A popular, picturesque, tourist destination since the 1880’s is nestled in the inspirational mountains at the confluence of two rivers: Ashville, NC, is known for historic interests, quaint Appalachian charm, a wonder for sightseeing, outdoor adventures and as a resort for the wealthy. Ashville is known to have America’s most scenic drive over the Blue Ridge parkway.
Near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Pisgah National Forest, Asheville is surrounded by a mountain paradise.
The art scene is especially dynamic, and Asheville has become a mecca for potters, painters and musicians. Some of the creativity of folk art has been inspired by old ballads. The blend of the community includes the younger set, and stylish, creative retirees, where an openness to the many lifestyles and beliefs is harmonious. Asheville has been listed in Modern Maturity as an ideal place to live or visit.
Many of the events reflect the literary greats who have lived there including: Thomas Wolfe, Carl Sandburg and O. Henry. The area's magnificent beauty led millionaire George W. Vanderbilt to locate his castle-like mansion, the Biltmore, in Asheville. Architecture buffs can also peruse the Art Deco City Hall and turn-of-the-century houses and Tudor-style homes.
Travelers can be a guest of the Vanderbilt's at the Inn on Biltmore Estate. Awarded Four Stars by Mobil Travel Guide and Four Diamonds by AAA, the Inn is everything you would expect and more. Exquisite accommodations, relaxed elegance, and fine dining are within the Vanderbilt. The Vanderbilt Biltmore Estate has also been recognized by Condé Nast Traveler 2005 & 2006 Gold List, and Travel + Leisure's 500 World's Best Hotels for 2006.
Some other local hotels that provide hospitality and fine service include: the Holiday Inn Asheville and the Doubletree Hotel Biltmore.
Taste buds awake when seeing the delicious offerings from the bounties of the Biltmore estate where they raise their own beef and lamb, and grow 117 varieties of produce. Their extensive kitchen gardens produce award-winning vintages, and create signature recipes that showcase regional traditions.
A sampling of other local restaurants includes the Jerusalem Garden Cafe, where the atmosphere is playful with live entertainment; and, Vincenzo’s has excellent Italian offerings. The Cafe on the Square, is a cheerful spot with upscale dining.
The historic Grove Arcade Public Market embraces some 50 shops and restaurants. The arcade is the largest commercial building in the city, and the market itself has been restored to its previous prominence.
In Asheville, craft shops are a favorite and the Grovewood Gallery at the Homespun Shops, a historical landmark, finds visitors enjoying the crafts presented.
The Vanderbilt estate, Biltmore, “America's largest house”, is among the numerous recreational and scenic attractions. The University of North Carolina is in the city, and the Eastern Cherokee reservation lies to the west.
Located at the base of Humpback Mountain lies the natural wonder of the Linville Caverns. After remaining a mystery and secret for centuries, the caverns have been opened for safe and convenient public touring.
Thomas Wolfe's childhood home is Asheville, and his home is a Memorial which was immortalized in "Look Homeward Angel." It is almost exactly the same as when he lived there. Tours and information about his life and works are in the home.
Written by: Karen J. Lee