Author: Kandyce Downs

Rich in History: The Shelton House

Built in 1875, The Shelton House was constructed in two sections with the two-story front block and a one-story rear wing completed in 1880. Shortly after the turn of the century a second story was added onto the rear wing. The house was constructed by Henry Napoleon Francis and was built for Stephen Jehu Shelton and his wife, Mahala Conley Shelton. The Charleston style farmhouse was the first property to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the integrity of the historically rich design has been preserved throughout the years. Its features are often associated with...

Read More

Old Time Jam at Up Country Brewing

Up Country Brewing Company is nestled in the heart of the Appalachian mountains in Asheville, North Carolina. A few words to describe Up Country when I first visited their brewing company were rustic, charming, and wholesome. What can I say? Their facilities reminded me of where I came from. They were the epitome of every country song and a true depiction of what you think the south should be. I felt at home. But their specialty doesn’t just end with good beer. They take it a step further, bringing entertainment to their customers as well as good food and...

Read More

Art After Dark: Small Town Charm

Just 30 minutes east of Asheville, North Carolina is a small town known as Waynesville. Those native to the area have probably heard of it. It’s the place where I was born and raised and provides a much more subdued, middle of nowhere kind of feel than the larger city of Asheville, North Carolina. Similar to Asheville, Waynesville has a very active community that comes together to celebrate numerous festivals, events, holidays, and the culture of the people who make up the community. One of my favorite things to do is to stroll through downtown Waynesville for their Art...

Read More

The Montford Park Players: Pride and Prejudice

The Montford Park Players is a non-profit organization which performs Shakespeare and other classic plays during the summer months at the outdoor Hazel Robinson Amphitheater in the Montford Recreation area at 92 Gay Street in Asheville, North Carolina. With a 43 year history, they are North Carolina’s longest running Shakespeare festival. Their 2016 season has proved to be one of their most successful seasons and they are finishing it off with performances of some well known pieces of literature including my personal favorite Pride and Prejudice. Gregory Roberts-Gassier wrote the screenplay for the performance and in my opinion did...

Read More

Horseback Riding with Winding Creek Stables

Horse back riding is an experience everyone should try at least once and what could be a better place than the beautiful mountains of western North Carolina to give it a try? Winding Creek Stables is located in Asheville, North Carolina and is a full service horse riding facility. It is operated by trained staff specializing in different styles of horseback riding and range from beginners to expert level classes. They are dedicated to providing a comprehensive horseback riding experience with a focus on the horse and human bond, safe and effective horsemanship, and experiencing the surrounding beauty as...

Read More

Good Food, Great Cause: Help Local Farmers with ASAP!

The Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP) is a nonprofit organization designed to help local farms thrive, link farmers to markets and supporters, and to build healthy communities through connections to local food. Their main focus is local food sources and they strive to make the changes needed for our food system to be sustainable locally. They work to ensure that everyone has the social spaces, tools, means, and knowledge to transform the food system into one that is good for the health of the community and the people it provides for. They bring local food to schools and children,...

Read More

The Thomas Wolfe Memorial

Beautiful architecture rich with history is the first thing that comes to my mind when I look at the Thomas Wolfe House. Now known as the Thomas Wolfe Memorial, the state historic site and museum was home to the famous American author Thomas Wolfe from 1900 until 1938. It was his home during his youth and one that has been forever memorialized in his novel Look Homeward, Angel. Look Homeward, Angel was Thomas Wolfe’s first novel and is considered a highly autobiographical American coming of age story. Many believe the main character Eugene Grant to be a depiction of...

Read More

Spookmoot is back!

Folkmoot is a nonprofit organization dedicated to celebrating many cultures in one community. The organization has a long standing history in western North Carolina. Their year-round programming initiatives have been made possible by the people of the community, the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina, and the Cherokee Preservation Foundation. This year they are taking us to Spookmoot, a Halloween extravaganza, taking place in the historic Hazelwood School located in Waynesville, NC. Spookmoot will start Wednesday October 28th and continue through Sunday November 1st. From October 28th through October 29th, the haunted historic Hazelwood School will host an event...

Read More

Dark Ride Tours: Exploring Haunted Asheville

Every Halloween, I enjoy listening to scary stories whether it is through my nightly ritual of horror movies or gathering around a campfire with good friends to tell the most terrifying ghost story we’ve heard of. Something about the celebration of the dead makes Halloween the night for spooky tales. I’ve enjoyed my fair share of the creepiness, especially growing up in a place entrenched with ghost stories and haunted locations. That’s why I’m excited for what Dark Ride Tours has to offer this year. This year, they’re offering a Spirits on the River Tour and a Haunted Graveyard...

Read More

The Haunted Farm – A Nightmare to Remember

What would Halloween be without a little scare? All throughout western North Carolina you will find various haunted house and excursions pop up during the month of October. With the backdrop of the beautiful mountains and the isolation provided with living in the middle of nowhere, it is no surprise that people come to this area for a good scare. There are several attractions that make my list of must see’s, but one place in particular is the Haunted Farm. Claiming to be western North Carolina’s scariest attraction, it doesn’t disappoint. The Haunted Farm is located fifteen minutes from...

