Thursday, January 29, 2015

Mountain Spirits: FREE Beer and Wine Tastings in Asheville

January 30th 5-7pm at Hops and Vines, 797 Haywood Rd, Ste 100 in Asheville NC: Alex Buerckholtz and Howard Brewing FREE TASTING - 2014 Pro-Am winner, Winter White Kolsch. This delicately balanced Kolsch style beer is the results of Howard Brewing Company's first Pro-Am competition. Homebrewer Alex Buerckholtz crafted this example and took home the Best of Show prize. With subtle maltiness and a crisp finish, White Winter Kolsch is proof that not every winter beer needs to be A "Quintuple Extra Imperial Bourbon beer".

The Winter White Kolsch is available only at Hops and Vines in West Asheville in 6 pack cans and on draft. Samples are free,  Pints are $4.  Jason Howard will be on hand to talk about the release of all his year round beers now available in Asheville.

January 31st, 3-6pm: Free Wine Tasting of 3 French Wines.
Dom Antugnac, Chardonnay, 2013 - This organic, uno-oaked Chardonnay is redolent of fresh apple and honey with herbal notes. With a round center, the wine finishes with a crisp acidity and would pair beautifully with shellfish. $14.99
Patience, Merlot, 2013- Forget everything you thought you knew about Merlot! This organic wine is a charmer full of chocolate, ripe plums, coffee and sweet herbs. Super ripe and mineral, this is a wine to turn heads! $14.99
Altitudes, Cotes de Rousillon, 2013- A blend of Carignan, Grenache, and Syrah. Made from roughly equal proportions of its three constituent grapes, this wine exhibits a blend of vibrant fruit, spicy undertones and firm tannins, with characteristic.
10% off all featured bottles on Saturday.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Great Smoky Mountains Railroad Offers Memorable Mountain Adventures for 2015

The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad is a favorite NC mountains attraction with both daily excursions and special events.  The train rides depart from Bryson City's historic depot and wind through the countryside of the beautiful Smoky Mountains.

2015 General Excursions:
Choose from one of two adventures - the Nantahala Gorge Excursion or the Tuckasegee River Excursion - and see the beauty of Western North Carolina from an open-air gondola car or upscale first class seating.
The Nantahala Excursion departs Bryson City traveling along the Nantahala and Tennessee Rivers for four-and-a-half hours over the 44 miles to the Nantahala Gorge and back again. Enjoy Bluegrass music and Appalachian stories along the way. The historic Trellis Bridge crosses Fontana Lake as the train travels into the beautiful Nantahala Gorge and arrives at the Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC) for a one-hour layover.

The Tuckasegee River Excursion winds through the countryside for 33 miles and 4 hours with a one and a half hour stop in the quaint historic town of Dillsboro where you may shop the unique downtown stores and galleries. The route includes a pass by the set used for the train scenes on the popular movie "The Fugitive".

Special Event and Specialty Trains:
The 2015 season offers a full calendar year of railroading events. Book ahead for these popular trains and guarantee your seat for fun-filled memories including:
  • PEANUTS™ The Valentine Express and Sweetheart Train - February 14, 11 AM
  • Photo Contest - deadline for submission February 6, 2015
  • PEANUTS™ Easter Beagle Express - April 3 and 4
  • Freedom Train - July 4
  • Dinosaur Train™ - July 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26, 31; August1, 2
  • PEANUTS™ Pumpkin Patch Express - Oct 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25, 30, 31
  • Masquerade Train - October 31, 8 PM
  • THE POLAR EXPRESS Train Ride -November 13 - January 3, various dates

Monday, January 26, 2015

Celtic Weekend at Asheville's Historic Grove Park Inn

January 30 - February 1, 2015    Celtic Weekend at the Grove Park Inn    Passion, artistry and skill collide during this dream weekend for lovers of all things Celtic. Join them as they celebrate the Scottish-Irish heritage of Western North Carolina with the finest in music. 

In addition to the feature concerts with Seven Nations and Gaelic Storm, other weekend activities include Scottish Border Collie sheepdog trial demonstrations, Celtic vendors, a cooking demonstration, chair massages, guided history tours, and live Celtic music throughout the Inn 

The Omni Grove Park Inn Resort and Spa - Renowned spa, scenic golf course, sports complex with pool, tennis, racquetball, training. Onsite restaurants, lounge, bars. A large variety of rooms and suites, varying stages of updates with some original Inn antiques. This landmark Asheville mountain Inn hosts a variety of special events throughout the year for both guests and the general public.    

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Mountain Spirits: Valentine Wine and Chocolate Tasting

February 11, 7:30 PM at Maggie B's Wine and Specialty Store, 10 C South Main Street in Weaverville NC - Sizzle the Senses: Valentine's Wine and "French Broad" Chocolate Pairing. Celebrate Valentine's Day early with a private wine and chocolate pairing. They will be pouring amazing gems that will truly tickle the taste buds. Get your Valentine's started early with these seductive wines and aphrodisiac truffles from French Broad Chocolates.

Call Maggie B's 828 645-1111 to reserve your space. $30 per person.

16th Annual WinterFest this Weekend in Blowing Rock NC

January 22 - 25, 2015   16th Annual Winterfest Join the Village of Blowing Rock to celebrate the fun side of winter at this annual family event. From the Wine Auction, ice carving and Live Bluegrass, to the Chili Cook-Off, Winter Paws Show, Fashion Show, Kids' Activities and the Polar Plunge in Chetola Lake, there's something for everyone. 

