Acadian Discoveries: Greenfields Deli

Bagels and delis are fairly ubiquitous around the country. However, like any regional specialty, it is hard to find a true New York-style deli outside of the five boroughs. Fortunately, Greenville, SC has enjoyed the real deal for over 17 years with Greenfields Deli. Founded by NYC transplants, Greenfields offers the hands-down best bagel and deli experience in town. Their bagels are the undisputed star of the show, made fresh each morning in a variety of sweet and savory flavors and served with many different options of homemade cream cheese. If you have trouble deciding between Double-crunch Cinnamon, Blueberry, Sesame, Cheese, and Jalapeno- to name just a few- you can always go with the ever-popular Everything. It only gets better as you use their almighty bagels to craft the perfect deli sandwich. They do offer more typical slices of bread, but there’s no substitute for their pastrami, egg, and cheese (provolone) on an Everything bagel. (with onions and spicy mustard, naturally) While it’s hard to beat their pastrami, Greenfields does offer the full panoply of deli meats, such as lox, corned beef, and more. Add one of their delicious soups or traditional deli sides, like pasta or potato salad, or simply grab a bag of chips. However, you’ll find that even the chips are no plain-Jane affair, especially if you happen to choose a bag of Zaps Spicy Craw-tator. If you can save room for desert, Greenfields has a huge selection of Jewish pastries to offer. There are plenty of bottled and fountain drinks to choose from to wash everything down, including more adventurous options like Dr Brown’s Cel-ray celery soda; it’s actually much more refreshing than it sounds. Of course, as a common breakfast destination, a tall cup of their Brazilian coffee is often the best choice. It beats Starbucks any day, unless you are really in the mood for a desert disguised as coffee. If you have never experienced Greenfields, you can find it in the Verdae Shopping Center at the corner of Laurens and Verdae. You will not be disappointed.

An Acadian Valentine’s Day

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Valentine’s Day is here, a day to spend with your significant other and enjoy each other’s company. It is a day which can easily be spent eating just a bit too much chocolate, so sometimes it can be nice to do something a little more active. Fortunately for those of us in the Acadia community, we are surrounded by plenty of natural beauty to enjoy. The walking trails that follow the banks of the Saluda River and Hunter’s Creek are prime candidates. There are also several park areas that are perfect for a romantic picnic, such as Indian Rock or Mary’s Bridge. With the wonderfully warm weather we’ve been enjoying, you don’t even need to bundle up, although you may choose to snuggle together anyways. For a more relaxing option, you can always enjoy the view of the river from the deck of our RiverHouse. As warm as it is, the night air can still hold a chill, so you can always move to the screen porch and set up the fireplace. While there are certainly many things to do around Greenville at large, it is nice to know that we have plenty to enjoy right here at home in Acadia.

Acadian Travel: A Rome-antic Vacation

Valentine’s Day is on the horizon, and many couples are looking for the perfect destination for a romantic getaway. An obvious answer is the birthplace of the original romance language: Rome, Italy. The city has a rich history spanning over 2500 years, which means it has plenty to offer for travelers of every stripe. Its ancient roots are sure to tantalize any history buff. The decidedly modern city is dotted with many fantastic monuments from antiquity, most notably the Colosseum; fortunately, it is now cleared of battling gladiators, so tourists can enjoy it safely. As you move through Rome you get a glimpse of each layer of its history, such as the Medieval Torre delle Milizie, a fortified tower near Trajan’s Markets. The Renaissance made perhaps the most obvious impact on the city, which is fitting for an era marked by an explosion of creative and intellectual growth. It gave Rome most of its famous city square, or Piazzas, and allowed Michelangelo the opportunity to use the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel as a massive canvas for some truly fantastic frescos. It should be no surprise that Rome has many other beautiful Chapels and Basilicas considering it surrounds Vatican City, the seat of the Catholic faith. Even if you are not Catholic, Saint Peter’s Basilica is an astounding sight to behold.

