Weekend Getaway: Asheville

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I hope to see many of you at Raleigh's Meymandi Hall Saturday night for a holiday concert with the NC Master Chorale. But if you really need to get away this weekend I would suggest Asheville. Oh, what a holiday wonder! Shopping is excellent beginning with the Folk Art Center just off the Blue Ridge Parkway and continuing in the rejuvenated downtown. You will also find some great gifts in the area near the Biltmore House which is a holiday destination all by itself. Elizabeth Gardner recommends the Morning Star Gallery in Biltmore Village and dinner at Zambras Tapas on West Walnut Street. While you're in the mountains get a freshly cut Christmas tree. Don't forget the gingerbread house collection at the Grove Park Inn. It is absolutely awesome! And while you're there enjoy a beverage of your choice in the Great Hall of Grove Park and listen to Bill Covington play the piano. Bill and I go way back to a band in Morganton. He recently played on two of my CDs and I think he is one of the best musicians in North Carolina. Okay. What have I missed about what's great in Asheville this time of year?