Reynolds Mansion Bed & Breakfast Inn - Asheville, NC

Discover the Southern Charm of Asheville, NC

By Your Friends at the Reynolds Mansion B&B, Asheville NC

It seems like half the folk you talk with recently are either moving to North Carolina or know someone who is. Perhaps that is because this state has one of the most comfortable climates of any in the entire nation. Situated just about half way between Manhattan state and Florida, North Carolina offers everything from gorgeous beaches to lush forests to picturesque majestic hills to mountains that will take your breath away. The many different settings in North Carolina make it the perfect destination for nearly everyone. Holiday-makers and permanent residents are flocking to the state in search of quiet mountain getaways and white wonderful beaches of the costal regions and outer banks. With the average summer temperature below ninety degrees, many consider North Carolina weather nearly perfect. One of the most well-liked destinations in North Carolina is the city of Asheville, home to our very own historic Reynolds Mansion B&B.

With its rolling landscape and southern charm, it’s no wonder George Vanderbilt decided on Asheville to build America’s largest non-public home. The Biltmore Estate is a huge dwelling with a floor space of more than 175,000 sq ft. And is still owned by the family and operated as a museum today. The Estate is still a working estate with a dairy farm and winery.  The fourth floor of this grand mansion was recently opened to offer its visitors a view of the maid’s quarters and a phenomenal view of the entire estate from the observatory.

Another popular destination is Cherokee and Maggie Valley, the 2 towns that service The Great Smoky Mountains State Park on the eastern side. These towns are the heart of Indian American culture in the Southeast.

While shopping in Cherokee you can experience the days of many years past and what it was like for our native peoples and early settlers of the South. When it comes to selecting this state for your house, something about North Carolina pulls the individual that wants to live in a log cabin. The log cabin building industry is booming in North Carolina as cabins are springing up everywhere in towns such as Maggie Valley, Asheville, Murphy and all along the border with Georgia and South Carolina.

Maggie Valley is one of the more popular places to rent a cabin and just sit back and enjoy God’s beautiful creation. It is the place to sit on the porch of your cabin with a cup of coffee, look off into the distant hills and forget about life for a season. North Carolina also has an opulent past, playing a vital part in the Civil War as well as being renowned for the 1st airplane flight at Kitty Hawk by the Wright siblings. Spend a while exploring the various Civil War battle fields and get a glimpse of struggle our country and our folks endured during a tricky time in our history.

Lots of other superb treasures are waiting to be experienced in the lovely state of North Carolina. Why not spend an extended vacation or a lifetime in this unique area of the United States?

Visiting soon?  Stay with us at the Reynolds Mansion B&B in Asheville, NC!

Asheville, NC: Gateway to the Appalachian Mountains

By the Reynolds Mansion B&B in Asheville, NC

Henry David Thoreau once related, “In wilderness is the preservation of the world.” There is not any larger example of this than the North Carolina Mountains. Western North Carolina (WNC) offers residents some of the most diverse climates, trees and wildlife in the world. It’s a place full of breathtaking, spellbinding, naturally occurring phenomenon including forests, mountaintop vistas, waterfalls and riverside. Over the years, people, local communities, state officers and the central government have worked to preserve the pretty landscape in Western North Carolina, along with the animals and plants that live there. This effort continues today and every year.

And, as new folks relocate to the area looking for a better standard of living, they discover an ancient mountain.

The Mountains in North Carolina Tell Their Story: Appalachian Mountain Facts

The Appalachian Mountains are a record of Earth’s history. According to the U.S. Geological Survey:  The Appalachians are old. A look at rocks exposed in the present day’s Appalachian Mountains exposes lengthened belts of folded and thrust faulted sea sedimentary rocks, volcanic rocks and slivers of ancient ocean floor.

Robust proof [shows] that these rocks were deformed during plate collision. The birth of the Appalachian ranges, some 480 million years back, marks the first of several mountain building plate collisions that ended in the construction of the supercontinent Pangea with the Appalachians close to the center.

The start of the Appalachian Mountains led on to many millions of years of Earth changes. Ultimately, approximately 60 million years back, the Appalachians we all know today began to take shape. The exact boundaries of the Appalachian Mountains are debatable, but most professionals agree the range extends over 1,500 North to South miles from Canada to Georgia. As a system of ridges split into several distinct ranges, the Appalachian Mountains span two nations and 15 states : Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. Perhaps the most famed attraction is the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail (AT) that runs from Springer Mountain in Northern Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine.

Access to the AT is easily found in Western North Carolina agricultural areas like Hot Springs, Max Patch, a well known bald, or on the Blue Ridge Parkway, just outside of Asheville, wherein you will also find the Reynolds Mansion B&B.

