Merry Christmas

xmas biltmore

Merry Christmas Readers!  I want to share with you some of my favorite photos of Asheville.  Enjoy and have a wonderful holiday!

xmas good vibes

River Arts District

xmas skybar


xmas laaf

Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Fest

xmas barleys

Barley’s Taproom featuring all of the local brews

xmas grove park

Grove Park Inn


Blue Ridge Parkway

xmas lazoom

LaZOOM comedy tours

xmas pack square stage

Pack Square

xmas looking glass

Looking Glass Falls

xmas downtown

Happy Holidays from Asheville!



Asheville Local Gift Guide

shoppers blog1

Holidays are here and shopping is in full swing!  Cyber shopping is convenient, but somehow the browsing…feeling…tasting…and finding a hidden gem for someone special cannot be done online.

Buying local is so important to me!  So, if you are fortunate enough to visit Asheville during the holiday season, please buy, buy, buy!

Mast General Store is a good place to start.  There are gifts for everyone from the outdoorsy person who hikes, bikes, camps…you know the type.  They have everything the outdoorsman..woman could possibly need.  And what about the sweet tooth…there are old-fashioned candies galore.  And finally, please don’t forget the kids and the “classic” toys that can be found here that no matter what generation or decade you live in can be enjoyed.

Mast General Store


lexington ave

Please cruise Lexington Avenue and Haywood Street for the many unique shops and boutiques. You will be able to find gifts for the very hard-to-buy for person. Use your imagination.

chocolate avl

Chocolate…Need I say more?  Asheville has more chocolate shops per square block than breweries…I’m guessing.  Two of my faves…

French Broad Chocolates

The Chocolate Fetish

How well do you know your gift receiver?  Well enough to purchase art?  If so, visit the River Arts District and the Folk Art Center right off the Blue Ridge Parkway:

Folk Art Center

For the special someone… The best gifts may not be tangible.  How about some amazing gift certificates…


If you want to enjoy all the Grove Park has to offer for an entire day, book a massage and you can enjoy the spa and then shower, walk around and enjoy the Gingerbread House Display.


Sensibilities This is a locally owned spa that has served people’s needs locally for years.  Please consider them if you just want a half-day experience:

Finally, a great gift to give is a trip to Asheville:

Biltmore Estate

Biltmore Estate

Grove Park Inn

Grove Park Inn

There are also many Bed & Breakfasts and new funky hotels.

Good luck in finding those perfect gifts for all of your loved ones!





The Holidays are Here!


The holidays are here!  Let’s have some fun in and around Asheville!

Here are some things I’ve done…

Asheville Turkey Trot:  Race starts at 9:15 this year on Thanksgiving Day.  See the link below for registration and packet pick-up

Asheville Turkey Trot


Biltmore Candlelight Christmas Evenings: November 3 – January 26; Beautiful!

Biltmore Estate


Buying the Christmas Tree at the Farmer’s Market

WNC Farmer’s Market

christmas gingerbread houses

Grove Park Inn Gingerbread Houses:  Get some hot chocolate and explore the Grove Park Inn which is beautifully decorated, and pick your favorite Gingerbread House

Grove Park Gingerbread Information

Lake Julian Christmas Lights: Dec 2 – 29, $20/car; Nice drive through to get in the spirit!

Christmas lake julian

Biltmore Village: Walk around and hear the Dickens Christmas Carolers and Shop in the Christmas Store:

Christmas shop


Here are some things I want to do:

Downtown Asheville Art Walk: Dec 1, 5:00-8:00 PM

Christmas Art

Christmas Arboretum

NC Arboretum Light Show: You must purchase tickets in advance!

North Carolina Arboretum


Craggy Mountain Line Train Rides: Saturdays during December it becomes the  Jingle Bell Trolley Train Ride which leaves on the hour.  At the end you can enjoy visiting with Santa and Mrs. Claus.  Call 828-808-4877 or 828-808-4630 for more information.

Please let me know if you are planning a trip here and want company!  I never get tired of these holiday adventures!


How’s the Market in Asheville?

Fall house

Fall is a great time of year for real estate in Asheville!  Temperatures really do not get cold until later in December, so tourism is in full swing.  And with the tourists come buyers!

First, let’s talk Real Estate in general throughout the United States.  According to The Kiplinger Letter, “A tight market is going to get tighter as demand for homes continues to grow and supply fails to keep up.”  Builders cannot build fast enough.  With the recent hurricanes and natural disasters around the country, building prices are creeping up rapidly, and laborers are in high demand.  Mortgage rates are predicted to rise meaning buyers should secure their loans now while rates are still low.


