Sandy McLeod

September….The Best Month for Summer Vacations

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According to a CBS News poll, September is the best month for a summer vacation. If you’re planning a September vacation, consider coming to Western North Carolina:











  • The weather in the mountains is still warm, with comfortable, cool evenings
  • The crowds are much lighter at our popular venues
  • More adults populate the tourist spots, since kids are back in school


At Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds, our summer premium rates don’t apply in September, so you get the same comfort of a vacation cabin in the mountains for less. Our wooded grounds are still in full bloom, especially with our double knockout roses and crepe myrtles. September is also the best month to hike the Mountains-to-Sea trail — which runs right by our property.


Crape Myrtle at Willow Winds

















If you need more convincing, consider all the area festivals and special events you’ll discover in Asheville during the month of September, such as:


Rides, concerts, games, fair food and livestock provide the backdrop for a fun day a whole month before the North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh begins. Beat the crowds and the high prices at the Mountain State Fair, which is held at the WNC Agriculture Center across from the Asheville airport, just 20 minutes from your cabin front door.


Ferris Wheel at the Fair






Pig Race at the Fair!



















The maze has earned a reputation as one of the best in the state; it covers 12 acres! It’s a fun trip for a good cause, open Thursdays through Sundays. If you’re bringing your kids on your vacation, you shouldn’t miss it. The maze is located within Asheville city limits, so it’s only minutes from your mountain cabin.


Sky Shot of Corn Maze






















Catch national bluegrass acts like the Steep Canyon Rangers at this two-day festival. The renowned Brevard Music Center’s open-air auditorium is covered in case of rain. Besides the music, the fair features local artisans and plenty of local food and drink. Take a beautiful hour drive to attend this cultural event.


Dance your heart out to the rhythm of the drums! This free music-and-food event in downtown Asheville celebrates the West African roots in North Carolina. Experience a little of the diversity and exotic culture Asheville is known for.


Venture onto the Blue Ridge Parkway to milepost 382 for the Southern Highland Craft Guild’s 34th Annual Heritage Weekend. The event features traditional mountain crafts, dancing and music. The World Gee Haw Whimmy Diddle Competition on Saturday will give you something to write home about. The drive is a gorgeous 20 minutes or so.


Whether you attend the events or prefer the solitude and beauty of our grounds at the Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds, you’ll feel at home in your luxury cabin. Our property is within the Asheville city limits,

Sandy McLeod

Labor Day Getaway

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Labor Day Getaway


When making your Labor Day vacation plans, there are a few things you might look for, if you’re like most people:


  • A destination that’s not too difficult (or expensive) to reach
  • A place that’s not too crowded but not too deserted
  • A location that offers a variety of activities
  • A Labor Day celebration that provides a mix of events for the whole family
Pat's Place Living Room

Pat’s Place Living Room









It’s a good thing you’re not asking for too much! Fortunately, Asheville, North Carolina, provides just the right combination of events and options, and if you book your weekend at Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds, you’ll be exactly in the right place at the right time.


Asheville Events

There is so much going on in Asheville over Labor Day weekend, we can’t list every single one. The events below have nothing to do with the Labor Day celebration, but everything to do with the celebration of life in the Appalachians, Asheville-style. You’ll find food festivals, music festivals and more. For instance:


  • Baconfest Asheville
  • Beech Mountain Kite Festival
  • RiverLink/RiverMusic Concert Series
  • Asheville’s Ultimate Foodie Tour
  • Shindig on the Green
  • Bend and Brew Yoga at Wicked Weed Brewing
  • Boston (the band) at the Biltmore Estate
  • Asheville Wellness Tour at Asheville’s Therapeutic Salt Cave and Salt Spa
  • Sweet Tooth Dessert Tour in Black Mountain
  • Rock Fest at Emerald Village
  • High Country Half-Marathon









In addition to these special events, there are the usual (and unusual) offerings around town, such as the LaZoom Comedy Bus Tour, ziplining adventures, the Friday night drum circle, farmer’s markets, art exhibits, rafting and tubing, fine dining, bars and nightlife, theater productions, contra dancing and Latin dancing. Furthermore, Asheville serves up more fresh local beer than most cities twice its size.


