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Simple Ways to Support Asheville Businesses This Holiday Season

Support Local Asheville BusinessesFor Ashevillians seeking to bolster independent businesses this holiday season, these movements and resources can be a good starting point.

Restaurant takeout and safe dine-in

One simple way to help local business in Asheville is to patronize area restaurants, particularly hard-hit during the coronavirus pandemic. Many restaurants offer online ordering and payment, as well as curbside pickup, for a contactless experience. Some have also reopened for limited in-house dining, with safely spaced tables as well as outdoor heated patios. Asheville Independent Restaurants keeps an updated list of local restaurants offering take-out or delivery, as well as dine-in options. www.foodinasheville.com

#AshevilleStrong

#AshevilleStrong encourages people to buy local gift cards – perfect for holiday gifts or stocking stuffers – from businesses around Asheville and Western North Carolina. Local restaurants, hotels, shops, salons, theaters and markets that are seeing a decline in visitors can get an immediate boost from gift-card sales. #AshevilleStrong’s website offers a list, updated daily, of the area businesses offering gift cards, so support can continue even while stores, restaurants and entertainment venues stay shuttered or limited. https://www.ashevillestrong.com

Streaming entertainment

While a select few area venues have reopened for limited audiences, many local theaters and music venues are streaming concerts, plays and other performances for audiences to access remotely, from the comfort of home. Check out your favorite venue’s website for specific offerings and a calendar of events.

There are many other ways to support our local community as we enter the holiday season amid the pandemic. Just a few others to explore are: United Way & Hands-On Asheville to donate goods and volunteer (https://www.handsonasheville.org/covid-19-community-response/); Musician Relief Fund to support Asheville’s normally vibrant music scene as it experiences cancelled gigs, festivals and events (https://iamavl.com/musician-relief-fund/); and Appalachian Grown Farmer Relief Fund to address local farmers’ needs as they deal with a dive in customers and sales (https://asapconnections.org/covid-19-response/).

For information about real estate in the Asheville area, email us at Info@MyMosaicRealty.com, or call us anytime at 828-707-9556.

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Cherokee Influence Across Blue Ridge Region Creates Rich Cultural Experience

Cherokee Influence Blue Ridge MountansThe Cherokee Indians of North Carolina were among the earliest inhabitants of Western North Carolina and the Blue Ridge Mountains, and their legacy has created a rich cultural imprint on our region. The tribe’s influence is evident in the artifacts, art and agricultural methods that remain today. 

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is a federally recognized Indian tribe descended from a small group of 800 Cherokee who were either able to stay or escaped and remained here after the Indian Removal Act of 1830 forced 16,000 Cherokees to walk to Oklahoma on the Trail of Tears in 1838. Others later returned from Oklahoma to their native land.

Cherokee art that still thrives in the region includes basketry, pottery, stone- and wood-carving, finger-weaving and traditional masks. Ancient American Indian agricultural methods of burning and deadening the trees and underbrush to provide needed grazing and cropland are evident today in the many fields still visible at the base of the mountains. Mountain and river names along the Blue Ridge Parkway also reflect the American Indian influence. 

Vibrant Cherokee History on Display

The heart of the Cherokees’ rich tribal history is, of course, Cherokee, N.C., located 50 miles from Asheville in Jackson County at the main N.C. entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Most of the 15,300 members of the tribe live on the Cherokee reservation (properly called the Qualla Boundary), slightly more than 56,000 acres held in trust by the federal government.Visitors to Cherokee can experience the tribe’s past and its present, brought to vibrant life, at a museum, visitor center and arts cooperative, as well as at festivals and other events throughout the year.

