Asheville NC

International Attention for Asheville

As I watched the Williams sisters at the Fed Cup in Asheville a few weekends ago, I was struck by how Asheville seems to be gaining a lot of national and international attention of late. In addition to tennis, important events are upcoming in biking, equestrian showing, and glass sculpture.  Knowing the fine qualities of the western NC mountains, I cannot say that I’m surprised by all of this attention. It’s getting more difficult to keep our secret of this very special place.

The Fed Cup in Asheville is news unto itself, but it was particularly exciting as it marked Serena Williams’ first return to competitive tennis since the birth of her first child last autumn. While the match had been decided in favor of the US prior to her arrival on the court, it was still exciting to watch as Serena and Venus played doubles before a sold out crowd.

Next on tap is the opening of the “Chihuly at Biltmore” on May 17. Dale Chihuly’s large-scale glass sculptures, set up in historic Biltmore Gardens, includes special “after-dark” viewings that promise to be spectacular. The exhibit remains in place until October 7th so there’s ample time to take it all in. That same weekend, May 18-20, Haute Route, a European cycling event, comes to Asheville. More than 300 international riders will take to the streets, with each of the stages beginning and ending in Asheville.

In September, more international riders will come to the Asheville area, however, these riders will be on horseback. The FEI World Equestrian Games will settle into Tryon, about 45 minutes southeast of Asheville, from September 11-25. This event may welcome a half million people from around the world into the area. Competitions at this event include jumping, dressage, endurance, vaulting and reining.

A quick glance at these activities really does encapsulate what’s so special about Asheville and its environs. Sure the mountains are peaceful, the views are incredible, and the pace may be a little bit slower than some larger cities. But the activities and events illustrate the broad interests of the area and offer residents a chance to experience a truly cosmopolitan life. To see other upcoming events, please check out Greybeard Realty’s event calendar. Asheville is more than just a pretty place.

An Asheville Area Christmas

As western NC residents, Greybeard Realtors often are asked what their favorite season is in the Asheville area. For some, it’s the long days of summer that invite longer hikes and farm-fresh food. For others, it’s early-budding trees in spring and the vibrant, rich colors of autumn. Taking a look around now, however, it really feels like Christmas may be the very best season of the year up this way.

An Asheville Christmas at the BiltmoreOne of the highlights of the season is visiting one of the numerous western NC Christmas tree farms and making that careful selection of the perfect tree. Take some time to stop in at one of the local cider shops and then head over to The Biltmore to take in the spectacular decorations and enjoy some of the featured musical performances of the season. If holiday lights make your holiday, be sure to take in the multicolored light extravaganza at the NC Arboretum. Take a look at some of the Asheville area Christmas light suggestions. 

Back at home, perhaps there’s a Christmas train to set up under the tree or a special gingerbread home to construct, complete with peppermint candies and peppermint bark. If you’d prefer to ride a Christmas train, then head over to Bryson City and catch a ride on the Polar Express train. Alternatively, this year you can enjoy the 25th annual National Gingerbread House competition at the Grove Park Inn.  This year’s awards have been made, and there’s still time to check them out and get come inspiration for your own gingerbread houses.

For many of us, the holidays are about creating family traditions, and an Asheville area Christmas generates memorable moments for all family members. If you have time, take a moment to share your favorite Asheville holiday tradition. And let Greybeard Realty know what your favorite western NC season is as well. We’d love to hear from you.

Asheville Isn't Just Good Looking, It's Friendly Too

Earlier this year, Conde Nast released its latest survey results for the Friendliest Cities in the US. And yes, Asheville made the list! More than 300,000 respondents contributed toward the compilation of the list that also included Charleston, Telluride and Key West. The survey results only confirmed what local residents have known for a while: Asheville folks are cheerful. Friendly Asheville Area Home For Sale

In addition to pointing how inclusive and gorgeous the area is, survey participants credit Asheville with being eclectic and artistic, citing the River Arts District as one area that particularly feels welcoming. It cites one respondent in particular who wrote: It's "an all-around wonderful small city." Other comments include: "Great mountain scenery and friendly people. Always a smile from those you meet."

It’s comments like this that highlight what draws new residents and visitors to the area year after year, and it’s one aspect of western NC that makes this area such a remarkable place to live. If you’ve been on the fence about moving up here, perhaps this will nudge you a little closer to taking that step. Take a moment to glance at some of Greybeard Realty’s home listings and see if anything catches your eye. From Asheville Log Homes to Black Mountain Condos, Greybeard has a wide range of homes available for sale.

And if you’re considering settling up here and just aren’t sure yet, how about moving into one of Greybeard Rentals’ longer term rentals so you can settle in and really get the flavor of the Asheville area. At Greybeard Realty, we feel as if you’ll find that indeed, Asheville is one of the friendliest cities in the US.

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.

Biltmore

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!

 

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.