BBOnline Member SINCE 2003

Wildberry Lodge

135 Potato Branch Road, Leicester, North Carolina 28748
Innkeeper(s): Glenda and Ken Cahill

11 Fall Festivals in Western NC 29 Aug 2022, 6:57 am

Autumn doesn’t only mean eye-popping colorful fall foliage, but it’s also the re-emergence of all things pumpkin, apple, and cinnamon — and the return of our favorite fall festivals. Which is your favorite? Fine art, crafts, corn mazes, bluegrass, apples; we have them all! To plan your amazing fall getaway, here are 11 fall festivals in Western NC!

Don’t for a minute think that festivals are all we have to do here in Western North Carolina, there are many other fall activities as well as fall foliage drives and hikes! For now, let’s focus on these great fall festivals.

Bushel of apples on the ground in an apple orchard

North Carolina Apple Festival
Labor Day Weekend, September 2 – 5
Friday – Saturday, 10am – 8pm, live music continues later
Sunday 10am until parade at 2pm
Main St, Hendersonville NC

Enjoy four days celebrating the apple crops of Western NC! There are more than 200 vendors, including many apple producers. There will be plenty of food vendors, music, and fun for this annual event. And since it is in the largest apple-producing county in NC, plan a day at a local farm, as well!

Maggie Valley Arts and Crafts Show

September 3 & 4 9am – 4pm daily
October 22 & 23 9am – 4pm daily
Maggie Valley Festival Grounds, 3374 Soco Rd, Maggie Valley NC

Don’t miss Maggie Valley’s largest gathering of artisans and crafters; with opportunities to visit in both September and October! There will be chain saw art demonstrations, along with all types of seasonal arts, yard art, furniture, hand-made soaps — just about any kind of craft or art. The usual yummy festival food will be available, too!

Art on Main Fine Art and Craft Fair

September 24 & 25, 10am – 5pm
401 N Main St, Hendersonville NC

This year will mark the 61st anniversary of the fall Art on Main Fine Art and Craft Fair in Hendersonville NC. Known for its juried fine art selection; there will be more than 100 artists with their paintings and works in clay, metal, fiber, and jewelry.

An aerial view of part of a corn maze

Eliada Festival and Corn Maze

September 30 – October 30
Fridays 3pm – 7pm
Saturdays 9am – 7pm
Sundays 10am – 6pm
2 Compton Dr, Asheville NC

This is one of our favorite festivals because all of the proceeds go towards the programs for children at Eliada. Last year much of the huge corn maze was destroyed by a tropical storm, but it is back bigger than ever with even more fun — inflatables, corn cannons, and hayrides!

CiderFest NC 2022

October 8, 1pm – 4pm
Olivette Community and Farm, 1069 Olivette Rd, Asheville NC

Come for an afternoon and taste cider and mead from over 20 vendors. Experience perfectly paired bites from local cheese mongers, bakers, and candy makers. Wander around the crafts vendors. For those with larger appetites, there will be food trucks on site.

Apple Harvest Festival

October 15, 10am – 5pm
Downtown Waynesville NC

Spend a day in Waynesville, and enjoy all things apple! There will be a juried arts and crafts show, live music, and plenty of fun food to fill the day.

Autumn Leaves Craft Show

October 15 & 16, 9am – 4pm
758 Crabtree Rd, Waynesville NC

The Blue Ridge Artists and Crafters Association features about 50 of their members and their works of art in the Smoky Mountain Event Center. Come and support local artists and their hand-crafted creations.

Lake Lure Arts and Crafts Festival

October 15, 10am – 5pm
October 16,  10am – 4pm
119 Arcade St, Lake Lure NC

This amazing festival occurs both in the spring and fall, with 100 vendors for arts, crafts, and all the great food you would expect at an outdoor festival. The venue is perfect, with a view of the lake (and the fall colors), and expect some live music.

LEAF Solid Gold 50th Anniversary

October 20 – 23
Thursday, 4:30pm – 10pm
Friday, 10am – 10pm
Saturday, 9am – 8pm
Sunday, 9am – 3pm
377 Black Mountain Rd, Black Mountain NC

LEAF is an original festival tradition designed to bring together music, art, culture, and creativity from around the globe. There are multiple stages and activities with Lake Eden as a backdrop. Advance tickets are a must, as sizes are limited for performances.

A potter creating a ceramics piece on a potter’s wheel

NC Ceramic Arts Festival

October 22, 10am – 5pm
North Pack Square Park, Asheville NC

Come and see the works of more than three dozen ceramic artists. Some will be giving demonstrations. There will be tile work, jewelry, sculpture, as well as pottery. And, of course, there will be live music and food trucks.

Smoky Mountain Bluegrass Festival

October 29, 11am – 6pm
Maggie Valley Festival Grounds, Maggie Valley NC

An annual fundraiser for the Haywood County’s Arts Council Programs, come and enjoy award-winning bluegrass bands, along with music-themed vendors, food trucks, and playgrounds. This year’s bands include Sister Sadie and the Amanda Cook Band.

These 11 fall festivals in Western NC certainly pique your pumpkin spice cravings! Get out your calendars, and pick the festival (or festivals) that match your flannel and corduroy outfits. Book your stay early, as our fall foliage is spectacular! Plan a drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway with your camera, and a spirit of fun and adventure.