The Magic of the Blue Ridge Mountains

One of the most well known provinces in the Appalachian Mountains is the Blue Ridge. The Blue Ridge Mountains stretch through Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina and Georgia.

They are home to the highest peaks in Eastern Northern America, the highest being Mount Mitchell in Western North Carolina at 6,684 feet. The trees are what give the Blue Ridge its name. According to the Nation’s Park Service, hydrocarbons released into the atmosphere by the trees create their signature color. The Blue Ridge offers a range of natural attractions including 2 countrywide parks : the Shenandoah in the North and the Great Smokies in the South. The Blue Ridge Parkway, a 496-mile scenic road that connects the 2 parks, provides amazing mountain lookouts and access to hundreds of hiking trails. The Great Hazy Mountains : A Union of Forest Preservation and Land Conservation The Great Hazy Mountains cover the border between North Carolina and Tennessee. The Great Hazy Mountains Countrywide Park is one of the biggest forest preservation areas in the Eastern United States.

According to StateParks the park was once part of Cherokee homeland and now pulls over nine million visitors every year. There are over 800 miles of hiking trails that range all the way from straightforward to difficult including seventy miles of the Appalachian Trail. In the summer, weather in the park consists generally of abundant rainfall and high humidity, making healthy growing conditions. Overall, Western North Carolina climate and Asheville weather brings four balanced seasons.

Winters and summers are moderate compared with other regions. Native trees, plants and flowers bloom during 3 seasons, and in the winter, snow-peaked mountain views peek thru barren, forest trees. StatePark reports that, “some 100 species of local trees find homes in the Smokies, more than any other Northern US state park.” The site adds that “almost 95% of the park is forested, and about 25% of that area is old growth forest — one of the biggest blocks of deciduous, temperate, old-growth forest remaining in North America.” The Nation’s Park Service explains that no other area of equal size in a gentle climate can match the park’s superb variety of plants, animals, and invertebrates. Over 10,000 species have been documented. The mountains in North Carolina, surrounding Asheville, are a place where the mountains, rivers, trees and animals tell an ancient story.

Be still and listen and you’ll hear the voice of the land.

Come enjoy the splendor of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Appalachian Trail, and stay with us at the Reynolds Mansion B&B in Asheville, NC.

Things To Remember When Hiking With Kids

By the Reynolds Mansion, Your Asheville NC Bed and Breakfast

As a recreational pursuit, hiking has few equals. It is healthy, great exercise, allows you to commune with nature, and it’s free. And to top it all off, it could be a fantastic family outing. You can teach your kids at a very young age to appreciate nature and the importance of hiking as a lifetime activity. But before taking a hike with the kids, stop and consider a few factors that may help make sure that the outing is delightful for all parties involved.

Most importantly, you should always shield your youngsters. One of the risks which slips past many moms and pops is skin damage from the sun. Always lather your little ones up with an acceptable SPF sun screen to avoid a burn.  You might also consider buying kids wear that has built-in sun protection.

If you’re going to be carrying a kid on the hike, it is very important to find a light and snug baby carrier. There is nothing worse than being unhappy when you’re meant to be enjoying a hike.

Before leaving on your journey, check the small ones’ shoes to confirm that they fit well and are cozy.  Keep in mind that children grow very quickly so if you have not been on a hike in some time, they made have outgrown their walking shoes.

Be prepared to keep your kid engaged in the hike. Shop around the web for interactive hiking kits. These are guaranteed to keep youngsters excited while learning a good deal in a hiking trip. Ultimately, remember to bring lots of food and drinks. Hot, hungry children can be more than a little cranky and it’s always best to be prepared. If you adore hiking, think about making it a family activity.

Most families spend very little time together and a lot of time inside. Enjoy the outdoors and start hiking!

Hike the Blue Ridge Mountains, and book your stay in Asheville with us at the Reynolds Mansion.  We’re a top rated Asheville, NC Bed and Breakfast with great access to hiking in the Asheville area.

Joseph McLean Gregory returns to his ancestral home.

Reynolds Mansion guests were delighted this weekend by having Joseph Mclean Gregory, the grandson of Senator Robert Reynolds and Evelyn Washington McLean return to his ancestral home.  Mr. Gregory was a delight at breakfast,  and was very open to sharing with everyone the information on his rich family history.   It was a dream come true for all of us here at Reynolds Mansion.

Joseph took time to sign copies of his new book “The Hope Diamond” (Evalyn Walsh McLean and the Captivating Mystery of the World’s Most Alluring Jewel) for all the guests and also left us a supply of autographed copies that are for purchase here at Reynolds.

Joseph will be returning in the near future to have a scheduled book signing event here at Reynolds Mansion,  so we will keep you posted here on the blog of any scheduled upcoming events.   Copies of both of his book are also for sale on Amazon.com.

The pictures below are of Joseph Gregory with the guests and of him and Scarlett.

