Not unlike the stuff of dreams, the month of May in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina is filled with a seemingly endless rolling sea of color as wildflowers blanket the valley floor under a canopy of towering green trees and blue skies adorned with fluffy white clouds. The fragrance of newly blooming Dogwoods and Mountain Laurel blend with the heavenly aroma from countless barbeque grills as they are carried away on a cool mountain breeze. The streets and sidewalks in the quaint towns and villages of the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau are bustling once again as seasonal neighbors return and a fresh harvest of new families discover our little corner of the world for the very first time. If you listen carefully, you can hear the area beckon. The streams call out to the would-be fly fisherman, the golf courses call out to the aspiring pro golfer, the lakes call out to the avid boater, and the tree-lined hiking trails leading to mystical waterfalls call out to the nature lover. Life on the mountain is whatever you want it to be – jam-packed full of adventure, slow-paced and peaceful, or something in between. To fill those “in-between” times, the friendly folks at Silver Creek Real Estate Group have compiled the following calendar of events for the month of May. In addition to the area’s breathtaking natural splendor, world-class amenities and resorts, eclectic shopping and dining experiences, and our special brand of Southern Hospitality – you might just find an occasion on our calendar that serves as a great excuse to draw you here. We know full well that once you visit, you’re bound to find that something special that keeps you coming back!
May 1: Brunch at Madison’s for Wine and Dine on the Mountain. For more information call 828-526-8008
May 3, 4 & 5: Highland Hiker hosts fly fishing casting lessons for ladies only, led by Joan Cabe. Limit of 5 per class. Call 828-526-5298 to reserve a spot. Highlands location.
May 3 & 5: Highland Hiker Shoe Store hosts a hike to Sunset Rock with Robert Keller at 5 p.m. For more information call 828-526-5298. Highlands location.
May 4: Highland Hiker Shoe Store hosts a 1 hour Yoga class with Certified Instructor Diane Levine at 9 a.m. Bring your own yoga mat. Limit of 8. Highlands location.
May 4: The official kick-off of local artist Karen Weihs’ OPEN STUDIO Mondays at her Cashiers-based art studio on Laurel Knob Road. Karen invites artists to bring their easel, paints, lunch, and works in progress – and she will supply the space, tables, set-ups, drinks, and mentoring! Just $25 per participant every Monday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., limit to 4 people each week. Don’t miss this great opportunity to “get your art groove on” while sharing a passion with others to become better artists and inviting a few “extra sets of eyeballs” to see and critique one another’s work – a true life-line to progress. To learn more about contemporary oil painter Karen Weihs, visit her online at www.karenweihs.com. Please RSVP each week by e-mailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 828/226-4024. Classes run through the remainder of 2011.
May 5: Happy Cinco de Mayo! Raise a frosty margarita glass at Highlands El Azteca Restaurant or dine on your favorite Mexican dishes at Chile Loco in Cashiers in celebration!
May 5: Meet at the Cashiers Highland hiker for a Leki Trekking Pole demonstration with Nathan Smith at 10 a.m. Try out the Leki Trekking Poles and learn how to use for hiking. Limit of 12 participants.
May 5: Meet at the Cashiers Highlands Hiker and take a walk with Debbie Adams using Leki Nordic Walking Poles at 5 p.m. Limit of 12 participants.
May 6: Highland Hiker hosts a Sunset Rock Hike – Dogs welcome! Bring your dog (leashes required) and meet at the Highland Hiker in Highlands for a walk to Sunset Rock with Katie Cochran and Coal, then continue to the Dog Park to play. Hike begins at 5:15 p.m.
May 6-8: Mothers Day Sectional Bridge Tournament at the Highlands Civic Center; sponsored by the Highlands Duplicate Bridge Club. For more information, please call 828-526-3556.
