Sunday, August 26, 2012

Asheville Happenings this week and through Labor Day Weekend

Always lots going on in Asheville, NC and there is no exception for this coming Labor Day Weekend, 2012.  Here is a sampling of a few events to consider attending:

CLAP! ASHEVILLE August 31 – September 3, 2012 in Asheville over four days throughout Labor Day Weekend, introducing Asheville’s Live Arts Performance Festival.  Some of the cities best arts groups will be performing over these four days.  For a list of performances visit the CLAP! ASHEIVLLE website:

FRIDAY'S AFTER FIVE at the Biltmore Estate, in the Antler Hill Village and Winery Area of the estate, live music, wine and beer, kids activities, a grape stomp at the Village Green, Freeport Jazz will be featured Friday August 31st.  Included with your daytime ticket.

September 1-4, 2012, LABOR DAY BEACH MUSIC WEEKEND at The Grove Park Inn, where “Music meets the mountains at the hottest Labor Day Celebration in Asheville, North Carolina.” Celebrate the end of summer in a traditional Carolina way, with live beach music, a coastal seafood buffet, dancing and a variety of activities - enjoy and join in on shag dance lessons, pool games, crafts, a grilling demonstration from one of the Grove Park Inn’s talented chefs, all Labor Day Weekend!  See the Schedule of Events.  Call the Grove Park Inn for Details: 800-438-5800.

Always a favorite, don't miss LAAFF, Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Festival, September 1&2, 2012, celebrating the traditions of Lexington Avenue; Lexington Avenue is closed down yearly for this “all day, all local, all original” street fair. The day is filled with street performers, unique artwork, music and lots and lots of fun.  

MESSIAH’s MANSION tours are free and sure to be interesting.  Tours will be held in Carrier Park on Amboy Road in Asheville and held daily from 1pm – 7pm, August 28th – September 3rd, 2012.  Special tours may be arranged during the morning hours of each day.  “Travel back over 3,000 years into the desert between Egypt and Israel where more that two million people banded together to build a tabernacle for their God. Each element in the tabernacle had deep significant meaning to the Hebrew people which will be explained in the tour … Messiah's mansion is based at Oklahoma Academy, in Harrah Oklahoma, but it is transported across the U.S., from Ventura California, on the west coast, to Cumberland, Maryland, on the east coast, and back again-nearly a dozen times a year.”  Visit the Messiah's Mansion Website or Call 828-665-2492 for more information.

Ooh La La Curiosity Market, September 1st Taking place in downtown Asheville’s little Pritchard Park from 10am-4pm, Ooh La La will feature more than a dozen local artists, including leather smiths, painters, potters, jewelry makers, and more.  Look for the colorful umbrellas and tents in this small park with big surprises!  September 1st will be the last Ooh La La Curiosity Market for this season.  

September 1st, Pack Place Education, Arts & Science Center, in the heart of downtown Asheville (Just across from the monument) enjoy WILD THINGS WEEKEND fun for the whole family, featuring live animal shows, award winning wildlife films, exhibits by outdoor businesses, environmental educators and conservation.  Presenters include Rob Gudger and his Wolves, Freeman Owle Cherokee Animal story teller, Wild for Life with Birds of Prey, Steve O’Neil with Reptiles and Amphibians, and special guests John Rucker and the “Turtle Dogs.”

For Lodging options, including an Asheville Bed and Breakfast, Asheville Cabin, or Asheville Vacation Rental, call Vacation In Asheville (VIA), office hours are 9am-7pm daily, 828 994-2627, or make your booking directly online.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

America's Safest Weather Cities - Asheville, NC

Yet another reason to visit (or live in!) Asheville, NC... safe weather!  Cities across the US were recently analyzed by for their safety as it relates to weather and Asheville came in on top as one of eight "America's Safest Weather Cities."  The weather dangers to all US cities listed and measured across the USA were, heat, flood, tornadoes, cold, snow/ice, lightening and tropical cyclones.  And while no city is "weather proof" Asheville was rated the #1 safe city in the Southeastern region and one of the eight safest weather cities in the USA.  
So, besides being Beer City USA, Good Morning America's winner of the Most Beautiful cities in the US, one of Frommers Must See Destinations, check out our weather, too!  The analytical approach with numbers and graphs is nicely laid out in the article, but in regular folk terms, here's what I love about Asheville's year round weather ...
Being in the mountains of Western NC, and starting at an elevation of around 2200' above sea level, summer temperatures are much milder than  the rest of the southeast, and even when temperatures seldom reach the 90s and above, the number of days a year this happens is few,especially when compared to the rest of the Southeast;  and Asheville cools off nicely in the evenings - back down to 60's 70s.  Additionally, there are four pretty even and short seasons, each about three months long, each offering the best of what our seasons are all about.  Fall and Spring are my personal favorites.  In our short winter, Asheville does have snow - we enjoy our snow - because it isn't overwhelming; and if it is extremely cold for a week, well, the next week could be in the 60s giving quick respite and melting all the snow away for easy hope to a soon to be spring.  We get plenty of rain to fill our streams, help our beautiful waterfalls and add to the richness and diversity of the flora and fauna; BUT Asheville itself lies in a "rain shadow" for a less rainy environment than our mountain city neighbors ("Less rain falls in the... Asheville basin, located in a rain shadow.").  

