Posts Tagged ‘things to do’

Rococo Ballroom Opens in Asheville

Monday, June 30th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Rococo Ballroom dance studio opens its doors this week in North Asheville, bringing to the area the only ballroom dance studio with a unit-based class structure, teaching all styles of partner dances.

Owners Jake Lavender and Meghan McDonald have been dancing competitively and providing ballroom dance instruction for eight years with Arthur Murray International Dance Studios. This is the team’s first venture as an independent studio.

“We teach using three different classes to maximize the learning potential,” says McDonald, “the advantage of this model is that anyone, with any level of experience, can learn more skills to reach their personal goals faster.” The studio offers private lessons for learning new things, as well as group classes and parties for reviewing and practicing skills while getting helpful hints from an instructor. All of the teachers are full-time dance instructors and professional competitors.

The new studio is located in a 1600- square-foot space in Reynolds Village and it features a large dance floor, twenty feet of mirrors, and a modern sound system for private instruction and group classes. Rococo Ballroom offers private instruction in any partner dance, including Bachata, Bolero, Cha-cha, Foxtrot, Rumba, Salsa, Samba, Swing, Tango, Viennese Waltz, Western, Waltz, and others.

Rococo Ballroom will officially open on Saturday, June 28, 2014 with a ribbon cutting and grand opening celebration from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. The studio is located at 51 North Merrimon Avenue, Suite 107, and will be open Tuesday through Friday, noon to 9 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call 828-575-0905 or visit Rococo Ballroom on Facebook for more information.

Local Publisher Launches New Asheville Guide Series

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Connecting Corridors, an Asheville-based boutique publisher, has just released their first Asheville Pocket Guide: an illustrated guide to experiences along the French Broad River corridor from Hominy Creek to Glenn Creek. Unlike other print guides on the market, the Asheville Pocket Guide folds conveniently to pocket-size for easy travel, and it doubles as a beer coaster—it is, after all, a guide to one of the country’s best beer towns.

The pint-size eight-panel publication is packed with information to help locals and visitors alike immerse themselves in authentic Asheville adventures near the beloved French Broad. Names and addresses of art galleries, restaurants, parks, campsites, outdoor centers, and other businesses and locales are included. Area nonprofits are also spotlighted. To further help connect people to unique places, Connecting Corridors has turned the pocket guide into an integrated website and digital magazine with weekly articles, as well as a mobile-responsive navigational guide.

The Corridors team includes local writers, designers and artists deeply connected to and knowledgeable about Asheville—from Outward Bound leaders, to naturalists, to food writers, to environmentalists, to popular bloggers. “We’re the corner store merchants who point you in the right direction, then reveal our favorite café nestled in a secluded alley” describes owner and project coordinator Sammy Cox. “Our publications provide both the basics and fun insider info.”

Cox has lived and worked in Asheville for 25 years, forming a strong bond with the area and its businesses and publishing landscape. He believes strongly in this innovative, multimedia tour guide approach and plans to follow up the French Broad River Corridor Asheville Pocket Guide with a full series, while growing the companion website. “Bigger isn’t always better,” he says. “An easy-to-digest focus on unique geographical and conceptual corridors and a handful of sponsors and advertisers can have a sizable community impact.”

The guide is distributed by Grass Routes to more than 100 strategic locations, including the Asheville Chamber. Find them all and learn more at


Connecting Corridors is a small-batch publisher and marketing company focused on connecting people to unique places. They strive for sustainability, embracing new media to drastically reduce paper use and printing on Forest Stewardship Council-certified stock. To learn more, visit, or call (828) 989-6965.

Gardening Workshop for Kids at Highlands Botanical Garden

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – The Highlands Botanical Garden is hosting a gardening workshop for kids, Monday, June 16 through Wednesday, June 18. The workshop is for kids age seven to 10 and will be held each day from 10:30am until 12:30pm. It is designed to get kids excited about the amazing world of plants and to teach them that they can have fun gardening in their own backyards. A hands-on camp, kids will get to practice what they learn each day and bring projects home to enjoy throughout the summer.

The first day will focus on the basics of gardening, including a review of the essentials that plants need to grow, and proper planting methods. Kids will put these methods to use by planting flowers in the Botanical Garden, and they will plant their own vegetable seeds to bring home.

