Craggy Pinnacle Trail

In The Blue Ridge Mountains

By Christy Evers

Ultimate Guide to Craggy Pinnacle Rhododendron Tunnels Near Asheville, NC: Expert Tips & Insider Info to Make the Most of Your Adventure

Welcome to Craggy Pinnacle, the crown jewel of the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina. Get a FREE copy of the Craggy Pinnacle Travel Guide to help you plan your trip.

Craggy Pinnacle is a NOT TO MISS hike when traveling the Blue Ridge Parkway. This relatively short hike (1.4 miles round trip) through gnarled birch branches and fairy-like mountain flora leads you to one of the most spectacular 360 views on the Blue Ridge Parkway. In my opinion, it’s the best spot for sunrise and sunset chasers.

Here’s what you need to know if you’re considering a trip to see the Rhododendron tunnels on the Craggy Pinnacle Trail. Keep reading to find out where it is, when to go, where to stay, what to expect, what not to miss and what not to avoid. You can also watch the video guide here or have a printable travel guide sent conveniently to your inbox.

Where to find the Rhododendron Tunnels

Photo by Simon Berger on
view of empty road
Photo by Nicolas Postiglioni on


Craggy Pinnacle Trail is on the Blue Ridge Parkway, 20 Miles North of Asheville and about a 2 minute drive from the Craggy Pinnacle Visitors Center. It’s the first turn on the left after you drive through the Craggy Pinnacle Tunnel.

Parkway Entrances & Exits in Asheville

You’ll find entrances and exits to the Blue Ridge Parkway at most state and federal highway crossings. One exception is the intersection of Interstates 40 and 26. They do not provide direct access, but have signage. There are four primary entrances to the Parkway in Asheville:

  • Milepost 382.6: US Highway 70 crosses, the Folk Art Center is a short drive North. The best entrance for I-40 heading West.
  • Milepost 384.7: US 74A, the best entrance from I-40 heading East or coming from downtown.
  • Milepost 388.8: US 25 crosses. Biltmore is three miles north.
  • Milepost 393.6: NC 191 crosses. The closest entrance from I-26. The North Carolina Arboretum is located at this intersection.

Car GPS units don’t work well on the Parkway, But you can find everything easily by the mileposts, phone GPS or an old fashion map!

When to Go

The Blue Ridge Parkway is open all year round, however the roads can close due to icy conditions, downed trees, construction or road maintenance. Always check with the National Park Services Daily Updates on road closures on the Blue Ridge Parkway. This link is also included in the free Craggy Pinnacle Travel Guide that can be accessed here.

Road Closures are most likely to happen in the winter months between December and February.

March, April & May are some of the best months if you want the possibility of fewer crowds and mild weather. It can still get cold, so dress in layers.

June is the only month when the rhododendrons are in bloom. You may get some buds in late May and remnants of blooms going into July, but if you want to see the rhododendron tunnels in full bloom, mid to late June is your best bet.

Summer months are popular. The lush landscape gives the trail an other-worldly feel, as if you’ve stepped into a Lord of the Rings Novel. However, this is the most popular time and the most crowded.

Of course Fall is another popular time to visit Craggy Pinnacle. The 360 view of the summit is the perfect spot to drink in the calico colors of the season with mild weather.

Where to Stay

Above I listed the 4 main entrances to the Blue Ridge Parkway from Asheville. Here are a couple hotel recommendation for each exit. You can find a longer list of suggestions in the free Craggy Pinnacle Travel Guide that you can access here.

  1. The first entrance to the BRP is off of Milepost 382.6: where US Highway 70 crosses. The Folk Art Center is a short drive north. This is the best entrance if you’re on I-40 heading west.

2. Milepost 384.7: US 74A, the best entrance from I-40 heading East. Town Mountain Rd. from Downtown connects directly to this Route. 

3. Milepost 388.8: US 25 crosses, Biltmore is three miles north.

4. Milepost 393.6: NC 191 crosses, the nearest entrance from I-26. The North Carolina Arboretum is located at this intersection.

Cabin Rentals Near Craggy Pinnacle

What to Expect

A big concern for most people hiking in the mountains is weather or not they may run into a bear or another kind of dangerous animal.  Wildlife on Craggy Pinnacle is hard to spot.  You may get a glimpse of a fox or coyote, but they tend to shy away from people, so sightings are rare. While I once spotted a mama bear and cub from my car on our drive to the Pinnacle, I’ve never seen one on the trail.

black bear in the forest
Photo by Aaron Brewer on

The only wildlife I’ve personally seen are birds, bees and rabbits.

While black bears are known to live in the area and frequent the BRP, it’s not likely they will ascend the pinnacle trail because of where it’s situated and also because it’s a popular and often crowded hiking spot.  Black bears are generally afraid of humans so they are good at keeping their distance. 