North Carolina currently ranks #7 in price appreciation by state.  There has been an 8.49% one year increase with 2.77% over last quarter.


We, at Beverly-Hanks, like to describe Buncombe county as a “dual market.”  It is definitely a seller’s market in the lower price points which in Buncombe county tend to be less than $500,000 especially in certain areas.  And as selling prices increase, it becomes a buyers market.  We are really encouraging homeowners that are considering moving up to do it now.  They will get top dollar for their current home and can hopefully get good deals on higher priced homes.  If you are outgrowing your current home, have an expanding family, or just need more space, definitely consider preparing your home for sale.

Please see the third quarter Marketing Report for a breakdown of each county in Western North Carolina.  Happy Reading!

WNC Market Report Q3




Miscellaneous Ideas for Fall Fun


My typical blog posts contain one major theme, but today I am going to throw a bunch of ideas together for this autumn season.

Asheville gets inundated with what I call “The Leaf People” at this time of year.  No worries (other than traffic), we love our tourists and showing off our vibrant city.  So please see the links for activities, ideas, and fall real estate news:



Too tired or sore to hike, then go for a drive and listen to this playlist from local musicians:

Autumn Playlist

Fall motor1

The Blue Ridge Parkway is such a lovely place to see fall color.  Our Beverly-Hanks blog has more great information:

Blue Ridge Parkway

Ready for Selfies in and around Asheville?

15 Most Instagrammable Spots

Good Vibes

And finally, what’s going on with Real Estate?  Our inventory keeps getting lower and lower especially in more affordable price ranges.

Beverly-Hanks Market Research Center

If you are thinking about selling, try out our “cool” new tool to get 3 estimates of your home’s worth AND to see the number of buyers in our network looking for a home just like yours!


Leaf Season is Almost Here!


Are you ready to come to Asheville for those sunny fall days, that crisp air, and the beautiful color?  This fall is predicted to be one of the prettiest we have seen in years!  Along with the leaves come popular events in and around Asheville.  See the menu link, “Current Events”, and scroll down to the bottom of the page to find links for “Things to Do” and “Socializing.”


According to these are the specific 2017 peak color dates;


Unfortunately, along with fall color comes the heaviest season of traffic in Asheville.  Is there a way to avoid gridlock?  Are there better routes than others in and around Western North Carolina?  The answer to these questions is yes and no.  Obviously if you try to come to the city on Friday afternoon/evening traffic will be heavy regardless of which route you take.  If you are flexible on dates/times try Thursday before noon or early Saturday morning.  If not, please see the map below for suggestions on how to avoid I26 and I240 gridlock:

Red means avoid!  Green means better!


Enjoy your stay and as always…buy local and support the street musicians!

Pizza in Asheville!


Over the last year it seems as if a new pizza place opens up every week!  Is Asheville migrating from the micro-brewery city to the pizza hub of the US?  How do you think each of these establishments are going to carve out unique appeal for local folks and tourists alike?


My three “goto” pizza places for years are Asheville Pizza & Brewing, North Asheville; Barley’s, downtown, and All Souls Pizza, River Arts District.  I need to get out of my “foodie comfort zone” and try out some of the new ones.  Asheville Pizza and Brewing also has a movie theatre, so it is great for families.  Barley’s has a great spot downtown and often has live music.  All Souls Pizza is super creative with their menu and they have a very large outdoor space for families and friends to gather.


Asheville Pizza and Brewing

Barley’s Taproom & Pizzeria

All Souls Pizza

Since I have not had the time nor the appetite to try them all, I sought out recommendations from friends and these came out on top:

Fahrenheit Pizza & Brewing (family-owned)

Pizza Mind (very kid-friendly)

Standard Pizza (multiple locations)

Many people still love the chains as well, so do not forget about Mellow Mushroom, Marcos, and MOD!



17 Solar Eclipse Celebrations in WNC

Eclipse2017_USAThis event is way too big of a deal not to blog about:

from the Beverly-Hanks Facebook page…

“From Oregon to South Carolina, millions of people will be witness to a once-in-a-generation astronomical event. A total solar eclipse has not been visible from the continental U.S. since 1979. It will not be seen in Western North Carolina again for another century.”

Once in a lifetime…bucket list…experience you cannot miss…

So here are our best recommendations…

Cherokee’s Cultural Eclipse Celebration

WHEN: SUN. AUGUST 20, 2:00–9:00PM AND MON. AUGUST 21, 9:00AM–7:00PM

The ancient Cherokees believed a giant frog that lived in the sky would swallow the sun, causing darkness to occur during the daytime. The Cherokees and other tribes would gather and fire guns, beat drums, and generally make noise so as to frighten the great frog away, making the sun shine brightly again. This two-day event will include the Warriors of AniKituhwa, Native American performances, storytelling, food vendors, and more. Admission is $25 each day for ages 6+ (includes a free pair of certified eclipse glasses).

