Asheville, North Carolina, lies among the Blue Ride Mountains in western North Carolina. With the charm of a small Southern city, Asheville offers visitors and natives alike plenty of activities to enjoy either as a stand alone visit to Asheville or as part of their travel through the Appalachian Mountains.
Exploring the Outdoors
Asheville is a great place for those who love exploring the mountains, tracking down hidden waterfalls, and just taking in the natural beauty of the area. The city is not too far from Mount Mitchell and some of the other highest peaks in the Blue Ridge Mountains. These mountains are also among the highest climbs in the eastern United States.
If you are are not an expert hiker or just want to hike at a gentler pace, there are many beautiful hiking and biking trails for beginners and intermediate hikers that will get you up close to some of the most beautiful scenery in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Among these trails, Asheville is close to the famous Appalachian Trail, which spans over 2,000 miles from Georgia to Maine.
If you prefer to drive to explore the mountains by car, you can drive down the Blue Ridge Parkway, a well-known scenic route that passes through Asheville.
Hiking and chasing waterfalls are not the only outdoor activities you can do while you are visiting Asheville. There are plenty of great fishing spots in the area for you to catch trout if fishing is your thing. If you are in for a more fast-paced water sport, the Asheville area offers plenty of opportunities for you to shoot the rapids on a whitewater river float. Nature-lovers can also take in some of the area wildlife, from local and migrating birds to black bears and elk.
Seeing the Biltmore and other fine architecture
Perhaps Asheville’s most famous attraction is the Biltmore House, a mansion constructed in the late 1890s for a member of the Vanderbilt family, who at the height of America’s Gilded Age amassed a fortune in the railroad industry.
The mansion is 250 rooms of what even by today’s standards would be considered absolute magnificence. In addition to getting the chance to explore the house itself, you can walk through Biltmore’s acres of gardens on the sprawling estate grounds. Each garden a slightly different thematic element.
In the heart of the gardens sits Biltmore conservatory, an indoor greenhouse that is the home of many different types of exotic or unusual plants, including species of palm trees and ferns. If you feel particularly inspired by its beauty and elegance, you can join the many others who the conservatory their wedding venue or their location for a big event or celebration.
Although perhaps the best known, Biltmore is not the only place where you can experience luxury living. The Omni Grove Park Inn, which was built over 100 years ago, has served as a mountain retreat for visitors to Asheville, including several Presidents, for decades and is still open to guests today.
The City of Asheville itself will also offer you plenty of other opportunities for fun. The city has developed a reputation for itself as a place where young people and others who are in to the art scene can express themselves and enjoy quality art, and the city also has a rich musical heritage. You can enjoy quality music both by day, sometimes just by walking the city’s streets, as well in the evening hours, as music is an important part of the city’s nightlife.
If you like to shop or eat when visiting a new or unfamiliar city, Asheville offers plenty of options. In addition to getting traditional North Carolina barbecue or other Southern fare, foodies can enjoy creative takes on old favorites of the area, local beer, and food fresh from nearby farms. Shoppers may enjoy visiting one of Asheville’s independently owned bookstores or trying out other local retailers in downtown.
Asheville, North Carolina, will offer you plenty to do, particularly if you love the outdoors, appreciate little slices of America’s history, or just want to experience how wealthy people of bygone years lived their lives. Whether someone you are on business, visiting Asheville for some other reason, or just stopping along your journey up the Appalachian Trail, this city is definitely worth spending a few days exploring and enjoying.