The state-of-the-art Museum of the Cherokee Indians here features exhibits that tell the Cherokee story, from ancient times until today. Inspired by the beauty and ingenuity of the Cherokee people, the cultural and historical tour blends interactive video and intriguing displays into a full sensory experience. https://www.cherokeemuseum.org

Native American Tribes Western NCA Village Brought to Life: Cherokee of the Blue Ridge

The seasonal Oconaluftee Indian Village shows what Cherokee life was like in the 1750s Southern Appalachians. Self-guided tours allow visitors to interact with craft demonstrators and other villagers in the traditional attire of the era. Winding paths, flanked with traditional Cherokee dwellings, work areas, and sacred ritual sites are the backdrop for viewing villagers as they hull canoes, sculpt pottery and masks, weave baskets, fashion beadwork, and perform cultural dances. https://visitcherokeenc.com/play/attractions/oconaluftee-indian-village/

The Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, Inc., in Cherokee, founded in 1946 with the purpose of preserving and advancing Cherokee arts and crafts, is the oldest Native American Arts cooperative in the U.S. Part shopping experience, part gallery dedicated to the preservation of Cherokee’s craftsmanship and skill, the Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual promotes the work of more than 350 Cherokee artisan members. https://www.quallaartsandcrafts.com

For a completely immersive experience, visitors to Cherokee can enjoy the seasonal “Unto These Hills” outdoor drama. One of the longest-running outdoor dramas in the country, “Unto These Hills” portrays the unique story of the Cherokee from a historical perspective, from 1780 to the 21stcentury. https://visitcherokeenc.com/play/attractions/unto-these-hills-outdoor-drama/

For information about real estate in Asheville, email us at Info@MyMosaicRealty.com, or call anytime at 828-707-9556.

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Dig These Dog-Friendly Outings Around Asheville

Asheville Dog-Friendly PlacesAsheville is an enjoyable place for every member of your family – including the four-legged ones. Dog-friendly restaurants, hikes and parks abound in and around town, promising that your furry pals can join in on all the non-stop fun Asheville has to offer. And with a growing number of restaurants and other establishments shifting to outdoor-centric service, there are more opportunities than ever for bringing your pup along; here are just a few. 

Eating out in Asheville with your pup

Many restaurants around town allow well-behaved canine companions to come along for the ride. Your best bets are eateries with outdoor and patio seating. Another enjoyable option are the myriad dog-friendly breweries around town, many with open areas for you and your furry friend to mingle and make new ones. From Downtown to River Arts District, check out these pooch-perfect spots:

12 Bones Smokehouse – Plenty of outdoor seating this an ideal destination for you and your dog. www.12bones.com

Zia Taqueria – This West Asheville favorite has expanded its seating into a spacious outdoor spot, with lots of room for Rover. https://ziataco.com

Sunny Point Café – Daytime outdoor counter service coupled with a picnic area means you can enjoy this popular place with your pup. https://sunnypointcafe.com

All Souls Pizza – This River Arts District spot has plenty of outdoor seating at picnic tables and an adjacent open field. http://www.allsoulspizza.com

Posana Café – Along with its eclectic menu, Posana serves dishes specifically designed for dogs, so you and your pooch can park for a meal on the patio, entertained by the buskers that frequently set up nearby. www.posanarestaurant.com

Laughing Seed Café – This vegetarian restaurant offers a laid-back vantage point from its Wall St. patio. www.laughingseed.com

Burial Beer Co. – This downtown brewery also has a full-service kitchen and lots of seating to accommodate you and your pet. https://burialbeer.com/location/avl/

Wicked Weed Brewing – A dog-friendly patio means you can enjoy this popular downtown brewery and restaurant with both four-legged and two-legged friends! https://www.wickedweedbrewing.com

Asheville Dispensary - This West Asheville cafe and dispensary is dog friendly inside their store/lounge and offers outside, covered seating and they sell pet products. https://avldispensary.com/collections/pet-products

Asheville with DogsKennels, specialty shops and daycare

For those times when your dog needs day or overnight care, there are several options from which to choose:

Pet Vet on Patton – In addition to an array of veterinary services, this centrally located office offers boarding, grooming and doggie daycare. http://petvetonpatton.com

Happy Tails Country Club – Their Fairview and Enka facilities are crate-free: Boarders instead have “suites” with full walls. http://happytailscc.com

Patton Avenue Pet Company – Boasting an array of pet food and other items, this store (with multiple locations) offers food delivery, as well as self-dog-washing stations at its South Asheville location. www.pattonavenuepet.com

Pampered Pets Inn and Spa – Play care, a spa, training and boarding are all offered at this location. http://pamperedpetsinnandspa.com

Parks and hikes

Your dog has plenty of exercise options around the area. In addition to the many hiking trails in Asheville, along the Blue Ridge Parkway, and in national forests, there are city parks where (leashed) pooches can play, and fenced dog parks where they can run with abandon:

French Broad River Park and Dog Park

The meandering paths of this West Asheville gem wind along the French Broad River and lead to a large, fenced-in dog park (with an area set off for small dogs), complete with water and poop bags.