Go ahead, check out the weather report for Asheville, and we'll see you soon no matter!  Lodging opportunities abound to help you with your stay - consider an Asheville Bed and Breakfast location, or Asheville Vacation Rental or Asheville Cabin Rental  -  call Vacation In Asheville, 9am-7pm daily. 828 994-2627.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Asheville Events and Happenings, August 2012

Cool mornings and evenings and sunny days have shepherded in a great start to Asheville in August.  And there's plenty to do and see in Asheville this month.  Lots of festivals and special events will be going on all of August.
Ongoing Events include:
  • Biltmore Summer Concerts are every Friday evening in August (August 24th is sold out already) at The Biltmore Estate Grounds 
  • Enjoy guided Waterfall hikes at Chimney Rock Park every Friday this summer (free with your daytime ticket) 
  • Every Saturday, 46th Season of Shindig on the Green at Pack Square Park from 7-10 (free)
  • Prichard Park little oddities include Hoop Jam Tuesdays and Drum Circle Fridays (free) evenings 
  • Guided hikes on the Blue Ridge Parkway are weekly (free) and meet in various locations
  • Tourist baseball games at the Tourist Ball Stadium in downtown Asheville
  • Eating Asheville Food Tours, Trolley Tours, LaZoom Comedy Tours, Ghost Tours, Orange Peel Music Hall, Diana Wortham Theatre, shopping, dining, River Arts District, Blue Ridge Parkway, Navitat Canopy Tours, Whitewater rafting, horseback riding and more!
Week of August 1-4
  • 3rd Annual Echoview Hops Festival in Weaverville first weekend in August. 
  • 40th Annual Village Art & Craft Fair in Biltmore Village August 4-5, 
  • 85th Annual Mountain Dance & Folk Festival Aug 2-4,
  • Concerts in the Park at Biltmore Park Town Square from 7-9 on Aug 4 (Billy Jonas)
  • Ooh La La Curiosity Market at Prichard Park Aug 4
Week of August 6-12
  • Anything that Floats Parade August 11th on the French Broad River (this is really fun!) 
  • Swanannoa Gathering Programs at Warren Wilson College - Aug 5-11 Mando & Banjo Week/ Fiddle Week, 
  • War Comes to the Mountains weekend of August 11th at Vance Birthplace State Park recurring for two days 
  • 35th Annual Sourwood Festival in Black Mountain weekend of Aug 11th
  • Blue Ridge Parkway Family Night Aug 9th at the Park Headquarters on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Downtown Asheville 
  • Gingerbread Demonstrations at the Grove Park Inn August 11th 
  • Homegrown tomato contest at The Market Place on Wall Street, Aug 11 
Week of August 13 - 19
  • The 6th Annual "Laugh your Asheville Off Comedy Festival is August 14 - 18 in various locations around downtown Asheville and at The Magnetic Field in the River Arts District of Downtown
  • 7th Annual Leicester Studio Tour August 18 & 19, Potato Branch Road in Leicester
  • Buzz on Bees at Chimney Rock State Park on Aug 18
  • Dog Day Afternoon Festival in Carrier and River Park, a must for pet owners! August 18
  • Downtown After 5 Concert Series Friday August 17 on North Lexington Avenue
  • 3rd Annual Dirty Dancing Festival, Saturday August 18 at Lake Lure 
  • Ooh La La Curiosity Market at Prichard Park Aug 18
  • Concerts in the Park at Biltmore Park Town Square from 7-9 on Aug 18 (The Blue Dragons) 
Aug 20 - 26
  • 31st Annual Goombay Festival August 24-26 on Eagle Street in Downtown Asheville
  • 8th Annual Hickory Nut Gorge Olympiad, Aug 24-26 at Chimney Rock State Park
  • Asheville Wine and Food Festival Aug 24 at The Grove Arcade in Downtown Asheville
  • Riverlinks River Concert Series August 24 at the River Arts District Green on Riverside Drive
Just to name a few!  And if you need a place to stay, Oakland Cottage is just a mile or two from many of the downtown festivals and the entrance to the Biltmore Estate.  For your family reunion, small group retreat or girlfriend getaway, reserve all of Oakland Cottage B&B or inquire about one of the larger Asheville Vacation Rentals we manage.  Get your August plans together!