May 6, 13, 20 & 27: Headwaters Outfitters hosts Discovery at Dusk – A Guided Canoe Trip. Slip your canoe paddle into the tranquil waters of the French Broad and ease your way down stream as the day’s light fades to dusk. The sounds and life of the river this time of day just can’t be compared! You’ll paddle 8 miles, approximately 4 hours downstream through what many claim as the most beautiful section of the French Broad River. Watch the different bird life glide through the air in hunt of their last meal of the day, be it an insect zipping through the wind or a fish splashing through the current around you. Catch a glimpse of the beaver’s tail as he escapes into dark recesses of the river in search of his burrows entrance. Every trip provides the opportunity for a wide array of wildlife observation around every bend. Reservations are required and are confirmed with a 50% deposit. The trip fee is $55.00 per person which includes; canoe, paddle, life jacket, transportation to & from the river, and river guide. For more information, call 828-877-3106 or visit www.headwatersoutfitters.com.
May 7 & 14: Headwaters Outfitters hosts their “Signs of Spring a Guided Canoe Trip on the French Broad River” – Spring is the perfect time to explore the beautiful scenery of the French Broad River, and what better mode of transportation than in a canoe? This peaceful eight-mile guided canoe trip will take about four hours to complete. You, your friends or family, paddle downstream through perhaps the most beautiful section of the entire river. Join one of our experienced river guides and encounter the beauty and tranquility of this ancient river as it springs to life with the melodic chatter of wildlife and the colorful burst of new foliage. The cost is $55 per person. To reserve a spot, call 828-877-3106 or visit www.headwatersoutfitters.com.
Saturdays in May: The Bascom in Highlands hosts “Bascom Community Knitters” from 10 a.m. – noon. All skill levels are welcome to join the community of knitters and needle-workers who meet every Saturday from May – October on The Terrace at The Bascom. Free. For information, call 828.526.4949 or visit www.thebascom.org.
May 7: Highland Hiker hosts an Interpretive Hike to Whiterock on the Bartram Trail with Tom Olson, 4.5 miles round trip. Meet at the Highland Hiker at 9:00 a.m. and bring your lunch, water, and rain jacket. Limit of 6 participants.
May 7: Highlands, NC Relay for Life Kickoff Rally – event begins at 10 a.m. and will be hosted at the Highlands Community Building. Rally will feature delicious food and speakers from the community in honor of local cancer survivors, marking the kickoff of the 2011 Relay for Life season which will culminate in a very special overnight Relay event at Highlands Recreation Park on Friday, August 19.
May 8: Madison’s Restaurant in Highlands host a very special Mother’s Day Brunch from 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. and the Wine Garden offers Mother’s Day Lunch Selections from 11:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. Guests can arrange to have flowers, champagne, cheese trays, beautiful handmade chocolate arrangements or other surprises waiting for that special woman in their life when they enter their room or suite. Madison’s guests can have flowers from Oakleaf Flower and Garden or an Old Edwards Inn and Spa gift certificate delivered right to the table. And Acorn’s Boutique features a beautiful array of designer jewelry that can be purchased with the gift card—or presented as a surprise over dinner. Acorn’s features a 10% discount for all resort guests.
May 9: Highlands Country Club hosts the 22nd Annual Rotary Club of Highlands Annual Golf Tournament – an event that promises to be one of the highlights of the golf season in the mountains. A morning shotgun start, which includes lunch and on course beverages, will be followed by a awards ceremony. Registration for individual players is $150. Various combinations of individual and corporate sponsorships, individual hole sponsorships, and player/sponsor combinations are available. Applications for players, sponsors or both are available by calling 828-787-2778. Don’t delay – the tournament will be an early sell out.
May 11-14: The Old Edwards Inn Farm is the site of Highlands First Annual Three River Fly Fishing Tournament in support of Fishing/Fellowship/Philanthropy. $500.00 secures a spot for a two-person team. This fee includes an invitation to the opening night reception at The Farm at Old Edwards Inn, three days of fishing (one native, one hatchery supported & one delayed harvest river), as well as an invitation to the closing night Winners’ Reception featuring food, prizes & fellowship. All funds raised benefit the Town of Highlands Scholarship Fund for Highlands School graduates.