Azalea Dog Park

Just beyond the John B. Lewis Soccer complex in East Asheville is the Azalea Dog Park. With large fenced areas for small and big dogs, and plenty of seating and shady spots for their owners, this is a favorite place to mingle with fellow dog lovers.

A wag-worthy welcome center

The Dog City USA Asheville Welcome Center (1 Battle Square) is a one-stop-resource to help dog owners get the most out of their downtown Asheville visit. The first of its kind in the country, the welcome center features tours every Friday designed for dogs and their owners, featuring local shops with doggie goodies, breweries catering to pups, and even special canine dining for you and your dog to enjoy on the town. The center offers a doggy potty area, fresh cold water from doggie drinking fountains, free goody dog bags, dog-friendly public bathrooms, and even human refreshments. http://dogdoorcanineservices.com/Dog-City-USA

To learn about Real Estate in Asheville, email us at Info@MyMosaicRealty.com, or call us anytime at 828-707-9556.

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Warm Up to Socially Distanced Fun With Friends This Fall

Fire Pit OutdoorsSince “social distancing” entered our everyday lexicon in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, finding ways to hang out with small groups of friends in a safe setting has required new, creative outlets. The warmth of Asheville’s summer lent itself to outdoor, spaced and small gatherings (widely accepted to be the best way to see friends and family without spreading the coronavirus). As the chill of fall in Western North Carolina sets in, continuing outdoor meet-ups and hang-outs is still possible. Here are some ideas for fall fun with family and friends while still social distancing.

Fired up – Patio firepits offer an ideal focal point for small outdoor get-togethers. Besides providing warmth, they can do double-duty as a cooking source: Think s’mores on a stick or roasted hotdogs or kabobs on a skewer. Once the fire dies down and you’re left with hot coals, you can treat everyone to a campfire-foil “meal” (chopped veggies and a protein combined in a single-serve packet, placed in the coals – never the fire); this can also work on a grill, and eliminates the need for clean-up or shared serving dishes.

Hot spot – When the temperatures drop, turn your backyard into a cozy outdoor “living room.” Heated blankets and portable space heaters can keep your guests toasty while you socialize under the stars. Or shift hang-outs to the afternoon, while the sun is out and has had a chance to warm things up. 

Garage bond – If you have a spacious garage, roll up the doors, move out the cars and set up some spaced-apart seating for a socializing spot that’s protected from the elements. Also consider carports, covered patios and screened-in decks for small gatherings that can stay safely outdoors.

Asheville Cold Weather HikeHeightened activity – Even though hiking in the mountains is often associated with warm weather, the activity can be enjoyed year-round. Bundle up and meet friends on the trails for a fun way to socialize and get in some blood-pumping exercise. While the Blue Ridge Parkway closes in the colder months, there are still plenty of spots in Western N.C. to hike year-round. Pack a thermos of hot chocolate or savory soup to warm up while you take in the splendor of iced-over foliage, crisp long-range views, and clean, invigorating air. Bonus: Hiking hotspots tend to thin out during the colder, less-busy seasons, which means locals can take advantage of the open spaces to social distance while still enjoying the company of friends.

Happy trails – Asheville is replete with in-town greenways and trails, which means you can enjoy a social stroll or bike ride almost anytime. Take a group mountain bike ride (which naturally lends itself to social distancing!), either in town or a short drive away at one of the popular trails in DuPont State Forest or Pisgah National Forest. 

Eat, drink and be merry – safely – Breweries and restaurants around Asheville have gotten creative since the start of the pandemic, setting up outdoor dining areas, offering touchless ordering, limiting numbers in a group, and taking extra cleaning and safety precautions to stop the spread of coronavirus. As the weather shifts, breweries and eateries continue to offer outdoor seating options, adding heat lamps and space heaters to keep customers warm. So grab your coat and head out for a brew and a bite with friends.

