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

6 Amazing Outdoor Spots in the Asheville Area

Blue Ridge Mountains
Blue Ridge Mountains – These mountains provide for a calm and amazing atmosphere. On a clear day, it is obvious where the name originates from. The Blue Ridge Mountains features many summits with plenty of trails to choose from.
Catawba Falls
Catawba Falls – Located only 20 minutes from Asheville, this waterfall is an attraction that is visited by many hikers. The trail is easy to medium. Because of the close distance, Catawba Falls has become one of the more popular areas in the last couple years. Be prepared to get your shoes wet as you walk over rocks to get across the river during the 3 mile round-trip hike.
Craggy Gardens
Craggy Gardens – This location provides a 360 degree view. Located off the parkway, and less than a mile hike each way, it is a great location to admire the Blue Ridge Mountains. The trail has a bit of an incline before reaching the top, but it is worth the breathtaking view you are given once reaching the top.
High Falls
High Falls – Located in DuPont State Forest, High Falls can be admired from the overlook on the trail, or continue to follow the trail as you cautiously walk over the rocks to get a closer look. It is a popular spot in the summer, but be careful as the rocks get slick when they are wet.
Looking Glass Falls
Looking Glass Falls – This waterfall get crowded in the summer because of the easy walk. You can park you car next to the road and walk down some steps to view the gorgeous waterfall. It is great location to take a swim on those warm summer days.
View From Mt Mitchell
Mt. Mitchel – The highest point this side of the Mississippi, Mt. Mitchell provides a stunning 360 degree view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Because of the elevation, the temperature is always much cooler than the lower elevations. Mt. Mitchell is located off the Blue Ridge Parkway.


-by Hugo G Photography

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!

Morehouse Interiors, Bringing Creative Collaboration to your Home

Morehouse Interiors Studio Stroll Invitation AskA (Foreword by Adrian Etheridge, of ASE Photography)

It was the week before finals and amidst my frenzy to find a job for the summer, I happened across a flyer advertising a communications intern position with a “local interior design firm specializing in collaboration with local artists.” In a fit of excitement, I emailed the contact immediately, crossing my fingers for a job that would combine my skills in photography and social media with my love for interior design – not to mention the added of intensive of working closely with local artists (as art is my passion.)

Happily, I landed this dreamy internship, and have more than enjoyed working there the past few weeks. Caitlin Morehouse – who indeed specializes in collaboration with local artists, as the decorated walls of our studio show – is an artist herself who “believes that the less we look for boundaries between the two, the more beautiful spaces we can create.” She loves finding the art that speaks to clients and collaborating to turn their interiors into livable, personal works of art. With her quirky taste in vibrant and bold pieces (be them vibrant upholstery fabrics, ceramic backsplash tiles detailing a landscape, or handmade sardine-plastered bowls) getting a behind-the-scenes look into designing a home has been quite exhilarating.
Our fabric library is ever-growing. If you're looking for beautiful, quality fabrics then come to our studio, pull up a chair, and enjoy flipping through our many sample books.

Our fabric library is ever-growing. If you’re looking for beautiful, quality fabrics then come to our studio, pull up a chair, and enjoy flipping through our many sample books.

And now, we of Morehouse Interiors are happy to announce that this year we set up shop in the quirky River Arts District of Asheville, NC. In looking for a studio space, Caitlin’s vision was for it to “be a creative space in the truest sense. A place for people to get inspired and turn inspiration into various artistic collaborations; from hanging paintings to reuphostering a sofa.” Studio 254 in Riverview Station allows us to do just that, with a place to showcase some of the work of local artists with whom we collaborate for interior design projects, as well as sell interesting pieces and products we find at the High Point Market and other local venues. Soon, we will also begin using the front room (a wall splits our spacious studio into two parts – the back office and the front meeting room and gallery) to create vignettes of possible design combinations, again using the work of local artists and craftsmen with whom we collaborate. We will exhibit this last exciting feature on our blog once it is up and running, so keep your eyes peeled.
"Gallery Icon," aka our front meeting room, gallery, and vignette area.

“Gallery Icon,” aka our front meeting room, gallery, and vignette area.

However, the best part of residing in the River Arts District is the connection with the community that we get to enjoy. This weekend, June 14th and 15th, the RAD will host its biannual Studio Stroll, and we are excited for our first year of participation. Our studio – Studio 254 in Riverview Station on 191 Lyman St. – will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days, and we invite everyone to stop by to check out our eclectic space filled with our one-of-a-kind pillows, Cardboard Safari Animals (think deer head mount made of cardboard), Valerie Schnaufer ceramics, Caitlin’s own artwork, and much more. We will even have refreshments. (No, we are not trying to bribe you, unless it’s working.) Asheville, we hope to see you this weekend.
One of the artists represented in our studio: Valerie Schnaufer. Rabbithopstudio.com

One of the artists represented in our studio: Valerie Schnaufer

Yes, this really is a handmade African sardine bowl plastered with sardines.

Yes, there really is a handmade African sardine bowl plastered with sardines.

Caitlin's personal work is among the ranks of the art hanging in the studio. Surreal, pastel, bold.

Caitlin’s personal work is among the ranks of the art hanging in the studio. Surreal, pastel, bold.

 Even if you cannot attend the Stroll, there are many different ways to follow our work from our Pinterest storyboard documenting Studio 254’s design transformation (along with many other product and design boards) to our on-location Insta-pics.
Caitlin profile pic

Caitlin Morehouse

– Caitlin Morehouse & The Morehouse Interiors Team



Building Community in Candler-Town USA!

candler town usa enka Candler-Town USA is one of the key up and coming communities on the outskirts of Asheville. I was roaming around the other evening, stopped to get a drink and work on my mobile, and I ended up bumping into several friends. We talked, joked, laughed and had a good ole time. Now I have to be honest, when I first found out about this area, there was little to do and talk about. There was no Hooker’s Gap like our friends in Leicester had, so it was usually lights out at 9. But now, a lot of things are changing and growing. The Enka Candler area right off of I-40 is five minutes from the famed Haywood Road in West Asheville, and less than 15 minutes to the center of downtown. Pretty sweet location, if you are not looking to lodge boutique style for hundreds a night.


When you get off the highway at Enka Candler, you will see several gas stations, fast food spots, a Dairy Queen, Dunkin Donuts, and it has several great budget hotels including Sleep Inn. When it comes to food, you can find some delicious local eateries in the area. You have the Rejavanation Cafe which features amazing breakfast, lunch and baked goods. Another great spot is Artisan Deli on Sand Hill Rd. And then there is Frank’s Roman Pizza and the Asheville Sandwich Company right near Applachian Motors on Sardis Rd. A new brewery is on the way too! Oh, and El Chapala is the place to go for authentic Mexican food. If you head up to the Biltmore Square Mall area, there is also Stone Ridge Tavern and Apollo Flame Bistro. Then there is a Fatz Cafe, Applebee’s, J&S Cafeteria, and IHop right on Smoky Park Highway as well.


We have a bunch of team members and friends in Candler-Town USA, and have been meeting, having a good time and making plans for the area. Building community! Maybe you live in Enka Candler and would like to get together and involved?! Get in touch with us and lets talk.