Rome offers more than just amazing architecture, although it certainly has that in spades. As the capital of Italy, it is an obvious destination for anyone wanting to get a taste of the country as a whole. Naturally, this often starts with tasting the local cuisine, or cucina in this case. You will quickly find that Italian food consists of much more than just spaghetti and meatballs, although the local version of that dish will certainly keep you very happy. Delicious pasta and pizza can be found in abundance, along with wonderfully fresh seafood dishes, to name just a few staples. There is no shortage of fine Italian wines and cheeses to be enjoyed with, before, and after dinner, along with delicious breads and deli meats. Any meal is best concluded with a slice of Tiramisu and a cup of espresso. However, special mention must be made of gelato, ice cream’s creamier, more decadent older cousin. It can be found in nearly any flavor imaginable, from the old standbys of chocolate and vanilla to more unique varieties like fresh melon and lemon. You could probably try a different flavor every day for a year and not run out of choices.

To learn more about Rome, and to book with an agency that cares, visit the Acadian Travel Concierge here. For this and more, be sure to visit the Acadia Community Blog each week, where we sample activities, events, and travel destinations in our “Acadian Travel” and “Acadian Discoveries” miniseries.

Acadia: A Community Milestone

Over the last 10 years, Acadia has grown from open forest into a true community of 130 families. Acadia offers 120 acres of beautiful greenspaces, and we still have room to grow. Acadia’s development team is hard at work, preparing another 106 custom home sites to be available about a year from now.

And not a minute too soon; Acadia has sold all single-family lots in Phase 1, and is well into selling the second neighborhood, too. Fortunately, there are still some homes available in our Village in Acadia neighborhood. Our newest offering is the TwinHouse. As the name suggests, these are built in pairs, and each home offers over 2500 heated square feet of open floorplan, luxury living space. Well appointed, with three bedrooms and fine finishes, Acadia’s TwinHouses start at $378,000. Perfect for the young family, or to retire in comfort. Two TwinHouses are sold, but two more are available to move into by June 2017. Come by now, and make your custom selections for interior finishes.

What a wonderful milestone, to be opening our third neighborhood. How far our Acadia community has come in the last 10 years bodes well for our next decade of growth. Please visit our website, and discover life in balance, in Acadia.

Acadian Discoveries: Doodle Trail

Acadians are an active bunch; often they are found enjoying our 4 miles of walking trails and access to the Saluda River. However, it is nice to explore a bit farther afield every now and then to see some new sights while we exercise. Fortunately, we are only 15 minutes away from the start of the Doodle Trail in Easley. The Doodle runs from Easley to Pickens, providing a 16 mile loop for bikers and runners to enjoy. It gets its name from the nearby Doodle train line which also connects the two towns. The train, in turn, takes its name from the Doodlebug- also known as roly-polies- whose fronts and backs are nearly indistinguishable. Since there was not enough room for the track system to have a turn-around, the train simply travels back and forth on a linear rail, meaning it doesn’t have a true “front” or “back”. The trail itself is very well maintained and offers a great view of the pastoral scenery between each town. More importantly, the Doodle gives you a great workout on its many hills. In addition to the sense of accomplishment for completing a climb, you’ll definitely enjoy the relaxing ride back downhill.

To learn more about the Doodle Trail, visit the information site here, and for more Acadian Discoveries, be sure to check out the Acadia Community Blog weekly!

Acadian Travel: Viking River Cruises

We are fortunate to live in a time when traveling is both quick and affordable. A transatlantic trip that used to take months can now be completed in half a day, leaving us with more time to actually explore a new destination. Still, there is something irreplaceable about water travel. It is a truly unique sensation, offering a different way to see our world while giving us a bit more time to relax. While ocean cruises are certainly popular, though, they really only give you a coastal view. A river cruise, on the other hand, lets you see the interior of a new country while you float. Viking River Cruises, which started in 1997, offers the widest array of destinations to enjoy in this fashion. With a fleet of 64 river vessels, they can take you to every corner of the globe- providing there is a river, of course. You can explore Europe for anywhere from 8 to 23 days on the Rhine, Rhone, or Danube rivers, to name only a few. You can travel in Russia from Moscow to Saint Petersburg on the Volga and Svir. You can even see Egypt from the Nile or China from the Yangtze. While Viking Cruises has recently expanded to include a few ocean lines, their river cruises are the most unique experience, and they certainly offer the most variety.