In the rare event that you do encounter a bear, here’s what you should do: If you talk, sing, or make any kind of loud noises along the trail, they won’t show themselves anywhere near you. If you do encounter a bear on the trail, keep your distance. Back away slowly and wait for it to move on. If it approaches, yell and make yourself look as big as possible. In the (extremely rare) event of a bear attack, don’t play dead — with black bears, you have to fight back. It’s a good idea to always carry bear spray when hiking for this reason. Never ever ever approach a bear — either on foot or in your vehicle — in an attempt to get a good photo. It’s simply not smart or safe.

If you go at the time when the Rhododendron’s are in bloom, it’s a pollinators buffet Bees are everywhere.  It’s wise to be prepared for stings if you’re allergic or simply want to treat a sting promptly, however, from my experience, the bees are not aggressive. The likelihood of a sting is low.  

As for the weather, you can expect the temperature to be around 15-20 degrees cooler than in Asheville. 

The Climate is temperamental. It’s wise to dress in layers and prepare for any type of weather. It can be rainy, sunny, cold, warm and anything inbetween on any given day and even on the same hike. Bring a water proof jacket and water resistant shoes with good traction to prevent slipping on wet rocks or muddy patches.

My favorite hiking boots are my Timberland hiking boots.  I love their ankle support and sturdy soles and they have never given me blisters. I highly recommend.  

Although the hike to the summit is considered an easy to moderate hike and is a relatively short hike at only .7 miles in each directions, the terrain is rocky, steep and can get wet and slippery.  Wear appropriate shoes and dress in layers.

Trail difficulty:

The trail is considered an easy to moderate hike and is .7 miles to the summit, that makes 1.4  miles round trip.

As for the bathroom, expect to use port a potties located at in the Craggy Pinnacle parking lot just before you get to the trail head.

There are bathrooms at the Craggy Gardens Visitors Center which is a short distance before the Trail parking lot.  However, the bathrooms aren’t always functional and the only option are the porta potties there too. It’s better than nothing, but for those of you who are picky pee’ers, I thought you’d like a heads up.


If you’re plan on taking a picnic on your hike, there are no picnic tables or seating areas on the Pinnacle trail.  There are some great places to sit down and rest and have a snack tho.  It’s a good idea to bring a light weight picnic blanket to sit on while you enjoy a rest as you soak in the view and hydrate. There are a few benches to sit on once you get to the top and one small bench at the base of  area before the trail to reach the summit.

It’s important to note that there are no trash receptacles on the pinnacle trail, so be sure to bring your own trash bag or way to store your trash until you can reach a proper disposal. Please don’t litter this beautiful area. 

If you prefer to have a picnic with tables and seating, Craggy Gardens does have a designated picnic area a few miles before the Visitor Center. 

What Not to Miss

Craggy Pinnacle trail is more than just a hike. It’s the perfect trail to stop and smell the . . . well, smell the rhododendrons and feel the wind on your face.  If you’re only about making it to the peak of the trail, you’re missing out on its scenic charm.  This is an ideal hike if you don’t have much time, but If you can spare the extra moments, I urge you to drink it all in. 

*Take time to read the informational signs about the flora, fauna and history. 

*Take time to take one of the smaller trails and discover your own favorite spot to take a break or watch a sunset. 

*Take time to appreciate the plant life and growth in all seasons or weather.

*Take time to view the Blue Ridge mountains from varying vantages points and overlooks.

*Take time to be silent and still.  You never know when some wild life will appear.

*Don’t miss out on the visitors center. They have a variety of souvenirs, snacks, information and a quaint, heated area with rocking chairs overlooking an amazing view.

*If you’re up for a longer hike, you can find more trials at the Craggy Gardens picnic area and the at the Visitors center.

*Just because it’s a short hike doesn’t mean you can’t end up spending an entire day there!

Mistakes to Avoid

Here’s some tips on mistakes to avoid based off of my own experience and knowledge I’ve gained as I’ve frequented this trail.

The first mistake is thinking that just because this is a short hike, you don’t need to to be prepared or wear adequate clothing.  It’s a huge mistake to wear footwear that could cause slippage, blisters or could result in ankle or knee twisting.  It’s a mistake to not prepare for different types of weather and it’s a mistake not to bring water. 

Another huge mistake is going to the wrong trail.  I often hear of people hiking the trails at Craggy Gardens picnic area trail, then wondering why they couldn’t find that 360 view.   

Like me, another mistake is not realizing how close the Craggy Pinnacle trail is after the Visitors center.  The first time I went I completely missed the parking lot. I thought it was just another road since it’s so poorly marked.

Craggy Pinnacles elevation level means that it’s not uncommon for thick clouds to form at the peak that obstruct your view.  Don’t let that stop you from reaching the top though.  I’ve been to the peak of Craggy Pinnacle trail in all types of weather. Each weather system is an artist in it’s own right, painting a masterpiece with spilled light and wispy or clotted cloud on a folded mountain canvas.  As a matter of fact, one of my favorite sunsets at the summit was on a day when we could barely see anything when we reached the top. As we stuck around, the clouds began to break, unveiling a spectacular show of nature. It’s a huge mistake to think that only clear days are worth reaching the peak.

