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Posts Tagged ‘Asheville Area Attractions’

The Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands Oct. 17-20, 2013 Get a head start on your holiday shopping!

September 28th, 2013 by abedofroses

 

Work by Paula Marksbury

Work by Paula Marksbury

The Crafts Fair of the Southern Highlands Craft Guild is a wonderful showcase for the best artists in the Appalachians. Twice a year, in July and October, the Southern Highland Craft Guild presents this outstanding exhibit of traditional as well as contemporary crafts and artwork at the US Cellular Center. I never tire of going to it. The fair has exhibited work by Guild artists since 1948. Many of the artists display their work year after year, and you can see how they develop and change over time. But there are always surprises too. My experience over the years of going to this exhibit is that it’s part great shopping for one of a kind gifts and part fine art exhibit. The level of the work can be art museum quality and is just a joy to explore. With the work of over 200 juried artists being shown and sold, there is something for every artistic taste. The rich diversity and talent attracts collectors and gallery owners as well as shoppers.

Wendy Seaward's "intuitive beading"

Wendy Seaward’s “intuitive beading”

A Tiny Sampling of What’s in Store:

One of the artists returning for this show is Wendy Seaward. She calls her stunning intricate jewelry “intuitive beading”.

Her work ranges from very affordable one-of-a-kind earrings to amazing beaded masks and neck piece collages of stones and beads.

Harry Hearn with his pottery

Harry Hearn with his pottery

Harry Hearn is another artist returning for this show. He posed with his incredible clay works for me during the July Crafts Fair.

Rebecca Kempson’s intricate and incredible life-like dolls will be there as well and they are totally riveting to look at.

The guild also hosts craft demonstrations throughout the fair in keeping with their traditional mission of educating the public about the history of crafts in this area of the country and the techniques used. Watch George McCollum create a white oak basket from tree to completed basket. Dede Styles will be demonstrating spinning and the use of natural plant dyes to color yarn. There will be demonstrations of less traditional crafts as well.

One of Rebecca Kempson's haunting dolls

One of Rebecca Kempson’s haunting dolls

And there’s music too! Mountain musicians perform live on the arena stage. Hot Duck Soup will play old time music with the help of “kazoos, slide whistles, banjos, guitars, ukes, an antique cornet, washtub bass and the Cacophonium” on Friday the 18th. Other performers will play everything from gospel, to bluegrass, to American Swing-grass.

Tickets to the 66th Annual Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands are $8 at the door. Children under 12 are admitted for free. Hours are Thurs-Sat 10AM to 6PM, Sunday 10AM-5PM.

A Section of Blue Ridge Parkway North of Asheville Closed Due to a Large Crack. Parkway South from Asheville to Cherokee Still Open.

July 19th, 2013 by abedofroses

View from the Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway North of Asheville

On July 12th a Park Ranger made a stunning discovery. A large crack, 150 feet long, 4 inches wide and in some places 6 feet deep had developed right down the center line of the The Blue Ridge Parkway just north of Asheville. Since that time the crack has grown to 200 feet long and 8 inches wide forcing the closure of a 20 mile stretch of the scenic highway to cars. Apparently the ground below the crack has been saturated with the heavy rains that have left our area lush and green this summer. Cars traveling from Asheville to Mount Mitchell, the highest mountain peak in the eastern US, are being detoured to I40 and US221 through Spruce Pine. Cyclists and hikers can still access the road, at least until repairs begin. July and October are the busiest months of the year for visitors to the Asheville area and the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Looking Glass Falls in Pisgah National Forest

Looking Glass Falls in Pisgah National Forest

Luckily there is still access to all areas of the Parkway from Asheville south to Cherokee which includes The Folk Art Center and the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitors Center. This section of the Parkway offers beautiful views, plenty of hiking trails, Mount Pisgah and the Pisgah National Forest, Graveyard Fields, Devil’s Courthouse and the Cradle of Forestry Overlook. Asheville is ideally located to provide easy access to outdoor activities and beautiful scenery, from the waterfalls of Dupont State Forest to rafting along the French Broad River or a visit to the North Carolina Arboretum with beautiful gardens as well as wooded trails. Chimney Rock and Lake Lure are close as well.

