Asheville NC

5 Fun Things to Do in Asheville, NC

Blue Ridge Parkway - Fall

Gray Line Trolley Tour

Visiting Asheville in the fall? Take a tour on the Gray Line! This hop-on-hop-off tour in a trolley is a great way to learn about the history of Asheville as well as interact with the bustling downtown. With 10 spots including the diverse Montford Historic District, Art deco-rich downtown, legendary Grove Park Inn, as well as the edgy River Arts District.


Created by George Vanderbilt in 1895, Biltmore is Asheville’s crown jewel. Fall is a great time to explore America’s largest home as the bounty of the fields, gardens, and vineyards are celebrated. Walk the spacious formal gardens or just enjoy the beautiful fall foliage across the Blue Ridge Mountains. From day passes to overnight stays, there is something for everyone at the Biltmore Estate.

Take a drive down the Blue Ridge Parkway

A 469-mile drive winding through the Southern Appalachians, the Blue Ridge Parkway is a must-see! Fall brings brilliant foliage that can’t be beaten. Whether you just take a drive through parts of it or get out of the car and hike, the Blue Ridge Parkway is a can’t miss in the fall!

Visit the Folk Art Center

While on your Blue Ridge Parkway adventure, you can’t miss the Folk Art Center located at milepost 382, and just 5 minutes from downtown Asheville. Home to the Southern Highland Craft Guild, the Folk Art Center showcases Southern Appalachia’s finest traditional and contemporary crafts.

Take a Farm to Table Tour

Take a tour with Asheville Farm to Table Tours and visit sustainable family farms where farmers specializing in cheese, chicken, produce, beef, or lamb share their passion and knowledge. At the end of the tour the Chef prepares a delicious meal made with the food from the farms you visited that day. Don’t just experience the uniqueness of Asheville, taste it!


Inaugural Asheville Cultural Celebration

For more than 20 years, Black Mountain has hosted the LEAF Festival twice yearly. Now this year, the LEAF Community Arts is premiering its first LEAF Downtown AVL in addition to its regular scheduled events. This new cultural arts fair, hosted in Asheville's Pack Square Park, occurs  over  the two-day event which highlights music, art, and plenty of family fun, all at no charge. Celebrate Asheville Arts

This new festival celebrates local talent with an emphasis on local talent. Experience creativity on August 1st and 2nd  with music from three stages, including many local bands for two days of continuous music. Enjoy workshops, check out the art, and try the tastes of Asheville. This year's inaugural festival coincides with the Biltmore Village Art & Craft Fair. In its 43rd year, the Biltmore Village Art & Craft Fair takes place on the grounds of the Cathedral of all Souls in Biltmore Village. With these two simultaneous Asheville events, it's a great time to check out what this beautiful city has to offer.

If you're someone who wants to see what Asheville has to offer, this weekend would be a great time to come check it out. If you're considering a move to the city or any of its surrounding communities, why not try out a rental from Greybeard Rentals to sample area life. And if you've known in your heart that Asheville is where you really should be living, then contact Greybeard Realty to see our western NC listings. The cultural richness and remarkable diversity within this incredibly beautiful area make it a great place to call home.

Yes, Asheville is Cool and Now Others Know It

Asheville Coolness

Come see what makes Asheville cool.

A recent on-line article by Matador Network lists the top 20 coolest towns in the US, and we are not surprised to see Asheville at the top of that list. Citing the architecture, the food-to-table cuisine and the craft beer industry, the article attributes Asheville's real rise to coolness to the hardworking people who drove the mid-1980s revitalization of the local area.

Matador notes its general criteria for coolness include towns having a local heart, excellent natural features, and cultural diversity. Specific to Asheville, the writers note the town wins top billing because of its location, the welcoming, supportive community, and the Southern family-friendly culture. Recognized local activities include hiking along Horsepasture River, cocktails at the Crow and Quill, and catching some music at the Orange Peel.

If you are ready to settle in the coolest town in the US, check out Greybeard Realty and take a look at the local western NC real estate listings. If you want a chance to sample Asheville first prior to purchasing a home here, consider staying in one of Greybeard Rentals' Asheville rentals. Come see for yourself what makes Asheville so cool.


Big Flavors at Asheville's Small Plate Crawl


Sample the Asheville Small Plate Crawl

Sample the Asheville Small Plate Crawl

Asheville residents and guests can take advantage of this year's Asheville Small Plate Crawl, an event sponsored by Asheville Independent Restaurants. The three-day event, which kicks off on February 24, offers attendees a chance to sample local chef's best food options.

