Asheville, NC and its historic landmarks, arts, culture and breathtaking natural beauty has become a top vacation destination and the perfect base for some of the best cycling in the East. It is home to the largest private home in America, more craft breweries per capita than any other American city, a buzzing art scene, and a culinary world so unique and memorable it's known locally as Foodtopia. Still, the best part is that it's all bounded by the Blue Ridge Parkway. Down the road, quaint Brevard is the heart of Transylvania County, an outdoor lover's paradise known as the land of waterfalls. Bordered by Pisgah National Forest and the French Broad River, it is home to a network of back roads so perfect for the road cyclist the area is now known as Cycling Capital of the South. Whether you tackle the epic Mt. Mitchell, the highest point in the East, or cruise the gentle climbs and rolling ridges of the Blue Ridge Parkway to the French Broad River valley, this cycling haven has something to offer a wide range of cyclists.
Asheville to Brevard
Asheville to Brevard
Tour DifficultyRolling hills with a few challenging climbs
Duration5 Days, 4 Nights
Meet/DepartVillage Hotel on Biltmore Estate
Nearest AirportAVL Asheville Regional Airport
PricingFrom $1950 per person
Dates9/23/19 - 9/27/19
Welcome to Asheville and the magnificant, historic Biltmore Estate. The Estate and its 8000 acres of beautiful landscape is our home for the next two days. After a brief orientation and light lunch, we will warm up with a gentle nine-mile loop around the Estate. You may decide to park your bike along the way to venture further into one of the many Biltmore attractions such as the estate itself, gardens, winery and much more. Or continue along on our tour as we venture outside of the Biltmore Estate to discover more of Asheville's highlights. We start with the River Arts District where the art galleries, breweries and graffiti art will give you a feel for Asheville's creative soul. Then on to the historic Montford neighborhood where you will see a variety of architectural styles including Victorian, Queen Anne and Arts and Crafts. Many of the homes here were created by Biltmore's supervising architect Richard Sharp Smith. Additional highlights include the historic Grove Park Inn and Thomas Wolfe memorial as we make our way back along the Reedy Creek and French Broad greenways concluding with a lap around the Asheville Velodrome, known locally as the Mellowdrome due to the gentle banking of this former race track.
Dinner tonight at the Biltmore Estate.
This is our big day where there are multiple options for all levels of cyclists along the famed Blue Ridge Parkway! Whether you opt for a gentle flowing section of the Parkway or go for the renowned climb up Mount Mitchell (at 6,684 feet the highest point east of the Mississippi), we will meet for a mile high picnic lunch at Mt. Mitchell State Park. Many wonderful hiking options are also a tempting alternative today for those who prefer to experience the Blue Ridge Mountains' beauty on foot. The day starts with a short shuttle to the beginning of one of the most spectacular sections of the scenic parkway. Chose to begin your cycling at either Craven Gap for the most mileage and climbing, or Craggy Gardens for a nice ridgeline section of the Parkway. After lunch enjoy the well-earned descent either all the way back to our hotel, or with a shuttle you will be back in time to tour Biltmore Estate or shop in Biltmore Village, home to the Southern Highlands Craft Guild and its impressive collection of folk art.
Dinner tonight on your own with options at Biltmore Estate or just outside the Estate at Biltmore Village. With a short shuttle, downtown Asheville dining is also an option.
Today we make our way from Asheville to Brevard, known as the cycling capital of the south due to its hundreds of miles of world class road and mountain biking. The gentle terrain today begins with a final spin out of the Biltmore Estate grounds and into the exclusive Biltmore Forest neighborhood, home to some of the most beautiful homes and gardens in western North Carolina. Then descending along the Blue Ridge Parkway, feel free to stop in at the 400-acre NC Arboretum with its numerous cultivated gardens, and from there we make our way to the lunch stop at Sierra Nevada Brewery. This premier craft brewery is perched atop the French Broad riverbank and offers delicious local farm-to-table fare. Linger here to sample the beer, tour the impressive brewing facility, or hop back on the bike and enjoy the pastoral scenery and more level terrain as we cycle through the French Broad River valley into Brevard. Didn't partake at Sierra Nevada? No problem, as our cycling day ends at the Oskar Blues brewery, pioneer of the "craft beer in a can" craze. A short pedal along the Brevard Greenway will bring us to the entrance of Pisgah National Forest and our home for the next two nights; Pilot Cove and its luxury cabins!
