Welcome to Western North Carolina

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Serving the Greater Asheville, Hendersonville, Brevard, Lake Lure & Waynesville Areas




Simone Childhood Home

Growing Your Dreams


Style and Grace: Talloni Shoe Salon Canines, Community and Craft Ales

Family Tradition: Sawyer Springs Vineyard


Moving can be an exciting and stress-free process when working with the trained professionals at Allen Tate/Beverly-Hanks, REALTORS®. We can connect you to valuable resources that ensure a flawless relocation. We’re ready to manage your move from start to finish.

Relocating to our mountains can be tricky for large out-of-town moving trucks. Our long-standing relationships with local moving companies can minimize expense and ensure a smooth move. relocationteam@allentate.com | (866) 319-4158

We’ve got you covered.
from our


W“Whether your interest is residential or commercial, as an experienced investor or a first-time buyer, our team is here to help you.”
— Neal Hanks Jr., President

It is our privilege to introduce you to this beautiful region we call home. We know that to discover Western North Carolina, it is best to experience the splendor of our communities first hand. We are confident that when you do, you will realize that most who do so never want to leave.

Choosing the right real estate company to assist you in your exploration is important. You will certainly benefit by choosing the best, and in Western North Carolina, that choice is Allen Tate/Beverly-Hanks. Our real estate brokers have earned a reputation for looking after their clients like no other in the area. Whether your interest is residential home, land, or commercial real estate, as an experienced investor or a first-time buyer, our team is here to help you.

Our team not only has a deep understanding of the real estate market, but we are actively engaged in the communities in which we live and serve, and we relish the opportunity to connect you with the many attributes, organizations, and individuals that make Western North Carolina such a wonderful place to call home. With relocation, mortgage, title, and insurance professionals all working on the same team, we are ready to deliver a convenient home buying process catered to you.

Every year, thousands of buyers and sellers choose Allen Tate/Beverly-Hanks, REALTORS® to handle their real estate and essential services needs. Many have used our services before and others are referred by previous customers. The enthusiastic endorsement of our services is how we measure success. Whether you were introduced to us by a family member, friend, or a relocation company who values our professional expertise, we are excited to Welcome you to Western North Carolina.

It is our hope you will find the information contained in Welcome useful for your exploration. We look forward to being of service to you.

Warm regards,

CLIENT SERVICES (866) 858-2257 toll free


300 Executive Park, Asheville, NC 28801 (828) 254-7221

ASHEVILLE, BILTMORE AVE. 40 Biltmore Ave., Asheville, NC 28801 (828) 571-0744


820 Merrimon Ave., Asheville, NC 28804 (828) 251-1800


One Town Square Blvd., Suite 140 Asheville, NC 28803 (828) 684-8999


6 East Main St., Brevard, NC 28712 (828) 877-6006


7737 Greenville Hwy., Brevard, NC 28712 (828) 877-4490


369 West US 19-E, Burnsville, NC 28714 (828) 678-9944


40 Cashiers Shopping Center, Cashiers, NC 28717 (800) 210-0321


4005 Hendersonville Rd., Fletcher, NC 28732 (828) 484-3130


512 N. Main St., Hendersonville, NC 28792 (828) 697-0515


295 Dillard Road, Highlands, NC 28741 (828) 526-8784


1518 Memorial Hwy., Lake Lure, NC 28746 (828) 436-5120


112 Mountains Blvd., Lake Lure, NC 28746 (828) 694-3001


410 Executive Park, Asheville, NC 28801 (828) 210-3940


153 East Main St., Saluda, NC 28773 (828) 749-3504


630 Long Shoals Rd., Arden, NC 28704 (828) 684–5151


5121 Cashiers Road, Highlands, NC 28741 (828) 526-4525


74 North Main St., Waynesville, NC 28786 (828) 452-5809

beverly-hanks.com EQUAL HOUSING OPPORTUNITY -Neal WelcomeMag2015AdPagesExceptBackCover.indd 1 INTRODUCTION
4 Welcome | CONTENTS Locales g Asheville . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 g Weaverville & Barnardsville 38 g Black Mountain 40 g Arden & Mills River . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 g Hendersonville & Flat Rock 46 g Fletcher . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 g Haywood County . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 g Madison County 56 g Rutherford County . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 g Yancey County 64 g Polk County . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68 g Transylvania County . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74 g Jackson County 78 Features g Higher Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82 g Outdoor Recreation 86 g Golf 92 g Arts & Culture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94 g Cuisine 98 g Breweries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101 Resources g WNC Map 72 g Useful Numbers & Links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104 Above: Lake Toxaway in the fall. VISITNC.COM

Schedule a Discovery Tour today and stay at the Bright’s Creek mountain lodge, play the Tom Fazio golf course, visit our equestrian center, and much more. We have land/home packages, luxury cottages, golf course/mountain view lots, and existing homes for sale. The new amenity center features an outdoor heated saline pool, fitness center, two lane bowling alley, casual dining option, and beautiful gathering

space with full bar. Just outside our gate you will find Lake Adger and the Green River Gorge recreation area. Also nearby are the waters of Lake Lure and the Tryon International Equestrian Center. Our area offers so many options but the best one might just be enjoying the peace and serenity right outside your door here at Bright’s Creek. Ask us about the details of our real estate Discovery Tour and luxury cottage program.

8 Publisher Scott McLeod Associate Publisher Greg Boothroyd Advertising Sophia Burleigh Amanda Bradley Editorial Garret K. Woodward Content and Editing Design Micah McClure Jessica Murray Jack Snyder PUBLISHED BY: SMOKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, LLC On the cover: Jo Ridge Kelley Catawba Rhododendron 12x12, oil on Belgian Linen En plein air joridgekelley.com Welcome to Western North Carolina ISSUE 18 • 2024




| Builder:
Construction |
Architect: PLATT
Photographer: Tzu Chen

Cosmopolitan Country


Within this renowned city are six distinct areas — Downtown, Biltmore Village, Biltmore Park, North Asheville, River Arts District, and West Asheville — each as unique as the people and places that inhabit them.

Billed as a place where “altitude affects attitude,” Asheville is surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains and is just a short car ride to the nearby Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It’s been renowned as a place to retreat and take in natural wonders since the 1800s. These days, Asheville is firming up its reputation as a culinary center with a rapidly evolving food scene. The city has over 250 independent restaurants and numerous farmers markets.

Outdoors enthusiasts find no shortage of activities in Asheville, whether it’s hiking, biking and climbing, paddling and fishing on the French Broad River and local lakes, careening through the trees on a zip line, or golfing at one of the area’s renowned courses. Asheville is such an outdoors destination that a few years ago Outside magazine named it “Best Southern Town” for outdoor adventures.







The heart of the city, downtown Asheville is a cultural mecca. For several years, Asheville was voted the “top small-city arts destination” in the country, just one of many labels this vibrant, evolving district has been tagged with. Downtown is full of galleries and shops displaying all manners of art, from traditional mountain crafts to more modern creations.

The Asheville Art Museum, which has helped anchor the arts scene for decades, recently underwent a major expansion. The Black Mountain College Museum & Arts Center hosts exhibits, talks and workshops that celebrate the legacy of the college, a noted avant-garde institution in operation from 1933-1957.

Some of the area’s biggest art events take place in Asheville. In July and October, the Harrah’s Cherokee Center is home to the four-day Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands, which has taken place for more than 75 years. At the event, hundreds of local and regional craftspeople fill the center, offering their creations of clay, fiber, glass, leather, metal, mixed media, natural materials, paper, wood and jewelry.

The Big Crafty has exploded in popularity in recent years. Held in July and December at the Harrah’s Cherokee Center, it’s a kind

14 Welcome | ASHEVILLE
Pack Square in downtown is popular for strolling and the site of festivals and other celebrations. VISITNC.COM

of community bazaar, with quirky handmade crafts, local food and beer and live music.

The performing arts also flourish in Asheville, with numerous venues hosting live music, readings, theatre and comedy on a nightly basis.

The Harrah’s Cherokee Center is the largest venue, with both a 7,600-seat arena and the 2,400-seat Thomas Wolfe Auditorium. The center hosts everything from performances by the Asheville Symphony Orchestra to touring groups like Tame Impala and Billy Strings to the Southern Conference (SoCon) basketball tournament.

Each December, the longtime Warren Haynes’ Christmas Jam rolls into the Harrah’s Cherokee Center for a special fundraising concert for the Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity and BeLoved Asheville. Recent performers at the Xmas Jam have included Alison Krauss, Tyler Childers, Grace Potter, Brothers Osborne, Dave Grohl and Margo Price, amongst other marquee acts.

More intimate performances take place at the Wortham Center for the Performing Arts, a 500-seat venue that is part of a downtown cultural and educational center, Pack Place, and the recently opened S&W Market, an intricate food hall in the historic Asheville former S&W Cafeteria building constructed in 1929. n



“What makes a community are its people, who come from many other places and bring their creativity in the arts, music, food and culture. Asheville and Western North Carolina celebrate this diversity of people who come together to live our best lives surrounded by this mountainous landscape.”
— Brent Russell, Downtown Asheville office
(Clockwise from top) Popular downtown hotspots include Farm Burger, the Asheville Art Museum and Benne’s on Eagle. STEPHAN PRUITT AND VISITNC.COM


The Restoration Hotel’s rooftop provides a scenic spot for hanging out while the unique interior design elements (right, below) are worth a visit.

Cuisine, Culture, Comfort | THE RESTORATION HOTEL

Overlooking a bustling Patton Avenue in downtown Asheville, with a rooftop view scanning the ancient Blue Ridge Mountains cradling the city, The Restoration is a hotel combining the best of what Western North Carolina has to offer: cuisine, culture, and comfort.

“The focus is really to just be a unique, different kind of property than most in downtown Asheville,” said Jordan Stewart, director of sales and marketing for The Restoration. “And to also cater to the local community. [We’re] big on being part of the community, being very community driven.”

Officially unveiled in April 2023, The Restoration is a 30-room boutique hotel. Formerly the site of a Bank of America branch, the building sat vacant for the better part of a decade before it was purchased, renovated, and restored to its current state of aesthetic grandeur and grandiose experiences.

“It’s [about] the standard of service and that personalization of things,” Stewart said. “We’re trying to provide every guest a very unique and curated experience. [We try] to connect with people one-on-one — especially before their stay — to make sure they get out of their stay what they’re looking for.”

With its own guest curator onsite, The Restoration aims to take the notion of the concierge up a notch. Their team delivers the utmost attention to guests as they explore what they might

want to do, see, eat, drink, or immerse themselves in while venturing around Asheville and greater Western North Carolina.

“And we can help them along the way,” Stewart said. “So, I think that’s one thing that makes us stand apart from the big box chain hotels. We also have food and beverage outlets on the property that are all very unique to us.”

The Restoration offers a handful of onsite culinary delights and craft beverages including the farm-totable Appalachian-themed Exchange Restaurant & Bar, Observatory Rooftop Bar, Draftsman Basement Bar & Lounge, and Rise Coffee Bar. To note, the Draftsman is a speakeasy, one equipped with an arcade and two fullsized bowling lanes.

“Pretty much everything you could want or need is right there on the property,” Stewart said. “But, we also have a house van that can take our guests anywhere within a five-mile

radius of downtown. It makes it really easy to explore the city and everything Asheville has to offer.”

For Stewart, it means a lot to not only be part of this new, exciting chapter for The Restoration, but also be part of the vibrant, exuberant hospitality industry within Asheville — a city synonymous with quality and care for more than a century.

“We’re a very tight-knit community and family. When the community has your back in what you’re doing, it makes it easier to do [your] job,” Stewart said. “Those relationships I started building years ago have continued, and I’ve [built] other relationships through the hospitality community. Everybody is willing to help each other out.”

And though The Restoration is only a year old, the building and its components have already struck a strong chord in Asheville, sounding a constant buzz as a “must-visit” destination for locals and tourists.

“It’s a testament that being a very community-minded and communitybased property is working out well for us,” Stewart said. “The [hotel] owners listen to their employees. They listen to the feedback they’re getting and are very willing to make changes quickly. [It’s about] building those relationships and trying to understand what Asheville’s about, where Asheville is trying to go.” n


Biltmore Village


One of the most unique shopping experiences in the South, Biltmore Village is home to high-end boutiques, open-air restaurants, locally owned retailers and other points of commercial and residential interest. Built as a community entrance for the renowned Biltmore Estate, the village is filled with tree-lined streets, historic homes and majestic architecture.

Nearby is the Biltmore Estate, the largest privately-owned home in the country. The legacy of its owner, the late George W. Vanderbilt, the elaborate estate was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and completed in 1895. Today the 250-room, French renaissance-style house and the 8,000-acre grounds are open to guests for tours, with dining options and outdoor activities available on the grounds. The gardens, stables, restaurants,


“Our community unites through a likeminded love and respect of each other as well as for the preservation of the community. Together, Kenilworth neighbors care for several historical sites, five parks, walking trails and beautiful gardens.”

— Jenna Brown, Biltmore Park office

winery and hotels all help make this North Carolina’s top tourism destination, with more than a million people now visiting each year. Featuring a tasting room and tours, the estate’s Biltmore Winery is also one of the largest in the Southeast. n

22 Welcome | ASHEVILLE
The Biltmore Estate remains one of America’s most visited homes. VISITNC.COM


Community and Inclusivity | BURIAL BEER FORESTRY CAMP

In the depths of Asheville, tucked away down Shady Oak Drive in Biltmore Village is Forestry Camp by Burial Beer Co. — a multifaceted property combining craft ales, culinary delights, live music, and fellowship.

“Of our four core values, two speak the most to me — community and inclusivity,” said Phil Cassella, head of marketing for Burial Beer Co. “With every decision we make, we try to keep [that] front of mind. And I think that resonates with folks — anyone who visits our taprooms can find something for them that is of a high quality.”

Since it first arrived on the scene in Asheville in 2013, Burial Beer Co. has become a pillar of the craft beer movement in the city and greater Southern Appalachia. With a seemingly never-ending selection of intricately curated ales, the brewery has risen into the upper echelon of the national craft beer landscape.

“[Ten years] is a testament to our team’s creativity and mindset of continual innovation,” Cassella said. “And we’ve changed our portfolio quite a bit over the years, not only with the beers we make, but through the variety of experiences we offer at our taprooms.”

Those experiences now range from longtime celebrated ales to wine and cider products, and coffee as of late. There’s also a kitchen component offered at Burial’s taprooms around

the city of Asheville, as well as spots in Charlotte and Raleigh.

“Something we focus on a lot is quality control and making sure we’re offering the best product we can — no matter what the actual product is,” Cassella said.

Amid a constant evolution of self, Burial launched its Forestry Camp location in 2019. Formerly operated by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) to house workers constructing the nearby Blue Ridge Parkway, the historic property was transformed into a place of respite — all with an extensive taproom, farm-to-table restaurant, and an expansive space to frolic and roam.

“It’s sort of a campus situation that [also] houses our main production brewery,” Cassella said. “The food [at Forestry Camp] is definitely elevated and locally sourced, but it’s priced approachably. It’s a great place for families to hang out [with] the outdoor

beer gardens and plenty of places for the kids to run around.”

And in, perhaps, its most ambitious project to date, Burial recently opened Eulogy, the newest live music venue in Asheville. Emerging in 2023, Eulogy resides next door to Burial’s flagship taproom on Buxton Avenue in the South Slope district of the city.

“Music has always been a huge inspiration for Burial. A lot of our beer names have been driven by albums or music folks were listening to at the time the beer came out,” Cassella said. “We started to dabble with more largescale concerts at Forestry Camp, and we wanted to offer a space with more regular music programming [with Eulogy].”

With a decade in the rearview mirror, it seems limitless to what Burial Beer Co. can do, and most likely will do, in the future. The company of humble origins is now a nationally-recognized and highly sought-after brand of quality and creativity.

“The original South Slope taproom was one room with a sort of glorified home brewing setup, where the three owners bootstrapped to get it open,” Cassella said. “And then, [Burial] just resonated locally and they were able to grow the business from there. Offer something that’s either missing or that people want more of, and make sure it’s of high quality — that still drives us today.” n

Asheville’s historic Forestry Camp by Burial Beer offers a double dose of local goodness.

Biltmore Park


Afresh reimagining of the Main Streets of the past, made to meet today’s standards of smart growth, green living and reduced driving, Biltmore Park is just minutes from downtown Asheville. Between an array of apartment, condo, townhouse and residential home options, the strength lies in the vibrant commercial/ urban core of the community, which extends outwards into neighborhoods as unique as the people who inhabit them.

At the center of the town are numerous restaurants, cafes, spas, health clubs, boutiques and gathering spots. Consumers and residents alike enjoy catching a flick at the Regal Biltmore Grande & RPX movie theater or perusing world-class retailers like


“My favorite part of living in Asheville is getting to experience the four seasons. I love to swim in the lakes in the summer, hike to see the colorful leaves in the fall, play in the snow in winter and enjoy the sunny days of spring.”

these stores are also


26 Welcome | ASHEVILLE
REI, LOFT and Barnes & Noble. Alongside plenty of local, restaurants like Luella’s Bar-B-Que, Leo’s Italian Social, and Nine Mile. n Biltmore Park offers everything from great restaurants to university classes to housing, all in a compact neighborhood. MAX COOPER PHOTO


Style and Grace | TALLONI SHOE SALON

Purposely situated along the bustling Town Square Boulevard in the Biltmore Park area of Asheville is Talloni. This shoe salon is more so a space where customers become fast friends in an even faster-paced world.

“I wake up every morning and I meet amazing women — I’m so blessed,” said Connie Jo Bergman, owner of Talloni, which means “heel” in Italian.

Hailing from an hour north of Pittsburgh in Western Pennsylvania, Bergman landed in Asheville some 27 years ago. Working in banking and finance for 20 years, Bergman met her husband later in life, only for the couple to find themselves relocating to Western North Carolina.

“He’s an endodontist and he decided to [start his business] here. I retired, and I didn’t know what I was going to do,” Bergman said. “Then, I got pregnant at 42 and had my daughter. I stayed at home with her for a few years. Then, again, I thought, ‘What am I going to do?’”

At that time, Bergman and her family were living in Biltmore Park. The welcoming nature of the neighborhood is coupled with a vast, walkable commercial district featuring retail shops, restaurants, cafes, and a stateof-the-art movie theater.

“Our daughter is in college now.

And [Biltmore Park] was the perfect place for her to grow up,” Bergman said. “She’d ride her scooter down [to the stores]. She walked to school. There’s a swimming pool, playground, and walking trails — it’s just so familyoriented.”

Suddenly, Bergman had an idea of launching a shoe store. With previous experience in retail and a passion for footwear, she also liked the idea of being a small, independent business owner.

“We started [Talloni] in 2006 and it has just evolved from there,” Bergman said. “I came from working in Pittsburgh. With large cities, there’s large department stores with large access to things. [Back then], we didn’t have a lot of that in Asheville.”

Beyond a wide selection of high-end shoe brands and fashionable styles, the store also stocks its shelves with handbags, scarves, gloves, jewelry, and much more. In terms of designers, one can find footwear from Stuart Weitzman to Kennel & Schmenger,

Paige to Brunate, Kate Spade to Aquatalia.

“What we do is we like to get [designers] that are a little unique,” Bergman said. “I probably have half my inventory in jewelry and it comes from all over the world. Not everybody needs a pair of shoes, but people love the jewelry, and it’s fabulous.”

Another big component, more so ethos and intent, of Talloni is giving back to the community. For Bergman and her employees, the company has been involved with several local nonprofit organizations since it first opened its doors some 18 years ago: blood drives, Meals on Wheels, local women’s shelters, and even sponsoring the new mental health clinic within AdventHealth.

“I grew up with nothing, and I paid my own way. I was the only one in the family to go to school,” Bergman said. “And I told myself if I ever could give back [to the world], I would. We’re here to lift people up. It’s one big community here — we support each other.” n


West Asheville


Quite possibly the fastest growing area in the city, West Asheville has become a haven for an assortment of small businesses.

From cafés and breakfast nooks (Biscuithead, Sunny Point Café, The West End, Early Girl Eatery) to restaurants (Leo’s House of

West Asheville is a walkable community of art galleries, many of which offering live demonstrations and workshops like Waxon Batik & Dye Studio.

Thirst, The Admiral, West Asheville Lounge & Kitchen, Haywood Common, Rocky’s Hot Chicken Shack), music venues (Fleetwood’s, The Odd, AyurPrana Listening Room) to breweries (Oyster House, Diatribe, All Sevens, One World West), and everything in between, the area offers a warm welcome to the possibilities of niche commerce. The section is known for its “neighborhood friendly” image, where you’ll see just as many baby-strollers and joggers moseying down the sidewalks as patrons heading toward a concert or lunch date. n

30 Welcome | ASHEVILLE



Bordering bustling Haywood Road in West Asheville is a large, brightlycolored aquamarine building. In the front window is an image of a mysterious black cat atop a crescent moon. Stepping inside, you’ve now arrived at the House of Black Cat Magic.

“We found that the people who frequent a place that sells spiritual and magical supplies are 10 times more likely to adopt a black cat,” said Star Bustamonte. “And nobody else [around here] seemed to combine those two aspects — there’s no place like us that exists.”

Alongside her business partner, Hannah Soboleski, the duo launched the store in June 2023. Bustamonte is a longtime magical practitioner, while Soboleski brings forth years of feline rescue efforts through Binx’s Home for Black Cats, which she started in 2020.

“We took [Star’s] experience and expertise in retail and had the magical supply shop up front,” Soboleski said. “Then, we took my rescue and made a partner rescue, so that we could have

the Black Cat Lounge in the back [of the shop] filled with adoptable cats.”