The local event provides Asheville residents with a chance to taste various small servings from dozens of Asheville restaurants located in the downtown area as well as Biltmore Village and West Asheville. And for Asheville visitors, it gives guests a chance to sample the flavor of the Asheville community. To get started, go to the Asheville Small Plate Crawl website and start selecting the restaurants you want to sample. Then, with the online printable AIRpass you can head off at your own pace to get a taste of Asheville.

Joining in one of these community efforts is a great way to get a sampling of what Asheville is about. Sure, you can read the Asheville information, but to appreciate the special flavor of this wonderful community, you really do need to experience its activities. If you already know what we're talking about and you haven't made the move up here yet, come on up and take a look at some of Greybeard Realty's great Asheville real estate now on the market. If you have heard all about Asheville and think it may be your next move, what are you waiting for? Click on Greybeard Rentals website and book a weeklong rental so you can come sample the Asheville flavors for yourself.

Asheville Rises to the Top Ten Again

Well, the votes are in, and Asheville has again risen to number one on another top ten list. This time, it's Travel+Leisure readers who have ranked hundreds of towns for their main streets, coffee bars and eco-friendliness, among other things. And, yes, Asheville won the title of Quirkiest Town in the US.

Quirky or cool, Asheville is our number one pick.

Quirky or cool, Asheville is our number one pick.

In their assessment, voters approved of the Friday night drum circle in Pritchard Park as well as the numerous local beers. Mentioned in the article are the beer/moonshine "hoptails" from the Grove Park Inn's Great Hall Bar as well as the BROO shampoo from Earth Fare. Of note, Asheville also ranked in the top 10 for great bakeries.

All of this ranking and rating got us to thinking. Exactly what is it about Asheville that makes it so special? Is it the so-called quirkiness? Or is it more about the coexisting diversity within this comfortable community? For those of you who live here or visit here, what do you consider to be its real appeal? Let Greybeard Realty hear from you. We would love to compile our own list of the top ten best qualities of Asheville that makes it number one in our hearts.

Asheville Receives Accolades as one of the Happiest Cities in US

Admit it. Being in Asheville just brings a smile to your face. Apparently, you aren't alone. Results of Conde Nast's Annual Readers' Choice survey announced this month indicates that Asheville is a top ten choice as the happiest city in the US.

Asheville recognized as special happy place.

Asheville recognized as special happy place.

In addition to citing the friendly people and incredible beauty of the city, the blurb announcing the award also notes the arts, farm-to-table fare and the local beer scene. In receiving the recognition, Asheville joins some other great cities including New Orleans, Telluride, and Charleston. This survey only confirms the data collected in a research study reported in Greybeard's blog that Asheville is a happy place. For those of us who call the Asheville area home, it brings great pride to get some national attention for the special small-town feel that exists here.

For anyone considering Asheville as a relocation spot, we encourage you to come have a look around. See our recent blog on the Asheville spirit and view the video link. For an additional overview, we have a brief description of Asheville on our website. But probably the best way to truly experience the happy phenomenon that is Asheville is to plan an Asheville vacation to see for yourself. Visit Greybeard Rentals to choose an Asheville area rental cabin. If you're ready to consider a move, browse through Greybeard Realty's Asheville listings. We're willing to be that just seeing the possibilities will bring a smile to your face.

Rumors Swirl Around an Obama Asheville Home Purchase

Rumors have begun to surface that the Obama Family have purchased an Asheville home for use after the President's second term ends. While the White House has not confirmed the news, it wouldn't be a complete surprise to those people who have followed the President's recent visits to Asheville.

Obama speaking during one of his Asheville visits.

Obama speaking during one of his Asheville visits.

When Obama visited Asheville in 2013, he hinted then that he and Michelle thought Asheville might be their next stop. As noted in Greybeard's blog post about that visit, he was partial to the people and the food in the area. And that wasn't his only trip to the NC mountains. In his 2011 campaign visit to Asheville, he spoke fondly of Asheville, as noted in another Greybeard blog. The most recent talk about the Obamas relocating to the area indicates a home already has been purchased, though again this hasn't been confirmed. Another point of discussion is whether the home would be a permanent home or a getaway vacation home. While some pundits favor a larger city like Chicago or New York for their permanent home, others point out the peace and solitude the whole family would find in the area.

Regardless of whether it's true, it's great to see the fine words about Asheville. While it's news that Obama might be becoming our neighbor, it isn't news that the western NC mountains make a great retirement location. Greybeard Realty has known about the good value of an Asheville retirement for a long time. As to the veracity of the latest rumors, we will keep an ear to the news and keep you posted when it's confirmed as true. And if you've been considering retiring up this way, it may be time to follow through. After all, chances are that an Asheville retirement has just received a Presidential endorsement.