When you get to the Craggy Pinnacle trail, and if you don’t see blooms at the entrance, don’t make the mistake of thinking there are no blooms anywhere on the trail.  I found that the higher up I went, the more beautiful and bountiful the blooms became.  Not to mention, rhododendrons bloom at different times based on elevation.  If you can’t find blooms in one location, you’re very likely to find them somewhere else. 

Craggy Pinnacle Rhododendron sunet

If you catch a sunset, don’t make the mistake of taking so many pictures and videos that you run out your phone battery and don’t have enough battery life left to get you safely back down the trail.  It gets extremely dark after the sun goes down and the rocky trail, with not enough light, can be very dangerous.  Be sure to bring a wireless phone charger or a hiking flashlight to be safe. A travel gadget that I really love is this wireless, portable charger that is also a flashlight. I adore multi-tasking gadgets!

Before you leave for Craggy Pinnacle, it’s a good idea to check the National Park Service to check to see if there are any road closures due to weather, obstructions, construction or maintenance.  I do have that link provided for you in the Free Travel Guide that I created for you that can be accessed by clicking here.

Lastly, don’t make the mistake of having unrealistic expectations of the blooms.  Many people come to the Rhododendron tunnels and expect every inch of every tree to be covered in fluffy flowers.  The growth tend to clump together in random patches.  They’re beautiful and magnificent either way, but the beauty can be overlooked by those who hold unrealistic expectations. 

Have you been to the rhododendron tunnels at Craggy Pinnacle Trail? Do you plan on going? Let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear form you.

Thank you for joining me on this journey. I’d love for you to connect with me on social media and join my video journeys on YouTube. Please follow or join me and leave a comment to say, “Hi!” I appreciate you! Happy Travels!

~Christy Evers

Happily 4 Evers After Travels & Retreats

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The River Arts District

Asheville, North Carolina

By Christy Evers

Once an area of warehouses, workshops, tanneries and depots, now you’ll find over 200 artists working in a variety of mediums, from pottery and jewelry to painting and glass blowing.

The River Arts District is located just a few minutes from downtown Asheville, and is home to a variety of galleries, studios, and shops.

One of the most popular mediums in the district is pottery, with several studios offering classes and workshops for beginners and advanced potters alike.

If you’re looking for unique jewelry, you’ll find plenty of options in the River Arts District. From handcrafted silver and gold to beaded and woven pieces, there’s something for everyone.

Glass blowing is another popular medium in the district, where you can find artists working in their shops. Purchase one of their works to take home as a souvenir or try your hand at glass blowing yourself by taking a class.

person in black shirt holding glass rod
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Of course, painting is well-represented in the River Arts District, with artists working in a variety of styles and genres. One of my favorites is the Jonas Gerard studio. Although the artist passed away in 2020, you can still view and purchase his works on display. Watch the brilliant way he worked with color and played with light. You can also see his work space complete with drums he would play and a microphone that he would use to sing as the inspiration hit while he worked on his paintings. 

You’ll also find plenty of public art in the district, including murals, sculptures, and installations.

You’re free to meander through the multitude of corridors and halls that were once warehouses, packing plants, train depots and more that have been converted into studios for local artists. Find unique items like homegrown, homemade plant paper, and pottery that incorporates horse hair in the making process.  You can watch artists while they work on their craft, purchase items and even converse with the artists to learn more about their work. Take a class like glass fusing, Bonsai lessons, jewelry making workshops, printmaking workshops, and painting, to name a few. You can even book a walking tour of the River arts District , an electric bike tour or an afternoon with an artist with a private gallery tour. 

When you need a break from all the art, there are plenty of places to grab a bite to eat or a cup of coffee. I highly suggest 12 Bones Smokehouse, a popular restaurant that has been frequented by famous folks such as former President Obama.

In addition to having amazing food with a Southern flare, they also have souvenirs so you can take home their tasty sauces and rubs, and I purchased their cookbook so I could attempt to recreate their mouth watering food at home.  

Let’s not forget the river. The French Broad River runs through the district, and there are plenty of opportunities for kayaking, tubing, and other water activities.

two men in kayak
Photo by eMiL rAjAn on

If you’re looking for a place to stay that’s near the River arts District, you can stay at the Country Inn and Suites River Arts district which is .6 mile from the River Arts District or about a 6 minute drive.

Downtown is another nearby location. The Double Tree by Hilton or Hotel Indigo are going to be the closest at about .8 miles from the River arts District.and only approx. a 5-6  minute drive. Currently there’s an Embassy Suites that’s being built across the street from Double Tree and is scheduled to open at the end of 2023. Cambria is also just a few blocks further away from this area and is a good lodging choice.

Anywhere downtown is great, but the Next closest with easiest traffic routes would be Aloft Downtown Asheville which is one of the most pet friendly hotels in the area and then the Foundry Hotel and Restoration Asheville which are more upscale.

If you’re looking for a unique and vibrant community of artists and makers and love to browse unique works of art, be sure to check out the River Arts District in Asheville, North Carolina.

