Stories by Cat Kessler

22 Stories Posts
Cat Kessler Headshot

Cat is the Director of Content for ExploreAsheville.com, where she gets to tweet about hiking and cheese, post photos of Blue Ridge Mountain vistas on Facebook and Instagram many pints of craft beer.

Follow her on Twitter at @VisitAsheville.

Video Thumbnail - youtube - Jerry Read Smith - Making Dulcimers in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Mountain Sounds, Legacy of Dulcimers

Locally Crafted Instruments Lend Melodies a Blue Ridge Ring Enthusiasts of Appalachian music are likely familiar with the whimsical sounds of dulcimers, instruments that have a rich legacy tied to the Blue Ridge Mountains. Jerry Read Smith, a local craftsman who has made more than 8,000 musical instruments, builds hammered dulcimers in his workshop in the nearby town of Black Mountain. The

Bee in Fairview

Asheville, N.C. is Bee City USA

Honey Bees Make Life Sweeter in the Mountains Asheville goes by many names, including Land of the Sky, Paris of the South, Beer City USA, and also Bee City USA. That's right—Bee City, as in honey bees. Honeybee (apis mellifera) by Eran Finkle ( Flickr/finklez ) The city became the inaugural Bee City USA in 2012, officially designating the community as one of the first in the nation to

5 Things You Need to Know About Fall in Asheville

5 Things You Need to Know About Fall in Asheville

Top tips for your best leaf peeping getaway Beginning in mid-July, the phone begins to ring at the Asheville Visitor Center with travelers asking about the upcoming fall color season. Will the fall leaf color be "good" this year? When will peak color arrive in Asheville? When should I book my accommodations? We thought we would help you prepare for the fast-approaching fall foliage

French Broad Chocolate Lounge Stout Cake

They Put Beer in What?

Asheville’s beer culture goes beyond pints and pitchers of heady brew. From food to hygiene we’re finding new and unique ways to incorporate our favorite local brews into more than just a glass. Growlers Get your hands on some of Asheville’s most heady brew. Stop by beer boutique, Bruisin’ Ales , in downtown for the widest selection. Crooked Condiments

Copy of Oscar Wong and Leah Wong Ashburn - Highland Brewing Company

Asheville Beer History

The Evolution of a Beer Town Asheville’s beer culture all started back in 1994, when Oscar Wong, a retired engineer living in Charlotte, moved to Asheville and opened Highland Brewing Company in a rustic basement space below Barley’s Taproom and Pizzeria in downtown Asheville. What began as a home-brew hobby became the first successful brewery operation in Asheville landing Wong his

Amazing Pubcycle Tour

Asheville Beer Scene Tours, Tastings, & Tips

Here are the top ways to truly experience Asheville's craft brew scene. Asheville Brews Cruise Get a behind-the-scenes tour of what's happening in Beer City USA. The Brews Cruise is your all-access pass and comes with your very own designated driver! Bruisin' Ales Looking for some expert guidance or micro-brew souvenirs? Check out this specialty shop on Broadway, which was

Biltmore Blooms

Biltmore Blooms

Biltmore Estate Events for Spring 2019 Biltmore Blooms 2019: April 1- May 23, 2019 Welcome spring in high style with more than 130,000 flowers, blooming in gardens fit for a Vanderbilt. At Biltmore Blooms, the estate's annual festival of flowers, the color and fragrance of orchids and thousands of spring bulbs steal the show. When George Vanderbilt decided to build his 250-room family home in

6 Things You Didn't Know About Biltmore Village

6 Things You Didn't Know About Biltmore Village

Street cars, fancy fast food and what's coming next When George Vanderbilt and his team of architectural experts built the 250-room mansion and developed the (then) 120,000-acre estate that became Biltmore , they did so with a broad vision for the role the estate would play in the local community. Beginning in the 1890s, architect Richard Morris Hunt and landscape designer Frederick Law

Once Upon a Tap: Asheville By the Beers

12 Beers That Take You On A Tour of Asheville

A Tale of the City Behind the Famous Craft Brews It could be the water, the welcoming community, or a little bit of mountain magic. But for some reason, Asheville has become a craft brewing mecca in the Southeast. On any given day, hundreds of local craft beers are on tap and sold in bottles and cans around town, and many of them help tell the story of Asheville. Here's a 12-pack sampler from

Copy of Asheville Hotel Matches Guests with Dogs

Asheville Hotel Matches Guests with Dogs

A New Kind of Pet-Friendly Vacation An unusual amenity at one Asheville hotel is drawing a lot of attention, and is warming hearts and saving lives in the process. Guests checking in to downtown's Aloft hotel may notice a furry, four-legged greeter in the lobby, an ambassador from the hotel's new adoptable dog program that matches rescued pooches with potential owners from all over the

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