To learn about Real Estate in Asheville, contact us at Info@MyMosaicRealty.com, or call anytime at 828-707-9556.

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Enjoy Autumn Activities at Asheville Area Apple Orchards

Asheville Area Apple OrchardsApple-picking around Western North Carolina is a favorite fall pastime, and everything that comes with an outing to an orchard – think corn mazes, hay rides, and chowing down on warm apple fritters – is what makes autumn in Asheville extra special. With the season starting up, now is the perfect time to experience an enjoyable afternoon of all things apple at one of the area’s many orchards. 

Henderson County apple orchards

Henderson County, 25 miles south of Asheville, is the largest apple-producing one in the North Carolina, which is the seventh-largest apple-producing state in the country. That adds up to a lot of apple-picking opportunities! Between Hendersonville and Chimney Rock along Highway 64, a number of orchards beckon with pick-your-own or pre-picked apples, as well as country markets featuring ciders, apple cider doughnuts, apple fritters, apple cider slushies, jams and the like.

Stepp’s Hillcrest Orchard

This fourth generation working farm offers mountain views to go along with pick-your-own apples, grapes and pumpkins, as well as a market brimming with cider, apple butter and other gifts. Stepp’s offers farm wagon rides through its orchards and pumpkin patch, as well as the ever-popular apple canons. https://steppapples.com

Apple Orchards in WNCGrandad’s Apples

Pre-picked or pick-your-own apples await you at this popular orchard. Grandad’s Barn and Country Store boasts fall decorations and an array of apple-related gifts, as well as apple turnovers, fried pies, apple bread, caramel apples and ice cream. There’s also a corn maze set against a backdrop of long-range mountain views. https://www.grandadsapples.com

Justus Orchard

Offering u-pick or we-pick applies, blackberries and pumpkins, Justus has farm animals and a Cow Train through the orchard to entertain the entire family. The store sells honey, jams, jellies, preserves and other homemade goods, as well as fried apple pies, cider slushies, caramels and more. The orchard also offers mountain cabbage, sweet potatoes and other local fall vegetables. https://justusorchard.com

Sky Top Orchard

Apple Orchards Near AshevilleAlong with pick-your-own apples, Sky Top in Flat Rock offers u-pick peaches, Asian pears and grapes. Make an afternoon of it with a visit to the orchard ponds with ducks and geese, a barnyard with sheep, goats, chickens, turkeys and peacocks, and a bamboo forest for exploring. http://www.skytoporchard.com

Waynesville/Sylva area orchards

Barber Orchards

This fruit stand and bakery is a local favorite. Stop in for a variety of fresh apples, as well as other fall produce. The bakery is known for its apple turnovers, fritters and pies. https://www.facebook.com/BarberOrchardFruitstand

For information on Asheville area real estate, email Info@MyMosaicRealty.com, or call us anytime at 828-707-9556.

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Amp Up the Romance With These Unique Asheville Outings

Asheville Romantic Outings

If you’re looking for some couple time in Asheville – whether it’s Valentine’s Day, or any day – the options are endless. From a relaxing hot-stone couple’s massage, to a spirited pinball-playing afternoon, to an evening spent sipping cocktails while drinking in the expansive mountain views, romantic outings in Asheville are singularly special. Following are a few favorites:

Spa stars

Asheville spas often incorporate stellar views and unique ambiance into the experience. Nestled on a mountainside minutes from downtown Asheville, Shoji Spa, a completely private, Japanese-style outdoor hot tub spa, offers contrast therapies including wet cedar sauna, open-air double cold showers, private salt hydrotherapy tubs, and massage therapy, focusing on couple’s treatments. The spa also offers overnight stays in four distinctive, rustic rooms. https://shojiretreats.com

Asheville Activities for CouplesThe Spa at The Omni Grove Park Inn provides guests with 20 water features, including numerous mineral-based pools, to complement the subterranean spa with cavernous rock walls, arches and tunnels. You and your love can enjoy 43,000 square feet of peace and quiet along with two therapeutic waterfall pools as well as a lap pool blanketed with 6,500 fiber-optic stars and underwater music. Visit private men’s and women’s contrast pools, inhalation rooms, saunas and eucalyptus-infused steam rooms, then reunite with a light snack and hot organic tea at three fireside lounges with comfortable, oversized chairs and views to match your exhilarating experience.https://www.omnihotels.com/hotels/asheville-grove-park/spa