Learn more:

Cashiers Eclipse Festival

WHEN: MON. AUGUST 21, 10:00AM–5:00PM

The Village Green in Cashiers lies directly in the path of totality and will experience darkness for 2:23 beginning at 2:36pm. Astronomy activities with eclipse tips and facts will be taking place throughout the day. Visitors can try several local food trucks, enjoy beer and wine, and buy sweet treats and ice cream. Yard games and a live music performance by Coconut Groove will entertain guests during the festivities. The U.S. Postal Service will be on site to sell and cancel commemorative solar eclipse stamps. Admission with donation.

Learn more:

Highlands Total Solar Eclipse Viewing Party


Highlands, North Carolina is the preeminent WNC location to view the 2017 eclipse. Check out events in the area for the entire week leading up to the big event. Their Total Solar Eclipse Viewing Party will start with Yoga in the Park and music by Tyler Kittle and Hurricane Creek Band. This festival is one of 30 eclipse parties hosted across North and South Carolina as part of the Carolina Solar Eclipse Party initiative. Protective eyewear is a MUST!

Learn more:

The Total Solar Eclipse at Gorges State Park


The Friends of Gorges State Park is sponsoring three days of family-friendly, fun activities leading up to the total solar eclipse. The park offers prime viewing spots and plans to make the event truly memorable. Enjoy live music, food trucks, ranger-led nature hikes, science discussions and demonstrations, face painting, and more. This festival is one of 30 eclipse parties hosted across North and South Carolina as part of the Carolina Solar Eclipse Party initiative. Free admission.

Learn more:

2017 Eclipse at Clingman’s Dome


Clingmans Dome Trailhead parking area will be converted to a special ticketed event site for experiencing the eclipse with the assistance of experts, educational exhibits, and story tellers. NASA will be streaming live on location. Clingmans Dome Road will be closed on Sunday, August 20 and Monday, August 21 to accommodate the special event. This festival is one of 30 eclipse parties hosted across North and South Carolina as part of the Carolina Solar Eclipse Party initiative.

Tickets for the Clingmans Dome event are SOLD OUT. Any cancelled tickets will become available to the public again at

Learn more:

Downtown Sylva Eclipse Festival

WHEN: MON. AUGUST 21, 11:00AM–4:00PM

Sylva lies in the path of totality and will experience 1:47 of darkness. Festivities include live music from the Colby Deitz band and children’s activities from 11:00am–1:00pm. Don’t miss the planetary walk of the Solar System scaled to fit on Sylva’s Main Street. Adult events following the kids’ events will be held at Bridge Park. This festival is one of 30 eclipse parties hosted across North and South Carolina as part of the Carolina Solar Eclipse Party initiative. Free admission.

Learn more:

2017 Eclipse at PARI


This is the first time a total solar eclipse has occurred at a site equipped with 26-meter radio telescopes.  No one knows what will be learned by pointing these giant instruments at the sun during totality, but scientists will be on hand to find out. This is one of 30 eclipse parties hosted across North and South Carolina as part of the Carolina Solar Eclipse Party initiative.

Tickets for the PARI event are SOLD OUT.

Learn more:

Rosman Eclipse Viewing Event

WHEN: MON. AUGUST 21, 8:00AM–4:30PM

This family-friendly event will include live music, games, and concessions for both lunch and dinner. Tickets are $40 for adults, $25 for children 5–17. Proceeds will go to benefit Rosman High School.

Learn more:

Brevard College Eclipse Viewing Event

WHEN: MON. AUGUST 21, 8:00AM–5:00PM

The public is invited to view the eclipse on the Brevard College campus near the Porter Center. Eclipse viewing glasses will be available. Telescopes and other viewing devices can be set up.

Learn more:

Eclipse Weekend @ BMC


The Center will be hosting a post-festival season eclipse weekend. The event includes a concert by Lyle Lovett and His Large Band and a VIP viewing event that includes two iconic space movies, VIP Parking, PARI safety glasses, astronomy lectures, BBQ, and live music.

Learn more:

Solar Eclipse Party at Oskar Blues


Enjoy live tunes all day, Oskar Blues CHUBwagon specials, bouncy house, special eclipse glasses for everyone, and maybe even a guest appearance by the Pisgah Thunder. No camping is available on site, by there are several locations nearby.