I’d love to know if the River Arts District is on your list of places to see when visiting Asheville?  Tell me in the comments and please share with someone who’d love to know more about this amazing art scene in Asheville.

#Asheville #AshevilleNC #AshvilleNorthCarolina #AshevilleRiverArtsDistrict #JonasGerard #ThingstodoinAsheville #Wheretostayinasheville #12BonesSmokehouse

10 Things to do in Asheville, NC

by Christy Evers

Asheville is a widely diverse city. It has everything from historic roots to a modern art scene, spots to kick back and relax, listen to music or go on a thrilling adventure. Asheville is gaining more and more awards and quickly earning a spot as one of the best food cities in America. There is so much to do and see in Asheville and this video is a brief overview of 10 different types of activities and tours that you can enjoy. I have already created some video’s that you can watch and will continue to create more that dive into the details and specifics of some of these tours, but today, we’re focusing on a general overview.

Some of these categories overlap, however the ones that had especially unique characteristics or a multitude of options, were given their own category.

Let’s get moving!

1)  Walking tours.

grayscale photo of people walking on the street
Photo by Waqas Saeed on

There are multiple types of walking tours from downtown city tours, walking tours of the River Arts District, museums, gardens, waterfalls and historic places.  They even have specialized walking tours, like:

Haunted ghost tours

Literary tours

Brewery tours

Coffee shop tours

Historic music scene walking tours

There’s something for all interests

They even have scavenger hunts, which is a fun, creative and interactive way to experience the gems of the city.

2)  Biking

If motoring around on wheels is more your speed, you’re in luck!  There are multiple ways to explore Asheville on wheels from biking and segway tours to jeeps and ATV’s. You can take a tour of the city, chase sunsets in the mountains or even participate in bike pub crawls. Check out different kinds of biking tours here.

#3 Waterfall tours

a woman sitting on a rock near waterfall
Photo by Kirk Thornton on

The surrounding area of Asheville is home to over 250 waterfalls and is aptly called the Land of Waterfalls. You can see these beautiful works of nature by hiking, biking, running, or driving. Explore on your own or participate in guided group or private tours.

They have specialty tours for sunset or sunrise seekers

And Specialty photography tours.

Check out different types of waterfall tours here.

#4 Classes & Workshops

Asheville is an active city to be experienced upfront and personal through classes & workshops.  Asheville isn’t simply about seeing. It’s about learning, doing, experiencing and being. Learn to forage for food in the forest, or take in the creative vibe of the city by making your own candles. Make pottery or jewelry, learn to blow glass, or have a private session with an artist.

Don’t simply come to Asheville to look. Come to experience, dive in, explore and learn a new skill. Become your best  you!  

Check out a list of different classes and workshops here.

#5 Historical tours

Established in the 1790’s Asheville sits on what was part of the Cherokee Nation, Asheville has a rich history to explore. Visit historical landmarks, discover the historical music and literary scene of the city.  Although ghost tours aren’t technically considered to be a historical tour, in my personal experience, I’ve  enjoyed learning the most interesting and entertaining stories based off of  every day life from years past from ghost tours, than I do from any other type of tour.  

Check out a list of different historical tours here.

#6  Food & Beverage Tours

Asheville has been dubbed as Beer City USA and is continually winning awards and accolades quickly  rising in the ranks and gaining a reputation  as one of the best food cities in the US. Taking a restaurant or brewery tours is a great way to sample the local flavor.  You can pedal your calories away on a pedal pub or They even have a floating pub crawl where you can float down the river and stop at local breweries along the way. But that’s not it! You can also take coffee, restaurant, food foraging and rooftop tours as well.

Check out a list of food and beverage tours here.

#7 Land Adventure/Outdoor

There’s no shortage of tour options for adventure seekers.  There are multiple ways to explore the city and mountains of Asheville. Go horseback riding or 4 wheel driving. Take a jeep tour, go zip lining and visit adventure centers.  Take a bus or trolley tour, explore gardens and nature parks and of course, hiking or biking to those beautiful waterfalls, mountains and national forests.

Check out a list of land adventures here.

#8 Water Adventures

Stay cool by exploring Asheville through their scenic waterways!

You can go white water rafting, kayaking, paddle boarding, tubing. Take a Fishing excursion or wet your taste buds with the floating pub crawl.

Check out a list of water adventures here.

9.   Air Adventures

Explore Asheville with a birds eye view from above in a helicopter or hot air balloon tours.

10. Relaxation/Wellness

man wearing black cap with eyes closed under cloudy sky
Photo by Kelvin Valerio on

If your in the mood for peace, calm relaxation and rest, they have tours for that too!

Do yoga on a mountain top or meditate in cool Moroccan style tea shops or outdoors.

Forest bathing, while long popular in other parts of the world, it’s a trend catching on in the US where you immerse your senses in a meditative nature experience.

You can visit the Arboretum or gardens.

There are also Bird watching tours or other artful or nature based activities.

Check out a list of wellness tours here.