Operating as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, the HOBCM provides a welcoming, cozy space for cat lovers and potential adopters to interact and hang out with a bevy of black cats. But it also offers a space to learn more about (or enhance one’s) magical practices (ritual tools, books, herbs, incense, candles).

For Soboleski, her lifelong love of black cats led to a personal mission (now brick and mortar business) to bring awareness to the beauty and lore of black cats — an animal that often gets pushed aside, ignored, or even killed for its color and misinformed stereotypes.

“People don’t realize that black cats are euthanized at a much higher rate than other cats. And when we would hold adoption events [in the past], there was hesitancy with families taking home a black cat — there’s this superstition with them,” Soboleski said. “And this led to [the creation] of this shop and lounge — where do we need to go to find people who are going to love, appreciate, and respect black cats and want to adopt one?”

Soboleski noted that black cats are “wrongly associated with malevolent magical practices.” That’s why one of the core beliefs of the HOBCM is to genuinely recognize the beauty and lucky aspects of these incredibly wondrous felines. In its first six months of operation, the HOBCM has helped more than 100 cats become successfully adopted.

“I was kind of a weird kid growing up, usually in the woods hanging out

with one of my cats, and I developed a deep bond with my feline familiars,” Soboleski said. “As I got older, I realized the issues with black cats being euthanized at such a high rate. This is a cat that I’ve always loved, that’s always been there for me, and I’ve had this affinity for — I had to do something.”

Bustamonte says being able to share and expand magical practices is something she’s sincerely proud of, whether as a practitioner or a small business owner in a community that champions independent entrepreneurs and unique spaces for all to inhabit.

“More than anything, it’s a way to just connect with nature — it’s both a practice and a spiritual path,” Bustamonte said. “It’s something I’ve also had an affinity for from a very early age. And I never really completely understood it until I was older and met other practitioners — it’s as much a part of me as the nose on my face.”

Meandering around the HOBCM one recent afternoon, several folks are spending time in the cat lounge, with others perusing the numerous shelves of magical books, ritual tools, and assorted products — all sporting earto-ear smiles while immersed in a place of rejuvenation and discovery.

“People say that Disney is the happiest place on earth, but we know that’s not true because it’s here,” Bustamonte said.

“We wanted this to be a magical space for all of these people to come together and either form a bond through cats or through magic or both. What we’ve seen is exactly that — it’s incredible,” Soboleski added. 

Star Bustamonte and Hannah Soboleski

There are literally dozens of working studios and galleries in the River Arts District, along with restaurants and the famed Grey Eagle Music Hall. VISITNC.COM

River Arts District


Awalkable showcase of the Southern Appalachian arts scene is the River Arts District (RAD), an ever-expanding complex of studios and galleries near the French Broad River that’s also becoming one of Asheville’s culinary and entertainment hubs.

The Grey Eagle, a nationally-renowned music venue in the RAD, brings in top talents from around the region and across the country, and has bubbled up to become one of the most popular

spots in the Southeast for live entertainment.

Brewing some of the finest craft beer in the region, The Wedge is tucked behind the dozens of artists showcased in the Wedge Studios. All of this is near numerous restaurants (The Bull & Beggar, 12 Bones Smokehouse, All Souls Pizza, Vivian) and recreational areas (French Broad River Park, Cultivate Climbing, Carrier Park) or the Grail Moviehouse, an arthouse cinema specializing in independent films and classic flicks.

New Belgium Brewing Company, one of the largest craft beer companies in the country (based out of Fort Collins, Colorado), has their $140-million east coast production facility along the French Broad River in the heart of the RAD. With live music regularly offered on the patio and side lawn, the property also borders the French Broad River Greenway. n




Painter Stephen St. Claire abides by one motto when it comes to his life and career.

“The moment it gets boring, then I quit,” St. Claire laughed. “I’ve had other things I’ve done, but none of them were nearly as fun as this. I’m one of those rare people who gets to play all day — that’s what ‘this’ really is.”

“This” is a highly-successful career as an artist well known in creative circles coast to coast. His work is displayed and sold at his vibrant studio in the River Arts District (RAD) in Asheville.

“I’ve been a painter since I was a kid, obviously starting with crayons and colored pencils,” St. Claire said. “But, when I grew up, painting was discouraged greatly as far as a career goes.”

Regardless, St. Claire was determined to remain in the creative realms. A Los Angeles, California, native, he enrolled in the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena. He majored in industrial design, ultimately working in that field after graduation.

“[With industrial design], you almost have to have an engineer’s brain mixed with an artist’s brain,” St. Claire said. “I only had the artist’s brain, so I was never very good at it. I did okay financially, but it was always kind of

living on the edge.”

And yet, all through his adulthood, St. Claire kept a small spark of the creative fire kindled within. Then, came a fateful trip to visit his daughter in Charleston, South Carolina.

“That changed everything,” St. Claire said. “I always rebelled against saying, ‘I’m an artist.’ But, in Charleston, we spent all day in and out of art galleries. I realized, whether I liked it or not, that’s really what I am — I’m an artist.”

At the time, St. Claire was in his forties. That Charleston epiphany reinvigorated his lifelong love of painting, this unrelenting urge to create something of beauty from nothing — letting the mind wander endlessly, happily, freely.

“As soon as I got back from Charleston, I started painting and I’ve not stopped yet. I’ve always had a painting going since that point,” St. Claire said.

St. Claire’s technique of choice is oil paintings, whether it be majestic landscapes or intricate abstract pieces. He layers colors atop an aluminum leaf surface over the canvas. The result is this underlying reflective sheen, one where the observer can seemingly experience a different attitude of the painting depending on where they

stand in reference to the lighting.

“It can look completely different from one side of the room than the other side,” St. Claire said.

When not at home in Asheville, St. Claire also has studio spaces in Dallas, Texas, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. But, Western North Carolina will always be where his heart has remained since he and his family put roots down here some 16 years ago.

“The mountains here are so beautiful, so it was an amazing thing to realize we can actually live in these mountains,” St. Claire said. “And it’s so humbling to be an artist here, where what I do ends up in someone’s home, this sacred space of theirs — I’m so grateful for that.”

At his RAD studio, St. Claire aims not only to showcase his works to any and all who may wander through the door. He also looks at every curious soul who enters as an opportunity to genuinely interact with a stranger, soon to be fast friend, over a love of art.

“I knew I wanted to be an artist who wasn’t arrogant, who wasn’t overly introverted,” St. Claire said. “I want to be [someone] who enjoys people and can love people well. It’s my life, and I can choose the kind of person that I am and want to be.” n

Steven St. Claire at work in his River Arts District studio.

North Asheville


With a large focus being placed on the rest of the city, North Asheville has been working behind the scenes, creating a steady stream of new, small business and eccentric development. Once overlooked, it is rapidly becoming a hot spot for retail and commercial businesses looking to stake out their own piece of land to pursue and cultivate their dreams.

With downtown in the rearview mirror, North Asheville soon opens up to larger residential properties, many of which along the shimmering Beaver Lake. Home to the beloved Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary, the lake offers walking trails and recreational opportunities. This area is also home to the University of North Carolina at Asheville and its over 2,900 students. Offering a slew of workshops and classes for seniors and retirees, the Osher Lifelong


“Beaver Lake trail and the Bird Sanctuary are right here, and there are several great restaurants, coffee shops, grocery stores, and other amenities as well! Everything is close and accessible.”

Learning Institute (OLLI) at UNC Asheville has become a beacon of education in the region. n

34 Welcome | ASHEVILLE
The historic Grove Park Inn has been welcoming guests to Asheville since it opened in 1913. VISITNC.COM


Canines, Community and Craft Ale | WAGBAR

For Kendal Kulp, it all came down to a very simple, yet unresolved, conundrum: how can a dog owner and their faithful canine companion both let loose and enjoy their respective social circles?

“The concept is something that’s missing from so many communities,” Kulp said. “It’s kind of hard to take your dog to the bar because they have to be on a leash. My dog, in particular, always wants to go play with other dogs. It’s a shame having to leave them on a leash.”

Although Kulp did bring his fur friend to dog parks, he felt, and knew, that most dog parks tend to leave out a lot of amenities for humans or accountability for other dogs.

“Dog parks are a good place to go, but I think they’re missing a lot of stuff for humans and they can be kind of dirty,” Kulp said “And there can be a lot of problems with dog parks inherently by not having vaccinations and no oversight.”

Cue the idea, invention, and installation of Wagbar in North Asheville, a fully off-leash dog park with a bar component and other humanfriendly amenities.

“Wagbar is a great community space for people who love dogs and want to socialize where dogs socialize,” Kulp said. “We [also] do live music, trivia, and tons of fun events — it’s this great

community-centric space that revolves around the dogs.

As of last count, Kulp and his girlfriend, Amanda Bernard, happily own five canines: Pumpkin, Weasel, Oboe, Banana, and Prana.

“It’s just the unconditional love that dogs have for people,” Kulp said. “Their loyalty, the emotional support dogs can provide, the comfort and therapy. And it’s a great social catalyst, a great way to meet new people and spark conversation.”

It was that shared deep, intrinsic admiration for his pets on one fateful day at the local dog park that ultimately planted the seed of inspiration to build the Wagbar.

“I had that moment where I walked in [the dog park] and my dog immediately rolled in a giant mud puddle, got covered head to toe. Simultaneously, I stepped in a big pile of dog poop,” Kulp chuckled. “It was a hot day, and I hung out there. No shady spots. Nothing to drink. Had to use the bathroom. And it looked like everybody there was spinning around with the same sort of sentiment.”

At the time, Kulp was working in the insurance industry. With a degree in recreation management and outdoor experiential education, he put together all of his background and knowledge to write up a business plan and eventually launch the Wagbar.

“The outdoor world is kind of my world,” Kulp said. “For a number of years [before doing insurance sales], I was a climbing guide, zip-line instructor, and snowboard instructor.”

Since opening day for the Wagbar in 2019, Kulp has been able to see this dream come to fruition, this true combination of several passions in his life: the outdoors, dogs, and craft beer.

“I just had a moment where I really wanted to chase something that I was passionate about,” Kulp said. “I didn’t really have any passion for insurance. It made good money, but that was about it. So, I decided to go ahead and make Wagbar a reality.”

With the original North Asheville location celebrating five years in operation, Kulp is looking to expand his idea with franchising opportunities now available for other Wagbar establishments to hit the ground running in Western North Carolina and beyond.

“It’s been an insanely overwhelming positive response from the community. It’s become a second home for a lot of our customers and regulars,” Kulp said. “If you have an idea that you think you want to have as a business, most likely other people have the same thoughts.”

“It’s a great feeling to see [Wagbar] become successful. I can’t wait to help other people realize that same dream.” n

Wagbar owners Kendal Kulp and Amanda Bernard with their pack of pups.
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Buncombe County


Weaverville and Barnardsville, two of the oldest communities in Buncombe County, pride themselves in being communities that attract artists and adventurers.

The Weaverville tourism website doesn’t mince words in describing its allure: “Weaverville and the Reems Creek Valley have been a beacon to yearning souls since pioneers began settling in

what was still Cherokee territory in the 1700s. The natural beauty of the area, the healthful climate, and its proximity to Asheville’s urban attractions have made Weaverville the perfect small town.”

Weaverville has earned a reputation for keeping its neighborhoods clean and green. The town has received Tree City USA certification every year since 1990, and in 2009, the Arbor Day Foundation named it the top Tree City in the state.

The town maintains Lake Louise Park, a perfect spot for family and community events, exercise, and romantic strolls, with picnic tables and shelters, grills, a playground, and a walking trail.

A walk downtown reveals a variety of local craft breweries, offering flavors from classic traditional to historical English styles

Welcome | LOCALES
Downtown Weaverville’s amenities include bakeries, breweries and restaurants, while the Big Ivy Historical Park is a centerpiece in Barndardsville. VISITNC.COM

and farmhouse Belgian beers.

The number of eateries and shops is impressive, with favorites on Main Street like Blue Mountain Pizza, Well-Bred Bakery & Café, The Glass Onion, Main Street Grill, Twisted Laurel, Mangum Pottery Studio & Gallery, and Eluvium Brewery.

In the nearby community of Alexander is the Alexander Bike Park, with six miles of intermediate single-track trails in two loops. The short loop is 1.1 miles with variable terrain. The long loop consists of 5 miles of tight-twisting single track with moderate climbs. The park also has a dual slalom downhill track that will challenge even the most experienced riders.

From Weaverville, it’s just a 15-minute drive to the scenic views of the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the town is home to Reems Creek Golf Course, a semi-private course designed in part by Hawtree & Sons, British architects who specialize in crafting classic Scottish-style links.

Local galleries and studios showcase the work of jewelers, painters, potters, glass artists, sculptors, and fiber artists. In September, there’s Art in Autumn, which fills Main Street with arts and crafts. In May and October, there’s the Weaverville Art Safari, a free, self-guided studio tour featuring face-to-face encounters with dozens of area artists and craftspeople.

Ten miles northeast of Weaverville is Barnardsville, a bucolic community set amidst rolling hills, pastures, and mountain farms. Like Weaverville, it is home to folks who enjoy a relaxed environment and to a substantial number of professional artists.

It’s also home to Navitat Canopy Adventures, which takes customers on oneof-a-kind treetop adventures. The company opened in 2010 and has constantly expanded its offering of zipline adventure experiences.

Locals are proud of the Big Ivy Community Center, which was initially organized by residents and has evolved into a vibrant hub of activity. Every October, the center hosts Mountain Heritage Day, featuring local cuisine, crafts, music, and exhibitions on traditional mountain living.

The center’s grounds are also home to the Big Ivy Historical Park, which is dedicated to preserving local heritage. The centerpiece of the park is a pre-Civil War cabin and a replica of a one-room schoolhouse that was built in the 1890s.

Barnardsville is full of farms, so fresh, local food is literally a part of the landscape. There are numerous community-supported agriculture organizations and weekly farmers markets at the Old Barnardsville Fire Station. Residents often end up buying all of their seasonal produce from their neighbors. n


Buncombe County


The town of Black Mountain claims a history of art, education, and fellowship, while looking to the future as a vibrant and energetic community in the eastern part of Buncombe County.

Located under the gaze of some of the oldest peaks in the country, Black Mountain enjoys proximity to rivers, trails, mountain vistas and some of the region’s most notable worship communities.

Part of Black Mountain’s appeal is its proximity to Interstate 40, allowing residents to easily take jaunts to Asheville or Charlotte. Black Mountain features a hearty selection of 40-plus


“[My favorite things about life here are] the great friends, vibrant community, and easy access to downtown that East Asheville provides.”

Welcome | LOCALES
Black Mountain’s quaint downtown is a bustling center of arts and music and is just a stone’s throw from outdoor adventures. VISITNC.COM

independent restaurants, breweries, shops, art galleries, and numerous antique dealers. Venues include White Horse Black Mountain, Black Mountain Alehouse, Pisgah Brewing, Bad Craft, Foothills Butcher Bar, Seven Sisters Tap Room, Black Mountain Natural Foods, and Lookout Brewing.

With a population of more than 8,000, Black Mountain has a vibrant but quaint commercial center. It breathes with a particular kind of mountain energy, embracing both its natural surroundings and a tastefully configured, small-town urban core, centered around the old rail depot that gave the town its name.

Part of Black Mountain’s vitality can be attributed to its draw as a place to gather, consult, and worship. Popular retreats and conference centers include the Blue Ridge Assembly, Christmount, and Ridgecrest. Nearby is Montreat, a small community that was home to renowned evangelist Billy Graham. The community also includes the Montreat Conference Center and Montreat College, the site of a major speech given by Martin Luther King Jr. in 1965.

The valley’s historic feel is enhanced as home of the avant-garde Black Mountain College, located next to Lake Eden from 1933-57, where titans of 20th Century art — Merce Cunningham, John Cage, Buckminster Fuller, Willem and Elaine de Kooning, and Josef and Anni Albers, among others — taught a generation of artists and thinkers.

Outdoor recreation is one of Black Mountain’s hallmarks. Hiking trails abound, including the comfortable bank-side trail at the 10-acre Lake Tomahawk.

The Black Mountain Golf Course, run by the town, features a whopping 747-yard par 6, one of the longest holes in America.

Black Mountain hosts the 40-mile Mt. Mitchell Challenge in February, one of the toughest foot races in the country.

Montreat College and nearby Warren Wilson College offer concerts, theater productions, and dances. The valley is also home to Givens Highland Farms Retirement Communities, the N.C. State Veterans Nursing Home, and the Black Mountain Veterans Park.

Every August, The Sourwood Festival fills downtown Black Mountain with entertainment for both adults and children. More than 30,000 people turn out for the festival.

The town is also home to the LEAF Festival, an inter-generational celebration of world culture, live music and art that takes place on the site of the old Black Mountain College, with a stunning array of rolling hills, lakes, streams, and mountain beauty on hundreds of acres of comfortable camping grounds. 

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Well-regarded as one of the finest listening rooms in Western North Carolina, White Horse Black Mountain blurs the lines between musical genres. The result is a sacred space where the sounds of Americana, bluegrass, folk, country, and indie music intersect.

“We’re a small listening room where the music and the community are the focus,” said Selena Hilemon, membership coordinator for White Horse Black Mountain. “We’re a place where music is featured and community is created. White Horse not only champions what you’re doing, [we want to] reinvigorate all of the effort that’s put into being a touring musician — you’re not ignored [here].”

Last year, White Horse Black Mountain celebrated 15 years in operation. It also took a big leap, creatively and financially, by transitioning from a for-profit business model to nonprofit status.

“What that’s going to help us do is create a stable future for the next 15 years, hopefully the next 100 years,” Hilemon said. “So, we’re excited about the stability [being a nonprofit] brings to White Horse and the ways that we get to grow.”

Because of the nonprofit model now anchoring White Horse Black Mountain, community members and live music fans can be part of the ongoing history of the venue for as little as $20 a month. Each level of membership equates to more perks offered, such as exclusive “golden tickets” to highly popular shows throughout the year and discounted rates for renting the


“What this nonprofit piece will allow us to do is return the investments that our community members made to us,” Hilemon said. “When we look at the three- and five-year plans, we’ll be able to [immediately] reinvest in our community in meaningful ways.”

With a seating capacity of around 200 concertgoers, the 3,000-squarefoot venue was built in the 1940s and was formerly a longtime auto dealership. In November 2008, White Horse officially launched as a marquee stage for musicians looking to play to a real-deal listening room, rather than a loud bar where acts are treated like background noise.

“And we’ve doubled down [in recent years] on the diversity of music that’s offered here,” Hilemon said. “People are shocked when they find out we have vibrant jazz shows, Celtic circles, global dance troupes, and a highquality open mic every single week.”

As of late, White Horse Black Mountain is expanding its artistic barriers, with the recent additions of a comedy series and songwriter gatherings.

“Those things are examples of a continuation of [the original] vision — to see the arts being uplifted.” Hilemon said.

The person at the heart of the creation and cultivation of White Horse Black Mountain is Bob Hinkle, the co-founder and manager of the space. For decades, Hinkle has been a jack of all trades within the music industry. And, alongside venue co-founder Kim

Hughes, the duo has built a musical bastion known the world over.

“Bob’s intent and vision has remained intact,” Hilemon said. “He wanted to create a space that really focuses on the art and the artist — a place where artists are held [and cherished].”

Now its nonprofit status is secured, its donor membership is expanding, there are plans in the works for exterior renovations, and its reputation continues to ripple out into the melodic universe. White Horse Black Mountain looks towards the future with a deep sense of pride — for what was, what is, and what will come to pass as time marches on.

“We’re a neighborhood living room, and we all just hope to keep that [sentiment] true,” Hilemon said. “There’s a real sense of ownership of this place by the community and we don’t want to lose that. As Asheville continues to grow and we continue to grow, we want to continue to be owned by the people who live here.” 

Welcome | LOCALES
Storied arts venue White Horse Black Mountain has transitioned into a nonprofit under the leadership of founders Bob Hinkle (above) and co-founder Kim Hughes.

Buncombe & Henderson Counties


Aheavyweight in American craft brewing put Mills River on the map in 2014, when Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. opened its $200 million, 217-acre facility in the rural community, right next door to the Asheville Regional Airport.

As one of the pioneers of the craft beer industry, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is a leader in their field and maker of some of the finest microbrews for over 40 years. Based out of Chico, California, the company’s East Coast headquarters in Mills River hosts brewery tours, a restaurant, and plenty of indoor and outdoor seating for a heavy rotation of live music events.

Despite the arrival of the national brewery, the communities of Arden and Mills River still offer a lot of room to roam.


“Mills River offers many recreational opportunities like hiking, fishing and camping. Mills River Park provides walking trails, a dog park, playground, pickleball courts, basketball, sports fields and much more.”

Karen Bosse, Hendersonville office

44 Welcome | LOCALES
The N.C. Arboretum’s Bonsai Exhibition Garden is world renowned and displays up to 50 bonsai specimens at a time. VISITNC.COM

The South Buncombe area is also home to the North Carolina Arboretum, an extraordinary public garden that adjoins the Blue Ridge Parkway. The 434acre Arboretum has 65 acres of cultivated gardens and 10 miles of hiking and biking trails, hosts one of the most unique bonsai collections in the country, and stages a steady stream of exhibits on subjects ranging from mountain quilts to rare plants.

Nearby is the Bent Creek Research and Demonstration Forest, a federal facility that’s part of the Pisgah National Forest, and the Lake Powhatan Recreational Area, which together offer dozens of mountain trails and lakeside camping sites.

A favorite Arden locale for kids is Jake Rusher Park, a huge public park with playgrounds and a walking area. One of the play areas includes several castle-like structures, so some locals call the facility “Castle Park.”