Labor Day Events Around Asheville

While Asheville doesn’t have a water park, we do have Splashville, a playground of water fountains for the kids. Here are several more special festivals going on just for Labor Day weekend:


  • Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Festival (LAAFF)
  • Labor Day Weekend Family Fun at Chimney Rock State Park
  • North Carolina Apple Festival in Hendersonville
  • Maggie Valley Labor Day Weekend Craft Show









No matter what your preferences and regardless what your family likes to do, you will find activities to please in and around Asheville. There’s so much going on that you may want to extend your stay. You can; just plan ahead of time, as the Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds tend to fill up at this time of year.


Labor Day Weather in Asheville

If you choose Asheville for your Labor Day vacation, you can be assured of beautiful weather. Rain or shine, the city is nestled in a valley, surrounded by protective mountains that give Asheville a climate unparalleled in the South. It’s cooler in the summer, warmer in the winter and just lovely come Labor Day.


So this year, avoid the overstuffed parades and come to Asheville, where you can find all kinds of activities, from craft shopping to museum-hopping, from whitewater rafting to craft beer drafting. Listen to live music and visit with live animals. It’s a vacation you’ll never forget.


Sandy McLeod

Top 10 Asheville Events in August

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Top 10 Asheville Events in August


If you’re traveling to Asheville in August, you’re in luck. There’s so much going on in Western North Carolina, that it’s difficult to keep track of it all. Here are the top 10 August events in and around Asheville:


The Taming of the Shrew

Asheville prides itself on its arts, and we have a successful Shakespeare troupe in the Montford Park Players. They perform this play on their outdoor stage at 7:30 pm every Friday to Sunday from August 1 to 23. Go early and bring a picnic. Learn more. 


Smokey Bear’s Birthday Party

Forest conservation began here. On August 2, the Cradle of Forestry celebrates Smokey’s 69th birthday with songs, games, firefighting equipment and cake! Join the fun from 11:00 to 2:30. Pack a lunch and come out to meet Smokey and his live animals friends. Learn more. 


Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America

On August 3, one of the largest craft brewers in the country, Sierra Nevada — which is also building a plant near Asheville — is hosting a monumental beer tasting featuring as many regional craft breweries as possible. Learn more. 









Asheville Tourists Baseball

The Asheville Tourists, a class A minor league team, start their home schedule this month on August 7 with its popular Thirsty Thursday. If you’ve never experienced minor league baseball, do it in Asheville. There are special events all month. For ticket prices and a schedule, visit the Tourists website. 


Shindig on the Green

Starting on August 9, the Shindig takes place every Saturday evening in the heart of downtown Asheville. Free mountain music and dancing. Bring a chair and settle in for great entertainment. Learn more.









WNC Battle of the Burger

From 3:00 to 7:00 on August 10, this inaugural competition pits 15 local restaurants against each other in a battle to determine once and for all who makes the region’s best burger. Occurring at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Asheville, this event lets you be the judge. Eat and drink your way to burger heaven! Buy tickets. 


Laugh Your Asheville Off

Our 8th annual comedy festival provides a lineup of comics headlined by Comedy Central’s Chris Porter. From August 13–16, you can see six shows featuring nearly 60 different comics. Catch one show or catch them all. Get details. 


Downtown After 5

Come downtown on August 15 to hear The Dynamites featuring Charles Walker at the city’s free monthly music concert. The Dynamites play powerful soul music, as does Ruby Velle & The Soulphonics, who opens the show. From 5:00 to 9:00 pm. Learn more. 









Asheville Wine & Food Festival

August 21–23, this foodie event brings together the best food and wine of the region in a series of celebrations, all happening around downtown. The festival culminates in a Grand Tasting at the US Cellular Center. Tickets for all the events are on sale now. Learn more. 












