BBOnline Member SINCE 1998

At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn

254 Cumberland Avenue, Asheville, North Carolina 28801
Innkeeper(s): Patti & Gary Wiles

Great Music in Asheville January 2017 2 Jan 2017, 6:08 am

There is a science of music but it is the soul of music that seeks the heart with both hands and won’t let it go.  “Music and rhythm find their way into the secret places of the soul.” PlatoTwo bronze fiddler sculptures.

Those of us for whom music provides a soul experience are sure to find some really great music opportunities available in Asheville during January 2017.

On January 14, 2017 lovers of the “big band” era can take a trip down memory lane creating a  return to their heyday as the 2017 Big Band Weekend kicks off in Asheville showcasing  AndrewThielen’s” Big Band sound.  With your favorite dance partner in tow, your dancing shoes at the ready this venue will have you sashaying about the dance floor.  We are happy to help you enjoy this very special event located only 10 minutes from our inn.  Events available Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

If you are more a little bit more Paul McCartney than Bennie Goodman in style~ no worries. The theme song of the very special city of Asheville is “any way you like it.”  We have something for everyone. Enter the Orange Peel Social Aid and Pleasure Club as they present:  Abbey Road Live at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday January 14, 2017. Within walking distance of At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn. Tickets available online starting at $12.   Doors open at 3:30 p.m.

For those of us needing a bit of soul soothing as we enter 2017, Asheville again delivers. How about a peaceful musical float down the Rhine as Asheville Symphony’s director, Daniel Meyer, delivers an emotional musical journey marked by selections of Brahm, Haydn and Schumann. Within easy walking distance of our inn and guaranteed to be a magical evening.  Tickets:  Purchased online per Ticketmaster for Asheville’ U.S. Cellular Center $22-$62.

On this same day, Salvage Station on Riverside Drive presents: The Chuck Lictenberger Collection from 8-11:00 p.m. Whether you are in the grooz with jazz, instrumental or vocal….you’ll find it here for FREE. Cost containment can be a good thing when the Merry Christmas credit card bills start fa-la-la-ing to your mailbox.

Music brings inspiration, hope, joy and a balm to all that might be bugging you.  We’d love to host your Asheville visit as you recuperate from the holiday chaos and move into the business of living in 2017.

Four Fun Christmas Activities in Asheville 2016 17 Dec 2016, 6:01 am

Asheville has firmly established itself as a “go to” destination.  Some of the draws here would include but not be limited to: superb biking and hiking, craft breweries, a vibrant art scene, inspired cuisine, Biltmore House, most especially at this time of the year, the enchantment of Candlelight Christmas reigns supreme.  All those are are still here but for purposes of this blog, the concentration is Christmastime. If you find yourself in Asheville for a few days during the season you can’t go wrong with the following suggestions.

Large, Victorian Home done in green and cream paint. Winter snow on the ground.

Montford Historic Home

  1.  Candlelight Christmas:  Every year in November-early January,  Biltmore Estate opens the house to host visitors from all over the world for Candlelight Christmas.  In short, after the regular house tour closes at 5:00 p.m., the candles come on bringing the glowing magic of Candlelight Christmas to this stately home.  Musicality in every form you can imagine from cellists, to flutists, to seasonal choral components combine to ensure that the spirit of the holidays reside in your heart. It is unforgettable and sure to become a family tradition.
  2. Grove Arcade: Located in downtown Asheville,  this historic building, always a phenomenal haunt housing some really awesome local retail and dining opportunities, undergoes a transformation transporting this space into a serene winter wonderland.  Beautiful decorations, great shopping opportunities, sparkly lights, impromtu visits by our lauded Asheville choral group, tastings and Gingerbread House touring make this a great place to spend a holiday afternoon.
  3. Lake Julian:  Their 16th year of Festival of Lights going on through December 23 and a bargain at $5 a car (20% of this year’s fee goes to Special Olympics.   It’s a drive through experience and one of this innkeeper’s favorite Christmas memories. Lake Julian took this project on shortly after we purchased our inn and we’ve gone every year.  Christmas scenes of every kind from a deer feeding elf, to carolers.  No chaos, no screaming music and syncopated lighting~ just beautiful twinkly lights allowing your sincere appreciation of the season.
  4. I have always loved theatre.  It’s a gift I often offer myself during the holiday season.  Take in a play.  Support the arts.  Asheville Community Theatre:  Snowbound and Santaland Diaries.  Flat Rock Playhouse:  A Christmas Carol located in nearby Flat Rock, (30 mins away from our inn.)  My personal favorite from North Carolina Stage Company:  All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914.  Concealed within this play is the true meaning of the season. I hope you find as much value in it as I did.

