NORTH CAROLINA OFFERS A PERFECT VACATION DESTINATION.
By Glenn Arnette, lll
It never changes and always beautiful. The vista views are some of the most spectacular in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I am talking about Hendersonville, North Carolina. To me this is the place to visit or live, as it offers the coolness of the mountains, Asheville, North Carolina (30 minutes away), Greenville / Spartanburg, South Carolina, (one hour away) and Charlotte, North Carolina, (two hours away). It is living in the best of all worlds.
Hendersonville is a wonderful artistic and creative community. The shopping along Main Street can rival any place including the village in Winter Park, Florida, Boca Raton, or Palm Beach. The best part are the “nice, friendly” people who greet you with the “hello’s” along the way and for some reason they are “so glad to see you!”
On my recent visit I found myself staying at the newly refurbished RAMADA INN located just off 1-26. There are no exterior rooms as everything is inside. The area is very safe and the parking is very close and easy. The lobby of this quaint establishment is beautifully appointed and there is also a breakfast area where you have a breakfast including fresh waffles each morning. Rachna Patel, the General Manager,Brenda Jones, Front Desk Manager to Dave Rezentes who check me into the room, they were the best ever. Again, the friendliness just takes over and you immediately start enjoying your stay!
On entrance to the room I found everything in place and the beds perfectly made. Best of all, the air conditioning kept the room at my proper temperature, and that is rare being I like it around 65 degrees! This RAMADA INN is very reasonable and immaculate! It is the perfect location for all of the area attractions.
Down the road from Hendersonville is the little village of Bat Cave.. This is the home to Chimney Rock, one of America’s finest attractions and from the top it has a view you will long remember. The area is lush and green and there is a stream of rushing water that goes right through the main part of town. The shops are fun and everything is completely relaxed. Just another few minutes from Bat Cave is Lake Lure, North Carolina. It is amazing to me how much this wonderful swimming area has changed. Dotted with many lovely homes and a beautiful historical Inn, Lake Lure roams through the hills and hides many other little places of interest. It just so happened that there was a little crafts festival going on the day I was there. Great fun! There is always something happening in “them there hills!”
Hendersonville is just an exciting place to be. It is like the hub of the wheel. There are fantastic restaurants, great theatre with the Flat Rock Playhouse, and much more. It is truly a living community with four seasons for all ages. You never have to worry about health care as this place has every type of care at any age.
There are two special restaurants in Hendersonville I was introduced to by a special friend of mine while visiting in the area. One call Sinbad Restaurant. They feature Mediterranean specialties where the passion of provocative flavors from France, Italy, Greece and Lebanon with a touch of India tantalize each and every taste bud. You can make reservations by calling 828-696-2039 or google Sinbad Restaurant, NC.
This is the perfect place for a leisure lunch and casual fine dining in the evening. You will love the patio. Ask about their catering services while there.
My other favorite dining spot had those nice white table clothes and delicious food at a very reasonable price. It is known as Bistro 502. Remember when we always enjoyed a white linen table cloth is restaurants? Located right in the heart of Main Street you will find the most accommodating staff who will delight you with great service, big smiles and some of the best food found anywhere in the Southeast. This was a fun dining experience, not stuffy! You must try the fresh soups made daily and announced at the table. For reservations you can call 828-697-5350.
On another day, I took a trip up to Asheville, North Carolina to see the magnificent BILTMORE HOUSE. This was not my first visit, but it was one of the best. Europe has nothing on the opulence of this lovely “home” of the Vanderbilt’s. This estate covers over 125,000 acres and the landscape was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, who was the designer of New York’s Central Park. It opened on Christmas Eve in 1895 with its 250 rooms including 35 bedrooms and 43 bathrooms. It was the entertaining palace to many famous people from around the world and still today continues to be one of America’s most important tourist attractions. As a matter of fact George Vanderbilt’s only daughter, Cornelia, gave birth to William Cecil who is the living CEO today of the House. In 2005 the Biltmore House celebrated its 75 anniversary of the opening of the House to the public. Believe me, It is worth the experience. You can spend the day, you can hike, bike ride, tour, whatever! Perfect place for the entire family!
After Asheville it was back to Hendersonville and my home away from home, the RAMADA INN. My final moments of the mountains was spent revisiting CAMP PINNACLE located in the most beautiful setting offering everything for Summer camp to boys and girls. On this day I stood under their entrance sign and it was 50 years later almost to the day that I worked at Camp Pinnacle as a Counselor right after my first year at Furman University in Greenville. (How old am I?) My how time flies!
Until next time, watch those changing gas signs and drive safe. Make this Summer travel experience you best!