Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 31

The Asheville Skyline at sunset sets off the city's blend
of urban and mountain.

EXPLOREASHEVILLE.COM

Room & Tap Bar.

from page 29
remains - although updated - and it's fun to take my
kids there to create new memories.
While the department store era dissolved in downtown as stores moved to malls, today's offering includes
a wide variety of art galleries (ZaPow is our favorite),
funky gift shops like L.O.F.T. (Lost Objects Found
Treasures), chocolate shops, craft stores filled to the
brim with beads and yarn, shops overflowing with
incense, flowing skirts and Tibetan prayer flags, as well
as long-time favorites Malaprop's Book Store and Tops
for Shoes (another staple of my childhood).
I find it thrilling that this town pushed past its
point of exile in the late '70s and '80s to become a
place that's touted far and wide. I give special nod to
downtown pioneer John Cram who had the vision
and courage to open Blue Spiral 1 gallery on a desolate section of Biltmore Avenue and transform the
Fine Arts Theater (it showed adult movies when I was
a child) into a first-class movie house screening arts
and indie movies. He later added Bellagio Art to Wear
Gallery to his downtown lineup.
Of all of the changes in Asheville during my lifetime, I'm happiest about the transformation of the
Grove Arcade back to its intended use as a public
marketplace. For years it sat stale, housing offices for
the National Climatic Data Center. Today, it offers
a bevy of restaurants, shops, and two of my absolute
favorite places to gather with friends: the Battery Park
Book Exchange & Champagne Bar and Sante Wine
Desoto Lounge - This neighborhood bar
and restaurant in West Asheville is a bit
edgier than some, but they have a laid
back attitude which makes it a great
place to order up a brew and relax.
There's a pretty cool back patio here,
plus a ping pong table, foosball and pinball machines. desotolounge.com

WHERE TO SLEEP
1900 Inn on Montford - Located in the
historic Montford neighborhood a skip

CRAFT BEER is, of course, the real star of the adult
beverage scene in Asheville. Oscar Wong got the party
started in 1994 when he created Highland Brewing.
Today, there's a plethora of craft breweries in
Asheville. A notable recent addition is Hi-Wire
Brewing, which recently earned the title of "Best New
N.C. Brewery" by RateBeer.com.
If you're looking for a specific variety, there's no
better place to go than Bruisin' Ales on Broadway,
owned by my friend Julie Atallah and her husband,
Jason. They stock more than 1,000 brews from
around the world. Plus they have their fingers on the
pulse of area craft brewing. Asheville Brews Cruise is
a fun way to check out local breweries while avoiding
driving.
You're likely to hear live music while sipping your
brew or even while strolling down the street. A revolving lineup of buskers set up shop on stretches of sidewalk as they hope for tips or greater recognition. I
have a friend who booked a group on the spot to play
music at her wedding reception. My favorite is a
group that includes a guy playing a washtub bass,
guitar and trumpet players and a woman who is
downright wicked on the spoons.
As a child, downtown music was not street musicians, but watching weekly bluegrass performances
and square dancing at Shindig on the Green. In the
late '70s, Bele Chere launched as a hopeful way to
rejuvenate interest in downtown. It became known
as the largest street festival in the Southeast and provided many musical memories with local artists and
national headliners. While that long-running festival
ended in 2013, the Downtown After Five series on
select Friday evenings in the summer provides a chance
to gather for live music on Lexington Avenue.
During big downtown events, characters like the
Silver Drummer Girl and a White Guitar Man are sure
to make an appearance, usually near Pack Square.

away from downtown, this AAA FourDiamond B&B inn wins rave reviews.
Furnished with period antiques, king
beds and high speed Internet. innonmontford.com
Grand Bohemian Hotel - Located near
the entrance to Biltmore Estate, this
Tudor-inspired hotel offers guest
rooms and suites with luxurious
comfort.
bohemianhotelasheville.com/

Aloft Hotel - The exterior design leaves
much to be desired, but this downtown
hotel is perfectly situated for people
who want to be close to the Orange
Peel and dozens of breweries, restaurants and galleries within walking distance. aloftashevilledowntown.com.
And if the Biltmore Estate is your focal
point, consider Residences at Biltmore,
luxurious suites and a top-25 U.S. hotel.
ResidencesatBiltmore.com
-MHM
MAY/JUNE 2014 | 31


http://www.EXPLOREASHEVILLE.COM http://www.RateBeer.com http://www.innonmontford.com http://www.innonmontford.com http://www.aloftashevilledowntown.com http://www.desotolounge.com http://www.bohemianhotelasheville.com/ http://www.ResidencesatBiltmore.com

Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014

Letters / You Said It
From the Editor
From the Farm
BRC Unlocked
Mountain Report
Creasture Feature
Great Buys in the Mountains
The Hike
Festivals and Events
Country Roads
It’s Weird, It’s Wonderful, It’s Asheville!
Photoessay: The Waterfalls of Western North Carolina
Mountain Adventure: Where to Play, Where to Stay
One Day on the Parkway, 1987
Little Zoos, Big Fun
Mountain Garden
Flavors
Cabin in the Woods: The Farms Cabins and Cottages
Guest Column
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - Cover1
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 3
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 4
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 5
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - Letters / You Said It
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - From the Editor
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 8
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 9
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - From the Farm
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 11
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - BRC Unlocked
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - Mountain Report
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - Creasture Feature
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - Great Buys in the Mountains
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - The Hike
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 17
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - Festivals and Events
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 19
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 20
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 21
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - Country Roads
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 23
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 24
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - It’s Weird, It’s Wonderful, It’s Asheville!
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 26
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 27
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 28
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 29
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 30
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 31
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 32
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 33
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - Photoessay: The Waterfalls of Western North Carolina
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 35
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 36
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 37
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 38
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 39
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - Mountain Adventure: Where to Play, Where to Stay
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 41
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 42
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 43
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 44
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 45
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 46
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 47
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - One Day on the Parkway, 1987
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 49
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 50
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 51
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - Little Zoos, Big Fun
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 53
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 54
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - Mountain Garden
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 56
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - Flavors
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 58
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 59
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 60
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 61
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - Cabin in the Woods: The Farms Cabins and Cottages
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 63
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 64
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 65
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - Guest Column
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - 67
Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2014 - Cover3
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