Sandy McLeod

5 Tips to Improve Your Stay

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Jul
14

Vacations are limited. Since you have a finite number of days to enjoy yourself, you don’t want to leave your Asheville cabin with any regrets. While relaxing in a luxury cabin can be a vacation in itself, here are five simple things you can do to give yourself a more memorable adventure.

1. Order Groceries Before You Arrive

Grocery shopping, like laundry, is one of those mundane chores you don’t want to do on your vacation. So let the staff at the Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds do the shopping for you. Contact us in advance to place your grocery order — seasonal fruit for your morning power shakes, fresh meat and veggies for a barbecue or breakfast staples like milk, eggs, bread and butter. When you arrive, you won’t need to do anything but soak in the hot tub and have a snack.

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2. Pack Casual Layers

Like many locations around the U.S., Asheville’s weather can be unpredictable. The days can be cool or really hot, dry or pouring rain. At night, you shouldn’t need anything more than a shawl, light jacket or sweater. And leave your tux at home. In Asheville, you can fit in anywhere with a casual wardrobe. Ashevillians dress up when they want to and dress down when it suits them. Comfort is the only guide. For example, if your plans take you shopping downtown, followed by dinner at a five-star restaurant, you’ll feel accepted at both places in a simple skirt and T-shirt or walking shorts and a polo shirt.

3. Reserve Special Trips in Advance

Asheville and Western North Carolina offer many fun day trips. As the area becomes more and more popular (thanks to the national press we keep getting), many tours get booked up in advance. If white water rafting is on your bucket list, please call a guide company well in advance of your stay to make a reservation. If your tastes run to the more sublime, call to reserve a spot on the wacky LaZoom bus that tours downtown. Call the office for advance tickets or order directly from the vendors.

Photo courtesy of LaZoom

Photo courtesy of LaZoom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Prepare for Physical Challenges

The City of Asheville sits smack dab in the middle of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Downtown may be nicely nestled in a valley, but its streets can be really steep. We’re used to our “little hills,” but if you’re accustomed to flat ground, a downtown stroll can be challenging. Even a day at Biltmore House may push your body to the limits, climbing up and down the storied staircases. Bring some muscle-rub ointment to soothe your aching calves at the end of each day’s adventure. Safe pain relievers, hot water bottles or heating pads may help when your body says “no,” but your mind says “more.”

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5. Book Your Next Stay Before You Leave

With so many things to do and sites to see in Asheville, Hendersonville, Cherokee, Black Mountain and Hot Springs, to name just a few, you’d have to stay with us for months to experience everything. If you know when you’re coming back, you won’t have to rush to do it all in one visit. Browse through the unique boutiques on Lexington Avenue on this trip, knowing you can return to explore the River Arts District. Enjoy the Blue Ridge Parkway south to Cherokee this time, knowing you’ll be back again to drive north to Linville Falls. When you leave the Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds, it won’t be “goodbye,” but “see ya later.”

Sandy McLeod

Extra Benefits of Renting a Cabin

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Jul
8

When you rent a cabin — for a day, a weekend, a week or a fortnight — you are renting a home away from home. The Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds in Asheville, NC, has 25 cabins on its nearly 40-acre property in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Parkway, from cozy one-bedrooms to spacious two-bedrooms and glorious three-bedrooms.

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More importantly, you’ll find everything you need in one of our luxury cabins … and more. Each has flat-screen TV sets, a kitchen with every device you may need, plush furniture, comfortable beds and even a hot tub. Every cabin has a deck or patio with a view in any season.

 

Stay Together

Staying in a cabin means your family can stay together. You can have separate rooms and share the living space. Make breakfast for the whole family. Watch a movie together. Relax on the deck while dinner is sizzling on the grill. It’s a vacation the entire family will enjoy. It’s quality time together.

Game Porch at Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds

Game Porch at Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds has entertainment right on the grounds, whether it’s fishing the trout pond, the outdoor game porch, the water balloon station or hiking up to the Blue Ridge Parkway. The property is situated within easy reach of Downtown Asheville or a number of nearby amusements and distractions, including the opulent Biltmore Estate.

