• The Best Restaurants in Black Mountain, North Carolina
    Wining & Dining,  Surrounding Areas

    The 14 Best Restaurants in Black Mountain, NC

    Being so close to Asheville proper, it’s no surprise that Black Mountain has way more wonderful restaurants than you might expect of a similarly-sized town elsewhere. Set in the beautiful mountains, Black Mountain boasts multiple breweries, a distillery, and even a cider/mead purveyor, bringing tourists in for the craft beverages, and you know how a drink might get you hungry. You’ll also find incredible hiking, all of which makes it a great place to grab a bite to eat alongside a local brew after a big adventure.  As a result of all this tourism, the places to eat in Black Mountain, NC, run the gamut, and you’ll be pleased that…

  • Complete Guide to Fairview, North Carolina
    Surrounding Areas

    A Guide to Fairview, NC (Buncombe County): Activities, Restaurants, Bars, and Shops

    Immediately to the east of Asheville, nestled in the mountains and near lots of hiking hot spots, the town of Fairview offers small-town charm with easy access to city amenities. You’ll find that just driving a few minutes from the bustle of Asheville Mall and Tunnel Road, things quiet down and you get to really focus on the beautiful hilly views and feel the calm and coziness of this area.  Staying in Fairview is a great way to be right next to great hiking, including Strawberry Gap Trailhead and Bearwallow Mountain Trail. Keep heading southeast, and you’ll hit the charming spots Chimney Rock and Lake Lure, or head up north…

  • Complete Guide to Highlands, North Carolina
    Surrounding Areas,  Attractions,  Wining & Dining

    A Guide to Highlands, NC: Events, Attractions, Restaurants, and Shops

    Whether you’re drawn to the nearby national forests, the surprising variety of cultural arts, or the tasty restaurants available, Highlands, North Carolina, is a picturesque mountain town. The locals are ready to show you an amazing time as you explore Dry Falls and Bridal Veil Falls, golf at the Highlands Country Club, and luxuriate at the Old Edwards Inn.  Located just 90 to 120 minutes from Asheville (depending on the route you take), Highlands is only a stone’s throw from both South Carolina and Georgia, in the far western portion of the state.  Not only do you get incredible views here, but you’ll also get away from the city environment…

  • 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!  Don’t forget to check out our web story: The Best…

  • 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…

  • Best Arts and Crafts Markets and Fairs in Asheville, NC
    Attractions,  Surrounding Areas

    Getting Crafty: Best Arts and Crafts Markets in Asheville, NC

    Asheville and the neighboring towns and cities around Western North Carolina are known for being a mecca for all kinds of artists, from the Campbell Folk School and Penland School of Craft to the Black Mountain College history in this area and the many individual artisans who make WNC home.  The beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains has been a draw for inspiration and enjoyment to all who see them for many decades now, and the iconoclastic and self-determined nature of those who live in these mountains encourages a bit of avante garde spirit as well. The people of this area are well-versed in making do with what they have…

  • The Best Lakes in North Carolina
    Attractions,  Surrounding Areas,  The Great Outdoors

    15 Lakes in North Carolina Perfect for Your Next Getaway

    Asheville visitors and locals alike get to revel in a pretty great combination. We’ve got a downtown full of cultural and foodie destinations, surrounding neighborhoods and towns with all the conveniences of suburban life, and we’ve got a breathtaking backdrop of mountains whenever we want to get out into nature.  However, one thing that isn’t very common in Asheville proper are bodies of water of major size. While there are smaller lakes – including Lake Julian, Lake Louise, and Beaver Lake in Asheville and its nearby towns – many people long for a lake big enough to participate in water sports, have a dock to fish off, and even find…

  • Asheville, NC: Neighborhood Guide
    Surrounding Areas

    A Neighborhood Guide to Asheville, North Carolina

    While Asheville has a few common characteristics throughout the city, the particular neighborhood you choose may be a little distinctive, a little special. For instance, Asheville, in general, has a bit of a hippie flair as well as a foodie destination appeal, but in some parts of town, you’ll find lots of vegan and vegetarian eats, and in other parts, you’ll find tons of high-quality food from other countries.  The truth, though, is that every neighborhood brings something unique to the table: a history of connected roots for working-class families, stately mansions with tons of charm, and everything in between.  In Asheville, there aren’t a set number of neighborhoods that…

  • Best Small Towns Around Asheville, NC
    Surrounding Areas,  Attractions

    The Best Small Towns to Check Out Around Asheville, NC

    Asheville itself is firmly in the small-city status, especially during the summer when its population of 94,000 swells to much more due to the presence of many tourist visitors (it’s even in the name of our baseball team!). The nice thing, though, is that within an hour’s drive, there are more than a dozen charming small towns giving you a lot of options.  While the cities close to Asheville are more the metropolises like Charlotte, Greenville, and Knoxville, there are more than enough small mountain towns close to Asheville, NC, to give you a taste of the country life without being too far from the amenities of the city.  The…