Composting and mosses are the focus of the second day. Kids will learn how to create their own garden soil using food scraps and other organic waste. They will also learn about plants that don’t need soil: mosses. After a moss scavenger hunt in the Botanical Garden, they will try “moss milkshake” propagation to create their own moss art to take home.

On the third and final day of the workshop, we will look inside the belly of the beast as we dissect a pitcher plant and discuss ways that carnivorous plants capture their prey. We will also talk about weeds and practice weeding in the Botanical Garden.

For more information about this workshop, including a gear list, visit, call (828) 526-0188, or e-mail [email protected] Kelder Monar, one of the horticulturists at the Highlands Botanical Garden, will instruct the workshop. The cost is only $30 per child, or $20 for Salamembers.


Asheville Top 10 City for Earth Day

Sunday, April 6th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – If you’re looking for the ultimate Earth Day celebration this year, you’ve come to the right place. has scoured the country in search for the best cities to visit this year for Earth Day. When it comes to celebrating all that’s green, these cities are going above and beyond all the rest.

1. Austin, TX
Austin is known for being an all-around green city so it should come as no surprise that the city does it up right for Earth Day. The free Austin Earth Day Festival, which takes place April 26, will have more than 75 booths, a handful of environmental speakers, sustainable demonstrations, countless kids’ activities and entertainment including Bollywood and Flamenco dancers.

Even Austin businesses take part in Earth Day celebrations. On April 22, dozens of business will contribute to the Give 5% To Mother Earth campaign. Participating business will donate 5 percent of their profits on Earth Day to seven environmental nonprofits in the area.

2. St. Louis, MO
St. Louis offer’s one of the nation’s largest Earth Day events, with 30,000 to 40,000 attendees each year. The city kicks off the party April 26 with food and live music. And on April 27 the celebration continues with a festival, which features sustainable products from local businesses as well as local musicians and performance artists. Part of the event’s draw is its recycling program, dubbed REX. Through the program, attendees can bring their hard-to-recycle items, such as bicycles, household fixtures and mattresses to recycle for free.

3. Philadelphia, PA
Philly will be teeming with Earth Day events for you to attend. The city’s largest Earth Day activity, the 5K for Clean Air, will take place April 19. The Penn Institute for Urban Research will host a free lecture “Mapping Our Global Future” on Earth Day. And the National Constitution Center will host its own Earth Day celebration. Eco-friendly organizations will be at the event to teach attendees about locally grown foods, preserving the park systems, protecting homes from toxins and what being green has to do with the Constitution.

4. Houston, TX
Houston isn’t waiting for Earth Day to start celebrating the planet. The city will host its Earth Day Houston festival on April 12 this year. The free event, sponsored by Waste Management, will focus on entertaining and educating families on the importance of sustainable living. Activities for children and adults will revolve around environmental awareness highlighting healthy living, wildlife, habitat, air, land, water and sustainability.

5. Asheville, NC
This small city, tucked in the mountainous region of North Carolina, is always a fun place for eco-enthusiasts to hang out. Not only does Asheville offer an abundance of outdoor activities, from hiking to kayaking, the city is vegetarian-friendly and places significance on carbon reduction. So it should come as no surprise that the city stretches its Earth Day activities over an entire week.

Asheville Earth Week is a 10-day event with a number of activities designed to promote sustainability, green living and environmental awareness. The festivities begin April 12 with a River Clean Up hosted by Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and a number of earth-friendly activities will continue throughout the week. The city’s annual festival will take place April 19, complete with music, crafts and food vendors.

6. San Francisco, CA
When it comes to celebrating the planet, San Francisco won’t be left in the dust. The city is planning its fourth annual Earth Day event on April 19 and expects about 10,000 people to attend. Event-goers will hear from internationally recognized environmental speakers and can browse more than 80 booths featuring eco-friendly products. There will also be fashion shows displaying the latest eco-friendly fashions, organic food and beer served throughout the day, children’s activities and more.

7. Chicago, IL
If you’re looking for a variety of eco-friendly activities this Earth Day, the Windy City is the place to be. Those looking to volunteer might enjoy the city’s 25th annual Earth Day Parks and Preserves Clean-Up on April 26th. Just outside the city in Carol Stream, you’ll find a free Earth Day festival and farmers market, which will feature eco-friendly food, ideas, project and products on April 26. And along the lines of Earth Day, the Morton Arboretum will celebrate Arbor Day from April 13 to 27. Events include an Arbor Day 10K, costume contests, tree plantings and tram tours.