Our inn, as is our custom, will be closed on the evenings of December 23, 24 and 25 allowing us and our employees time for family.  We look forward to hosting you this wintertime and hope you find the true meaning of the season in your heart.  Merry, Merry Christmas and the Best of 2017 are our holiday wishes for you all.

My Favorite Christmas Light Display In Asheville 1 Dec 2016, 10:23 am

We moved to Asheville, North Carolina in June of 1999 when At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn became our new career and this inn became our new home. Though we were very excited by our new life’s path, we’d also left friends of a lifetime, had no family in the area and felt a bit at loose ends.

Large, Victorian Home done in green and cream paint. Winter snow on the ground.

Montford Historic Home

Before we even had turned around it seemed, Christmas was approaching and as was our custom, one evening we decided to go see the Christmas lights available in our new community.  Asheville of 1999 presented a very different landscape from Asheville 2016. Save the lovely homes in our historic area, many of which were beautifully decorated, there were few options for enjoying the holiday lights customarily seen during Christmas.

During a shopping trip to our local grocery store I struck up a conversation with a lady in the check out line hoping she might prove a good resource for somewhere we might go to see Christmas lights.  She asked if I knew were Lake Julian was.  Actually, I did as they also put on quite a 4th of July display which we’d taken part in right after moving here.  She loved the Christmas lights there and suggested we go and see what we thought.

Lake Julian is a family facility for recreation, much of it located on the banks of the 300 acre Lake Julian in Arden. The quiet, peace and serene presence of water coupled with the over 50 light displays, so well done by this group was right up this girls alley.  No strobe lights, no screaming in your ears music coinciding to the frenetic flashing of lights.  If this is what you are looking for….drive on.  If however, you are looking for a quiet night, serene, lake front atmosphere, beautiful lights, family atmosphere, cost contained admission ($5 a car) and the “feel good” of knowing that 20% of the proceeds goes directly to Buncombe county for various charitable endeavors~ Please check this light display out.  It is my very favorite and I will be in line with a child’s glow in my eyes as together we celebrate their 16th year.

Asheville North Carolina Lights Up Christmas 21 Nov 2016, 11:16 am

Our guests arriving for holiday fun in Asheville in the aftermath of “leaf season” seem to have holiday lights right at the top of their holiday agenda. We arrived in Asheville in 1999 and at that time the only real recommendation to be made in response to that question would have been Biltmore House.  We’ve come a long way baby!two glasses of wine on a table in front of roaring fireplace.

Number 1:  New this year, in conjunction with another event I will cover in a bit, hosted by the NC Arboretum, is Winter Lights Downtown.  At Pack Square, located at the center of town in the city of Asheville,  8 beautifully lit trees will be displayed shining bright their message of holiday cheer. Really pretty and just a great Christmas present to guests and locals alike as they enjoy our downtown area.

Number 2:  Winter Lights NC Arboretum:  The NC Arboretum lights up the holiday season with one of my very favorite light displays in our entire area.  From now through January 1, 2017 they will have over half a million lights artistically displayed throughout their gardens guaranteed to deliver to all but the hardest of hearts the real meaning of the Christmas spirit.  I have provided in this blog a link to last year’s blog I did on this event.  Go to this event, it’s so awesome. This is an up close and personal encounter as the event is enjoyed in our cool, crisp mountain air walking about the arboretum.   Fire pits dotted throughout providing a perfect place to warm your hands while enjoying some hot cocoa or a smore before continuing on the trails. Cost is approximately $18/pp including all fees. Hours:  6-10 p.m.


Number 3:  Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland:  A cacophony of lights and music streak through the night with the gusto of Rudolph leading his reindeer pack.  Not for the faint of heart nor those with a sensitivity to photophobic elements.   Designed to drive your car through as the hundreds of thousands of lights wink and blink to the tunes of your favorite Christmas music.  All the way live, a sure kid favorite.  $25 a vehicle will provide access to both the drive-though element as well as admission to Santa’s village where pizza, smores, cocoa and other Santa treats can be purchased.


