Author: Kandyce Downs

Local Revival: The Strand at 38 Main

I have called Waynesville, North Carolina home since I was born. It’s a small town, located about thirty minutes away from Asheville, North Carolina. I enjoy its small town charm and can remember spending many of my summer days walking to Main Street and browsing through the shops. Some of the shops had been there for many decades, giving me a peak at what life was like for the older generation. I think that’s why there were so many people loyal to the area. They enjoyed the familiar, but with the passing of time, it was only an inevitability...

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Tour the Mountains: Cycle to Farm

For those looking for a spin on their workout or those just looking to get out and experience the wonderful fall colors and local economy that western North Carolina has to offer, Cycle to Farm is the perfect excuse to get on that old bike and take to the road. Beginning five years ago, Cycle to Farm offers an experience entrenched in the heart of the mountains like none other. The Sandy Mush ride will start and finish at the New Belgium Liquid Center in west Asheville. New Belgium has been the sponsor of Cycle to Farm since it’s...

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Are You Afraid of the Dark?

It’s that time of year again with the cool crisp breeze and smell of warm cinnamon and pumpkin spiced lattes in the air. I’m talking about fall, one of the more beloved times of year in the mountains. Who couldn’t enjoy the beauty of the leaves changing colors, colder nights perfect for warm snuggles and a toasty fire, and the terrifying nights of horror leading up to Halloween? That’s right. With fall comes one of the most terrifying times of the year along with all that other mushy stuff people like to post on Pinterest, but the thing most...

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Celebrate Fall with Eliada’s Annual Corn Maze

Fall is here and what better way to celebrate it than with a family fun outing to Eliada’s Corn Maze? Eliada’s Corn Maze is held annually and this year it is open from September 14th through October 23rd. Their hours of operation are Wednesday through Thursday from 9 am to 3pm, Friday through Saturday from 9 am to 8 pm, and Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm. Eliada’s will be closed on Wednesday and Thursday if there are no scheduled field trips on those days so be sure to check their facebook page on those days. Eliada’s Corn...

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The Hunger Games: Unofficial Tour Guide

The Hunger Games quickly became one of the most popular book series in modern day literature and that popularity only grew after the successful movie franchise brought more fans into the world of Katniss Everdeen. The thrill and dangers hidden in a world of harsh realities was contrasted by the beauty and imagery depicted by the setting chosen for the films. It’s no surprise then that fans of the series have sought out the beloved mountains of North Carolina to get a first hand glimpse at what it was like in the world depicted within the Hunger Games movies....

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Family Dinner at Rhubarb’s

Located in downtown Asheville, Rhubarb is truly a one of a kind dining experience. Upon entering Rhubarb, you are greeted with an industrial setting blended with rustic décor. The soft lighting and warmth from the wooden fixtures and tables adds a familiar hospitality vibe to the otherwise fine dining experience. It’s a place meant to remind you of your own kitchen table where you gather with friends and family. The idea behind Rhubarb is one of celebration and family with goal of being the “it” place for special occasion celebrations, proposals, and good times within the community of Asheville....

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Beer, Shopping, and Food: Asheville Flea for Y’all

Asheville Flea for Y’all is located on Riverside drive across from the French Broad River and takes place the last Sunday of each month during the months of May through October and on December 3rd of each year. Vendors at the Asheville Flea for Y’all sell vintage, antiques, mid century modern, machine age, Danish modern, rustic and industrial décor as well as handmade art. These unique items are perfect for those shabby chic touches as well as inspirational pieces of interest to those looking for a bargain when remodeling or just completing the finishing touches of family rooms or...

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The Road to Nowhere

In Bryson City, NC there is a 6 mile stretch of scenic road that dead-ends into the North Carolina side of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This area is what the locals refer to as the “The Road to Nowhere”. Originally named Lakeview Drive due to the spectacular views of Fontana Lake, it was supposed to be a road providing residents access to their ancestral grave sites. It was a promise left unfulfilled by the government when the residents were forced to leave their homes and land in order for Fontana Dam to be built and it now...

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Find Your Pint: Sierra Nevada Brewing Company

Starting this week until October 2nd at 9:00 pm, the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company in Fletcher, NC is hosting the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation’s celebration of the National Park Service’s centennial year by teaming up with 17 Asheville area breweries. The “Find Your Pint” beer releases and fundraising events will benefit the Blue Ridge Parkway. Sierra Nevada will offer Blue Ridge Red in the brewery’s Taproom and restaurant in Mills River and the brew will be on tap all week with a dollar from every pint sold donated to the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation. The Blue Ridge Red offered...

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Burgers and Pints for $10: Hi-Wire Brewing and Foothills Local Meats

Hi-Wire Brewing is a brewing company that is continuing on the traditions of brew beers that brewers have been striving to perfect for thousands of years. They hold fast to the traditions of brewing while experimenting with new techniques and varying flavors to provide a truly unique craft of beer selections. Their selections include traditional lager beers that have a perfect balance of light Pilsen malt and German hops and Bed of Nails brown ale which is an ode to a traditional English brown with a light hop that balances the natural sweetness present in the specialty malt. For...

