The Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina are worth a visit any season of the year. Arts & Crafts aficionados choose February, when more than a hundred dealers and craftspeople fill one wing of the historic Grove Park Inn. Throughout the long weekend, hands-on workshops cover every topic from embroidery to printmaking. Lectures are offered, and small affinity groups meet. House tours and walking tours are arranged. [More at arts-craftsconference.com.]
The Omni-owned Inn also has a vast, sky-lit, subterranean spa featuring mineral pools, therapeutic waterfalls, underwater music, eucalyptus steam rooms, fireside lounges with healthy snack options . . . and a full complement of treatments including European facials, body wraps, and massages. Also on campus are several restaurants, from elegant to casual. The city of Asheville is nicknamed “Foodtopia,” so do go downtown, too! Asheville is a boomtown with clubs, music—and unusual shopping opportunities, including two giant, destination shoe stores: Tops for Shoes (27 No. Lexington Ave.) and Discount Shoe Store (1266 Brevard Rd.).
Local Cheshire Village Treasures
> The Antique Tobacco Barn Repurposed antiques and light fixtures
> Appalachian Creek Nursery A recommended source for landscape plants
> Bramblewood Amish-made new hickory furniture
> Chifferobe Home and Garden Rustic antiques
> Screen Door Lightly used books, furniture, and small items
For Contemporary Craft in Cheshire Village
American Folk Art & Framing specializes in local and Southern folk art, pottery, and picture framing. Open seven days year-round at 64 Biltmore Ave. in Asheville.
Grovewood Gallery is one of several worthy stops in the historic weaving and woodworking complex of Biltmore Industries (just across from the Inn).
Seven Sisters Gallery is a favorite of the Black Mountain homeowners. (See the previous article.) Find glass, jewelry, pottery, metal- and woodwork, and fine art. Located in Black Mountain.
Southern Highland Craft Guild is housed in the Folk Art Center. See the finest traditional and contemporary crafts of the Southern Appalachians: 382 Blue Ridge Parkway in east Asheville, five minutes from downtown.