Friday, February 13, 2015

Basketball's Southern Conference 2015 in Asheville, NC Again!

North Carolina loves basketball and Asheville loves hosting the Southern Conference (SoCon) Basketball Tournament - yes, back in Asheville again this March 2015, 5th through 9th and remaining in Asheville, at least through the 2017 Season!  Asheville loves calling the SoCon tournament a March tradition - March is truly basketball's grand finale month and Asheville is a wonderful host town.  What a great way to warm up and celebrate a favorite sport in one of America's favorite cities -  and a favorite tournament as a fan for your favorite team ... or just for your favorite sport!!!

Games will be at both the Kimmel Arena on the University of North Carolina-Asheville (UNC-A) campus - and the U.S. Cellular Center in the heart of Downtown Asheville.  Kimmel Arena is located about 2 miles from the U.S. Cellular Center.  The U.S. Cellular is right in the heart of downtown Asheville, steps from restaurants, bars, craft breweries, local artist galleries, chocolatiers, live music,  River Arts District, parks and more.  Other favorite attractions to take in while you are here and all within 5 miles of Downtown Asheville, include the Biltmore Estate (take advantage of winter ticket pricing), North Carolina Arboretum, Blue Ridge Parkway (check for Parkway section closures) and more.

Tickets for SoCon are on sale and begin at $17 for a 2 game ticket and $100 for all session tickets.  VIP tickets range from $40 to $200; tickets may be purchased at the U.S. Cellular Center or online at

The eleven member institutions participating are from the five Southeastern States of North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama and include:

Alabama: Samford University
Tennessee: University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Georgia: Georgia Southern University
South Carolina: Wofford College, College of Charleston, The Citadel, Furman University
North Carolina:Western Carolina University, Appalachian State University, Elon University

For more information, schedules and more, be sure and visit the SoCon Basketball Tournament 2015 website.  The tournament is for both men and women's teams.  And this year the SoCon Wrestling tournament will be going on concurrently.  Be sure and look for additional events to participate in or watch, including the Buncombe County/Arc of NC 5k and/or the Downtown Dribble.  Partake in theme days (with ticket discounts) such as Hero's Day, Family Day and Pack the House.  And for a more thorough list of activities throughout the SoCon weekend in Asheville, NC, check out the "SoCon Travel Information" page located on Asheville's "ExploreAsheville" website where you will find links to things to do, breweries and taprooms, Hotels and Lodging, Restaurants and dining, along with a SoCon Events link.

If you need a place to stay, consider Asheville's Oakland Cottage Bed and Breakfast, located about 2 miles south of the US Cellular Center on the southern side of downtown Asheville.  Reservation offices: 828 994 2627, online booking:  Have a great SoCon Weekend!!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Wine and Storytelling with David Novak

Wine and Storytelling with David Novak, what a wonderful combination for a Sunday and winter afternoon in Asheville!  Hosted by Metro Wines at 169 Charlotte Street on Sunday February 8th, 2015 at 3 o'clock in the afternoon, taste some wine, listen to the art of storytelling (a western North Carolina and Appalachian tradition) performed by a true national and international master.

This will be a wonderful venue to hear and visit with David Novak a true national and local treasure and resident of Asheville, NC.  David Novak's resume, among other accolades, lists his numerous and telling awards with the storytelling craft, including, Disney Institute Master Storyteller, Oscar winner of Storytelling, National Storytelling Network, Circle of Excellence Award winner and more.  David Novak has taken his craft to an international level as well, bringing creativity to classic myths and folktales worldwide.  His fluid voice and surprising props enhance his storytelling; and his interactive performances are wonderful for all ages.

For the Sunday afternoon storytelling this February 8th at Metro Wine, reservations are recommended as seating is limited at this intimate venue; be sure and get your tickets in advance.  For information and to make your reservations, call 828 658-4151 and/or email:  Tickets are $15 each (cash at the door) and of course, the price includes a glass of wine or beverage.

And if you are visiting Asheville from out of town and need a place to stay, be sure and call Vacation In Asheville and Oakland Cottage Bed and Breakfast, reservation offices, 828 994-2627, online reservations at

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Third Annual Asheville Marathon at the Biltmore Estate

Third Annual Asheville Marathon will once again be at the Biltmore Estate, Sunday March 15th 2015, beginning at 7:30 am. While it is sold out, with 1,400 participants, there is now a wait list and if you don't get in this year, your wait list number will guarantee you a spot in the 2016 Asheville Marathon.

The 26.2 mile course will take you through the 8,000 acres of the grounds of the Biltmore Estate - on carriage roads both surfaced and uneven, across rolling hills, along the French Broad River, through the vast gardens designed by landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmstead, and across the vinyards and farmland of the Estate.  The Asheville Marathon is a certified race course as well as a Boston qualifying race (USATF Sanction #14-13-448 and Certification Code #NC14024DF).  Or, if a shorter race is to your taste, enjoy the Half Marathon at 13.1 miles, for its second year in a row.  In addition, this year the Appalachian Distance Series of races has added the Asheville Marathon to its Southeast series (including Asheville, Knoxville, Townsend, Chatanooga and Oak Ridge).

If you are not running, and want to support and watch as a spectator, be sure and read about all the rules and regulations, as there are some unique and specific procedures for entering the Estate (get an early start) and getting through the gate as the event is not open to the public.  Spectators will need to purchase a day ticket for $20 or be an annual passholder in order to get onto the property.  This will give you access to the grounds only, and you may upgrade your day pass to include the inside of the Estate for an additional $9 ($29 includes entry and tour of the inside of the Biltmore Estate).  Spectator Tickets may be purchased on March 14th at the Race Expo from 9am - 7pm at the Double Tree Hotel, or on Race Day beginning at 6:00 am at the Group Sales Office.  Besides enjoying the beauty of the grounds of the Biltmore Estate, Antler Hill Village, and the Winery, there will be plenty to do throughout the morning and early afternoon including cheering on your favorite runner(s), food and drinks, music and more.

Runners and spectators, do be aware that the race start is located at the Winery and Antler Hill Village - six miles from the entrance. Because of distance and heavy traffic that morning, it will take an additional 20 - 25 minutes to get to the race start once inside the gate.  If you prefer not to drive in, for an extra $10 jump on a shuttle bus at the Doubletree Hotel and you can get a ride right to the start line.  Be sure and check schedules.

If you are in need lodging nearby, call Oakland Cottage Bed and Breakfast (reservation line: call 9am to 7pm daily, 828 994-2627, for online booking log on to, or email anytime: for a more unique stay, and just one mile from the entrance to the Biltmore Estate.