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The Allure of Asheville

Life is fine in Carolina



 



At the stylish Marketplace Restaurant and Lounge, in eccentric downtown Asheville, North Carolina, guests are treated to the sustainability-inspired culinary delights of innovative chef William Dissen. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Dissen has been a featured chef at New York’s James Beard House in 2013, 2014 and 2016, in addition to being named one of America’s most sustainable chefs. Dissen’s locally sourced dishes are prepared entirely with ingredients farmed or found within 100 miles of Asheville.
 

It is unquestionably an experience to indulge in Dissen’s staple wood-grilled pork shoulder, or the hand-cut pappardelle with braised lamb, roasted oyster mushrooms, confit tomatoes, wild ramp pesto and parmesan. However, what makes The Marketplace truly special is the opportunity for guests to dine on carefully prepared items – from Solomon’s Seal to morel mushrooms – that they have procured themselves on a foraging trip in the surrounding North Carolina wilderness with Wild Food Adventures.

For 20 years, WFA owner Alan Muskat has been leading foraging excursions and wild food workshops in Asheville’s surrounding woods. The goal of Wild Food Adventures, whose mantra is “There’s No Taste Like Home,” is to transform the forest from a scary place where every plant will kill you into a friendly place where there is an abundance of nourishment and flavor at every turn. In addition to discussing the culinary value of the various plants and fungi found in the forest, Muskat explains the medicinal and spiritual properties of much of this wild greenery.

After arming guests with a spoon, small knife and a bucket, Muskat leads a gentle walk through the forest, pointing out which plants will and will not kill you. And occasionally he’ll pluck something from the earth – be it flower or root, plant or fungus – wipe off (some) of the dirt and pop it into the mouths of curious but cautious guests.


While Solomon’s Seal is not without its culinary appeal, it is the elusive morel mushroom that is the grand prize and, when in season, can be found with much enthusiasm under the right circumstances. If participants have a reservation later that night at The Marketplace, they can bring their bounty to the restaurant and Dissen will incorporate the foraged food into as many aspects of a multiple-course meal as he is capable.

The symbiotic creativity and natural incorporation of WFA and The Marketplace is the heart of what makes Asheville one of the coolest cities in the USA. It long has been a hub for music, and is home to some of the best microbreweries in the country. Bluegrass buskers pluck banjos and strum mandolins, singing in ethereal harmonies on every street corner and giving the city a constant pulse of emerging music and mountain nostalgia. And since its rich art scene and thriving food culture are surrounded by the spectacular Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville also offers some of the best kayaking, hiking and mountain bike riding on the East Coast.

 

Asheville is exploding with new restaurants on a weekly basis, but if there were a single dish that defines the region, it would have to be barbeque. No place mixes Asheville’s swanky, southern style with slow-cooked meat quite like Buxton Hall Barbecue. Helmed by partners Meherwan Irani and Elliott Moss, each of whom individually have a James Beard “Best Chef in the Southeast” nomination under their respective belts, Buxton Hall’s barbeque is an experience in flavorful decadence. Located on trendy South Slope, Buxton Hall is a high-ceiling, high-energy eatery with an open kitchen. Grab a craft cocktail from one of their talented mixologists, then take down some Eastern Carolina-style whole hog, spiked with a light vinegar pepper sauce, collard greens and a side of macaroni and cheese, and you’ll be ready to step outside and enjoy some of Asheville’s premier breweries.


In the city limits alone, there are 15 microbreweries, and at any time of day, most are heavily occupied with beer enthusiasts – locals alongside visitors who have traveled to Asheville specifically for the beer. The hoppy notes, solid menu and spacious patio give Wicked Weed great commercial appeal, and Funkatorium, one of the area’s oldest breweries, specializes in sour beers. No brewery is probably as influential in beer culture, however, as Burial Beer Co. – a dog-friendly, laid-back and almost always crowded spot with a wide variety of brews from saisons and sours to IPAs and porters. Burial has complex beers for the aficionado alongside easy-drinking blondes for those who are more interested in quantity, cornhole and sunshine.

 

Given its location in the middle of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville offers countless activities for outdoor enthusiasts. If you want to stay in the city, there is a greenway along Asheville’s French Broad River that’s a perfect place to go for a paddle or to rent a bike. If you want to explore the mountains beyond, do a leisurely hike with the Blue Ridge Hiking Company up to the famed Max Patch, a grassy, rolling green hilltop high above the Blue Ridge Mountains located on the famed Appalachian Trail.

 

Located just off of the French Broad River, The River Arts District explodes with artists and creative innovation. Painting, clay and ceramics, textiles, mixed media, photography and everything in between can be found along this frenetic stretch. Artists influenced by local surroundings – and the world at large – populate this area, turning it into one of Asheville’s trendiest neighborhoods. And if you can stop by Blue Duck Tacos, you won’t be disappointed.


Hotel Indigo is a two-minute walk from most of downtown Asheville, including The Grove Arcade, one of the area’s most noted shopping areas. This contemporary boutique hotel has an attentive and well-informed staff, minimalist chic rooms and grand views of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains.

 

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Calendar

December 2019

Whether it’s a pair of deer in the woods of Oklahoma, or the delicate points of a snowflake in Wisconsin, Maud photographer Sarah Rodefeld is patient and steady as she aims her lens. ...

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Cost: Varies

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Civic Center Music Hall
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Sponsor: Canterbury Voices
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Cost: 29

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Cost: $4-$6

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Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
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Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Toni Hopper
Website »

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Cost: Free!