Learn more:

Solar Eclipse Party at Harmon Field

WHEN: MON. AUGUST 21, 11:00AM–3:00PM

The Polk County Public Library and Polk County Early College Science Club are hosting a Solar Eclipse Party at Harmon Field in Tryon. This is a great opportunity to view the 99.77% obscuration of the sun as the moon passes between the sun and the earth. The celebration will include music, food crafts, and activities. This festival is one of 30 eclipse parties hosted across North and South Carolina as part of the Carolina Solar Eclipse Party initiative. The event is free and open to the public. Sun viewing glasses will be available at the event.

Learn more:

The Arboretum’s (almost) Total Eclipse

WHEN: MON. AUGUST 21, 8:00AM–4:00PM

Avoid the traffic and crowds and enjoy the Arboretum’s 434 acres of trails and open garden spaces, perfect for viewing this once-in-a-lifetime event. The first 250 cars through the Arboretum gates will receive a free pair of solar eclipse glasses for the 99% eclipse. More will be on sale at the Connections Gallery gift shop.

Learn more:

Asheville’s Solar Eclipse Festival in Pack Square Park


Join the target=”blank”Asheville Museum of Science, UNC Asheville, Asheville City Schools,Buncombe County Schools, and more for Asheville’s Solar Eclipse Festival. Bring the whole family and witness a spectacular solar eclipse while enjoying music, food, fun activities, and more. This festival is one of 30 eclipse parties hosted across North and South Carolina as part of the Carolina Solar Eclipse Party initiative. Satellite locations will be at Owen High School, North Buncombe High School, and TC Roberson High School. Free admission.

Learn more:

UNC Asheville’s Great American Eclipse

WHEN: MON. AUGUST 21, 1:00–3:00PM

UNC Asheville faculty, staff, and students are invited to gather together on the Quad for an afternoon of eclipse watching on telescopes with sun funnels, listening to eclipse-inspired music, playing games, yoga, enjoying ice cream and other treats, and experiencing this great event together. For UNC Asheville faculty, staff, and students ONLY.

Learn more:

Highland Brewing Company Rooftop Eclipse Viewing Party


Witness the eclipse Beer City USA-style from one of Asheville’s newest rooftop bars. Bring your eclipse glasses, grab a pint, and watch from the rooftop deck at Highland Brewing Company or in the grassy meadow. Come early and stay as long as you want. The rooftop bar is for those 21 and older. The meadow is family-friendly. Free admission.

Learn more:

Rock the Eclipse in Black Mountain


Historic downtown Black Mountain will host events all weekend leading to the eclipse party on Monday. Festivities begin on Friday, August 18, with an outdoor movie on Black Mountain Avenue at dark. On Saturday, join in the evening Wine Walk beginning at the Merry Wine Market. The Monday afternoon eclipse party will begin at 1:00pm on Town Square and feature live music by Jordan Okrend. Black Mountain will experience a 98.9% eclipse.

Learn more:

Brevard, NC “Land of Waterfalls”

Falls French Broad

One of my favorite summer activities is hiking to the many beautiful waterfalls we are blessed to have in this area.  If they have a good swimming hole that is definitely a bonus!  Take a backpack with a towel, dry shirt, plenty of water, snacks, and maybe even your fleece jacket.  These natural mountain streams can get pretty icy!

Let me start with Pisgah National Forest (take 276 right off of 280), or you can access by the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Make it an entire day trip to visit Looking Glass Falls, Sliding Rock, Moore Cove Falls, Daniel Ridge Falls, Slick Rock Falls, and Whale Back Falls.  My personal favorite is standing on the bridge and watching the people’s faces as they emerge from the waters of sliding rock!  If you want to see people “walk on water” because they cannot get out of it fast enough, this is your place to be.falls sliding-rock

The Davidson River is great for tubing, and the campground is a great place to spend the weekend.  Reserve well in advance!

Pisgah National Forest

Dupont State Forest is another great place to spend the day:

falls - Dupont

You can walk the entire Falls loop: Hooker Falls, Grassy Creek Falls, Triple Falls, High Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls.  Take a picnic!

Dupont State Forest

Gorges State Park near Lake Toxaway has Toxaway Falls, Turtleback, Rainbow & Stairway Falls, and Upper Whitewater falls.

Falls gorges

Lake Toxaway is beautiful and also deserves a visit:

falls lake toxaway

Such a quaint little town with beautiful places to stay and cute little restaurants.  From TripAdvisor:

Lake Toxaway

Various other waterfalls around Brevard include Courthouse Falls, French Broad Falls, Bird Rock Falls, and Connestee Falls.

And this is just around Brevard!  Please see the map below for additional waterfalls near Asheville:

falls - best map




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