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

Couple Hiking at Black Balsam at Sunrise

LGBT Asheville: Your Best Bets for Gay-Friendly Travel

Asheville, North Carolina’s progressive attitude, vibrant arts scene, and booming nightlife make this a welcoming city for the LGBTQ traveler. While you won’t find a gay district, or “gayborhood,” you will discover a town with a vibrant gay community that is integrated into every aspect of the city’s culture. Discover the best gay-friendly things to do and support businesses that support the LGBT

DeWayne Barton, Founder of Hood Tours

Asheville's African-American History Tours Uncover Voices from Past & Present

Take A Walk Around "The Block" With Hood Tours Founder DeWayne Barton It’s a festive Saturday afternoon in Asheville, N.C.'s Triangle Park on South Market Street, just a few blocks from the city center, and we are greeted by the smell of fish frying, the booming sounds of hip hop, and friendly faces, all set against the backdrop of a vibrantly colored mural. “This weekly gathering, free and open

Red Fall Leaves at Sunrise

Nine Fall Travel Packages For an Amazing Autumn

Asheville, North Carolina, is known for its vibrant fall leaf season, and with the change in weather comes plenty of opportunities for peeping some peak color. Local hotels and inns offer an array of accommodations packages for visitors to truly make the most of their autumn trips, wrapping in outdoor and edible adventures, alike. Check out these nine travel packages for getting the most bang for

2015 Fall Color: Winding BRP

Fall Color Forecast 2016: Long Leaf Season Ahead

Autumn in overtime! One of the world's longest fall foliage seasons will get even longer this year. According to biologists and climate scientists, Asheville, North Carolina, and the Blue Ridge Mountains could experience an extended fall leaf season, giving travelers fall vacation opportunities from late September through early November. The extended season is a bonus on what is already the

Downtown Asheville Skyline in Fall

Top 10 Ways to Experience Fall in Asheville

As the weather grows cooler, the brisk mountain air paints the leaves of the forest trees in brilliant reds, yellows, and oranges. In the mountains surrounding Asheville, North Carolina, fall color experts are forecasting a longer-than-usual fall foliage season for 2016 , which provides visitors plenty of time to take advantage of all kinds of leaf peeping adventures. We asked fans of our Visit

Splasheville

Budget-Friendly Ways to Cool Down

Asheville's beat-the-heat adventures In the heart of the summer, with warmer temperatures still creeping into the forecast, there's no better time than now to find unique ways to cool down. Fortunately, you can escape to the mountains of Asheville to find relief from the hot days. Even better, you can leave your wallet at home because these refreshing adventures won't break the bank. Splasheville

Serafina and the Twisted Staff

From Biltmore to the Forests: Your Guide to the Serafina Experience

Plan an escape that will bring the best-selling novel series to life In the cavernous basement of the Biltmore Estate and in the magical forests surrounding Asheville is a mythical protagonist, 12-year-old Serafina, who has captivated the attention of the nation’s readers. The first chronicle of her daring quest to solve mysteries, Serafina and the Black Cloak , has enjoyed an extended stay atop

Asheville-born funk & soul musician Lyric

Homegrown Headliner: Lyric Catches the Ear of Asheville's Music Scene

Asheville native takes soul-pop sound from the sidewalks to the main stage Performing on the street in downtown Asheville’s Pack Square Park one day in 2011, Leeda “Lyric” Jones caught the attention of someone she never could have imagined. “I saw her and turned to my dad and said, ‘That’s Lizz Wright !” Jones said. Wright, an internationally-known jazz musician, had stopped to hear her sing. “I

Go Out to Eat: Asheville's Hottest Patios

Go Out to Eat: Asheville's Hottest Patios

Go Al Fresco in Foodtopia If there's one thing that drives home Asheville's moniker as "the Paris of the South," it has to be the outdoor dining scene. On a warm evening in downtown Asheville, diners are lined up on sidewalks, tucked into courtyards and gathered around fire pits, enjoying the mild mountain climate with a side of world class cuisine. Here's a brief guide to some of the area's

Asheville Symphony Sessions Cover ARt

A Soundtrack for the City: The Asheville Symphony Sessions

The Asheville Symphony Orchestra Sends A Musical Love Letter From Asheville To The World Asheville’s music scene is taking center stage in an innovative new album, which was released in May 2016. The Asheville Symphony Orchestra (ASO) , along with some of Western North Carolina’s most beloved musicians including Steep Canyon Rangers, Shannon Whitworth, and Rising Appalachia collaborated to produce

Hiking Near Asheville

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

Isis Restaurant and Music Hall

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

Asheville Lyric Opera

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

Isis Restaurant

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

Live Music Mothlight

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

David Holt

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

Ballad Singing

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

Ben Lovett Calls Asheville Home

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

Lizz Wright Talks of Asheville

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

Shindig on the Green

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