One of Arden’s most historic structures is the Blake House Inn Bed & Breakfast, which was built as a summer retreat in 1847. The house is a rare example of Italianate architecture with Gothic Revival influences. It has been restored and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2010.

Mills River Park opens at dawn and closes at dusk and offers a 1.2-mile multi-use trail, a dog park, playground with sunshade, swings, restroom facilities, picnic shelter, tennis/pickleball courts, handicapped accessible fishing pier, and canoe/kayak launch.

The town of Mills River is also in the design phase for the Mills River Valley Trail, a new path along N.C. 280 creating a safe route for walking and biking, and linking the heart of Mills River to the French Broad River.

Another nearby community, Skyland, is home to scores of additional eateries and shops and more recreation facilities. The county-run Zeugner Center has a heated indoor pool, measuring 35-by-75 feet, that hosts water exercise classes and open swim times for the public.

A major attraction in the Skyland area is Biltmore Park Town Square, a modern town-center-style development boasting smart growth, green living, and reduced driving. The development links condominium living with shopping, restaurants, cafés and gathering spots, spas and health clubs, and businesses and employers. Storefronts include national retailers like LOFT and REI, as well as Barnes & Noble.

The 300-acre Lake Julian and surrounding park in Skyland offer picnicking spots, boating, fishing, and a playground. The lake has an abundance of fish, including bass, brim, catfish, crappie, and tilapia. Anglers can fish from the shore and, for a small fee, from privately owned or rented boats. The park also rents paddle boats and canoes, and provides free use of a pontoon boat for people with disabilities, senior citizens, and student groups. On the shore, there’s a sand volleyball court and horseshoe pits.

The park is open year round, though the hours vary with the seasons. In addition to the regular offerings, Lake Julian is center stage for special annual events, including fireworks displays on July 4, fishing tournaments, and the Winter Festival of Lights. n

Bold Rock Hard Cider hosts live music on a couple of stages at its Mills River location, while the N.C. Arboretum’s Winter Lights show has become an annual tradition.

Henderson County


Henderson County is a gem of a place nestled in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina. Widely known for its abundance of apples and as the final home of American poet and writer Carl Sandburg, this popular destination spot offers not only history and agriculture, but also an array of culinary, musical, and leisure experiences.

Henderson County was established as the southern gateway into the Blue Ridge. Completion of the Buncombe Turnpike in 1827 began a period of cultural and economic expansion for Western North Carolina.

Hendersonville is nothing short of a playground for cool exploration and warm, Southern hospitality — all grounded by

an authentic, small-town experience. It’s the careful balance of both creative innovation and classic tradition that makes the area so intriguing.

Few downtowns in the area can boast such a concentration of attractions, especially museums.

The Henderson County Heritage Museum is housed in the historic old courthouse, built in 1905. The Mineral and Lapidary Museum on Main Street offers geologic highlights from near and far. Also downtown are Hands On!, a free educational museum for children, and the Historic Hendersonville Train Depot, home of the Apple Valley Model Railroad Club.

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Another unique addition is The Appalachian Pinball Museum, housed in a historic building that was once a music theater. It’s fun and nostalgic to get in the classic stance and hammer away at the silver ball. Not only does the venue offer over 50 pinball machines, but it also houses other classic games such as Pac-Man

Welcome | LOCALES
Hiking is a popular pastime on the national forest trails in Henderson County. VISITNC.COM

and Donkey Kong.

Downtown bustles with special events throughout the year. In the summer, the free Monday Night Street Dances take place, bringing traditional mountain music and dancing. Attendees are welcome to tap their toes as spectators or cut a rug on Main Street. Music on Main Street, a weekly summer concert series on Friday nights, showcases diverse styles of local live music.

The biggest event of the year is the North Carolina Apple Festival, held every Labor Day weekend for more than 75 years. A celebration of the county’s major crop, the festival pays tribute to everything the fruit has to offer, along with other local foods, crafts, and entertainment.

Local foods get a boost at the Henderson County Curb Market, a farmers market held downtown three days a week during warmer months and once a week during winter. The market has a true local focus. Vendors must be county natives and all items for sale are required to either be handmade or locally grown.

Nearby Flat Rock, once known as “The Little Charleston of the Mountains,” has long been a resort escape for Southerners fleeing summer heat. It is home to the Flat Rock Playhouse, the State Theater of North Carolina, where varied performances draw some 100,000 visitors each year.

Flat Rock is also home to the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site, where the renowned poet and writer lived out his last 22 years. The estate, named “Connemara,” welcomes the public to view everything from Sandburg’s 10,000-volume library to his wife’s goat farm. Lilian Sandburg was the one who pushed for the Sandburgs to move to Western North Carolina, for she needed more room for her award-winning goat breeding business than they had at their Michigan home. She found the Flat Rock house for sale in 1945 and arranged for its purchase. She also arranged to deed the property to the National Park Service after her husband’s death.

Etowah, a community to the west of Hendersonville, has become a residential and retirement haven that features some of the finest golf in the area.

The Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2021, stages frequent performances and conducts both music education programs and a youth orchestra.

The Center for Craft, Creativity, and Design also makes a major contribution to the local arts scene. Based at a 50-acre facility in Hendersonville, its programs include craft and design research and publishing, exhibitions, public art projects, and conferences that draw artists from across the country.


A popular destination is the Elijah Mountain Gem Mine. Elijah Cloer was eight years old when his parents wanted him to learn the ins and outs of creating a business. He said his favorite thing to do while on vacation was to visit a gem mine, so that is what he wanted to pursue.

What started as one flume is now a popular thriving business rated the top gem mine in North Carolina by Tripadvisor. Along with mining, visitors can peruse the gift shop, picnic beside a backyard creek, pet and feed goats, and say hi to chickens and roosters walking freely in the store.

The town of Hendersonville manages a wide array of local parks integrated into a comprehensive greenways plan. Berkeley Mills Park has a baseball field and a large pavilion, and plans have been developed for a nature trail. Boyd Park has two tennis courts and a miniature golf course. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park features picnic tables, a walking path, and a granite memorial to King. The park also has a baseball field, a mile-long nature trail, and a half-mile walking trail. Lenox Park is another popular picnicking spot, as are Toms Park, which has more than 20 shuffleboard courts, and Sullivan Park, which has basketball courts and a playground. The two-mile-long Oklawaha Greenway Trail passes through several of the parks.

Patton Park is one of the larger facilities with two baseball fields, a football and soccer field, basketball, racquetball and tennis courts, pavilions, picnic tables, two gazebos, a playground, walking trails, an Olympic-size swimming pool, and skate park.

Hendersonville is uniquely situated when it comes to outdoor activities. Nearby are the Pisgah National Forest and DuPont State Forest, two of the most popular hiking and mountain biking destinations in the region. The Blue Ridge Parkway and numerous mountain lakes and rivers are nearby. Just five miles from downtown is Jump Off Rock, a storied scenic overlook. According to local legend, hundreds of years ago, a Cherokee chief and his sweetheart would meet on the rock, until he was called off to battle. She waited at the rock for him to return, but he was killed in combat, so she leapt to her death. Her ghost, the legend goes, appears on moonlit nights. Whatever the truth to the story, today the views remain fantastic, and the trails around Jump Off Rock are popular with hikers.

The Holmes Educational State Forest, eight miles from downtown, offers more opportunities to explore nature in a managed forest setting. There’s a series of trails and several picnic areas, all surrounded by trees, azaleas, rhododendron, and wildflowers.

Henderson’s ties to traditional mountain agriculture and culture are on display at Historic Johnson Farm, a former farm and tourist retreat that was established in the late 19th century. The



quality of life, with a strong sense of community, excellent schools, and a relatively low cost of living compared to larger cities. Its mild climate and abundance of outdoor activities make Hendersonville an attractive destination for retirees, families, and outdoor enthusiasts alike.”

— Angelic Cannon, Hendersonville office

centerpiece of the property is a house built from handmade bricks, the home of a wealthy farmer. Several outbuildings, including a blacksmith shop, barn, and cottage, have also been preserved. In 1987, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places, and today the 15-acre site is owned and run by the county school system and provides a unique range of heritage education programs, including field trips, tours, classes on farm animals, and guided nature walks. A renovated boarding house is home to the Heritage Weavers & Fiber Artists, a group dedicated to preserving the history of local textile arts.

Another Hendersonville treasure is the Mountain Farm & Home Museum, which is dedicated to preserving agricultural and domestic equipment, methods, and literature related to rural life in 19th century Western North Carolina. The museum offers a trip back in time, and is packed with such relics as a 16-foot water wheel, a local doctor’s buggy, grain reapers, and threshing machines, and antique engines, tractors, butter churns, and tools.

The cornerstone of higher education in Henderson County is Blue Ridge Community College. The two-year, comprehensive post-secondary school serves more than 15,000 students a year. The college offers 100 programs of study and one of the largest continuing education programs in the state. It has placed special emphasis on technical programs in automotive technology, emergency response, law enforcement, nursing, engineering, and machining technology. 

Poet Carl Sandburg’s Flat Rock home is a popular attraction (left), while weekly farmer’s markets boast fresh produce from local producers. VISITNC.COM


Sawyer Springs Vineyard in Hendersonville was named for a place that current owner Kyndra Dermid’s grandfather once owned many years ago.

“My grandfather would name each piece of property that he farmed,” Dermid said. “And my dad, [Paul Dermid, his] favorite property to go visit was called Sawyer Springs, which had natural spring heads on it. It’s a name that means a lot to our family.”

Although the Dermids have only been raising their own grapes for about eight years, and only producing wine for a handful of those, the family and its agricultural ties to Henderson County go back some five generations.

“It’s kind of surreal to see where [the vineyard] was the first day and to see where we’re at now,” Kyndra said. “We still have plans of growth and moving forward. But, everything has fallen into place. It’s been hard work — we’re go-getters, we try to make it happen.”

Specializing in an array of finelytuned wines, Sawyer Springs recently took home several honors at the 2023 North Carolina Wine Competition. Four silver medals, to be exact, for its Zinfandel, Malvasia Bianca, Riesling, and Merlot. In house, there’s also a Cabernet Sauvignon and oaked Chardonnay, among others.

“The Malvasia Bianca grape originates in Greece and it’s a super rare grape — not too many people grow that, either,” Kyndra said.

Located in the unincorporated community of Edneyville, the 12-acre farm where the grapes are grown was originally used for apples, as

Henderson County is one of the biggest apple producing spots in the country. Adding to that, the tasting room property in Hendersonville is another five acres.

“My dad’s a workaholic. He’s always got to be doing something,” Kyndra said. “And he had some vines and just started making wine in the basement at his house. [Soon], everybody was wanting more wine and he said, ‘I’m going to make a winery.’”

With an influx and popularity of wineries into Western North Carolina over the last decade or so, the Dermids decided it was time to transition some of the land from apple trees to grape vines. By February 2020, Sawyer Springs had opened its doors.

“I guess you could say maybe [2020] was good timing [to open] because everyone needed a glass of wine at that time,” Kyndra chuckled.

Beyond the hardscrabble nature of farming itself, of early mornings and late evenings planting, nurturing, and harvesting the fruits of one’s labor, there’s also the entire business side of launching an independent entity

to promote and push out into the world — all in hopes that somebody, somewhere will order a glass or take home a bottle, happily.

“It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it,” Kyndra said. “The customer only sees a small piece of the property and us serving the wine. But, there’s a lot more that goes on behind the scenes — we do everything here.”

So, with places like the West Coast (Washington, Oregon, California) and the Rocky Mountains regarded as the upper echelon of wine growing and making, what makes Western North Carolina notable?

“Well, we’re known for apples, so it has more to do with soil — we have really good soil here,” Kyndra said. “If apples grow well, then you can match the climate to the root stock of your grape vine. All of these wineries around here have good wine — I think [we all] should give California a run for their money.”

With its motto of “Dusty Boots, Stained Hands, Classic Wine” becoming a bonafide ethos of its brand and trajectory, Sawyer Springs simply wants to connect with any and all by popping a bottle and making a new friend. Beyond that, it’s about a good work ethic and pride in doing so.

“My great-grandfather used to say, ‘if your boots aren’t dirty and your hands aren’t stained, then you didn’t work hard that day,’” Kyndra said. “Your hands get stained from working with grapes and the field gets you dirty. Then, all that produces classic wine. It’s hard work, but we enjoy it. Every bottle has our hands on it.” n

Welcome | LOCALES
Paul Dermid’s (above) passion for winemaking was the catalyst for the founding of Sawyer Springs Vineyard.

Henderson County


Fletcher sits in the middle of just about everything in Western North Carolina, close enough to be a jumping-off spot for any adventure, while also nestled in right near the Asheville Regional Airport for quick access to everywhere else.

Fletcher is uniquely positioned for national and international travelers, and it has an ever-expanding footprint of things to do that might make you stick around.

The biggest draw of all is the weeklong Western North Carolina Mountain State Fair, held each September at the WNC Agricultural Center, just across the street from the airport.

The Agricultural Center’s 87-acre multi-use facility hosts events year-round, including horse and livestock shows, professional conferences, classic-car events, and trade shows. Several large events are held regularly in the Davis Event Center, a 45,000-square-foot arena that’s outfitted with huge exhibit spaces and an onsite restaurant.

Fletcher has expanded its health and recreation initiatives, implementing a greenways master plan to make the community friendlier for walkers and bicyclists. The town is planning a network with 13 miles of trails.

Two local parks offer opportunities for exercise and enjoyment:

The 60-acre Fletcher Community Park features playgrounds, picnic areas, walking trails, and baseball and soccer fields, and Kate’s Park, adjacent to the Fletcher Library, has playgrounds, trails, and an outdoor grilling area.

Bluegrass lovers flock to the Feed and Seed, a church and music venue located in the old feed and supply building that has been a landmark for 100 years. The church focuses on serving the community, and it hosts top-notch Appalachian music every weekend. The Feed and Seed is family oriented, offering RC Cola and Moon Pies, popcorn, and coffee. There’s no cover charge, either.

People are also talking about Blue Ghost Brewing, which regularly rolls out new tastes and flavors at its Underwood Road location. “Blue Ghost Brewing aims to make world-class beer while being a community center in Fletcher, promoting family, worthy causes, and our local natural wonders,” is the company’s mission statement.

The town is also home to Diamond Brand Gear, maker of legendary wall tents, as well as hiking and camping gear.

Community celebrations, from free concerts to parades, take place throughout the year. Many annual highlights are staged in the fall. Pickin’ in the Park, a bluegrass-infused get-together in September, turns Fletcher Community Park into a center of mountain music, local food, and kids’ activities.

The town, which celebrates its 35th birthday in 20247, is developing a downtown area called the heart of Fletcher district to support small retail businesses, professional offices, restaurants, and a new Town Hall complex. n

Welcome | LOCALES
Traditional music is the mainstay at Fletcher Feed and Seed.

Haywood County


Haywood County is a popular destination for visitors and those seeking a thriving-yet-quaint home in the mountains.

The community offers miles of scenic drives along the Blue Ridge Parkway, hiking trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and vacation cabin rentals in Maggie Valley, Waynesville, Lake Junaluska, Canton, and Clyde.

Haywood is home to the Cataloochee Valley, one the most remote parts of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This is where elk were successfully reintroduced in 2001. The majestic creatures can be sighted in the valley throughout the warm months, and can also be frequently seen wandering through Maggie Valley.

Downtown Waynesville’s bustling Main Street is a pedestrian’s dream, with working art studios, fine restaurants, breweries, a coffee roastery, gift shops, a bakery, and more. The first Friday of

each month, residents and visitors enjoy Art After Dark, a gallery stroll with meet-the-artist events and a street party atmosphere.

A couple blocks away is the Waynesville Recreation Park, with walking trails, tennis courts, a dog park, volleyball courts, a skate park, an 18-hole disc golf course, catch-and-release trout stream, recreation center with an indoor pool, water park for kids, fullsized basketball court, and a variety of classes.

Hazelwood Village has maintained its own identity and evolved into a revitalized retail district to the west of Waynesville, including pottery studios, a welcoming coffee shop, a breakfast diner, a bustling bookstore, gourmet food offerings, and Hazelwood Soap Company, a family-owned business producing small-batch offerings of homemade soaps and lotions.

Hazelwood is where you can also find the Folkmoot Friendship Center, headquarters for an international dance and music festival held every July and home to artisans and concerts throughout the year.

Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center first opened its doors at Stuart Auditorium in 1913. The conference center is historically connected to The United Methodist Church and

Welcome | LOCALES
The scenic walking trail at Lake Junaluska is a popular destination in Haywood County. LAKE JUNALUSKA


Just about a year ago, Spencer Tetrault was cruising along Depot Street in Waynesville when he noticed a “For Lease” sign in the window of an empty building. He immediately called his friend, Blake Yoder, and asked if he wanted to start a business.

“It was a coin toss away from it being a record store,” Yoder chuckled. “But, none of us have the time to go hunt estate sales and flea markets for albums, so it was decided to make it a garden store.”

Cultivate Garden Shop is what came to fruition. Beyond a wide array of plant varieties and specialized tools, there’s a slew of curated products, from soil and seeds to interior wares and more. In the back of the space is a taproom with a rotating selection of craft ales. The taproom also doubles as the Baby Bird wine bar.

“We have offerings ranging anywhere from the first-time apartment gardener who wants to grow herbs on their patio all the way to the market gardener,” Yoder said. “And, if you don’t garden, you can just come in and have a drink — sit down in a nice place and meet some nice people.”

Launched at the Whole Bloomin’ Thing Spring Festival in Frog Level in 2023, the store has already become a beloved addition to the historic district, a section of town quickly filling up with new businesses as of late.

“In some ways, I think it’s meaningful that we opened in Frog Level,” Yoder said. “It feels really exciting to be part of this groundswell of new spots emerging, this renaissance of the area.”

At the helm for the day-to-day operations are Yoder and his wife, Amanda, with Tetrault and his wife,

Courtney, also co-owners. To note, the Tetraults also own the highly popular Axe & Awl Leatherworks just up the hill on Depot Street. The Yoders run Gooseneck Farm and Coda Wood Studio.

“There’s just a big interest in gardening, plants, and raising your own food here in Haywood County and Western North Carolina,” Blake said. “And we want this store to be able to meet the needs of people looking to do just that. This is a playfully elegant space and we want it to be more of an elevated experience when you walk in.”

As for the Yoders, Amanda was raised in Raleigh, with Blake hailing from Charleston, South Carolina. Each grew up around gardening and farming, only to cross paths later in life while living and working in New York City.

“Amanda and I have always had a little bit of an affinity for gardening,” Blake said. “And having lived in a city for a number of years, there’s not really any space to do that, but people are very crafty in figuring out ways to grow plants and raise vegetables in an urban setting.”

Eventually, the young couple realized the city life wasn’t for them anymore. With a keen interest in homesteading and a deep urge to be closer to family below the Mason-Dixon Line, the Yoders discovered Waynesville and relocated three years ago — Blake now working remote as a software engineer, Amanda a professional furniture maker in Asheville’s River Arts District.

And in their spare time, the Yoders finally made a longtime dream a reality by starting Gooseneck Farm, an agricultural endeavor that initially was meant to be for personal consumption, only to manifest itself into a business

found at local farmers markets.

“We were growing produce mostly for ourselves, but then we had excess and would give it away to friends,” Blake said. “With learning how to homestead, everything has been trial and error. What works? What doesn’t? And we took all of that knowledge and data and applied it to the garden store.”

When asked just what it is about gardening and homesteading that truly appeals to him, Blake took a moment to pause and reflect on the question, a slight grin rolling across his face.

“My nine-to-five [job] is a digital disembodied experience. Gardening is an embodied experience towards something that’s real, physical, and exists versus this sort of amorphous abstract idea of something,” Blake said. “Putting your fingers into the dirt and growing something is this check-andbalance in your life, to be aware of the here and now of what it means to be human.”

Blake admits that “it’s definitely a balancing act” for he and Amanda to hold down full-time jobs while co-managing a small business. But, through all the blood, sweat, and tears of creating something from nothing, the Yoders and Tetraults know that Cultivate is something worthwhile — this friendly, warm space that’s part garden shop, part community social hub.

“It’s great to see that we hit the vision we wanted to, that people are showing up and really engaging in what we set out to do,” Blake said. “We want to add a new color to the tapestry of Frog Level and Waynesville. We’re proud of this business and proud to be part of this community.” n

Welcome | LOCALES
Entrepreneurs (from left) Spencer and Courtney Tetrault and Amanda and Blake Yoder at Cultivate Garden Shop in the Frog Level section of Waynesville.

open to the public year-round for conferences, group retreats, recreation, weddings, reunions, family events and vacations. It offers the public 2.5-mile and 4-mile paved loops around the lake and a seasonal public pool. Canoe and stand-up paddle boards are available for rent and accommodations are available at the historic Lambuth Inn and the renovated Terrace Hotel.

Waynesville is also home to Haywood Regional Arts Theatre, a playhouse with two indoor stages that offers productions all year. Sharing grounds with the theater is the Museum of North Carolina Handicrafts in the historic Shelton House, featuring 19th century pottery, quilts, baskets, and woodworking.

2023 SALES

Haywood County

MEDIAN PRICE ........ $369,900




Just 10 miles away is Maggie Valley, a mountain delight that rolls out the welcome mat to visitors year after year. From spring to autumn, the valley welcomes motorcyclists from around the country who come to traverse the Blue Ridge Parkway, motor through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and enjoy the camaraderie of other riders who make an annual trek to visit the Dale’s Wheels Through Time Museum, which houses some of the world’s finest historic motorcycles.

Cataloochee Ski Area offers delightful snowboarding and skiing, and typically is one of the first resorts in the eastern United States to open each year. Nearby is the Cataloochee Ranch, with cabins, horse stables, and restaurant atop a 5,000-foot mountain.

