Stories

Uncover the regional lore and cultural cool behind Asheville’s eclectic character, a city with personality not commonly found in most southern destinations.

Latest Stories

18 Reasons Asheville Is A Gateway For National Parks Centennial Adventures

Peak-to-Peak Zips, Foraging and other Unforgettable Ways to Celebrate 100 Years of National and NC State Parks. The beauty of Asheville’s mountain scenery is timeless, except for this year when it turns 100 years old. 2016 marks a century since the creation of the National Park Service, NC State Parks and Pisgah National Forest. Cradled in the Blue Ridge and steeped in cultural cool, Asheville is

Asheville Venue Guide: Places to Eat, Drink and Dance

Dinner and dancing are not mutually exclusive in Asheville. Many of our music halls double as a restaurant, or offer ways to nosh before catching a show. If you’re looking for the best all-in-one spots for your night on the town, then check out one of these top-notch venues. Grey Eagle One of the old vanguards of the Asheville venues, the Grey Eagle was a major player in the development of the

Rocking the Classics in Asheville

In a city where creativity is a way of life, it’s not surprising that the classics play an integral part of Asheville’s music scene in surprising ways. Take the Asheville Symphony Orchestra , for example. “Asheville is a musical oasis between Nashville and Atlanta,” says David Whitehill, executive director of the Symphony. “We have an ecosystem here that is steeped in a rich music culture that

Asheville Venue Guide: Asheville’s Iconic Music Venues

There are venues, and then there are iconic music halls – those place where stages have been graced by music legends, or in some cases, help made them legends. In Asheville those places are revamped skating rinks, born again movie theaters, and old warehouses turned into temples to rock and roll. If you’re looking to catch a show while in Asheville, then here are the more iconic venues you should

Asheville Venue Guide: Under the Radar Music Halls

Music can be found everywhere in Asheville, from large music halls to the streets of downtown. Often times the best concerts are performed in rather unexpected places. Neighborhood dive bars, juke joints and local hot spots regularly play host to some of the best up-and-coming artists. Make plans to catch a show at one of these under-the-radar music venues, and get a glimpse of why Asheville’s

It began with the banjo: David Holt’s long affair with traditional Southern Appalachian music

In 1969 David Holt packed up his truck and drove from California to North Carolina. “That was the same summer as Woodstock, and I was going to wood stick,” he jokes. But the Texas-born multi-instrumentalist, who got his start as a jazz and rock drummer, had fallen in love with the banjo. He’d attended a Ralph Stanley concert and asked the bluegrass star where to learn clawhammer, a down-picking

Appalachia’s Ballad Singing Tradition

With its thriving music scene, including an ever-growing list of local Grammy nominees, Asheville is making a name for itself nationally as a hotbed for singing talent. But the craft of telling stories through song has long been woven into the culture of the North Carolina mountains in the form of traditional ballad singing. Spotlighted in the 2000 motion picture “Songcatcher,” ballad singing took

L.A. to Asheville: Musician Ben Lovett Finds Inspiration in the Mountains

Asheville’s Dynamic Music Culture Offers Composer a Chance to Work from Home. Ben Lovett, an award-winning composer, producer and performer, first fell in love with the Blue Ridge Mountains as a kid when he visited his grandparents in Highlands. Happily, those mountains are now his home. But his fascinating creative journey required thousands of miles, several years and a circuitous trajectory

Jazz Artist Lizz Wright Longs for the Sweetness of Home in the Mountains

Eight years ago, while living in Brooklyn, Lizz Wright visited the South and performed at The Orange Peel . The event was transformative. “People were smiling everywhere I went. And for no reason. At the concert, people were dancing to every song, ballad or jazz. I stayed and took a yoga class, found out about all the chocolate shops and the mystic shops,” remembered Wright. “The sound of a place

Sound Trek: A Music Lover's Guide to Asheville

Tuning Into Asheville's Music Scene Asheville’s known for many things: natural beauty, an historic downtown, craft beer and great food. The local music scene is equally deserving of a top-10 list mention. Though hard to explain, Asheville’s multi-genre, boundary-pushing sound is underscored by its eclecticism. From Appalachian ballads and old-time picking to fierce funk, sultry soul, edgy hip-hop