 

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Best Summer Festivals in Western NC 23 May 2022, 8:30 am

With the amount of sunlight lengthening day by day, our thoughts turn to summertime fun. This year, so many of our favorite festivals and fairs are back, and we don’t want to miss a single one! Here is a list of the best summer festivals in Western NC, so you don’t have to miss one either. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask us when you are calling to make the reservation for your summer getaway. Don’t wait too long; summer is busy for all of us!

Annual Festival of Peonies in Bloom

Dates: May 2 – 31
Location: Wildcat Ridge Farm, 3553 Panther Ridge Rd, Clyde

Is there anything more luxurious than the sight of a large peony plant laden with fragrant and colorful petals? For the month of May, Wildcat Ridge Farm celebrates the Annual Festival of Peonies in Bloom. You can purchase plants, cut blooms, and see dozens of different varieties. Did you know that peonies represent wealth and honor, and are regarded as omens of good fortune and a happy marriage. Also, peony plants can live and continue to flower for 100 years!

Farmer’s Markets

We love fresh produce! What better place to get them than a farmer’s market (we sometimes call them tailgate markets). Here are the ones that are closest to us:

Leicester Farmer’s Market
Wednesdays 3:30 pm – 6:30 pm
2979 New Leicester Hwy (Leicester Community Center), Leicester

Weaverville Tailgate Market
Wednesdays 2:30 pm – 6:00 pm
76 Monticello Rd (Reems Creek Nursery), Weaverville

North Asheville Tailgate Market at UNC Asheville Campus
Saturday 8 am-Noon (Commuter Parking Lot P28)
1 University Heights, Asheville

Haywood Historic Farmers Market
Saturday 9 am-Noon
Hart Theater Parking Lot, 250 Pigeon Rd, Waynesville

Art After Dark

Dates: First Fridays of the month (Jun-Dec), 6 pm – 9 pm
Location: Downtown Waynesville

Come to downtown Waynesville for Art after Dark in the historic Frog Level district. Stroll through galleries, and see demonstrations, music, and enjoy refreshments.

Cold Mountain Music Festival

Dates: Saturday, June 4, Noon-Late
Location: Lake Logan, 25 Wormy Chestnut Ln, Canton

Get your tickets now for the Cold Mountain Music Festival at Lake Logan. With five great musical acts, food vendors, crafts, and a gorgeous venue, it is sure to be an amazing day!

WNC Jeepfest

Dates: June 9 – 13, Th 6 pm kickoff, Fri & Sat gates open at 9 am, Sun 10 am
Location: Maggie Valley Festival Grounds, 3374 Soco Rd, Maggie Valley

Come and check out some of the amazing trails that are special to the area at the WNC Jeepfest. There will be both automotive and food vendors.

WNC Quick Draw

Dates: June 11, 4:30 pm – 8 pm
Location: Laurel Ridge Country Club, Waynesville

Come and help raise money for art education at the WNC Quick Draw. Local artists race the clock to begin and complete a work of art in an hour while you watch. Types of art include pottery, woodwork, metal sculpture, fiber arts, acrylics, fused glass, jewelry, and basketry. Meet the artists, enjoy great food, then bid on the art!

Maggie Valley SwapMeet

Dates: June 16 – 18, July 15 – 16
Location: Maggie Valley Festival Grounds, 3374 Soco Rd, Maggie Valley

The Maggie Valley Swap Meet and Car Show features street rods, classics, rat rods, muscle cars, customs, pickups, antiques, and much more. In June the emphasis is Camaros and Firebirds.

Annual Blue Ridge Heritage Weekend

Dates: June 18 & 19, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Location: Shelton House, 49 Shelton St, Waynesville

This two-day Annual Blue Ridge Heritage Weekend will feature many crafters, artists, food, drink, demonstrations, and local bands highlighting Appalachian music.

Thunder in the Smokies Motorcycle Rally

Dates: June 24 – 26, Fri 11 am – 11 pm, Sat 9 am – 11 pm, Sun 9 am – 3 pm
Location: Maggie Valley Festival Grounds, 3374 Soco Rd, Maggie Valley

Join the 19th annual Thunder in the Smokies Motorcycle Rally for the oldest and largest rally in the Smokies. Fun rides, including a trip to the Wheels Through Time Museum with a collection of 350 rare motorcycle machines.

Lake Junaluska Independence Day Celebration

Dates: July 1 – 4
Location: Lake Junalaska

Have a family-friendly Independence Day Celebration on Lake Junaluska! What does that mean? There are fireworks over the lake, of course, and Floating Wish Lanterns, a Big Band Concert, and a decorated canoe/kayak flotilla contest. Don’t miss the parade, food trucks, and reading of the Declaration of Independence!

Hillbilly Jam

Dates: July 22 – 23, 10 am – 10 pm
Location: Maggie Valley Festival Grounds, 3374 Soco Rd, Maggie Valley

Come to the Hillbilly Jam for music, moonshine, cars, and bikes all paying homage to mountain living.

Friday Night Summer Street Dances

Dates: June 24, Jully 8 & 22, August 5, 5 pm – 9 pm
Location: Downtown Waynesville

Put your clogging and square dancing shoes on and get ready for some fun at the Friday Night Summer Street Dances in downtown Waynesville, NC.

See what we mean? Are you ready for some summer fun? Plan now for the best summer festivals in Western NC! You will clearly need to plan an extended stay or multiple visits to enjoy more of them! Call us now and reserve your room at Wildberry Lodge!