There you have it, an overview of the 10 different types of ways you can see and enjoy when visiting Asheville. Links to some of these activities are included here for easy access. Some of these are affiliate links. If you appreciate the information that I’ve compiled for you, I’d appreciate your use of the affiliate links. There is no additional cost to an affiliate link. It simply lets them know that you heard about them from me and then they give me a small kickback. It’s the easiest way to support my blog by doing something you’d do anyway.

Now I’d like to hear form you.  What is your favorite type of tour? I’d love to know which of these activities interests you most. Please leave a comment and tell me which are your favorites. Have you done any? Which would you like to try but haven’t yet. Was there anything I missed that should be included in a future video or article?

If you find this information helpful give this video a thumbs up to let me know and follow me on my other socials.

If you’re looking for a place to stay in Asheville, check out a list here!

Thanks for watching! Happy travels!

#Asheville #AshevilleNC

Cambria Downtown Asheville

Where to stay, shop and dine

By Christy Evers

Here’s what you need to know if you’re looking to stay at Cambria, downtown Asheville.

Cambria has a great location if you want to be in the heart of downtown Asheville activity.

Before we go into the hotel let’s check out what’s in the surrounding area.

Down the road a few blocks is the Pinball Museum where you can play unlimited games for a small fee. It’s  great way to spend part of your day if you have kids or are a retro gaming enthusiast.

It’s not hard to to find a variety of shopping and dining options just a hop, step & holler outside the hotel lobby.

Directly across the street is the Grove Arcade, a popular hang out for both locals and tourists.  The Grove Arcade is a historic architectural landmark combining a mix of shops and restaurants that reflect Asheville’s quaint but quirky characteristics while paying respect to the buildings history.

One thing I really love about the Grove Arcade is the Makers Market.  When the season and weather is agreeable there’s an outdoor bazaar with dozens of stalls filled by local artisans selling their crafts. You’ll find handmade jewelry, paintings, clothing, soap, and musical instruments, local honey and farm products, and all kinds of fun and creative handmade goods. The Makers Market is the perfect place to dive into local culture and take in the charm of Downtown Asheville. 

If you’re looking to enjoy Asheville like a local, and you’re here on a Friday night you can walk a few blocks over to Pritchard Park, where locals gather for a drum circle when the weather is nice.

Some of my favorite nearby places to grab a bite that you may want to check out for your self are Babette’s, a New Orleans style coffee shop in the Grove Arcade that specializes in savory and sweet sandwiches made from beignets. 

Also in the Grove arcade I adore The battery Park Book exchange,  a used book store and champagne bar.  Here you can grab bite to eat or sip on a wine or champagne and enjoy dishes with cleverly themed names .  Some of my favorites . . .   “The Secret Life of Cheese” and “The Hummus Games.  I love that!  So funny.  Bonus! They do offer dairy free, vegan and gluten free options. 

Meander through the maze of 3 story book shelves as you sip a glass.   Enjoy people watching on the outdoor patio right next to the Makers market. When you’re done they bring the receipt in a book, mine was in a Dr. Suess Cat in the Hat book.  I’m in love. People who have been here before have signed it, so I did to.  My glorious time spent with bubbly, books and bites is now forever commemorated in a children’s classic.

A couple blocks down the street in the opposite direction from the Grove Arcade, is Isa’s French Bistro, the sister restaurant of Cambria’s onsite dining venue, Hemingways. It  has a lovely ambiance with the choice of indoor or dog-friendly outdoor seating. I highly recommend their  mouthwatering steak and fries.

No matter how you arrive, rental car, uber/lyft or walking, you’ll enter Cambria on the lower level parking garage directly across the street from the Grove Arcade on Page Ave.  This where you’ll find the guest entrance as well as the entrance for the parking garage. Parking is Valet only and is currently $17 per night with no option for self parking on property.    

As you enter the lobby there’s a chic, minimalistic but cozy vibe that reflects the hip, modern feel of the city and combines it with the relics of time past to honor the original purpose of the building. Even though we’re on parking garage level the big open windows give it a bright and open feel.  

The lobby has a small sundry shop with a microwave, snacks and beverages. This is also where you can find an ATM machine and front desk. This is also where they greet you with a smile and chilled champagne reception upon check in. Nice touch Cambria! I give you extra points for welcome glass of champagne.

The work out room has the basic cardio and weight equipment and is adequate for the size of the hotel.

Hemingway’s Cuban Restaurant and bar is the crowning glory of Cambria Downtown Asheville.  The mountain and sunset views are one of the best in the Downtown area The Owner, being of Cuban descent, insures that the authentic Cuban menu is one of the few and best in the area.

Palm trees, distant mountains, an air of light hearted laughter mingled with a southern breeze. . . the magic of the open aired patio transports you into Cuba itself!

Even if you don’t stay at Cambria as a guest, you’re still welcome to dine in the restaurant or enjoy the bar and terrace even when the restaurant isn’t open.  You’ll find Hemingway’s on the 4th floor. Current hours are typically 7AM-2:00 for breakfast and lunch and 4:30PM-10 for dinner. If you’re a sunset chaser, this is one spot you’ll want to add to your list. It’s best to have a reservation.  Click here to reserve your table.