From pinball to a sky-highball

Want to add a little friendly competition to your date? Make a plan to play pinball at downtown’s Pinball Museum. The museum, with over 80 pinball and classic video games, offers all-you-can-play fun for a flat entry fee. 

http://ashevillepinball.com. After you’ve declared a winner, head to one of the many rooftop bars dotting downtown to drink in the sunset. Cozy up by the outdoor firepits at Hemingway’s Cuba Restaurant & Bar, on the fourth floor of the Cambria Hotel https://www.hemingwayscuba.com; or the AC Hotel’s Capella on 9, with views of Pack Square Park and City Hall https://www.capellaon9.com.

Asheville Date NightGet carriage-d away

Maybe you’ve seen the Biltmore Estate from the inside, but have you ever taken in its 8,000-acre backyard? Relax with that special someone in an elegant carriage drawn by Belgian draft horses as you enjoy a new perspective of the famed house and grounds. Blankets are provided, meaning you can keep warm even on brisk afternoons. A brief stop along the 30-minute ride allows for stunning, long-range views and an opportunity to meet the horses. https://www.biltmore.com/things-to-do/activities/outdoors/carriage-rides/

Dance classes

Consider taking a couple’s dance lesson from one of the many private instructors around Asheville. Or if you want to incorporate a social element into the date, try a tango class offered by Ashevillian Tango, at various venues around Asheville. All levels are welcome, with no previous experience necessary. Beginners’ classes, followed by a welcoming milonga(social dance) that’s often accompanied by live music, will keep you and your partner joyfully on your toes. https://www.ashevilliantango.org

For information about Asheville Area Real Estate, contact Mosaic Realty owner Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com, or call him anytime at 828-337-8190.

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Asheville Quenches Growing Thirst for Kombucha

Kombucha Asheville

Kombucha – the fermented, slightly alcoholic, lightly effervescent tea drink – has been consumed for thousands of years, with many believing the beverage to cure an array of ailments. But while there’s debate over the health benefits of consuming kombucha, there’s no question that its popularity during the past decade has grown across the U.S., as well as here in Asheville. Whether you’re looking for a locally brewed kombucha, or want to enjoy kombucha on tap, Asheville has a variety of options to quench your thirst.

Kombucha AshevilleLocal Asheville kombucha brewers

Buchi – The first commercial kombucha brewery in the Southeast, Asheville’s Buchi began 10 years ago as a small operation in Montford and has quickly grown to become a significant player in the fermented beverages arena. Production at its 30,000-foot facility in Marshall follows a 2,000-year-old craft brewing tradition, using fair trade organic teas, fruits, spices, medicinal herbs and extracts. Nationally, Buchi is available at neighborhood co-ops and major natural foods retailers in over 20 states. In Asheville, Buchi flavors like Roasted Roots, Mint Pineapple Echinacea and Ginger Cayenne are available in bottles at major grocery stores including Ingles, Earthfare Whole Foods, Publix and Fresh Market. https://www.drinkbuchi.com

Shanti Elixirs’ Jun – Jun, a unique cousin to kombucha, is a fermented effervescent tea featuring a base of green tea and raw honey rather than kombucha’s traditional base of black tea and concentrated cane sugar.It’s sometimes called the “Champagne of Kombucha” thanks to its light, smooth, unique flavor profile. Weaverville-based Shanti Elixirs brews an array of Jun flavors like Elderberry Lemon, Chocolate Chaga and Mango Habanero; the company even offers a CSA program, where members can enjoy exclusive specialty and collaborative flavors. Jun is available in bottles at specialty shops, grocers, restaurants and bars across Western N.C. https://shantielixirs.com

Booda – This Arden-based brewer makes its kombucha with organic fair trade teas and organic raw cane sugar. Its unique flavors include Dragonberry, Ginger Limeade, Blood Orange and Spirulina Passion. Bottles of Booda kombucha can be found at restaurants, grocers and specialty shops around the Asheville area. https://www.boodakombucha.com

Kombucha on Tap AshevilleKombucha on tap in Asheville

A growing number of Asheville-area eateries, breweries and bars offer kombucha on tap. Here are a few to check out:

