A Walk in the Grove Arcade Neighborhood

The Grove Arcade in Downtown Asheville offers a whole neighborhood of restaurants, shopping and beautiful architecture.

The Grove Arcade in Downtown Asheville

Parking is plentiful in the area and includes a parking garage as well as a good supply of spaces on street level. On the day we visited, there was a bustling outdoor market selling clothing and local crafts.

This artisan’s booth features beautiful turned wood bowls crafted from local woods.

There is always something interesting happening in the Grove Arcade. Check out this yarn artist, who was dressing up everything in his location, including the famous iron sculpture on the corner of Wall Street and Battery Park.

This yarn artist was dressing up everything in sight.

The Iron was staying warm!

The Grove Park area is a great place to start your exploration of downtown Asheville. Stop in to Chai Pani for some great Indian street food, or Carmel’s Kitchen and Bar for some outdoor eats and people watching. Just down the road you will find Haywood Street and Woolworth Walk.

The Woolworth Walk is a great source for local arts and crafts.

Wondering where the bells are? The beautiful Basilica of Saint Lawrence is just north of the Grove Arcade, and the bell tower there chimes every fifteen minutes.

The majestic Basilica of Saint Lawrence

The US Cellular Center is also in the Grove Arcade area. The Thomas Wolfe Auditorium and the larger Cellular Center venues are both located here.

Dancing sculptures greet you at the entrance to the Cellular Center and Thomas Wolfe Auditorium.

We hope you take some time to explore the Grove Arcade. There are too many attractions to list here, but some of the highlights include the Asheville Pinball Museum, the Mountain Made Art Gallery, the Fresh Quarter grocery and Enter the Earth fossil shop. Thanks for choosing Pete Key Properties for your rental and real estate needs, and enjoy downtown Asheville!

Most Popular Things To Do in Pisgah National Forest

Come visit the home of the white squirrel. Surrounded by sprawling mountain views and the coolly crisp North Carolina air, Brevard sits cozily just outside Asheville, NC.

It makes for a splendid adventure for your vacation escape. Get off the radar and find a wide range of riveting and active Brevard things to do to get further connected with nature.

Perhaps no place is better for this than nearby Pisgah National Forest. With over 500,000 incredible acres full of impressive waterfalls, thick forests, and impressive Appalachian peaks, the outdoor exploration here never ends.

Below is your introduction to the many recreational activities to participate in while visiting this vast, highly-touted and protected forest.

johns rock hike pisgah brevard nc

Hiking

Backpackers enter the forest every day to wind through the many cathartic hiking trails in the forest.

Some of the more popular options include Black Mountain, Babel Tower, and Shortoff Mountain trail which leads you right to Table Rock.

Trails are usually split into two distinctions: backpacking trails and day trails. Backpacking trails are for ambitious hikers and may take multiple days to complete.

Biking

You can find expansive road and mountain biking opportunities at Pisgah. At this current time, there are about 116 different dedicated mountain biking trails interweaving throughout the national forest.

While some loop trails are only a few miles at most, other trails, such as Avery Creek, Bear Branch, and trails with the Appalachian Ranger District, are soaring and ambitious runs through the forestry.
The Point Lookout Trail and Brian Bottom Bicycle are both accessible road cycling options for enthusiasts looking for some open and flat riding.

Fishing

Pisgah National Forest has a network of gorgeous rivers and streams for some elegant and isolated fly fishing. The Pisgah Ranger District, encompassing Sunburst Campground, Davidson, and Coontree, are all rewarding spots to fish.

brevard nc pisgah national forest

Climbing

Rock climbing is a challenging activity, and the opportunities for it in Pisgah are rich. The peaks here are some of the highest in the Southern Appalachians.

You can find exemplary rock climbing adventures in Linville Gorge in the Grandfather Ranger District. It averages 1,400 feet deep and features a variety of different climbing routes from easy to challenging.

The Amphitheatre and Table Rock are top options for a less challenging path, while Shortoff and Hawksbill are for more experienced climbers.