 

Your family will not get bored in and around Asheville. From firework displays and rock climbing to tubing down the French Broad River, you can always find an adventure to fit your (and your children’s) moods.

 

Save Money Too

When you’re vacationing with your family, costs often are a concern. Another advantage of staying at the Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds — besides the luxury accommodations, the scenic views and the peaceful setting — is the relative price, no pun intended.

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If you stay in a hotel, your kids may need their own room, depending on their ages. Count the number of nights you’ll be away from home — it all adds up. When you stay with us, you are renting a whole house, not just a room with a bed in it. Not only is it more comfortable, but it can be less expensive in the long run. You save on lodging costs and can cook in some of the time, instead of eating out for every meal.

 

Extra Benefits of Renting a Cabin

If you’ve ever been awakened by an ambulance or police siren or a heated discussion out on the sidewalk, you know what it’s like to stay in a downtown hotel. The Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds is tucked back away from any main road. The only sounds are from the birds, the fountains or the stream that meanders through out property. Waking up to those sounds puts you in a positive frame of mind for the rest of the day.

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In a cabin, you’ll have a central place to fall back to after a full day of adventure and sightseeing. You’ll have a large enough space for family time, and yet everyone can have a separate bedroom. A stay at the Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds truly does deliver the best of both worlds. Come and see for yourself.

 

Sandy McLeod

There’s no place better to enjoy a Summer Evening than Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds

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Jul
5

In the high mountain plateau where Asheville is located, summer evenings are ideal.   When the sun goes down, temperatures fall quickly into the 60′s or even into the 50′s.  This makes outside activity delightful.

 

At our vacation cabins of Willow Winds, we have enhanced our landscape with 20 lighted water fountains and waterfalls.  Our guests can either sit on their covered decks or stroll through the grounds and enjoy the sights and sounds of falling water.

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Lighted Gazabo

There are benches and a lighted gazebo where couples can take in the romantic sounds of nature.

 

 

 

 

Since it doesn’t get dark until around 9 p.m., many guests like to fish in our trout pond and many children have caught their first fish ever in our pond which is stocked with trout.

Trout Pond

Trout Pond

Other families like to play the games on our lighted game porch.

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Sandy McLeod

Top Asheville Area Events in July

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Jul
2

When you come to stay with us at Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds, you have access to all that Asheville, North Carolina, has to offer. Our 40-acre property in the mountains is just minutes away from downtown Asheville, where something is always going on. You’ll also be near a slew of other nearby venues and local happenings. Here are the top July events in and around Asheville:

 

July 4 Fireworks

The Ingles Fourth of July Celebration in Pack Square Park in the middle of downtown promises a family-friendly event with food, games and of course, fireworks. If you prefer a more rural setting for your fireworks watching, go to Lake Julien, Barnardsville, Black Mountain, Hendersonville, Brevard, Weaverville, Saluda or even Cherokee.

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Asheville Tourists Baseball

The Asheville Class A team plays at historic McCormick Field. Thursday home games are popular for the beer specials (Thirsty Thursdays), and the July 4 contest features a fireworks display after the game. For ticket prices and schedule, go to the Tourists website.

 

39th Annual Pow Wow

From July 4–6, Cherokee hosts an authentic Native American experience. Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds is about an hour and a half drive from the reservation. See dance competitions, drumming and tribal regalia on display. Learn more.

 

Grandfather Mountain Highland Games

The 59th Annual Highland Games and Gathering O’ Scottish Clans returns to Grandfather Mountain on July 10–13. If you like unusual sports, this is for you. Muscular displays? Check.  Men in kilts? Check. Bagpipes? Well, OK. Learn more.

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Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands

This biannual craft show returns to Asheville July 17–20. For one low entrance fee, you can view and buy the work of 200 regional artists and craftspeople indoors at the downtown arena. It’s well worth a visit, even if it’s not raining. Learn more.