 

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Your Guide to Asheville NC Top Restaurants 21 Feb 2022, 8:59 am

Asheville is an absolute foodie’s paradise! Whatever type of food you are craving, we’re sure to deliver. Here’s your guide to Asheville, NC top restaurants. The list of possibilities is almost endless. However, we’ve gathered the top romantic, casual, and trendy restaurants to help you get started working your way through a culinary tour of Asheville.

Before we get into our guide, we want to share a little about an excellent non-profit organization we support — AIR.

Asheville’s Independent Restaurant Association (AIR)

AIR began with the collaboration of three local restaurant owners. They believed that by working together they could create a partnership and work with local farmers to produce high-quality and healthy foods for the Asheville community. With over 100 members, it’s the largest non-profit organization in the U.S. of its kind.

On your next stay at the Wildberry Lodge, be sure to ask about the AIR Passport. On a first-come, first-served basis, we’re providing the “tastiest ticket in town” — a buy one, get one deal from one of our independently owned and operated restaurants. It’s a sure thing for tasting some of the best food and experiencing the best service in town.

5 Top Romantic Restaurants in Asheville

Sunset Terrace at The Omni Grove Park Inn
290 Macon Ave, Asheville, NC 28804
(800) 438-5800
The Sunset Terrace provides the finest cuts of steaks and chops as well as an amazing selection of seafood options. Their chefs use locally grown foods to create delicious meals. With a backdrop of gorgeous mountain sunsets, this is definitely a place for a memorable romantic evening.

Zambra
85 W. Walnut St, Asheville, NC 28801
(828) 232-1060
If you’re headed to Zambra, ask for a private table toward the back. This is the place to enjoy tapas and wine. Their contemporary twist on delicious western Mediterranean appetizers is also made with locally-grown foods.

Cucina24
24 Wall St, Asheville, NC 28801
(828) 254-6170
For classic Italian cuisine, Cucina24 is the place to go. Another farm-to-table restaurant, Chef Brian Campelli creates dishes that make your mouth water. Reservations are recommended.

Bouchon
62 North Lexington Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
(828) 350-1140
L’eau fait pleurer, le vin fait chanter (water makes one cry, wine makes one sing). Asheville is often called the “Paris of the South.” At the Bouchon, you’ll appreciate the orthotic foods of a French bistro.

Biltmore
One Lodge St, Asheville, NC 28803
(877) 245-8667
One of the most romantic places in Asheville is the Biltmore Estate. To experience the Dining Room in the Biltmore is to experience elegance at its best — crisp white linens, fine bone china, and sparkling crystal while looking out over the expanse of the estate. Romance is overflowing!

 

5 Top Casual Restaurants in Asheville

The Lobster Trap
35 Patton Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
(828) 350-0505
If it’s seafood you’re craving, the Lobster Trap is a perfect choice. From Maine lobster to clams and seafood bisques, the selection is enormous — and delicious.

Holeman & Finch Public House
77 Biltmore Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
(828) 417-3053
The Holeman Finch Public House is a great neighborhood gathering place. You’ll have great food, excellent service, and a casual atmosphere to enjoy it all. They also have a Date Night Special every Sunday!

Tupelo Honey
12 College St, Asheville, NC 28801
(828) 255-4863
Tupelo Honey serves great traditional southern cuisine. It’s food from the heart of the Carolina mountains. This neighborhood gem serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Limones Restaurant
5 Eagle St, Asheville, NC 28801
(828) 252-2327
Chef Hugo Ramirez puts a French-influenced Californian twist on his savory Mexican heritage cuisine. Knowing that he still calls his mother for family secrets to create his enticing meals, you know you’re not going to be disappointed.

HomeGrown
371 Merrimon Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
(828) 232-4340
HomeGrown is a restaurant dedicated to the community. Truly a farm-to-table eatery, their menu changes according to what is currently available from local farmers. Open Thursday – Monday, this is a great choice for excellent down-home cooking.

 

5 Top Trendy Restaurants in Asheville

All Sevens Brewery
777 Haywood Rd, Asheville, NC 28806
(828) 225-9782
Served straight from the tanks, at All Sevens Brewery, you’ll drink the freshest beer in town. Their late-night menu is served from 11 pm to 1 am and provides just the right combos with their great selection of drinks.

Funkatorium
147 Coxe Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
(828) 552-3203
Home to the first sour beer dedicated taproom on the East Coast, Funkatorium serves over a dozen varieties on draught. It’s also the home of the Cultura Community Dinner Series.

Chestnut
48 Biltmore Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
(828) 575-2667
Right in the heart of downtown and close to favorite venues, the Chestnut serves traditionally prepared cuisine with just a touch of the extraordinary. Foods from local farmers are used to create amazing flavors.

Melting Pot Social
74 Patton Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
(828) 377-6358
For casual dining with friends, the Melting Pot Social offers delicious fondues, soups, salads, whimsical cocktails, and more.

Posana
1 Biltmore Ave Asheville, NC 28801
(828) 505-3969
Located on Historic Pack Square, the Posana serves contemporary American fare. Executive Chef Peter Pollary and his wife and co-owner Martha love to travel. They especially love to experience the food on their travels. From a startup cafe to a full-service restaurant, this would make an excellent choice.

 

We would love to host your stay here at Wildberry Lodge so you can take full advantage of your guide to Asheville, NC top restaurants. You may need to book a longer stay to take it all in. In between meals, you can stretch your legs and work off some of the calories on one of our hiking trails located right on our property. Then, as the evenings draw to a close, relax in the privacy and comfort of our guestrooms. Check availability now.

