Biltmore Estate - Vacation Inspiration - Ribbon in my Journal

End of Summer Vacation Inspiration

Phyllis Inspiration 24 Comments

For my family, summertime is often a season of travel. Traveling is one of my favorite pastimes and I have been very fortunate to visit many beautiful places. Taking vacations allows me to rest and to see things from a new perspective, which is a welcome break from my daily routine. I so easily find myself falling into a rut with my work and various activities. When I vacation I make it a point to keep my eyes open and soak up as much inspiration as possible.

One of my favorite places to vacation is Asheville, North Carolina, where I can wander the gardens of the gorgeous Biltmore Estate. Gardens, especially flowers, have always been a source of inspiration for me. As I strolled through the streets of France a few years ago, I was struck by the small gardens at the front gate of each home. All it took was a few plants to create a lively and welcoming entryway. Seeing the beautiful flowers encouraged me to keep up my garden and fill my home with fresh blooms. The vibrant colors of flowers are an easy way to bring new life to a space. I love seeing different uses of color to create visual masterpieces.

Spending time observing and admiring the beauty of a new place is one of the main ways that I draw inspiration. On vacations I have spent countless hours wandering through antique shops, museums, and libraries. Taking walks through different cities opens my eyes to different styles of architecture as well. Each time I visit Williamsburg, Virginia, I marvel at its colonial charm. When I walk through quilt shops or fabric stores I am motivated to continue my passion for sewing and quilting.

Seeing new places is always fun, but my favorite part of travel is experiencing the food! From seasonings to cooking techniques to presentation, edible creations vary so beautifully by region. I love Cajun spices, low country boils, and other regional cuisine that brings food to life in unique ways. When I return home, I enjoy trying to recreate my favorite dishes from my travels. Challenges like that are just the thing I need to kick start my culinary creativity.

Ultimately, no matter where I travel, I am moved by the creativity of others. When you see what someone has created you are truly seeing part of who that person is. It is incredible to see how people all around the country and the world are using their talents to the best of their abilities. My goal in traveling is to return from each vacation with a mind full of new ideas, ready to tackle even the ordinary tasks with a new perspective.

Where is your favorite place to vacation?

Comments 24

  1. I have visited almost all the states and some foreign countries, but the most beautiful place I have ever visited is Colorado. The scenery – the snowcapped peaks of the many mountain ranges, the great continental divide, the quiet mountain valleys with herds of elk and deer, the trout streams and ice blue lakes, the quaint villages, especially the historic ghost towns of the old west, all seem to create for me the most restful and beautiful place on earth. Oh, to visit again in “Colorful Colorado!”

  2. We just visited the Biltmore for the first time last week. It was so beautiful. The gardens were wonderful, especially the rose garden. The smell was amazing!
    So much to see in Asheville. We tried a variety of restaurants and they all were very good plus the shopping was terrific. I loved the April Cornell store that just opened there. All in all it was a great vacation.

  3. I loved Nashville TN , Nashville IN (Browns County) I loved go to Iowa the Amana Colonies, and Pella, Iowa , I loved going to Alabama had been so long if I had a bucket list I would love to return to these places for Vacation,

  4. Block Island RI ! 12 miles of the coast…only way to,get there is by ferry boat or small plane. Leave from Point Judith by ferry. A lovely island 3 miles wide X 7 miles wide. Victorian style hotels, charming rental cottages and B&Bs. Idyllic family vacation spot with scenic bluffs, stone fences, lighthouses, great beaches. Has been described as closest scenery reminiscent of Ireland. Even going there since a toddler and am now 70 years old. My parents met there. Very romantic spot.

  5. I loved your post! I too love to travel and I love gardens! The Biltmore is one of my all-time favorite places to visit as well. Living in Southern California I also enjoy the Huntington estate and gardens too. My daughter stayed on Capitol Hill for a two-month internship this summer and I thoroughly enjoyed walking past the many row houses with their tiny front gardens just steps away from the Library of Congress. Some were simply fabulous! I find that if I really stop to look and ponder, I find beauty in some of the most unlikely places.

  6. We couldn’t make our usual trip to Cape May this summer so when we were visiting relatives in Homdel N.J., I chose a shore place close by and we drove to Ocean Grove! This was our first time there, and yes, what a lovely place…will definitely return.

