PINECREST BED AND BREAKFAST INFO
ADDRESS: 249 Cumberland Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
PHONE: 828-281-4275 or 706-280-6381 (cell)
EMAIL: [email protected]
OFFICE HOURS: 9 AM to 6PM daily
RESERVATIONS: Check prices on Booking.com
ACCOMMODATIONS: Pinecrest offers 5 bed-and-breakfast rooms, three of which are suites.
All rooms include WiFi, Flat Screen HD-TV, Private Bath, Turkish Towels, Spa Robes, Quality toiletries, Hairdryer, AC/Heat, Ceiling Fan, Mini Fridge, Iron & Ironing Board, and HEPA Air Purifier.
Guests are served a gourmet breakfast every morning at 9 AM, as well as an afternoon dessert. There’s a Keurig and cold beverages on the sun porch, as well as a tranquil 1-acre garden with myriad seating options.
DIRECTIONS TO PINECREST FROM ASHEVILLE AIRPORT: Pinecrest is located just a mile from downtown Asheville in the Montford Area Historic District.
From Asheville Regional Airport, head south on Terminal Dr for 0.4 mile, then turn left onto Airport Rd. In 0.7 mile, use the left lane to merge onto I-26 W/US-74 W toward Asheville.
Follow signs for Interstate 26 W/Asheville/Interstate 240, making sure to stay on I-240 E for approximately 4.8 miles, then take exit 4C for Haywood St toward Montford Ave.
Turn right onto Haywood St, then in 0.1 mile take a right onto Montford Ave. In 0.5 mile you’ll take a slight right onto Soco St. Take a sharp right onto Cumberland Ave and the B&B will be on your left.
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HISTORY OF PINECREST & MONTFORD AREA HISTORIC DISTRICT
The origin of the Montford Area Historic District name is a matter of some debate.
Some suggest it may be named for an 18th century grandmaster of Masons, Colonel Joseph Montfort. Some believe it is a condensation of “Mountain Ford,” alluding to some crossing of the nearby French Broad River. Others suggest it was merely made up by the real estate developers.
Regardless, the name came into usage around 1893, when the small village a mile north of Battery Park was developed by the Asheville Loan, Construction & Improvement Company.
The Montford Historic District really began to flourish after lumber tycoon George Willis Pack moved to Asheville. Best known as the benefactor behind Pack Square and the Pack Memorial Public Library, the beloved philanthropist also donated the land for Montford Park, on the neighborhood’s north end.
Immortalized in Thomas Wolfe’s Look Homeward, Angel as “the most fashionable street in town,” Montford Ave attracted a who’s who of early 20th century Asheville. Doctors, lawyers, businessmen, and NC Governor Locke Craig all lived in the neighborhood, as did several of the major characters from Wolfe’s classic book.
The Montford District’s unique blend of post-Victorian architectural influences (including shingles, pebble dash, rubble masonry, and stucco) is a defining characteristic of many of the houses.
Pinecrest, which is located on Cumberland Ave next to the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, is a perfect example.
Built in 1905 for the widowed Winifred Cowley, the house is a symmetrical two-story with polygonal towers framing a central entrance bay.
Designed by Richard Sharp Smith, an architect who worked on the Biltmore and numerous Montford homes, the house was one of 600+ in the area listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.
Renovated in the late ’90s, the house was purchased by current owners Dan & Diane Rogers, who relocated from the North Georgia mountains in 2016. Dan’s background in sales makes him the perfect “face man” for guest relations, while Diane is the business-savvy mastermind and one helluva chef.
PINECREST B&B ACOMMODATIONS
We stayed in the Wible Suite, which is the largest of the 5 rooms available at the Pinecrest B&B.
Named after the property’s second owners (whose family lived here from 1941 to 1997), the 355 sq foot suite is located on the second floor in the front right turret, offering views of Cumberland Ave and the lush side garden.
There was a lot to love about the Wible Suite, starting with the ridiculously comfy king size mahogany bed, sizable sitting area (which includes a sleeper sofa), electric fireplace, and a huge bathroom that includes both a claw-foot soaking tub and over-sized walk-in shower.
The decor, which built on a subtle sage green and included antiques as well as floral elements that reflected the colorful garden, underscored this Asheville bed and breakfast’s tranquil, serene vibe.
But our favorite feature of the room was its separate side entrance, which allows for self check-in/out. It made it easy to come in late or leave early without waking other guests, and was also an awesome short-cut to access the Rogers’ lovingly tended garden.
The expansive suite made our stay feel secluded and intimate, perfect for a romantic getaway. It was one of our favorite bed and breakfasts in Asheville NC we’ve visited– a wonderful place for much-needed rest and relaxation.
READ MORE: The 27 Best Waterfalls Near Asheville NC
PINECREST B&B AMENITIES
Although neither Dan or Diane has a background in food service, their daily breakfast easily measured up against some of the best restaurants in Asheville.
We would typically head down early to grab some fresh-brewed coffee and watch the sunrise from their cozy sunroom. It looks out over the gorgeous garden, with the Greek Orthodox Church peeking out between the trees.
The menu varied from day to day, but a sample selection included homemade waffles with strawberries, crispy bacon, deviled eggs with just the right amount of paprika, plus fresh OJ and coffee to drink.
In the afternoons Diane would put out fresh baked goodies. The Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies were delectable, but the sweetly salty Pecan Pie bites were truly divine, with a sea salt caramel flavor that lingered enticingly.
One of our favorite things about the Pinecrest Bed and Breakfast was their lush, acre-plus garden.
After breakfast on our second day, we took our laptops back there, set up in the middle of the yard, and worked on editing photos with the scent of wildflowers and the sounds of chittering birds all around us.
It may be located just one mile from Downtown Asheville, but the peaceful, picturesque setting made us feel far removed from the hustle and bustle of Western NC’s biggest mountain town.
NEARBY ASHEVILLE ATTRACTIONS
The Biltmore Estate
The largest private home in the US, the Vanderbilts’ 135,280 square foot, 250-room Biltmore Estate is easily the #1 tourist attraction in Asheville.
The massive mansion at the heart of their 125,000-acre retreat was completed in 1895, and became immensely popular among elites such as Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Presidents Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, etc.
The wealth these powerful visitors brought with them paid for a lot of the historic art deco buildings, and made Asheville one of the fastest-growing cities in North Carolina in the early 20th century.
Today, visitors can tour the Biltmore Estate’s 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 longest linear park in the USA, the Blue Ridge Parkway stretches 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 (under 7 miles from Pinecrest Bed and Breakfast).
The possibilities for day trips from Asheville are endless, with popular BRP overlooks such as Craggy Dome, Looking Glass Rock, the Cradle of Forestry, and Mt. Mitchell all within easy driving distance.
Pisgah National Forest
Encompassing over half a million acres (much of which was donated by the Vanderbilts), Pisgah National Forest spans 12 counties 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.
Asheville’s 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 several 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