The Idyllic Snowy Views of Asheville Eyed on List

The Asheville area has made another "best of" list, making it as one of the top six best winter drives in North America. While often recognized for its spectacular autumn colors, the Blue Ridge Parkway receives less attention for its winter splendor. An article by Terry Ward on Centurion's online site highlights this local splendor.

Snowy Skyline

Idyllic Snowy Views from the Blue Ridge

In making her recommendation, Ward points to Mount Mitchell State Park, the highest peak east of the Mississippi River, as a particularly scenic spot in the snow. She rightfully notes that the Parkway is closed when conditions merit. The Parkway updates its road closings regularly on the Blue Ridge Parkway website. While driving during the snow may not be possible, the snow always lingers on the mountain tops long after the snow has stopped falling, so there's always time to take in the snow-capped scenes.

For locals, it is often easy to overlook the uniqueness of where we live. In the bustle to get where we are going to work or to shop, for example, we don't always take the time to appreciate the natural beauty around us. And for those of you who wonder what it's like to live here year-round, we highly recommend a trial run. As Ward points out in her brief piece, there are abundant mountain rental cabins in the Asheville area that will let you give living here a try. Why not make a reservation now to see our idyllic views first hand.

Positive Signs of Life for the Asheville Real Estate Market

The Asheville Real Estate 2012 mid-year statistics have been released, and both Buncombe County and Black Mountain markets show positive signs of growth.  While still not to the peak market numbers from 2006-2008 in most categories, the 2012 Asheville Real Estate Sales Market report gives reason for optimism.

Asheville Market Shows Signs of Life

For Black Mountain, the number of homes sold increased 20% in 2012 compared with the same time period in 2011.  That strong increase, however, still leaves the number of homes sold down significantly from the 2006 peak experienced in this category.  Similarly, Black Mountain homes sales increased 4% in 2012 for the first half of the year, also still not at the peak levels which occurred in Black Mountain in 2007.

Also significant is the 5% increase in median home price to $193,500 for Buncombe County mid-year 2012 and the 15% increase to $220,000 for Black Mountain home sales for the same time period.  While that figure still does not match the median home price in Buncombe County for 2007, the 2012 Black Mountain median price actually represents a 4% increase over the peak median price which occurred in 2008.

Increases also occurred in total sales volume in 2012, year to date, in both the County and Black Mountain sales.  Again, however, the increases still do not match the peak sales volume which occurred in Buncombe County in 2006 and in Black Mountain in 2007.

As the final positive sign, days on the market (DOM) continued the increase in Buncombe County that began in 2006.  Conversely, however, DOM for Black Mountain held steady, ending the annual increase that also began in 2006, the earliest numbers available.

In conclusion, it always encourages me when I see the market behaving the way business experts propose that it will.  By that I mean, I indicated in a Greybeard Blog in 2008 that we were seeing signs of a declining market and while that was troubling, it was a positive sign that the Asheville Real Estate market had held its own well past the national downturn.  Economists agree that the last real estate markets to feel the impact are the first to show signs of improvement.

That concept is shown true within the Buncombe County/Black Mountain markets as well.  As indicated by the later peak dates in Black Mountain, Black Mountain was able to ride the positive real estate wave a bit longer than Buncombe County was.  And now, as indicated by the most recent statistics, both areas are showing positive signs of growth with Black Mountain a bit ahead of Buncombe County in recovery.  It's always  a positive to me when I can find examples in real life that support the economic theories that get thrown about in the business world. For more information about the Asheville Real Estate Market, please contact Greybeard Realty.

Asheville Retirement Realities the Focus of Forbes List

Western North Carolina homes have long been valued for retirement. Now, the area is receiving national recognition from Forbes which recently named Asheville as one of the 25 best places to retire in 2012. The list cites Asheville's abundant physicians and good climate as just two of the reasons to choose our area.

Retiring to Asheville

Retire to Asheville

There is an excellent variety of homes for sale in Asheville that would be perfect for anyone considering retiring to the area. Greybeard has several long term rentals which can give potential home buyers a chance to sample our communities before making a commitment to purchase a piece of Asheville real estate.  In addition, long term rentals or vacationers can enroll in a retirement workshop and get some professional advisement on what to consider before retiring.

If retiring to Western North Carolina is on your bucket list but not on the immediate horizon, why not purchase an Asheville rental homeGreybeard Rentals, an award-winning property management firm, can manage all aspects of renting your new home until you are ready to move here yourself.

While the Forbes article focused on Asheville, several other local communities offer a more low-key, small town flavor while still providing access to Asheville's amenities such as the Biltmore Estate and the Asheville Art Scene.  Why not take a look at Black Mountain real estate or a Montreat  property which each have a flavor of their own. Our real estate agents know the area well and are happy to answer your questions about retiring to Western North Carolina.  Contact us today!