May 12-14: The Bascom in Highlands hosts “Palette Knife/Still Life” – an oil painting class taught by Donna Thomas from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. The class is open to all levels and will address under toning a canvas in preparation for palette knife application of oil paint. Types of palette knife applications, color mixing with a limited palette, compositional considerations and the importance of value will all be discussed. Still life materials will include florals, objects and personal photographs. Tuition: $220 members/$245 non-members. For information, call 828.526.4949 or visit www.thebascom.org.
May 13: Zachary-Tolbert House Opening Event – Guided tours of this beautifully preserved historic home museum and grounds in Cashiers resume on Fridays and Saturdays from May through October 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
May 13-14: The Bascom in Highlands hosts “Totem Building Workshop” – a hand-building clay workshop taught by Barry Gregg from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. This 2 day workshop will concentrate on garden totem construction. All levels will learn the expressive potential of pinch, coil, and slab construction, however a basic knowledge of clay is recommended. Topics will include “Finding Your Inspiration” to create and personalize your work. This workshop will also include a one day glazing class (June 4). Attendees should realistically be able to construct 8-10 stackable pieces during the course of the workshop. Tuition: $170 members/$195 non-members. For information, call 828.526.4949 or visit www.thebascom.org.
May 17: The Cashiers Historical Society hosts “Ramble to Cashiers Area Civil War Sites”. For more information, please call 828.743.9002.
May 19-21: The Bascom in Highlands plays host to the Fifth annual Collective Spirits Wine and Food Fest. Wine lovers from all over the Southeast are cordially invited to stock their cellars, while indulging in private wine dinners, grand wine tastings featuring both value wines and rare bottles, a gala dinner, live and silent auctions, and a culinary sampling by local chefs. All proceeds support outreach and educational programs of The Bascom, a nonprofit center for the visual arts.
May 24: Join the Highlands Cashiers Land Trust at Cashiers Village Green at 7 p.m. for their family-friendly summer Village Nature Series “Scales and Slime: Reptiles & Amphibians of the Highlands Plateau.” Meet living local reptiles and amphibians then enjoy an old fashioned ice cream social. Discover what makes this region so special at this free educational community event – everyone is welcome to attend and no reservations are necessary. To learn more call (828) 526.1111 or email Julie.email@example.com.
May 26-27: The Bascom in Highlands hosts “Zentangle” – a beautiful art form using pen, ink and repeating patterns taught by Joan Payton and Jeannie Mahood from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Using the finest archival materials and following a simple set of steps, participants will be able to achieve a relaxed state of focus by concentrating on drawing one line at a time. Zentangle is an enjoyable kinesthetic meditation intended to remove many of the barriers people have to making creativity and relaxation a part of their lives. Tuition: $170 members/$195 non-members/$10 materials fee. For information, call 828.526.4949 or visit www.thebascom.org.
May 27-30: The High Hampton Inn & Country Club ushers in the unofficial start of the summer season with their Memorial Day House Party, a festive weekend that includes a Sunday evening BBQ picnic on the High Hampton lawn featuring a live band and mountain cloggers. For more information or to make reservations for this very special weekend, visit www.highhamptoninn.com or call 800.334.2551.
May 29-30: The Highlands will be hopping with the return of their Village Square Art & Craft Show – an annual event that features some of the best regional talent around, displaying their wares including fine art, folk art, pottery, rustic furniture, baskets, jewelry, turned wood, and more. Event promises fun for the whole family and includes food, music, live demonstrations, and plenty of bathrooms and parking. The Show takes place in the Highlands Village Square and Kelsey-Hutchinson Park on Pine and 5th Streets. For more info contact Cynthia Strain at Mill Creek Gallery & Framing (828) 787-2021.
May 30: Happy Memorial Day from your friends at Silver Creek Real Estate Group and NC Living Magazine!