 

Downtown After 5

On July 18, Hayes Carll headlines Downtown Asheville’s free monthly music concert. A singer-songwriter from Texas, he’s played all over the country. Chatham County Line, a bluegrass band, backs him up. The show runs from 5:00 to 9:00 pm. Learn more.

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Folkmoot!

This oddly named festival is an international cultural festival held annually in nearby Waynesville, NC. This year, folk music and dance from around the world explode onto Waynesville’s streets for two weeks, from July 18–27. Learn more.

 

Biltmore Estate Concert Series

Every summer, the Biltmore Estate hosts outdoor concerts right beside the house. This year, ZZ Top (July 30) and Steely Dan (July 31) come to play in Asheville. Come for the Biltmore tour, have dinner on the Estate and then stay for the concert. Learn more and buy tickets.

Shindig on the Green

What could be better than free mountain music and dancing at Asheville’s Pack Square Park’s Roger McGuire Green? Now in its 48th year, the Shindig happens on three Saturdays in July. Bring your own chair. Learn more.

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Please note the City of Asheville canceled its annual summer festival Bele Chere, but you certainly can find substitute activities to more than fill your free time at Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds. Stop by the office to ask about discounts we offer!

 

Sandy McLeod

Asheville’s Famous Shindig on the Green

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Jun
24

The Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina share a rich musical heritage with other Appalachian communities along the Parkway. You can experience authentic mountain music many Saturday evenings throughout the summer during your visit to Asheville Cabins at Willow Winds.

 

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The free concerts are held in front of the historic art-deco city hall building in the new Roger McGuire Green in the renovated Pack Square Park. The events honor the Southern Appalachian culture with authentic dance, music and storytelling. Bring a blanket or folding chair and enjoy the show that typically starts “along about sundown” — the time when families used to gather on porches around the South to play music and socialize. (For those of you who wear watches, that’s roughly 7 PM.)

 

A Little Background

Shindig on the Green is celebrating its 48th year in 2014. The event started in 1967 when members of the Folk Heritage Committee organized a time when local bluegrass musicians could get together downtown to play. The free concerts sprang from the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival originally established in 1928 by popular local musician and folk historian Bascom Lamar. That festival continues indoors at the Diana Wortham Theatre at Pack Place in downtown Asheville from July 31 to August 2, 2014.

 

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The Stoney Creek Boys serve as the “house band” at the Shindig on the Green. Other performers, ranging from cloggers and smooth dancers to bluegrass and old-timey string bands, have been showcasing their talents since the beginning. Visitors are encouraged to jam with musicians on stage, while impromptu jam sessions often pop up around the square.

 

A Few Rules

While you won’t be charged for the family-friendly evening, you can’t bring your dog to the park. Alcohol and smoking also are prohibited, though you can take in the show from the patios of several nearby restaurants and pubs.

 

The music continues till about 10 PM, when city ordinances call for quiet.

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Dates

Plan your next trip the Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds to coincide with one of the free concerts. They’ll give you an intimate look at the heritage of this mountain community. Asheville boasts an eclectic group of musicians, drummers and artists, but all hold these mountain mainstream entertainers in the highest regard. The 2014 dates for the Shindig on the Green, with the dance acts:

 

  • June 28: Homecoming Team; Fines Creek Flat Footers; J Creek Cloggers
  • July 5: Folk Heritage Smooth Dancers; Southern Mountain Fire
  • July 12: Carolina Heartland Cloggers; Hotfoot Cloggers
  • July 19: Green Valley Cloggers; Southern Appalachian Cloggers
  • August 9: Mountain Tradition Cloggers; Appalachian Mountaineers
  • August 16: Dixie Darlin’s; Avery Smooth Dancers; Green Grass Cloggers
  • August 23: Stoney Creek Cloggers; Bailey Mountain Cloggers
  • August 30: Little River Cloggers; Mountaineer Cloggers; Cole Mountain Cloggers

 

Sandy McLeod

Asheville Area Events in June

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Jun
19

Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds lies within the city limits of Asheville, North Carolina. Located in the mountains of Western North Carolina, Asheville is known as an arts destination, a beer-brewing champion and beautiful, friendly small city. In other words, it’s a great place to visit, especially if you stay in luxury mountain cabins with all the amenities you expect from first-class accommodations. Here is a sampling of events in Asheville in June:

 

Asheville Tourists Baseball

Asheville boasts Class A baseball at historic McCormick Field. Get up close to the action and watch these young baseball players on the road to The Show. For ticket prices and schedule, go to the Tourists website.

