Architectural Photography by Mountain Lens

Jeff Miller of Mountain Lens, a photographer based out of Asheville and now Hendersonville NC, specializes in Architectural Photography. A picture is worth a thousand words they say, but a great photo that communicates and elevates the subject is worth more than its weight in gold.

As a professional photographer, Jeff travels nationwide. Here are a few of the photos that he has shared with us:

Architectural Photography 3 Architectural Photography 2 Architectural Photography 1 Architectural Photography 4

A Visit To Chimney Rock

Chimney Rock NC

My husband has a brochure problem. Every stinkin’ time we are in a hotel on one of our many adventures, he looks for a brochure display and gets himself a thick stack of them to familiarize himself with the highlights of the area. The car is full of them.

Three years in a row he picked up the one for Chimney Rock. And now we were heading to the Round House we rented in Hendersonville and his dream may actually come true. He has lured me to Chimney Rock with the promise that there is an elevator to the top of the mountain. Cue the music signaling impeding doom.

On Top of Chimney Rock

Chimney Rock is about 25 minutes from Hendersonville. The town of Chimney Rock is a small town near Lake Lure with eclectic shops and eateries lining both sides of the main road that runs through town. On your right, is the Broad River. Being a rock lover, I couldn’t get over the huge boulders in the river! There were tons of places I could see where you’ll be able to eat lunch and wander out to the river. Even gem mining was there!! I love gem mining!!

The entrance is in the middle of town and easy to miss. You cross the river and a gorgeous narrow winding road will lead you up the mountain. You will pass several little grilling areas with picnic tables on your way to the tippy top.

So, here’s where the story picks up. We get to the hut where you pay the fifteen dollar entrance fee and the ranger says there is a discount today…wait for it…because the elevator is broken. At the time I was putting on lipstick, the circles of color just kept getting wider and wider till when my husband looks over we was staring at Bozo the Clown.

“I still want to do it,” he says with a wide grin. I look at the Ranger and he assures me there are places to rest on the way up and a cafe at the top. “I got this!” I said with confidence I didn’t feel. I mean I do Pilates but…

We stopped at the bathrooms at the base of the mountain before going up that last little bit. Have no fear though, if you drive all the way up, there are bathrooms there, too.

View of Lake Lure NC

We parked towards the top, if you arrive later in the day you will have to park down the hill and be shuttled up by school bus.

There was a guy playing the dulcimer in front of the gift shop, the music added a magical quality to the experience. A couple with an el fresco hot dog stand is on your right and a little further are the bathrooms and beyond that, the beginning of the stairs to Chimney Rock and Hickory Nut Falls.

The gift shop was our first stop. I bought myself a t-shirt, “I hiked it and I liked it!” The power of a positive mindset, right?

The journey up the 497 steps was slow going. There were landings you could stop and pretend to look out at the view and catch your breath! I did that once or twice, maybe!

The views are amazing, the rock formations gorgeous, and the history of the mountain just as high and wide. I swear I could hear the star of the movie, The Last of the Mohicans, yell, “I will come for you!” as he jumped through Hickory Nuts Falls. (You can even buy the movie in the gift shop!)

The Grotto Chimney Rock

You’ll come across a grotto, a tunnel to climb through called the “subway”, and small bat cave. We explored it all.

At the top, it is not a flat area with a railing. The top has been left with its natural contours and a fence around it. You can stand on one of the outcropping of rock and get a great picture of the 2280 feet of stairs you just climbed.

The cafe is closed in the winter but there is a gift shop, bathrooms, and a place you can get coffee.

Please, don’t just walk by the “emergency wheel barrow” for taking people down the mountain. It puts everything into perspective!

Now, there is another set of stairs to go a smidge higher. We choose to save that for next time!! LOL

Down the mountain is way easier and faster! And honestly, I’m glad the elevator was out, for really real. I would’ve missed the grotto, opera box, subway, and the bat cave. More importantly, the sense of accomplishment was thrilling.

My t- shirt was wrong, I hiked it and I loved it!

Btw, I’m wearing the shirt as I type for inspiration!

Karin AskAsheville Guest Blogger

Karin – adventurer and story teller!!

Follow me on Twitter @karin13773564

Rent a Car, Travel and Save

travel georgia bridge

We all go through car problems.. and that’s just something we have to live with. I had planned a trip to see my cousin for her birthday. I would be there or die trying. As time started to become more absent, I began to lose faith that I could make it for Kaylee’s 10th birthday. Then, I came across Anderson Nissan and they saved me from all of my troubles!

Frozen tent theme, birthday party

I got in touch with Rob, the rental manager, and without further adieu I made it to Georgia and spent much needed time with my family. Even though I didn’t stay long, I hadn’t one bit of worry about my transportation, a 2014 Nissan Sentra. I LOVED driving that car!! I drove over 500 miles, roundtrip, and only had to fill up two times.

gas prices, SC

My little cousins kept wanting to ride with me and I’m not sure if the cause of the rental car had something to do with that or how long it had been since we’ve seen each other. Either way, Anderson Nissan helped make my trip happen and I’m so grateful for that.

Asheville rental Nissan, Flat Rock rental Nissan


P.S. Follow me @GSocialBee

NC Wineries – Time to Visit


Fall at Burntshirt vineyards

NC Wineries are the perfect place to visit this fall. Looking for a destination for your fantastic fall foliage drive this year? There are 25 wineries all within 1 ½ hours of Asheville. Imagine exploring the vineyards of WNC, enjoying wine tastings at beautiful wineries or picnicking amid the streams and mountains surrounding the vineyards. Surprised that we have so many wineries here? You can check out the smallest, complete, free standing winery in America at Calaboose Cellars in Cherokee County or visit a winery with vineyards situated on both sides of the Eastern Continental Divide at some of highest elevations on the East Coast at Burntshirt Winery in Hendersonville. Every winery has a story!


Awards for Lake James Winery

NC Wineries and their wines are creating quite a stir in the wine world. We are one of the fastest growing wine regions in the country and our wines are winning international, regional and state-wide medals for excellence. Whether you prefer the fine dry reds and whites, the delicious semi-sweets or the down-home taste of our native Muscadine wine you will find them all within a short drive of Asheville. Forget Napa and Sonoma and check out NC Wine Country. You’ll find everything you need to plan your trip at WNC Wine Trails.


Visit the WNC Wine Trails

NC Wineries are growing every month! We are now up to more than 150 wineries state wide. Surprised?! Even more surprising is that prior to prohibition North Carolina was the largest wine producing state in the country! Of course, at that time it was primarily our native Muscadine wine – yes that sweet wine that everyone says their grandmothers used to make for them. The Muscadine wines have matured over the years. Read more about the history of NC Wine and the Muscadine grapes at North Carolina Wine Gifts. Go out and discover NC Wine Country this Fall!