Relax tonight with a short walk to Pilot Cove's amphitheater where we will enjoy cocktails and a lovely, catered dinner al fresco.
Today's riding begins alongside the French Broad River, considered one of the world's oldest rivers, and continues through the tranquil river valley with beautiful mountain views. Stop in the quaint village of Rosman for a coffee break and then we head back to Brevard for lunch where you can ponder the many choices for your afternoon. Bike into Pisgah Forest and up to the beautiful 60-foot high Looking Glass Falls with a stop at the Pisgah Fish Hatchery where thousands of trout are raised for the NC mountain streams. Or, you many decide on one of the many other popular outdoor adventures available at our doorstep such as fly fishing, mountain biking (top 10 mountain biking destination in US), hiking, river tubing, horseback riding, exploring art galleries and shops in Brevard or simply relaxing in the hammock on your cabin porch.
We wrap up our action packed day with dinner at one of our favorite downtown Brevard restaurants featuring farm-to-table fare and local craft beer selections.
We wrap up our thrilling week of cycling with a route that is the perfect combination of easy river valley riding with an optional climb up to Jump Off Rock, located in the nearby mountain retreat of Laurel Park. You will be rewarded at the top with a panoramic view of rolling pastures and the highest Blue Ridge mountain peaks. You will also learn of the Cherokee Indian legend that gives this scenic overlook its name. Finally, it's back to Pilot Cove for a catered lunch, showers and shuttles to either the nearby Asheville airport or to the Biltmore Village area to retrieve your car.
Low end of tour price range reflects the 6 month Early Bird Discount. High end of price range reflects no Early Bird Discount.
What's Included in Your Tour Price
4 nights, 2 at the Village Hotel at Biltmore Estate, 2 at Pilot Cove in Pisgah National Forest near Brevard.
Dinner on Nights 1, 3 & 4; All lunches except 1 on your own lunch; All breakfasts; Snacks; and hors d'oeuvres most nights.
Services of Expert Local Guides
Carolina Tailwinds maintains a guest to guide maximum ratio of 7:1 on all our tours. Guides are ready to show you the hidden wonders of each and every destination.
Full Route Support & Luggage Transfer
Service of 1 – 2 support vans on route every day.
Complimentary Airport Transfer from Asheville Regional Airport
Carolina Tailwinds picks up on the morning of Day 1 at AVL. Carolina Tailwinds drops off in the late afternoon of Day 5 at the AVL area or airport hotel locations.
More details on what's Generally included:
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Nights 1 & 2
Nestled in Antler Hill Village just steps from the Winery, Village Hotel occupies a central-to-everything location near quilt-like farm fields that stretch along the banks of the French Broad River. Stay here to be close to shopping, dining, exhibits, and an exciting range of outdoor activities at the Biltmore Estate.
Nights 3 & 4
Immerse yourself in nature while enjoying modern design and luxurious furnishings. With Pisgah National Forest at your doorstep, enjoy direct access to hiking, biking and outdoor recreation activities, all within minutes from downtown Brevard – a quaint mountain town named one of the best small towns in America!
The terrain is a wide mix of gentle rolling hills to a few challenging climbs, making it appropriate for intermediate to advanced cyclists. Typical daily cumulative climbing ranges from 1,200 to 2,500 feet. As with all Carolina Tailwinds tours, there will be multiple opportunities for leapfrog shuttles to shorten and flatten the routes. Road bikes and lightweight hybrid bikes with a wide range of gearing are recommended.
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