Sandy McLeod

Bring On the Lights!

No Comments    |   Email to Friend    |   Print    |   RSS 2.0

It just isn’t Christmas without a bevy of bright lights and gaudy, over-the-top holiday decorations. And if you spend Christmas in Asheville, North Carolina, you won’t be disappointed. The town and surrounding areas get into the spirit whether we’ve got snow on the ground or sunshine over the mountains. Drive through some of the neighborhoods surrounding your cabin or take a tour a little further out. The lights of Christmas are alive and well in Asheville.

  • Biltmore Estate

Don’t even plan on leaving the area without at least one day, or evening, touring Biltmore at Christmas. You’ll find lights, trees and decorations on display at the historic mansion. It’s one of the biggest tourist attractions in the country during the holidays, and you’re just minutes away.

Xmax_facade copyLR

  • Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland Lights

Take a 20-minute drive out to the Western North Carolina Agricultural Center for a real treat. For only $20 per car, you can drive the winding two-mile stretch of LED lights that are synchronized to music you listen to through your car radio. The 12 Days of Christmas forms the theme for the display, which is sure to produce giggles and guffaws as the nationally acclaimed light show adds touches of humor and diversity.


  • Lake Julian Festival of Lights

Not far from your cabin, you’ll find thousands of lights surrounding beautiful Lake Julian and the adjoining park. Admission here is only $5 per car ($15 for a van and $25 for a bus). The spectacle provides a show of nearly 50 lighted displays that are both stationary and animated. The light show is put on by the Buncombe County’s Parks and Recreation Department. It highlights (literally) some of the features of the Arden park, such as boating and fishing. Expect to see lighted fish flying through the Christmas air. You might even catch a glimpse of a few real fishermen too because the lake offers some great fishing this time of year.

  • Winter Lights at NC Arboretum

A first for the mountain park, Christmas in Asheville will be transformed with lights transforming the well-maintained gardens in the shadows of the Blue Ridge Parkway. This winter wonderland light show is a walking tour that features designs by former Walt Disney World lighting guru Jerry Stripling. In addition to the nightly lighted walking tours, you’ll be able to dance outdoors in the courtyard of the newly completed Education Center and purchase snacks, coffee and hot chocolate at the Savory Thyme Café. Admission is $18 for adults and $16 for children 5 through 11. Kids younger than four get in free.


Christmas in Asheville is never boring when you share all the blessings our mountain town has to offer. Spend a day skiing at nearly Wolf Laurel, eat at one of the world-famous restaurants near your cabin and then take in the holiday lights. Your cabin and its wood-burning fireplace will welcome you home when you return.

The staff at Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds wishes you and your friends and families the very merriest holiday season. We hope you’ll choose us for your stay while you celebrate Christmas in Asheville.

Sandy McLeod

The Biltmore Estate at Christmas

No Comments    |   Email to Friend    |   Print    |   RSS 2.0

The Biltmore Estate at Christmas

Asheville Christmas wouldn’t be the same without the Biltmore Estate. Heck, Asheville wouldn’t be the same without the Biltmore Estate. It’s a major draw for tourists from around the world.

It’s easy to brag about the Biltmore Estate. They’re good neighbors who give back to the community. They practice sustainability: 20 percent of their energy use comes from its own network of solar panels, while 10 percent of the food served in its restaurants is grown and raised locally, some of it on the Estate grounds.

So at Christmastime, Biltmore does it right. While the gate to the Estate and nearby Biltmore Village shine with holiday lights, the house itself gets decked out, inside and out. Whether it’s the time of the year or the holiday celebrations, Christmas has proven to be one of the most popular times to visit Asheville and the Biltmore Estate.

Xmax_facade copyLR

Christmas Décor at the Biltmore

It all starts with the 35-foot-tall Christmas tree — with all the trimmings — that adorns the Banquet Hall. Every year, it’s a highlight of the house tour. Towering over a long table set for more than 20 guests, the tree lights up not only the room, but everyone’s heart as well. It’s a sight not to be missed.

But that’s not all the Biltmore Estate does to celebrate its Asheville Christmas. Many rooms feature smaller trees, all decorated to the max and each one a heart-warming treat. Garlands and wreaths and ribbons and bows (even on some of the statuary on the grounds) somehow make it easier to surrender to the holiday spirit.