 

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Romantic Winter Getaways in Western NC 16 Dec 2021, 2:00 am

Are you ready for a romantic winter getaway in Western NC? There are some amazing benefits and a huge variety of things to do that you can include in your planning. Don’t let the winter blues drag you down. Yes, summer is great with the warm sunshine and cerulean blue skies. But we hope you dance this winter.

“They who sing through summer must dance in the winter.”
— Italian Proverb

So, embrace the romance and dance as you plan your next winter getaway!

Benefits of a Romantic Winter Getaway

Sometimes we need a little convincing to steal away for a few days with the one we love. There are so many benefits to whisking away during the cold wintery months. We’d like to share just a few of them to help nudge you into planning one.

The excitement alone of knowing you’ll be unplugging for a few days with just the two of you begins that luxurious, relaxing effect. The stress of everyday life and its responsibilities can be lifted with just a few days away from it all. You can feel the tension in your muscles and your mind released so that you return refreshed and ready to tackle whatever comes your way. It’s true—your productivity actually increases when you take periodic breaks from your regular routine.

Another huge benefit of a romantic winter getaway is the effect it has on your relationship with the one you love. You can focus on each other without the interruptions of daily life. It’s a time to fall in love all over again—listening, sharing, and embracing intimacy. These gentle, restoring moments breathe life back into your romance.

Things To Do on a Romantic Winter Getaway

There are so many things to do in the winter near Asheville. If you are adventurous and love the outdoors, there is skiing, hiking, and ice skating to name a few. Perhaps you would rather stay warm and cozy. Visiting the Biltmore, a museum, go shopping or spend a relaxing day at the salt cave. Regardless of your preference, the list is almost endless.

For an Outdoor Adventure—
Spend some time at the Adventure Center of Asheville. Experience the thrill of a zipline, a view from the treetops, or the rugged trails on a mountain bike. Any one of these is bound to get your adrenaline flowing. Another favorite outdoor activity is hitting the slopes at Cataloochee Ski Area. Whether snowboarding or skiing, skilled pro or fresh newbie, this is a great outdoor option. They have equipment rentals and ski instructors ready to help you have the best experience.

For an Indoor Cozy Time—
Feed your inner artist with a visit to the Asheville Art Museum. Discovery the rich artist history of North Carolina. The creativity and skill displayed is amazing! Visit the Biltmore. There are so many things to do in just that one estate that your entire stay could focus around it. The Biltmore is truly a magical place that will stir up romantic moments. Or you may prefer a stroll through the Biltmore Village Shopping District. From the cobblestone streets to the quaint boutique shops, it’s shopping as it was meant to be. If complete relaxation is what you’re after, a day at the Asheville Salt Cave may be just the ticket. This beautiful cave has been created with crystals from around the globe—the Himalayas, the Dead Sea, the Polish salt mines, to the Celtic Sea.

Stay at Wildberry Lodge for a Romantic Winter Getaway

Sometimes a romantic winter getaway is simply that—getting away to a quiet, luxurious inn. The Wildberry Lodge provides a warm welcome with luxurious accommodations. Nature itself provides the most gorgeous views from our main deck or a private balcony. In‑room massages help soothe away the stress from your normal routine. Cozy fireplaces and comfy chairs create a perfect setting to enjoy a book or snuggle together under a warm blanket. Jetted tubs and large showers will help rejuvenate and invigorate. We would love to host your next romantic winter getaway in western NC.

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7 Best Indoor Activities near Asheville NC 11 Dec 2021, 7:04 am

Although many people enjoy outdoor adventures in the winter, there are also many who would prefer to stay cozy and warm. It’s for this group that we’ve created a list of the 7 best indoor activities near Asheville, NC.

As we grow older, it’s easy to get lost in the world of responsibilities and careers. However, we agree with George Bernard Shaw when he stated that “we don’t stop playing because we are old…we grow old because we stop playing.” Here are some ways you can plan a winter getaway and play a little while engaging in some indoor activities.

Play Games and Solve Puzzles

The Asheville Retrocade is the place to go if you like video games, pinball machines, billiards, and more. With over 5,000 varieties and a $10 fee for unlimited, all-day play, it is definitely a gamer’s dream. Craft beer, wine, or Coke products will keep you hydrated as you play your stress away.

If you love solving puzzles, then A-Escape Room would be a great choice. They’ll lock you in a room with various elements you’ll use to solve a series of puzzles and escape the room. We promise, they won’t throw away the key but you will need to escape within a one-hour time limit. This is certain to draw out your inner Sherlock Holmes!

Shop ’til You Drop

Seriously! The shopping in Asheville is a shopaholic’s dream. Although we do have the standard malls, we also have antique shops, bookstores, specialty shops, outfitters for the adventurous, farmer’s market, and more. Asheville’s shopping scene has something for everyone. It’s a great option if you’re planning a girlfriend’s getaway? No matter the personality or style, you and your girls will be amazed at the variety available here — not to mention the workout you’ll get carrying all those shopping bags.

Visit the Arts District

Another wonderful indoor activity is to visit Asheville’s River Art District. We have some incredibly creative and gifted artists. One must-see is the North Carolina Glass Center. And who doesn’t love throwing clay? Pottery classes are a great option at the Odyssey Center for Ceramic Arts. Creativity abounds through basketry, painting, photography, bookbinding, jewelry making, etc. Whether you’re participating in a class or simply gazing at all the inspiring works of art, its beauty and originality will renew your soul.

