Nearby Notes

Organic gardening Blue Ridge Mountains

Gardening, gathering and gourmet in Flat Rock

Season's Restaurant – at the Highland Lake Inn resort in Flat Rock – will present its final organic garden tour, cooking class and lunch of the summer, 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesday.

Participants can walk through the gardens with the head gardener and learn about the vegetables, herbs and flowers growing and about organic planting methods. Next up is harvesting the vegetables and flowers and delivering them to Season's for the day's food and presentation.

The restaurant's chefs will hold a cooking class to demonstrate creative ways to utilize the harvest. Participants will learn techniques, tips and recipes for the demonstrated dishes – before having them for lunch.

Participants should wear clothing suitable for gardening, and a hat. Cost: $49.95 (includes the tour, cooking class and lunch with wine, entrée, dessert and coffee). Reservations: 828-696-9094. Details:

Whitewater Bryson City and Ducktown, Tenn.

Hit the rapids and Raft for the Cure

The adventure company Wildwater Rafting will hold its second annual Raft for the Cure fundraiser next Sunday at its Ocoee (Ducktown, Tenn.) and Nantahala (Bryson City) river locations.

Rafting down the Ocoee or Nantahala for this event will provide fun and fulfillment by helping to raise money for breast cancer research.

In 2007, Wildwater's event raised more than $11,000, which was donated to the Susan G. Koman Breast Cancer Foundation. This year, one-fourth of all money from the day's Ocoee and Nantahala trips will count towards Wildwater's donation. Special trips at 2 p.m. (Ocoee) and at 2:15 p.m. (Nantahala) will be designated for the Raft for the Cure guests and sponsors.

Upon their return, participants are invited to a reception (both locations) with refreshments, a presentation of the donation and an honor ceremony featuring a release of butterflies. Proceeds will be divided between Susan G. Koman's Charlotte and Chattanooga, Tenn. affiliates.

Many trip options (and prices) are available, ranging from $19-$45. Reservations and donations can be made by calling Wildwater Rafting: 877-247-5535.


Deals Williamsburg, Va.

Pass offer at Busch Gardens, Water Country USA

This month, Busch Gardens and Water Country USA in Williamsburg. Va., are giving guests more control over their own season and making pass options more affordable by offering passes valid for up to one year from the date of purchase. It replaces the park's traditional “season passes” that expire each fall.

Passes are now available starting at less than $10 per month (when buying four or more; total cost: $97.46 per pass, and up) through Busch Gardens' EZpay program, which spreads the cost of park membership over the course of a year. One and two-year passes are both available. Busch Gardens offers dozens of rides and attractions, 10 main-stage shows, a variety of foods and shops and a children's area. Details: 800-343-7946; (click “Europe,” then click “Special Offer”). Rochelle Reynoldson