Come Experience the North Carolina Mountain beauty

Even in the ’70s, when there was no talk of a cosmic vortex in Asheville, the North Carolina mountains were a magnet for the young, the artistic and the rugged. They hosted hundreds of hippies who didn’t panhandle or go shoeless, but who farmed a dozen acres, drank from the spring and heated with wood. The goal was to live a holistic existence, a lifestyle that was green and sustainable. These back-to-landers bonded with natives who shared mountain folklore, music, dance and love of the outdoors with them. Your hosts, Dan and Nancy Ward, were among them.

Then, as now and before, a large percentage of people lived an artistic life. Dan and Nancy’s friends made wind chimes, woodcarvings and pottery. Asheville was a town full of characters and iconoclasts. In that respect it has changed little.

Then, as now and before, Asheville was also a magnet for the well-to-do, mostly in the form of former Floridians in search of three more seasons. Transplants gave Asheville a cosmopolitan feel that was lacking in the rural areas. They demanded more cultural and medical options than a town this size would normally provide, and the result was what one writer in the 1800s presciently called the Paris of the South. The current influx of retirees and professionals has fueled the trend toward a more colorful and diverse cultural scene.

Weaverville, a destination town

Weaverville represents another generation, perhaps another century, in the evolution of mountain living. It’s so quiet you can hear the cheering at the Little League games from more than a block away. When it looks like rain, everybody runs out to roll up the car windows. Few bother locking their cars.

After dinner at the Glass Onion, Twisted Laurel, Soba, Blue Mountain Pizza and Brewpub (in Western North Carolina’s oldest commercial building), Main Street Grill, Well-Bred Bakery or Stony Knob Cafe, stroll through our town’s galleries and take in some live music. Stop off for a hometown brew at Blue Mountain Pizza and Brewpub, Zebulon Artisan Ales or Eluvium Brewing Company. Guests often meet locals and learn more about Weaverville and its residents than they do about people in their own neighborhood. It’s a place conducive to meeting new people and chatting.

After an exhausting day of touring the Biltmore Estate, exploring Asheville’s shops and experiencing the colorful sidewalk performance that is Asheville, it’s a pleasant experience to kick off your shoes on the back porch to enjoy a cool drink and a view of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

It feels like coming home.

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