Chimney Rock

Chimney Rock Park

There is still plenty to see and do in the area. Asheville itself has beautiful views and hosts events all summer long. The Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands, with over 300 exhibitors is here this weekend and Bele Cher, the largest free music and arts street festival in the Southeast is here next weekend. Folkmoot USA, a two week celebration of world cultures with international folk music and dance is going on right now. Just a few of the other festivals this summer include the Mountain Dance & Folk Festival August 1-3,  The Village Art & Craft Fair on the Grounds of the All Souls Cathedral in Biltmore Village on Aug. 3-4 and the LAAFF music and arts street fair on Labor Day weekend. A great place to get information on summer festivals as well as the many outdoor activities in the Asheville area is www.romanticasheville.com.

The Hunger Games and Other Movies Shot in the Asheville Area- A B&B Owner’s Perspective

March 19th, 2012 by abedofroses

Hunger Games Logo

The Hunger Games Logo

Shot entirely in North Carolina, The Hunger Games premiers in theaters this Friday, March 23rd and the local buzz about this blockbuster movie has reached a roar! It’s a little overwhelming as everybody tries to get in on the huge publicity surrounding this movie. So with all this frenzy I’m asking myself “What does a Victorian B&B have to do with a futuristic tale based on a best selling trilogy of young adult books that takes place after the destruction of North America and features teenagers fighting each other for survival?” Absolutely nothing!

What does interest me, though, is the stunning terrain and natural beauty that attracts movie-makers and fans alike to the mountains of Western North Carolina and the Asheville area. Long before Hunger Games actor Josh Hutcherson discovered the thrill of Navitat Canopy Adventures ziplines or Woody Harrelson enjoyed the vegetarian fare at The Laughing Seed downtown, the Asheville area has been the perfect setting for movies as well as for visitors.

Being There movie Poster

The Movie Poster for Being There

Beginning in the 1920s with Conquest of Canaan filmed where Pack Square now sits in downtown Asheville, 55 movies (see list below) have been shot in Western North Carolina. Some are pretty obscure but others you may know well, like Forest Gump or Last of the Mohicans. Dirty Dancing was shot at Lake Lure, a quick and scenic drive from here. Dupont Forest was a natural draw to the Hunger Games cameras as Chimney Rock was to Last of the Mohicans. The Biltmore Estate, of course, offers a one of a kind setting. My favorite movie shot in the area was shot at the Biltmore Estate and released in 1979. Being There starred Peter Sellers as a sheltered and simple-minded gardener for a wealthy benefactor who is mistaken for a great thinker and economic guru. This hilarious comedy/drama was based on a novella written by Jerzy Kosinski and Sellers was nominated for Best Actor in A Leading Role for his work in the film, his last to be released while he was alive.

Star of The Hunger Games

Jennifer Lawrence, star of The Hunger Games

The Capitol scenes in The Hunger Games were shot in Charlotte, but scenes of Katniss’ home in District 12 were shot in the ghost town of Henry River located in Hildebran, about an hour east of Asheville. Other scenes were shot in Barnardsville, Black Mountain, Cedar Mountain, Concord and Shelby. Forest scenes were shot at beautiful DuPont State Forest and Pisgah National Forest. There are even fan tours being offered to see where the scenes shot at Dupont State Forest were filmed!

The film is being premiered at several local movie theaters and ZaPow, a downtown gallery, is hosting a Hunger Games premier party, that extras in the movie are sure to attend. Survival Workshops are being offered at Chimney Rock in conjuction with the movie. There’s no end to The Hunger Games Frenzy!

It’s all in good fun, though. You won’t see us here at A Bed of Roses hawking free Hunger Games t-shirts or giving away Peeta tote bags, but you will find a great home base for exploring Western North Carolina’s gorgeous mountains, waterfalls and trails as well as friendly guides to the best Asheville has to offer.

See the Trailer for The Hunger Games.