8. Baltimore, MD
There are just too many Earth Day options in Baltimore to fit in one day so the city has dedicated an entire week, April 18-26, to celebrate the planet. Throughout the week, you can take in a number of presentations on the environment, enjoy a family farm day, take part in a scavenger hunt or view a live cooking demonstration. The main event, Baltimore’s EcoFest, will cap the week’s celebration on April 26. Participants will get to taste local food and beer, tour green homes and take part in free yoga classes. Children will have plenty to do at the Kid’s Corner including crafts, reading circle and eco-friendly play space.

9. Santa Barbara, CA
If you’re already ready for some beach time, head to Santa Barbara for Earth Day. In addition to enjoying the area’s natural beauty you can attend the Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival on April 26-27. The city was actually the inspiration for the very first Earth Day in 1970–following a large oil spill off it’s coast in 1969–and takes pride in its heritage at its annual Earth Day celebration. The event will feature local artists, designers, crafters and small businesses with plenty of booths for you to learn about living the green life. There will be a marketplace where you can pick up earth-friendly gifts for all of your friends, a green car show displaying the latest green automotive technology, and plenty of locally grown grub for you to snack on all day. For the little eco-enthusiasts in your life, make sure you check out the event’s kid’s corner.

10. Cincinnati, OH
Cincinnati is throwing a rocking Earth Day celebration too. The city’s festival, scheduled for April 19, will have more than a dozen events to help residents celebrate the planet. Some of the highlights include an Earth Day scavenger hunt, live music, an animal showcase and recycling games. Students in grades three through eight are invited to participate in a recycled costume contest. The student with the best costume, made out of recyclable materials, will win $100.

Biltmore Village Beer, Bites, and Bands

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Restaurants and breweries in Historic Biltmore Village have come together to create a new and unique event. Two local breweries and 8 local restaurants have joined together to promote ”Beer, Bites, and Bands” to be held April 4 & 5 from 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM at the two brewery locations.

On both evenings, customers will have the opportunity to sample craft beers from Catawba Brewing Company located at 19 Brook Street and French Broad Brewery located at 101 Fairview Street.  In addition to the beer, food from eight different Biltmore Village restaurants will be provided along with live music.

On Friday night, at both brewery locations, food will be featured by:  Moe’s Original BarBQue, Village Wayside, Corner Kitchen and Fig’s Bistro.

Friday night’s entertainment at French Broad will be Todd Cecil & Black South and

Eleanor Underhill & Friendsat Catawba Brewing Company.

Saturday night’s fare will be provided by The Cantina, Katuah Marketplace, Ruth’s Chris and Rezaz.  Performing at French Broad on Saturday will be Tina and Her Pony, while John Henry’s Jazz Band will be performing at  Catawaba Brewing.

The ticket price of $25 per person, per night includes 3 flights of beer, food, commemorative T-shirt and music at both breweries.  Tickets are limited to 100 for each night.

Tickets will be available at and at the breweries.  For more information, please go to

About Historic Biltmore Village:  Located directly across from the world famous Biltmore Estate, The Historic Biltmore Village is truly one of the south’s most unique touring and shopping environments.  The Village features a collection of independent, regional and national retailers along with the most sought after restaurants and outstanding lodging. It’s the perfect night out for foodies, brews and friends.  It’s a must see site for history buffs and architecture aficionados.  In short, it’s a destination like no other.

Southeastern Fly Fishing Festival WCU

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – The Southeastern Fly Fishing Festival will return to Western Carolina University on May 16th and 17th. The event is sponsored by the Southeastern Council of the International Federation of Fly Fishers.  This fun-filled weekend of programs, presenters and exhibitors is the Southeast’s premier fly fishing educational event.

The Festival is expected to attract at least forty local fly shops, non-profits and other exhibitors as well as forty demonstration tiers from throughout the Southeast.  Steve Rajeff and Leslie Holmes will headline our talented group of casting instructors.  In addition to two days of casting instruction by some of the best instructors in the country, the Federation will offer its casting instructor certification tests. The Cullowhee area also offers non-fishing activities for the entire family.

On Friday, May 16th, the Southeastern Council will once again partner with Little River TU to host the Back the Brookie BBQ.  All profits will support the restoration of brook trout in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  On Saturday, May 17th, the Southeastern Council will host its annual awards dinner and auction.

