Saturday, June 16, 2018

Grovewood Galleries & Biltmore Industries - A Guided Tour - April through December 2018

Enjoy a most interesting and "not to miss" tour at the Grovewood Galleries, in the former Biltmore Industries complex.  The tour takes you through the Homespun museum and "dye house," all located & tucked away, just across the street from the Omni Grove Park Inn.  The charming buildings that make up the complex are easy to miss, so be sure and make a point to take the tour & explore.


Formerly known as Biltmore Industries, a rich history of the textile and Arts and Crafts tradition in the mountains of Western North Carolina may be seen in this amazing time capsule found here at the Grovewood Village within the historic weaving and woodworking complex.  Tours are free and begin at 1:00 pm Wednesday through Sunday and in celebration of it's 100th anniversary at this location.

The Dye House has long been closed up, sitting for decades collecting dust (since 1980).  It has been opened up for the tour and it is like walking back in time - original looms, dye vats, mule spinners and various other odds and ends are still sitting exactly where they were when the Biltmore Handwoven Homespun Industries finally closed its doors.  It is nothing less than amazing and perhaps even a bit creepy!  In its heyday, 40 looms were in full operation producing some of the highest quality fabrics, ordered and worn by the wealthiest and most famous, including US Presidents and first ladies.  "Coolidge red" was named for the fabric ordered by the first lady, Grace Coolidge.

At the turn of the century and upon completion of the Biltmore Estate, George and Edith Vanderbilt appreciated the local crafts of the area and wanted to preserve the traditions; thus Biltmore Industries was born.  When George Vanderbilt died in 1914, Edith sold the business to Fred Seely, the architect of the Grove Park Inn & son-in-law to Edwin Wiley Grove, then owner of the Grove Park Inn.  And Fred Seely moved the industries to it's present location, wisely keeping the Biltmore name as part of the acquisition.
 The tour begins in the Homespun Museum and then moves on into the dye house.  The docents are excellent in sharing the history; the ability to walk around in the old buildings freely in and amongst all the old looms, vats and miscellaneous odd objects, adds to the fascinating nature and uniqueness of this particular tour.

Besides the tour, enjoy the car museum - Harry Blomberg's former car collection - also free of charge.  There is an enchanting wind and sculpture garden surrounding the complex, enjoyable to wander through - complete with picnic tables, bring your lunch!  Free parking is past the Gallery complex & next to the Car Museum.  Shopping is a pure treat at the galleries, also within the complex, showcasing current local artists.
For more information, call 828-253-7651 or visit

Friday, February 23, 2018

Southern Conference | SoCon Basketball Championships again in Asheville, NC March 1-5 2018

March Madness is just around the corner!!  SoCon Basketball Championships will again be held in Asheville, NC and the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina.

North Carolina loves basketball and Asheville loves hosting the Southern Conference Basketball Championship Tournament!!  Again this year 2018 the Southern Conference Championships will be held at the US Cellular Center in downtown Asheville – just 2 miles from Oakland Cottage B&B (stay with us!  828 994 2627 reservations - a 5 minute drive or UBER).  Come and see this exciting tournament and road to the NCAA Final Four!!  Asheville has been sponsoring this tournament for many years now and we love bringing in Spring with basketball madness!  

Games will be occurring March 1-5 2018.  Doors open approximately one hour before tip-off.  On Friday March 1st Women’s Semi-finals and Men’s Session 1 will be held, Saturday will be Men’s Session two and three, Sunday, Women’s final and Men’s Semi-finals, Monday, Men’s Final.  Tickets are available online at, or call 800 745-3000.  Ticket prices range from $10 to $250… and up for those wishing for extra awesome VIP seats & action!

All Sessions GA book - $120.00
GA Single Session is $20,
Student & youth passes for GA Single Session - $10.00
Children 5 and younger may enter for free
Single Session – reserved seating on the lower level - $30.00

For those basketball extra enthusiasts, try the Tournament Club VIP book, which is $250.00 and is good for all sessions.  Enjoy reserved seating close to the action, along with complimentary beer, wine and meals with this great option.  And, the Tournament Club seating will open one hour before each session.

For even more excitement, consider the “Close To The Action package for two at a cost of $800, giving two of you a courtside experience as VIPs.  Perks with this include two premium courtside seats, two VIP passes and a convenient exhibition level, reserved parking space for every session.

The US Cellular Center is in the middle of our charming and vibrant downtown and within easy walking or driving to dining, shopping, local brewery tasting rooms, exhibits, music venues, museums, galleries and many other activities.  Additional fantastic activities are within a short drive include the Blue Ridge Parkway, Biltmore Estate, Chimney Rock Park, Navitat Ziplining and more.  And be sure to check out other events associated with the tournament, such as the Downtown Dribble and KidFest, Jamfest, Hometown Heroes night and Hoops Against Hunger.  

Downtown Dribble & Kidsfest will be on Saturday March 3rd from 9am to 11:00 am.  This noisy tradition begins at Pack Square and each kid participating will receive a free t-shirt and basketball and may participate in the "Dribble Parade" from the square to the entrance of the game venue, the US Cellular Center.  Additionally, each participant will receive free admission to the men's quarterfinal session at noon.  Be sure and find out more about the 2018 SoCon Teddy Bear Toss (get your bear to toss with your donation to Mission Children's Hospital)!  And enjoy other games and activities provided for kids at the Kidfest.

And what is a game without a tailgate party!  On Sunday March 4th in the afternoon from 1:30 to 3:45 pm, get jammin' at the Jamfest right outside the US Cellular Center and enjoy featured musicians and local food and beverage vendors right there in front of the venue.

Just a brief smattering of what will be happening in and around the SoCon Basketball Championships.  For more detailed information be sure and visit the SoCon website.  Don't miss it!  Enjoy the madness and early spring in Asheville!!