What to Do in Asheville, NC: 10 Things You Must Try When You Visit

By the Reynolds Mansion B&B in Asheville NC

Asheville has long been a popular stop for visitors to North Carolina.  Along with its breathtaking natural setting, Asheville is a center of arts and culture.  Located between the streets of downtown you will find the most elegant gourmet restaurants, a vibrant arts scene and eclectic shops not seen anywhere else in the state. One thing is certain, Asheville is sure to make an impression on you.  Here are the 10 things you must do in Asheville, NC when you visit next!

1. Biltmore Estate was built in 1895, is the most famous symbol of Asheville, and must be seen!

2. Blue Ridge Parkway winds south of the city and offers panoramic views of the Smoky Mountains.

3. Asheville is prized for its non-chain establishments downtown, as shown by the sign in each window that says Go Local. Support Asheville businesses and buy local products.

4. Take a tour. Visit the Chamber of Commerce.  Segway tours run daily.

5. Grove Park Inn Spa luxury at its best in the historic Grove Park. The spa is considered one of the best 10 in the U.S. The main building, with its stone facade resembles the early 1900 lodges.

6. Stay at a world-class bed and breakfast and be pampered.  At the top of the list is the Reynolds Mansion B&B in Asheville, NC, ranked #1 on TripAdvisor.com.

7. Gallery crawl.  Downtown is full of art galleries, and you can find many artist studios in the River Arts District.

8. Visit some great microbreweries: Highland Brewing, French Broad Brewery, Asheville Pizza and Brewing.

9. Eat! The wide variety of options can overwhelm you, but some sites are remarkable, including Zambra on Walnut St. (Spanish tapas).

10. Biltmore Village is a planned community over 100 years old filled with stores, restaurants and galleries.

For more ideas on what to do in Asheville, NC when you visit, see DowntownAsheville.com.

Looking for a place to stay on your visit?  Book with us at the Reynolds Mansion B&B in Asheville.

Blue Ridge Mountain Hiking On The Appalachian Trail

Your Gateway to the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Reynolds Mansion Bed and Breakfast Inn, Asheville NC

The passing of the Blue Ridge Parkway and The Appalachian Trail through the Blue Ridge Mountain Host Area provides 2 different types of access to this beautiful destination. The Parkway makes it easy for motorists to explore all that this area of the Blue Ridge Mountains has to offer . For the adventurist, there is The Appalachian Trail. The “A.T.,” as it is called by hikers, is much more than merely a path thru the woods. It’s a countrywide pretty trail, part of the same national park system that includes Yellowstone, Yosemite, and the Great Hazy Mountains. Its official name is the Appalachian State Breathtaking Trail. However unlike those famous parks, it is not a concentrated preserve, with campgrounds and paths within its bounds.

As the longest, skinniest part of America’s national park system, the A.T. Stretches over fourteen different states and passes through more than 60 Fed, state, and local parks and forests. Hundreds of roads cross it. In some pieces, the Trail “corridor” is only a few hundred feet wide. In the Blue Ridge Mountain Host area, The Appalachian Trail passes from one end of Madison County to the other with many access points, giving day hikers a great opportunity to walk short segments of the trail. As it winds itself thru Madison County it passes through the picturesque town of Hot Springs, home of Hot Springs Resort and Spa. Visitors can pick up the A.T. Here and hike north or south for as far as they would like – and then return to this relaxed hamlet to unwind under the stars with a calming mineral bath along the banks of the French Broad River.

A popular destination on the Appalachian Trail near Hot Springs is Max Patch Mountain, a 350-acre tract of open land on a high knob with 360-degree perspectives. On a clear day visitors can see to Mt. Mitchell on the east, and to the Great Hazy Mountains on the south. A perfect place for a picnic, flying a kite, star gazing and enjoying wildflowers.

In addition to hiking the Appalachian Trail, the Hot Springs area offers other outside activities like whitewater rafting. In and around Hot Springs are “put-ins” and “take-outs” for the French Broad River. Outfitters like French Broad Rafting Expeditions, Huck Finn Rafting Journeys, Nantahala Outdoor Center and USA Raft offer guided brook trips and outfitter buying the out of doors experience. After a day of adventure, visitors can turn in at one of many camping sites, cabins, cottages, or bed and breakfast inns the area has to offer.

Book your stay at the Reynolds Mansion, a top visitor-ranked bed and breakfast in Asheville, NC.

Hiking Asheville NC: Advantages of a Waist Pack

By Your Friends at the Reynolds Mansion Bed and Breakfast in Asheville, NC

Hiking Asheville, NC is an activity that virtually anyone can do and enjoy. Of course there are several levels of the activity but overall, it’s really a satisfying experience when done correctly. If you are going hiking for the 1st time, you will notice other hikers and what they are using and carrying to make their hikes more pleasurable.