The different cruise programs are nicely structured while still offering plenty of choices. Take, for example, the Viking Akun, which runs from Moscow to Saint Petersburg. You spend the first four days of the 13 day trip in Moscow. Each day, you can choose to enjoy more active walking tours of the city, or you can relax and see the sights by bus with a few key stops along the way. The program organizes tickets for a variety of events, such as trips to the Kremlin, local museums, ballet, and musical performances. Viking also provides lunch during your excursions, and they give you plenty of time to shop for souvenirs. You spend each night on the ship, where the kitchen offers a mix of local and international cuisine. The next five days are spent on the Volga and Svir, offering a gorgeous view of the Russian countryside. There are a variety of stops along the way, such as a visit to a banya, the traditional Russian take on a sauna. While in transit, there are activities on the ship itself, from Russian language lessons to vodka tastings. The last four days of the trip are spent in Saint Petersburg. It is a beautiful city crossed by an expansive canal system, which you will explore on another, smaller vessel, and dotted with vast gardens. The water view of Saint Petersburg is second only to the Hermitage Museum’s extensive collections, not to mention the architecture of the museum itself.

To learn more about visiting Viking River Cruises or to book a vacation, head over to the Acadia Travel Concierge site here.

Acadian Discoveries: Falls Park

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With winter weather turning to a more spring like feel, many Greenvillians are looking for a place to spend their warm days. Falls Park is a beautiful attraction in Greenville, South Carolina. Located in the heart of Downtown Greenville, the park boasts many activities for residents and visitors alike. For a more aerobic experience, the park’s many walking paths allow you to travel by foot from Main Street to the Greenville Zoo and Cleveland Park. For a more relaxing experience, the park offers many benches and swing sets where you can grab a rest and enjoy the peace and serenity all around.

Whether it is Liberty Bridge overlooking the Reedy River, or the walking paths and parks which rest below it, Falls Park offers a natural green space to get away from the otherwise building heavy center of downtown. To learn more about the many activities going on in the park, visit the Falls Park website here. To learn more about activities happening around the upstate and beyond, be sure to visit the Acadia Community blog each week.

 

Acadian Travel: Vail Ski Resort

Acadia has just enjoyed another great Christmas and New Years, but that doesn’t mean that we are done with winter yet. For many of us, the end of the holiday season simply means the start of the ski season. Unfortunately, South Carolina does not offer the elevation and snowfall for an ideal skiing experience, so we have to range a bit farther afield to find some slopes. While North Carolina offers the quickest fix, the best skiing in the country is found out west in the Rockies. One of the most well-known skiing destinations in Colorado is the Vail Ski Resort. While the town was formed in 1966, Vail had already been a popular ski resort for four years prior. With the fourth largest skiable terrain in all of North America at 5289 acres, it is easy to see why so many people come back to explore. Vail is certainly an enjoyable experience for newer skiers, but it especially caters to the more experienced crowd. Over half the resort is made up of advanced black diamond runs. There are also many long catwalks connecting different sections of the mountains, so snowboarders especially need to keep their speed up. However, once you have taken a bit of time to orient yourself, it becomes very easy to navigate around the resort. If you are more comfortable on your skis / board, be sure to check out the often less-crowded back bowls. It is truly a wonderful experience to find yourself alone back there, carving new trails through freshly fallen powder.

It is easy to tire yourself out on the slopes, but it pays to save at least a little energy for the rest of Vail. Fortunately, there are several free shuttle services around the town, so you can keep the walking to a minimum. The city center features a wide variety of shops within sight of the main gondola. It is easy to overload on the wide assortment of souvenirs, jewelry, ski and summer gear, and more, if you are so inclined. Coincidentally, many of the shops also sell extra baggage. There are also plenty of great places to eat, from fine Italian dining to more relaxed pizza parlors or Mexican restaurants. However, it is well worth a quick 15 minute drive to the nearby town of Minturn for a trip to the Minturn Country Club. This restaurant was named with tongue firmly in cheek, so no membership is actually required. While they offer a wide variety of meats and seafood, the main draw is their excellent selection of steaks. You choose your cut from one of two little deli counters in the restaurant. Then, you cook the meat yourself at one of their two impressive grilling stations, which offer a bevy of seasonings to suit your taste. You can also order many different delicious sides, but I would highly recommend getting some mixed vegetables and grilling them along with your steak.

