MOUNTAIN MAJESTY: The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the most beloved and most visited sites in the National Park System, attracting millions of visitors and tourist dollars to the region each year. Its creation was the result of over a decade of legislative wrangling, relentless promotion and fundraising, and the tireless efforts of WNC residents such as George Masa, a Japanese immigrant who helped introduce the Smokies to the American people through his photography. Photo via North Carolina Collection, Pack Memorial Library, Asheville

George Masa and the birth of Great Smoky Mountains National Park

“These efforts really are about protecting places for all Americans and for future generations,” notes Brent Martin of The Wilderness Society. The leaders of the national parks movement, he maintains, “all saw a much bigger picture, not only for all human beings, but for all living things.”

APPROACHABLE ART: This vegan, gluten-free sweet potato and mushroom manicotti is among the elegant-but-not-intimidating items on Chef James Lumley's menu at Vue 1913.  Photo by Cindy Kunst

Post-tablecloth dining at Vue 1913

It is a crystal-clear day when I take my seat in the dining room at Grove Park Inn’s new Vue 1913, a more casual take on farm-to-table dining than the venue’s previous installment, Horizons. I’ve come here for a chef’s tasting, and the fact that the inn even has a chef’s tasting is a good sign that, despite having a burger on the menu, there might be a little more fine dining going on here than meets the eye.

A compromise is possible

I always enjoy reading the Letters section in the Mountain Xpress. I noticed that the Grove Park Inn responded to a letter complaining about the new parking fees [“Shame on the Grove Park Inn,” Dec. 5 Xpress]. It would seem to me that a compromise could be reached between the locals who enjoy the gingerbread […]

Shame on the Grove Park Inn

Shame on the Grove Park Inn for charging $10 for self-parking. Every year it has been a tradition in our family to go and see the display of gingerbread houses and other holiday decorations. We bring our out-of-town guests who enjoy shopping in the Grove Park Inn stores, buying refreshments and, most importantly, seeing the […]