesteaks. And you simply must have a BBQ sandwich with slaw. Dessert? There's still caramel apples, deep fried Twinkies, peanut butter fudge, and chocolate-covered bacon. Wash it all down with some fresh-squeezed lemonade.

Why crowd your family into a hotel room when you can experience the spacious luxury of a mountain cabin rental? Give Carolina Mornings a call when you're planning your getaway. We've got vacation rental homes in a variety of locations around Asheville, with plenty to choose from. Find the perfect cabin for your family, bring the dog, and make your trip to the fair an unforgettable Blue Ridge vacation!