Biltmore Estate

Christmas Spirit at the Biltmore Estate

The Estate has an ornate grand organ, which pumps holiday cheer through the halls of the first floor, adding to the feeling of jubilee. At night (see more below about the Candlelight Tours), live singers and musicians entertain guests as they wander through the house. From choirs to harpists and flutists, the Biltmore Estate welcomes you with song.

Beyond the house, the conservatory features poinsettias and much, much more — it’s a veritable explosion of color in flowers, all within the warm confines of the conservatory. Antler Hill Village and the Winery also roll out the holiday welcome with lit-up trees and decorations reminiscent of a Thomas Kinkaid painting.

Candlelight Tours at Christmas

Even if you’ve seen the house during the day, it literally glows at night. During the holiday season, from early November into January, the Biltmore Estate offers evening tours. The illuminated entrance and the Estate and the brightly lit tree on the front lawn are merely teases compared to the house. Music rings out every evening. Christmas trees and candlelight shine in almost every room. You’ll feel as though you’ve stepped back in time.

Biltmore Estate Candlelight Evenings cost extra, and you have to buy your tickets in advance, when you’ll be given a specific time to enter the house.


Shopping at the Biltmore Estate

It is the Asheville Christmas season, and the shops at the Estate offer special sales while rolling out the holiday treats and seasonal merchandise. From the many shops by the stable courtyard to the shops in Antler Hill Village and the Winery store, you’ll have ample opportunity to take a bit of the Biltmore home with you.

And the dining experiences on the Estate are among the best in the region. Explore the Estate and then settle down — and get off your feet — for a gourmet meal and a glass of Biltmore wine. We recommend you make reservations in advance on the day (or evening) you plan to visit. Just make sure you give yourself plenty of time to see the house and wander the grounds before your meal.

Enjoy your Asheville Christmas at the Biltmore Estate!


Sandy McLeod

Asheville Events in December 2014

No Comments    |   Email to Friend    |   Print    |   RSS 2.0

Asheville, NC, is in the South, but in the mountains, too. It gets cold here. We even get snow sometimes. It might slow us down, but it won’t stop us. Here are some Asheville events going on in December 2014:

2014 National Gingerbread House Competition

From now through January 1, the Omni Grove Park Inn is displaying the gingerbread houses from this year’s competition. The viewing is free, but you must pay for parking. It’s really worth it if you’ve never seen them. Get details, directions and dining options at the Grove Park Inn. 


Christmas at Biltmore

The time to go to the Biltmore Estate is from now through New Year’s. Come see the enormous Christmas trees and all the holiday cheer. There are also evening tours. Learn more about Christmas at the Biltmore Estate.

Xmax_facade copyLR

Paws to Give

The local no-kill animal rescue center Brother Wolf is throwing a fundraiser on Thursday, December 4, from 6:00 to 9:00 pm in The Millroom. For $20, you get live music, heavy hors d’oeuvres, two free drinks and a “huge silent auction.” Get the facts about the event and order your tickets. 

Biltmore Village Dickens Festival

The area just outside the Biltmore Estate gateway is a quaint shopping/dining area called Biltmore Village. Workers and artisans lived there during the Estate’s construction, but now it’s a commercial district. On December 5–7, the Village comes to life with more than 300 musicians, singers (including choral groups) and dancers. The Montford Park Players also make an appearance. Read more about the Dickens Festival.


Southern Rodeo Association Finals

On December 5–7, at the WNC Agricultural Center in nearby Fletcher, the SRA holds a rodeo. If you’ve never been to one, you’ll be able to watch events like bareback riding, bull riding, calf roping, steer wrestling, barrel racing and breakaway roping. You might want to dress warm, but it promises to be a fun day. Find more information about the rodeo. 

The Big Crafty

If you’re worried about what to get your loved ones for the holidays, don’t! Instead, attend the free arts and crafts extravaganza called The Big Crafty. Held on Sunday, December 7, in Pack Square, Asheville. It’s been called the city’s best community holiday bazaar. Find out why the Big Crafty is so awesome.