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Costume Design at the Turn of the Century: 1990 to 2015

The University of North Carolina at Asheville is hosting the United States debut of an internal exhibit that first opened in Moscow in 2015. It showcases renderings and drawings from Costume at the Turn of the Century: 1990 to 2015 and is curated by UNC Asheville Visiting Professor of Drama Igor Roussanoff. Initiated through collaboration between International Organization of Scenographers, Theatre Architects, and Technicians (OISTAT) and the A.A. Bakhrushin State Central Theatre Museum in Moscow, Russia, the idea for the exhibition originated four years ago after the meeting of the OISTAT Costume Design Group in Prague. The Costume at...

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Making Pottery: The Black Mountain Clay Studio

Located behind the main building for the Center for the Arts in Black Mountain, North Carolina is the Clay Studio. It is place designed as a haven for those who love to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty. The art of pottery is one that has ties to all of mankind’s history and if you haven’t had the chance to create your own pieces, it is something I highly recommend. There is something soothing about molding clay and creating a piece of art that’s not only beautiful but functional as well. If you’re lacking experience, that’s...

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Southern Art: Fly Coop Studios

Southern culture has had a strong influence in the art that has come from the region. It’s so ingrained in our way of life that it’s nearly impossible to separate out the art from the culture. Local artist Angelique Tassistro has embraced her heritage and used it to influence her art. Growing up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, she has roots deep in the south and it has served as her inspiration for her ceramic and functional pottery. Her work comes from her experiences as a child and growing up with her eccentric southern family. Vintage clothes made by her...

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A Flash from the Past: Henderson County Heritage Museum

Located in the Henderson County Historic Courthouse is the Henderson County Heritage Museum. It seeks to preserve history and educate visitors on the people, places, and milestone events that helped shape the lives of the people of Henderson County, North Carolina. The museum emphasizes the county’s pioneers through colorful exhibits, dioramas, educational programs, research, and collections that reflect how the people of the area responded to their cultural, educational, political, and natural environments. The museum consists of six rooms and approximately 2000 square feet. The spaces are designed to be flexible and versatile as new items come into the...

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No Taste Like Home

Growing up in the mountains of North Carolina, I can remember the lessons passed on from my grandmother as she walked me through the forests picking berries and other edible plants as well as her cautionary tales of what to avoid. It’s a time-honored tradition that was passed down from her mother and father and it served her and her family well during the great depression. Living off the land doesn’t just have to be something only locals can experience. Thanks to Wild Food Foraging Tours, you too can experience what it’s like for a lot of the locals...

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Elijah Mountain Gem Mine: A Family Adventure

Some beautiful gems have come out of the heart of the Smoky Mountains, so it’s no surprise that the locals of the area have capitalized on the experience and opened gem mines for families to come and experience the prospecting way of life. One of the top voted gem mines in the area is Elijah Mountain Gem Mine. Located in Hendersonville, North Carolina, Elijah Mountain Gem Mine offers covered outdoor water flumes as well as indoor flumes allowing them to be open year around. They are a family owned and operated company and pride themselves on their customer satisfaction....

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Local Eats: Ammons Drive Inn & Dairy Bar

Old time diners are something reminiscent of the past, a time with good food and family gatherings. But here in the south, diners are very much a part of the local culture if you know where to find them. Ammons Drive Inn & Dairy Bar is located in Waynesville, NC. They are one of the few diners left that cater to that old-time feel with low prices and good food. Everything is made to order and their menu is large enough to accommodate even the pickiest of eaters. My personal favorite is their hamburgers and for under $3, you...

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Local Favorites: Fired Up! Creative Lounge

  Locally owned with two locations, one in Asheville and one in Hendersonville, Fired Up! Creative Lounge is a fun and relaxing hands-on studio where you can create and paint your own pottery. It is a for adults and kids of all ages and offers a variety of pottery to design such as glazed ceramic, pottery, mosaics, and fused glass art and jewelry. The local artists who operate and own the facilities, Linda and Mark Chester have created a truly one of a kind experience designed to fully immerse you into the artistic experience. All projects are offered on...

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Burger, Bar, and Grill: Juicy Lucy’s What more could you want?

Juicy Lucy’s Burger Bar and Grill is a family owned business that originated in Minnesota. After relocating to Asheville, NC, Juicy Lucy’s Burger Bar and Grill has made a name for itself among locals and tourists alike. I was first drawn to Juicy Lucy’s Burger Bar and Grill when I heard that their ingredients came from local farms. The fact that they prepared their own patties, made their own buns, and had gluten free options sold me on making a trip down to their restaurant. Upon entering their establishment the first thing I noticed was the casual atmosphere. Offering...

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Preserving the Wildlife: Pisgah Forest Fish Hatchery

Growing up within the heart of the mountains, I spent many afternoons and mornings fishing with father in the lakes, rivers, and streams. Enjoying the outdoors is one of the many reasons to visit the beloved Smoky Mountains and part of the reason we’ve been able to keep our wildlife abundant and our mountains beautiful is thanks to the wildlife conservation efforts of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. The Pisgah Forest Fish Hatchery is dedicated to breeding and preserving the fish found within our streams and lakes. The hatchery breeds and raises over 500,000 brown, brook, and rainbow...

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