Number 4:  Biltmore Estate Candlelight Christmas:  Every year from early November till January’s first few days are spent, Biltmore Estate offers the child in all of us the opportunity to tour the house all decked out in Christmas finery and lit by candles. When the day is done and evening time arrives at this grand home, Candlelight Christmas makes its sparkling debut.   To add to the magic of the indoor splendor,  musicians playing (flutes, cello, dulcimers, harp and some of the finest voices the angels have ever heard) transport you to the very best of Christmas. In the Main Banquet  Hall, the primary Christmas tree (35′  of hand decorated,awesome wonder) keeps company with the 69 other trees lavishly decorated displayed throughout the house.  More poinsettias and garland than you have likely ever seen all in one place couple to make this experience one you will never forget.  Candlelight Christmas at Biltmore can be enjoyed as a solo event or packaged with more options for enjoying the house.  We are happy to arrange your tour as part of your stay with us.


Veterans Day Post from our Asheville Bed and Breakfast 11 Nov 2016, 1:05 pm

When I entered the United States Air Force in 1970 I was a girl of 18.  I was not frivolous nor,  I felt,  really in need of further discipline.  That isn’t the way the military saw it.  Our collection of females stood on the same parade field as our male counterparts as we were drilled  and marched into a well oiled machine capable of maintaining military bearing at all times even in the blistering heat of San Antonio, Tx.  I worked as an Administrative Specialist and many of the young men I met in San Antonio, Tx., Biloxi, Mississippi and Davis Mothan, in Tucson, Az. I knew only transiently as they became some of the 2.7 million troops that served in that war until it’s conclusion in 1973. While I was pushing paper, they were toting guns.Field of Red Poppies with green stems.

It had been slightly over 5 years from that day in March of 1965 when the first of what would later become 2.7 million troops hit the ground in Da Nang, Vietnam when I entered the service.   For myself and my fellow WAF’S, the war seemed very real.  Though the draft was in full swing, a full two thirds of the men that served in Vietnam volunteered for service.  One out of every ten of those men became a casualty statistic.  Further, due to the introduction of helicopters to modern warfare,  they saw more action than their contemporaries in WWII.  58,148 of them died there; 304,000 were wounded; a 300% increase from those serving in WWII.  Though there were more amputations and life threatening wounds, thanks to the same helicopters that increased their “action days” if they lived an hour after their encounter, they were likely to survive these wounds.

On this Veterans Day, I would like to offer a crisp and honored salute to all that have served our country at great peril to themselves; some never to see their homeland and families again.  May it come to be that war becomes our very last option~ undertaken only when all else fails  and our republic demands it to survive.  May God Bless the United States of America and keep her safe from all perils both foreign and domestic in whatever form they manifest.   May we passionately seek a way- as penned in that beautiful old gospel spiritual-  finally be free to sing   Ain’t Gonna Study War No More.


How I Became an Asheville Bed and Breakfast Innkeeper 3 3 Nov 2016, 10:47 am

Having chosen Asheville, N.C. as our new home we set about looking at bed and breakfasts in our area.  We made appointments with some of the inns we knew to be available.  One in Weaverville and a few in Asheville that our real estate contact had mentioned being for sale.  He was not with us as we made our sojourn through the city we would later call home.

I have always had a love of all things old.  I can hear my husband laughing when I say that.  Not really sure what is behind that for me. Suffice to say that my Mom, always a lover of home, hearth, furnishings and all the elements that go in to the art of homemaking gloried in that pursuit and had real interest in it.  She would carefully explain the wood a piece of furniture was comprised of and proceed to dissect each and every element of the piece down to its construction, ease of use, finish, period, style and the like.  Often in these discussions, my thoughts lent themselves to the more personal aspects of the piece in question.  Who had owned this piece of Charming foot bridge over a lush garden and pond with orange and yellow  For what purpose had they purchased it and for whom?  Was it a family piece?  What treasures had this dresser held for its owner and the like.  I transferred these same queries to homes I’ve explored over the years, ripe with curiosity about the lives, triumphs, disappointments, joys and challenges faced by all its occupants over the years.