Warren Haynes Presents: The 26th Annual Christmas Jam

An Asheville holiday tradition, the Christmas Jam is a start-studded concert to benefit Habitat for Humanity. This year’s Jam on December 13 features Gov’t Mule, Billy & the Kids, Hard Working Americans, Jason Isbell, and many many many more. Tickets sell out fast, so get yours soon. Get the Christmas Jam details. 


Cirque Dreams: Holidaze

On December 17, this theater production comes to the U.S. Cellular Center with 20 unique acts, 30 artists from around the world and more than 300 costumes. If you’re a Cirque fan, do something different on your vacation and see this show. Find out more about Cirque Dreams: Holidaze. 

New Year’s Eve 2015

There are no city-sponsored fireworks this year, but downtown Asheville will still be jumping. Most restaurants are open late, and clubs throughout the city will feature live music. Pick a place and make reservations. Let the office at Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds know if we can help, either when you arrive or in advance.


Asheville opens its doors, figuratively speaking, to guests in December. When you stay at Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds, we’ll help you find what you’re looking for. Let us help make your Asheville vacation memorable.

Sandy McLeod

2014 National Gingerbread House Competition

No Comments    |   Email to Friend    |   Print    |   RSS 2.0

The Gingerbread House Competition receives extensive national media coverage each year. In 2014, the 22nd year for this Asheville event, the national competition begins on November 7, when entries are due. The judging takes place on November 17, and then the gingerbread houses will be displayed at the Omni Grove Park Inn from November 19 to January 1, 2015. The Inn is located in North Asheville, just minutes from Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds.


The viewing allows visitors to see which entries won prizes. The ribbons attached to winning entries show both the category — Adult, Teen, Youth, or Child — and the placing — 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or Top 10. The top three winners in each category receive cash prizes. For example, the 1st Place winner in the Adult category receives a $5,000 prize check, a two-night Club Floor stay at the Omni Grove Park Inn, a dinner for two, daily breakfast for two, a Prize Package from Chef Nicholas Lodge (including a two-day class at the Nicholas Lodge School in Atlanta, GA), and a blue ribbon.


While the prize might seem exorbitant, the competition is fierce, and every year, the bar gets raised as imaginations and technical prowess reach ever more wondrous heights. While the 2nd and 3rd prize winners each take home more than $1000 plus extras, the Teen, Youth, and Child categories pay out very little in comparison. Want to try your luck? Start making plans for next year!


Viewing Options

The hotel limits the gingerbread house viewing on Saturdays and Sundays to hotel guests only. Visitors and other gingerbread house enthusiasts can view the creations on Thursdays through Sundays (excluding holidays). Drive-on guests are required to pay a $10 parking fee, half of which will be donated to local Asheville charities during this exhibition.


The trip is well worth the trouble, however, because in addition to seeing the nationally recognized gingerbread displays at this Asheville event, you can stroll among nearly 100 Christmas trees decorated in different themes. In addition, you can find numerous shops, cafes and fine dining restaurants throughout the hotel, as well as a variety of seasonal and holiday buffets. See the list of Omni Grand park Inn dining options. 


Gingerbread Houses Aren’t Just Houses

The term “gingerbread house” is a bit of a misnomer because many of the finest creations are anything but houses. Expect to see seasonal themes, birds, outdoor scenes, fanciful lamps and bowls, nativity scenes, a carousel or two and cute animals among the more traditional houses made of the sweet confectionary.


1st Place

Judges use a set of criteria to rate the entries, which must be made out of at least 75 percent gingerbread. The entire display, with the exception of the base, must be edible. The other criteria judges use during the Asheville event include:


  • Theme consistency
  • Originality
  • Difficulty
  • Creativity
  • Precision
  • Overall appearance


National Attention

If you visit during the third week of December, you might miss the Grand Prize winner and a few other select entries. That’s the week that the finest of the fine sweet creations are carefully packed up and moved to New York City, where the competition takes center stage on the set of ABC’s Good Morning America.


1st Place

The movers do everything in their powers to maintain the integrity of the exhibits so they can return to their place of honor in the halls of the Omni Grove Park Inn. Sometimes, the long trip takes a minor toll on the fragile gingerbread works of art, but you’ll be amazed at all of them, including those made by the tiniest of hands.