Rosetta’s Buchi Bar – The downstairs of Rosetta’s in downtown Asheville offers six flavors of Buchi kombucha on draft. You can also order from Rosetta’s full menu. https://www.rosettaskitchen.com/buchi-bar

Tunnel Road Tap Haus – This restaurant and bar inside the Whole Foods Market on Tunnel Road in Asheville serves up Buchi kombucha on tap to go with its casual-food menu. https://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/service/tap-haus-0

Homeplace Beer Co. – Homeplace, a brewer located in Burnsville that incorporates many local ingredients from Yancey County into its offerings, has a housemade kombucha on tap. https://homeplacebeer.com

Bhramari Brewing Co. – This downtown Asheville taproom and restaurant, a favorite late-night destination, offers Shanti Elixirs’ Jun on tap. https://www.bhramaribrewing.com

For information on Real Estate in Asheville, contact Mosaic Realty owner/broker Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com, or call him anytime at 828-337-8190.

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Educational Spots Reflect Asheville Region's Rich Past

North Carolina Arboretum

Western North Carolina is a region steeped in intriguing history, and the Asheville area offers many destinations in which to absorb that rich past. Spend an afternoon exploring one of these spots and you’re sure to deepen your knowledge and appreciation of the area.

North Carolina Arboretum

The North Carolina Arboretum, a 434-acre public garden located within the Bent Creek Experimental Forest of the Pisgah National Forest, is surrounded by the lush, botanically diverse Southern Appalachian Mountains, allowing visitors to connect personally with nature in ways that are as unique and rich as the land itself. The arboretum offers year-round educational programs and learning experiences for adults, families, youth, school groups, and trade professionals that focus on environmental sustainability, art, science and economic development. From classes, to self-guided programs, to lectures and symposia, the arboretum’s educational programs serve more than 18,000 children and 6,000 adults annually. https://www.ncarboretum.org/education-programs/

Educational Trips Near Asheville NCSmith-McDowell House

Ringed by picturesque mountains and overlooking the confluence of two rivers, Buck House was constructed around 1840, more than 20 years before the Civil War. During a time when most people lived in wood frame houses, the imposing structure was composed of brick, a rarity in early 19th century Asheville. Today it is known as the Smith-McDowell House, the oldest surviving house in Asheville and the finest surviving example of brick antebellum architecture in Western North Carolina. It serves as a timeline museum showing how families lived during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The house is open to the public Wednesdays through Sundays. A small entry fee covers the self-guided tour. https://www.wnchistory.org/smith-mcdowell-house/

Thomas Wolfe Memorial

Thomas Wolfe, considered by many to be one of the giants of 20th century American literature, immortalized his childhood Asheville home in his autobiographical novel, “Look Homeward, Angel.” Wolfe’s colorful portrayal of his family, his hometown of “Altamont” (Asheville), and “Dixieland” (the Old Kentucky Home boardinghouse situated in what is today downtown Asheville) earned the Victorian period house a place as one of American literature’s most famous landmarks. The Thomas Wolfe Memorial is a state historic site and museum offering daily tours; the museum also hosts events and book discussions throughout the year. https://wolfememorial.com

Cradle of Forestry WNCCradle of Forestry in America

Nestled in Pink Beds Valley is the Cradle of Forestry in America, the birthplace of science-based forest management. Jointly managed by the U.S. Forest Service and the Cradle of Forestry in America Interpretive Association, the site is open to visitors every day from mid-April to early November to explore the past, present and future of environmental sustainability and stewardship. These are brought to visitors through paved interpretive trails, interactive exhibits, a sustainably designed Forest Discovery Center, nature programs, craft demonstrations, and special events. Visitors can view Historic Biltmore Forest School buildings that represent traditional, forest-based Blue Ridge mountain culture with lessons for today. An onsite antique portable sawmill, 1914 narrow gauge locomotive, log loader and road graders illustrate the simple and practical technology of yesteryear. https://cradleofforestry.com

Zebulon B. Vance Birthplace

This historic site, birthplace to the N.C. governor and U.S. senator, offers an intimate view of daily life on an early 1800s plantation in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Visitors can see the historic structures, including a loom house, tool shed, spring house, smoke house, and corn crib. Guided tours show visitors a 1790 slave house and discuss the 18 enslaved people that lived and worked on the Vance farm. Tours conclude at the reconstructed 1790s Vance home. https://historicsites.nc.gov/all-sites/zebulon-b-vance-birthplace

For information about Real Estate in Asheville, contact Mosaic Realty owner Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com, or call him anytime at 828-337-8190.