Stroll through Museums

Asheville is also a city rich in culture and our museums capture that in various ways. For music lovers, we have the Moogseum with interactive exhibits that are historic, musical, and science-based. Or you can explore radio-wave wizardry at the Radio Museum (yes, it’s a real thing!). From there you can visit the Pinball Museum filled with vintage pinball machines and classic video games — you could spend all day playing there! These are just a few of the museums here in Asheville.

Tour Historic Homes

The Biltmore transforms into a magical place during the holidays. Yet, this estate is amazing no matter what time of year you visit. Some things to do include touring the home, dining at one of their seven restaurants, and visiting the winery.

Novelist Thomas Wolfe’s most renowned work, Look Homeward, Angel, was an autobiography of his childhood in this historic Asheville home. This old Victorian, Old Kentucky Home, has become one of the most famous landmarks in American literature. Life at his mother’s boardinghouse and with the citizens of Asheville was so vividly described that his book was banned in the local library.

Indulge in Wine and Chocolate

An incredible pairing! Asheville has a number of great wineries that are worth visiting. It’s also a chocolate lover’s dream come true. This takes indoor activities to the next level of indulgence. The hardest part is choosing your very best option. We could make it simple by suggesting the Red Wine & Chocolate Tasting at the Biltmore. It’s education and delectable!

Stay at the Wildberry Lodge

A stay at the Wildberry Lodge includes not only a warm, welcoming smile but also gorgeous views, luxurious rooms, cozy fireplaces, soothing jetted tubs—to name just a few. It’s a chance to get away, relax, and renew. For even more stress relief, schedule an in-room massage where gentle hands will coax your muscles to loosen and relax.  Enjoy the most rejuvenating of our 7 best indoor activities near Asheville, NC. Book your stay today.

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2022 Christmas Traditions at the Biltmore 23 Nov 2021, 2:14 am

Christmas is a magical time of the year. Twinkling lights, decorated trees, holiday aromas, and a building excitement are all part of each holiday season. Here in Asheville, we love the holiday season—especially Christmas traditions at Biltmore. If your heart is set on visiting the Biltmore during Christmas, make your reservations early, both at the Biltmore and with us at Wildberry Lodge.

 

Daytime Celebrations

November 4, 2022 – January 8, 2023

The lure of Christmas finery beckons when you step up to the Biltmore and see the lions guarding the front entrance. Potted Christmas trees draw the eye to the lush evergreen wreaths that grace the doors and adorn the lions’ necks. And as you walk through the doors, all the senses come alive with the sights, sounds, and aromas of Christmas assailing you.

Biltmore Tours

The Biltmore offers a variety of tours that take you through the largest home in America and its estate. Stunning holiday decorations adorn each room throughout the home. Some of the most notable rooms include the Banquet Hall, George Vanderbilt’s impressive Library, and the bright Breakfast Room. Choose from expert-guided, self-guided, audio, and several other tour options.

Christmas 2022 brings the immersive, multi-sensory exhibit Van Gogh Alive by Grande Experiences. This is an experience you won’t want to miss. Purchase tickets here.

Gardens & Conservatory

A tour of the gardens is a definite must-see. Start in the Conservatory, which is filled with gorgeous poinsettias. Then roam around the vast expanse of gardens and forest. Dress warmly and wear sturdy walking shoes, as the pathways may be uneven.

Shopping & Winery

There are three areas for shopping, so you are sure to finish up your list and head home with your arms full of bundles! At the House and Gardens, you will find a Toymaker’s Shop, a Book Shop, a Chocolate Shop, Holiday Decor, and a special garden-themed Shop.

There is a Gift Shop right near the Gate House (no admission tickets are required here), and several apparel shops at the onsite Inn.

Shopping along the quaintly decorated streets of Antler Hill Village is always a delight. You will find home decor, traditional apparel, and our wine shop. With Vanderbilt’s love of the land and passion for entertaining, the winery produces reds, whites, and rosés. Visit the Tasting Room for your complimentary wine tasting.

 

Candlelight Evenings

November 4, 2022 – January 7, 2023

Again, right from the front of this beautiful home stands a majestic Norway spruce adorned with twinkling lights and a pathway lined with luminaries. The entire estate glows with thousands of glittering lights, candles, and shining ornaments. The Candlelight Evenings have several options for tours similar to the daytime celebrations.

As you stroll through Antler Hill Village, a soft sparkling glow lights your way. While in the gardens, thousands of lights are used to create dazzling displays. The lighted tunnel leading from Antler Village to the winery is an absolute favorite spot — definitely a photo-op! Inside, Christmas trees are decorated to the nines in almost every room.

“With more than 100 decorated trees, 10,000 ornaments, 100,000 twinkling holiday lights, and an array of festive Christmas displays, you’ll want to linger longer to experience all that Christmas at Biltmore has to offer.”

 

Christmas At Wildberry Lodge

Plan your stay at the Wildberry Lodge when you take in the Christmas traditions at Biltmore. The Asheville area has several holiday lights displays and events. We’re just minutes off the Blue Ridge Parkway and provide the luxury of a boutique hotel with the welcoming feel of coming home. Just picture yourself after a day at the Biltmore snuggling by the fire, experiencing a rejuvenating rest, and waking to a tasty breakfast. Check availability today!