Sandy McLeod

Thanksgiving in Asheville

No Comments    |   Email to Friend    |   Print    |   RSS 2.0

Asheville has a lot to be thankful for in 2014. The economy is gaining ground, real estate sales are starting to heat up again and business is booming downtown, where it seems like a new restaurant opens every week. In short, Asheville is experiencing dramatic growth for the first time since 2008, when the downturn in the nation’s economy hit everyone hard.


That’s good news for both residents and visitors. Locally, the city is making investments in infrastructure, from streets and highways to sidewalks and green spaces. West Asheville, in particular, has experienced a rebirth, with new restaurants and businesses opening up. Isis Restaurant & Music Hall, for example, has raised the bar with the quality of both its food and its entertainment.


Time to Celebrate!

So this Thanksgiving, the people of Asheville want to say, “Thank you!” The best way to do that is with a parade. It’s become a tradition for Asheville Thanksgiving to kick off the holiday season with a parade through downtown streets. This year’s parade happens the Saturday before Thanksgiving, on November 22.


The parade starts at 11:00 am at the corner of Charlotte Street and Biltmore Avenue, near historic McCormick Field. The parade will march up Biltmore to the center of the city at Pack Square before turning onto Patton Avenue for the second leg of the parade.


Local schools, marching bands, businesses, veterans, dancers, actors (the famous Montford Park Players), and musicians all take part. In fact, Asheville’s American Idol winner Caleb Johnson will be a welcome guest. Rumor has it that the parade will feature an early visit from Santa Claus as well.


Even though it’s not Black Friday, the JingleFest Market will accompany the parade. Held in the U.S. Cellular Center, right up the street from the parade route, the market will offer a small craft/holiday market and fun family activities that are free to all. Since the JingleFest Market is indoors, you don’t have to worry about the weather.


Thanksgiving for Those in Need

But an Asheville Thanksgiving is not complete without supporting families who need help. So Asheville ahs many programs to distribute food to those in need, such as Manna Food Bank. But Asheville is an eclectic place and a culinary destination, so on Thanksgiving, something special happens.


Welcome Table is a community program started by the Swannanoa United Methodist Church. While they serve hot meals to the community once a week, on Thanksgiving Day, they feed 400 or more people in need.


The idea has been adopted — and modified — by Asheville’s downtown Haywood Street Congregation. In this iteration, 16 of the city’s best restaurants prepare gourmet meals for anyone in need. Liz Button, the co-owner of Curate, explains: “By our actions and our food, we’re delivering a clear message: Regardless of who you are or your circumstances, you deserve the very best.”


When you stay on the beautiful grounds of Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds, you get the best of both worlds: the woodsy charm and intimate luxury of a mountain cabin along with the nearby bustling city, where parades and charities go hand-in-hand.  Please stop by the office for a list of restaurants open and serving Thanksgiving dinner.

Sandy McLeod

The Top Asheville Events in November

No Comments    |   Email to Friend    |   Print    |   RSS 2.0

Once the leaves have changed color and finally dropped off the trees, autumn has also fallen. In Asheville, that means many events — but not all — move indoors. Here are the ten best Asheville events for November:

Christmas at Biltmore

If you’ve never been to the Biltmore Estate, the time to go is from November 7 to January 11, 2015. The Estate decks its halls for the yuletide celebration. Gigantic decorated Christmas trees. Special holiday music and gifts. You get it all for the regular admission price. Give us a call to reserve your tickets!

Xmax_facade copyLR

Candlelight Christmas Evenings at the Biltmore Estate

When the Biltmore Estate in Asheville gets into the holiday spirit, it creates lasting memories. Schedule a trip to see the Estate in the evening while it glows with warmth and holiday cheer. From November 7 through New Year’s. You must buy tickets in advance. Give our office a call to make your reservations.


Taste of Asheville 2014

This is Asheville’s premier foodie event. On November 20, from 7–9 pm, more than 40 independent restaurants, vineyards and breweries show off their best. It’s a fundraising event, so tickets are $75 and $100, with discounts for couples. View the Taste of Asheville video and buy tickets. 



2014 National Gingerbread House Competition

This year marks the 22nd time this imaginative and delightful event has been hosted by the Omni Grove Park Inn. Starting on November 19, the Inn will set up the displays for all gingerbread house entries, not just the winners. Make a day of it and have lunch or dinner after viewing the best gingerbread houses you will ever see — until next year. Find out when the gingerbread house display is open. 


