Small Town, Big Voice: Ten Reasons to Adore Candler Town

Candler, North Carolina, or Candler Town as locals refer to it, isn’t shown on most maps, remains an unincorporated town, and provides but a fraction of the population of the greater Asheville Metro area. One highway runs down the middle of the seemingly small patch of dirt once known as Harkins, and this is a place people often think is only on the way to another. However, there are many hidden jewels starting to unearth themselves. Candler is a small package full of delicious things everyone should know about, and here are the ten reasons why:

It’s a great place to PLAY! The Buncombe County Sports Complex is nestled right in the heart of Candler Town!  This gorgeous park, with Blue Ridge Mountain views, features a host of soccer fields, a bocce ball court, a sandy beach volleyball court, a playground, and a beautiful walking and biking trail.  It’s a great place to take advantage of pristine picnic sheds and spend a day in nature with the fam!  Also don’t forget to check out the awesome community garden and orchard on site!

It’s a place of budding  new businesses! Candler is home to many small businesses, and is a “mom and pop” capitol of sorts.  The latest to crop up? A two-mama shop, owned by Brooke Rickman and Charity Grindstaff, called  Blue Ridge Chicks.  These lovely ladies with a stock full of “vintage treasures and creative beauties,” bring a whole new world of shabby chic apparel and décor to the Asheville area via their amazing trunk shows.  The ladies tell AskAsheville, “we are two soulful southern chicks, born and raised smack dab in the middle of the blue ridge mountains of WNC.  We are artists, designers, dreamers and followers of Christ.”  Make sure to visit these innovative ladies at to become part of their journey that brings folk-art-esque designs into the 21st century.

The Blue Ridge Chicks, Charity and Brooke!

The Blue Ridge Chicks, Charity and Brooke!

 It’s a place with roots!

Candler makes new businesses, but keeps the old!  Any Candler native loves the town favorite, Miami Restaurant.  The place, like the little town itself, may not look like a whole lot at first glance, but has tons to offer!  Though the restaurant has been around for decades on end, and was once a part of the now abandoned Miami hotel, Zack and Georgia Papazahariou have owned and operated it for thirty years.  Patrons of the restaurant are guaranteed to see Georgia herself mixing up her famous potato salad whenever they pop their heads around the corner of her friendly kitchen.  Donna Brooks, a  Candler grandmother known to many simply as “Nanny,” says about Miami, “[It’s] local people, local gossip, wonderful Greek spaghetti. Never had a dull moment.”

The Miami Restaurant.  Sweet and simple.

The Miami Restaurant. Sweet and simple. Just try the  tea!

 The Farm!

The Farm, located just off Justice Ridge Road, only 10 minutes from Asheville is one of the most beautiful wedding venues in town.  Just behind a beautifully restored Victorian Farmhouse rests the “barn,”  where memories are made every weekend.  The feeling of going back to a simpler time, where entire communities gathered hovers over this place, but with an unparalleled level of elegance lingering close by.  For pictures and testimonials visit

 Biltmore Lake!

Biltmore Lake is one of the nicest and most family-friendly communities in Buncombe County.  It is an upper-scale community, but because of the arts & crafts inspired lake houses, the neighborhood maintains a certain quaintness.  The tree-lined streets, walking trails, 62 acre lake with beach areas, and recreation facilities are the cherry on top of the gorgeous houses that are perfect for porch-sitting!  Everyone who lives in the lakeside mini-community knows they are home at last.  Biltmore Lake is indeed a gem in Candler.  Visit for more info!

 Pisgah View Ranch!

This dude ranch, known as the best dude ranch this side of the Mississippi, is located serenely at the foot of Mount Pisgah.  Not only is it a great place to spend the day horseback riding up winding mountain trails, but to also spend the night.  The old farmhouse now serves as a bed and breakfast with cozy rooms and home-cooked meals.  Moreover, the tennis court, pool, and Pioneer Museum ensures something to do for all!

 Musicians Galore!

Everyone knows on any given night it’s possible to spot Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Artimus Pyle at the Smoky Park Applebees’s.  However, the town holds even further-reaching musical roots. Candler folks are no strangers to a little pickin’ on the porch.  On many of those porches where fingers are bloodied from six-strings  and singing voices are perfectly raspy from moonshine, dreams are born.  Bands such as blue-grass crooners, Sons of Ralph, hail from the tiny town, along with local country singer, Jody Medford.  Medford has performed on stage with names such as Dolly Parton, Don Williams, and Wayne Newton.  He was recently added to CMT’s artists, with a video produced by Lonestar’s, Keech Rainwater.  The community is anxiously awaiting the release of Medford’s new album, produced by the highly revered band, Alabama’s guitarist, Kimo Forrest, with whom he’ll be touring with this summer!  Medford says, “being an Enka- Candler native, I never dreamed these kind of doors would open musically for me; and I’m so proud to be from this area, and wouldn’t trade it for the world.”