The space at Hemigway’s is also possible to rent for special occasions and conferences.

That leads us to our formal conference space.  Cambria has 10 different conference venues with a capacity of 300 people and 136 rooms with 3 suites. They have partitions that can be added or removed to create space specific to your needs.

Check out the video to see room tours of 3 different categories; 2 Queen room, a corner king room and an accessible king room.

Here are some important things to note about their rooms:

  1. All rooms have a view
  2. King rooms have a walk in shower only
  3. 2 Queen rooms have a tub/shower combo
  4. Not all accessible rooms have a roll in shower. Some do, some have the tub/shower combo.

Now that we’ve looked in and around Cambria it’s time to rate it on my Happy Scale that goes from meh, sad, happy, happier and happiest.  What rating does Cambria get on my scale? 

I give them 4 happy faces, which is the Happier rating.

Let’s talk about the pros and cons of the property so you can see what I loved and the few cons that kept them from getting 5 happy faces, the Happiest rating. 

Let’s start with the pros.  You can’t beat the location. There’s so many shopping, dining and activity opportunities right outside Cambria’s doorstep.  This hotel has special details giving it character and ties into the feel and history of the city. You certainly don’t get a feel that you’re in a canned, cookie cutter hotel when you’re in Cambria.

The champagne reception at check in is a really nice touch.  I’m also impressed with the quality and size of their conference and meeting space.

While Cambria isn’t cheap, it’s standard in pricing as compared to other hotels in the same category in the downtown area. With the boutique feel and extra special touches, I think it’s  a good value for the price.

I love Hemingway’s rooftop restaurant and bar as it has one of the best views of the mountains, city and sunset in the downtown area and is one of the few restaurants in the area where you can get authentic Cuban food.

Now onto the cons:

The first con is that the only onsite parking option is Valet at $17 per night. If you’re looking to save a few bucks by self parking it’s not going to happen in the hotel parking garage. 

Next is that not all accessible rooms have a roll in shower.  If it’s a necessity for you, it’s important to be proactive and make sure your room has the type of showering option that you need if available. 

The 3rd con is that while I love Hemigway’s Cuban cuisine, there isn’t a wide variety of onsite dining if you have a large group or picky eaters in your party.  There is a small selection of mac n cheese, chicken fingers and a burger and other things on the  kids menu, but other than that, if you need a menu with a wider variety of options, you’ll have to go off property to find it. Thankfully because of the location you won’t have to go far to find something.

Lastly, is that dogs are not allowed outside of the approved service animals. Asheville is known as dog city USA. Being one of the friendliest dog cities in the US, and the only city to have a Doggie Welcome Center that is just a few blocks down the street, I find it unfortunate that our canine friends aren’t welcome there. 

That’s really all I have for the cons.  None of them are huge and certainly not anything that would be a deal breaker for me. I will definitely come back for a stay. 

This hotel is great for those who want to be in the heart of the city, love a hip and trendy vibe or those who need conference or social gathering space for 300 people or less. 

This is not a good place for those traveling with pets (unless it’s a service dog) or looking to host a larger conference or gathering of more than 300 people.  It may also not be the right place if you’re looking for the cheapest place to stay in the city. 

That being said, even if you’re traveling on a budget, Cambria is a Choice hotels property, so if you’re a choice rewards member you can book this property with your points or you can rack up points with your rewards program with your stay. 

They also offer some package bundles to help you save some money such as a bed and breakfast package, park and stay package and romance package.  They also offer Military and Veteran discount rates and AAA discount rates too.  

I have a pro tip for you.  If you’re flexible with your dates, you can go to this Expedia site and you can pull up a calendar that shows you the fluctuation of rates for each day. You’ll be able to see exactly what days are cheaper and and which ones are more expensive.  You’ll find that some of the days can get up to 40-50% cheaper than their most expensive days.

So there you have it!  Cambria Downtown Asheville?  What do you think? Is this the type of place you’d like to stay?  What was your favorite aspect of this property. I’d love to know! Tell me in the comments. 

Thank you so much for joining in!  I appreciate you. 

#Asheville #AshevilleNC, #Cambria #Hemingway’sCuba

    Isa’s French Bistro

    Downtown Asheville, NC

    Isa’s French Bistro is a gem in downtown Asheville. The quaint, dog-friendly patio welcomes you with inviting tables surrounded by seasonal flowers. You may even catch the sound of nearby street musicians serenading passing shoppers.

    Adjoining the historic Haywood Hotel, this restaurant doesn’t require reservations, but it’s highly recommended. Reserve your spot today!

    Hemingway’s Cuba

    Cambria Downtown Asheville, Onsite Restaurant & Bar

    Hemingway’s Cuba Restaurant is the Crowning Glory of Cambria downtown, Asheville, NC.

    In the heart of downtown it boasts one of the best rooftop views of the mountains with the perfect background for sunset chasers.

    Enjoy authentic Cuban cuisine and creative cocktails.

