One of the best things about staying at a Bed & Breakfast in Asheville (and the Carolina Bed & Breakfast in particular!) are the special activities and insider information available to you as a guest. Because we are a small local business we are able to partner with some of the other businesses in and around town to create opportunities unavailable to you elsewhere. You won’t be able to do these through a hotel or Airbnb, even if you could find anyone who could tell you about them. Along with our partner inns in the Asheville Bed & Breakfast Association, we have created these Spring and Summer specials as exclusives to our guests in 2017.
FARM AND ARTISAN TOUR OF SANDY MUSH VALLEY IN LEICESTER, NC
Three years ago through my position with the marketing team of the Asheville Bed & Breakfast Association (ABBA) I made the acquaintance of Terri Wells. Terri lives in Leicester, a small town about 30 minutes outside of Asheville where she works with Addison Farm Vineyard, doing marketing and PR. She was interested in reaching out to our guests. She and I put our heads together and came up with a Fall Farm and Artisan Tour. The tour was highly successful, even being reported on by the New York Times as one of the best ways to see the mountains and colors of Western North Carolina in the Autumn. We’ve made some tweaks in the tour, added some new farms and artists and eliminated the need to make appointments with the artists. The tour is now available on the first Saturday of each month, May through October.
One new facet of the tour which I especially love is the commitment by the farms to contribute 10% of the purchase price which any of our guests make to the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy. SAHC is one of the reasons that Sandy Mush survives as a quiet, undeveloped valley filled with small family farms (practicing sustainable and responsible agriculture), well maintained church buildings and other old buildings and a variety of highly talented artists. The Conservancy has worked with the land owners to ensure that the land will remain free of development and available for small, environmentally conscious farming and other land use.
In addition to Sandy Hollar Farm (pick your own blackberries, shop for honey and beeswax candles and tour the farm) and the Long Branch Environmental Education Center (apples and cider, solar farm buildings, tobacco farm as well as tips for environmental farming) we have added The Sandy Mush Herb Nursery to the tour. Here you can learn about culinary and medicinal uses for herbs, and shop for herbs, wild flowers, bonsai plants and seeds.
Our existing artists are joined by Frank Barbara, a woodworker who has a line of rustic furniture and accessories. Nationally renown potter, Matt Jones, will be happy to show you his studio as well as the large (and I mean LARGE) wood-fired kiln he built on his property in the valley. Quilter Laurie Brown and painter Christine Hield (Sky Dance Art) will be happy to show your their works and studios and fiber artist June Hawkins can be found at Sandy Hollar Farm.
Of course, one of the highlights of the tour is Addison Farm Vineyard. Here you can enjoy a picnic (provided for you by your innkeeper) on a outdoor deck overlooking the grape vines and the mountains in the distance. Included with the tour is a wine tasting where you will enjoy a sample of some of Addison Farms award winning wines. The vineyard is dedicated to using 100% North Carolina grapes and, unlike some other vineyards in the area, does not import any grapes from California.
After you have enjoyed a day seeing some of the best Western North Carolina has to offer, it is just a short drive back to our Asheville Inn and the vibrant nightlife that makes our town so special.
THEATER UNDER THE STARS
And speaking of vibrant nightlife, we are, for the sixth year in a row, once again partnered with the Montford Park Players for our Theater Under the Stars Program. The Montford Park Players is North Carolina’s longest running Shakespearean troupe performing at an outdoor amphitheater just a short walk from the Carolina Bed & Breakfast. Our guests are their guests with a truly royal welcome: front and center reserved seats, complimentary beverages (including local beer and wine), souvenir Tee shirts, picnic basket and umbrellas (for heavy dew because it never rains on a Player’s show!) are all included in the package. AND for those who are interested, the troupe is happy to welcome you onstage in a walk on role. Properly costumed and guided by the cast, no one in the audience will be any the wiser that there is a a ringer on stage.
In response to audience demand, the Montford Park Players do more than just Shakespeare. Included in this year’s line up is a production of Peter Pan as well as the Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) for those who like their theater tongue in cheek!
You can view the performance schedule on our Specials Page.
With so much to do this Spring and Summer in Asheville you might have to come twice!