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Chimney Rock Park: Family Fun Nature Programs

A visit to nearby Chimney Rock Park makes a fun day trip, but in June, they offer programs that introduce Western North Carolina wildlife, plants, trees and ancient rocks. Kids may get a chance to meet several animals or birds up close and personal, including Grady the Groundhog. Details vary; call in advance.

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Handmade in America: Quilt Exhibition

All month in their headquarters in downtown Asheville, Handmade in America hosts an exhibition of modern quilts in June. Members of the Asheville Modern Quilt Guild show off all kinds of quilts. Learn more.

 

All Go West/Savor the Westside

West Asheville, sort of an alt-Asheville, throws its annual outdoor music festival on June 7. This year, with its growing number of eclectic restaurants, the festival features a separate food-and-beverage-tasting event. Learn more.

 

Asheville Tattoo & Piercing Expo

And now for something completely different. Held at The Crowne Plaza Resort/Expo Center, this June 19–22 event highlights the best in Asheville tattoos and tattooists, as well as something for piercing aficionados. You already know if you want to go. Learn more.

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Downtown After 5

Downtown Asheville’s free monthly music event on June 20, from 5:00 to 9:00 pm features Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ (southern rock) and American Aquarium (alt-country).  After the raucous concert, return to the sanctity of your quiet cabin to decompress in your hot tub.

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Shindig on the Green

Starting on June 28, the Shindig on the Green returns to Pack Square Park’s Roger McGuire Green with free live mountain music and dancing. Bring your own chair or blanket. Learn more.

 

All events are within a very short drive from your luxury cabin in Asheville. Go out and enjoy; your cabin in the mountains will be here when you need to rest.

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Sandy McLeod

The Summer Flowers are in Full Bloom at Willow Winds

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Jun
6
Roses, Roses, Roses, everywhere

Roses, Roses, Roses, everywhere

 

With the balmy sunshine that we are experiencing in the first days of summer our Asheville Gardens have never been prettier. Our red and pink double knockout roses are gorgeous, the yellow Stella Dora day lilies have begun to bloom, and the Clematis are climbing the trellis making for a beautiful display of flowers.

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The beautiful gardens of the Biltmore Estate are only five minutes away. The Western North Carolina Arboretum 10 minutes away offers beautiful native plants as well as some prize traditional specimens.

 Repeat visitors will be happy to see that we have continued to improve our 19 water features. We have built a new fountain and enhanced the beauty of our existing ones. All of our 25 Asheville cabins are within the sound and sight of water features. All are lighted so that guests may enjoy the beauty of our waterfalls and fountains at night while they listen to the sounds of falling water. McLeod-20140604-0009

 

Here are some more beautiful photos of our flowers.

Roses on Trout Trail

Roses on Trout Trail

 

At the center island

At the center island

 

View of Roses at Jackie's Gym

View of Roses at Jackie’s Gym

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sandy McLeod

Luxury Cabins vs. Luxury Hotels

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Jun
3

Book your weeklong stay in Western North Carolina at an expensive luxury hotel, and you’ll get waited on every day, have access to amenities galore (whether you use them or not) and spend a good chunk of your vacation budget. You’ll get to share the elevator with a host of strangers — some of whom you may wish were not a part of your vacation — and you’ll often get to hear the music, TV and other noises from your neighbors long into the night.