On a lovely Autumn day in 1999 we found ourselves driving through the Montford Historic District of the city of Asheville. No one seems to have an answer for the chosen name of Montford but rarely will one find the rich, varied architectural history expressed here; Queen Anne, Victorian, Neoclassical and castle like structures abound.  Most of this lovely collection of homes were constructed between 1890-1920 by the middle class and many decades later quickly selected as prime retirement homes for lawyers, doctors and business men dedicated to the loving rehabilitation of their former glory.  All this in an effort to preserve the history of these grand old dames the likes of which will never be built again.

Back to the story folks, because heaven knows, you can’t make this stuff up. We are on Cumberland Avenue, clearly lost when we note this young man pulling his garbage cans down to the road.  As we cruise by, I roll down the window and say,
“Excuse me, we’ve been told there are a few bed and breakfasts in the area for sale.  You wouldn’t know which ones they are would you?”  He said, “Well, I can show you one right now.  Pull up the driveway and park in the back.  Walk up to the house and I’ll show you this one.”  Eight months later, we owned At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn and our bright new journey began.

How I Became an Asheville Bed and Breakfast Innkeeper 2 25 Oct 2016, 12:03 pm

In finishing the last segment of this blog, I left you with our skills inventory completed.  Based on our responses, it seemed that between both my skill set and Gary’s, we were ideally suited to an occupation dealing with people in a helping way.  We were also lovers of beautiful surroundings, the concept of home, cooking and Gary is a whiz at fixing nearly anything.  We began to narrow down our buArial city view with exploring Ashville button text.siness pursuits to small, casual dining or accommodations. Neither of us entertained the idea of a hotel.  Next stop on the journey…..Where?

Location, Location Location!  Business is a very different animal than working for others.  It would be entirely feasible to have developed the very best X in the world, perfectly run, beautifully orchestrated and ideally imagined.  However, if the business is service in nature~all this would be for naught if there are insufficient numbers of people to patronize the glories of what you’ve accomplished.

We wanted the location we selected to be both personally pleasing as well as economically awesome.
We both really enjoyed North Carolina.  The state offers the joys of all four seasons. All without the exaggerations of excessive snow that we thought might prove personally exhaustive as well as  a shot in the foot to a business that requires people being able to access the business location. Location has many facets, climate is only one of them.  The second, equally important, is what those in business call “the draw.”  An apt definition of that term would be “what does your location offer the people you are trying to attract to your business?”    We entertained several areas of North Carolina.  We looked at Cary, N.C., Winston Salem, N.C. & Wilmington, N.C. areas of the state at the same time we looked at Asheville, N.C.

I was a hard critic.  I had raised my child in Port Saint Lucie, Fl., worked as a nurse there for more than 20 years.  We had friends of a lifetime there.  It wasn’t that we’d really chosen the place but it held our history and hence our hearts, in the palm of it’s hand. It’s hard to select another location for an undertaking of this kind.  At least it was until the electric door of Asheville Regional Airport  opened ushering my exit to the expanive panorama of an awesomely beautiful mountain landscape in full fall color.  It is said that Asheville claims it’s own.  I believe that because on that very day while Gary was securing our luggage at baggage claim, the city of Asheville reached out, gently took my hand and welcomed me home.


How I Became an Asheville Bed and Breakfast Innkeeper 18 Oct 2016, 2:34 pm

Hold on to your seats folks….This may be a funny ride.  So many of my guests through the years have polled me on various aspects of inn keeping with questions ranging from, “How did you decide to do this?” to my all time favorite question of, “What do you all do after breakfast?”  In this, my 18th year of inn ownership, I’ve decided to reveal the answers to these and other burning questions as I launch my Innkeeper series.

Long ago and far away in the kingdom of Port Saint Victorian Inn circa 1902, green and cream lap boardLucie, Florida lived a hard working registered nurse and her husband, a long time worker at Florida Power and Light.  After many long years of living in this area, raising our daughter there, going to school and work and basically just living our life Florida Power transferred my husband (and hence our family) to another location.Though we really had no desire to move we felt little recourse but to take the transfer, which frankly many were not offered at all and relocate.

Sometimes, when faced with such a decision (agree to move or risk having no job at all) it’s such a shock that it can seem there really is no choice but to bend to the powers and agree to the move.  We did that moving to Key Largo.  Key Largo is a lovely place but our adjustment to leaving our community and friends of a lifetime was not an easy one.  Sometimes tumultuous events provide fertile soil to the roots of seminal moments that never would have seen the light of day under other circumstances.