Little Lost Cove Cliffs does not allow for fixed anchors or bolts, so come prepared for a serious challenge on this ambitious Pisgah uphill path.

Sliding Rock

Sliding Rock is an incredible sight, and something you can easily take the whole family to. It is the name of one of Brevard’s most iconic natural sights.

Located in Pisgah National Forest about eight miles out from town, you can freely slide down this sloping waterfall along the silky smooth rocks. You can expect to see about 11,000 gallons of water rush along this waterfall every minute.

Visitors will attempt to spin as they glide excitedly down the rocks. The waterfall ends in an eight-foot deep pool. Lifeguards are on duty during opening hours and seasons.

Where to Stay

Pisgah National Forest is part of an extensive map of national forests, including Croatan, Nantahala and Uwharrie.

Always heed safe and responsible environment and hiking practices while exploring Pisgah National Forest.

Do not keep food storage containers open, respect the wildlife, wear proper fitting attire, avoid hiking alone or inform friends and family of your location, carry a compass and map, and always stay on noted trails.

Visit the Pisgah National Forest Service website for further details, rules and restrictions, and other useful activity information.

Give us a call at (828)-577-3435 for help finding amazing vacation rentals in Brevard NC to come back to after a day adventuring through the forests and finding revitalizing local sights and sounds.

The Famous White Squirrels of Brevard, NC

Every town has its quirks and oddities. These are things that often come to represent the city to visitors.

Over the course of generations, the town of Brevard, just outside Asheville, NC, has been defined by one small and clever creature. It is the white squirrel, and it populates the quiet and rustic crossroads of Brevard.

Do you know where to find the white squirrels? Do you know what makes them white? Did you even know they existed? Come visit and get acquainted with the wild and wonderful world of the white squirrels of Brevard.

Where the Famous White Squirrels Came From

According to legend, the white squirrels derived from a carnival. A gentleman who ran a traveling carnival found a pair of the critters on his travels and retained them for his truck show.

After a trade of hands, the pair landed in the ownership of a young family niece, Barbara, who failed to breed them in the 1950s. One of the squirrels eventually escaped and the other was released.

Over the next few years, white squirrel appearances became more and more common until they became a bit of a running joke in the town.

Though the truth of this Brevard NC history can be doubted, the fact is that white squirrels are actually a white version of the well known eastern grey squirrel.

brevard nc white squirrels

They Aren’t Albino Squirrels

It may be easy to assume that these special white squirrels are albino, which is the absence of melanin, but this is not correct. According to studies, the vast majority of white squirrels are not albino at all. Albino squirrels do exist, but they are very rare.

The white squirrels of Brevard are actually eastern grey squirrels with a mutation in their genes that makes their coats white. They have dark eyes and some grey streaks in their white fur, giving them a notable distinction. The squirrels lack the red eye coloration as well as the straight white pigmentation in the skin and fur of albino creatures.

It is usually rare to see them in other parts of the United States because the white coat makes them more susceptible to predators.

However, there are a few places where they have thrived for one reason or another, and Brevard tops the list! They have also appeared throughout New York, South Carolina, Trenton, NJ, and Kenton, TN.

Sightings

The white squirrel population is likely the biggest in Brevard and it is where eager travelers are likely to see the famed critters.

Keep your eyes peeled around town or venture out to the nearby forests and trails to try to spot one. Franklin Park and Brevard College are also a few of the areas that are good for spotting them.

Brevard is one of the only towns to officially designate and protect the squirrels, with sanctuary protection and regulation in 1986. No one is allowed to take them, kill them, or bother them in any way.

The White Squirrel Festival Event in Downtown Brevard

There is at least one major Brevard event that celebrates the whimsy and charm of the local squirrel population.

It is the White Squirrel Festival and it runs around the end of May (for 2018, the event is May 25th to May 27th). The event incorporates live music, local vendors, food trucks, an assortment of family-friendly activities, and more.