Rising Appalachia Rests Its Roots in Asheville

Sisters Draw Musical Inspiration From Appalachia and Beyond Sisters Leah Song and Chloe Smith started Rising Appalachia in 2004 as an experiment in combining Southern musical traditions with global influences. Their music has taken them around the world, including Asheville where they’ve been part of the region’s music community since the 1990s. Now they split their time between their hometown of

50 Things to Do in Asheville

If you’re looking for things to do in Asheville, then consider this list your primer to the many activities available in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Whether you’re a first-time visitor, or perhaps well acquainted with the flare of this Southern Appalachia getaway, here are 50 ideas to help you see, do, and explore the best Asheville has to offer. #1 Downtown Asheville You feel it the moment you

Beer Boom! 8 New Ways to Imbibe in Asheville

The opening of New Belgium’s Asheville brewery in April is some of the biggest craft beer news to hit Asheville in recent years, and that’s saying something in Beer City USA ! With nearly 40 breweries in the Asheville area, there are festivals, new releases, and expansions happening every month, and 2016 is shaping up to be one of the most exciting years yet. Here are eight breweries making

Asheville Gets Broadway Spotlight in Steve Martin’s Bright Star

After retiring and stepping out of the glare of the spotlight, one of the best known standup comedians, Steve Martin, has become a chameleon in the entertainment world. Penning novella’s such as 2000’s Shop Girl -- which was later adapted to film -- tracking banjo based albums with powerhouse guest stars like Dolly Parton and Earl Scruggs, and now, in his latest venture, writing and producing a

Who's Next: Asheville's Grammy Watch List

Which local musician will be next to bring home a Grammy ? There’s no shortage of promising talent. Keep an eye on rising country artist Joe Lasher Jr. who, at 19, is already splitting his time between Asheville and Nashville. And Chase Rice — the songwriter behind country megahit “Cruise” — is also an Asheville native. Jessica Tomasin, studio manager at Echo Mountain Studios and board member of

The Grammy Goes to... Asheville's Connections to the Most Coveted Music Awards

The red carpet at the Grammys' annual Los Angeles event may be more than 2,000 miles from Asheville, but plenty of local artists have made the star-studded stroll. Just last year kid-hop artist 23 Skidoo — now based in California after launching his career in Western North Carolina — not only realized a lifelong dream of attending the show with his family (wife Brooke Sullivan and daughter Saki,

Silver Screen Romance Meets Gilded Age Splendor

Love Is In the Air Biltmore’s iconic 8,000-acre estate and grand 250-room home , built for the Vanderbilt family and loved by the world for its history and architecture, espouses a level of grandeur usually reserved for the silver screen. So it’s fitting that this spring, Biltmore is unveiling a new exhibition that brings together the unforgettable stories of the Vanderbilt family with the

What You Can't Miss in Asheville in 2016

Park celebrations, new hotels, a major exhibit at Biltmore and Grammy winners releasing an Asheville soundtrack—here’s a round-up of what’s hot in Asheville in 2016: National and North Carolina State Parks Mark 100 Years With close proximity to the Blue Ridge Parkway, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Chimney Rock State Park, Mount Mitchell State Park and a number of other federal and state

Day Trip: Exploring the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Discover the Smokies by Trail, Train or Tube To walk in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is to follow in the footsteps of the Cherokee Indians; living on this land for more than 14,000 years. Because of the great efforts of many , today the 520,000-acre Great Smoky Mountain National Park (GSMNP) is protected forever. And today all of us can stand atop Clingman’s Dome and see the same

The New Old Razzle Dazzle

Discover Asheville’s Vaudeville Revival In Asheville, all the world’s a swirling stage of jugglers and street performers, burlesque stars and variety shows, fire breathers and acrobats. Since the early 20th century, when country yodeling star Jimmie Rodgers got his break on the local vaudeville circuit, flashy performing arts have taken center stage here. Today, the spirit of vaudeville lives on