From the Earth to the Arts: Get Totally Involved in Asheville
By Susan Dosier
A Hands-On Escape From Your Everyday Life
Asheville is a great place to WATCH—the people, the events, the crowds and the changing scenery—but it is an even better place to DO. Visitors explore the natural world, create art and make music. Here’s what can happen in just a day-and-a-half.
Into the Woods
Meet up at a location given to you the evening before by Alan Muskat and his merry band of woods-men and woods-women with No Taste Like Home. Visitors spend the next three hours learning about more than 300 edible plants, berries, nuts, flowers, roots and mushrooms that are yours for the eating—once you’ve been tutored by Muskat.
Unique in the U.S., 20-year-old No Taste Like Home has been called one of the best food experiences in the world by Southern Living and Fodor’s. It’s no accident that the company is based in Asheville; the region is the richest, most bio-diverse temperate ecosystem on the planet.
Tip: At dinnertime, take your finds to one of Muskat’s handpicked restaurants, and the chefs will incorporate the ingredients into a “find dining” experience just for you.
You’ll have a short walk from lunch to The Village Potters. Enjoy a 1½-hour “Create Your Own Workshop” where you make your work of art—an adorable tiny house or wonderfully textured tray, no experience necessary. Work from half-dozen potters is on display for inspiration.
A Beautiful Diversion
If it’s the second Saturday of the month in the River Arts District, check out the live performance of Jonas Gerard. Gerard publicly paints abstract and representational pieces in front of an audience. He’s as friendly and flamboyant as the dynamic and wildly colorful abstracts he paints.
A short drive from the River Arts District to downtown Asheville serves up the Lexington Glassworks. At the city’s premier glassblowing gallery and studio, visitors watch the artists work, and they can shop, too. Travelers learn glassblowing in a two-hour class, choosing to create a stem-less wine glass or a pint glass to hold local craft brews.
Hit The Rocks
The next morning, head to Chimney Rock State Park about 30 minutes from downtown Asheville. From the top of Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park, you can see 75 miles out into the Hickory Nut Gorge, look down into the village of Chimney Rock and see Lake Lure where the famous lift scene in “Dirty Dancing” was filmed.
Climbers from age 7 to 60 can book rock climbing lessons with Fox Mountain Guides and Climbing School right in the park.