    Reservations aren’t required but are recommended. Save your spot today!

    Plan The Perfect Trip to Biltmore

    10 Tips to Planning Your Trip to Biltmore Estate

    by Christy Evers

    Are you wondering how to plan the perfect trip to Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC? Look no farther. Once you’ve watched this video and download my free planner, you’ll be ready to plan like a pro!

    1. Allow at least one or two hours to schedule a tour or activity from the time you expect to arrive at the Estate. You’ll thank yourself for allowing time to get settled in and allowing for flight or traffic delays. You may also find that the Estate is much larger than you expected and may need more time to find where you need to go for your scheduled tour or activity. Let your first few hours be about exploring and settling in. Save the hours after that for the scheduled activities.

    2. Plan dining and snacks around your scheduled activities. In order to avoid wasting time during a short stay, you’ll save yourself time by planning your dining or snacks around your scheduled activity. I have a detailed list of all the restaurants on the Estate as well as where they are located when you download this FREE travel planner. You can also check out The Biltmore web-site.

    3. Make reservations in advance: (hotel, dining, tours & activities) Since dining, hotels and activities are limited, things book up fast. If there are experiences high on your list of “things to do” then don’t waste any time. Book reservations when applicable ASAP! What are you waiting for? Go now! (See links below for quick reference reservations.)

    4. Allow time to relax and recharge: Don’t be a victim of vacation overload. Between all the things you will see and do, it can lead to tourist fatigue. (yes, it’s a thing) Plan time buffers in your schedule to rest, relax and recharge.

    5. Getting around Biltmore Estate: There is no free transportation that will take you to the different locations of the Estate. It’s necessary to have a car or you can purchase a day pass for the bus that will take you around the estate, which is currently around $15 per person, per day. Uber and Lyft are allowed to drop you off at the Estate, but they are not allowed to stay and transport folks around the estate. There is a free trolley that will take you to and back from the designated parking lot near the house and gardens, but that is the only place it will take you. It will not also take you to Deerpark or Antler Hill Village.

    6. Plan to catch a sunset: Sunset in the Blue Ridge Mountains is a spectacular site, and even more so with a Biltmore Backdrop. If you’re at Biltmore in the winter wehn the house grounds are still open at sunset, you can catch a beautiful display from the patio on the side of the Biltmore house. The back patio at the Inn on Biltmore is my personal favorite and it’s available to view year round.

    7. Pack appropriately: Dress in layers. No matter the time of year there is the possibility of rain and unseasonably hot or cold temps. Many of the buildings may have varied temperatures as well, such as the Conservatory which is hot and many restaurants and shops may be kept cooler.

    8. Be aware of what is included with your price of admission: Let’s face it, a trip to Biltmore isn’t cheap. It’s wise to be aware of what is included with the price of admission so you know what to do when planning, or if you end up having some left over time that needs to be filled. Sign up for my free travel planner and newsletter for updates. You can also visit the Biltmore website.

    9. Stay on the Estate to fully immerse yourself in the ambiance and culture of the estate: You’ll notice immediately when you pass through the Biltmore entrance that you’ve entered a peaceful sanctuary in the midst of a busy city. You’ll find a solitary retreat offering you a sublime taste of time past. There’s a culture and ambiance softly tucked into a nest in the Blue Ridge Mountains starkly contrasting the busy hustle and bustle of the modern city of Asheville. Staying at one of the two hotels on the Estate, or renting one of the cottages is the only way to truly immerse yourself in the full Biltmore experience.

    What tip was the most helpful for you? Let me know in the comments. Download your free travel planner here

    Make Reservations at The Dining Room (Must be staying on the Estate)

    Make a Reservation at Cedrics Tavern?

    Make Reservations at the Bistro:

    Make Reservations at the Stable Cafe:

    The Village Hotel On Biltmore

    The Inn on Biltmore

    Hotels Close to Biltmore Estate

    Other things to do and see while you visit Asheville, NC

    Download your free travel planner

    #biltmore #asheville #northcarolina #travelplanning

    Plan The Perfect Trip To Biltmore Estate

    by Christy Evers

    Where to stay when visiting Biltmore Estate

    If you follow me on any social media, you already know that am a Biltmore and Asheville fanatic!  I get excited to tell people about all the great things to do, and where to stay, but today I’m doing something different. Today I’m addressing a problem that many people walk away with after they visit Biltmore for the first time.

    The number one complaint or regret that I hear form people when they talk about their Biltmore experience, is that they didn’t realize how big it was and how much there was to see and do.  Most people think it’s just the house tour and walking around the gardens.  Once they get there they realize they weren’t properly prepared on how to best utilize their time at the Estate and wished they would have planned at least another day or two to experience the other aspects of what they have to offer.

    That’s where I come in. I have created a 21 page, digital travel planner that is free for you to download and use for your own Biltmore Travel plans along with a sample 2 day itinerary   

    To access the planner, you can register for your digital copy by clicking here so you can have it on hand for your own personal planning use.  This is not an official Biltmore planner from Biltmore, nor have they commissioned me to put this together.  This is something that I’ve done on my own as a travel planning professional and one that I use for my own personal travel planning.

