With only one or two Blue Ridge Parkway hotels in North Carolina, it’s not easy to find accommodations along the world-famous route during the peak season in Autumn.
We wanted to bring our furry friends (Boo-Boo and Huckleberry) along for the ride when we visited in October, so instead we searched for pet-friendly Blue Ridge Parkway cabins for rent.
This was how we stumbled onto Engadine Inn in Candler NC. Though best known as a historic bed and breakfast built in 1885, the 12-acre property also features six classic log cabins for rent.
Cabins near Asheville NC are relatively hard to come by. But these are gorgeously appointed, located less than 20 minutes from downtown Asheville, and feature stunning scenic views of two western North Carolina mountains.
Read on for our review of Engadine Inn and Cabins, including the property’s Civil War and Prohibition-era history, accommodations, amenities, and noteworthy nearby attractions.
ENGADINE INN AND CABINS INFO
RENTAL COMPANY: Engadine Inn & Cabins
ADDRESS: 2630 Smokey Park Highway, Candler NC 28715
OFFICE HOURS: Open 24 hours a day
ACCOMMODATIONS: The Engadine Inn offers 5 bed-and-breakfast rooms, including one suite. All rooms include luxury linens, television, central heat and AC, a seasonally operated fireplace, free WiFi, and a two-course breakfast served in the Inn’s dining room.
They also offer six log-style cabins, ranging in size from two to six people. All cabins include full eat-in kitchens, television, heat and AC, a seasonally operated fireplace, and free WiFi.
DIRECTIONS TO ENGADINE FROM ASHEVILLE: From downtown Asheville, follow the signs for US-19 S/US-23 S/I-240 W/W Asheville and merge onto I-240 W.
Keep right at the fork to continue on I-240 W/I-26 E for approximately 3.1 miles, then take exit 31B to merge onto I-40 W toward Canton/Knoxville.
Follow I-40W for 8.4 miles, then take exit 37 toward E Canton. Turn left onto Wiggins Rd, then turn right at the 2nd cross street onto US-19 S/US-23 S.
Follow US-19 S/US-23 S for 2.2 miles, then turn right onto Scott Dr, a quick right onto Groundhog Rd, and follow that for 1.4 miles.
Turn left onto US-19 N/US-23 N, and the entrance to Engadine Inn and Cabins will be about .3 miles down on the right.
ENGADINE INN HISTORY
ENGADINE CABIN RENTALS
As a member of the Asheville Bed and Breakfast Association, Engadine is best known for its historic 5-room inn, which comes complete with a gourmet breakfast each morning.
We were visiting on a road trip to see North Carolina’s fall colors and wanted to maintain social distance, so we found Engadine while searching for Blue Ridge Parkway cabins near Asheville. The Inn is located minutes off the BRP, and around 20 minutes from downtown Asheville.
The 12-acre property offers six beautiful Blue Ridge cabin rentals. The smallest, the cozy Cherokee Cabin, is meant for couples (2 people max). The largest, the Mt. Mitchell Log Cabin (pictured at the top of this page), has two bedrooms and can accommodate up to six people.
We stayed in the more modest Blue Ridge Mountains Cabin, which is pet-friendly and can sleep a family of four (including a sleeper sofa in the living room).
However, note that the cabin felt small for the price (nearly $300/night in peak season, with a 2-night minimum), even with just the two of us and our two dogs.
Like all of Engadine’s cabin rentals, our amenities included full eat-in kitchens, upscale Turkish towels and toiletries, flat screen TV, heat and AC, a seasonally operated fireplace, and free WiFi.
But perhaps our favorite feature was the outdoor space, which included a covered porch with table and chairs, charcoal grill, and an exceptional sunset view over the Blue Ridge Mountains that surround the property.
It was especially beautiful in the evening, when ginormous lanterns in huge oak trees illuminated the verdant mountain meadow. Adirondack chairs and benches surrounding the Honey Hill fire pit made for a romantic place to warm ourselves as the nights turned colder.
NEARBY ASHEVILLE ATTRACTIONS
The Biltmore Estate
Finished in 1895, multi-millionaire George Washington Vanderbilt II’s 135,280 square foot, 250-room Biltmore Estate is the largest privately owned house in the United States.
The centerpiece of the Vanderbilts’ 125,000-acre retreat soon attracted famous friends such as inventors Henry Ford and Thomas Edison, and Presidents William McKinley, Teddy Roosevelt, and Woodrow Wilson.
That infusion of wealth funded much of the art deco-style architecture that made downtown Asheville one of the fastest-growing towns in North Carolina.
The Biltmore remains the most beloved Asheville attraction today. Guests can tour its Châteauesque-style architecture, lushly landscaped gardens, and wineries.
It’s especially popular during the holidays, with Christmas at Biltmore lasting from early November to January.
Blue Ridge Parkway
The Blue Ridge Parkway is the longest linear park in the USA, stretching 469 miles from Great Smoky Mountains National Park in NC to Shenandoah National Park in VA.
The most visited unit of America’s National Park System for 70+ years, the parkway passes right through Asheville as well as the charming Alpine town of Little Switzerland NC.
The possibilities for day trips from Asheville along the BRP are endless, with popular overlooks such as Craggy Dome, Graybeard Mountain, Looking Glass Rock, the Cradle of Forestry, and Mt. Mitchell all within easy driving distance.
There are also some amazing Blue Ridge Parkway hikes in the area, including the Graveyard Fields Loop, the Crabtree Falls Loop, and the Craggy Pinnacle trail.
Downtown Asheville Restaurants & Breweries
After four visits to the city over the last 8 years, we’re continually blown away by the downtown Asheviille restaurant scene, which is full to bursting with creative culinary talents.
Want Southern fare with a dash of flair? Try Tupelo Honey or 12 Bones Smokehouse (the Obamas’ favorite local BBQ joint). Healthy options? Check out the Green Sage Cafe, Plant, and Chef Peter Pollay’s Posana.
In the mood for more exotic fare? Try multiple James Beard Award nominee Meherwan Irani’s excellent Indian at Chai Pani, or the farm-to-table French bistro, Bouchon.
READ MORE: The Best Downtown Asheville Restaurants
Pisgah National Forest
Encompassing over half a million acres, Pisgah National Forest spans 12 counties (from Brevard north to Boone) and essentially surrounds Asheville.
Incorporating land that was originally part of the Biltmore Estate, the forest also includes parts of the Blue Ridge Mountains and Great Balsam Mountains.
This haven for nature lovers is beloved for its picturesque scenery, including majestic mountains, old growth hardwood forests, and some of the best Western NC waterfalls.
It’s also a hotbed for outdoor recreation, including a seemingly endless array of excellent hiking trails and camping opportunities.
River Arts District
Encompassing 23 historic industrial buildings lining a one-mile stretch of the French Broad River, the River Arts District is at the heart of Asheville’s thriving cultural scene.
From the Asheville Cotton Mill and Curve Studios to Foundation Woodworks and the North Carolina Glass Center, each is home to an array of galleries and artist studios.
Whether you’re looking for Appalachian folk art, museum-worthy fine art, or unique candles, clothing, and jewelry, this area is a shopaholic’s dream come true.
It’s also home to some of Asheville’s best restaurants, including All Souls Pizza, 12 Bones Smokehouse, and VIVIAN Restaurant. –by Bret Love; photos by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett unless otherwise noted