Asheville Holiday Parade and Jinglefest

From 11:00 am to 4:00 pm on November 22, Santa and all his friends parade through downtown Asheville for the 68th time as Asheville kicks off its holiday season. Come see the show and hear the music. This year’s parade features Asheville’s own American Idol winner Caleb Johnson. JingleFest, with children’s activities and a holiday market, starts at 1:00 pm. Get holiday parade and JingleFest news. 


Winter Lights at the Arboretum

From November 22 to January 4, the North Carolina Arboretum shines like never before. Holiday lights create a magical winter wonderland experience. This family-friendly event in Asheville happens every night from 6:00 to 10:00 pm, but you must buy your tickets in advance. Sales begin on October 15. Learn more about Winter Lights. 

images All these Asheville events are close by when you stay at Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds. Book your vacation now. Asheville is the place to be in November!

Sandy McLeod

Surprise First Snow at Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds

No Comments    |   Email to Friend    |   Print    |   RSS 2.0



View from Trout Trail

View from Trout Trail




We just had our first snow of the season. It is a light fluffy snow not expected to last long, with warmer weather predicted for next week. Nevertheless, our full time crew was out early this morning to shovel off decks and walk ways, and our guests were out enjoying a good old fashion snowball fight!!

Guest enjoying the Snot

Guest enjoying the Snow

More Snowball fights!

More Snowball fights!

Even though the snow was a surprise, our guest can still take  advantages of our large covered decks  This makes it easy to be outside and enjoy the view, enjoy the hot tubs, and cook out on our electric grills.  Enjoy some more shots taken of the beautiful snow this morning.

The Pond with some holly

The Pond with some holly




Cold look bench….but pretty



Our outdoor windows and door.





Snow and fall leaves








Sandy McLeod

The Best Vacation Starts with a Fully Stocked Cabin

No Comments    |   Email to Friend    |   Print    |   RSS 2.0

When you stay at a hotel on your vacation, you know up front that you will be eating all your meals in a restaurant, diner, fast food joint, café or food truck. In other words, you’ll be eating out for every meal. Most hotel rooms don’t have even a hot plate.

Sophia.LivRm.Dining.Kit.LoRez (1)

At Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds, you get a lot more than a hot plate: you get a full kitchen with all the conveniences of home. So if you rent one of the Asheville vacation cabins on our property, you have three options when it comes to eating during your stay:


  1. Choose a restaurant for a special dining experience or a hassle-free meal.


  1. Bring your food with you (if you drive) or shop for provisions on your way from the airport.


  1. Let us stock your kitchen for you so your Asheville vacation cabin is ready for you when you arrive.


Dining Out

Asheville boasts many fine dining restaurants. The city’s foodie scene has been written up in national publications such as Food & Wine magazine. The Omni Grove Park Inn features several, and the Corner Kitchen, Chestnut, Posana Café and the Red Stag Grill come highly recommended.


White Duck Taco

If you want something in a more casual setting, there’s Juicy Lucy’s Burger Bar and Grill, 12 Bones BBQ and Homegrown, among many, many more. Asheville also has great cafés for breakfast at any hour, like the Early Girl Eatery, Tupelo Honey Café and Sunny Point Café, to name just three. All are within a 15-minute drive from your Asheville vacation cabin.



The term “brown-bagging” comes from kids (or adults) who bring their own lunch to school (or work), usually in a brown-paper bag. But when you go on vacation and you know you’ll have the use of a full kitchen and an outdoor grill, it’s a smart choice to bring your food with you. First of all, you can plan certain meals to share in your Asheville vacation cabin. Second of all, you won’t have to spend vacation time food shopping.

0aMt1tgky6NyDL_K00hw9pghcSlGJohQAkEOYfj8ioQIf you’re flying in, bringing food isn’t always an option. Fortunately, Asheville has several upscale supermarkets — such as Harris Teeter, The Fresh Market, Trader Joe’s and Ingles — plus several organic grocery stores — such as Earth Fare, Whole Foods, GreenLife and the French Broad Food Coop. Stock up on you’re way to your Asheville vacation cabin.


