Just north of South Carolina's state line, Brevard, N.C., is a sleepy mountain town most of the year. But from June 24 - August 7, the hills come alive with music during the Brevard Music Festival.
The area boasts wonderful nature as well as culture. In the region around Asheville, Flat Rock and Brevard, there are about 150 waterfalls. This makes for a wonderful mountain getaway.
Keith Lockhart of the Boston Pops is artistic advisor and principal conductor at the festival. He takes the podium on July 2 for the first of several appearances during the festival. Concerts range from the Patriotic Pops on July 4 to full productions of La Traviata and Hansel and Gretel.
The Brevard Music Center (BMC) offers symphonies and chamber music, jazz and pops, along with opera and Broadway shows. Guest artists, gifted students and faculty members participate in performances held at BMC, the College of Brevard and even the local public library.
During the festival, the average ticket price is $25, though many of the concerts are free. Inexpensive tickets to sit on the lawn are available for some BMC concerts.
In addition to the magnificent music, there are amazing waterfalls to explore. Some can be viewed from the side of the road; others require a short walk or longer hike to see. Many are located within Pisgah National Forest, a fascinating 157,000-acre preserve.
One of the most impressive is Looking Glass Falls. Kids of all ages line up at Sliding Rock to body slide over the smooth rock, unofficially dubbed as the "fastest 60 feet in the mountains."
Rainbow Falls, on the Horsepasture River, is about as good as it gets for waterfall lovers. The 1.7 mile trail leading to Rainbow Falls can be accessed from the guardrails along the Horsepasture River on Highway 281 off Highway 64. You will hear the mighty roar of Rainbow Falls long before you actually see it. Touted as one of the best waterfalls in the South, Rainbow Falls is wide, rocky and powerful. Awesome!
Asheville is a half-hour drive from Brevard. There, a stroll through the summer gardens at The Biltmore is a glorious sensual adventure.
Connemara, the home of poet Carl Sandburg, is at Flat Rock, near Hendersonville. While Sandburg was writing, his wife raised prized goats. The barn is still there and a few years ago, one of my tour participants, Jack Carson (like many visitors) got so interested in the goats, we almost left him by mistake.
North Carolina's State Theater is also at Flat Rock. They are presently planning to stage "Witness for the Prosecution" in a courtroom in Hendersonville (June 29-July 24). Should be most interesting.
Summer days in the Brevard area are warm; nights are cool and the variety of activities make it an ideal place for a summer getaway. I can't wait to get back!
Scottie Davis will be escorting a Weekend Get-Aways on a Tank of Gas motor coach trip to Brevard June 30-July 2. For more information, visit www.scottiedavis.com or call 843-681-1900.