Festival attendees will also have the opportunity to support the establishment of the Fly Fishing Museum of the Southern Appalachians by donating exhibition items or financial support. The Museum, located in Cherokee, North Carolina, will become the home of the rich heritage of fly fishing from Maryland to Georgia and will provide a base of education related to fly fishing with workshops, exhibits and presentations.  Donated funds will be used to secure fly fishing artifacts before they are lost to future generations.

Hours for the Festival will be Friday, May 16th, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday, May 17th, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.. Tickets are $5 for adults and $10 for families.  Scouts in uniform and disabled veterans are free.  Online registration will open mid-March on the Council website.

For more information, visit

WCU Green Energy Park “Iron Pour” April 5

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Artists from Western Carolina University and throughout Western North Carolina will give new meaning to the term “fired up” as WCU’s Fine Art Museum hosts an “iron pour” Saturday, April 5, at the Jackson County Green Energy Park in Dillsboro.

An iron pour is an artistic activity in which iron is heated, melted and poured into molds to create sculpture. The goal of the event is to invite the community to learn about the art of casting iron while also allowing students to create unique cast iron artwork, said Denise Drury, curator at the Fine Art Museum.

“The Green Energy Park is a perfect location for this event,” Drury said. “Western Carolina students and the community already use the facility for glass blowing, firing ceramics and casing bronze and aluminum. This iron pour is an excellent opportunity to add iron casing to the energy park’s roster of activities.

The pour will be led by artists Tripp Jarvis and Melissa Van Sandt from Tri-State Sculptors, a group of artists from Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Morgan Kennedy, who teaches sculpture at WCU, will also take part along with his students.

The iron pour, to be held from 5 until 8 p.m., is open to the public free of charge. Sponsored by the WCU College of Fine and Performing Arts and the Jackson County Green Energy Park, the event is funded in part by a grant from the North Carolina Arts Council and is being held in conjunction with the exhibition “Iron Maidens” that was on view at the Fine Art Museum earlier in the year.

For more information on the iron pour, contact Drury at 828-227-2550.

Spring ushers in Biltmore Blooms

Monday, March 24th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Biltmore Blooms offers a variety of activities for all ages in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Flowers take center stage with lavish orchid displays and thousands of spring bulbs in bloom in magnificent gardens designed at the turn of the century by renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted.

Flower bloom schedule

Spring bloom provides constant changes in Biltmore’s gardens. The progression of blooms dictated by Mother Nature constantly unveils different flowers and new color combinations, resulting in a unique show for visitors to enjoy each week during Biltmore Blooms.

2014 Bloom Reports
To stay up-to-date about what’s in bloom throughout the season, sign up for weekly bloom reports from Director of Horticulture Parker Andes and notifications of Biltmore’s featured ‘flower of the week’ at

The earliest spring days kick off the celebration with two opulent orchid displays – one in the Winter Garden inside Biltmore House, the other, a year-round orchid display located in the tropical Conservatory. At Biltmore House and the Conservatory, visitors can expect to see close to 1,000 orchids in bloom.

For a limited time March 20 through April 6, guests will be given the rare opportunity to step into the Winter Garden in Biltmore House to admire the sights and fragrances of a special orchid collection. This light-filled, glass-domed garden room was once used by the Vanderbilts to relax and entertain in their home while surrounded by lush exotic plants. The room is typically roped-off to guests during tours of Biltmore House, but will be open for a limited time.  “Some of these orchids will experience their peak bloom in March and early April, so we like to give our guests a chance to see these unusual and colorful blooms up-close in the same way the Vanderbilts enjoyed them – in the Winter Garden,” said Cathy Barnhardt, Biltmore’s Floral Displays Manager.

Outdoor gardens
Among the first plants to bloom across the estate will be the sunny glow of daffodils and forsythia. The spring blooming schedule continues with the widespread tulip bloom throughout the estate, while later in the season will see many other flowers such as azaleas, rhododendron, roses and vibrant annuals and perennials take hold.

Gardening tips & design inspiration

To get the most out of the gardens at this wonderful time of year, join Biltmore’s gardening and design experts as they offer tips and techniques, all included with the price of estate admission. Weekend Ask a Gardener stations in the Walled Garden allow guests to talk with Biltmore’s horticulture experts. Daily free demonstrations on creating beautiful spring arrangements are offered at “A Gardener’s Place” at the Conservatory: Designing Spring Wreaths takes place daily at 1 p.m. and Creating Elegant Centerpieces daily at 2 p.m.