The town of Canton is a snapshot of a classic Southern mill town, with unique and beautiful bungalows and buildings still intact in the core of downtown. The downtown district is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and its crown jewel is the Imperial Hotel. Originally crafted as a stately home, it includes


“There is so much to do in the area but we

specifically love

hanging out

in downtown Waynesville.

It is like walking into a Hallmark movie set with real people who know our names. It's magical, all seasons of the year.”
— Amanda Hill, Waynesville office

the Southern Porch, a family-owned restaurant offering excellent food, a diverse menu, and friendly service. Just down the street on the banks of the Pigeon River is BearWaters Brewing, an awardwinning brewery and restaurant that features a cozy interior and welcoming outdoor seating.

Clyde, a hamlet that lies between Canton and Waynesville, can boast as its own the oldest structure in Haywood County. The Shook-Smathers House, home to the Shook Museum, was built around 1820, with additions and renovations made for decades, producing the finished product we see today. The home’s attic chapel played host to many storied circuit preachers over the years, many of whom have left their mark in the collection of signatures that decorate the chapel’s walls. n

Orchard Coffee owner Cabell Tice in his Waynesville coffee shop, while a fence provides a nice place to catch a sunset view in Maggie Valley. VISITNC.COM

Madison County


Madison County offers visitors and residents a taste of small-town heritage, outdoor exploration, and a timeless tradition of musical history recognized around the world.

The county seat, Marshall, population 800, is some 20 miles north of Asheville. The town, shoehorned between peaks on the banks of the French Broad River, is an enclave of artists, galleries, and studios. Stroll down Marshall’s Main Street and you’ll find books, cafes, galleries, antique shops, eateries, and a coffee shop that hosts weekly jam sessions for true bluegrass and mountain music fun.

Marshall High Studios is located in the historic schoolhouse built in 1925 for the high school. Perched on a 10-acre island in

the French Broad River, the restored building houses 26 studios, an auditorium, and an enormous deck in a park-like setting. The updated facility has attracted artists in all media: painting, textiles, jewelry, sound recording, yoga/movement, ceramics, photography, design, writing, massage, print making, music, and fiber.

2023 SALES

The Depot, a converted railroad station, is a popular Marshall community performance venue each Friday night as locals strike up a soundtrack of traditional bluegrass and country music. There’s also plenty of music at the town’s regular French Broad Fridays, a series of free outdoor concerts.

The Madison County Arts Center, also on Main Street, presents traditional and contemporary art exhibitions.

Welcome | LOCALES
The French Broad River shimmers with the reflection from the Madison County Courthouse in Marshall. VISITNC.COM

The entire county offers outdoor sports for all enthusiasts, whether you want a rafting trip, a cycling adventure along country roads, or an invigorating horseback ride.

East of Marshall is the town of Mars Hill, a small community big on mountain traditions.

Mars Hill University, a private liberal arts school with an enrollment of more than 1,275 students, contributes significantly to the character of the town. Founded in 1856, the schools is one of the oldest educational facilities in Western North Carolina.

The university’s Rural Life Museum preserves and presents artifacts of traditional Appalachian communities, while the Weizenblatt Art Gallery shares visiting exhibitions and student and staff works.

Mars Hill hosts two long-running festivals celebrating craft, music, and dance: the Heritage Festival and the Bascom Lamar Lunsford Music Festival. Both occur the same weekend in October. The university is also home to the Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre, founded in 1975 to become one of the region’s top theater draws.

There are 1,800 residents within Mars Hill town limits, and it sits close to Interstate 26, offering quick access to Asheville to the south or Tennessee to the north.

Wolf Ridge Ski Resort opens each winter in northern Madison County, with 82 acres of terrain for skiers and snowboarders.

Throughout the year, the Ebbs Chapel Performing Arts Center’s 250-seat theater hosts musical performances ranging from classical to the traditional.

About 15 miles northeast of Marshall is the resort town of Hot Springs, which is also nestled next to the French Broad River and features the Appalachian Trail winding its way through town on Bridge Street.

Each April, the town hosts a weekendlong Trailfest, a celebration of all things Appalachian Trail, complete with live music, local foods, and athletic events.

Hot Springs got its name from the extraordinary natural mineral springs constantly heated above 100 degrees, and it is home to the 100-acre Hot Springs Resort and Spa, which dates to before the Civil War.

Downtown Hot Springs is lined with cafés, coffee shops, and gift stores, though many say the real action is in the surrounding waters and ridges, renowned for biking, fishing, kayaking, and tubing. n

Mars Hill College is a private liberal arts university in the town bearing its name, while backpackers are a common sight as the Appalachian Trail passes through the town of Hot Springs. VISITNC.COM

Welcome | LOCALES

Creating Community | ZUMA COFFEE

At the corner of North Main Street and Baileys Branch Road, within earshot of the French Broad River, sits Zuma Coffee — the social and cultural crossroads of downtown Marshall.

“It’s the generosity of the people. It’s the beauty of the area,” said Joel Friedman, owner/founder of Zuma Coffee. “And it’s the sense of accomplishment of bringing this sort of thing to a community, watching it grow and thrive.”

Initially from Atlanta, Georgia, Friedman left the South and traveled around the country, only to land in California for a period. But he missed home.

“I had to come back to this part of the world,” Friedman said. “Atlanta was a little too big [for me] and Marshall was just the right size.”

created community, and coffee shops create community.”

It would take the better part of the first week in operation to get the ideal rhythm of grinding, brewing, and serving coffee to his customers. But Friedman was just as focused on learning as much as he could about the community walking through the front door. He reached out in an authentic way — where if you’re honest with your intent and passion, then you’ll fit in just fine.

“And I was very fortunate that I came here very innocent of the neighborhood and the people. I didn’t know what to expect,” Friedman said. “I was just open to whatever came my way, and I found out I had more in common with this community than I would’ve ever imagined.”

retired, the only way bluegrass pickers can meet him is to make the trek to Zuma. Members of The Steep Canyon Rangers to fiddle virtuoso Michael Cleveland and then some have done just that.

“People have traveled far distances just to come play with Bobby,” Friedman noted. “For me, the beautiful thing [about the bluegrass jams] is it brings the whole community together. It doesn’t matter about politics, religion, or anything — everybody in here is smiling.”

So, why the name Zuma? Well, when Friedman was in California there was this spot that he will forever hold close to his heart and thoughts: Zuma Beach along the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu.

“[I went there] at 5:30 in the morning to go look at the whales as they would come in and feed with their young ones. They would just roll around the surf. It was an amazing sight to see,” Friedman said.

In 2001, Friedman rolled into Marshall. A year later, he opened Zuma Coffee. In all reality, Friedman had never held any kind of position in the coffee industry up until that point. Simply put, it was just something he wanted to do, bringing forth his small business mentality from previous endeavors.

“My first day working at a coffee shop was the first day I opened,” Friedman chuckled. “But, I knew how to run a business. I wanted something that

Beyond the friendly service and finely crafted beverages, Zuma Coffee has also become world renowned as a bastion for live bluegrass music. It was almost 18 years ago when weekly jam sessions bubbled up organically. Since then, the shop has featured some of the biggest names in the bluegrass genre.

To note, bluegrass fiddle legend Bobby Hicks lives just down the road and would often show up to jam when he wasn’t touring. With Hicks now

Twenty-two years since Zuma Coffee offered a jolt to the small mountain town, and there’s as much vibrancy and camaraderie as ever within its walls and windows, tables and chairs, cups and saucers — this sense of purpose that leaves Friedman with one genuine sentiment continually bouncing through his mind.

“Gratifying is the main thing,” Friedman said. “I still have people come and thank me for being here. That’s worth more than any money I’ve ever made.” 

Zuma Coffee in Marshall has become renowned as a place where well-known bluegrass musicians drop in to play in weekly jam sessions. Joel Friedman
Every year, thousands of buyers and sellers choose us for the results-oriented, professional service that has been our hallmark since 1976. Our strength lies in our ability to provide you with the services of highly trained, caring professionals who are residents and experts in this unique region, backed by an outstanding support staff committed to the highest standards of care. Homegrown in Western North Carolina for 45+ years and leading the market as the #1 real estate firm in the Carolinas, let Allen Tate/Beverly-Hanks, REALTORS® be your guide. BORN IN THE BLUE RIDGE. BEST IN THE CAROLINAS. Call to see what we can do for you. (866) 985-0327

Rutherford County


Rutherford County offers the peace and quiet of scenic country roads, punctuated with spectacular views, an abundance of outdoor activities, a temperate climate, and a unique ecosystem.

The expansive Hickory Nut Gorge, nestled between the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky mountains, gives visitors and residents the feel that they are in a land unto itself.

Four small townships are in the gorge: Gerton, Bat Cave, Chimney Rock Village, and Lake Lure. Each has its own particular charms, but a common thread that benefits them all is the famed biodiversity of the area.

Welcome | LOCALES
Lake Lure’s scenic views are much appreciated by visitors and locals. VISITNC.COM

Hickory Nut Gorge, home to 14 rare animal species and 36 rare plant species, is a haven for biologists, geologists, and birders. It’s studded with streams and stunning rock formations, as well as Hickory Nut Falls, a waterfall with a 404-foot drop that’s one of the biggest in the region. The falls made a big splash on the big screen, serving as the setting for a fight scene in the 1992 film “The Last of the Mohicans.”

2023 SALES

Rutherford County

MEDIAN PRICE ........ $257,000

The crown jewel is the 6,892-acre Chimney Rock State Park. A climb up the stairs to the top of 315-foot-tall Chimney Rock (or elevator ride) is rewarded with panoramic views as far as 75 miles on some days. The park has a network of trails and ample opportunities for bouldering and rock climbing, along with a rich history that gives it deep ties to the region.




Lake Lure offers visitors a hike in the woods, a thrilling mountain bike ride, a sheer rock face to climb, or a day on the water for fishing, boating, or kayaking. The lake is also home to a variety of lodging, dining, and shopping opportunities.

Nearby are Bat Cave and Chimney Rock Village. In Bat Cave, the Old Cider Mill sells mountain crafts and curios, and, during apple season, fresh-pressed cider. In Chimney Rock Village, Bubba O’Leary’s General Store offers a trip back in time to an era before


“You will have the ‘Time of Your Life’ in Lake Lure exploring all of the memorable locations where the movie ‘Dirty Dancing’ was filmed! From Firefly Cove where the renowned ‘lift scene’ took place to the 16th hole of the Bald Mountain Golf Course where Baby asked her father for money.”

— Jenn Saltouros, Lake Lure office

chain stores and strip malls.

Hickory Nut Gorge also hosts a wide range of lodging options, from short-term cabin rentals to stately mountain inns.

Less than a mile east of Chimney Rock Village is the Lake Lure Flowering Bridge. Boasting more than 2,000 types of plants and flowers, you can also find a picturesque sunset mural. n

The view of Hickory Nut Gorge from the platform at Chimney Rock State Park. VISITNC.COM


Yancey County boasts more than 600 working artists, including renowned glassblowers, metalsmiths, basket makers, painters, paper makers, potters, quilters, sculptors, and weavers.

It is also home of the largest telescope in the Southeast dedicated to dark sky research and recreational activities.

Combine the highest mountain peaks in the eastern United States with a growing and vibrant town center in Burnsville and you get premier alpine settings, rolling farmland, and experiences that go above and beyond.

The county is bordered by Tennessee to the north, while the southern border follows the Blue Ridge Parkway. Burnsville is

the county seat, with 1,638 town residents. The county, with 11 townships, has a population close to 19,000. Asheville is just 35 miles to the southeast, and Johnson City, Tennessee, is 50 miles to the north.

An ongoing $25 million fiber optic upgrade is making fast and reliable internet access available throughout much of the community.

Mayland Community College offers state-of-the-art programs, including nursing, applied engineering, mechanical design, welding, and machine processes. The college is also home to the first International Dark Sky Association-certified Star Park in the southeastern United States, as well as a dark sky observatory.

The Carolina Mountains Literary Festival is held in Burnsville each September. It began in 2005 and has grown to be a renowned literary happening with readings, workshops, plays, and seminars.

The Parkway Playhouse, founded in 1947, is the longest running community theater in North Carolina. It produces a wide range of

Welcome | LOCALES
Downtown Burnsville is attracting new entrepreneurs to Yancey County. VISITNC.COM

shows and has a dramatic arts education program for children. The Burnsville Little Theatre also performs several shows a year.

Just a few miles from town looms 6,684-foot-tall Mount Mitchell, the highest peak east of the Rockies, joined by four of the top 10 summits in the east. These peaks have a unique climate that is cooler and wetter than areas just 10 miles away.

Accessible from the Blue Ridge Parkway, the highest peak is surrounded by the 2,000-acre Mount Mitchell State Park — the oldest state park in North Carolina — which is full of invigorating spots for hiking, camping, picnicking, and outdoor education. Multiple trails run throughout the area, and the peak is capped with a modern observation deck and seasonal restaurant, offering a perfect perch for high-altitude sightseeing.

The North Carolina High Peaks Trails Association maintains numerous hiking trails throughout the Black Mountain range, in which Mt. Mitchell is the anchor.

Mt. Mitchell Golf Club is nestled 3,000 feet below the high peaks, offering rolling fairways with bentgrass from tee to green. The course received a four-and-a-half star rating from Golf Digest.

Numerous county communities offer access to either the North Toe River or the South Toe River, with stretches known for premium trout fishing and rafting.

2023 SALES

Yancey & Mitchell Counties

MEDIAN PRICE ........ $314,000


The local arts council sponsors Toe River Studio Tours twice a year, when area artists open their studios to the public. Each August, downtown Burnsville also comes alive with the Mt. Mitchell Crafts Fair, celebrated for more than 65 years.

Burnsville’s square is anchored by the Nu-Wray Inn, built in 1833. The oldest remaining lodging house in the region, it has hosted such notables as Mark Twain, Thomas Wolfe, and Elvis Presley.

The Yancey County Library overlooks Burnsville in a remodeled 1901 building that once housed the Yancey Collegiate Institute – a college prep high school. Another YCI building is now home to the Lesley Riddle Recording Studio. Riddle, born in Burnsville, was an African-American musician whose influence on the Carter Family helped shape modern country music.

A nearby native rock structure built in the 1930s as part of a Works Progress Administration initiative is now the Yancey County Schools administration office.

Yancey County Parks and Recreation maintains a system of parks, recreation facilities, and open areas for public enjoyment.

One of the region’s most picturesque roads, Highway 80, meanders 12 miles through the shadow of the tall mountains. It runs by the Carolina Hemlocks Recreation Area, which offers some of the best easily accessible camping sites in the region. A noted motorcycle road, N.C. 80 also provides access to horseback riding, arts and crafts, the Blue Ridge Parkway, the golf course, and the European-styled Celo Inn, part of the Celo Community, a collective settlement founded in 1937. Families there adhere to a loosely defined humanist ethic and help run a farm and the Arthur Morgan School, a progressive middle school with roots in Quaker values and the Montessori educational approach. n

The Celo Inn. DONATED


Several years ago, Kem Muller realized that her annual holiday decorations and seasonal ambiance were, well, all an illusion — to not only her, but whoever may have walked into her household.

“I had a fake Christmas tree, and I would buy these candles that smelled like a Christmas cookie. So, when you walked into my house, you believed two lies: that I had a real tree and that I could bake,” Muller chuckled. And it was at that moment when Muller had an epiphany. She’s always loved fragrance and the ambiance of a burning candle, so what would it take to create her own?

“When you think about what fragrance can do for you, what the feelings and memories that [a candle] evokes and the scents it gives you, I thought it would be fun to try my hand at making them,” Muller said.

Thus, Muller bought a small starter candle making kit in 2009. And as she wandered further down the rabbit hole of waxes, oils, and wicks, Muller noticed what was really in the materials she was working with, for good or ill.

By 2019, after relocating from South Carolina to Western North Carolina and putting down roots in Yancey County, Muller launched the Burnsville Candle Company on West Main Street.

“I’ve lived in a lot of places and done a lot of things. And moving here? It’s just so beautiful and relaxing,” Muller said. “There’s so many opportunities to go outside and appreciate nature, and the community itself is incredibly embracing. You can see they love the small-town feel, love being in this environment.”

Up until that point, Muller was working at nearby Appalachian Java. The coffee shop owners liked Muller’s candles and asked if she would make a seasonal batch just for the store to sell. The products went over extremely well, so much so that Muller was eventually approached about wholesaling her candles at Mountain Time on Main Street and Mountain Time Mercantile.

essential oils that are completely nontoxic and safe for waterways, children, and pets. As well, the wooden lids for the candles are handmade by Muller.

“With a soy candle, you’re not going to notice a lot of soot or anything like that,” Muller said. “And the wicks in my candles are made out of cotton and paper, [whereas], sadly, there are still some corporations that use wicks with lead and zinc in them.”

Muller noted that everything in her products is “completely repurposable — nothing is wasted.” The lids can double as drink coasters, with the glassware reused as a cup or oddsn-ends holder. Burnsville Candle Company is also partnered with the nonprofit One Tree Planted. For every candle sold, a tree is planted in Appalachia.

Now some five years into being a small business owner, Muller can’t help but be grateful for the support given to her vision and her products by other entrepreneurs, local residents, and visitors alike.

“That began my journey of wanting to make candles, but wanting to make a better, safer, and cleaner candle,” Muller said.

“That got the ball rolling and got my products out there,” Muller said. “And when this brick-and-mortar space became available, I jumped on the opportunity to have a Main Street location.”

For a clean burn and to practice sustainability, Muller uses all-natural soy wax. Every product is infused with

“I don’t actually have a mission statement, but the mission behind my candles is to bring a cleaner joy to your life in the form of home fragrance — that’s first and foremost,” Muller said. “And I’ve been able to create partnerships with other local businesses and artisans. You look around and stand in this beautiful [town] and think, ‘Yeah, this is it.’” 

Welcome | LOCALES
Kem Muller opened the Burnsville Candle Company in 2019. Kem Muller
www.sss-tops.com Granite, Quart z & Mar ble 62 Communications Drive Waynesville Hours By Appointment 828.452.4747 67

Polk County


Touted as the “First Peak of the Blue Ridge,” Polk County ranges in elevation from 300 feet to 3,200 feet above sea level. Each foot seems to offer visitors something different.

Most of Polk’s 20,000 residents live in or near the county’s three main towns — Columbus, Saluda, and Tryon. Each community has long welcomed visitors to enjoy a community rich with history, culture, crafts, vast natural areas, and exciting culinary traditions.

The Tryon area has long been known as a hotspot for equestrian activities. Each April there’s the Block House Steeplechase, a day of

AGENT’S CHOICE: “Pristine natural surroundings and endless adventures converge, creating unforgettable moments and lasting memories.”

68 Welcome | LOCALES
The Nina Simone Plaza in downtown Tryon. VISITNC.COM

races that’s the longest running steeplechase in North Carolina. The event is sponsored by the Tryon Riding and Hunt Club, which also stages horse shows throughout the year. The Foothills Equestrian Nature Center also offers regular equestrian events at its 400acre facility in Tryon.

The Tryon International Equestrian Center — which opened in 2014 — hosted the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games, which drew nearly 500,000 people from more than 70 countries.

Tryon is proud of the legacy of its most famous native, the late jazz and soul great Nina Simone, who was born there in 1933. The heart of downtown features Nina Simone Plaza, home to a striking bronze sculpture of Simone playing piano keys suspended in midair. Simone was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018, and her childhood Tryon home has been designated a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Saluda is nestled in the mountains in the southeastern corner of the county. The town sits atop the Saluda Grade, once the steepest railroad grade in the United States. Saluda is known for its town center, featuring a main street lined with restaurants, shops, art galleries, and historic buildings like the M.A. Pace General Store, a hub of local commerce and community.

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Polk County


Saluda is also home to The Gorge, a linked series of 11 zip lines — four of them 1,000 feet long — that drop 1,100 feet from beginning to end.


Polk County is home to dozens of parks and recreation areas.

The Green River Cove Recreation Area offers access points for fishing, tubing, kayaking, canoeing, and hiking. Tryon’s 50-acre public park, Harmon Field, features wading areas, a playground, tennis courts, a walking track, sports fields, and horse rings. There are scores of hiking trails, ranging from easy to strenuous, in Polk County, which is noted for its numerous summer camps.

May brings the Saluda Arts and Music Festival. The Art Trek Tryon Studio Tours, held each July, showcase the town’s many artists, as does the Tryon Arts and Crafts Fall Festival in October.

Polk County is also home to Adawehi Wellness Village, a community that off ers a healing center, a health food store, and holistic health practitioners. 

The International Equestrian Center hosts events year round in Tryon, while just outside Saluda are numerous waterfalls.

To be Young, Gi ed, and Black: | NINA SIMONE CHILDHOOD HOME

Throughout her 70 years on this earth, Nina Simone was a melodic force of nature. This powerful juggernaut of sound and scope used her once-in-ageneration talents to shape political, cultural, and societal discourse in America and beyond — a mission and message still reverberating through the ether to this very day.

“[Nina was] this American icon who became the voice for civil protest against oppression and racial segregation,” said Melissa Jest, senior manager of preservation projects for the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund.

During the Civil Rights Movement, signature Simone numbers like “Mississippi Goddam” (1964) and “To Be Young, Gifted, and Black” (1969) became anthems — songs that placed a melodic spotlight on those being oppressed and discriminated against, ultimately amplifying the voiceless through the universal language of music.

Simone’s voice and piano playing was part revelation, part revolution, all seamlessly careening across numerous genres — jazz to blues, soul to classical. To note, Simone was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2018. Last year, Rolling Stone placed Simone at

#21 on its “200 Greatest Singers of AllTime” list.