    This is an actual itinerary that I lived out myself and have found it to be the favorite one that I’ve made so far because of how much I was able to see, do and taste in such a short amount of time, while still being able to relax, roam around and take pictures. Stay tuned for my next YouTube video, because I’ll walk you through this itinerary along with 10 tips on how to make the most out of planning your own trip to Biltmore.  While I finish editing and creating that video, I wanted to go ahead and give you access to the travel planner and sample itinerary so you can go ahead and take a look. 

    In this planner you’ll find the sample 2, day itinerary that I recently did this past January as well as a blank planner for you to fill out and create your own plan.

    You’ll also get pages that break down all the restaurants, where they are located on the estate as well as what time of day they are open. Biltmore has a beautiful web-site at I encourage you to check them out to see the menu, reservations, times of operation and other important info about each restaurant. In all honesty, I don’t find the web-site to have the restaurants organized in a way that makes planning simple for a newbie. I did that for you in this guide. 

    There are also 2 pages of activities available on the estate. 2 pages!  Most people come to Biltmore and think it’s only the house tour, gardens and some restaurants.  Oh no!  There’s so much more to do and this planner lays everything out so you can see all the options.  Of course, many options may be seasonal or subject to the weather, so always check and make reservations in advance, but this planner will help you realize what all there is to do  and prioritize what you want to include in your own Biltmore trip.

    There are also other blank planning tools for you to make note of contact and reservation information, daily planners, a suggested packing list of things you may not think of as well as a blank packing list for you to add your own items, and ample space for notes.   

    Get your free digital travel planner by clicking here.  What are you waiting for?  Go now! Get your free copy! And leave a like and a comment to show your appreciation.  Thank you so much for watching, I appreciate you!  Happy Travels!

    Join me on social media!




    Hallmark Announces Biltmore Estate as Their Next, Countdown to Christmas, Movie Filming Location!

    Come along with me as we take a look at America’s castle, the enchanting Biltmore Estate. 

    Those of you that are familiar with Biltmore already know that it’s a special Christmas destination and has been from the beginning, when it opened to guests at Christmas time in 1895, bringing us all the way to present day festivities and their magical décor.

    They know how to do Christmas big, beautiful and classy with their 67 Christmas trees, over 45,000 lights and 250 candles don’t even get me started with their over1960 poinsettias. That’s just inside the home! Plus there’s a 35 ft. tall tree in the dining room and a 55 ft. tree adorning the front lawn. Biltmore knows how to weave a magical Christmas spell and it is now, officially a destination quite literally out of a Hallmark Movie! (Source: Christmas Decor by the Numbers)

    In a recent news release, it’s been announced that The Hallmark Channel will unwrap its first 2023 Countdown to Christmas Holiday movie by filming ‘A Biltmore Christmas’ on the Biltmore Estate grounds starting January 2023. 

    The Movie Will Shoot Entirely on Location at the Historic Biltmore Estate in

    Asheville, North Carolina

    Here’s a link to the press release. 

    So, there you have it!  Winter 2023 is going to be epic! What are you waiting for? Book that trip to Biltmore now!  January is a great way to see Biltmore with shorter lines, fewer crowds and a great chance for shop discounts, and lower lodging rates!  And this winter, you never know  . . . you may just get to see the next classic Hallmark Christmas magic being made right here at Biltmore. But even if you can’t make it out this winter, you’ll be able to catch it on The Hallmark Countdown to Christmas 2023! 

    I’ll see you there!  Tell me, will you be watching ‘A Biltmore Christmas’ in the 2023 season?

    Thank you for stopping by!

    Meditation Myth’s Debunked!

    Myth #1: You Have to Sit Still

    woman in black tank top and black pants sitting on white hammock
    Photo by cottonbro on

    Have you ever participated in an active meditation before? If so, what do you like to do?

    If you don’t think so, chances are that you have, even if you didn’t realize it.

    Whenever you are completely focused on what you are doing . . . in the zone, like in sports, relaxed like when you’re getting a massage, or content like when working on a hobby like art or taking a hike . . . that is very similar to a meditative state.

    The biggest difference is that meditation is a purposeful act of taking control of your focus, emotions and thoughts by a deliberate choice of attention.

    Artwork can be meditative

    Hiking can be meditative

    Writing can be meditative

    Dancing can be meditative

    Acts of service can be meditative

    Singing can be meditative

    The point of meditation is ultimately to tap into our true nature by peeling away the layers of illusions of our body and circumstances. Using positive activities are a great way to learn to focus your attention, if sitting still isn’t working for you.

    If you’d like to try a drawing meditation, here’s one of my favorites that I use when I’m experiencing high anxiety and can’t focus:

    If you’re a nature lover and would love to learn a powerful way to immerse all of your senses in an outdoor, sensory, meditative experience, I’d love for you to join my min Forest Bathing retreat on April 2nd. You can get details here:…