Western North Carolina Nature Center Visit … A Must!

There are so many fun things to do in Asheville, and only so many hours in a weekend to fit them. If you find yourself looking for a great way to spend a few hours outdoors, may I suggest a trip to the Western North Carolina Nature Center. 

Nestled in the trees off of Azalea Road, The Nature Center is a quiet and peaceful place to look at many of the animals who call the Southern Appalachians their home. They house over “220 animals who represent more than 60 species.”  From snakes and frogs, to wolves and cougars, to bears and otters, it really is a great way to spend a morning or afternoon.     I’ve visited the Nature Center twice in six months with my now three year old.  She doesn’t get bored because she gets to run and jump and look at really cool animals hanging out in their homes.  Our favorite exhibit is the Otter Habitat.  In her words, “Mom, they are so funny!”  

 The Amphibian Room is a really cool place to see the local snakes, turtles, and frogs. This exhibit offers a hands-on experience to feel the animal pelts and view the rocks and tree trunks up close.  

 The North Carolina Farm is a great place to get up close and personal with the farm animals.  The farm includes a section where you can pet the angora goats and sheep.  This area is monitored by a Nature Center employee and there’s plenty of hand sanitizer.  

Just a few tips on preparing for your visit: 

 There are hills. We live in the mountains so this is to be expected, but it is wheelchair friendly.  Parking Lot A is handicap accessible for those who need it.  There are plenty of spots to stop and take in the scenery if hills aren’t your thing.  To parents, I would suggest bringing a stroller. As energetic and excited as my three year old is, she still had spots where she became tired.  The first time I made the trip, I didn’t bring the stroller and I wished I had.  Also, the Nature Center is a great place to pack a lunch.  They

have a picnic area inside the center.  

I hope you enjoy your visit, and also hope you get to hear the white wolf howl!


Address: 75 GashesCreek Rd., Asheville, NC 28805,  (828) 259-8080

Hours: Open 7 days a week from 10am – 5pm.

Admission: Adults: $8, Kids (Ages 3-15): $4, Seniors (65+): $7

Website: www.wncnaturecenter.com

 *I took the information of hours and admission from the Nature Center’s website.  I would suggest visiting their website to make sure the prices and hours have not changed.*




Tracy Tanner is a Mom. Artist. Photographer. Lover of all things on and off the beaten path. Retired Roller Derby Queen, lover of Alice in Wonderland & Doctor Who.  http://www.writespeaksee.com

AskAsheville Expanding Into Six Southeast Cities


Along with the new AskAsheville.com boutique website for the Asheville North Carolina community, comes more business; and yes expansion. We will be launching premium web presences in the Charlotte NC, Greenville SC, Atlanta GA, Gatlinburg TN, Raleigh NC, Greensboro NC; as well as other neighboring cities and towns such as Weaverville NC, Hendersonville NC, Waynesville NC, Black Mountain NC, Brevard NC, Lake Lure NC, Chimney Rock NC, and Burnsville NC. Boone NC, Charleston SC and Wilmington NC are on the radar as well. Our teams and audiences are already set up in these areas. More locations coming soon as we develop business relationships with new cities and people. If you are interested in talking to us about expanding into your community or teaming up with us, please use the contact form on our website. Thank you.

BIG LOVE opens up a little in Asheville

The whole buy local idea is something I definitely support. I think of it in a reasonable way in that if it makes sense, is comparable in price and quality, then why not?! I may like Starbucks coffee. So what?! What are you going to do? Crucify me? The whole Local idea in the realm of community politics has many levels. Some ultra local places are locally owned, and only carry locally made products. Then there is the places that are locally owned but sell items sold elsewhere, some in NC, in other States and around the World. Then there are places that are not locally owned and sell items not locally produced. Who is better for the community? You answer that for yourself.

When it comes to the great local unchained independent Asheville Grown and the Big Love Festival, they have included a franchise that is locally owned as one of their networked sponsors. Big Love making a Big Move! Dobra Tea is on the list. Congrats! As many of you know, AskAsheville is all about inclusion and love when regional and national franchises or chains get involved in the local community. For example, places like the 151 Boutique Bar and Red Stag Grill are commonly excluded from organizations like Asheville Independent Restaurants and Asheville Grown because they are located inside a hotel that is part of a franchise or chain.

I keep my ear to the streets as much as possible and interviewed another awesome business that was trying to get involved in the Big Love Festival as a sponsor. Here is their response.

RelyLocal Asheville is thrilled and amazed to see a locally owned franchise business, Dobra Tea, being allowed to participate and advertise in the Big Love Fest being held by Asheville Grown Business Alliance (See there ad in the Big Love Fest flyer insert in the current Mountain X). I had thought this was a celebration of “Unchained & Independent” Asheville only. It is perplexing to me becuase we generously offered to sponsor the Big Love fest as a main sponsor ($500 or more donation) and provide free advertising and were flatly denied. We are a 100% locally owned business (not even a franchise) that merely has a software license agreement and server hosting from out of area. We at RelyLocal Asheville believe that locally owned independents and locally owned franchises both contribute greatly to the local economy. We are glad to see that Asheville Grown Business Alliance, by their actions, agrees with us finally. Good to have them on board with as we grow the local Asheville Economy and keep more capital working here in our Community.”

What do you think? Are we heading into the era of BIG LOVE, or are we growing more exclusive. Who knows? Who cares?