And that starting line for Simone was the small town of Tryon, located in Polk County. In 1933, Simone was born in a tiny three-room cabin in the Black neighborhood of East Side. As a kid, Simone used to walk across town to her piano lessons with Muriel Mazzanovich (aka: “Miss Mazzy”) — a journey that would pass through segregated parts of the community.

“We know that was really in those deep throes of segregation and Jim Crow [laws] here in America,” Jest said. “[And we want to tell] an expanded story, not only of just Nina Simone and her family — how this environment shaped her, crystallized her as the diamond we know her to be — [but] we also want to understand how they lived on this land.”

Simone’s childhood still stands on a quiet, unassuming corner of East Livingston Street and Fred Lyles Circle in the East Side neighborhood. The 106-year-old structure remains steadfast and intact, its resemblance close to what it looked like when Simone inhabited it all those decades ago.

In 2018, the National Trust for Historic Preservation designated the

house a “National Treasure.” A branch of the NTHP, the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, now oversees the project as it continues to evolve and push towards completion — the end goal being a rehabilitated property serving as a place of historical preservation, cultural significance, and artistic inspiration for generations to come.

“It’s both humbling and empowering to be able to stand there [on the property], breathe the air, and feel the energy that was left in that space,” Jest said. “And knowing that it was the love of the family, the love of the community that really fed into her love of self.”

Jest noted that Simone was just three years old when she was encouraged to get up and play the church organ at Saint Luke C.M.E., just down the hill from her childhood home in Tryon.

“And she started playing for this community and this family that loved her — nourishing her and feeding her,” Jest said. “And that fed into this person who shined so bright that she brought light and love to the world, not just to us here in America — we’re fortunate that she was here and able to bring voice to a very important human movement.” 

Welcome | LOCALES
Nina Simone

With locations in communities throughout the area, our associates are immersed in our local markets. Let us put our local knowledge and expertise to work for you, whether buying or selling real estate in Western North Carolina.



300 Executive Park Asheville, NC 28801 (828) 254-7221


Asheville, Biltmore Avenue 40 Biltmore Avenue Asheville, NC 28801 (828) 571-0744


Asheville, North 820 Merrimon Avenue Asheville, NC 28804 (828) 251-1800


Asheville, South One Town Square Boulevard Suite 140 Asheville, NC 28803 (828) 684-8999


Brevard, Downtown 6 East Main Street Brevard, NC 28712 (828) 877-6006


Brevard, South 7737 Greenville Highway Brevard, NC 28712 (828) 877-4490



Fletcher 4005 Hendersonville Road Fletcher, NC 28732 (828) 484-3130 9

Hendersonville 512 North Main Street Hendersonville, NC 28792 (828) 697-0515

Highlands-Downtown 295 Dillard Road Highlands, NC 28741 (828) 526-8784 11

Lake Lure 1518 Memorial Highway Lake Lure, NC 28746 (828) 436-5120 12


NAI Beverly-Hanks 410 Executive Park Asheville, NC 28801 (828) 210-3940



Walnut Cove Realty 1874 Brevard Road, Suite 125 Arden, NC 28704 (828) 684–5151

Waynesville 74 North Main Street

Waynesville, NC 28786 (828) 452-5809 17

Wildcat Cliffs/Cashiers 5121 Cashiers Road Highlands, NC 28741 (828) 526-4525 18

Saluda 38 North Main Street Saluda NC 28773 (828) 749-3504

Burnsville 369 West US 19-East Burnsville, NC 28714 (828) 678-9944

Sapphire 2365 Highway 64 East Cashiers, NC 28717 (828) 507-3156 15

8 Cashiers 40 Cashiers Shopping Center Cashiers, NC 28717 (800) 210-0321

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Transylvania County


Transylvania County is a mashup of authentic, quaint mountain communities and wilderness destinations that are the heart of adventure for any visitor or resident.

“There’s an incredible amount of things to do,” says Clark Lovelace, executive director of the local tourism development authority.

Transylvania County has long been known as “The Land of Waterfalls,” with some 250 waterfalls ranging from small and

gentle to big, breathtaking plunges into mountain pools. Looking Glass Falls drops 60 feet amid a stunning crop of boulders and is one of the most photographed waterfalls in the country, while Sliding Rock is a natural waterslide where a quarter-million visitors each year careen down its long, slick surface into a six-foot-deep pool at the bottom.

The charm and appeal of the county’s seat, Brevard, distinguishes it as an epicenter for outdoor adventures, education, art, and music.

More than half of the land in Transylvania is publicly owned, including 88,000 acres of Pisgah National Forest, the 10,000-acre DuPont State Park, and the 7,600-acre Gorges State Park. The headwaters of the French Broad River, one of the oldest rivers in the world, are located near the town of Rosman, and the Davidson

Welcome | LOCALES
Two of the best mountain biking areas in Western North Carolina — the Pisgah National Forest and DuPont State Park — are in Transylvania County. VISITNC.COM

Eye of the Beholder | MANTIQUES

There are three things one immediately notices when wandering into Mantiques: a pristine 1931 Ford Model A Deluxe, a wide-array of stuffed wildlife, and the welcoming smile of Carl Littlefield.

“You know, a lot of people just walk in when they see that car through the window,” Littlefield chuckled. “And when you look around at what’s in here and who’s in here, you can feel this buzz.”

Located at the intersection of Main Street and Caldwell in Brevard, Mantiques isn’t your typical antique store. It’s more a social hub for any and all, locals and visitors alike. You learn a little bit about history through old furniture, historical objects, and prized trinkets. But you also learn a little more about one another, usually by happenstance from simply entering the shop.

“I can come here, sell a few things, talk to people, tell’em some yarns and some stories about a particular item,” Littlefield said. “And it’s gratifying. It’s fun for me. If something’s fun for you, it really isn’t work. That’s kind of the way I wanted this place to be.”

Originally from Florida, Littlefield spent most of his career in public service. When he retired in 2012, he and his wife, Cheryl, were splitting time between The Sunshine State and the Highlands-Cashiers area. But

the couple wanted to do something constructive with their free time. So, they opened Mantiques near the Cashiers Crossroads some 12 years ago.

“We spent 40 years in Florida, and we vacationed up here [for many years],” Carl said. “And when it came time for me to retire [from public service], I retired to a six-day-a-week, seven-houra-day job running the [Cashiers] store.”

About six years ago, the Littlefields headed east along U.S. 64 towards Transylvania County, ultimately opening a second Mantiques in Brevard— a bigger, better version of the initial shop in a whopping fourlevel 16,000-square-foot building in the heart of downtown.

“What I love about antique stores is that the items have so much character. But the irony is that the stores themselves don’t necessarily have character. This place has both,” Carl said.

In 2022, the Littlefields sold the original Mantiques location in Cashiers to focus solely on the Brevard location.

When asked just what it is about antiques that remains so alluring and appealing to him after all these years, all these countless miles traveled around the country in search of a cherished piece, Carl is heartfelt and honest in his response.

“[At one point], we were in the

regular furniture business,” Carl noted. “And if I was out making a delivery to a home, maybe delivering a modern sofa, I always found that I liked the older stuff a lot better than the new stuff — the quality and the character was everything to me.”

And whenever a “new” old item comes through the front door of Mantiques, Carl and his employees will do whatever they can to learn as much as they can about who is standing at their counter and what it is they’ve brought to possibly sell at the store.

“When something comes in, we’ll do a bit of research, which is always fun to learn new things,” Carl said. “And then, if the people who bring in the item know some of the history, we always try to gather that. We want to know the item and the person, too.”

Strolling around and up and down the levels of Mantiques, Carl is truly in his element. He engages with seemingly every customer and curious face who saunters in. He’s personable and friendly, all while sharing his knowledge and wisdom about any object one might have questions about, perhaps even may take home with them.

“This isn’t a big box store. Nothing in here has a generic look to it; each piece looks unique,” Carl said. “And that’s the fascinating thing about dealing with antiques and collectibles — everything has a story behind it.”

Welcome | LOCALES
Carl Littlefield

River, a renowned trout-fishing destination, flows through the national forest and along the outskirts of Brevard itself.

Check a list of the best biking, camping, climbing, hiking, fly fishing, horseback riding, paddling, and sightseeing opportunities, and Transylvania County is almost always counted among the best.

An editor for Bike Magazine called Transylvania County “definitely one of the top three places in the universe I’ve ever ridden. Maybe the best.”

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Transylvania County


Another natural treasure tucked within the Pisgah National Forest is the Cradle of Forestry, the first forestry school in the United States. The national forest is also home to the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education, which hosts students of all ages.





Perched in a sun-dappled plateau on the edge of Brevard, The Brevard Music Center stands as one of the country’s premier summer programs for orchestral ensembles, chamber music, and opera. Faculty and students present numerous concerts each season, and the center has hosted world-class soloists, including Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, Joshua Bell, and Frederica Von Stade. Its summer festival concert series has welcomed a variety of non-classical artists, from Lyle Lovett to Peter, Paul, & Mary. Then, there is plenty to enjoy in the heart of Brevard, a vibrant and walkable hub of shops, boutiques, galleries, pubs, and eateries.

Music aficionados also enjoy shows at Brevard College’s Paul Porter Center for the Performing Arts. The college, a small liberal arts school of over 700 students, is located near downtown.

The college hosts the world-touring Banff Mountain Film Festival, a big-screen celebration of films and documentaries about life and

AGENT’S CHOICE: “Brevard Music Festival is a summer-long musical feast (all kinds of music) at the level of top international events.

Conductor Keith Lockhart brings in big talent as soloists as he leads the various orchestras of the festival to musical heights. 2024 stars jazz great Wynton Marsalis.”

Ann Skoglund, Biltmore Park office

sports in the wild.

Between April and December, the Fourth Friday Gallery Walks offer a pleasant way to explore local businesses. More local arts are highlighted on the Scenic 276 South Fine Art & Craft Corridor — a 13-mile stretch of highway that showcases numerous galleries and studios.

The Brevard area is home to a rare concentration of white squirrels, and each May the community celebrates with the White Squirrel Festival, which features a parade, free concerts, a “Squirrel Box Derby,” and other “nutty” amusements.

In nearby Rosman is the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute, a former NASA tracking station reimagined as a science learning center designed to engage learners of all ages. n

The Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education is located near Brevard, which also hosts an annual summer music festival that attracts noted musicians. VISITNC.COM

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77 513 Mills Gap Road | Fletcher, North Carolina | RockStarMarble.com | 828.505.2137

Jackson County


Jackson County celebrates miles of hiking, biking, and paddling opportunities. After a busy day in the wild, take off on the popular Ale Trail, featuring more than 120 unique brews from the five breweries that make Jackson County a go-to spot for beer lovers everywhere.

Visitors can visit more than two dozen waterfalls for one-of-akind photo opportunities, or take part in fly fishing adventures at one of 15 prime fishing stops, more than 4,600 miles of streams, and 1,100 miles of hatchery supported waters.

Panthertown Valley — known as the Yosemite of the East — features 30 miles of trails perfect for traversing by foot or bicycle. Along the trails are a variety of wildlife, rare plant species, and a diverse range of geologic formations. Panthertown is designated as a Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Natural Heritage Site and by The Wilderness Society as one of North Carolina’s Mountain Treasures.

Welcome | LOCALES
Jackson County is well known for its numerous hiking trails and backcountry areas. VISITNC.COM


Sitting at a table on the front patio of the Highlander Mountain House, Jason Reeves looks up at the historic lodge with an expression of gratitude, only to then gaze back at the bordering Main Street of downtown Highlands.

“You know, the most fulfilling part of ‘all this’ is being able to bring people together,” said Reeves, owner of the HMH. “There was a void here, and I felt it. So, I figured let’s bring people from different walks of life into this place — culture, art, music, food.”

Inside the HMH that evening was rising Chicago-based indie-rock singer Neal Francis. Hot off a blistering set of funk-n-soul at the recent Bear Shadow Music Festival at the nearby Winfield Farm, Francis was hosting a packed-out late-night DJ set in The Ruffed Grouse Tavern — a cozy, dimly-lit cocktail lounge in the depths of the HMH.

“In this kind of polarizing time in our society, it’s great to have this platform where people meet others they might not cross paths with otherwise,” Reeves said. “But, they show up at this humble abode in the mountains and everybody cares about the music and the art — they care about each other and walk away fulfilled.”

Originally from Charleston, South Carolina, Reeves purchased the HMH property in February 2020. Constructed in 1885 for a supposed retired Charleston sea captain, the house is commonly known to be the secondoldest building in Highlands after the Old Edwards Inn.

“I knew the [HMH] could be more, and I could see every single detail of it in my mind,” Reeves said. “Realizing that potential [of the building] became kind of a compulsion for me, maybe like the way any artist feels — whatever is inside needs to get out. [With the HMH], the building was finally getting its soul back.”

After an extensive eight-month renovation process, the HMH reopened as an 18-room boutique Appalachian lodge, one filled with antique furniture and modern-day amenities.

“The vision for the HMH has always been as a kind of ‘living room for the area,’ a throwback to a historic tavern where folks can converge over food, drink, warmth, culture, and conversation,” Reeves said. “And the fireplace seating lends itself to conversation because of the almostforced proximity between guests to strike up a meaningful conversation — something that almost never happens in a hotel lobby.”

The HMH also includes the tavern,

a restaurant component, and a robust live music series. Marquee singersongwriters like Drive-By Truckers frontman Patterson Hood and Grammy winner Sarah Jarosz have sat next to the fireplace and wowed small audiences in a genuinely intimate setting of libations and pinch-yourself moments.

“Music has always been the great unifier in my life. It doesn’t matter where you’ve come from or where you’re going, if two strangers relate to a song, then maybe they’re not really strangers anymore,” Reeves said. “The inspiration and connection music provides me is as important as breathing and will be [part of] everything I’ll ever do in this life.”

Approaching the midnight hour, the Francis DJ set is in full-swing within the tavern. The rollickin’ melodies weave between signature Motown numbers and Chicago blues/soul classics. Silhouettes of numerous figures can be seen through the windows. They’re mingling, laughing, each immersed in the here and now.

Getting up from his seat on the patio, Reeves excuses himself to head back into the party — a vibrant scene and welcoming atmosphere, once dreamt of and now coming to fruition in real time.

“The whole thing has been surreal — it’s happenstance, really,” Reeves said. “There’s some magic here, and I think we just found a way to unlock it. There’s good energy here, and now all these people are picking up on it. We’re just going to keep riding the wave.” n

Welcome | LOCALES 79

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Highlands/Cashiers Region

The Village of Dillsboro is also located in Jackson County and is home to Dogwood Crafters, a mountain co-op that showcases one-of-a-kind crafts from more than 100 local artisans. Its ever-changing merchandise often includes unique jewelry, home décor, paintings, gifts, and ornaments. Volunteers operate the shop and offer a variety of classes.





Notable destinations in Jackson County include Cherokee, Cashiers, Dillsboro, Sylva, Cullowhee, Balsam, and Tuckasegee.

More than 70 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway run through Jackson County, including the highest point, Richland Balsam, at 6,053 feet.

The county also hosts Harrah’s Casino Resort in nearby Cherokee, which provides endless opportunities for entertainment, including live music and comedy from marquee stars like Blackberry Smoke, Alicia Keys and Jeff Foxworthy.

Whitewater Falls is one of the highest waterfalls east of the Rockies, standing at 411 feet and boasting a newly-paved path to an overlook and shelters for picnicking. Lake Glenville, with 26 miles of shoreline, has earned a reputation as a bass fisherman’s delight. Perfect for boating and water skiing, Lake Glenville also offers a swimming area with sand beach and trail to High Falls.

Whiteside Mountain is considered by some geologists to be the oldest mountain in the world, estimated at 390 to 460 million years old. Known as the “Jewel of the Appalachians,” the mountain’s name is inspired by the bald, rocky, white-streaked quartz and feldspar on the south-facing rock. All levels of hikers can hike the 2-mile Whiteside Mountain Trail, encountering sheer vertical cliffs and scenic views to the east, south, and west.

The Tuckasegee River flows through scenic valleys and several quaint communities, and is the most prominent whitewater river in Jackson County. During the summer months, the Lake Glenville Dam releases whitewater into the west fork of the Tuckasegee River, creating class IV rapids over a 5.5-mile stretch.

The county is home to Western Carolina University and Southwestern Community College, and boasts two hospitals: Harris Regional Hospital and Highlands-Cashiers Hospital. n

Among the notable establishments in downtown Sylva are Innovation Brewing and City Lights Bookstore. VISITNC.COM Cashiers

Small Town Charm | SYLVA

As the cultural touchstone, social hub, and county seat for Jackson, the small mountain town of Sylva has become one of the most intriguing and sought-after communities west of Asheville.

Less than an hour from downtown Asheville, Sylva (population: 2,578) is filled with boutique shops, breweries, restaurants, bookstores, recreational outfitters, and a slew of other retail businesses that make the town vibrant with life and opportunity.

“I came to town to check it out and knew immediately that I was home,” said Georganna Seamon, owner of Black Balsam Outdoors, which arrived on Main Street in 2018. “This town is full of outstanding, unique people that make up the charm that is Sylva.”

Reflecting on downtown Sylva, Seamon likes to enjoy a handcrafted ale at nearby Innovation Brewing, an artisan beverage at The Cut Cocktail Lounge, or finding a unique gift at Snake Song or End of Main. Seamon not only is a proud small business owner, she also makes sure to support her neighbors and their companies whenever possible.

“We have so many wonderful hangout spots,” Seamon said. “And I love the number of women-owned/ operated businesses in town, where everyone seems to work together as a team. It's not just tourists that are shopping in my store, the locals back

each up and support each other.”

A Jackson County native, Brad Waldrop returned to Western North Carolina in recent years to take over the much-beloved Ward Plumbing Heating & Air on Mill Street, which has been headquartered in downtown Sylva since its inception in 1977.

“We’ve seen the town change quite a bit over the years, and it always seems to somehow get even better,” Waldrop said. “Sylva still has a ’small town’ feel in many ways, but it’s also now home to some of the finest restaurants, breweries, stores, and other businesses in the area.”

Like Seamon, Waldrop points to the loyal support of locals as a testament to the success of his business, and also a big reason why he purposely chose to circle back to his hometown.

“As someone who grew up in Sylva, it’s amazing to see how much the town has changed, while remaining full of people who are genuinely committed to supporting each other,” Waldrop said. “It is a blessing to own and manage a business in Sylva with that type of support, and to be a resident of this marvelously unique and diverse community.”

Another Sylva native who decided to put roots back down in Jackson County is Crystal Pace. She and her husband, Santiago Guzzetti, launched Ilda in 2021. Located on the corner of Main and Mill streets, the establishment has

become a culinary sensation, featuring fine Italian fare and the freshest seasonal ingredients from local farms.

“There’s a lot of space to grow in a town like Sylva, and this area is so rich in food and culture,” Pace said. “And, for me, I’ve just wanted to be part of all of that again — I always wanted to come home.”

Born and raised in Jackson County, Pace is the daughter of famed local stained-glass artist, Bob Pace, and stepdaughter of Karen Martar, who owned and operated Meatballs. For Crystal, it’s a full circle kind of thing to inhabit the exact property she grew up in, helping her stepmom serve food and bus tables.

Originally from Argentina, Guzzetti learned how to cook and create recipes from his Sicilian grandmother. After bouncing between world-class establishments in his native country and Spain, he eventually landed in New York City, ultimately crossing paths with Pace. After the birth of their son, the young couple was looking to raise him in the mountains of Western North Carolina — cue the initial seed for the creation of Ilda.

“We want to see Sylva grow and grow. We want people to appreciate food for the artisan craft that it is, and share our passion for food with others,” Pace said. “There are so many great things happening in this community, and we hope to be part of that.” n

Welcome | LOCALES 81

Higher Education


Western North Carolina is home to a large number of public and private colleges and universities, attracting students from around the world.

Selected by the Fiske Guide to Colleges as a Top 20 “Best Buy” school in the nation eight times since 2005, Warren Wilson College near Black Mountain is an environmentally friendly school whose students enhance their academic experience by working 15 hours a week on campus. They also must complete 100 hours of community service over four years. The college’s 680 students earn bachelor’s degrees in 20 majors and can choose from 24 minors and 24 concentration areas. Taking at least one class within each of the school’s eight liberal arts areas, they attend classes that average 14 people in size.

Western Carolina University in the Jackson County community of Cullowhee serves more than 12,000 students, including 10,000 undergraduates and 1,600 enrolled in graduate programs. Offering more than 115 undergraduate majors and concentrations, WCU features a nationally recognized teacher education program, a criminal justice program used as a model across the state, and the nation’s first accredited four-year emergency medical care program. Graduate students and undergrads can choose from 60 areas of study offered at the main Cullowhee campus or at Biltmore Park in Asheville.

With an enrollment of nearly 1,300 students, Mars Hill University was founded in 1856 and is affiliated with the North Carolina

Baptist Convention. It offers 35 majors and 33 minors on its large, leafy campus in the Madison County town of Mars Hill. It has five schools: Business, Social, and Behavioral Sciences; Education; Fine Arts; Humanities; and Mathematics and Natural Sciences. A member of the South Atlantic Conference, it fields teams in baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, tennis, track and field, and volleyball.

Brevard College in Transylvania County offers more than 40 major and minor degree programs, including those in art, biology, English, environmental studies, exercise science, history, mathematics, music, and psychology. Its pre-professional studies include pre-dentistry, pre-law, pre-medicine, and pre-nursing. With a student body of nearly 700 students, the institution boats an average class size of 15 students.