Arrive Fully Stocked

The best vacation, however, starts with a fully stocked cabin. Imagine the sometimes grueling drive (or flight) to get to Asheville, which admittedly is off the beaten path somewhat. You finally pull up to your cabin and drag your suitcases inside…

McLeod-20131004-0003-LR The air conditioning greets you. The welcome basket waits on the dining room table. And all your groceries have been put away. Grab a cold beer or soda from the refrigerator. Open a bottle of wine. Break out the local cheese and crackers. Heat up the grill for a well-deserved BBQ dinner.


This can be your experience at Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds. Call or write ahead — or when you make your reservation — and ask about our Willow Winds Grocery Shopping Service. If you give us a list and a budget, we can do the grocery shopping for you. Do you want organic food? We can get it for you? Vegetarian? Not a problem. Gluten free? Whatever you want, we can do it. Our job is to make you happy; your only job while you’re here with us is to be happy.



Sandy McLeod

Vacation in Asheville

No Comments    |   Email to Friend    |   Print    |   RSS 2.0


Visitors to Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds often marvel at how amazing it is that they could be nearly in the center of the city and still feel like they are mountain adventurers. Asheville vacation cabins aren’t rustic in the sense that you feel you’re “roughing it,” but they are situated in the mountain woods just below the Blue Ridge Parkway. You don’t ever have to leave the city limits to return home with stories fit for a mountain explorer.

Making the Lists

Asheville has been making “Best of” lists around the country due to its rather eclectic culture that seems to thrive in the midst of its natural beauty. Asheville was named Best Craft Beer City in America in 2009 and continues to build craft breweries available for tours and tastings all year round.   As Southern Living’s Best of the South Travel Awards winner in 2010, the town made it to the big time. The Huffington Post pegged Asheville in its Top 10 Undiscovered Local Food Cities. Chefs flock to Asheville to be a part of the bursting foodie scene. There are so many dining treasures in the city now that you won’t be able to taste them all in just one visit.   Many people visit Asheville vacation cabins only to return later to live here. And it’s no wonder, when the city made MSN’s Top Five Best Places to Retire list, AARP The Magazine’s list of Top 15 Best Places to Reinvent Your Life and number 21 on Forbes’ Best Places for Business and Careers list.


Culture in Every Corner

For a city with a population of only 85,000, it’s surprising that so many cultural experiences abound on a weekly basis. From art galleries and museums to theaters and live music, the city offers expanded entertainment options every week — so many that you have to choose between the “can’t miss” and “must see” events.   Right downtown, you’ll find exciting top-notch performances at the 500-seat Diana Wortham Theatre, world-class performers in the black-box Altamont Theatre Company, superb comedies, musicals and dramas at the Asheville Community Theatre and professional theater, local performers and dance at NC Stage.   Music comes in all varieties too. While bluegrass plays everywhere, the Asheville Symphony and touring groups provide a jam-packed schedule at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium. Asheville Lyric Opera plays at the Diana Wortham Theatre, just blocks away from rock and roll at the Orange Peel. Listen to a range of musical styles in Asheville at places such as the Asheville Music Hall, Isis Restaurant and Music Hall, the Grey Eagle and the Odditorium.


Walkin’ and Shoppin’

You don’t have to drive up to the Parkway to get in a good day’s worth of hiking. Start downtown at the foot of Broadway and work your way up to Patton Avenue, then up and down Lexington, Haywood Street and Wall Street. Start early because you’ll want to stop in every local shop — that’s right, Asheville has exactly one chain store in its downtown — selling everything from local crafts and woodworking to clothing, jewelry and games. Find hundreds of local artists under one roof at Woolworths and the Kress Emporium.   And eat all along the way as you walk and shop — it’s one of the more popular activities to include in your Asheville vacation. You can expect to be entertained in more ways than one as you hike the urban trails too. Musicians of every ilk, ranging from old-timey banjo pickers to new-age pan drummers, perform on the sidewalks of downtown Asheville.

early morning at Asheville City Market

early morning at Asheville City Market

View the Architecture Too

While you explore the insides of the shops and restaurants, don’t forget to look up as you walk, shop and eat. Asheville prides itself on its heritage and diversity, but the city also boasts beautifully restored art-deco buildings. In the early 1900s, Asheville became known as the “Paris of the South” because of its architectural styles and the level of talent attracted to the city.   If you’re visiting Asheville for the first time, no doubt you’ll spend a day at the Biltmore House, which lies a short drive from downtown. If you are into grand old buildings, the Biltmore Estate has competition in the Grove Arcade. Notice the building’s designs and playful sculptures dotting the exterior. As you walk the streets of downtown, make sure you see the City-County buildings at Pack Square and the Battery Park Hotel.   Is Asheville worth a trip? It will take your breath away.