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Holidays Herald Festive Events Across Western N.C.

Asheville WNC Holiday Events

Every year, the holiday season heralds a bevy of festive activities across Western North Carolina. From parades to light displays to stage performances, there’s something to enchant everyone; here are a few favorites.

A Winter’s Tail

The Western North Carolina Nature Center’s annual Winter’s Tail features festive crafts, games and animal programs, as well as photos with Santa. Standard admission rates apply. Visit www.wildwnc.org for program dates and times.

Holidays in WNCAnnual National Gingerbread House Competition Display

Visitors to the Omni Grove Park Hotel in Asheville can view this eagerly anticipated competition, which features breathtaking entries from all over the country, and in various age categories. Visit www.omnihotels.com/hotels/asheville-grove-park/things-to-do/upcoming-events/national-gingerbread-competition for schedule and more information.

Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland

Tryon International Equestrian Center is host to Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland, more than 2 miles of drive-through custom-made displays set to music you play over your car radio. On the weekends, visitors can also enjoy Winterfest Village, featuring photos with Santa and storytelling with Mrs. Claus, carousel rides, animal experiences and live music. Visit www.shadrackchristmas.com/tryon-nc  for tickets and more information.

Winter Lights at the Arboretum

Walk through the N.C. Arboretum’s gardens and enjoy unique displays and landscapes dressed in more than a half-million holiday lights. Winter Lights includes interactive games, a model train exhibit, free crafts, a nature-themed animatronic children’s program and more. Visit www.ncarboretum.org/winter-lights/ for dates, times and admission.

Carolina Christmas Show

Staged at the Colonial Theater in Canton, this dazzling production of live music, dance and comedy features performers from Western N.C. and special guest artists presenting sacred and secular Christmas favorites. Visit www.marlumor.com/christmas-show for schedule and tickets.

The Big Crafty

A favorite art event for the past decade, the weekend-long Big Crafty, held in downtown Asheville, features 150 artisans, crafters and makers from across the region, and boasts the perfect one-stop shop for unique holiday gifts. Visit  www.thebigcrafty.com for schedule and more information. 

Festival of Lights

Lake Julian Park in South Asheville comes to life for this popular Christmas light show. Some 50 animated and stationary light displays shine along the half-mile drive. Go to www.lakejulianfestivaloflights.simpletix.com for schedule and tickets.

Holidays in AshevilleCashiers Christmas Parade

Held annually on the second Saturday in December, the Cashiers Christmas Parade features local businesses, organizations and residents celebrating the holiday season. Chamber staff organizes parade theme, volunteers, participating lineup, awards and live broadcast of the event from the Cashiers Crossroads. Go to www.cashiers411.com/142-cashiers-christmas-parade for schedule and more information.

Santa on Chimney Rock

Visitors to this annual event can watch Santa rappel down Chimney Rock, meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, and enjoy live holiday music, free hot cocoa, cookies and kids’ activities. Visit www.chimneyrockpark.com/event/santa-on-the-chimney-dec-7 for schedule and more information.

Old World Dickens in the Village Festival

Every year on the first weekend of December (Friday and Saturday), Historic Biltmore Village is transformed into a quaint Victorian town for the Old World Dickens in the Village Festival. Visitors to this immersive holiday experience – featuring performances by strolling carolers, actors and musicians dressed in Dickensian era costumes – can enjoy live music, the Mugs of Merriment Hot Chocolate Competition, jugglers, balloon animal makers, and the Montford Park Players performing vignettes from “A Christmas Carol.” Visit  www.historicbiltmorevillage.com for more information.

Montford Holiday Tour of Homes

This annual holiday tour features homes in Asheville’s Montford historic district, exquisitely decorated for the season. An expression of the rich architectural heritage and vitality of Asheville, Montford includes a variety of architectural styles, reflecting the cosmopolitan character of Asheville at the turn of the 20th century. Visit www.montfordtour.com for tickets and more information.

