Laura finally got to move to Asheville in 2021 after a decade of visits and hangouts here. She loves the food, the coffee shops, and the riverfront in Asheville. Laura is always finding something new and wonderful to try.

  • Complete Guide to Maggie Valley, NC
    Surrounding Areas

    Maggie Valley, North Carolina: Best Activities, Events, Restaurants, and Shops!

    Since the days long ago when Maggie Mae Setzer lived here and became the namesake of Maggie Valley, this little piece of paradise just outside the Asheville metro area has been a draw for everyone from nature lovers to those looking for a dose of small-town charm.  Between the many nearby mountain vistas and the easy jaunt back to the city, this town has a good mix of the options people want, from the ability to go to a big festival one day to the chance to commune with nature in a quiet part of the valley the next.  With the Great Smoky Mountains National Park so close by and…

  • The Best State and National Parks Near Asheville, NC
    Attractions,  Surrounding Areas,  The Great Outdoors

    Weekend Trips From Asheville: The Best State and National Parks Nearby

    Whether you simply live nearby or are an Asheville local, sometimes the best thing for you, your friends, or your family is to get out of the city and see something new. The good news is that North Carolina, Tennessee, and South Carolina boast a variety of great parks where you can affordably explore nature, learn history, get great exercise, and enjoy the beauty of this part of the world.  Consider how some of these parks could factor into your next weekend away, summer road trip, or even just be a pit stop on a road trip to see family!  State Parks Near Asheville There are so many state parks…

  • Malaprops Bookstore Cafe Asheville, NC Review
    Local Business Reviews

    Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe Review: The Hub of a Local Literary Community

    The headwinds on bookstores have not been easy the past few years: from the popularization of e-books and audiobooks over physical tomes to the overall shake-up that social distancing created in an already-precarious in-person retail market, it’s no wonder that independent bookstores are becoming a more precious and prized fixture in a community. Asheville has a long history of supporting the arts, literary arts included, and we’re lucky to have half a dozen bookstores in town. At the center, I’d say, though, is Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe.  I first wandered into Malaprop’s almost 15 years ago, when it was already a powerhouse in this community. Founded in 1982 by Emoke B’Racz, this…

  • Green Sage Restaurant Review in Asheville, NC
    Wining & Dining,  Local Business Reviews

    Green Sage Cafe: Healthy, Delicious, and Sustainable!

    I tried Green Sage Cafe back when they had only one location in 2010 (their original location opened in 2008). It’s impressive in the restaurant business when an independent restaurant, especially one with a strong commitment to sustainable and healthy practices, is successful 15 years after opening.  Owner Randy Talley has clearly found a version of the breakfast and lunch cafe that works well for the unique ecosystem that is Asheville, as there are now three Green Sage Cafes, sharing their popular menu items with people all around the Asheville area. One complaint I have with a lot of restaurants is that I often walk in famished, and famished-Laura makes…

  • Complete Guide to Electric Cars and EV Charging in Asheville, NC

    Complete Guide to Electric Cars and EV Charging in Asheville

    If you’ve spent time in North Asheville and pay attention to the high-pitched whine of battery-powered cars, you’ll immediately notice that Asheville has a fleet of Teslas, hybrids, and other electric-powered cars. Once you start paying attention, you’ll see that they are definitely a presence here, even if gas-powered cars are still the overwhelming majority of any traffic jam coming down Merrimon.  I’m generally not an early adopter of anything – I took forever to get a smart cell phone, for instance, and most of my electronics and gadgets are as old as possible and maybe even purchased at yard sales. However, moving to Asheville has been part of my…

  • Complete Guide to Chimney Rock State Park
    Surrounding Areas,  The Great Outdoors

    A Guide to Chimney Rock State Park

    On the website for Chimney Rock State Park, they mention that this destination is “part living classroom, park outdoor gym,” and that really sums up well the opportunities when you visit this park.  Chimney Rock features such interesting cliff faces and rock formations that many people come here for beginner to strenuous hiking as well as rock climbing. At the same time, the history of the park and its flora and fauna bring families who want to learn about nature during park programming or through observation.  This combination draws big crowds during the warm summer months and temperate springs and autumns in North Carolina. Here are some tips for making…

  • Guide to the Best Live Music Venues in Asheville, NC
    Surrounding Areas,  Community

    A Guide to Live Music Venues in Asheville, NC

    For a city of less than 100,000 year-round residents, Asheville is truly a destination when it comes to musical talent. As a tourist destination and a well-known hub for arts and culture, musical acts who would otherwise gravitate to Greenville, Charlotte, or Knoxville often find room in their schedules to stop by one of the many music venues in Asheville, NC.  I have fond memories of all kinds of music in Asheville, particularly at venues that are no longer with me – the carrying tunes by the river at the Bywater and the dapper elegance of Isis Music Hall in West Asheville. However, I keep finding new music experiences in…

  • Awesome Local Jewelry Stores in Asheville, North Carolina
    Community,  Attractions

    15 Amazing Local Jewelry Stores in Asheville

    Asheville is undoubtedly a romantic place: plenty of people choose this spot for a sweet date night at a downtown restaurant, a romantic stroll through Biltmore Estate, or a cozy backpacking trip on the many nearby mountain trails.  However, when it comes to a particular kind of sparkly accessory, Asheville is also a good destination: whether you’re looking for jewelry to commemorate an important occasion, seal your love with an engagement ring, or simply look your best in your chosen look, we’ve got jewelry stores in Asheville to share with you! Asheville’s artisan culture means that there are plenty of options that are both traditional, multi-location shops that can source…

  • The Best Thai Restaurants in Asheville, NC
    Wining & Dining

    9 Awesome Thai Restaurants in Asheville

    Whether you’re on the hunt for the hottest, tastiest curry in town or just want to feed a crowd that features some vegans, the Thai restaurants in Asheville are ready to serve. Thai food is flavorful, varied, and full of healthy proteins and veggies, making it a great fit for many palates.  A few of the Thai restaurants in Asheville are also fusion restaurants, featuring cuisine options from around Asia, so you might have even more options on the menu to tempt your guests’ taste buds. Whether you just want a go-to spot for a takeout pad thai or want a fancy occasion meal out, there’s a Thai place for…

  • Resources for Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs in Asheville, NC

    Helpful Resources for Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs in Asheville

    While Asheville is first and foremost a tourism city, there’s a strong undercurrent of innovation that has been growing here. People love local products and local art, and over time, we’ve been growing the entrepreneurship/small business sector as well.  I believe that a big driver behind this is the major growth the city has seen in the past three years. Many people whose work has become permanently remote or who recently started their own business have opted to move to Asheville – if you can work from anywhere, why not somewhere so beautiful and exciting? The local business community recognizes that a rising tide of new businesses can lift other…