With around 3,700 students, UNC Asheville is the only dedicated public liberal arts and sciences university in the UNC System, nationally ranked among the top 10 in this category by U.S. News and World Report, and is one of the top schools for “Making an Impact” by The Princeton Review.

UNCA offers more than 30 majors with 16 Division I athletic teams and dozens of campus clubs and organizations for students to participate in. The average lecture/seminar size is 20 students, with lab/studio classes holding upwards of 18 students.

Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College has the highest enrollment of any Western North Carolina higher education institution, serving more than 27,000 students annually. Established in 1959 as a trade school, A-B Tech offers 39 career programs, as well as courses that are transferable to any university in the UNC system.

Warren Wilson, located in Swannanoa, is an award-winning liberal arts institution.

One of the oldest and largest schools in the North Carolina Community College System, A-B Tech has five schools: Allied Health and Public Service Education, Arts and Sciences, Business and Hospitality Education, Continuing Education, and Engineering and Applied Technology. It also has a popular continuing education program.

The college has added several new programs, including an associate’s degree in healthcare business informatics, a mobile development diploma, a bio-gas option in industrial systems technology, and a geospatial technology option as part of surveying. A-B Tech has additional campuses in Enka and Marshall.

“Christ-centered, student-focused, service-driven — equipping agents of transformation, renewal, and reconciliation” is the motto of Montreat College, a small four-year school in Montreat. Its liberal arts curriculum includes traditional and selected undergraduate and graduate professional degree programs, including degree programs for adults in the areas of business, education, management, and nursing. Founded in 1897, Montreat College is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church of the United States. In recent years, it had an enrollment of 755 students, with a student/faculty ratio of 9:1.

Offering 30 areas of study, Blue Ridge Community College near Flat Rock in Henderson County has more than 100 degree, diploma, and certificate programs, many of them qualifying students to work immediately after completing their course work. About 2,000 students are enrolled at its main campus and a

Colleges & Universities


Technical Community College

340 Victoria Road

Asheville, NC 28801 (828) 254-1921 • abtech.edu

Blue Ridge Community College

180 W. Campus Drive

Flat Rock, NC 28731 (828) 694-1700 • blueridge.edu

Brevard College

1 Brevard College Drive Brevard, NC 28712 (828) 883-8292 • brevard.edu

Haywood Community College 185 Freedlander Drive Clyde, NC 28721 (828) 627-4667 • haywood.edu

satellite facility in Brevard.

Haywood Community College offers more than 30 programs. About 2,220 students took courses during the 2017-18 academic year. Departments include arts, sciences and natural resources, business and industry, and health and human services. HCC also offers online learning and continuing education opportunities. Like all of North Carolina’s community colleges, it offers general education courses that transfer to the state university system, allowing students to get their first two years of classes completed at a bargain price.

Southwestern Community College — serving Jackson, Macon, and Swain counties, along with the Qualla Boundary — provides coursework in arts, sciences, college transfer, career technologies, and health services. Over 3,300 students enter more than 60 academic programs, while approximately 6,000 annually participate in the school’s ongoing continuation programs.

Lenoir-Rhyne College’s main campus is in Hickory, but its Center for Graduate Studies of Asheville was launched in 2012 to expand the university’s mission and serve the specific needs of Western North Carolina and beyond. Lenoir-Rhyne purchased part of 36 Montford Avenue to house a state-of-the-art learning space in downtown Asheville, and has full-time, terminally-degreed faculty to direct the graduate programs, mentor students, and develop community partnerships. The Center for Graduate Studies of Asheville currently enrolls over 200 students in 12 programs and is becoming known for its leadership in key community initiatives. n

Lenoir-Rhyne Graduate Center 36 Montford Ave, Asheville, NC, 28801 (828) 407-4263 • lr1.biz

Mars Hill University 100 Athletic Street Mars Hill, NC 28754 866-642-4968 • mhc.edu

Montreat College 310 Gaither Circle Montreat, NC 28757 (828) 669-8012 • montreat.edu

Southwestern Community College 447 College Drive Sylva, NC 28779 (828) 339-4000 southwesterncc.edu

University of North Carolina at Asheville 1 University Heights Asheville, NC 28804 (828) 251-6600 • unca.edu

Warren Wilson College 701 Warren Wilson Road Swannanoa, NC 28778 (828) 298-3325 warren-wilson.edu

Western Carolina University N.C. Highway 107 Cullowhee, NC 28723 (828) 928-4968 • wcu.edu

Montreat College

Taking Flight | A-B TECH AVIATION

Amongst all of its natural beauty and rich culture, it’s no wonder the Asheville Regional Airport broke the two million passenger mark in 2023 — a 22-percent increase from just a year prior.

“It’s one of the best small market [airports],” said Tim Anderson, chairperson of Aviation Management & Career Pilot Technology at AshevilleBuncombe Tech Community College.

With a massive construction project overtaking the airport in recent years, including an additional runway, terminals, and gates, the ARA has quickly become one of the fastest growing airports per capita in the country.

There’s also numerous direct flights now offered from Asheville to destinations across the country: Chicago, Austin, Key West, Phoenix, New York City, Denver, Las Vegas, Boston, Minneapolis.

To that point, the need for pilots in not only Western North Carolina but also across the United States and around the world has hit alarming rates as of late. Corporate airlines and academic institutions have been left scrambling to fill tens of thousands of open positions.

“The word is getting out that there’s a pilot shortage and that pilot pay has significantly increased over the last few years,” Anderson said.

According to Anderson, there’s a projected need for more than a halfmillion new pilots worldwide over the next 20 years.

“They project 127,000 new pilots in the next 20 years are going to be needed in North America alone — the large majority of that in the United States,” Anderson said.

Delving into the programs at A-B Tech, the school provides pathways and degrees in aviation management and career pilot technology, as well as certificates in instrument rating and becoming a private pilot.

“A large majority [of our students] are wanting to become commercial pilots,” Anderson said. “But, I do have a good number of people who are just looking to complement their flight training.”

Partnering with WNC Aviation, A-B Tech opens the doors for prospective

students who are interested in becoming either a commercial or private pilot, while others are seeking employment in the aerospace industry or federal government.

“This training is advanced and of high quality,” Anderson noted. “There’s an opportunity now that didn’t exist for me [when I started] and it’s a really good opportunity. It’s gratifying to help young people.”

At A-B Tech, students are able to learn fundamentals of flight, federal regulations, instrument/ground training, aerodynamics, navigation, aircraft performance, meteorology, and more.

“It’s all about physics and scale,” Anderson said. “That hundreds-oftons-heavy piece of metal you’re flying operates the same way a piece of paper does when you fold it into an airplane and throw it — the same principles of flight are in play.”

Originally from Massachusetts, Anderson relocated to Asheville in 2006. At the time, he was a general aviation pilot and had been for decades. Anderson has had a personal passion for flight since he was a kid. He also had another career in psychometrics.

“So, I just flew for fun. Then I got involved in the aviation community when I moved here,” Anderson said. “There’s a very active pilot community

here in Asheville, which is the center of the Western North Carolina Pilots Association.”

In 2015, A-B Tech started a flight program. Upon a chance meeting with the academic dean of the program, it was suggested to Anderson that, with his flight hours and years of experience, he could become an adjunct instructor.

“And I had an epiphany on my first day of class,” Anderson said. “I realized I had a room full of people who wanted to listen to me talk about flying. It was student pilots and soon-to-be student pilots hungry to hear everything [about aviation].”

A year in to offering courses, A-B Tech expanded its program offerings, with Anderson becoming the department chair. Each year, dozens of new students sign up for the programs and take off towards their dreams. And, for Anderson, it also creates an intrinsic solidarity between students and faculty over this deep love for the art and act of flight.

“When I’m focused on flying, I see the beauty of the landscape and of the atmosphere,” Anderson said. “Once you’ve experienced and tasted flight, you’ll never be the same. And that’s the place where I like to be. The only thing better than that is sharing it with someone else.” n

Welcome |
Tim Anderson is chairperson of Aviation Management & Career Pilot Technology at Asheville-Buncombe Tech Community College. AB TECH

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Come Play in the Mountains


Western North Carolina has long been one of this country’s favorite outdoor playgrounds, and that’s truer today than ever as people are seeking a respite from their busy online lives.

One of the favorite refuges for locals and visitors alike is the Blue Ridge Parkway, the 469-mile two-lane road that meanders along mountain ridges and valleys from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Western North Carolina to the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. Every year it’s the most visited unit in the country’s national park system, attracting 16.6 million visitors in 2023.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the largest wilderness area in the eastern United States, a 500,000-acre wilderness area that spans the North Carolina-Tennessee border and is the second-most visited national park in the country.

The 2,200-mile Appalachian National Scenic Trail — known

as the AT — traverses this region, bringing hikers from around the world to test their stamina. Other inclusive hikes in this area include the 116-mile Bartram Trail (named after the 18th century botanist) and the 1,175-mile Mountains-to-Sea Trail (which begins in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and runs near the Blue Ridge Parkway for much of its path through the region).

Lake Powhatan is in the Bent Creek area of the Pisgah National Forest, just south of Asheville, and is home to miles of mountain biking trails. Also in Asheville, the Kolo Bike Park offers four miles of trails and a whole bunch of jumps and terrain tests for adventurous riders who enjoy a challenge.

DuPont State Forest near Brevard has tons of trails, as does the Jackrabbit Mountain biking and hiking trail system just outside of Hayesville in Clay County. Don’t forget Tsali Recreational Area, home to some of the finest riding trails in the entire country, only an hour and a half from downtown Asheville, and the Fire Mountain Trail System, a mountain biking area that opened in 2017 in Cherokee.

Road riders will love the popular flat cycle along the French Broad River between Asheville and Marshall. The Blue Ridge

Welcome | OUTDOORS
Cataloochee Divide Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. VISITNC.COM

Bicycle Club, Asheville Bicycle Racing Club, and the Asheville Women’s Cycling Club host events, club rides, and races. There are also great road rides in Haywood County and in the Mills River and Cane Creek areas of south Buncombe and north Henderson counties. Several groups also offer winter rides for those who don’t want to put their bike away during the cold-weather months.

Less than an hour and a half from Asheville, the Nantahala Outdoor Center can provide just about any kind of adventure you’d want, from biking to climbing to hiking to river floats to lake kayaking to tickets to the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad.

The rafting companies along the Nantahala, Chattooga, and Pigeon rivers offer exhilarating guided whitewater raft rides that roll over rapids in trips that last about three hours. Whitewater Paddling magazine has named Asheville a “Top 10 Whitewater Town,” but the glory is shared by many towns on the French Broad, Pigeon, Nantahala, Tuckasegee, and Nolichucky rivers.

Other adventurous explorers might opt for harnessed canopy tours conducted in the beautiful Nantahala Gorge over six aerial bridges and numerous zip lines. The rides, meant to be more informative than jaw dropping, go through several ecosystems, and guides share cultural and ecological tidbits along the way.

For those who like two feet on the ground, the region offers unparalleled hiking in Pisgah National Forest, Nantahala National Forest, Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and state parks at Chimney Rock, DuPont, Gorges, Grandfather Mountain, Lake James, and South Mountains. There are several hiking clubs in the area, including the Carolina Mountain Club, established in 1923 and now the region’s most active hiking club.

Julian Price Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway’s largest campground, offers ranger-guided hikes during the day. The National Park Service also provides camping at sites you can pull your car up to at maintained sites at Linville Falls, Crabtree Meadows, Mount Mitchell, and Mount Pisgah. For backpackers, there’s excellent primitive camping in Linville Gorge. Closer to Asheville, public campgrounds exist at Lake Powhatan, North Mills River, and Davidson River.

With thousands of acres to explore and traverse, The Biltmore Estate in Asheville also has many outdoor experiences, including river floats, fly fishing, horseback riding, hiking, and biking.

The fun doesn’t stop with the warm weather. Strap on your skis and head to Cataloochee Ski Area in Maggie Valley, Wolf Laurel Ski Resort near Mars Hill, or Beech Mountain and Sugar Mountain in Banner Elk. All have runs for various levels of expertise, as well as super-fun inner tube rides and ski lodges to nurse any sore muscles. Want to go cross-country skiing? Then head up to the Blue Ridge Parkway, closed to automobiles in the winter, but not to those strapped with poles ready to tackle the beloved road. n

The plentiful streams and waterfalls of the region make for memorable family moments.


Every first Saturday in November at high noon, after the leaves have fallen from the trees and winter is not far around the corner, upwards of 170 paddlers and more than 2,000 spectators descend upon a treacherous gorge section of the Green River Narrows.

“This is the largest, most extreme kayak race in the entire world,” said John Grace. “We call it ‘The Greatest Show in All of Sports,’ and it happens every year here in Western North Carolina.”

Since 2007, Grace has been the director for the Green River Narrows Race. To note, 2024 will mark the 29th anniversary of the outdoor spectacle. With participants from over a dozen countries represented annually, the course meanders its ways through the most challenging section of the narrows near the town of Saluda.

“Everybody lines up and tries to be the fastest through that section,” Grace said. “There are people who are vying for the win, return racers who are trying to better their time, and others who want to complete it and put that notch in their belt.”

Grace notes that no matter what place a racer finishes, the core essence and intrinsic ethos of the Green Race resides in the genuine camaraderie of coming together in a friendly competition. Simply being able to tame the narrows places you in a special group of folks who’ve also

done so, who know how hard of an accomplishment it is.

“Personally, the coolest thing is that the guy and the girl who win it are just as congratulatory to the person in 132nd place, who went out there and had a good race for their first time,” Grace said. “And even the spectators who go, it’s really hard to get in there. Slippery rocks and cliff scrambling — anybody who makes it through has this unique bond for having [been there].”

As of last count, Grace has finished the Green Race 22 times. He also estimated he’s probably jumped in and kayaked that section of the Green River over a thousand times. According to Grace, the course section “drops 300 feet in six-tenths of a mile.”

“If you’ve ever seen someone on a set of skis or snowboard, [it’s like] going down a hill and hitting powder bumps, then there’s a drop, just cascading down,” Grace said. “It’s moving current to vertical, moving current to vertical — it’s downhill skiing in a kayak.”

A lifelong kayaker, Grace would often head for West Virginia on the weekends to paddle while attending Indiana University. But, he knew the

best whitewater was in Western North Carolina, which prompted him to move to this region following college in 1998.

Over the course of his ongoing kayaking journey, Grace has searched for whitewater the world over — all of the United States, Canada, Mexico, South America, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and then some.

But, Grace can’t seem to shake the legend and lore of Western North Carolina whitewater. He noted that the Green River, which has a dam on it, releases water about 300 days a year and that “there’s no other place in the U.S. where you’ve got that.”

“In my opinion, Western North Carolina is one of the best places to be a whitewater kayaker in the continental United States,” Grace said.

“We have very few periods when it gets cold, so you can paddle year-round. And we get rainfall, which keeps the rivers flowing, constantly refreshed with more water.”

For kayaking enthusiasts or the curious who are trying their hand at the sport, Grace has a word of warning: once you wander down the rabbit hole of whitewater kayaking, your life and how you perceive nature will be forever changed.

“You’ll never look at a river or waterfall the same. You’re always going to be [thinking], ‘Is there a line? Could I make that?’” Grace said.

“[When you kayak], you can’t help but be in the moment, you’re not worried about your daily stressors — once the [kayaking] bug bites you, it’s hard to turn it off.” 

Welcome | LOCALES
Powering through the rapids on the Green River. Crowds line the banks on one of the few viewing areas along the route.

Welcome | LOCALES


Doug Mcelvy was only three or four years old when he first picked up a fishing rod, but it sparked a love for the water that’s stayed with him throughout his life. At 36, that passion inspired him to open Canton’s only flyfishing shop, Mountain Fly Outfitters.

Mcelvy envisions Mountain Fly Outfitters as more than just a store, however. He wants it to also serve as a hub for the local fly-fishing community, offering a welcoming and laid-back environment for anglers of all backgrounds to connect, learn, and share their passion for the sport.

“One of my most favorite things about fishing is teaching other people how to do it and watching them be successful at it,” he said.

He hopes the shop will help him introduce the sport to even more people than he’s been able to since he started running a guide service out of his home in 2016. In addition to providing a central spot for guides and clients to meet up, the shop on the east end of downtown sells all manner of gear — everything from hand-tied flies, rods, and reels to waders, nets, and hats.

With “probably 1,000 miles of wadeable trout water within 30

minutes of here,” Mcelvy sees Canton as a perfect place to set up shop.

That said, as he started out in life, Mcelvy never envisioned himself making a living from fly fishing. He knew he loved it, but he also loved music.

A guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter with the Asheville-based band Red Clay Revival, Mcelvy spent years on the road traveling with his band. The experience gave him a chance to fish the country’s most spectacular trout waters. Whenever he could get away, he’d take

the opportunity to cast his line.

“We would go all over the country, and my intention was to play music and fish as much as I could,” Mcelvy said.

That’s a mission Mcelvy accomplished. But now, he’s setting down roots in Western North Carolina. Originally from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Mcelvy moved to Sylva in 2008 and began working as a fly fishing guide for Hunter Banks, opening his own guide service in 2016. Now he resides in Leicester and continues to play with Red Clay Revival.

And although he’s fished all over, Mcelvy said he’s found the best of all worlds in Western North Carolina.

“We have everything that all the rivers out west offer,” Mcelvy said.

From big water like the Tuckasegee and the tailwaters of the Pigeon River to the pristine headwater streams up in the mountains, it’s all there — and, unlike in the western United States, characterized by grand scale and vast distances, Southern Appalachian trout waters tend to be much more accessible.

“You can get out in the outdoors and still be home for dinner the same night,” Mcelvy said. n

Doug Mcelvey in his fly shop in Canton. Excited anglers show off their catch.
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M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle

Tee Time With a View


There’s nothing like a round of golf at high elevation to quicken the blood and make you feel alive. Golf courses in Asheville and Western North Carolina have attitude as well as altitude, challenging golfers in the most gorgeous of settings.

Condé Nast Traveler magazine included the golf course at Omni Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa in its list of “Top 20 Southern U.S. Golf Resorts.” Designed by Donald Ross in 1926, the 18-hole, par 70 course has an undulating front nine and a back nine that can be steep. Over a decade ago, the resort invested $2.5 million to restore the course in a manner that Ross would approve. Players who have enjoyed its challenge include golf immortals Bobby Jones, Sam Snead, and Byron Nelson, as well as other PGA stars like Doug Sanders, Gene Littler, Fuzzy Zoeller, and Chip Beck.

The Country Club of Asheville has an 18-hole, par 72 Donald Ross-designed course with a distinctive clubhouse that overlooks the Blue Ridge Mountains. It also boasts a state-of-the-art indoor tennis facility that has eight outdoor clay courts and a modern fitness facility. Also available are a 25-tee driving range and putting and chipping greens.

Asheville Municipal Golf Course is an 18-hole, par 72 course that opened in 1927. The front nine of this Donald Ross-designed course measures 3,246 yards from the back tees, calling for a driver on every hole. The course is open daily to the public, weather permitting.

The 18-hole golf course at Biltmore Forest Country Club went through a $2.5-million restoration, accompanied by an $8.5-million renovation of the clubhouse, just a few years ago. The upgrades brought both back to their 1922 splendor. Over the years, the

course has attracted the likes of Bobby Jones, Bill Tilden, John D. Rockefeller, William Jennings Bryan, William Howard Taft, and Calvin Coolidge.

Sporting the only golf course in Western North Carolina designed by Jack Nicklaus, The Cliffs At Walnut Cove is a par 71, 18-hole course that opened in tournament-ready conditions, according to the PGA Tour. Its greens, bent grass fairways, clever bunkering, and elevation changes make it a challenge that calls for a sharp eye.

In Weaverville, just north of Asheville, is Reems Creek Golf Club, an 18-hole, par 72 course. Located in the beautiful Reems Creek Valley, it’s surrounded by tall mountains through which the Blue Ridge Parkway passes. The 6,492-yard course was designed by Hawtree & Sons, a British firm that worked on Royal Birkdale, a course that’s in the British Open rotation.

South of Asheville in Mills River is High Vista Country Club, whose golf course is open to the public. Established in 1976 and designed by Tom Jackson, the 18-hole course has dramatic elevation changes and winding fairways. Nearby, Etowah Valley Golf Club has three 9-hole courses, all knitted together in one spectacular championship golf experience. Create the combination you want from six tee positions on a scenic plateau 2,200 feet high.

Height matters at Mount Mitchell Golf Club, located near Burnsville. Lying at about 3,000 feet in elevation and bordered by peaks that exceed 6,000 feet, the course is relatively flat. The South Toe River runs through it, a factor that must be taken into account for many shots.

In the region west of the Asheville area, there are a handful of top-notch public courses, including the Sequoyah National in Cherokee (designed by Robert Trent Jones II) and the just reopened and completely renovated Waynesville Inn and Golf Club. In the Cashiers area of Jackson County, the scenic High Hampton Inn has one of the most picturesque courses in the country. n

92 Welcome | OUTDOORS
A wide-angle aerial shot of the Grove Park Inn and Golf Course.

Waynesville’s historic inn and golf course have undergone a multi-million dollar renovation.

Welcome | LOCALES

Rebirth of Mountain Chic | WAYNESVILLE INN & GOLF CLUB

When Jack Welch sold his Waynesville dairy farm to Jim Long in the early 1920s, he probably couldn’t have envisioned that it would one day become a top-notch golf club with stunning views of the Great Smoky Mountains and clubhouse amenities renowned throughout the Southeast as some of the most luxurious.

Nearly a century later though, the clubhouse and guest rooms looked tired and dated. Even the famed “Carolina Nine” course was showing its age. Now, after extensive rehab by a new owner, the Waynesville Inn & Golf Club is poised to tee up its second century and celebrate the rebirth of “mountain chic.”

