Western NC

Vol12 Iss12 017

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Page 13 of 53

10 THE ORIGINAL RELOCATION GUIDE — WESTERN NC | VOLUME 12 — ISSUE 1 MOUNTAIN LIVING The mystery of mountain life beckons visitors each year to the part of the state that inspires artists, musicians, photographers, writers and everyday folk to the region where the air is cooler and the topography is majestic. Mountain towns have lyrical names that match the soul and heart of the region and its people — Black Mountain, Blowing Rock, Mars Hill, Cullowhee and others. Romantic notions abound about a lifestyle that celebrates diversity — where professors from Appalachian State University, Western Carolina, UNC-Asheville, Brevard College (and others), and white color professionals hang out at breweries with students and blue collar workers while sipping craft beer. Nationally known chefs have elbowed their way into the food scene that is habitually reviewed by the New York Times, Food & Wine and other esteemed publications. Haute cuisine mingles on menus alongside everyone's favorite food – pork barbecue. The Blue Ridge mountain town of Hendersonville is the apple of North Carolina's eye, and one of many quaint towns that make the region a destination. Henderson County is seventh-largest apple producing county in the nation. Hendersonville's Main Street is among the most welcoming in the North Carolina mountain region with a variety of shops, boutiques, restaurants and pubs. Mountain music defines the part of the state known for mastering the art of the spoken word and storytelling. The nationally known Steep Canyon Rangers grew up in Asheville and Brevard with the influence of bluegrass, old time and other genres. The group tours with actor and musician Steve Martin, who has a home in Brevard. In Marshall (Madison County), a tiny town about 20 minutes from Asheville sandwiched between rocky terrain and the French Broad River, music lovers gather to listen to fiddle and string instruments on porches and store fronts for informal jam sessions. Finding enough time to sample the extensive and diverse craft beer selection in the region is increasingly a challenge. From small batch brewers to large operations like the Big Three (Sierra Nevada Brewing in Mills River, New Belgium in Asheville and Oskar Blues in Brevard), the beer scene has something for every taste. Mountain Living BY LINDSEY GREY Adding to beverage choices are distilleries and cideries. Elevated Mountain Distilling Company is a craft distiller of top-shelf whiskeys and spirits based in Maggie Valley located where America's favorite drive meets America's most visited park. The name, Elevated Mountain, reflects the fact that Haywood County has the highest average median elevation (3,600 ft.) of any county east of the Rockies. Due to high elevation, all area natural water originates from headwaters in Haywood County. Some might be surprised that the mountain terrain is also horse country. Tryon and Saluda in the foothills region are where equestrian country, wineries, art galleries and a rich, outdoor landscape co-exist. Tryon is home to the Tryon Equestrian Center, the 1,400 acre equestrian destination with regularly scheduled events. In Transylvania County, horse enthusiasts' saddle up for a ride in the woods at Pisgah National Forest, Dupont State Forest and Gorges State Park. Western North Carolina is home to the Great Smoky Mountains, Blue Ridge Parkway (America's most favorite scenic drive), Grandfather Mountain with its well-known suspension bridge and other inviting mountain peaks, hills and valleys. The Great Smoky Mountain National Park is the most visited national park in the U.S. with 10 plus million visitors annually. Water lovers have miles of lakes and rivers to experience by boat, kayak or canoe. Lake Toxaway is a favorite spot for an afternoon cruise. Lake Lure is home of the region's oldest water-ski club. >> come for the scenery, stay for the cuisine. and the beer.

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