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

Falls Park

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


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


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.

Acadian Discoveries: Roper Mountain Holiday Lights

Now that everyone has had a chance to recover from their Thanksgiving feasts, we are ready to prepare for the Christmas season. The most noticeable sign that “tis the season” is the reemergence of lights, tinsel, and wreathes around the homes of Greenville. Anyone in the upstate will tell you, though, that one of the brightest displays can be found at the Roper Mountain Science Center. The RMSC is a year-round treat, offering the perfect place for school field trips or more spontaneous visits. With their planetarium, Butterfly Adventure, and summer camp- to name just a few of their exhibits- visitors have plenty of ways to enjoy learning about the natural world. From Thanksgiving to December 30, however, it’s hard to focus on anything except their spectacular Christmas lights display. The Roper Mountain Holiday Lights have been a Greenville tradition for 24 years, raising over 2.4 million dollars for community charities. You can enjoy the sights while giving back to community from 6 to 10 PM every night until the holidays are over.

For more information on Roper Mountain Holiday Lights, you can visit them at their website here, and be sure to tune in every Thursday for more Acadian Discoveries.

Acadian Discoveries: Poinsettia Christmas Parade

One of the annual special events hosted in Downtown Greenville, the Poinsettia Christmas Parade is a family favorite. For over 75 years, the parade has entertained and ushered in the spirit of the holiday season in Greenville. This almost 1 mile stretch of Main Street allows for a large gathering of Greenvillians down the parade route. Fun for both adults and children, this extra special 2016 parade will feature Acadia’s Sandi Morris, Silver Olympic Medalist from the 2016 Rio Olympics, as Grand Marshal.

This special holiday event is not one to miss, so be sure to mark your calendars for this Saturday December 3, 2016 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. If you would like to learn more about the parade, you can visit their website here.

The Announcement of Phase 3 in Acadia is Here!


Finding the right balance in life is what Acadia is all about. For ten years, Acadia has grown from thoughtful plan for a life-cycle community, transcending the typical subdivision, and is now home to 130 families. These Acadians have discovered a community offering an affordable, healthy, friendly lifestyle. Driving through Acadia, visitors are greeted by welcoming neighbors, a wealth of amenities, attractive new homes, and abundant natural beauty.

Just in time for Christmas, Acadia is announcing its third new neighborhood, The Sanctuary, and taking reservations on 106 home sites. John Freeman, developer of the Acadia community, explained why now was the time for this new phase. “Acadia is growing, thanks to a convergence of several wonderful dynamics. First, the Greenville economy is stabilized, and mortgage rates remain a bargain. Greenville is attracting many newcomers for work and outdoor lifestyle, but very few neighborhoods have what Acadia offers. As Greenville grows, so does Acadia. Given Acadia’s proximity to the Greenville Health System’s main campus, and our unique location in the heart of the IMED Corridor, many healthcare and life-science professionals are joining their colleagues in Acadia. So, too have professionals from GE, Bosch and Michelin.”

Located only ten minutes from downtown Greenville by car, Acadia preserved 120 of its 360 acres for parks, trails, green spaces and common areas. “Acadia first sought to balance our impact on nature,” said Mary Freeman, resident and owner of the Acadia Design Centre. “Speaking of balance, since moving to Acadia, we’ve found more time to exercise, play and visit with family and friends.”

Acadia is all about the outdoors, appealing to everyone, from empty nesters to young families. From the PaddleHouse, where kayaks launch onto the Saluda River, to the PoolHouse and Jr. Olympic pool, this Greenville community has a flair for fun. Acadians celebrate with River Day paddling tours, pool parties and water sports. Festivals, 5K charity runs and bike rides, parades, weddings, and cookouts are held at Acadia’s Pavilion on the Village Green.

“Acadian homeowners plan many events, like neighborhood barbecues, porch parties, gardening, soccer field play days, tennis camps, cycling and paddling clubs, book and bridge clubs, theater and ladies’ nights,” said Jamie Kaltenbach, whose family—like many other Acadians—chose Acadia for its hospitable sense of community. “We even have our own Acadia Travel Concierge.”

“Acadia’s amenities are perfect for getting in shape, for kids and adults of all ages,” said yoga instructor and Acadian resident, Wednesday Cooper. An interest in healthy eating inspires several Acadian families to grow vegetables in the community garden. The Sanctuary neighborhood will feature an English Conservatory and more community gardens. Relaxation draws others to enjoy sunsets from the RiverHouse deck, overlooking the Saluda River. Private parties and corporate retreats keep the RiverHouse busy, thanks to Acadia’s friends at Michelin, GHS, GE, Piedmont Fire, and others.

“Acadia has affordable homes, ready to move into,” said Acadia’s Sales Manager, Shelbie Dunn of Coldwell Banker Caine. Custom home sites and wooded lots are available from $80,000 to $249,000. Since no two homes will be the same in Acadia, a wide variety of home styles and custom finishes are also available now and coming in The Sanctuary neighborhood: townhomes from $315,000; twinhouses from $375,000, gatehouses from $429,000; pocket-park cottages from $330,000; single-family custom homes from $435,000 on cottage lots, from $475,000 on manor lots, and from $575,000 and up on estate and super-estate lots.

Piedmont Fire Department’s Grinch 5K Wrap-Up

What a beautiful day for a run! We’d like to thank all of the Acadians for graciously hosting the Piedmont Fire Dept. and its charity Grinch 5K Run this morning in our Acadia Community. Chief Wallace of the Piedmont Fire Dept. declared the day a success, with over 50 runners, raising nearly $2,000.00 for the department and its community programs. Chief Wallace and all of the volunteers wanted to thank Acadia for the beautiful venue and great support that the runners received.

5K Acadian Support