Saturday, March 12, 2016

Spring at the Biltmore Estate - "Biltmore Blooms 2016"

Spring at the Biltmore Estate is something quite special.  Tulips abound in the cooler and early days of "Biltmore Blooms."  March 19th can be a little early to enjoy the abundant beauty and May 26th can be a little late, but each day at the Estate provides its own unique seasonal beauty.  My personal favorite time during the "Biltmore Blooms" feature, is when the Azalea gardens really pop - and the date will vary year to year; usually mid April is a pretty safe bet for the Azalea gardens.

"Biltmore Blooms," officially begins this year on March 19, 2016 and continues as a feature at the Biltmore Estate through May 26th.  In the early weeks of "Biltmore Blooms," Tulips are everywhere and quite stunning!   As the temperatures warm, the Tulips fall away and the beauty of the Azalea Gardens impress the visitor.  How enjoyable to take in the warmer spring days and wander outside in the beautiful gardens surrounding the Biltmore House.  Designed by Frederick Law Olmstead (landscape architect also for Central Park, NYC and many other stunning US parks and gardens), walking around the estate and enjoying the outside as well as the inside provides a wonderful change from the cold days of Winter!!  This spring, enjoy "A Gardener's Place Seminars," daily demonstrations featuring gardening themes such as Orchid gardening, miniature gardening and more, 1:00 and 2:00 pm daily; meet at the Gift Shop located beneath the Conservatory (Fancy Greenhouse).  

Be sure and check out the Bloom Report to find out where the best blooms and walks might be on your day of visit.  Remember, there are 8,000 acres surrounding the Biltmore House, so many walks and trails to explore.

And don't miss the special exhibit, this year, "Fashionable Romance Wedding Gowns in Film," also a part of your daytime ticket.  Many other special events and attractions are featured over the course of each week, most included in your daytime ticket, so be sure and check out the Biltmore Estate "Events and Activities" page (click here) to find out whats going while you are there.

Purchase tickets online through the Biltmore Website with extra discounts available for purchases 7 days in advance or longer.  Buy tickets online or call 800-411-3812.  You may also purchase them at the estate Ticket Center once on the property, in the event you want to go to the estate with less prior planning.  Tickets purchased through The Biltmore Company are good for one day of entry.  If you are staying with Vacation In Asheville properties and/or Oakland Cottage B&B, you may purchase tickets directly and have your tickets waiting for you upon your arrival (no lines!).  Tickets purchased from Vacation In Asheville are good for two consecutive days of entry and are usually equal to or less than ticket prices at the Ticket Center .  Call our reservation offices for ticket details and prices, 828 994-2627.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Asheville Beer Expo Feb 27, 2016 at The Venue Downtown Asheville

The First Annual Asheville Beer Expo will be held at The Venue in Downtown Asheville and hosted by the Asheville Brewers Alliance.  This inaugural event offers two sessions, each session with 4 unique panel (although beers poured at each session will not change); the first session is from 1-4pm and the second session is 5-8pm, both on Saturday February 27th, 2016.  
There are more than 30 members in the Asheville Brewer's Alliance.  Meet the members, sample their beers (**must be 21 years old or older to attend), attend the educational panels, hear stories.  Attend one session, or both!  Craft beer production will be show cased.  Learn more about the raw ingredients, brewing and packaging.  Talk to the passionate people who brew the beer!
Cost per session is $25 and includes an "event glass" 8 oz in size and 5 tokens.  Each token may be exchanged for a 4 oz pour into your commemorative "event glass,"  and more tokens are available for purchase at $2.00 each token.  4 panels will be at each session for a total of 8 panels and while space can not guaranteed, participation in panels is part of the ticket price at a first come first serve basis once panels begin.
Panel discussions include such topics as, "Raw Ingredients: sourcing, Mixing and Magic," "Asheville Brewery Origins: The First Wave," "Rare and Special Beers: Wild and Sour Beers," and more.  Again, there are four different panels at each of the two session for a total of 8 different panel topics and discussions, sure to be lively, interesting, informative and fun!
While meals will not be available to buy, there will be some local food vendors exhibiting their samples, including Hickory Nut Gap Farms (local graze fed meats), Roots Hummus, French Broad Food Chocolates and No Evil Foods to name a  few.
Where to park, where to stay:  there is metered parking on the street near The Venue, as well as city parking lots nearby.  The city lots nearby include the Rankin Parking Garage, College Street Deck at 164 College Street and 45 Wall Street.  Asheville is an easy and enjoyable walking town and the lots mentioned here are all within easy walking distance to The Venue.  Many hotels are nearby and Oakland Cottage B&B is just 2 miles south from the event site, reservation office 828 994-2627.
The Venue (click here) is located at 21 North Market Street, Asheville, NC 28801.  Visit the official Asheville Beer Expo 2016 event website (click here) for more details and information.  Tickets are non-transferable and non-refundable.  Children are not allowed, even if accompanied by a parent or adult.  Please be safe and have someone pick you up from this event; should you be in need of a ride back to your place of lodging, volunteers will be on hand to assist you in getting a cab ride