January 24, 2015  8th Winter Warmer Beer Festival  Held on the main arena level of the Civic Center. Get rid of the winter blahs at this favorite event with great food and great brews. Enjoy live music and sample the best beer from more than 35 North Carolina and Southeast breweries. This event has sold out the past 5 years, so get your tickets ASAP.

Find complete local information on the 


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

See Restoration in Action on a Guided Walking Tour at Tennessee Bottomland Preserve

January 24, 2015 - The LTLT (Little Tennessee Land Trust)  Guided Walking Tour. Have you ever wondered what’s involved in stream restoration? Are you interested in hearing the backstory of how an unstable, sediment-filled section of stream gets re-shaped to restore habitat and protect the land around it for many generations to come? If you answered yes to either of these questions make plans to join the Walking Tour on Saturday, January 24th to see restoration in progress and learn what it takes to accomplish such an endeavor.

LTLT Associate Director Ben Laseter will lead an informational walking tour beginning at 10:00 AM from the entrance of the Tennessee Bottomland Preserve down to the project site.The Preserve is a nearly 70-acre tract of bottomland and river bluff land lies at the junction of Tennessee Creek and the Little Tennessee River and is stop #53 on the NC Birding Trail.

Come view engineering plans, learn the concepts behind stable streams, and see first-hand how the project unfolds. You’ll gain a better understanding of the importance of these systems in protecting water quality, special habitats and working lands.

Plan to arrive at the Tennessee Bottomland Preserve by 10:00 AM with appropriate walking shoes that may get muddy. The walking tour should last approximately 2 hours. Directions and more information about  are available here.

Find links for complete local information on the Franklin NC Visitor Guide.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Beech Mountain Ski Resort Hosts 34th Annual Adaptive Ski Clinic

January 19 - 23, 2015   34th Annual Adaptive Ski Clinic   The oldest adaptive ski clinic and the first of a group of national instructional clinics started by Disabled Sports USA which previously was known as National Handicap Sports. 

The instructional team for the event is from all over the US and all PSIA Adaptive certified instructors with over 60 years of combined experience. The participants come from all over the southeast region including: NC, SC, GA, TN, AL, and FL. Ages range from age 4 into their 70’s with a variety of diagnoses. 

Get more local information  on the Beech Mountain NC Visitor Guide

Friday, January 16, 2015

Mountain Spirits: Spanish WIne Tasting at Maggie B's Wine and Specialty Store

January 16, 5:30-8:00 PM -  Free Wine Tasting.  Maggie B's is excited to be pouring several brand new Spanish wines which have just arrived in the Asheville area, and are delicious.  They will be pouring Dry Moscatel, Grenache, Tempranillo, and a Cabernet Sauvignon blend.

 Maggie B's Deal of the Week: Point Reyes Blue Cheese "Sweet, fresh milk with a medium-to-strong punch of blue flavor. Creamy, layers of full flavor." WAS: $20.99/lb. THIS WEEK: $16.99/lb.

Maggie B's Wine and Specialty Store is located at 10 C South Main Street in Weaverville NC (just 10 minutes from downtown Asheville).

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Across the Blue Ridge: Old Sounds, New Trails Concert Series in West Jefferson NC

January 17, 2015 - Across the Blue Ridge: Old Sounds, New Trails Concert Series featuring Spencer Branch and Kitty Amaral and The Stray Cats at the Ashe Civic Center.

Spencer Branch is the collaboration of siblings Martha Spencer (Whitetop Mountain Band) and Kilby Spencer (Crooked Creek Ramblers) along with Kelley Breiding (Kelley & The Cowboys). They play music drawn from their mountain heritage in addition to traditional country, bluegrass, and a healthy dose of original songs. 

Amaral, age 12, began her musical journey at the age of four when she started violin lessons. It wasn't long before she discovered and fell in love with Appalachian old-time and bluegrass fiddle styles. Amaral plays with the string band, The Stray Cats, made up of her recent mentors in the ways of old-time and bluegrass playing.

The Ashe Civic Center is located at 962 Mt. Jefferson Road in West Jefferson NC


Biltmore Offers Winter Tranquility and Best Rates of the Year - Tickets $39 Online

Now through March 15, 2015 you can enjoy the incredible Biltmore Estate for the year's best rates. Book online in advance for as low as $39.  During the Winter season, your admission will automatically be valid for a second day at no additional cost.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Sugar Mountain Resort Holds Annual Septuagenian Party

January 6, 2015    Septuagenarian Benefits and Party on Sugar Mountain Resort Anyone 70 and older can qualify for complimentary skiing and riding at Sugar. To obtain your complimentary skiing/riding privileges, visit Sugar Mountain Resort's administration office, located on the second floor of the main lodge building and present a photo ID. 

A season pass will be issued to you for a processing fee of $10. You may also chose to receive a daily ticket at no charge. Every January Sugar recognizes the wonderful contribution seniors make to the sport of skiing by throwing a party. This year's party will be held in the Last Run Lounge. 

Learn more about Sugar Mountain Resort Skiing and events on the Sugar Mountain NC Visitor Guide.