Food, wine & entertainment

On May 23, a special outdoor dinner party, the Moveable Feast, will take place in the historic Walled Garden surrounded by exquisite spring blooms. Tickets are $160 per person and include tax and gratuity. For reservations call 828.257.5995.

Included with the price of estate admission, Biltmore Winery will offer daily tastings of its limited release spring seasonal wine in addition to other complimentary tastings and a production tour. Specialty tours like the NEW Vine to Wine Tour, Biltmore Bubbles Tour, and the Red Wine and Chocolate Tour are available at an additional cost. Kids will enjoy the Grape Stomp outside the winery Saturdays and Sundays from 2 to 5 p.m.

The Barnyard at Antler Hill Farm, open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., comes alive with spring’s baby goats, lambs, chicks and bunnies for families to pet and photograph.

Enjoy live music daily in the Conservatory, during tours of Biltmore House and on the bandstand in Antler Hill Village.

Spring is the perfect time to take advantage of Biltmore’s mountain surroundings with outdoor activities such as sporting clay shooting, Segway tours, horseback riding, carriage rides, fly-fishing, biking, float trips along the French Broad River and the Land Rover Driving Experience.

Easter egg hunt & Easter brunch

The estate’s annual Easter Egg Hunt for children ages two to nine takes place on Easter Sunday, April 20, on the front lawn of Biltmore House.  Special children’s entertainment includes music, storytelling, magic shows, games, crafts and taking photos with the Easter Rabbit. Hunts begin at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.  Registration begins two hours before each hunt and closes 15 minutes prior to the hunt. Parents should bring their own baskets for children to collect eggs.

Reservations are recommended for Easter brunch at estate restaurants, Deerpark or the Dining Room at the Inn on Biltmore Estate. Call 800.411.3812 for more information.

Spring savings

Purchase estate admission tickets at least seven days in advance of your visit and receive $15 off. Moms get free admission with the purchase of an adult or youth ticket on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 11. The four-star Inn on Biltmore Estate is offering a special “Spring Celebration Package.” Call 866.336.1245 or book online. Find out about additional special offers and packages.

Clips Beer and Film Tour Raised Nearly $11,000 in Asheville

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – On Friday, September 6, New Belgium Brewing’s Clips Beer and Film Tour came through town, raising nearly $11,000 for Asheville on Bikes, which is supported by the Asheville Downtown Association. Approximately 1,700 people came out to Pack Square Park: Roger McGuire Green to sample beers and enjoy films.

Clips Beer & Film Tour is now in its fourth year and will travel to 21 cities this season. The event showcases amateur films while pouring hard-to-find Lips of Faith beers and popular New Belgium classics. Each stop features a screening of selected films, a tasting of New Belgium’s beers, food from local vendors and other fun activities.

Details from the Asheville event:

WHERE: Pack Square Park: Roger McGuire Green

WHEN: Friday, September 6

ATTENDANCE: 1,700, up 36% from last year

MONEY RAISED: $10,926, up 47% from 2012WASTE DIVERSION RATE: 92%

Asheville on Bikes, supported by the Asheville Downtown Association
Asheville on Bikes is a nonprofit organization that cultivates the culture of commuting and urban cycling within Asheville through celebration and advocacy.

For the latest information on Clips, go to For more information on New Belgium Brewing, visit

About New Belgium Brewing Company
New Belgium Brewing, makers of Fat Tire Amber Ale and a host of Belgian-inspired beers, is recognized as one of Outside Magazine’s Best Places to Work and one of the Wall Street Journal’s Best Small Businesses. The 100% employee-owned brewery is a Platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Business as designated by the League of American Bicyclists, and one of World Blu’s most democratic U.S. businesses, and a Certified B Corp. In addition to Fat Tire, New Belgium brews eight year-round beers; Ranger IPA, Rampant Imperial IPA, Shift Pale Lager, Sunshine Wheat, 1554 Black Ale, Blue Paddle Pilsener, Abbey Belgian Ale and Trippel. Learn more at

Birders “Flock to the Rock” Sept 21-22 for Fall Migration

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – Chimney Rock is well known for its colorful fall and stunning 75-mile views overlooking Lake Lure, but fewer visitors and locals know the State Park as a destination for year-round birding. The region’s premier fall migration birding event, Flock to the Rock, hosted by Chimney Rock for the past four years, has brought more attention to the Park’s abundant birding opportunities. Flock to the Rock will be held 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, September 21-22. This prime birding weekend coincides with the annual hawk migration when dozens, sometimes hundreds, of hawks can be seen during their flight south.