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Cost: Free

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October 4-December 29, 2019 Misunderstood! features poems and artworks ranging from 1894 to 2017. As these works demonstrate, Native artists and writers have grappled with the same...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art
555 Elm Ave.
Norman, OK  73019
View map »


Sponsor: Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art
Website »

More information

Santa’s Wonderland is the ultimate free family Christmas event. The magic returns to Bass Pro Shops and Oklahoma City-area families are invited to enjoy this enchanting Christmas village...

Cost: Free

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Telephone: (405) 218-5200

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Cost: $4-$6

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Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
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Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Toni Hopper
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"I've never seen anything like this before!" -Roy Clark, Country Music Hall of Fame. "Hell of a musician, that's for sure." -Charley Pride. "Ken Burns and I...

Cost: $20 per person, cash or check

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Edmond, OK  73034
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Sponsor: Bass Pro Shops
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October 4-December 29, 2019 Misunderstood! features poems and artworks ranging from 1894 to 2017. As these works demonstrate, Native artists and writers have grappled with the same...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art
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Sponsor: Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art
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Whether it’s a pair of deer in the woods of Oklahoma, or the delicate points of a snowflake in Wisconsin, Maud photographer Sarah Rodefeld is patient and steady as she aims her lens. ...

Cost: $4-$6

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
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Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Toni Hopper
Website »

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Cost: Free

Where:
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Sponsor: Cabela's
Telephone: (405) 546-3500
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More information

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Whether it’s a pair of deer in the woods of Oklahoma, or the delicate points of a snowflake in Wisconsin, Maud photographer Sarah Rodefeld is patient and steady as she aims her lens. ...

Cost: $4-$6

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
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Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Toni Hopper
Website »

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The Holiday Pop-Up Shops are coming back to Midtown! With shops rotating weekly, you can find a gift for everyone on your list. Join us to discover 35+ local shops, enjoy treats from Katiebug's...

Cost: Free

Where:
Midtown
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Contact Name: Cleo Rajon

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Santa’s Wonderland is the ultimate free family Christmas event. The magic returns to Bass Pro Shops and Oklahoma City-area families are invited to enjoy this enchanting Christmas village...

Cost: Free

Where:
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200 Bass Pro Dr.
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Sponsor: Bass Pro Shops
Telephone: (405) 218-5200

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October 4-December 29, 2019 Misunderstood! features poems and artworks ranging from 1894 to 2017. As these works demonstrate, Native artists and writers have grappled with the same...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art
555 Elm Ave.
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Sponsor: Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art
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More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Cabela's
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View map »


Sponsor: Cabela's
Telephone: (405) 546-3500
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The beloved TV classic soars off the screen and onto the McKnight Center stage this holiday season. It’s a family adventure that teaches us that what makes you different can be what...

Cost: Varying

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419 S. Monroe
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The Holiday Pop-Up Shops are coming back to Midtown! With shops rotating weekly, you can find a gift for everyone on your list. Join us to discover 35+ local shops, enjoy treats from Katiebug's...

Cost: Free

Where:
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View map »


Contact Name: Cleo Rajon

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Cost: Free

Where:
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200 Bass Pro Dr.
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Sponsor: Bass Pro Shops
Telephone: (405) 218-5200

More information

October 4-December 29, 2019 Misunderstood! features poems and artworks ranging from 1894 to 2017. As these works demonstrate, Native artists and writers have grappled with the same...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art
555 Elm Ave.
Norman, OK  73019
View map »


Sponsor: Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art
Website »

More information

Whether it’s a pair of deer in the woods of Oklahoma, or the delicate points of a snowflake in Wisconsin, Maud photographer Sarah Rodefeld is patient and steady as she aims her lens. ...

Cost: $4-$6

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Toni Hopper
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Cabela's
1200 W. Memorial Rd.
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View map »


Sponsor: Cabela's
Telephone: (405) 546-3500
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

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Sponsor: Plaza District Association
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Whether it’s a pair of deer in the woods of Oklahoma, or the delicate points of a snowflake in Wisconsin, Maud photographer Sarah Rodefeld is patient and steady as she aims her lens. ...

Cost: $4-$6

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Toni Hopper
Website »

More information

The Holiday Pop-Up Shops are coming back to Midtown! With shops rotating weekly, you can find a gift for everyone on your list. Join us to discover 35+ local shops, enjoy treats from Katiebug's...

Cost: Free

Where:
Midtown
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View map »


Contact Name: Cleo Rajon

More information

Santa’s Wonderland is the ultimate free family Christmas event. The magic returns to Bass Pro Shops and Oklahoma City-area families are invited to enjoy this enchanting Christmas village...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bass Pro Shops
200 Bass Pro Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Bass Pro Shops
Telephone: (405) 218-5200

More information

October 4-December 29, 2019 Misunderstood! features poems and artworks ranging from 1894 to 2017. As these works demonstrate, Native artists and writers have grappled with the same...

Cost: Free!

Where:
Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art
555 Elm Ave.
Norman, OK  73019
View map »


Sponsor: Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art
Website »

More information

Santa’s Wonderland is the ultimate free family Christmas event returning to Cabela’s this holiday season. Oklahoma City-area families are invited to enjoy this enchanting Christmas...

Cost: Free

Where:
Cabela's
1200 W. Memorial Rd.
Oklahoma City, OK  73114
View map »


Sponsor: Cabela's
Telephone: (405) 546-3500
Website »

More information

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Cost: $20-$77

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Civic Center Music Hall
201 N Walker Ave
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Sponsor: OKC Ballet
Telephone: 405-594-8300
Website »

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Sponsor: The Dinner Detective
Telephone: 866.496.0535
Website »

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We're poppin' champagne on the patio this Saturday and raffling off a bottle of Perrier-Jouet valued at $300! Come pre-party with us and DJ Catherine Ouellette from 6pm-10pm -...

Cost: Free

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Sheraton Oklahoma City Downtown Hotel
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