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Book your stay in a luxury cabin with Asheville Cabins at Willow Winds and you’ll get waited on every day — you’ll even have fresh-cut firewood delivered to your door daily — and you’ll get to save a good chunk of your budget for sightseeing. You’ll have as much privacy as if you were still at home and you’ll get to wake up and fall asleep to the sounds of nature outside your cabin.

 

Similar Amenities and Service

Not that there’s anything wrong with the luxury hotel accommodations in Asheville and the surrounding areas. If you’re looking to get pampered on your vacation, you can find hotels that offer:

 

  • Gourmet room service and on-site 5-star restaurants
  • Spa treatments steps from your room
  • Golfing within a tee-shot of your door
  • Boutiques on-site
  • 24-hour concierge service

 

Luxury cabins, on the other hand, are ideal for families who want to stay together and share accommodations. Cabins can literally serve as a home away from your home. Luxury cabins offer many of the same amenities as high-priced luxury hotels, including:

 

 

Cabins Offer So Much More

While both hotels and cabins provide many of the same amenities you look for on a vacation, you’ll get so much more from a luxury cabin in Asheville, North Carolina, including:

 

 

Western North Carolina is known for its natural beauty and fresh air. Sure, you’ll find each cabin has air-conditioning to keep you comfortable, just like the hotel. But at a cabin, all you have to do is step out to your private deck to hear the birds, listen to the fountains and smell the mountain air. Stay in a hotel and you may share a porch with a boisterous neighbor. You’ll need to start your engine and drive to the trails or parks surrounding Asheville.

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Vacations are very personal adventures. The great thing about Asheville is that you have options. Go the pampered route one week and stay in a luxury hotel and then compare the experience to a week in your very own three-bedroom luxury cabin on a 40-acre woodland garden. There’s fun at both places. You decide — because you can.

 

Sandy McLeod

Any Mountain Cabin You Need

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May
28

 

 

The Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds is a mountain property with luxury cabins available to rent. You can enjoy onsite amenities like:

 

  • Colorful gardens with hundreds of thousands of flowers
  • Hiking trails that lead to nearby Blue Ridge Parkway
  • Stacked and waiting firewood for your wood-burning fireplace  (winter only)
  • A private, outdoor hot tub
  • A freshly stocked trout pond and fountain
  • Family games such as ping pong, air hockey, foosball and much more

 

The surrounding property is wooded and private. Go on a picturesque hike or snooze in one of the nearby hammocks. Since downtown Asheville and the Biltmore Estate are only a few minutes away, you can do as much or as little sightseeing as you want.

 

But the main reasons to come to Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds are our cabins. With 25 mountain cabins on our 40-acre site, you can enjoy the scenic views from your private luxury accommodations. When it comes to the cabins of Willow Lane, you have your choice.

 

Cabins of Willow Lane

Sophia’s Sapphire is a bright, cozy one-bedroom cabin with an unbeatable view. From its private deck or backyard hammock, the sound of two fountains blend with the rustle of the mountain breeze, melting away your stress and urging you to relax. You won’t soon forget a romantic getaway at this Asheville cabin.

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Tony’s Treasure has everything you need for a memorable stay: a rock fireplace, leather easy chairs and modern conveniences. Its cathedral ceiling won’t cramp your style, and the hot tub outside the comfortable ground-floor bedroom will call to you after your fun day. This one-bedroom luxury cabin offers the sights and sounds of our fountains.

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Donna’s Diamond will spoil you. A two-bedroom cabin surrounded by forest, it features a covered deck, so you can breathe in the mountain air and soak in the sights rain or shine. The hot tub sits outside the master bedroom. The other bedroom contains two twins, making it perfect for a small family. Come spoil yourself!

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Kaitlin’s Hemlock is a roomy two-bedroom mountain cabin overlooking a fountain and the cabins below. Inside, a cathedral ceiling gives it an airy feel, and the greenscape outside makes you feel as if you were transported to a private paradise. A luxurious vacation rental, this cabin is suitable for a small family, but large enough for a gathering of friends.

