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January 24, 2022

Our Faculty’s Guide to WNC

From 360° Asheville School Views Magazine, Winter 2022

Dinner spots where we’d love to take an alum

Nine Mile. —Emily Knapp

Cúrate all day every day. If we can get reservations! —Ana Ogle

Rendezvous—which I like to call “Bouchon East” because it is the same menu as Bouchon downtown, but you can actually park and get a table! —Karen Cianciulli
 
Smoky Park Supper Club and sit by the river. —McNair Johnson

828 Pizza or Pizza Mind with a visit to Archetype Brewery. —Diana Sanderson
 
If you want to show off Asheville at its absolute best, and you can get a table, the only place to go is the Grove Park Inn. The view of the mountains from the Sunset Terrace is spectacular. —Christine Murphy
 
Downtown spots get all the glory, but I love Fig and Corner Kitchen in the Village. —Faulkner Sgro

Favorite views

When the sun is setting and the overlooks of the Blue Ridge Mountains look like watercolors. Before I moved here, I was told this was a thing, but I didn’t fully get it until I was here. —Emily Knapp

From a rocking chair on the back porch of the Pisgah Inn on top of Mount Pisgah. —Ana Ogle

I love the view when you come down the big hill in Fairview on 74-A.

From Black Balsam Knob—you can see the whole world! —McNair Johnson

Bearwallow Mountain. Great views in all directions, and, as my daughter says, “COWSIES!” —Daniel Mull
 
Out the Fall House living room window. —Faulkner Sgro
 
Anywhere on the Blue Ridge Parkway, John’s Rock, Looking Glass, and for non-hikers, the Montford Rooftop Bar or the Grove Park Inn. —Megan Grant

Worthy walks and hikes

Looking Glass or Roan Mountain. —Emily Knapp

Black Balsam Knob, because almost the entire hike has breathtaking views. —Derry Babaoff
 
Pisgah because it is close and short and you get a great view from the top. —Karen Cianciulli
 
For a waterfall hike, I love the Rainbow Falls hike. For a view, my go-to is Black Balsam, though if I have more time my favorite is Roan Mountain. —Laura Lawrence

East Ridge Loop in the Montreat Wilderness. The start is a fairly short steep slog up, but then you come out on the old railway bed that encircles half of the valley. —Diana Sanderson

Rattlesnake Lodge, especially when you add in the blue loop near the lodge. The tree tunnels on that loop are worth the steep climb at the beginning. —Daniel Mull

Around Beaver Lake. There is a bird sanctuary on one end of the lake that is full of the most beautiful sounds in the spring. As summer days get longer, the sounds change from chirping to song. As the fall air gets crisper, the sounds are fewer and farther between. Only a few brave souls remain… It’s wonderful. —Christine Murphy
 
The Art Loeb Trail, and hiking it north to south puts you at the Hub for a celebratory beer. —Chris O’Steen

From brewery to brewery on the South Slope downtown. —Ana Ogle

Adventurous bike rides

The grounds of the Biltmore. —Emily Knapp

The Turkey Pen Gap Trail. I love all the wooden bridges. —Iker Sedeño

Hidden gems

The South Asheville Tupelo Honey. Same food and atmosphere as the one downtown, but way less crowded. —Ana Ogle

Whisk bakery for their amazing cinnamon rolls. You have to get there early in the day or they may run out. —Derry Babaoff

I had never seen a mayapple before moving to Asheville, and I had no idea something so Seussian would appear. —B Cornog

The food truck at Oskar Blues in Brevard. Best veggie burger with bacon ever. —John T Smith III

Dobra Tea has the best selection of tea, and they are pet friendly. —Iker Sedeño
 
Origami Ink—the fancy pen store in Biltmore Village with the super-nice owners. —Karen Cianciulli

Mills River Brewing—Laura Lawrence
 
McDowell County. We canoe at Lake James for several hours, then on the way home stop for a beer at Fonta Flora Brewery’s Whippoorwill Farm on Hwy. 126, and after, head to McDowell Local, a restaurant in downtown Marion owned by long-time friends for creative and tasty food. —Diana Sanderson

Asheville Gem Mine is one of my son’s favorite places. You can sift through buckets to get gems, and the amount you get for the money compares favorably to the other gem mines we’ve tried. —Daniel Mull

Rye Knot in North Asheville. It is tucked back behind an unassuming little strip mall on Merrimon Avenue. They make their own beer and spirits. The English Mild is my absolute fave. The chef is a genius and everything I have tried on the menu is outrageously delicious. All the art on the walls is done by local artists and is for sale and they have live music every Friday. —Christine Murphy
 
Abeya’s House Cafe. Amazing food in a hole-in-the-wall in south Asheville. French toast and cheese grits are sooo yummy. —Faulkner Sgro 
 
Well-Bred Bakery & Café in Weaverville. It has a sunny dining room and a wide variety of delicious lunch options. —Chris O’Steen

Tastee Diner, Tiger Bay Café, Chiesa, and the wineries in Hendersonville are surprisingly a fun day trip (Saint Paul and Burntshirt). —Megan Grant
 
Thank you to our local experts:
Emily Knapp, Assistant Director of Athletics
McNair Johnson, Humanities Department Co-Chair
Derry Babaoff, Senior Associate Director of Admission and Director of Financial Aid
Ana Ogle, Sixth Form Dean and Spanish Instructor
B Cornog, Humanities Co-Chair
John T Smith III, Director of Admission 
Iker Sedeño, Spanish Instructor
Diana Sanderson, Archivist and Librarian
Megan Grant, Math Instructor
Daniel Mull, Math Instructor
Karen Cianciulli, Fourth Form Dean and Science Instructor
Laura Lawrence, Science Instructor
John T Smith III, Director of Admission 
Chris O’Steen, Humanities Instructor
Christine Murphy, Staff Accountant