The showcase event is the White Squirrel Derby, where locals craft custom derby cars and race them. White squirrels get their turn in the spotlight at the White Squirrel Photo Contest, the Squirrel Run, and the Memorial Parade, with wreaths, decorations, and vehicles designed with the little critter in mind.

downtown brevard shops

The Town of Waterfalls

As adorable and rare as the white squirrels are, the town of Brevard has a lot more to offer. Take to the mountains and waterfalls right outside the city, including the Pisgah National Forest.

Visit the downtown area for some authentic boutique shopping or find the trails of the Dupont State Forest. Perhaps the only defining characteristic of Brevard that can compete with the white squirrels is the huge number of majestic waterfalls in the surrounding forestry.

You can give us a call at 828-577-3435. We offer spacious and inspiring vacation rentals in Brevard NC so you can have a rustic vacation escape away from the noise and the daily grind. Forget the tropics and come to the wonderful waterfalls of Brevard.

Best Restaurants in Brevard

Here are our recommendations for the best restaurants in Brevard. We have eaten in all of these establishments and many others. These are our top picks for the best food, service and atmosphere.

best brevard nc restaurants

The Fall’s Landing  We love the Fall’s Landing for great seafood, excellent salads, and terrific atmosphere. It’s all served up by a professional wait staff, and we always see friends there. It’s a well established local establishment and sure to please.

Quixote  If you think you know Mexican food, think again. This family owned restaurant serves authentic dishes like you would get if you actually visit Mexico. It’s a lot different than the standard American version of these dishes, and you are in for a treat when you visit.

Square Root  Great food, great decor. This is the top choice for international cuisine in Brevard, complete with a full bar stocking a wide array of wines, beer and cocktails.

Pad Thai  Do you love Thai food? We sure do! This is our number one lunch stopover. Authentic Thai dishes, prepared fast at a reasonable price. Great food, great prices and friendly faces.

Magpie Meat & Three  This is the ultimate in comfort. Comfort food, a comfortable atmosphere, super nice staff, and it’s all priced right. There’s a great selection of beers in the elegant taproom of this beautifully repurposed commercial building. We love it!

Jordan Street Cafe  This bar and restaurant serves up some great food and it’s always fun to strike up a conversation with the patrons here. The menu changes daily and the chefs here have an artistic flair.

Mayberry’s  Great food made in-house, and served in a casual atmosphere. A good choice if you’re on the go because they will get you served quickly. One of our favorites!

Pescado’s Burritos  Over the top burritos and tacos. I don’t know how they manage to fit so much stuff in a burrito! Fresh ingredients, friendly staff and super food on a budget. Don’t miss it!

Monthly Vacation Rentals in Asheville and Brevard

 

Welcome to one of the new trends in vacation rentals. Monthly vacation rentals are popular for people who travel for work, folks who want to escape the harsh winters of the northern states, and house hunters who want a deeper sense of the community before they take the plunge of buying a home of their own. Whatever your reason, we have a great selection of monthly vacation rentals in Asheville and Brevard, and our inventory is growing.

Did you know that by renting for more than 90 days, you can save the sales tax you would normally pay? This is because state and local governments regard these stays as long term, and sales taxes do not apply. Monthly rates are also significantly lower than rates for short stays, so this is a great way to spend some quality time without breaking the budget.

Please call us for special pricing and plan your getaway now! Asheville and Brevard are beautiful this time of year, and we have some of the best vacation rentals around. Call us at (828) 337-8749 to find out more and to book your vacation today!

Welcome to our new Site!

Welcome to our new website! This is a major update for us, and it is a great improvement over the old site. In addition to a new look and feel, this site is responsive, meaning it display seamlessly on tablets and phones. Because this is a WordPress site, we should see a marked improvement in SEO (Search Engine Optimization). What does this mean for our users? As an Owner, this means greater exposure through our site. As a Guest, this means you will have an easy way to find properties directly, without having to resort to the big advertising sites that charge high service fees.