For information about Real Estate in the Asheville area, contact Mosaic Realty owner Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com, or call him anytime at 828-337-8190.

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Local Shopping Hotspots Abound in Asheville

Asheville Local Gifts

Locally sprung retail spots of all sorts abound in Asheville. From cutting-edge clothing boutiques to eclectic art enclaves to unique gift shops, there are plenty of interesting stores to find quality wares singular to Asheville. Stroll the streets of downtown Asheville, Biltmore Village and the River Arts District, and you’ll find plenty of shopping opportunities. Following are just a few to choose from:

Art Shopping, Asheville-Style

Capture the creative spirit of the region with a piece crafted by one of myriad artisans who live and work in Western N.C. From paintings and pottery to jewelry and apparel, there’s no shortage of art to perfectly encapsulate Asheville. Places to peruse local art include downtown’s Kress Emporium http://www.thekressemporium.com and Woolworth Walk http://www.woolworthwalk.com, and the Westside Artist Co-op http://westashevilleartists.comin West Asheville.

And of course there’s the River Arts District http://www.riverartsdistrict.com: This once-industrial neighborhood nestled next to the French Broad River is now home to the working studios and galleries of hundreds of artists. From painting and pottery to jewelry, glass, metal and wood, the pieces created and sold in Asheville’s River Arts District are a reflection of the thriving artistic talent Asheville nurtures.

Asheville Boutique ShoppingAsheville Clothing Stores

Boutiques offering men’s and women’s wear line the streets of downtown and Biltmore Village, making it easy to find the perfect outfit for any occasion. Shop spots like downtown’s Frock for contemporary and classic designer styles, plus handbags and jewelry https://www.befrocked.com; downtown’s Virtue for boho-chic fashions, plus vintage-inspired accessories and housewares https://www.shopvirtue.com; Old North in downtown for modern and classic men’s and women’s clothing from U.S., European and Japanese makers, created with a focus on timeless appeal https://oldnorthclothing.com; Scout in Biltmore Village for a finely curated assortment of stylish women’s apparel and accessories that fit a broad range of sizes, styles and budgets https://www.scoutavl.com; and Union His & Her in downtown for an ever-evolving inventory of everyday clothing and accessories for men and women https://www.unionasheville.com.

Unique Gifts

Asheville offers a number of gift ideas for that hard-to-impress friend. If you’re looking for a standout surprise this holiday, you won’t be disappointed: think Firecracker Hot Honey at downtown’s Asheville Bee Charmer https://ashevillebeecharmer.com, a custom-made bamboo/organic cotton nightgown from West Asheville’s On the Inside Lingerie http://www.ontheinsidelingerie.com, or Chocolate Sip! Dark Chocolate at downtown’s and River Arts District’s French Broad Chocolates https://www.frenchbroadchocolates.com. 

Asheville Local ShoppingFor the budding folk musician on your list, visit downtown’s Woodrow Instrument Co. for a handcrafted stringed Woodrow Rambler, with a mandolin-like tone, the perfect first instrument (complete with an instructional songbook) http://thewoodrow.com. Funny, cheeky handmade t-shirts for adults and kids – think standout stocking stuffers – are aplenty at downtown’s Moonlight Makers. http://www.moonlightmakers.com. Custom-made leather sandals (along with belts and other leather goods) created to perfectly suit the recipient can be had at Paul Taylor Sandals downtown http://www.paultaylorsandals.com.

Locally brewed beer, cider and kombucha are plentiful in Asheville, and most breweries have limited-edition holiday beers perfectly packaged for gift-giving. For a unique party gift, bestow a pack of locally crafted Holiday Kombucha from Buchi http://www.drinkbuchi.com. Or consider a growler of Appalachian Ginger beer from River Arts District’s Ginger’s Revenge http://www.gingersrevenge.com. For cider lovers, Noble Cider’s Friar Fig complements the season with flavors hinting of the holidays. https://www.noblecider.com

For information on Real Estate in Asheville, contact Mosaic Realty owner Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com, or call him anytime at 828-337-8190. 

Search: Asheville Real Estate

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