Read More

The Season of Fall: Pumpkin Picking at Justus Orchard

Fall is a time for harvest, celebration, and family gatherings. It’s one of my personal favorite times of the year. The color changes of the leaves, the cool crisp weather, and the smell of pumpkin spices in the air are only the tip of the iceberg. It’s the time of the year that families come together and what a better way to celebrate the start of fall and the upcoming Halloween than by going to a pumpkin patch and picking out your very own pumpkin to carve? Justus Orchard located in Hendersonville offers a varied selection for you to...

Read More

A Dark and Twisted Tale for Halloween: Sweeney Todd

One of my all time favorite musicals is making its debut on the stage of the Asheville Community Theatre in western North Carolina. Sweeney Todd is a British classic with a dark and twisted side to the normally cheerful and upbeat setting that most musicals have. Sweeney Todd is set in 1846 in London, England. The musical tells the story of Benjamin Barker, a barber wrongfully convicted of crimes and sentenced to penal transportation by the corrupt Judge Turpin, who wanted Benjamin Barker’s wife for himself. Fifteen years later, Benjamin Barker returns to London under the alias of Sweeney...

Read More

The Mystery of the Brown Mountain Lights

In the heart of the Appalachian Mountains there is mystery. It’s more than just beauty that only the isolation of the forest can provide. There are whispers and tales of the mysterious Brown Mountain Lights rooted deep in the Pisgah National Forest dating back as far as humans have walked through the area. On Brown Mountain in Burke County, it is a phenomenon that can only be described as truly otherworldly. The proof is in photos, videos, and for anyone brave enough to venture to the place of mystery located on Brown Mountain. The earliest reports of the lights...

Read More

The Haunting of the Whitegate Inn

1889 Whitegate Inn and Cottage is located on east Chestnut Street near downtown Asheville. Arriving at the bed and breakfast, it appears to be just another one of the beautiful homes located in western North Carolina. It’s red brick exterior, well manicured lawn, and luscious gardens draw you into its beauty. The water garden and waterfalls that surround the perimeter set the mood for this romantic destination. The owners Ralph Coffey and Frank Salvo have worked to preserve the beauty and integrity of this historical building. The beauty of the Whitegate Inn isn’t the only thing that attracts visitors...

Read More

Ghosts from the Past: Helen’s Bridge

Mountain lore is filled with numerous legends of ghosts and hauntings. Chilling tales that have been passed down through the ages keep finding their way into mountain culture. Some of these places have been legends that draw in tourists year after year while others have remained shrouded in mystery only whispered about by the locals. One of my personal favorites is Helen’s Bridge. You might be familiar with the story or you might only know it in passing as it used to be a place frequented by Thomas Wolf and was mentioned in his book “Look Homeward, Angel.” It’s...

Read More

Favorite Brews for the Fall Season

As most of you know, I am an avid beer lover. Most of my favorite beers come from local breweries so I can enjoy a cold one while supporting my local economy. Makes me feel good about spending those extra bucks. With multiple options to choose from in the area, I often find it hard to decide on just one and as more and more breweries move to the area, producing world-class beers, that decision has become even harder. As a result my personal favorites are constantly changing, but for this fall, I’ve narrowed down my top three beers...

Read More

Women of the Mountains: aSHEville Museum

The aSHEville Museum is a women’s cultural museum committed to the creation of a more just and equitable world through its collection of intimate exhibits which range from historical to contemporary as well as global to local. The museum focuses primarily on giving women a voice and highlighting their accomplishments and experiences. They offer a variety of exhibits as well as a few rotating exhibits. Their core exhibits include Appalachian Women, 100 Years of Sexism in Advertising, and A History of Hysteria. One of my particular favorites is the Appalachian Women exhibit which features Wilma Dykeman as its local...

Read More

Gan Shan Station: Asian Cuisine from the Mountains

Born and raised in Asheville, North Carolina, Patrick O’Cain, owner and chef of Gan Shan Station, drew his inspiration from his experiences and the very hometown from which he grew up in. After working as a teacher, he followed his passion for cooking and attended AB Tech’s culinary program. He was a member of the Culinary Competition Team while working at Asheville’s Curate. He later received an internship at the renowned McCrady’s restaurant in Charleston, SC after which he was offered a full time position. He left McCrady’s to help open Charleston’s Xiao Bao Biscuit before deciding to return...

Read More

Local Favorite: Mojo Kitchen and Lounge

Mojo Kitchen and Lounge is located in the heart of downtown Asheville. It is a place known for its local, regional, and seasonal ingredients as well as superb quality food in a casual setting. With the moto, “Eat Well. Be Happy” it’s easy to see why Mojo Kitchen and Lounge has become a local favorite. A gem among restaurants in the area, they offer gluten free, vegetarian friendly, and vegan friendly dishes as well as try to accommodate any dietary preference that you may have. Their menu includes a variety of dishes including bar snack favorites such as chili...

Read More

An Irish Wake: Dinner and a Show like no other

Lex 18, an Appalachian inspired cuisine moonshine bar, brings to you an immersive comedy melodrama dinner show set in Asheville in 1926. The theme of the party centers around an open casket wake for the great Dr. E.W. Grove. The Irish wake is hosted by five vaudevillian friends who together with guests lament, sing, reminisce, toast, dance, perform magic tricks, and enjoy the occasional drink. The experience is an immersion. Uniquely designed dinner experience is centered around the theme of classical vaudeville melodrama with a twist of fictionalized and historical facts, setting, and personages. The entire dinner is integrated...

Read More

Recent Videos

Loading...