 

Updated November 2022

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Relaxing Fall Vacation in the Smoky Mountains NC 16 Sep 2021, 7:21 am

During the fall season, the Smoky Mountains burst into color. It’s the perfect time for a relaxing fall vacation in the Smoky Mountains. The changing trees include sugar maples, hickories, scarlet oaks, and nearly 100 other varieties, making the mountain views simply stunning. Get out your calendar, and book your stay at our Lodge! Here is why we know it’s a great idea:

Perfect Weather Conditions

Some folks love the heat of the summer, but we think that fall might be the best season of all. We have warm sunny days and the nights start to cool off. It’s perfect for snuggling and getting a great night’s sleep. September’s temperatures have an average high of 74 degrees — warm, but still perfect weather for hiking or biking. The temperatures drop a bit more in October, with highs in the mid-60s — still great for outdoor sports. Just step outside with another layer of a sweater or a light jacket. Besides, doesn’t the fire pit sound more inviting when the temperatures are cooler?

Mist clearing over fall trees in the Great Smoky Mountains

Fall Foliage

Along with those cooler temperatures comes the changing of colors, which is the highlight of the season! We are particularly lucky because our season of color lasts from the end of September through mid-November; it just depends on the elevation that you are planning to visit. The higher the elevation brings the first changes in color. Changes start in September with the highest points of the Blue Ridge Parkway. For hikers, this means the Rough Ridge Trail in the Pisgah National Forest.

As you continue into October, more and more of both the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Smoky Mountains explode into color. By the end of October, the city of Asheville, Waynesville, and Lake Lure will all be at their peak.

What colors will you see? Sweetgums can range in color from red to purple to yellow. The brightest reds will be the scarlet oak trees. Sugar maple trees will present with orange and yellow, and red maples will show as red and yellow.

Fall Festivals

Along with the color changes, fall heralds the arrival of some of our favorite fall festivals! Come and enjoy the bounty of our apple orchards and pumpkin fields. In addition, the workmanship of talented artisans, the melodies of amazing musicians, and the puzzle of corn mazes. You’ll feel like a kid again!

trees and hills along Blue Ridge Parkway colored for fall

Fall Drives

What could be more fun than getting in your car, cruising along, and taking in the gorgeous foliage? Don’t forget to stop at some of our fall festivals!

Hop on the Blue Ridge Parkway

There are several ways to get onto the Blue Ridge Parkway near Wildberry Lodge. If you are heading towards Asheville, there are several entrances.

  • I-26 — From I-26, take exit 33 to US 191 (Brevard Rd).  Take US191 South.  The Parkway access is about 3 miles down US191.  Just watch for the signs.
  • US25 (Hendersonville Rd) — US25 is the road to the Biltmore Estate entrance.   From I40, take exit 50A, and go south on US25.  The Parkway access road is located about 3 miles south of I-40.
  • From Waynesville NC — Head towards Sylva on Highway 74/23/441.  The Parkway access road will be on the right about 4.5 miles after leaving Waynesville.  This will bring you onto the Parkway at MP 443.1. on US25 or I46.

Head towards Great Smoky National Park

One of the most beautiful drives is along Rte 441! You can access it from here with a scenic drive to Lake Junaluska on Rt 40, with a stop in Maggie Valley. Make sure you pull over for any apple orchards or other stops that look interesting!

Rest and Relax

We have 5 miles of hiking trails right here on our 40-acre property. No need to get in your car! Order a picnic basket to take with you, or just enjoy it in your private cabin or suite.

Choose to soak in a Jacuzzi tub (available in most rooms) or stand under the soothing spray in a large shower. We also have an infrared sauna to help you detox and relax your sore muscles. Perhaps it’s time for the nurturing touch of our massage therapists. Schedule an in-room massage and enjoy this soothing treatment in a safe, caring environment.

Take your choice! Maybe to you, a relaxing fall vacation in the Smoky Mountains means lounging in your room and soaking in the hot tub. Or maybe you want to get out and see more of the amazing color and fun activities available around us. Either way, we can help you plan to perfect retreat!

Updated September 2022

 

The post Relaxing Fall Vacation in the Smoky Mountains NC first appeared on Wildberry Lodge.

Best Water Activities in Asheville NC 19 Aug 2021, 9:12 am

Splish splash, I was taking a bath, long about a Saturday night, yeah… Can’t you just hear Bobby Darin belt out this golden oldie? Well, you don’t have to wait until a Saturday and we have activities that are more adventurous than a bath. Being surrounded by mountains with rivers cascading downstream, you’ll have some exciting times choosing from our list of best water activities in Asheville, NC.

Kayaking & Canoeing

Kayaking and canoeing may be a little slower-paced than other water sports, but there are so many joys you would miss if you were in a motorized boat. It’s really a fun and fairly easy activity. It doesn’t take long before you’re not even noticing that you’re paddling. With the flat bottom construction, you’re able to skim over the water without disturbing aquatic life. If you get the opportunity to go on the same river several times, then you’ll begin to see the subtle changes in nature. The quiet, peaceful movement across the water is relaxing and rejuvenating. You can even make a difference if you happen to pick up any litter you see along your trip. Here are a couple of outfitters:

White Water Rafting

Asheville is a prime location for some great white water rafting trips. These adrenaline rush runs will definitely get your blood pumping. One of the best joys of rafting is doing it with your best buds or partner. It’s one of those memory-making activities. You’ll relish the excitement as you plow through the churning waters. It’s pure joy! So get ready and take the plunge!