Please take some time to explore the site and get to know how it works. We will be building more functionality over time. Feel free to check back often for updates. We plan to add content for monthly rentals, which are popular in the winter months. We will be adding more articles about events, things to do and see, restaurants, attractions and maybe some personal stuff about the folks who work here. Our goal is to create delight for our guests and personal freedom for our owners, and this site is just the first step.

We are also creating a better Facebook presence. We need your help. Like Us on Facebook and give us a Five Star review to receive a special offer! We are excited about the potential of Facebook to spread the word about our growing portfolio of excellent vacation rental properties in Asheville, Brevard and the surrounding communities. We invite you to be a part of it and join our community of supporters.

Thanks for visiting and please feel free to comment on our Facebook page. We would love your input, because more ideas means a better experience for everyone. We look forward to hearing from you!

Cheers,
Pete Kuehne (Pete Key)

Asheville Attractions

Biltmore

Biltmore is an attraction unique to Asheville. The combination of history, the grounds, the amenities and the mansion make Biltmore the top of the list for “must see” attractions when you visit. Plus the staff is terrific. I’ve never met a group of more professional, friendly and gracious people.

Biltmore is a family business. The fact that they have managed to retain ownership of 8,000 acres and create a variety of successful businesses to sustain the estate is nothing short of miraculous. They maintain the grounds to perfection, providing breathtaking seasonal displays of flowers and horticulture. They continuously improve the amazing 250-room chateau, which means there is always something new to see. They have a vineyard which provides grapes for their winery, where an increasingly sophisticated collection of wines is available for you to discover. A wide range of dining choices awaits, and you can experience an amazing variety of cuisine. Many dishes feature items produced right on the estate, including lamb, greens, eggs, berries and beef.

There are plenty of other activities. Enjoy strolling around the grounds. Check out the winery tour. Antler Hill Village is a fun recreation of an 1890s community, giving you a glimpse of life on the Estate when it was first established. Horseback riding, carriage tours, rafting, biking, paddle boarding and Segway tours are just some of the other activities available to guests.

For more information check out Biltmore.com or give them a call at (800) 411-3812.

biltmore estate in asheville, nc


Blue Ridge Parkway

Be sure to take some time to drive along the local section of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The area between Brevard and Asheville is nothing short of spectacular.

The Pisgah Inn is our favorite stop along the way. Located at Milepost 408.6, the Inn features fine dining with an incredible panoramic view. Bruce O’Connell and his family have been running the Inn since 1978. You will not meet a nicer group of folks than Bruce and his staff.

Be sure to plan enough time to drive at a leisurely pace and pull over to enjoy the many scenic stops along the way. There are also lots of great opportunities for outdoor adventures, including some great hikes. Our favorite is Skinny Dip Falls (about a half a mile easy hike at Milepost 417), where you will find a series of super swimming holes complete with waterfalls. Mount Pisgah (a HARD 1.5 mile hike at Milepost 407.6) is well worth the effort, because the view at the summit is phenomenal. There is transmission tower at the peak, which is a fun draw as well.

Many other attractions are located on the section of Highway 276 between Brevard and the Parkway. You can hike to the top of Looking Glass Rock, discover the Cradle of Forestry and visit the Fish Hatchery. Looking Glass Falls is right along the road and features a well maintained stairway that takes you right down to the foot of the falls. Standing in the river at the foot of the falls is one of my personal favorite experiences and highly recommended.

blue ridge parkway in asheville, nc

Best Restaurants in Asheville

If you like great food, lots of choices and local flavor, then you have come to the right place. Here are our top picks for the best restaurants in Asheville. We have really enjoyed putting this list together, because eating out is a pleasure here. The farm to table culture has taken root here, and you will find a stunning array of local produce and meats on your menu. Asheville is a mecca for creative people, and the chefs who create the exquisite dishes you will find are some of the most prolific artists in town. This makes dining here a unique experience that you will want to explore again and again.

best asheville restaurants nc

Cucina 24  We recently had dinner here. They offered a regular menu, but we were intrigued by the Chef’s Tasting Menu so we ordered it. All I can say is, wow! Dish after amazing dish was served with a bewildering array of local produce, homemade cheese, grilled meats and seafood, piquant sauces, colorful accents and lots of great dialog with our server as we discussed each course. A little pricey but a wonderful experience and highly recommended!