The weekend is packed full of bird walks guided by local experts and workshops ranging from bird photography, taught by renowned bird photographer Todd Arcos, to bird-friendly gardening, taught by Wild Birds Unlimited Asheville staff. Special to the event are live birds of prey programs both days and an “Early Bird” Migration Watch led by Simon Thompson, a world-traveled birding expert, at 7:30-10 a.m. on Sunday. Flock also includes family nature walks and kids’ activities to appeal to the whole family.

Flock to the Rock is included with paid Park admission, which is $12 adults, $6 youth (ages 5-15) and free for 4 years and under. An extra fee applies only to the “Early Bird” Migration Watch Sunday, which requires advance registration. Chimney Rock is an official site on the N.C. Birding Trail. For more details and a schedule of birding activities, visit

“Chimney Rock is one of the most spectacular locations in Western North Carolina to spot a wide range of birds throughout the year, from countless warblers and vireos to tanagers and birds of prey. Flock to the Rock is held during the peak of fall migration and draws enthusiastic birders of all levels to the Park,” said Simon Thompson, co-owner of Wild Birds Unlimited Asheville and owner of Ventures Birding Tours.

The live birds of prey programs, which are held in Chimney Rock throughout the year, feature a non-releasable Red-tailed Hawk and a Great Horned Owl. Presented by Emily Walker, park naturalist and education manager, the half-hour educational programs will be held at 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday at the Park’s Birdhouse. One of the largest North American owls, Great Horned Owls are called “tigers of the sky.” Their talons have an average gripping strength of twice that of a human adult male, and their heads can rotate 270 degrees. Though their most common prey includes rabbits and skunks, they have been known to eat hawks and smaller owl species. The bird programs will be followed by a guided family nature walk at 1:30-2:15 p.m. starting at Grady the Groundhog’s Animal Discovery Den on the Meadows.

A Premier Birding Destination

From its winding riverbanks to its dramatic cliffs, Chimney Rock is a haven for North Carolina resident birds, migrating birds and, of course, bird lovers. From beginner to experienced, people have long been flocking to the Rock to catch glimpses of their favorite birds. Chimney Rock is home to more than 130 species of birds throughout the year, including over 25 warbler species, vireos, tanagers, woodpeckers, thrushes, owls and a wide selection of birds of prey, including Peregrine Falcons. For more information on birding at the Park, visit

Home to World’s Fastest Bird of Prey

While at Chimney Rock, train your binoculars along the Park’s soaring cliffs and up into the surrounding sky for a chance to see the amazing acrobatics of a Peregrine Falcon high above Hickory Nut Gorge. Peregrine Falcons (Falco Peregrinus) may slice through the air at more than 60mph or dive on smaller birds in flight at speeds up to 200mph. By the early 1960s, no Peregrines were found in this area, but these magnificent birds have made a comeback thanks to captive-breeding programs. Since 1990 when three of these young birds fledged in the Park, Peregrines have been sighted here almost every year. Last summer, a pair of mating adults hatched two fledgling Peregrine Falcons that were confirmed to be residing in Chimney Rock.

Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park offers scenic hiking trails, guided rock climbing, live animal education programs and ancient geological features that attract visitors from around the world. Chimney Rock is located only 45 minutes southeast of Asheville on Highway 64/74A in Chimney Rock, N.C. Call (800) 277-9611 or go to to plan your visit.

Simon Thompson and Chris Jaquette have owned Wild Birds Unlimited Asheville for the past three years. In addition to selling excellent quality bird seed and feeders, they also offer a great selection of bird houses, bird books, nature-related gifts and much more. Simon, Chris and the rest of the WBU staff can help you with any of your bird questions. Check out their website at

Ventures Birding Tours is based in Asheville, NC, and is owned and guided by world-traveled expert Simon Thompson. Ventures offers local bird watching trips to many local WNC birding hotspots, as well as tours throughout the US and overseas. From looking at warblers in the Blue Ridge to big game safaris in Africa, Ventures offers a wide range of bird watching and nature activities. Learn more or book a tour at