Your rafting guide: French Broad Rafting

Paddle Boarding (SUP)

This next water activity has amazing benefits for your body and mental well-being. It’s a great form of exercise that is both addictive and fun! One of the first benefits is obviously balance. It takes a little coordination and using your core (Ah! Another benefit), you need to balance while you paddle through the water. Like kayaking and canoeing, you’ll build arm strength. However, you’ll also be working those leg muscles and strengthening them. You will also receive the benefits of most water activities such as being in nature, breathing fresh air, basking in the sun and beefing up your Vitamin D, and the added benefit of stress relief. Go ahead, hop on a board and start paddling!

Your SUP tour guide: Wai Mauna SUP Tours

Swimming

Let’s face it, one of the best water activities is swimming—just you and the water. One of the favorite spots for adults and children alike is Sliding Rock. It’s a natural waterfall in Pisgah National Forest. You may have to wait in line but you’ll love sliding down the 60-foot rock into an 8-foot-deep, chilly pool of water. White Hooker Falls is also a great place to splash around at the base of the falls. It’s located in DuPont State Forest and is a great option for a hot summer day. If you enjoy lying on a soft bed of sand at the beach, visit Lake Lure. It’s a scenic, man-made lake with a wide sandy beach. These are just a few of the cool refreshing water holes to enjoy.

Fly Fishing

OK, who has the best fishing tale? How is it that these fish seem to grow bigger and bigger every time the story is told? Not to worry. In Asheville, you will have the time of your life stepping in the water and casting your line. Whether you’re a beginner or skilled in the techniques of fly fishing, you will enjoy getting out in nature and catching your next trout or bass. Now the question is, who has the best hook?

Your fly fishing guide: Asheville Fly Fishing Company

Yoga

For a whole new experience, try Yoga on a SUP board. These sessions will bring stillness to your body, mind, and soul. Basic instructions are provided right at the beginning of the sessions, so you’re sure to have the best experience possible. This water activity will definitely help you become one with nature, taking in the beauty, stillness and renewing of the water as you move into various poses. Namaste.

Your guide to yoga on a SUP: Sol Flow Yoga

Waterfront Dining

One last water activity is one everyone loves—waterfront dining. Savoring a delicious meal down by the water is nourishing and restful. Asheville has a number of options for dining at the water’s edge. Here are just a few:

Stay at Wildberry Lodge

When you stay at Wildberry Lodge, it’s like a home away from home. Our comfortable cozy rooms offer luxurious amenities with the warmth of a private home – just what you need after a day spent engaging in the best water activities in Asheville. Book your stay today!

The post Best Water Activities in Asheville NC first appeared on Wildberry Lodge.

The Perfect Itinerary for Your Asheville NC Getaway 19 Aug 2021, 9:10 am

Sometimes you just want a quick getaway from the monotony of daily life. A few days away from work and responsibilities can bring new joy and a sense of refreshment. Planning those little getaways can be challenging as well. Here’s the perfect itinerary for your Asheville, NC getaway!

Late Afternoon: Arrival & Dinner

Check in begins at 4pm at Wildberry Lodge in Leicester. Once you’ve settled into your room and freshened up, you can drive down to Jargon Restaurant (reservations are recommended), a casual and cozy restaurant just minutes away. You’ll experience fresh, locally-grown foods prepared in a unique and artistic way. Enjoy a cocktail and a great meal to start your adventure.

Evening: Nightlife and Rest

After dinner, there are a number of options. Go see a movie, take a stroll downtown, go dancing, party at a nightclub, and more. You can even enjoy a restful evening in your room. But if you’re ready for more fun, check out what’s playing at the Isis Music Hall. Built in 1937 as a single screen movie house, Isis has been revamped with a main stage, lounge and patio. In the summer months, you can join the community on the patio for a free lawn concert.

Next Morning: A Little Education and Enjoyment

Experience the natural and organic farming techniques of Dr. King’s Farms and Tours. This is a multi-generational family that raises bison. Promoted as a brave new taste and nutrition sensation, Dr. King’s family has a long history of raising bison and focusing on ways to help improve health in the 21st century. The nutrition found in bison are what gave the Native Americans living in the plains their physical vitality.

Once you’ve spent some time on the farm, you’ll probably be a little thirsty. Whether you prefer wine or a good hard cider, we have two great options to quench your thirst:

The Addison Farm Vineyard is also a multi-generational family-owned farm. You’ll get to go behind the scenes and learn about the wine making process as well as tasting some of the fine wines produced here.

You may prefer hard cider, in which case you can visit The Cidery, Noble’s cider production location on New Leicester Highway. You’ve got to love their tagline: From a humble fruit comes a Noble cider. Not only are they the first Asheville hard cider company, they are also growing their own cider apple varieties.

Lunchtime Options

Whether you love sandwiches or barbecue, Asheville has great options for lunch.

12 Bones is famous for their ribs. You may see a line so long it goes out their door, but it will be worth the wait (and the lines move fairly fast).

At Sessions Cafe you’ll find classic deli sandwiches with a flair all their own. It doesn’t stop there. You can also taste their amazing pastries with an excellent cup of joe!

Afternoon Adventures Inside or Out

Shopping

The shopping in Asheville is outstanding. Seriously, the choices are almost endless, from your standard mall to numerous eclectic shops around town. You would walk for days and not take it all in. So here is a downtown shopping guide for you to browse and select your favorite stops.