Start from Seed Garden Party

National known restaurant Sunny Point hosts a benefit in their on-site garden on August 28. The soirée offers small bites from the restaurant, beer samples and local small talk. This summer evening event lasts from 6:00 to 9:00. Learn more. 


This list represents just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to events in Asheville. Please stop by the Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds office to ask about other happenings you may enjoy!


Sandy McLeod

Sourwood Festival offers singing contest, arts and crafts, children’s activities

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Sourwood Festival, Black Mountain

Some folks say sourwood honey is among the most rare and delectable of all types of honey, so if you are staying in Asheville luxury cabins on the weekend of Aug. 9-10, you’d better get over to Black Mountain early for the 37th annual Sourwood Festival.

Fortunately, Willow Winds’ Asheville resort is less than 20 minutes away from this scenic small town.

Nature is fickle, so beekeepers never know how much of the sweet treat they will have for sale in a given season.

One thing you can depend on, however, is a good time at the Sourwood Festival. One part small town party, one part art fair and another part chamber-of-commerce showcase, this three-day festival will be held Saturday through Sunday.

Some of the fun — face painting — at the festival

The festivities begin on Friday with Sourwood Idol, a singing contest that has begun to attract participants from around the region. Anyone can sign up for this free competition and qualify for a cash prize.

More than 200 vendors will be selling food, arts and crafts on Saturday and Sunday. The little ones can be rewarded at the children’s area with face painting, rides and games. And live music will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday and last through 5 p.m. Sunday, offering everything from square dancing and clogging to country rock and 1950s-style vocal harmonies.

Beautiful items for sale

In addition to the event, Black Mountain also boasts great shopping and restaurants, nearby hiking at Montreat and local history at the Swannanoa Valley.

Sandy McLeod

Hiking In Western North Carolina

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View from Craggy Gardens

Walk out of your door for a hiker’s paradise– We have trails that are in the top ten in the US for hiking. People drive from great distances to hike the Appalachian Trail and the Mountains-to-the -Sea Trail. The Mountains-to-Sea Trail is North Carolina’s premier hiking trail. It stretches 1000 miles from the Great Smoky Mountains to the Outer Banks stopping at beautiful places like Asheville along the way.  For our guests at Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds it is not necessary to drive anywhere. They need only walk less than 100 feet from our property to be on one of the best hiking trails on the east coast.


Biker on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Only a short drive takes you to many other outstanding trails of varying difficulty nearby. For example Craggy Gardens is only a 24 mile drive on the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway. It is only about 1.4 miles long and is a very easy hike. With a change in elevation only being 200 ft with a moderate climb as you go.


View from Craggy Garden









For the more ambitious hikers, a hike to the top of Mount Mitchell, the highest point east of the Mississippi is only a little more than an hour’s drive on the scenic Parkway. This hike is about 11.4 miles long and is not for the beginner hiker. The total change in elevation being 3689 feet this hike gets quite intense with the steep climb. For the best description of the options available in the Asheville area, check out this link on Romantic Asheville.


Mount Mitchell










For a hike that is some what challenging but not to rigorous Graveyard Fields is a nice hike to go on. With a trail that leads you to the most photographed waterfall in the state you can not go wrong. Total length is about 3.2 miles with some obstacles but overall a moderate hike. The total change in elevation is only 450 feet with hilly ground that is not hard to maneuver through.


Sunset at Craggy Gardens

Best of all, there are all the comforts of home waiting for you when you return to our Asheville resort cabins in the evening. You may soak in the hot tub on the covered deck of your cabin. Then many guests dine in any of a number of fine restaurants nearby or order  takeout. There is a full kitchen and outdoor grill for those who like to cook their own dinners.

Sandy McLeod

5 Tips to Improve Your Stay

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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.










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.”







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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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.









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.










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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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.


Sandy McLeod

Top Asheville Area Events in July

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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.


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.


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.



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.


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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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.




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.



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.




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