The Arboretum is a treasure. I love strolling around the gardens to see what’s in bloom. In the afternoons it’s fun to join friends and go mountain biking on the trails that extend out of the Arboretum and into the Bent Creek section of Pisgah National Forest.

Dinner in downtown Asheville and a show at NC Stage Company

You can’t beat an early dinner in one of Asheville’s superb downtown restaurants followed by a comedy at North Carolina Stage Company. Two of my favorite local actors, Charlie Flynn-McIver and Scott Treadway, regularly perform at this intimate and critically-acclaimed theatre.

Hiking the Mountains-to-Sea Trail

It’s just minutes from downtown Asheville, but you’ll feel like you’re a million miles away. The trail parallels the Blue Ridge Parkway, so it’s easily accessible. The MST (as the locals call it) is ever-changing throughout the year.  In the spring I look for wildflowers. In the fall I enjoy the colorful vistas. And in the winter, the air is crisp and clean and the views go on forever.



Like jewels in a crown, Asheville is surrounded by some dazzling small towns, each with their own character and charm. Places like Black Mountain, Brevard, Boone, Blowing Rock and Banner Elk. Do they all start with “B”?  No, there is Hendersonville, Waynesville, Cashiers, Highlands — and dozens more awaiting your discovery.

Biltmore Estate Annual Pass

In my opinion, it’s one of the best bargains out there. For one fee you get unrestricted access to George Vanderbilt’s astonishing home and gardens for an entire year. Not to mention the winery and the many delightful restaurants that dot the estate. A visit to Biltmore is such a relaxing way to recover from a busy week. It’s like having a passport to another world.


My idea of a perfect afternoon is lunch at 12 Bones, strolling the many studios and galleries and topping the afternoon off with a cold brew atThe Wedge Brewery On summer evenings, they show movies outdoors, projecting them on an old grain truck in the parking lot.