Jody Medford in his element!

Jody Medford in his element!

Historic Enka

Enka doesn’t exist anymore, except within the arms of Candler.  No one even has a physical address of Enka, NC anymore, yet it is an enormous part of history in Candler.  Enka is an acronym for four Dutch words that the once thriving ENKA plant was named for.  Many citizens moved to this area just to work at “the plant.”  In 1929, Enka Village, an adorable collection of brick homes, still standing on the tree-decorated streets was built to provide a community for plant workers.  The neighborhood is still a playground for laughing children and backyard barbecues.  It’s a great place to live, steeped in history, and has a great view of the old Enka Plant clock tower that has become an unofficial symbol of the community.  Jack Lovingood, who grew up in Enka Village says, “the clock tower has been an icon in the community my entire life, and seeing it standing there brings a certain level of comfort and nostalgia.”

Clock Tower at about a mile's everywhere!

Clock Tower at about a mile distance…it’s everywhere!

 Access to the Blue Ridge Parkway!

The Blue Ridge Parkway is the longest single-planned road in the country, winding through 469 miles of national parks, scenic overlooks, and vacation opportunities; and guess what else?  Perfect access from Candler, NC.  Candler is the perfect little town to stop off in for a goodnight’s sleep on a Blue Ridge road trip!

 Asheville Hot Air Balloons!

Candler is the home to the only business that has the ability to fly tourists and locals alike across this portion of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  By stopping off in Candler, a person may just experience the thrill of a lifetime soaring overtop the trees watching the birth of a Carolina dawn.  Stay tuned with as we take the journey as a team next Saturday, May 10th.  We can’t wait to share our experiences, pictures, and good times with everyone on Candler’s most exciting attraction!  Also visit

16 thoughts on “Small Town, Big Voice: Ten Reasons to Adore Candler Town

  1. Nice…I too live in Candler & love it. Do the Blue Ridge Chicks have a store ? If so, Where ? I’d love to visit.

  2. My mom’s entire family is from Candler. We lived there when I was little and moved back when I was in middle school. Although I love living at the beach every time I go home to visit I remember why I loved it there so much. The best people in the world and the most beautiful peaceful scenery!

  3. How did they fail to mention Brian Sutton and thr primitive quartet? I could here gospel music all the way to kentel rd.And Brian has been onstage and can be heard on my favorite Ricky Skaggs album Ancient Tones as well as his own stuff.Mrs Sutton was Kindergarten teacher at Pisgah.Proud to be from Candler NC!

  4. Went to Candler Elementary for 8 years (before there was a middle school… We put Candler on the map! Remember those bumper stickers??) Went to the “old” Enka for 2 years & the “new” one for 2. Proud to call Candler MY HOME!

  5. I think if I hear the term “Biltmore Lake” one more time I’m going to vomit. The Biltmore Lake community should be, well, someplace else — like Biltmore, and name of the lake will always be ENKA LAKE!

  6. Sure miss “old Candler Town.” Grew up on Beaverdam Rd. Walked the railroad tracks to my best friends house hundreds of times. Both my grandmothers retired from the Enka plant and my Grandfather was a security guard there. We moved to Henderson County in 1989 but I’m still a Candler girl in my heart.

  7. Used to live on Enka Lake Rd. From the the swing set hill we could see the new swimming pool…lol. Went home after too long and got lost, Could not find the lake… Back in the day there was a lttle store, across the highway from that big church, Saterdays quarter was spent there, when there was such a thing as penny candy, and Yohoo was in the same knd of bottle as Cokes.

  8. I grew up in Candler, and went to Sand Hill School, and the old Enka High school, graduating in 1973. Across from the rock quarry, there used to be the West Asheville drive-in theaters, and off the end of Acton Circle was the Enka Roll-a-Rama. We would swim at Enka Lake, and had a good time back then. I was raised on Hartshorn Drive, up off of Holbrook Road. My older 2 children are Ducketts, which their farm, joined the Holbrook farm, which joined the Crowell farm. When we moved from West Asheville in 1959, there was not much except the plant, farmland, and Enka- Candler communities. We had little stores we could walk to.

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