“It’s an experience-driven property,” said JD Trueblood, membership director at the Waynesville Inn & Golf Club. “This property, we want it to feel warm and comfortable to guests.”

In April 2021, South Carolinabased hospitality development, management, and investment firm Raines Company purchased the 165acre site, along with its 111 guest rooms and 27 holes, for $9 million. At the time, more than $25 million in improvements were planned, making the purchase one of the most significant economic development investments ever in Haywood County.

“One of our partners was at our sister property in Asheville, the Foundry Hotel, and he got an invite,”

Trueblood said. “He had no idea about this property until he got here and immediately saw the potential that something really special could be done here.”

In 1926, Scottish-born golfer and golf course designer Donald Ross left his mark on Welch’s dairy farm by designing the Carolina Nine — as legend has it, on a napkin. Ross is also known as the designer of the Asheville Municipal Golf Course as well as the prestigious Pinehurst No. 2 course.

Welch’s old dairy barn would become a clubhouse, complete with card tables, a dance hall, and even a space for the club’s first pro to live. Three years later, the club purchased an additional 50 acres, allowing for the completion of another nine-hole course, called the Dogwood.

The iconic lodge seen today was completed with local stone in 1935. Another building, called Woodcrest, was built next to the lodge in 1939. In 1946, new owners W.T. Eller and his son-in-law George Kimball modernized the club by adding conference space and locker rooms.

Mr. and Mrs. William Hall purchased the property in the late 1970s, embarking on an extensive rehabilitation program both on the course and in the guest rooms.

Additional acreage was added, which became the property’s third nine-hole course called the Blue Ridge.

The four-story tower and pavilion were also added during this time to connect the original Lodge to the Woodcrest building.

And with the recent Raines Company purchase of the property, it was time to update the course and bring it headlong into the 21st century. Enter Bobby Weed, who like Ross is another revered golf course designer.

Weed’s in-laws have ties to the Waynesville area that date back to around the time the club was established. And as a longtime seasonal resident, Weed said it was “a dream come true to personally steer the club in a new direction for future generations.”

With the WIGC now open and aimed to grow into the community throughout its next hundred years, Trueblood said that the club also wants to remain a positive influence on Western North Carolina’s next generation.

“I think our partners, myself, our staff, and our team have come from the world of golf, and golf has meant a lot to all of our lives. We want to make sure that junior golf flourishes,” Trueblood said. “We want to make sure that we can give back in a healthy, positive way where young people know that we care about them, and being able to get them out here on the course, to practice, play, and to be part of what golf has brought us.” n


After the Sun Goes Down


After a great day frolicking around the picturesque mountains of Western North Carolina, the fun continues when the sun goes down.

Asheville comes alive with standup comedy at The Odd; screenings of documentaries, foreign, and independent films at the Fine Arts Theatre or Grail Moviehouse; stage productions at the Magnetic Theatre; jazz or swing music at 5 Walnut Wine Bar; international dance troupes at the Diana Wortham Theatre; symphony orchestras at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium; rock

ensembles at The Orange Peel; Americana and folk showcases at The Grey Eagle; or funk nights at the Asheville Music Hall — it’s all here, and more.

Heading down the road, the options are just as tempting. Catch a blockbuster flick at the Smoky Mountain Cinema in Waynesville, bluegrass legends at White Horse Black Mountain, nationally acclaimed troubadours at 185 King Street in Brevard or The Purple Onion in Saluda, maybe a beloved Broadway production at the Flat Rock Playhouse in Hendersonville, the Haywood Arts Regional Theatre in Waynesville, or the Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre in Mars Hill.

And that leaves you with only one question — what to do tonight? n

94 Welcome | NIGHTLIFE

Welcome | LOCALES

Just Let the Music Play | SALVAGE STATION

When you look at the rich musical landscape of Asheville and greater Western North Carolina, you’d be hard pressed to find someone as entrenched in the creation, development, and cultivation of the scene as Danny McClinton.

“Just seeing the whole community and how it’s rising, what everyone is doing? I love it,” McClinton said. “There are moments where you think, ‘Wow, this has worked.’ And that’s our whole scene — we all want everybody to come up together.”

Owner of the Salvage Station, a massive indoor/outdoor venue along the banks of the ancient French Broad River in Asheville, McClinton is part of this decades-long renaissance of the city’s vibrant musical culture.

Recently, there’s been a huge push by certain venues to open outdoor components a la the highly-popular Salvage Station. The Orange Peel and Asheville Brewing Company teamed up to open Rabbit Rabbit on Coxe Avenue in 2020, while The Grey Eagle launched its Outpost on Amboy Road near Carrier Park in 2022.

With dozens of venues and thousands of local, regional, and national acts hitting the stage around the city throughout the year, Asheville has become one of the hottest music scenes in America — a place Rolling Stone called “the new must-visit music city.”

And for good reason, too. With a melting pot of varied genres and world-class musicians that have been inhabiting Asheville and surrounding communities for decades now, the city is a bastion of creativity and connectivity — all cradled by the beauty and inspiration of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Growing up in Asheville, McClinton attended Fairview Elementary and A.C. Reynolds High School, only to then graduate from Mars Hill University just up the road in Madison County. And throughout his travels elsewhere during his young adulthood, McClinton’s undying love for his hometown remained.

So much so that around 2007, McClinton became a co-owner of Barley’s Taproom & Pizzeria on Biltmore Avenue in the heart of downtown Asheville. In the massive revitalization of the city in the 1990s and early 2000s, Barley’s was, and remains, an anchor business for downtown — a storied beacon of live music, culinary fare, and social interaction.

“My wife was even a server in the first crew at Barley’s [when it opened in 1994],” McClinton said. “And when you talk about music at the beginning of [this current] Asheville scene, Barley’s was one of the strong hitters — that’s where you’d go back then.”

Concert-goers take in a show at the Salvage Station’s massive outdoor stage.

That deep appreciation for the bustling live music scene in Asheville parlayed itself into the initial seed planted for the formation of the Salvage Station. Formerly a large junkyard, McClinton purchased the land in 2013. Even then, McClinton had a unique vision for the property.

“I used to come here to get car parts and I’d always think it was such a beautiful spot along the river,” McClinton said. “And you couldn’t really see it then, but I really thought it’d be a great place to start an outdoor music venue.”

Skip ahead three years and the Salvage Station officially opened in 2016. With an outdoor capacity of up to 6,000 concertgoers, the property has hosted some of the biggest touring acts in the country: String Cheese Incident, Greensky Bluegrass, Sierra Ferrell, Billy Strings. Beyond the worldrenowned artists, the indoor venue also showcases countless local and regional up-and-coming acts.

“We have in-house production and we do everything ourselves. It’s all about making sure the bands and the audience members are comfortable. We take it very seriously,” McClinton said. “And during the shows, the hair on your arms starts to rise when you experience the magic of live music. I got into this out of passion, and that’s 100 percent what it was.” n



When it comes to 20th century American literary giants, Thomas Wolfe’s sprawling novels “Look Homeward, Angel” (1929) and “Of Time and the River” (1935) remain high water marks. They are marked by the written word and its exploration into the intricate nature that is the human condition.

“His novels were quite long, even for the time period [from which he emerged],” said Kayla Pressley Seay, site manager for the Thomas Wolfe Memorial House. “And he was a deeply autobiographical author. So much of what he wrote, either through his novels or some of his short stories, were based on different snippets, different portions of his life and experiences.”

Born in Asheville in 1900, Wolfe lived a very short life. (His untimely passing in 1938 at 37 years old was due to tuberculosis.) He was raised in what is now known as the Thomas Wolfe Memorial House, located on Market Street in downtown.

“[Thomas] was the youngest of eight children. His mother, Julia Wolfe, owned and operated [the property] as a boarding house,” Seay said. “And his childhood was vastly different from

that of his siblings because he was brought over to live in the business with her.”

Much of what Wolfe saw first hand from those who passed through the boarding house and greater Asheville set the tone for his immersion into the sometimes dark and mysterious realms of the human experience.

“What [Thomas] saw through his eyes and what we see today with Asheville would be very similar,” Seay said. “Once the railroad came through the region in the 1880s, people figured out they could get here a bit easier, a bit more affordably. They were looking for places to stay, so boarding houses cropped up everywhere. We had this surge of tourism, and obviously, we're still a very tourist-based town. And we are, in some ways, a house catering to tourism today [as a museum] — it has kind of come full circle.”

In terms of Wolfe’s legacy, Seay will be the first to point out that Wolfe channeled a rare talent for his ability to observe, articulate, and peel back the innumerable layers of the human spirit — of what it actually means to be human amid the grand scheme of things in our universe, whether known or unknown.

“He changed how we think a novel should look nowadays, and I appreciate his autobiographical style,” Seay said. “So many authors really do look back to their own experiences and the people they knew to serve as inspiration or as characters. And [Wolfe] did that very candidly. With ‘Look Homeward, Angel,’ he just kind of leaned into it — he didn’t shy away from the nitty gritty. It had all the negative things in there, just as well as the positive.”

Seay grew up in Asheville, the setting for Wolfe’s words about people, places, and things. So, it’s never lost on her how vibrant and alive these locations in and around the city remain well into the 21st century.

“When you read a book that’s so very obviously based on real places, real experiences that this man had — that’s written so candidly about real things — you feel like you’re seeing things first hand,” Seay said. “It’s a rare thing to have a historic home that’s not only preserved as a place where someone famous grew up, but that serves as the backdrop for portions of [his] most famous work. When you give a tour, you’re actually walking through the pages of the novel.” n

Asheville native son Thomas Wolfe’s home is a popular destination for literary buffs. Thomas Wolfe

Farm Fresh


With the recent boom in demand for organic produce, meat, and farm-to-table restaurants, Western North Carolina has become a hotbed for independent, natural food products.

Between handcrafted beer using local ingredients, fresh meat from grass-fed cattle, fine wines, fruits, and vegetables, the possibilities are as endless as they are available.

Foothills Meats — whose slogan is “Honest Meat Since 2002” — has become a staple of the Black Mountain business community, offering the freshest and finest cuts of locally-sourced meats through its three-prong approach: butchery, eatery, catering.

“We’ve tried a lot of things, always trying to keep that mission together of benefiting farmers, and do things the way we say we’re going to do it,” said Casey McKissick, co-owner of Foothills. “And we’ve always said if we can’t do that, where we couldn’t buy meat the way we wanted to, then this whole [business] would become uninteresting.”

McKissick — a hardworking, ambitious farmer — started Crooked Creek Farms back in 2002. The independent farm operation led

to the inception of his local co-op, Foothills Family Farms, which included over 30 other locally-owned farms. Alongside his wife, Amanda, the couple slowly built a brand in their backyard.

“[Farming is about] quality of life and just having more of a connection with where [your food] comes from,” Casey said. “[And farming] makes us more resilient, especially when talking about supply chain issues and things that have happened [recently] when we consolidate our food, who controls it and processes it.

And aside from also launching the Foothills Meats Butcher Shop (Black Mountain), Butcher Bar (Black Mountain) and food trucks around the area, the McKissicks took on one their biggest ventures yet, with the recent opening of the Foothills Grange in downtown Black Mountain.

Once an empty lot on Broadway Avenue in the heart of the small mountain town, the property is now home to the Grange — a farm-to-table homemade burger, barbecue and hot dog joint. The sprawling property also features a taproom, food truck, patio, children’s play area, and outdoor live music space.

“As a small business owner, one of the great things is there are so many other small business owners [in Black Mountain], where we have this connection with each other,” Amanda said. “We commiserate and congratulate each other. We celebrate and help each other. They’ve seen our kids grow up, and we’ve seen their kids grow up.”

While the culinary scene of the region expands, and palates

98 Welcome | FOOD & DRINK
The Bistro at the Everett Hotel. VISITNC.COM

become more sophisticated, the passion and love put into a meal comes from the mere fact that the restaurant chefs, owners, and servers all reside in Western North Carolina — a place they are proud to call home.

Over the past decade, there has been a food revolution in the area. Along every downtown, you’ll find anything from Cajun to French, Asian to Italian, Mexican to Mediterranean. Whether it’s local establishments incorporating different dishes into the menus or the troves of culinary artisans relocating here, the desire to try something new and different is all around in this land of cosmopolitan country cuisines.

It was just about 18 years ago when Hugo Ramirez opened the doors of Limones — one of the finest, most sought-after and innovative culinary destinations in Asheville and greater Western North Carolina.

“When we moved here [from California], we were thinking to have a Mexico City style coffee shop, with sweet breads and pastries,” Ramirez said. “At that time, there was nothing [here] like I can truly cook and know about, which is Mexican-California cuisine. And we opened as a restaurant for just one night — I gained confidence in myself since that day, that night, that I can do it.”

A native of Mexico City, Ramirez was raised in household where cooking was not only a big part of his family, but also his rich, vibrant heritage and culture. To this day, he still seeks advice and suggestions from his mother and sister, both of whom have a huge influence on his culinary craft.

“Everything I do on the menu, I don’t plan ahead, I just think about it,” Ramirez said. “I can be driving or going to the store, the market, and I’ll be thinking about [the menu]. When I get to the restaurant, I just start doing it and coming up with something — whatever pops in my head that’ll work.”

That imaginative inspiration is coupled with what’s the freshest ingredients available at any given time throughout the year, Ramirez said. He has forged relationships with many local farmers and market vendors to ensure that what he brings from the field to the table is a distinct representation of his culinary expertise and artisan flair.

“I’ll have a concept for a recipe in mind, and it’ll be based on what the vendors tell me they have a day or two beforehand,” Ramirez said. “It’s about applying what I know, and where my roots are, so I can find this niche where I collect all of the ingredients and, little-by-little, bring my ideas to life.”

Crossing the railroad tracks and entering the tiny mountain town of Hot Springs (population 600), one immediately notices the brightly-lit brick building to the left. There are several vehicles parked out front, with this swirling sense of joyful curiosity striking any and all who pass by.

“You are here to be loved on and feel comfortable,” said Karen Howard-Goss. “This is a laidback environment, one with homemade, delicious food and quality service. Whether it’s the ingredients or the care provided, we focus on consistency.”

Co-owner of the Iron Horse Station with her husband, Gary Goss, the couple have become ambassadors of real deal Southern hospitality for Hot Springs and greater Madison County.

In terms of the menu, Goss will say “it’s a steak and seafood kind of place.” But, upon glancing at the numerous dish options, the culinary delights are purposely cultivated through creativity and a keen sense of what will provide nourishment — physical and emotional — for the hungry souls wandering in.

“We always get the best product we can — we don’t skimp on anything,” Goss noted. “And we’re always tweaking everything we put out, trying new and better ways to make a dish or present a certain type of meal. We like to experiment and hone our craft of what we’re trying to do, and ultimately be.”

With the Iron Horse a continual beehive of friendly people, culinary treats and unique lodging, Karen and Gary added another, much-desired business to Hot Springs in 2022 — Vinyl Pies, a brick-oven pizza joint right around the corner.

“A big priority for us will always be to give Hot Springs what it needs, with every business in town working together,” HowardGoss said. “We want to be a positive catalyst for change here, and we are always looking for ways to do better. We’re not competitive here — we want to help each other grow and be proud of where we live.” n

Luella’s Bar-B-Que. VISITNC.COM

Welcome | LOCALES

All-Day Dining Experience | THE PURE & PROPER

For Richard King, life is a matter of inspiration and creation. A native of Black Mountain, he’s launched several businesses and helped them grow, all with eyes aimed for the next adventure, next opportunity to construct something from nothing.

And when it came to an abandoned gas station on East State Street in his hometown, King saw potential for something truly unique and special — The Pure & Proper.

“One day, I was driving by the building and randomly called the owner. I asked him if he was ready to sell the gas station,” King said. “He said he was, and I turned the car around. We chatted for a few minutes and made a deal. My wife and I went inside and were excited — what could this space become?”

Formerly the Pure Oil Station, the European-style structure was built in 1941. With its steep-pitched roof and minimalist mid-20th century aesthetic, the property is incredibly charming and welcoming, albeit sitting dormant for a number of years.

It was 2020 when King and his wife, Heidi, took over the property. At the time, the couple were (and remain) co-owners of two White Duck Taco franchises with no intention of starting

a third one from scratch.

“But, when we got our hands on the building we knew what this had to be — this needed to be a restaurant,” Richard said.

The Kings reached out to a renowned local chef, Jake Whitman, who was coincidentally looking to open a restaurant of his own at some point. Alongside Whitman’s wife, Ali, the quartet came together and opened The Pure & Proper in December 2022.

“I think the fear of regret from not doing something is a little bit stronger for me than the fear of doing it,” Richard said. “I’m going to regret not [opening this restaurant] — let’s try and see what happens.”

An “all-day eatery,” the concept is akin to a European café, one where you can get a great cup of coffee and breakfast in the morning, a delicious farm-to-table lunch and a fine-dining experience for dinner over wine — this one-stop community spot for culinary delights and hearty conversation.

“And it feels like we’ve been met with open arms,” Richard said. “The locals are overjoyed about the fact this beautiful, iconic little gas station was restored and remodeled. But, additionally, there was a need for a place like this in Black Mountain.”

Scanning the extensive menu, The Pure & Proper is an adventure for the senses. Plates vary from crawfish etouffee to fried chicken and waffles for brunch, pickled pear grilled cheese to a pork belly hoagie for lunch, duck leg confit to yellowfin tuna tartare for dinner. All of which complemented by a slew of wine, craft beer, cocktail, coffee and dessert offerings.

“We want to make sure people feel at home here — no pretention whatsoever,” Richard said. “One of my favorite things is walking around the restaurant and see people light up with excitement about what they’re eating, how they’re feeling the space — seeing and feeling that energy and buzz is a great thing to be part of.”

That “come as you are” ethos and attitude at the heart of The Pure & Proper is something also at the core of Richard and how he was raised in Black Mountain — a community looking to genuinely connect with other another, where at arm’s length interactions are not the norm.

“There’s just something about this town that’s just hard to duplicate,” Richard said. “We’ve traveled around to so many different places and nothing every really just called us elsewhere — this is the perfect place.” n

The Pure and Proper opened in Black Mountain in 2022.

Heady Territory


With around 75 independent establishments in Asheville and Western North Carolina, the craft beer industry is booming in these parts. Now known a “Beer City,” Asheville has become the epicenter for a beverage movement unseen in not only the industry, but also the nation as a whole.

It all started for Asheville in 1994 when Oscar Wong started Highland Brewing — the city’s first legal brewery since Prohibition — and tapped into the region’s craft beer potential.

Fast forward 20 years to 2014, and craft beer pioneer and industry leader Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. (Chico, California) opened its $200 million, 217-acre East Coast production facility in Mills River, right outside Asheville.

“The community around Asheville attracts such an artistic and eclectic mix of people, a very similar mix of people like Chico,” said Ken Grossman, founder/owner of Sierra Nevada. “The outdoors is something I try to do on a regular basis — get outside and hike. We’re near mountains, streams, and places to recreate in Chico, and Asheville is just like that.”

An embracing, all-are-welcome attitude is perhaps one of the reasons Asheville’s brew scene has exploded. Competing brewers exhibit camaraderie toward each other, with seasoned big-hitters

lending help to upstart companies.

Alongside Sierra Nevada Brewing Co, industry giants New Belgium Brewing (Fort Collins, Colorado) and Oskar Blues Brewery both opened East Coast headquarters in Western North Carolina.

In 2012, Oskar Blues opened an enormous nine-acre $10 million east coast facility in Brevard and New Belgium fired up its $140 million facility in the River Arts District of Asheville, a property that has become a beacon of economic and cultural significance for the city.

New Belgium and Oskar Blues have since been bought out by larger beverage companies, as was local start-up brewer Wicked Weed a couple of years ago. Those buyouts are evidence of the ever-growing, somewhat topsy-turvy nature of the craft beer scene as these newer, unique brews continue to grab a larger share of the national and international beverage market.

As a proud enrolled member of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians, Morgan Crisp looks to share the history of her ancestors — the stories, symbols, language, and culture — through the art of craft beer.

“It’s empowering for me [to share this history]. And it was really healing because I was sort of disjointed with heritage,” Crisp said. “There was a time [growing up] where the last thing you wanted to do was be Native. I was brought up in that culture, of lost language [and lost traditions].”

Co-owner/founder of 7 Clans Brewing in the Biltmore Village section of Asheville, alongside her husband, Travis, and another couple, Frank and Julia Bonomo (all partners in CCB Beverage, LLC), Crisp represents another proud chapter of the Cherokee reemergence in the 21st century — storytelling.

FOOD & DRINK | Welcome
Wicked Weed’s Funkatorium. VISITNC.COM

“For me, I just think of our products as a way to share the stories, to share our Cherokee culture through a different medium — these legends that are important and significant,” Crisp said.

In the fall of 2022, CCB put roots down in Buncombe County, with its 7 Clans taproom on Sweeten Creek Road in Asheville. The space will finally provide a brick and mortar structure for 7 Clans as it continues to expand its product line.

“It’s incredible. I didn’t think we’d ever get here,” Crisp said in a humbled tone. “And it’s all happening on two levels, where people are loving the beer and are interested in the story of our brand — ultimately embracing what it is we’re trying to do.”

Just off Main Street in Weaverville sits Eluvium Brewing Company. Launched in the fall of 2017, the brewery and taproom have become a popular social hub within the small, tight-knit community just north of Asheville.

“It means so much to us when someone comes in and tells us they love our beer,” said Shea Varner. “It’s not been exactly the easiest road to where we are now. But, this is our dream and our passion, and we couldn’t imagine being anywhere else.”