White Water River Rafting

If you’re seeking something a little more adventurous in the great outdoors, grab some friends and hit the white water. We have some beautiful rivers ranging from a gentle current to raging white water. Racing down tumbling mountain rivers will be a heart-racing experience. It not only gets your heart pumping, but it puts you in nature’s face breathing fresh air, being sprayed with chilly fresh water, and getting some Vitamin D with our summer sunshine. Try Asheville Adventure Company in Asheville for rafting options for all ages and levels.

Evening Activities

For dinner, try Limones Restaurant, which offers authentic Mexican flavors with a touch of French California. Recently renovated interiors reflect Chef/Owner, Hugo Ramirez’s homeland.

Another option is Posana’s, which serves contemporary American cuisine in the heart of downtown. Their seasonal menu is made from local fare. Both are excellent options—ah, what to choose.

Finish off the evening at the Wildberry Lodge with an in-room massage – a calming and soothing finish to your quick getaway.

Book Your Stay

After enjoying the perfect itinerary for your Asheville, NC getaway, top it off with a stay at Wildberry Lodge. Your quick getaway adventure is sure to be refreshing, rejuvenating, and relaxing. Our rooms provide a luxurious and comfy spot to snuggle in for a restful night between days of exciting excursions. Check now for availability.

The post The Perfect Itinerary for Your Asheville NC Getaway first appeared on Wildberry Lodge.

Experience the Rapids in Western NC 28 Jul 2021, 12:18 pm

When you come to Asheville, you’ve come to Paddler’s Paradise. We are perfectly located in the basin of the Blue Ridge Mountains with a good amount of rainfall that helps cut through the rock forming gorges and crevices in the rock where the water is furiously fast and freely flowing. Come experience the rapids in western NC.

The Rapids

French Broad River

  • Difficulty: 3
  • Completion Time: Depends on section chosen
  • Season Availability: All Seasons       

Although an easy, flowering river in Asheville, the French Broad River provides more exciting rapids both north and south of the city. As the world’s third largest river, it draws paddlers because of its beauty and seclusion. If you continue the run into Hot Springs, you’ll encounter a bit more adventurous runs, especially after rainfall. This is a great family adventure.

The Nantahala River

  • Difficulty: 3
  • Completion Time: Approx. 2 hrs.
  • Season Availability: All Seasons       

On a hot, summer day, this river is a great choice. As one of the coldest rivers, it’s sure to make a pleasant run lasting between two to three hours. This is a dam-controlled river that extends about eight miles and is one of the best rivers to learn on. Conditions may vary depending on rainfall.

The Nolichucky River

  • Difficulty: 4
  • Completion Time: Approx. 1 hr.
  • Season Availability: All Seasons       

This is the intermediate paddler’s adventure land. It’s located in one of the deepest gorges on the East Coast. For the most part you’ll experience Class II and Class III rapids. However, the Quarter Mile rapid is a Class IV. From the first major run down On the Rock, you’ll enjoy a fun, bouncy ride.

The Green River

  • Difficulty: 5
  • Completion Time: 5 hrs.
  • Season Availability: All Seasons       

If you’re an advanced paddler and after some real adventure, try the Green River. It can be broken into three sections: upper, narrows, lower. The Narrows are why Asheville is a central hub for the whitewater kayaking industry. This section full of boulders and bedrock will challenge the most accomplished paddler. This is no joke. It’s a challenge and paddlers need to keep alert for a series of Class V rapids.

The Pigeon River

  • Difficulty: 2
  • Completion Time: 1-3 hrs
  • Season Availability: All Seasons       

Another dam-controlled river, the Pigeon River provides adventure for all levels of paddlers. It’s a popular destination so expect to see several other paddlers to keep you company. The upper section is a great run for adventure seekers. If you’re wanting to enjoy the scenery while leisurely paddling, the lower section is best for you.

Big Laurel Creek

  • Difficulty: 3
  • Completion Time: 3 hrs.
  • Season Availability: Spring – Fall   

The skill level required for this run will depend on the level of rainfall. Big Laurel Creek can be wonderful for novices, yet after a rainfall, you’ll need a little more skill to traverse the rapids. If you want to learn how to paddle on a creek, this is a great choice. It joins the French Broad River where you can choose to hike upstream or continue on to a couple of more challenging rapids.

Outfitters in Asheville

French Broad Adventures

12 Good Adventures Lane, Marshall, NC 28753

4.9 Google star rating | Experience adventure just 30 min. from downtown Asheville

French Broad Outfitters

704 Riverside Drive, Asheville NC, 28806

4.6 Google star rating | Locally owned and operated | Full service rental and instruction 

NOC French Broad Outpost

9825 US-25, Marshall, NC 28753

4.8 Google star rating | Family-friendly rafting

Green River Adventures

111 E Main St, Saluda, NC 28773

4.8 Google star rating | Choose your adventure based on activity and proficiency level

Hot Springs Rafting Company

81 Bridge St, Hot Springs, NC 28743

4.9 Google star rating | Family owned and dedicated to custom personal trips

Blue Heron Whitewater

35 Little Pine Rd, Marshall, NC 28753

4.9 Google star rating | Experienced guides lead family adventures creating a lifetime of memories

With your days filled with white-water adventures, come stay at Wildberry Lodge for a cozy, comfortable stay. We have luxurious bed and breakfast accommodations to balance your adrenaline-rush days. Check availability.

The post Experience the Rapids in Western NC first appeared on Wildberry Lodge.

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