  7. Robin, you are so right about Ocean Grove, I live about 77 minutes away in northern New Jersey.
    Whenever we can escape it’s a quick trip away, and always my happy place. I find it a town of good will, and always friendly:)
    In fact as I write this I’m in Ocean Grove!
    Blessings, and in due time, it’ll still be here when you can come and enjoy this little gem…

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  8. I live in a resort area, in New Jersey, at the beach. As I’m caring for my 91 year old mother, I don’t get to go away but I do get to the “Giant Spring and Fall Flea Market”s in nearby Ocean Grove, NJ! Just being in Ocean Grove is an experience! It was built in the 1840(?)s as a Methodist Camp Meeting retreat and still is. I think the original run of Victoria had an article on Ocean Grove and as I was living in FL at the time, I was thrilled! My then neighbor asked me if there REALLY were TENTS that some lived in and I asked how she knew? She said, ” I get this magazine…we both said, VICTORIA!” I told her she would love it there! It is a true treasure filled with Victorian “painted ladies” although they aren’t called that.
    I have always wanted to take a weeks vacation there after our Summer season was finished, after Labor Day.
    It’s a most idyllic place in the New York Metropolitan area.

    1. Ocean Grove is truly a gem. I was fortunate enough to have a “winter rental” in Ocean Grove…a sweet cottage from October to May. Though I live in Florida I flew up for family every month and the moment I walked into this lovely beach cottage I was surrounded by peace. I made a point of walking to the boardwalk every day that I was there and took pictures so I would have a picture book of how the ocean and shoreline changed through the fall into the winter and into the spring. It was magical and the town stayed open all
      year. I dream of another cottage by the sea.

  9. Some many places so little time! This year our go to vacation spot is Lake Tahoe. We were gifted a cottage/cabin on the Lake and we will be going in a few weeks. We never get enough of the Tahoe/Truckee/Reno area. There’s an ambience in the scenery and eateries to explore with views and shopping galore! Just the smell in the air as it is so crisp makes one believe and thank our creator for gifting us such beauty! We can hardly wait! Carmel

  10. France was my most wonderful trip… So enjoyed the beauty and creativity that the French people have… They only have to put out a pot of flowers where they reside and make it feel like a palace!…

    To me simplicity is what I desire… I was totally at home and at peace visiting this wonderful place… May I also add their flair of food… Delicious and beautifully presented, so yes I would not mind living there!

  11. France and Cape Cod are the two places where I am always happy to go back.
    Cooking books from the different regions of France I love to buy and from Cape Cod ,
    Seafood cookbooks and I remember a special one from Joan Hassol who wrote a jam-making hymnal . I have used this book for years.
    I also love to see the people`s creativity in different parts of the world.
    In France you have “ les artisans“ who can earn the title of “meilleur Artisan de France“.
    Most of the time every day objects made with the utmost care.

  12. I love to travel too and have been fortunate to have been to Williamsburg twice and once to Charleston why I loved. We love in western Canada so it is easier to travel westward. We find going to Maui very restful( just came back from there), or we like Palm Springs California or Arizona to get away a short bit from our long winters.

  13. My favorite place to vacation is the wine country in California. We like to rent a house and take day trips. I love the food there and come back home with cook books to make the fresh, wonderful food they are known for. The last time we were in Sonoma I fell in love (all over again) with olive oil after visiting a store that makes their own olive oil. I came away with THE BEST truffle olive oil I have ever had. Renting a house allows me to cook with the best fresh ingredients while there when we decide to stay in. Of course visiting the wineries and bringing home a good wine to serve with dinner doesn’t offend either

  14. Love, love the Biltmore and Williamsburg! Two favorite places. Also the White Mtns. in New Hampshire, Cape Cod, many other places in New England. Tons of antique stores, barns and places there!

  15. That is one of the best things about traveling for me, the gardens, and how people express their own personal style in their homes. While I love good food as much as anyone, it’s the “style” inspiration I relish in on every trip. It’s such a gift we humans have, to create a little place to suit ourselves, to beautify, and to make it a welcoming haven for those we love, isn’t it? I always come back inspired after even a one day trip!

  16. I am a season pass holder to The Biltmore Estate and have been for many years. My daughter’s call it “Mom’s Happy Place”. I never tire of visiting that house or the grounds. I enjoy the Summer concerts on the terrace. It is beautiful there no matter what time of year you visit.

  17. The Biltmore is one of my favorites! I would love to go back at Christmas. I was there once while they were decorating and would have loved to have seen the final touches! Williamsburg is on my wish list…..maybe someday soon!
    Love your blog and always look forward to what you share each day!

  18. I love the pictures in your blog. I have many of them as my desktop photos. I change my desktop photos regularly as I am on the computer all day at work. People ask me about them and now subscribe to your blog and your magazines because of them. But where is this photo taken.

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