Varner and her husband, Jon, are closing in on seven years in operation. It’s a wild, bountiful milestone, considering the impetus for the entire business was a leap of faith into something each enjoyed immersing themselves in.

Jon started homebrewing in 2013, an activity he found was an ideal way to decompress from his routine deployments as a longtime member of the Army National Guard.

“When I got home after one deployment, I felt like this could be a really cool hobby. So, I bought all of the equipment and made my first batch of homebrew. Then, I made another batch and just kept diving deeper into the process,” Jon reflected. “All of this led to me getting a job doing mobile canning for a brewery. I kept going further down the rabbit hole of this industry, and I loved it all.”

By October 2017, Eluvium Brewing Company was ready for business. That name, Eluvium, is an ode to not only the rich,

storied mining history in North Carolina, but also a symbolic quest by the Varners to produce “gold-medal-worthy beer.”

“We didn’t have investors or backers when we opened; we built this from the ground up,” Jon said. “We had gotten to the point where we had to open. We had no choice — it was time to turn our dream into a reality.”

Sitting at a table in the depths of Homeplace Brewing Co. in downtown Burnsville, John Silver scans the vast taproom and elaborate brewing equipment housed in the historic structure, formerly a lumber company.

“It’s about the storytelling we do through our different craft beers, and also being able to preserve the history of this town and this region,” Silver said.

The Silver family has called Western North Carolina home since the 1700s. It’s a source of deep pride for John, especially as things have come full-circle in his personal life and professional pursuits with opening Homeplace in his hometown in 2017.

“A big part of the pride thing is hopefully pushing things forward here, but still trying to do it in an honorable way — with the past, and with how people want to see this business reflect their community, whether it’s events held here or live music we offer,” Silver said.

In early 2020, Homeplace relocated to its current location on Main Street. As of last year, barrel numbers hovered right around 1,000, with production increasing each year. The brewery has also built an outdoor stage, and now offers a food component onsite — Hog Hollow Wood-Fired Pizza.

And even though Silver was born and raised in Burnsville, and even with being able to travel and wander the country, he still chooses to call his hometown, well, “home,” seeing as it remains a place of comfort and security.

“My wife and I wanted to raise our kids in a small-town environment, and Burnsville was that place for our family,” Silver said. “And this business and our brand is to pay homage to the generations of people that came before us.” n




• 7 Clans

• 12 Bones

• All Sevens Brewing

• Archetype Brewing

• Asheville Brewing

• Burial Beer Co.

• Catawba Brewing

• Cellarest Beer Project

• Cursus Keme

• Diatribe Brewing


• Fahrenheit Pizza & Brewhouse

• French Broad Brewing

• Ginger’s Revenge

• Green Man Brewery

• Hi-Wire Brewing

• Highland Brewing

• Hillman Beer

• New Belgium Brewing

• New Origin Brewing

• One World Brewing

• Outsider Brewing

• Oyster House Brewing

• River Arts District Brewing

• Rye Knot Brewery

• Salt Face Mule Brewing

• Sweeten Creek Brewing

• Thirsty Monk Brewery

• TRVE Brewing

• Twin Leaf Brewery

• Wedge Brewing

• White Labs Kitchen & Tap

• Wicked Weed Brewing

• Wicked Weed Funkatorium


• 7 Clans (Waynesville)

• Angry Elk Brewing (Whittier)

• Appalachian Grail Brewing (Hayesville)

• Balsam Falls Brewing (Sylva)

• BearWaters Brewing (Waynesville/ Canton/Maggie Valley)

• Big Pillow Brewing (Hot Springs)

• Black Mountain Brewing (Black Mountain)

• Boodas Brewing (Hendersonville)

• Boojum Brewing (Waynesville)

• Brevard Brewing (Brevard)

• Bryson City Brewing (Bryson City)

• Buck Bald Brewing (Murphy)

• Burning Blush (Mills River)

• Chimney Rock Brewing (Lake Lure)

• Currahee Brewing (Franklin)

• Dry Falls Brewing (Hendersonville)

• Ecusta Brewing (Pisgah Forest)

• Eluvium Brewing (Weaverville)

• Fonta Flora Brewery (Morganton)

• Frog Level Brewing (Waynesville)

• Guidon Brewing (Hendersonville)

• Hickory Nut Gorge Brewery (Chimney Rock/Mars Hill)

• Hillman Beer (Old Fort)

• Homeplace Beer Co. (Burnsville)

• Hoppy Trout Brewing (Andrews)

• Innovation Brewing (Sylva/Dillsboro/ Cullowhee)

• Iron Key Brewing (Columbus)

• Laughing Dogs Brewing (Hayesville)

• Lazy Hiker Brewing (Franklin/Sylva)

• Leveller Brewing (Weaverville)

• Lookout Brewing (Black Mountain)

• Mad Co. Brew House (Marshall)

• Mars Theatre Brewing (Mars Hill)

• Mica Town Brewing (Marion)

• Mills River Brewery (Mills River)

• Mountain Layers Brewing (Bryson City)

• Native Brews (Cherokee)

• Noblebrau Brewing (Brevard)

• Nocturnal Brewing (Hayesville)

• Oskar Blues Brewing (Brevard)

• Pisgah Brewing (Black Mountain)

• Riverside Rhapsody Beer Co. (Woodfin)

• Oklawaha Brewing (Hendersonville)

• Salt Face Mule Brewing (Woodfin)

• Satulah Mountain Brewing (Highlands)

• Sidetracked Brewery (Morganton)

• Sideways Farm & Brewery (Etowah)

• Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. (Mills River)

• Snowbird Mountains Brewery (Andrews)

• Southern Appalachian Brewery (Hendersonville)

• Terra Nova Brewing (Swannanoa)

• Testament Brewery (Murphy)

• Trailside Brewing (Hendersonville)

• Turgua Brewing (Fairview)

• UpCountry Brewing (Brevard)

• Valley River Brewing (Murphy)

• Whaley Farm Brewery (Old Fort)

• Whistle Hop Brewing (Fairview)

• Whiteside Brewing (Cashiers)

• Zebulon Artisan Ales (Weaverville)

• Zillicoah Beer Co. (Woodfin)


• Appalachian Ridge Artisan Cidery (Hendersonville)

• Balsam Falls Brewing (Sylva)

• Barn Door Ciderworks (Fletcher)

• Black Mountain Ciderworks + Meadery (Black Mountain)

• Bold Rock Cider (Mills River)

• Fae Nectar (Lake Lure)

• Flat Rock Ciderworks (Hendersonville)

• Noble Cider (Asheville)

• Side Trip Cider (Asheville)

• TreeRock Social Cider & Mead Bar (Asheville)

• Urban Orchard Cider (Asheville)

• Wehrloom Meadery (Asheville)


• Addison Farms Vineyard (Leicester)

• B&C Winery (Maggie Valley)

• Burntshirt Vineyards (Hendersonville)

• Eagle Fork Vineyards (Hayesville)

• FernCrest Winery (Andrews)

• Marked Tree Vineyard (Flat Rock)

• Deep Creek Winery (Bryson City)

• Mountain Brook Vineyards (Tryon)

• Overmountain Vineyards (Tryon)

• Parker-Binns Vineyard (Mill Spring)

• Pleb Urban Winery (Asheville)

• Point Lookout Vineyards (Hendersonville)

• Saint Pail Mountain Vineyards (Hendersonville)

• Sawyer Springs Vineyard & Winery (Hendersonville)

• Silver Fork Winery (Morganton)

• South Creek Winery (Nebo)

• Souther Williams Vineyard (Fletcher)

• Stone Ashe Vineyards (Hendersonville)

Welcome | LOCALES 103

Getting started Welcome | INFORMATION


(in miles)

Asheville Airport 15 12 29 36 20

Greenville/ 80 59 64 100 56

Spartanburg, SC

Charlotte, NC 124 111 93 153 132

Knoxville, TN 129 144 141 112 152

Columbia, SC 158 137 133 178 157

Atlanta, GA 208 187 206 169 183

Raleigh, NC 251 275 237 279 283 Charleston, SC 268 247 242 288 267

Myrtle Beach, SC 302 281 281 322 301

Savannah, GA 314 293 285 335 314

Wilmington, NC 360 339 298 380 359

Washington, DC 471 495 470 500 503

Orlando, FL 584 563 558 604 583

New York, NY 691 714 696 719 722 Miami, FL 794 773 760 815 793

Voter Registration

Buncombe County

35 Woodfin St., Asheville • (828) 250-4200

Haywood County

1233 N. Main St., Waynesville • (828) 452-6633

Henderson County

75 E. Central Ave., Hendersonville • (828) 6974970

Jackson County

401 Grindstaff Cove Road, Sylva • (828) 586-7538

Madison County

5707 Hwy. 25-70, Marshall • (828) 649-3731

Polk County

40 Courthouse St., Columbus • (828) 894-8181

Rutherford County

298 Fairground Rd., Spindale • (828) 287-6030

Transylvania County

221 S. Gaston St., Brevard • (828) 884-3114

Yancey County

225 W. Main St., Burnsville • (828) 682-3950

Drivers License

Buncombe County

85 Tunnel Road, Asheville • (828) 252-8526

1624 Patton Ave., Asheville • (828) 251-6065

Haywood County

290 Lee Road, Clyde • (828) 627-6969

Henderson County

125 Baystone Drive, Hendersonville (828) 692-6915

Jackson County

876 Skyland Drive, Sylva • (828) 586-5413

Madison County

164 N. Main St., Marshall • (828) 649-2248

Polk County

130 Ward St., Columbus • (828) 692-6915

Rutherford County

596 Withrow Rd., Forest City • (828)266-2973

Transylvania County

50 Commerce St., Brevard • (828) 883-2070

Yancey County

116 N. Main St., Burnsville • (828) 682-9619

Vehicle Registration

Buncombe County

85 Tunnel Road, Asheville • (828) 252-8526

780 Hendersonville Road, Asheville (828) 667-2104

Haywood County

478 Champion Drive, Canton • (828) 646-3406

80 Waynesville Plaza, Waynesville • (828) 452-1577

Henderson County

145 Four Seasons Mall, Hendersonville (828) 692-0648

Jackson County

454 E. Main St., Sylva • (828) 586-3886

Madison County

133 S. Main St., Marshall • (828) 649-3528

Polk County

51 Walker St., Columbus • (828) 894-6430

Median Household Income

Rutherford County 1639 U.S. 74, Spindale • (828) 287-3600

Transylvania County

69 New Hendersonville Hwy., Pisgah Forest (828) 883-3251

Yancey County

14 Town Square, Burnsville • (828) 682-2312

Tax Offices

Buncombe County (828) 250-4910


Haywood County (828) 452-6734 • haywoodnc.net

Henderson County (828) 697-4870 • hendersoncountync.org/ca

Jackson County (828) 586-7541 • jacksonnc.org/tax-collector

Madison County (828) 649-3402 • madisoncountync.org/-tax

Polk County (828) 894-8954 polknc.org/departments/taxassessor

Rutherford County (828) 287-6355 • rutherfordcountync.gov

Transylvania County (828) 884-3200 transylvaniacounty.org/tax-administration

Yancey County (828) 682-2198 • yanceycountync.gov

Asheville Hendersonville Lake Lure Waynesville Brevard
January 46 27 3.07 February 50 29 3.19 March 58 36 3.83 April 67 44 3.16 May 74 52 3.53 June 81 60 3.24 July 84 64 2.97 August 83 62 3.34 September 77 56 3.01 October 68 45 2.40 November 58 37 2.93 December 50 30 2.59 Avg. High Avg. Low Avg. Precip.
Asheville City $39,906 $50,541 $49,930 Buncombe County $43,805 $50,538 $55,448 Haywood County $39,042 $45,290 $51,612 Henderson County $46,047 $53,638 $61,651 Jackson County $44,004 $47,759 Madison County $38,077 $40,765 $50,062 Polk County $47,185 $53,405 Rutherford County $36,966 $38,699 $44,547 Transylvania County $44,578 $55,628 Yancey County $39,686 $47,664 North Carolina $46,574 $50,343 $54,602 United States $52,029 $59,039
2008 2016 2020

Helpful links


Duke Energy duke-energy.com

Haywood EMC haywoodemc.com

Progress Energy progress-energy.com

Natural Gas

Progress Energy progress-energy.com

PSNC Energy psncenergy.com/en

Public Utilities

City of Asheville Water Resources ashevillenc.gov/ departments/water

Metropolitan Sewerage District of Buncombe County msdbc.org

City of Asheville Sanitation ashevillenc.gov/departments/ sanitation

Henderson County Utilities hendersoncountync.org



AT&T • att.com

DirecTV • directv.com

Mountain Area Information Network main.nc.us

Skyrunner Internet skyrunner.net

Spectrum • spectrum.com

StarBand • starband.com

TDS Telecom • tdstelecom.com

Verizon • verizon.com



Asheville Regional Airport flyavl.com

Hendersonville Airport hendersonvilleairport.com


Amtrak • amtrak.com

Great Smoky Mountains

Railroad • gsmr.com


Buncombe County Transportation buncombecounty.org/governing/ depts/transportation


BUNCOMBE COUNTY buncombecounty.org

Asheville • ashevillenc.gov

Barnardsville • barnardsville.com

Biltmore Forest biltmoreforest.org

Black Mountain townofblackmountain.com

Fletcher • fletchernc.org

Montreat • townofmontreat.org

Weaverville • weavervillenc.org

HAYWOOD COUNTY haywoodnc.net

Canton • cantonnc.com

Clyde • townofclyde.com

Maggie Valley townofmaggievalley.com

Waynesville townofwaynesville.org



Flat Rock Village villageofflatrock.org

Hendersonville cityofhendersonville.org

Laurel Park • laurelpark.org

JACKSON COUNTY jacksonnc.org

Sylva townofsylva.org

MADISON COUNTY madisoncountync.org

Hot Springs • townofhotsprings.org

Marshall • townofmarshall.org

Mars Hill • townofmarshill.org

POLK COUNTY polknc.org

Columbus • columbusnc.com

Tryon • tryon-nc.com

RUTHERFORD COUNTY rutherfordcountync.gov

Lake Lure • townoflakelure.com

Rutherfordton • rutherfordton.net

TRANSYLVANIA COUNTY transylvaniacounty.org

Brevard • cityofbrevard.com

YANCEY COUNTY yanceycountync.gov

Burnsville • townofburnsville.org

Chambers of Commerce

Asheville Area ashevillechamber.org

Black Mountain-Swannanoa blackmountain.org

Brevard/Transylvania brevardncchamber.org

Carolina Foothills polkchamber.org

Cashiers Area • cashiers-nc.com

Downtown Waynesville Association downtownwaynesville.com

Haywood County haywoodchamber.com

Henderson County hendersoncountychamber.org

Jackson County mountainlovers.com

Madison County madisoncounty-nc.com

Maggie Valley • maggievalley.org

Polk County • polkchambernc.com

Rutherford County rutherfordcoc.org

Saluda Business Association saluda.com

Yancey County yanceychamber.com


Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority exploreasheville.com

Cashiers • cashiersnc.com

Dillsboro Merchants Association visitdillsboro.org

Haywood County Tourism Development Authority visitncsmokies.com

Henderson County Travel and Tourism historichendersonville.org

Jackson County Travel and Tourism mountainlovers.com

Lake Lure Tourism rutherfordtourism.com

Madison County visitmadisoncounty.com

Polk County • nc-mountains.org

Rutherdford County Tourism Development Authority rutherfordcountync.gov

Transylvania County Tourism visitwaterfalls.com

Weaverville Tourism visitweaverville.com

Yancey County visityancey.com


Asheville Citizen-Times citizen-times.com

Asheville Tribune thetribunepapers.com

Black Mountain News blackmountainnews.com

Crossroads Chronicle crossroadschronicle.com

Hendersonville Times-News blueridgenow.com

Hendersonville Lightning hendersonvillelightning.com

Mountain Xpress mountainx.com

Rutherford Daily Courier thedigitalcourier.com

The Blue Banner thebluebanner.net

The Mountaineer themountaineer.villagesoup.com

The Smoky Mountain News smokymountainnews.com

The Sylva Herald thesylvaherald.com

The Transylvania Times transylvaniatimes.com

The Tryon Daily Bulletin tryondailybulletin.com

Yancey County News yanceycountynews.com


Asheville Lifestyle Magazine ashevillelifestylepubs.com

Blue Ridge Outdoors blueridgeoutdoors.com

Blue Ridge Motorcycling blueridgemotorcyclingmagazine. com

Bold Life boldlife.com

The Laurel of Asheville thelaurelofasheville.com

Smoky Mountain Living smliv.com

WNC Magazine wncmagazine.com

Television Stations

WYFF-TV 4 (NBC) Greenville • wyff4.com

WLOS-TV 13 (ABC) Asheville • wlos.com

WSPA-TV 7 (CBS) Greenville/Spartanburg wspa.com

WYCW-TV 62 (The CW) Greenville/Spartanburg carolinascw.com

WHNS-TV 21 (FOX) Greenville/Spartanburg foxcarolina.com




AM 570, WWNC news, radio, wwnc.com

880, WPEK news, talk, therevolution.com 920 WPTL country, news, talk, wptlradio.net 1230, WSKY Christian, wilkinsradio.com 1310, WISE sports, talk, 1310bigwise.com 1450, WHKP news, music, whkp.com


88.1, 98.3, Blue Ridge Public Radio

NPR news, classic music • bpr.org

88.7, WNCW

eclectic music, news • wncw.org

90.5, WWCU

Western Carolina University, wwcufm.com

92.5, WYFL

Bible Broadcasting Network, bbnradio.org

93.7, WFBC Top 40 • b937online.com

96.5, WOXL

Lite rock • 965woxl.com

97.3 Pure Oldies pureoldies973.com

98.1, The River 981theriver.com

99.9, WKSF Kiss Country 99kisscountry.com

100.3 Rewind rewindasheville.com

105.1, WQNS Rock 1051rocks.com

105.5, WTMT Classic Country outlawasheville.com

105.9, WTMT Rock 1059themountain.com

Medical Centers

AdventHealth adventhealth.org

Asheville Specialty Hospital missionhospitals.org

Blue Ridge Regional Hospital spchospital.org

Care Partners

Rehabilitation Hospital carepartners.org

Haywood Regional Medical Center haywoodregional.com

Harris Regional Hospital myharrisregional.com

Henderson County Red Cross hcredcross.org

Mission Health missionhealth.org

Pardee Hospital pardeehospital.org

Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care urgentcares.com

St. Luke’s Hospital saintlukeshospital.com

Transylvania Regional Hospital trhospital.org VA Medical Center asheville.va.gov


Asheville By Foot Walking Tours


Brews Cruise Brewery Tour brewscruise.com

Grayline Trolley Tours of Asheville graylineasheville.com

Lazoom Tours of Asheville lazoomtours.com

Segway Tours movingsidewalktours.com


Avery-Mitchell-Yancey Regional Library amyregionallibrary.org

Buncombe County Public Libraries buncombecounty.org/ governing/ depts/Library

Haywood County Public Library haywoodlibrary.org

Henderson County Public Library henderson.lib.nc.us

Jackson County Public Library fontanalib.org/sylva

Madison County Public Library madisoncountylibrary.org

Transylvania County Public Library library.transylvaniacounty.org

Public Schools

Asheville City Schools


Buncombe County Schools buncombe.k12.nc.us

Haywood County Schools haywood.k12.nc.us

Henderson County Schools hendersoncountypublicschoolsnc. org

Jackson County Schools jcps.k12.nc.us

Madison County Schools madisonk12.schoolfusion.us

Polk County Schools polkschools.org

Transylvania County Schools transylvania.k12.nc.us

Yancey County Schools yanceync.net

Private Schools

Asheville Catholic School ashevillecatholic.org

Asheville Christian Academy acacademy.org

Asheville Montessori School ashevillemontessorischool.com

Asheville School ashevilleschool.org

Asheville-Pisgah ashevillepisgah.org

Azalea Mountain School azaleamountain.org

Carolina Christian School carolinachristianschool.com

Carolina Day School carolinaday.org

Christ School christschool.org

Emmanuel Lutheran School emmanuellutheran.info

Fletcher Academy fletcheracademy.com

French Broad River Academy fbra-avl.org

Hanger Hall School for Girls hangerhall.org

Immaculate Catholic School immac.org

Learning Community School thelearningcommunity.org

Montessori Learning Center mlcasheville.org

Mount Pisgah Academy pisgah.us

Nazarene Christian School ashevillefirstnazarene.org

New City Christian School newcitychristian.org

New Classical Academy thenewclassicalacademy.org

North Asheville Christian School rmcacademy.org

Odyssey Community School odysseycommunity.org

Rainbow Mountain Children’s School rmcs.org

Temple Baptist School templebaptistschool.org

Veritas Christian Academy veritasnc.org

Charter Schools

ArtSpace Charter School artspacecharter.org

Brevard Academy brevard.teamcfa.org

Evergreen Community Charter School evergreenccs.com

FernLeaf Community Charter School fernleafccs.org

Francine Delaney

New School for Children fdnsc.net

The Franklin School of Innovation franklinschoolofinnovation.org

Imagine Collegiate icimagine.org

The Mountain Community School tmcschool.org

Shining Rock

Classical Academy shiningrockclassical academy.com

Summit Charter School summitschool.org

Colleges & Universities


Technical Community College abtech.edu

Blue Ridge Community College blueridge.edu

Brevard College brevard.edu

Haywood Community College haywood.edu

Lenoir-Rhyne Asheville lr.edu/asheville

Mars Hill College mhc.edu

Montreat College montreat.edu

Southwestern Community College southwesterncc.edu

University of North Carolina at Asheville unca.edu

Warren Wilson College warren-wilson.edu

Western Carolina University wcu.edu


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