Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York on October 18, 2015 · Page C8
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October 18, 2015

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Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York · Page C8

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Rochester, New York
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Sunday, October 18, 2015
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Page C8
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Ashevilleis an old soul of acity renewed by a hips ter vibe. Attractions range from new beer breweries and a honey bar to the 120-year-old Biltmore mansion. You c an see artists at work in t he River Arts District, then go for a hike in the Blue Ridge Mountains. And while there’s plenty to do year-round, fall is p articularly lovely. Fol iage usually peaks mid- to late October, but depending on weather, color at lower elevations can l ast into November. What’s new Asheville’s funky River Arts District has been h ome to artists, entrepreneurs and eateries in the old industrial area around the French Broad River for some time, but the n eighborhood continues t o add interesting venues. The Smoky Park Supper Club, built from recycled shipping containers and specializing in wood-fired c ooking, opened in Sept ember. The Smoky Mountain Adventure Center, which will feature an indoor climbing gym as w ell as rentals for bikes, kayaks, canoes and other g ear, is scheduled to open in late fall. And while the Asheville area already has m ore than two dozen beer breweries, a $175million New Belgium facility with a tasting room is expected to be brewing by t he end of the year. Other b reweries range from the artsy hole-in-the-wall Wedge Brewing in the River Arts District to the gleaming, modernist Sier- r a Nevada brewery near t he airport. Sierra Nevada, which opened earlier this year, also has an excellent restaurant. Downtown, the Black M ountain College Mu- seum at 56 Broadway has e xpanded. Through exhi- b itions and programs, the museum celebrates the ideals and legacy of a remarkable experimental school founded outside A sheville in 1933. The col- l ege lasted just 24 years but its faculty was a Who’s Who of avant-garde artists and intellectuals, including Willem and E laine de Kooning, Merce C unningham, John Cage and Buckminster Fuller. Don’t miss the honey bar at the Asheville Bee Charmer, 38 Battery Park Ave. The shop sells 50 va- r ieties of honey, many f rom North Carolina beekeepers but also imported from France, Italy, Spain, New Zealand, Ireland and Scotland. Y ou’ll be stunned by h ow different honey can taste — fruity, woodsy, earthy, spicy — depending on where bees collect their nectar. The Center f or Honey Bee Research a nd the “Bee City USA” initiative supporting pollinators and beekeepers are also headquartered in Asheville. Classic attractions For a look at life in the Gilded Age, visit the 250- room Biltmore, built by George Vanderbilt. It’s the largest private home i n the country and attract- e d 1.5million visitors in the past year. The grounds, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, are also spectacular. They i nclude waterways, wind- i ng roads, gardens, farms, a winery and gorgeous mountain views. The new Village Hotel on Biltmore opens here in D ecember. Nearby, the North Carolina Arboretum, located on 426 acres in the Pisgah National Forest, offers serene gardens, wooded t rails, art exhibits, bonsai and more. Downtown, take a stroll around Pack Square P ark and then tour the Thomas Wolfe Memorial, which includes the write r’s birthplace and a nearby boardinghouse run by his mother. Wolfe’s barely fictionalized depiction of his hometown in his 1929 best-selling novel, “Look Homeward, Angel,” upset t he locals so much that it w as initially banned in Asheville. Actor Jude Law visited the memorial t o prepare for his role portraying Wolfe in a movie due out later this year, “ Genius,” which tells the story of Max Perkins, the New York editor who c hampioned the work of Wolfe and other famous w riters of his era, including F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway. F itzgerald also spent time in Asheville, notably at The Grove Park Inn, a b eautiful old resort established in 1913 when Ashe- v ille was a destination for those seeking the healthful effects of mountain air. Drop by the inn even if you only have time for a cocktail on the Sunset Terrace or a quick look at the l obby’s massive stone fireplaces and grandfather clock. The front desk offers free pamphlets for self-guided tours; displays tell the story of visits by presidents and celebrities. Tips Flights to Asheville’s s mall airport can be expensive. Nearest major h ubs are in Greenville, South Carolina, 77 miles away; Atlanta, 200 miles; a nd Charlotte, 125 miles ( $85 one-way van from BETH J. HARPAZ/AP Afield on the Biltmore estate in Asheville, North Carolina. The Biltmore mansion has 250 rooms and offers a look at life during the Gilded Age, but the estate’s grounds are also spectacular, with g ardens, winding roads and working farms. From the Biltmore to the honey bar, Asheville beckons AP Fall color along the Blue Ridge Parkway not far from Asheville, in an area called Graveyard Fields. BETH J. HARPAZ ASSOCIATED PRESS PAUL HOWEY VIA AP Kim Allen, background left, and Jillian Kelly, background right, serve honey samples at the honey bar of the Asheville Bee Charmer, the store they own in Asheville. The store sells 50 varieties of honey. SeeASHEVILLE,Page9C

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