Disclosure: My Black Mountain home rental stay with Greybeard Rentals was sponsored. But, as always all opinions are my own and I would stay here again on my own dime!
One of the things I was most looking forward to when I knew we would be moving to North Carolina was fall in the mountains and the opportunity to be there for leaf-peeping when the autumn trees turn from vibrant green to beautiful shades of orange, red, and yellow. Thankfully while The Queen (reference here) screwed up a lot of things this year, Mother Nature seems to be thriving, and getting outside to enjoy it is one of the few safe things we can do! And there is no better spot than Black Mountain, about 25 minutes outside of Asheville.
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In fact, if it hadn’t been for The Queen we would have been enjoying the coast of Brittany (France) rather than heading to the mountains! But I still believe everything happens for a reason so stumbling upon Greybeard Rentals and finding Outside Inn was meant to be. In another stroke of “luck”, the original cabin I had my eye on was unavailable so the smart folks suggested this adorable cottage. It was like they were our mountain cabin fairies because the property had the Misadventures name written all over it!
Mid-Century Modern meets kitsch with fun French highlights! Who would have thought!
I didn’t take pictures of every room because Greybeard Rentals does a fantastic job of showing off the mountain homes on their website. So check out photos of Outside Inn there. Oh and look at this one. And this one. These are not affiliate links, but rather “hey you’re really going to want to see these links!” Basically my rental wishlist!
As someone who loves to do macro photography, this place is candy, everywhere I turned there was something I wanted to take a picture of! There were cool features everywhere you turned from garden gnomes, vintage signs, cool bikes outside and books, knick-knacks, posters, and other decorative items throughout the cottage!
The quality of the furnishings in Outside Inn was top notch. Excellent rugs, good furniture (some of it appears to be original MCM), good floors, and wonderful tile work in the kitchen and bathrooms. Although usually something I don’t care much about, we have news junkies with everything happening in the world and I appreciated the large TVs!
If I had to pick one thing to complain about because otherwise, you wouldn’t believe me when I said this place is perfect, it’s that there are light switches everywhere, but you can’t be mad for long because when you find the right one, there is no way to get it wrong with adorable labels like this, some with a twist of humor.
Outside Inn has 3 bedrooms: a master bedroom, a second guest bedroom (aka Mr. Misadventures' photo equipment room); and a kid's room (aka our clothes room!) which has a super cute window feature in the bunk bed.
We arrived on Thursday late afternoon (they have a 4:00 check-in) and although we anticipated it to be extraordinarily clean, and it was, we entered wearing masks and opened all the windows to ventilate the air while also turning off the A/C. Given that a third of this house is outdoors, hence Outside Inn, a lot of the space was already aired out.
We brought our own sheets which we placed directly over the sheets on the bed in the master. We brought our own towels as well. We also brought all our own food and drinks for our 3-night stay.
Black Mountain’s little downtown is cute, but we still aren’t comfortable with restaurants at the moment so we will have to partake in the future. We chose our rental here because the town is a little more manageable than Asheville, at least at the moment. Asheville is great for breweries and restaurants, but for now, that is not a scene we are interested in. The point of travel for the Misadventures family right now is to stay local and be safe. We drive, bring our own things, and stay in a stand-alone accommodation. We were able to get all that with our Greybeard Rentals.
I worked on Friday while Mr. Misadventures scouted leaf-peeping photo locations. Throughout the day I moved around the cabin with my laptop and every conference/video call I had people remarked on how cool the decor was in my background! There was just as much bandwidth as we have it home (which is a lot plus Mr. Misadventures is an ex-network engineer so he checks this stuff!).
Saturday morning we headed to the Blue Ridge Parkway for more scouting, passing the Linville Caverns and the trail for Linville Falls as we headed to our target, the Linn Cove Viaduct. Door-to-viaduct was 1 hour and 10 minutes. We were scouting for the upcoming leaf-peeping opportunities which are plenty in the greater Asheville area.
The leaves are already starting to change, but they are not quite there yet!
We were also 25 minutes from Asheville. Our Black Mountain home rental was a great home base which is why Greybeard Rentals has so many properties there along with Black Mountain, Montreat, and of course, Asheville.
After a day of scouting, we enjoyed the last warmth of the sun with a glass of wine on the little deck (outside of the huge outdoor room) and started plotting our next trip. I was regretting not booking an entire week.
The thing I like about Greybeard Rentals is their collection of mountain homes, cottages, and cabins is highly curated. The team that runs this company are locals who have lived in this region for years, they know the good stuff and they know what guests want. Including a loaf of freshly made bread which they leave as a welcome gift. In our case pumpkin. And for 2 low-carb-lifestylers who don’t eat a lot of sweets, we devoured it like crack! Of course, pumpkin bread may be par for the course for most carb-eating folks, but for us that touch alone made it feel like a vacation!
The house is SPARKLING clean. Greybeard Rentals take its housekeeping operations seriously. I felt comfortable and confident inside the cottage. One less thing to worry about.
Sure you can find mountain properties on the major vacation home platforms, and yes the owners may be local, but you aren’t supporting a local business by using it. Of course, the owner benefits and the local businesses when you stay, but I like the feeling of piling on and staying local. Although some of Greybeard Rentals properties can be rented through Airbnb, it is only a portion and you will get the best rate through their website and in slower seasons, they run exclusive web specials and discounts on their website. They have a newsletter too, so make sure you subscribe!
We had a leisurely Sunday morning and headed for home at around 8 (we’re early risers). Check out is at 10:00 so we didn’t have to rush.
Tips for planning a trip to the North Carolina mountains:
- Plan ahead, especially if you are wanting to visit during peak leaf-changing season.
- Think off-season. In my opinion, a mountain or lake retreat is wonderful at any time of the year. And while I get that fall is amazing, Mr. Misadventures and I enjoy being in places when it's less crowded. And Greybeard Rentals has great off-season pricing for their Black Mountain home rental properties. Well, not only Black Mountain but also all through the area and into Asheville!
- Head to the parkway and parks early. As usual Mr. Misadventures and I had these areas all to ourselves until about 10. And everyone wants that sunset shot so the overlooks get crowded. Try sunrise instead!
Tips for staying in a cabin in the North Carolina mountains (during the Age of the Queen):
- If you have the space in your car, pack your own sheets and towels.
- Bring disinfecting wipes to wipe down counters and surfaces.
- When you arrive open all the windows to air out the property.
- Most cabins will provide you a limited amount of paper products, so remember to bring extra paper towels, toilet paper, etc. It will be cheaper than buying locally.
- If you are going to use the dishwater, drinkware, and silverware wash them before using them.
- Bring your own food and drinks. Don’t forget the seasoning spices! If you are staying in Black Mountain, there is a rather large grocery store (Ingles) which we stopped into to restock our wine (vacation mode you know). I’d rather go to a larger store where it is easier to social distance than a small space.
I want to thank Greybeard Rentals and the owners of Outside Inn for so generously sponsoring our stay, it’s not the most obvious thing to do given the crisis and the state of travel and tourism at the moment, so their generosity was appreciated more than usual. If you are thinking of coming to the western North Carolina mountains, please do consider renting a mountain cabin, cottage or home from Greybeard Rentals.
How about you? Have you been to the North Carolina mountains? Do you enjoy leaf-peeping and mountain cabins? Do tell! Where do you like to travel in the autumn? Do share!
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