Sandy McLeod

The Best Asheville Events in October

No Comments    |   Email to Friend    |   Print    |   RSS 2.0

October means Halloween to most people, but to Ashevillians, it means more, much more. The town swells with tourists eager to view the autumn leaves, and for good reason: this is the month that usually brings out the best colors.

uyNbK9PRHwSJ5nqBw-Jpwcl9If6BFtjDFvC6a3mkTQU But while it may be the leaves that bring people to Asheville, it’s the activities around town, the mountain charm of our small city and peaceful pace of life here that makes people want to stay. If you’ve booked an Asheville vacation at Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds, you will see the best the city has to offer. Here are the highlights for October:


Forest Festival Day

This event on October 4 at the Cradle of Forestry near Brevard, NC, features the John G. Palmer Intercollegiate Woodsmen’s Meet. For a paltry $6 entrance fee, you get to see a blacksmith ply his trade, an archery demonstration, weavers and wood carvers, horse-drawn wagon rides, and the Woodsmen’s Meet, which is a lumberjack competition. Plus all the fresh mountain air you can carry! Learn more about Forest Festival Day.


Asheville Barnaroo 2014

On October 4–5, Barnaroo returns to nearby Leicester, but it’s still an Asheville event since it’s just seven miles from downtown. This music fest — supporting the growth and development of our local youth music — features two stages, as well as local food and beverages. It promises to be a family friendly event. Get the fest details. 


Asheville Art in the Park

For the first three Saturdays in October, Pack Square Park in the center of downtown Asheville will be invaded by ceramicists, jewelers, woodworkers, glass blowers, potters and more. You can be there too. Take a leisurely stroll through the booths or go on a serious shopping spree. Learn more about this Asheville event.


Hey Day Fall Family Festival

October 11 marks the 38th year for this festival at the WNC Nature Center. You can expect pumpkin painting, live music, local food vendors, games, arts and crafts, educational programs and lots of animals. Regular admission prices apply. Get more info from the WNC Nature Center. 


Asheville Oktoberfest 2104

October 11 is also the date for this year’s downtown Oktoberfest. Asheville has become known as Beer City USA, with more breweries per capita than almost anywhere else. So it’s not a question of if the city would have an Oktoberfest celebration, only when and where. This year’s event promises to be grand. We recommend that you order tickets in advance because it will sell out. 


Asheville Zombiewalk 2014

What can you do after attending Oktoberfest? You’re hung over, you can barely see and you’re walking with a limp from banging into so many people. Perfect! Go as you are to the Asheville Zombiewalk. It takes place on Sunday, October 12, starting at 4:00 pm, so you have time to sleep it off. If you thought Asheville was weird before, you are in for a surprise. Asheville is home to a legion of zombie fans, and they are all very creative. Get the latest zombie news.


Craft Fair of The Southern Highlands

This paid-admission fair is the real deal. On October 16–19, professional artists and craftspeople show off (and sell!) their latest and best work. The exhibitors have been hand-picked by jurors from the Southern Highlands Crafts Guild, and the diversity and talent on display will astound you. Learn more about the Craft Fair. 


The Eliada Corn Maze

Open Thursday to Sunday every week until October 26, this is one of the best in North Carolina. This fun family destination offers four miles of trails, but don’t worry, they’ll give you a map with your paid admission (which goes to charity). Find out more about the maze. 


Mountain Oasis Electronic Music Summit 2014

In a city that boasts MoogFest and many music venues, it seems only natural that another electronic music festival would come along. From October 30 to November 2, this Asheville event takes over stages throughout downtown with almost 50 bands (headlined by Nine Inch Nails). Learn more about the summit and buy tickets. 


And of course, Asheville is again the place to be for Halloween. But that’s a story for another time. Check back with us and consider the beauty of the woods on our property at Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds when you plan your next Asheville vacation. Within the city limits and minutes from downtown, our cabins offer amenities you can’t find elsewhere.