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Irene’s Oak offers a delightful view of the gardens and forest from its windows and covered deck. It is a bright mountain cabin with lots of windows and a cathedral ceiling. Both downstairs bedrooms open to the deck with the hot tub. Whether you want a base camp for adventure or a retreat from the world, this cabin can do it all.

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Sandy’s Chalet really is a chalet, with floor-to-ceiling windows and a gorgeous wood-burning stove. With a covered deck and hardwood floors, cute bedrooms and leather furniture, the luxury cabin is truly special. Its views will impress you, as will the elegance of its interior. This is a singular luxury cabin perfectly at home in the mountains.

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Tom’s Trophy offers a covered deck, a cathedral ceiling and a stunning view of the fountain below. Located at the far end of Willow Lane, it’s just a short hike to the Mountains to Sea trail near the Blue Ridge Parkway. The décor of this luxury mountain cabin is so bright and comfy that you may not want to venture farther than the backyard hammock.

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Jessie’s Magnolia is the largest cabin on Willow Lane, featuring three bedrooms, a wide deck and a cathedral ceiling. It also sits on the highest point on the property, affording it amazing views of the forest, gardens and fountains below. This is the only luxury cabin with three levels to enjoy, as the third bedroom is in the loft above the great room.

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Willow Lane has a cabin for every need, from a one-bedroom getaway to a three-bedroom get-together. Of course, you’re welcome to check out the other cabins on our property at the Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds. We’re sure you’ll find one to suit your needs.

 

Sandy McLeod

Things to Do for Seniors

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May
27

When you visit the Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds, you can find things to do, no matter what your age. If you are retired, elderly, or just “past your prime,” our mountain cabins, serene grounds, and nearby Asheville, North Carolina, all offer activities that you will enjoy.

 

Relax in Your Luxury Cabin

Our cabins are exquisite accommodations with the latest amenities. If you like to cook, you’ll find a full kitchen with everything you need to make your favorites … or something new. Every one of our kitchens offers you plenty of space to move around. But don’t just take our word; browse through the photos on our website

 

Of course, you always can sink into the plush furniture of your living room. Let the air-conditioning cool your skin while you take in a movie from our extensive free video library or simply read a good book. Our cabins pamper you.

One of the best reasons to come to Willow Winds is the view from your cabin deck. Kick back in an Adirondack chair, soak in your outdoor hot tub or prepare a simple meal on the grill. The view will put your mind at peace and spark conversation.

 

Stroll Our Colorful Grounds

June is a great time to visit Asheville because the 

mountains sprout the colors of the rainbow. We have helped by planting millions of bulbs throughout our grounds. They blossom throughout the spring and summer.

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Our stocked trout pond is available for fishing, if you have the urge and the knack. You can find a giant outdoor chess set, a bocce ball court, horseshoe pits, and several hammocks. If you’re feeling childish, we encourage you to use our water balloon station. Take on the grandkids in a battle of wisdom versus energy.

 

Get Out and Explore Asheville

Our on-site office offers discounts to area activities. If you feel restless, you can find lots to do within a very short drive. For example, you can stay in the car and take a trip up or down the Blue Ridge Parkway, America’s narrowest national park. The Parkway features many scenic overlooks and some easy hiking trails. It’s a picturesque experience you won’t want to miss. Don’t forget to stop in at the Folk Art Center just north of Asheville on the Parkway.

 

Downtown Asheville is a walkable area, with some steep hills. You can find first-class restaurants that serve vegetarian, Indian, continental, and local cuisine. You can find lots of local shops, local crafts and local art. To get a feel for the city, take a trolley tour or a comedy bus tour around the city.

 The famous Biltmore Estate is worth a day trip. It’s not far, but it takes a full day to experience everything it has to offer. You can take a tour of the House at your own speed, and there’s a lot to see. The grounds of the Estate are as beautiful as the House, so make sure you stop for a stroll through the Walled Garden.

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A vacation at the Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds provides new memories for visitors of all ages. Even if you are a senior, you won’t be bored.