Bouchon  A lovely Lexington Avenue establishment, Bouchon offers “French Comfort Food” and that is an understatement. Our recent experience there was so satisfying! Great staff, great service and good selection of classics like Boeuf Bourguignon, Steak Au Poivre, and their Famous French Fries. Lots of specials are also offered, and a good selection of wines. All are served by a friendly staff in a relaxed, intimate setting that you are sure to love.

King Daddy’s  John and Julie Stehling own and manage this restaurant and Early Girl downtown. We love these folks and we love these Asheville eateries! During my most recent visit to King Daddy’s in West Asheville, I got soaking wet from a hard rain shower on the way from my car. The first thing they brought me was a towel! This place is staffed by some of the nicest people you will ever meet, and the food here is terrific. If you like chicken and waffles, this is the place to be. Lots of super good sandwiches, salads, soups, and a dizzying array of sides and desserts, all topped off with a full bar and terrific prices.

Early Girl is in downtown Asheville on Wall Street. I love their farm-to-table theme, featuring Southern Comfort food made from locally sourced ingredients. My most recent meal there was the catfish sandwich with a salad and a side of collard greens. Yummy, and the prices can’t be beat.

Posana  The Posana restaurant in downtown Asheville features a farm-to-table theme. Many of the vegetables they serve are grown in their own garden in West Asheville. For a truly delicious experience, try the sunchokes. Beautifully done food, great service and fun location.

White Duck Taco Shop  White Duck has elevated tacos to an art form. Their prices can’t be beat, and they offer an amazing  variety. Standard procedure is to order at least two tacos. You take a number and they bring your tacos to your table. My dinner companion once told me, “I knew this would be good, but I never expected tacos to rock my world!” Enough said.

Mela Indian Restaurant  A great place for lovers of Indian cuisine, Mela offers a great menu as well as a reasonably priced lunch buffet. Great downtown location and beautiful dishes served by friendly staff.

Chai Pani  Offering Indian Street Food, Chai Pani is unique take on Indian cuisine. Located downtown near the Grove Arcade, this funky, unique restaurant is a great find.

Tupelo Honey  The original Tupelo Honey located downtown is one of Asheville’s most popular restaurant destinations. The menu and the ambience make for a wonderful experience. They also have a South Asheville location.

Buxton Hall  Barbecue at its finest. The chefs at Buxton Hall bring you the most traditional of Southern cuisine. Get ready to dig in!

Luella’s Bar-B-Que  Luella’s is a great favorite. Located in North Asheville close to the entrance to UNCA. You will love this place!

Twelve Bones  With two locations in the River Arts District and South Asheville, Twelve Bones is a great place for ribs. They also serve barbecue and great sides. Lunch only with take-out from 4 to 6.

The Bull and Beggar  A high end European style restaurant in the River Arts district. An amazing menu. For an affordable option check out Burger Mondays for the best burger ever made. Also serving Sunday brunch.

Smoky Park Supper Club  Open to the public despite its clubby name, this unique establishment is built right beside the river. Their building material? Repurposed shipping containers! A high end menu featuring masterfully crafted dishes, and offering a nice little park beside the river.

Avenue M  If you are looking for an affordable alternative to the downtown offerings, North Asheville’s Avenue M is where you’ll find it. The locals know this is the place for high end dining without the hefty price tag. With a full bar, a relaxed atmosphere and friendly staff, we find ourselves making this a regular stop.

Vinnie’s Italian  Great Italian food served by attentive friendly folks. Another North Asheville favorite where you get great value. This is another one of our regular haunts, and we think you’ll like it too.

CONTACT

Pete Key Properties
828-577-3435
26 E. Chestnut Street
Asheville, NC USA 28801

Pete Key Properties
26 E. Chestnut Street
Asheville, NC 28801
Email: info@petekey.com
Phone: 828-577-3435
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