It was just such an atmosphere that found us alone one evening, missing our old life and in the stage of final acceptance that the company was never moving us back home again.  This move was not temporary, it was permanent and we could either pursue acceptance of this curve ball or find another way to hit our own home run.

In general terms, I seek information I do not currently possess as a student.  My idea was that if we were going to invent an entirely different life, this should not be a hit and miss proposition but developed with care taking advantage of skills we already possessed but had not thought of as marketable.  We began taking skills inventory assays that really assisted us in feretting out every single thing we were good at.  These included both personality traits as well as actual skill sets.

All this planted the seed of inn keeping in our minds. All that was left was finding ways in which this could be profitably accomplished and and where!




Good Vibrations in Asheville for Locals and Visitors Alike 7 Oct 2016, 9:18 am

Sometimes you really don’t choose a place to live.  Happenstance brings you there.  You arrive where you are in pursuit of a dream job, familial matters requiring your attentions, school of choice is there and many other reasons.

Asheville, of all the places I’ve ever lived was a choice.  I’ve never been sorry and continue those thoughts some 18 years post the purchase of our Asheville Bed and Breakfast.  Many times though the years I’ve been asked why.  What sets this place apart?  Why does this place feel like it has claimed my heart and now, when I say the word “home”~Asheville defines the answer.Large stone pillar monument near street and sidewalks with historical buildings.

I have given the matter thought and this is what I’ve come up with.  I find these elements important both for a home and also for a place folks might choose to visit hence my inclusion of these thoughts in a blog post.

  1.  First and foremost, Asheville remains largely polite.  No place is perfect and so I cannot give blanket endorsement of same but our community is primarily a courteous one offering this gift to tourists and locals alike.
  2. Asheville is socially conscious and seems to promote those feelings in others.  We look to care for our own and it is part of the agenda…both personally among our residents and often, we actually belly up to the bar and put our money where our mouths are reflected in back packs when school starts, blanket and coat drives in the winter etc.
  3. We are mindful of the gifts of Asheville and seek to preserve them.  Much of what brings people to this city is natural resources.  This is true of the craft beer industry that thrives in this area making use of our exceptional water quality and also the blessing of supreme natural beauty found in Western North Carolina evidenced nearly everywhere you look.  There are many community efforts every year to clean streams of garbage and debris to maintain that standard.  Trails are adopted and maintained in our forests by both private citizens and groups dedicated to their betterment.
  4. Whatever sounds like fun to you; it’s likely we have it here.  From hiking and craft brews to music, symphony, opera, and art. It’s local and it’s thriving.
  5. The simple concept of ecumenical~as it pertains to cooperation and everyone’s well being being not existing as a completely independent operation~but a collaborative effort.

Words Matter 27 Sep 2016, 8:28 am

Being an innkeeper has provided an up close and personal view of human behavior.  Some observations have left me keenly aware of stoicism, courage, kindness, altruism, thoughtfulness and genuine concern for others.  The key word there is “others.”Large, green, Victorian 3-story home. Mature Tree to left of scene, small Pineapple fountain in Summertime.

My son-in-law Aaron, many years ago shared his feelings regarding people and their basic differences.  He broke it down to that his belief that in general there were two kinds.  Those that take and those that give. There’s something to be said for this theory.

Over the years, I have observed great kindnesses rendered from one guest to another. Also such above the call of duty concern for me and my husband that even remembrance of them brings a flood of feelings.   Some of our guests have risen well above any kind of expectation one could reasonably expect from people not really known to you.  They have demonstrated authentic attributes of grace and kindness we know to be present in our fellow humans but regretfully do not always see on display. Selfless displays of aid, love, concern for others even including conspiring with other guests in house to really bring a special celebration to fellow guest.

Every once in a long while we witness personalities that seemingly reflect the very worst that exists in this world.  When we allow ourselves a screwed belief system,  particularly in the name of God, parent to us all, that ethnicity, religion or some other inborn trait in a fellow human being is so reprehensible to us that we are right in our judgement.  In that “rightness” assuming the we have responsibility to act with heinous behavior, speak badly or disrespectfully to them, perpetrate ideas born in misunderstanding or unkindness~ we underscore our lack of understanding of God.

While it would always be our very highest calling as innkeepers to offer all our guests the gift of welcome and comfort; when a guest cannot offer that to their fellow guests, our responsibility as thinking, rationale human beings must be one of protection so that all can be valued and respected because behavior matters too. We must all own our own.