Top 5 Asheville Travel Happenings of 2010
By Cat Kessler
5. Beer City USA: With more craft breweries per capita than any city in the US–Asheville is fast becoming the micro-brewing capitol of the Southeast. In a poll on Examiner.com that received more than 19,000 votes, Asheville was named “Beer City USA” (beating out Portland, Oregon). With 10 distinct breweries, five beer festivals, a world-renowned specialty beer store and popular brewery tours, there is no shortage of opportunities to kick back and taste the passion of Asheville’s rapidly evolving brew culture.
4. Pack Square Park: The city’s historical center was transformed into a beautiful new 6.5 acre park, which opened this spring. Buzzing with a schedule of cultural events and live music, Pack Square Park is now the place to be in Asheville in spring and summer. Visitors can relax on grassy terraces and enjoy multiple performance spaces, water features and scenic views. Surrounded by boutiques, galleries, pubs and independent eateries, the new park features work by regional artists, an interactive water fountain (Splashville!), a large amphitheater adorned with a steel pergola and handmade tiles, and a bronze-fountain centerpiece that reflects Asheville’s famous Art Deco skyline.
3.Antler Hill Village: This spring America’s Largest Home celebrated the grand opening of a new pedestrian-friendly village with historic exhibition space, village green with live entertainment, dining, shopping and a new outdoor adventure center. As part of this project, Biltmore Winery was also enhanced to offer a newly-designed tour and tasting areas. At Antler Hill Village, guests will learn more about the Vanderbilt family and George Vanderbilt’s interest in agriculture and the outdoors, as well as his legacy of making Biltmore self-sustaining.
2. Moogfest: This three-day festival of music celebrating inventor and Asheville resident Bob Moog was the talk of the town through much of the fall. Acts such as Massive Attack, Big Boi, and Jonsi drew music-lovers from across the Southeast, and publicity from the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, as well as many music blogs. Scheduling the festival over Halloween weekend also made for some pretty wild costume parties.
1. The Obama's Romantic Weekend Getaway: In April, Asheville played host to the First Couple for a weekend away, including a stay at the Grove Park Inn, lunch at 12 Bones Smokehouse, and a hike along the Blue Ridge Parkway. And don't forget the Secret Service Beer Run! Check out their itinerary.
Happy New Year everyone! And we hope to see you in Asheville in 2011.