We are trying to take one trip every four to six weeks while we wait for our new coach to be built, and also to take a break from getting our house ready for the market next Spring. Since it gets so hot in Georgia during the summer, we decided to go a little north and to the mountains. We are staying for a week in Asheville, NC. We passed through here on our return from the RV Dreams rally in April but never stopped. Liz was here briefly once with our daughter in law while traveling, but never saw any sights. Everyone told us it was beautiful and they were right!
We are staying at a place called, Mama Gertie’s Hideaway which is spectacular. The campground is up to date, meticulously maintained, and literally cut out of the side of
a mountain. The Wifi is one of the best, if not the best, that we have ever experienced. We have a premium site at the top overlooking the Blue Ridge mountains that is great. It is a little pricey at $55 for a night or $330 for a week, but we think its well worth it. They also have some super premium sites that have a small deck and porch swing so you can leisurely enjoy the mountain view. They do have some less expensive sites at the bottom of the mountain that are nice, but have no view. However, be prepared for a steep climb up to the sites at the top. I wasn’t sure my F-150 5.4 Liter truck was going to make the grade. I never heard it pull as hard as it did going up. The host said that the last portion of the ride was about a 10% grade. If any of you decide to camp near Asheville, I highly recommend this place.
Asheville, itself is a great little town with fabulous food and shopping, but our main reason for this trip was to visit the Biltmore Estates – home of the Vanderbilts. I had heard a lot about the estate, but no description can really match actually seeing its grandeur. The 250 room mansion was built in 1895 by George Vanderbilt on 8000 acres in the mountains. The house is surrounded by magnificent gardens with a conservatory, a winery, and a farm. It really takes two days to see it all and experience all its beauty. We spent the first day touring the house and the second day visiting the gardens, conservatory, and winery. Admission is $55 plus $10 for the second day, but special pricing is available for advance booking. Additional “special” tours are available once on site, at a price. Overall, we thought it was worth the money, but bring plenty of cash if you want to add on any extras. We also enjoyed going to Antler Village and the winery. We didn’t take the winery tour, but did do the wine tasting and ended up buying six bottles of wine. It is surprisingly good stuff.
The bottom line for the Biltmore, is that it is a great experience that we thought well worth the time and money. The curators ensure that the visit is well organized, the staff is professional, friendly and helpful. It actually reminds me of a Disney operation.
We still have a few days here in the Asheville area so today (6/11/15) we are headed West on I 40 to Cherokee, NC where Harrah’s has a casino. Maybe we will recoup some of our Biltmore Estate expenses. LOL.