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Oh the Places You'll Go...in Asheville and Black Mountain

With the passing of Memorial Day comes the traditional start of the Asheville summer. For locals and visitors alike, the onset of warmer weather and longer days opens up numerous options for Asheville area activities.

Black Mountain WaterfallA National Geographic web article last year lists their “Top 10 Things To Do in Asheville” which has some traditional as well as some newer ideas of how to take in and appreciate all that the western NC mountains has to offer. That list is worthy of another glance, and we at Greybeard have a few of our own suggestions of things to do to add as well.

Nat’l Geo starts with asking what SUP, or what day would you like to try a stand-up paddleboard (SUP) on the French Broad. Wai Mauna provides boards and expert guides to explore and experience the herons, otters and turtles, among other creatures along the riverbanks. If you’d prefer white water rafting, check out Greybeard Rentals’ White Water Rafting page and connect with French Broad Rafting Expeditions that travels through the Pisgah National Forest. Greybeard Rentals guests receive a 10% discount on rafting trips.

From cool mountain water to hot air, Nat’l Geo next moves to hot air ballooning. Asheville Hot Air Balloons has a unique perspective of the Blue Ridge Mountains. If that’s a bit more daring than you’re ready to take on, consider French Broad Ziplines which gives you that same flying sensation, over tree canopy, while you’re still securely tethered to a lifeline. Again, discounts are available for Greybeard guests through the Guest Services page. Heck, we can even help you make the reservations. Asheville Area Rental Cabin

From these outdoor activities, Nat’l Geographic shifts to the arts, suggesting that travellers wander through the River Arts District which has regularly scheduled night strolls and head over to the Folk Art Center, both great suggestions! At Greybeard, we would add meandering through Black Mountain, where Greybeard is located, to sample and enjoy the numerous shops and galleries that make their home here. The scope and range of arts in the western NC mountains is astonishing, from traditional/folk art to high end jewelry and glass works.  

Nat’l Geo didn’t forget the incredible Asheville area hikes, and the article highlights Craggy Pinnacle and Black Balsam Knob, both of which require some uphill climbing and offer sunrise or sunset views. We would add Montreat’s Lookout hike, and we have an affinity for waterfall hikes, many of which are listed on our Asheville area hiking webpage.

Nat’l Geo didn’t forget the importance of nourishment and highlights the farm-to-table fare available at several places including Early Girl Eatery and Nightbell. On the Greybeard website you’ll find some of our favorite dining spots in Asheville, including Curate and 12 Bones Smokehouse. In addition, be sure to look on the Black Mountain dining page for suggestions including Que Sera and the Veranda Café. And if you have a favorite that didn’t make any of these lists, please let us know what it is in the comment section so we can try it out ourselves!

The Drum Circle is a great place to find your rhythym. This Friday night activity, outdoorsi n the summer and indoors at New Mountain AVL in the winter, gathers together an eclectic group to dance, drum, sing or just watch. If you’re more about the watching of a performance, Greybeard suggests the Montford Park Players which presents NC’s longest running Shakespeare Festival.

Of course Nat’l Geo highlights the Biltmore, and we agree that’s a very special stop along an Asheville tour. For other, perhaps a little less-known locations, Greybeard has a few ideas such as the Wolfe Memorial and the Saint Lawrence Basilica. Both of these sites are detailed on Greybeard’s Things to Do webpage.

Shopping was not forgotten, and it can be a nice way to stroll through town and get a taste of the local atmosphere. The article encourages visitors to browse through the Grove arcade or have a coffee at Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café. There are many rainy afternoons that seem perfectly suited for losing one’s self in the book stacks of this remarkable store. Be sure to take in the “employees’ suggestions” for titles you may not have come across, including some local selections. Again, for a sampling of Asheville/Black Mountain shopping options, Greybeard has a shopping webpage. Or, beter yet, come on over to Black Mountain and poke your head into some of the local shops and stores. It’s quite possible you’ll find things at the Black Mountain Hardware store that you didn’t even know you needed!

If after all of these activities, you still have energy for more, there’s plenty to do in Ahseville and its environs when the sun goes down. For nightlife, Nat’l Geo features several live-music brew pubs including Black Mountain’s Pisgah Brewing and the Highland Brewing company. For other ideas, see Greybeard’s webpage for Asheville music venues.

And if you wake up the next morning and realize all of the activities and night life have you drained, consider a massage at the Spa at the Omni Grove Park Inn. Greybeard offers special packages to our rental guests, including a girls getaway package, that includes special offers for the spa.

As you can see, there’s plenty to do up this way, and, as summer officially begins next Wednesday on the summer solstice, it’s time to come on up here. And as always, if Greybeard Rentals can help you plan your trip, just let us know. We’re here to answer any questions you might have about this incredibly active area that is western NC.