Films Shot in Western North Carolina:

  • 28 Days
  • A Good Baby
  • All the Real Girls
  • Alone Yet Not Alone
  • Anywhere USA
  • Being There
  • Bull Durham
  • Cold Mountain
  • Conquest of Canaan
  • Coupe deVille
  • D.A.R.Y.L.
  • Digging to China
  • Dirty Dancing
  • Don’t Fade Away
  • Firestarter
  • Fluke
  • Forces of Nature
  • Forest Gump
  • Hannibal
  • Happy Campers
  • Heavy Weights
  • In Dreams
  • King Kong Lives
  • Last of the Mohicans
  • Loggerheads
  • Loose Cannons
  • Mating Season
  • Moving On
  • Mr. Destiny
  • My Fellow Americans
  • Nell
  • Paradise Falls
  • Patch Adams
  • Private Eyes
  • Raven Fork
  • Red Dirt Rising
  • Richie Rich
  • Road to Nowhere
  • Side by Side
  • Simple Things
  • SongCatcher
  • Southern Belles
  • Tainted
  • The Boneyard
  • The Clearing
  • The Fugitive
  • The Green Mile
  • The Healer
  • The Hunger Games
  • The Hunt for Red October
  • The Journey of August King
  • The Swan
  • Trapper County
  • Waffles
  • Winter People

From the Western North Carolina Film Commission

Famous residents of Asheville:

  • Harry Anderson
  • Steve Martin
  • Andie MacDowell

Factoid:

NC has more sound stages and production houses than any other state outside of California

 

A Relaxing Day Trip to Black Mountain- The Front Porch of Western North Carolina

March 5th, 2012 by abedofroses

Black Mountain General Store

Downtown Black Mountain nestled in the mountains

Just 15 miles from Asheville is the quaint town of Black Mountain, nestled in the mountains and overflowing with charm. That small town feeling makes for a relaxing day trip of hiking, shopping or enjoying a leisurely lunch at one of their restaurants or cafés. We did just that the other day and took in the beautiful mountain views on the quick drive into town. With a history steeped in the arts, Black Mountain has lots of art & craft galleries to browse through as well as artists studios and unique gift stores. From the 1930s until the 1950s Black Mountain College brought the focus of American culture and arts to the mountains of North Carolina with a dazzling array of artists and thinkers associated with the college. John Cage and Buckminster Fuller taught there and Albert Einstein served on the board of directors to mention just a few. Fuller’s Geodesic Dome was created there.

Mountain Dulcimer Players

Instruction on the Mountain Dulcimer at Song of the Wood

Black Mountain is still a hub of creativity in a peaceful, slow paced way. I could have stayed all afternoon in the dulcimer showroom and workshop where Terry Read Smith crafts beautiful instruments. I particularly loved his richly toned and intricately carved hammered dulcimers. His sister was demonstrating and instructing a customer on a mountain dulcimer at the time and I couldn’t leave without buying one of Terry’s own CDs. Their shop is aptly called Song of the Wood.

Antique stores and gift shops drew us in as well, and we couldn’t miss the old fashioned general store. It was almost warm enough to eat on the lovely patio at the Black Mountain Bistro. Instead we lingered over lunch within a glassed-in area of the restaurant that gave us the views and feel of the patio.

Black Mountain's Lake Tomahawk

The Fountain at Lake Tomahawk

After lunch we explored the neighborhoods, admiring some of the older homes, (our weakness!). We’ve always been hooked on Victorian and Arts & Crafts architecture. We took a lovely stroll around Lake Tomahawk before heading home. All in all, a relaxing getaway for a few hours.

If you go, don’t forget the Black Mountain Music Scene as well. In addition to outdoor festivals such as the Lake Eden Arts Festival, Groovin on Grovemont, Park Rythyms at Lake Tomahawk, the local clubs offer a wide range of live music drawing fans from around the area.

You can find more photos of Black Mountain in our photo gallery.

