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Farmers Markets in Asheville: A Farm-to-Table Weekend
June 04, 2008
Category: Vacation Planning Ideas
Now that summer is upon us, we can begin thinking about reaping the benefits of our vegetable gardens and enjoying southern summer delights such as juicy tomatoes, red strawberries, and sweet corn. It’s also a great time to see what other folks are planting and growing. What better way to do this than by planning a farmers’ market weekend in the country? And, why not make it a family vacation in the mountains of Western North Carolina?
Asheville, NC is an area full of farms, farmer’s markets, tailgate markets, and restaurants that offer a wide array of unique, local edibles. The first step to planning your perfect farm-to-table weekend involves finding an Asheville hotel that puts you in the thick of farm-fresh bounty.
An Asheville NC Hotel close to the best Farmers’ Markets
Named the “Number one Hotel” in Asheville by TripAdvisor.com, The Residences at Biltmore is close to all that Asheville has to offer. And, The Residences at Biltmore has suites with fully equipped contemporary kitchens, so vacationers can return from local farmer’s markets and cook their food, fresh from farm to table.
“We’re a South Asheville hotel in a perfect locale for those people seeking to visit the numerous farm markets and area farms,” James Gibson, Managing Director at The Residences at Biltmore, explains. “In addition, we are also close to downtown Asheville where many restaurants offer local foods and pride themselves on sustainable agriculture.”
The Residences at Biltmore is located on Biltmore Avenue which is the main artery within the City of Asheville. This Asheville hotel offers concierge services.
Gibson adds, “We are happy to assist in any plans to visit any of the many area’s farms, markets, restaurants or other attractions.”
Planning an Asheville Family Vacation to Mountain Farm Markets
Pack up the car, and bring the kids. Most of the towns that surround Asheville have small local markets that take place on certain days of the week. A complete listing of tailgate markets can be found in the area’s local food guide published by the Appalachian Sustainable Agricultural Project (ASAP). This guide is easily located all over the city of Asheville, including the Chamber of Commerce. The guide lists farm, farm tours, and a wide array of the Asheville area markets.
One of the area’s largest markets is the WNC Farmers’ Market. This market is located at: 570 Brevard Road, in Asheville, North Carolina. This beautiful setting in the mountains of Western North Carolina provides its visitors with a true taste of local culture, food, and southern hospitality.
In addition, the location could not be better. It is at exit 47 off I-40. If arriving on Interstate 40, simply take Exit #47 and turn South on Brevard Road (Highway 191), the market will be immediately on the left. If arriving on I-26 West, simply take Exit 33 (old Exit 2) and turn left on Highway 191; continue approximately one mile. The market will be on your right. The WNC Farmers’ Market is a popular tourist attraction in South Asheville and is not to be missed.
After visiting this local market, stop into the Moose Café, adjacent to the market which uses many of the market’s products. Items include homemade apple butter, fresh farm biscuits, fried chicken and much more. The market has been known to use up to 10,000 pounds of potatoes in one week!
Visit the Asheville City Market in Downtown Asheville
A new market has just opened – the Asheville City Market. This farmers’ market currently has more than 60 vendor members. Visitors can shop for the best, farm-grown and handmade local foods and gifts, including:
• plants for your vegetable garden and landscape
• fresh produce
• farm-raised meats including lamb, pork, beef, and trout
• goat cheese (three vendors!)
• farm-made ice cream
• jams, preserves, salsas
• breads, pastries, and cookies
• natural soaps and other herbal body-care products and gifts
• hand-sewn quilts and other modern and traditional mountain crafts
• shrimp from the family of NC fishermen
The Asheville City Market is behind City Hall in downtown Asheville. The address of the Public Works Building is 161 S. Charlotte St., on the edge of downtown Asheville. Take the Charlotte Street exit from I-240, exit 5B. At the top of the ramp; turn South on Charlotte Street. Cross College Street and go past Tripp’s restaurant. The market will be on the right side at the corner of Eagle Street.
Keep in mind that these are just a few of the area’s top markets. A visit to Asheville and its farm-based businesses is sure to make for a perfect family vacation.