You will naturally need a base camp for all of these endeavors, and as a resort town, Vail naturally offers plenty of accommodations. The only one I can speak to is the Vail Cascade inn and condos. I am sure the inn is lovely, since it is rated at 4-stars. I have personally only enjoyed their restaurant and the large fireplace at their bar. The pheasant soup is a great way to warm up after a day on the slopes, especially combined with the fire. If you are lucky enough to have a friend in the nearby condos, though, you are in for a treat. The rooms are very spacious, and the facility houses a hot tub, workout rooms, and storage lockers. To top it all off, you can find the Cascade lift right out the back door, along with a lift ticket counter and a ski rental shop. There is also a small slope that leads to the bottom of the lift, so you can enjoy a complete ski-in, ski-out package

To learn more about visiting Vail Ski Resort, head over to the Acadia Travel Concierge site here.

The Grand Reopening of Acadia’s Mary’s Bridge

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Our new Mary’s Bridge featuring the Brookhart family, Scott Cleveland, and Mary Freeman.

We are excited to announce the reopening of Mary’s Bridge. Dedicated to Mary Freeman, the bridge has provided easy access across Hunters Creek to the Riverhouse, as well as having provided the perfect location for family photos since Acadia’s founding. However, a few sections of railing were in need of repair, so we had to close off the bridge for safety’s sake. We took this opportunity to update the design of Mary’s Bridge to make it even more appealing. Thanks to the hard work of Craig Brookhart, the intricate, natural feel of the original has been recreated- and improved upon- in handsomely varnished cedar. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for a hidden surprise in the center of the bridge, inspired by the local heron who make their home by the banks of Hunters Creek.

Artist: Craig Brookhart
Installers: The Brookhart family and Scott Cleveland

Acadian Discoveries: A Biltmore Holiday

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The Biltmore Estate near Asheville, NC is one of the most well-known attractions in the south east. Built by the Vanderbilt family from 1889 to 1895, it is the largest privately owned home in the United States at an impressive 178,926 square feet. The house is surrounded by 75 acres of carefully maintained gardens and walking trails, and it even has its own winery. The estate was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1964 and opened to the public; since then, it has become one of the premiere tourist destinations in the country. The house itself is ornately designed in the style of French Renaissance Chateaus, featuring intricately carved stone facades, towers, and gargoyles, to name just a few of the stylistic touches. The inside of the house is equally stunning, offering hundreds of rooms to tour. As large as the house and grounds are, it is hard to see everything in one day. Fortunately, the estate offers three different accommodations for families wanting to spend the weekend exploring Biltmore. The Village Hotel is the more casual option, located next to the winery, three different restaurants, and a variety of shopping options. For guests that want a more formal taste of the Gilded Age, the Inn on Biltmore Estate boasts a four-star experience with personalized service for all patrons. Finally, the Cottage on Biltmore Estate offers the most private, spacious experience for families looking to truly get away for a weekend.

The Biltmore Estate hosts a variety of events year round, from concerts to wine tastings. However, they especially embrace the Christmas season. The tradition goes back to the grand opening of the estate on Christmas Eve in 1895. The first Christmas at Biltmore was only opened to George Vanderbilt’s family and friends, but now everyone has a chance to enjoy the holidays at the estate from November 4 to January 8. The daily festivities are two-fold: a Daytime Celebration and a Candlelight Christmas Evening. During the day, guests can enjoy a clear view of elaborate decorations on nearly every tree, nook, and cranny. The fireplace in the dining hall looks even more inviting next to a fully-trimmed tree surrounded with gifts, and the with the grounds draped in Christmas cheer, it is even more fun to go exploring. While the holiday display is certainly brilliant in the light of day, the evening lights truly bring out the Christmas spirit. The already-impressive house looks even grander covered in lights, but the real star of the show is the evergreen tree on the front lawn. It is nearly as tall as the four story house and is completely encrusted with lights and ornaments, making it impossible to ignore.

For more information on the Biltmore Estate, you can visit them at their website here, and be sure to tune in every Thursday for more Acadian Discoveries.