The options are many when hiking the Blue Ridge Mountains. Should you wear a hat? Should you use hiking poles? And one particularly crucial consideration is what type of pack should you carry. When piled high with weight, a back pack that’s supported on the shoulders can cause you to feel just like leaning forward even if you don’t realize it. It is a delicate effect, like carrying a purse on your left shoulder all your life and then one day realizing that you are leaning to the right to support it. And that happens irrespective of how much weight.

So try and imagine how a backpack with heavy weight in it can have an effect on your balance. Hiking trails aren’t the same as a paved walking path. They can be rough, rocky, steep, or sandy and greasy. So of course, proper footwear is important, but so is your pack. A waist backpack, or lumbar pack as it’s often called, puts the weight precisely on your hips, uniformly balanced by the huge muscles of the legs where weight is supposed to be supported. You will not find yourself leaning forward or backward but rather walking along as though there is no pull in any direction aside from the pull of gravity your usually feel when walking. Waist backpacks offer the most stable and balanced solution for carrying weight, including water, which you’ll need lots of. A waist pack which has two water bottles, one on each side is ideal for balance.

And access to the water is simple and convenient, so you are not running the risk of shoulder strain by taking a shoulder strap back-pack on and off. Often when you are hiking long distances or hiking in bad weather, you will need to carry a pack that’s larger than a waist style pack. A good choice for this sort of pack will be one with a waist or lumbar belt to support at least some of the weight on your hips. So how do you select a great waist backpack for your walks? First consider size. How long will you hike? Buy one that is adequate in volume, but no need to get one that’s too big if you’re only hiking brief distances.

Buy one of very high quality materials and if possible get one made in the USA because it’s going to be made well and last an entire lifetime. Stay balanced using a waist backpack and you will enjoy hiking for years!

Planning on Hiking Asheville, NC on your next vacation?  Visit us at the Reynolds Mansion Bed and Breakfast, your gateway to the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Book today!

What to See in the Blue Ridge Mountains and Asheville NC

By Top Rated Asheville NC Bed and Breakfast, the Reynolds Mansion

The Blue Ridge Mountains, a strand of the Appalachian Mountains, contain the highest mountain elevations in the eastern United States and occasionally called the “Rocky Mountains of the East.” Through big changes, each generation has cherished their Blue Ridge Mountain culture and kept their mountain practices alive thru their music, story telling, folks art, and way of life. On your travels through the Blue Ridge Mountains, one area to think about visiting is Ashe County. Located in the heart of the Blue Ridge and the most northwestern county of North Carolina, a paradise for nature lovers, Ashe contains tons of acres of preserved state and Fed parks. Here you’ll find one of the planet’s oldest streams, the New Stream, great for canoeing, the famous Blue Ridge Parkway, many hiking trails, local trout streams, and scenic perspectives of the Blue Ridge Mountains, backcountry roads to explore, barn art across the county, tiny family farms and some of the friendliest folk in the world. Within Ashe County, there are 3 tiny towns.

West Jefferson, a flourishing tiny mountain town, being the biggest and most active of Ashe County’s 3, is a favorite High Country destination. The city lies in a valley, with the mountains surrounding the city. Mount Jefferson State Park, with 539 acres of natural area and elevations up to five thousand feet rise way up above the city. Magnificent from a distance, the mountain it is best appreciated from the top offering amazing long-range perspectives into Virginia and Tennessee. There you will find hiking trails, picnic areas and bird watching venues. The charm and personality of downtown West Jefferson include an arts district, with art galleries and outside murals, unique shops, a town park and wonderful eateries. During summer weekends, you’ll find mountain music in the park, street dancing, gallery crawls, festivals and folk gathering to look at cheese made at the Ashe County Cheese Factory, partaking a pitcher of New River Winery’s famous blueberry wine, or shopping at the back street farmers market.

There is something for everybody in central West Jefferson. Take a short drive to the community of Glendale Springs, to the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church where world-renowned Ben Long, painted his first frescoes. At Glendale Springs, an exit from the Blue Ridge Parkway, you’ll find the famous Glendale Springs Hotel, Silver Designs, The Northwest Trading Post, Blue Ridge Bakery and Cafeacute, and The Paul and Florence Thomas Memorial Art College.

During your travels through the Blue Ridge Mountains, you will find many engaging things to do and see in the North Carolina High Country. A few of these attractions include a trip to Grandfather Mountain, the Biltmore House in Asheville, the Mast General Store, Tweetsie Railroad, Emerald Village, and Lineville Caves. These attractions along with the elegance of the Blue Ridge make the North Carolina High Country a good spot to visit or to spend a whole life.

Be sure to visit us at the Reynolds Mansion, top ranked Asheville NC Bed and Breakfast on Trip Advisor.