President Barack Obama will visit Asheville, North Carolina, this weekend for a little rest and relaxation, and locals are full of suggestions for stuff he should do. columnist Jason Sanford suggests the president stop off at Bruisin’ Ales beer store for some of the city’s award-winning craft beer and catch the Blue Ridge Roller Girls at one of their roller derby bouts.

For a Friday night stroll, Sanford suggests the drum circle in Pritchard Park, then dinner at either of two farm-to-table restaurants, Table or The Marketplace.  Sanford thinks Mrs. Obama would enjoy the French Broad Chocolate Lounge for dessert.  “The ladies love the liquid truffle,” he says.

Citizen-Times sports editor Bob Berghaus wants Obama to play golf with him.  “Last fall I wrote an e-mail to the president asking if he wanted to play a round,” Berghaus wrote in a column this week.  The last time Obama was in Asheville, on the campaign trail in October 2008, he joked that his staff wouldn’t let him play golf.  Berghaus took the president’s plan to come to Asheville as a sign he’s ready to tee up, but “my wife reminded me that I haven’t heard from the White House, that this golf date isn’t happening.”

In ’08, his one fun stop in Asheville was at 12 Bones Smokehouse for ribs.

President Obama is expected to stay at world-famous Grove Park Inn. Beyond increased security, the inn plans no special treatment for the president. “We are a for-profit resort, open to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year,” said inn spokeswoman Deborah Potter. “Our facilities and our golf course are always open to the public, weather and space permitting.”  Grove Park Inn is used to famous guests.  Among them, through the years: William Jennings Bryan, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, John D. Rockefeller, Gen. John J. Pershing,  Woodrow Wilson, William Howard Taft, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, Dwight Eisenhower, Enrico Caruso, Harry Houdini, Al Jolson, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Bobby Jones, Will Rogers, Billy Graham, William Shatner, Don Cheadle, Jerry Seinfeld, Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys, John Waters, Mike Huckabee and Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Ron Taylor

Ron Taylor

Ron Taylor was born and raised in Georgia and worked more than 40 years at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution as a reporter and editor and as an online producer for and AccessAtlanta. He served for a time as the newspaper's regional editor, overseeing coverage of the South. He is co-author, with Dr. Leonard Ray Teel, of Into the Newsroom:  An Introduction to Journalism and has conducted workshops in the Middle East on feature writing.