 

The Waterfalls of Western North Carolina: First of a Series

September 24th, 2011 by abedofroses

Chimney Rock Hickory Nut Falls

Hickory Nut Falls at Chimney Rock

The Tour de Falls is today and tomorrow, September 24th and 25th!  Western North Carolina’s geography makes it treasure trove of awe-inspiring waterfalls and this tour looks like a good start to appreciating them all. The Tour de Falls is a 12 mile shuttle bus tour of DuPont Forest’s most popular falls. They will tour Triple Falls, High Falls, Bridal Veil Falls and Lake Julia. Friends of DuPont Forest are putting this on and no reservations are required. Just show up in the parking area near 1300 Staton Road, Cedar Mountain, NC. Buses will leave at regular intervals between 9AM and 2:30PM. There’s still time to catch the tour tomorrow!

But the Tour de Falls highlights are just the beginning of the waterfalls our area has to offer! Transylvania County, the “Land of Waterfalls”, is a short drive from Asheville. Within the county waterfalls can be found in the Pisgah National Forest, DuPont State Forest and Gorges State Park. Chimney Rock, 25 miles from Asheville in Rutherford County is also home to 404-foot Hickory Nut Falls.

Hickory Nut Falls from below

Hickory Nut Falls from below

Bill and I are on a quest to visit them all and we’ll be sharing our photos with you! We started our quest at Chimney Rock a few weeks ago, a short day trip from Asheville. The hike to Hickory Nut Falls was an easy walk through the woods, with lots of interesting exposed tree roots along the way, the result of natural erosion. You can hear the falls long before you can see them, heightening your anticipation. Our visit came at the end of a dry, hot summer and when we finally got to our destination the volume of water coming over the rocks was less than expected, but the falls were still very impressive. There is something so peaceful about the sounds of a waterfall. Portions of the movie “Last of the Mohicans” were filmed at Chimney Rock and you may recognize this lovely spot from the movie.

Chimney Rock

Chimney Rock

The added bonus of coming to see this waterfall is that you get to see Chimney Rock itself and the spectacular views of Hickory Nut Gorge and Lake Lure from the top. The elevator is temporarily out of service, so be forewarned, there are about 500 steps to get to the top of the rock! We preferred to hike the trails and enjoy the views from the base of the rock.

Last week we continued the search in the Pisgah National Forest with a short stop in nearby Brevard. Our next in the Waterfall series will highlight the Falls there!

See our Photo Gallery for more photos of Chimney Rock and Hickory Nut Falls.

A Perfect Day for a Stroll in the North Carolina Arboretum

August 24th, 2011 by abedofroses

North Carolina Arboretum LogoThe weather has been gorgeous this week and we took advantage of the sunny skies and warm, dry temperatures to hike some of the woodland trails at the North Carolina Arboretum. It’s been just cool enough to make a hike perfectly pleasant.

Tree lined trail

Tree lined trails

The Arboretum is celebrating 25 years of serving as a resource for natural beauty and connection with the outdoors in western North Carolina. The dream of an arboretum here in Asheville started with Frederick Law Olmsted in the late 1800s. He had intended to establish an arboretum on the grounds of the Biltmore Estate, his last major landscaping project. For many years we were lucky enough to enjoy the Arnold Arboretum in Boston that Olmsted designed in 1872, so when the Arboretum was established here in the 1980s, inspired by Olmsted’s work, we made sure to make a visit there a part of every family visit we made to Asheville.

Potted plants at building entrance

Flowers near the Exhibit Center

Usually those trips would involve exploring the beautiful gardens and exhibits. Now that we live here we’re getting to explore even more of the trails and gardens than ever! Walking along the well marked and intelligently designed trails it is easy to let go of the noise and stress of everyday life and just let the quiet and the beauty of nature envelope you.

Bent Brook

Trickling Bent Brook

Bent Creek flows gently through the trees and the shaded paths take you through a mix of hardwood, pines, ferns and wildflowers. The trails go from pedestrian only paths to naturally surfaced roads that allow bicycle traffic.

The mission of The North Carolina Arboretum includes promoting the stewardship and enjoyment of the wealth of plant life within the Southern Appalachians through their world-renowned gardens as well as demonstrating cultivated and natural landscapes. It provides an easy mix of trails and gardens, well marked with educational information.  Several gardens provide inspiration as well as enjoyment. We’re so lucky to have this resource available and a beautiful late August day to enjoy it!

Mountain through the trees

A glimpse of the mountains through the trees

 

 

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