This page is about Asheville NC tourism. Asheville is located in the North Carolina western mountains. Popular tourist attractions include Biltmore Estates, the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Grove Park Inn, Downtown, festivals and outdoor adventure.
The most popular attraction in Asheville is the Biltmore Estates. Biltmore House was designed to look like a 16th century chateau is the Loire Valley of France. It is located off I-40 Exit 50. At one time, the Biltmore Estates had dairy cattle and a working dairy. Today, Biltmore Estates is a winery. You can buy Biltmore wine on the estate or at local grocery stores.
The Biltmore Village was a village originally made to house the people who worked on the Biltmore Estate. Today, it is a village of unique shops and restaurants. It is located across from the Biltmore House entrance. Each building is designed to reflect the heratage of its locality. For example, the MacDonald's restaurant was uniquely designed to fit in with the area's historic architecture.
Besides Biltmore Estate, there are lots of other attractions to visit in the Asheville area. The Blue Ridge Parkway offers beautiful views of the North Carolina western mountains, especially in the fall when the leaves are changing. Thousands flock to the area in Autumn to see the beauty of nature. If you are planning to visit the area this time of year it is wise to make reservations for lodging before hand.
The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa was built in 1913. It is a luxury resort hotel with a spa. It has been the destination of many presidents as well as the rich and famous people. The resort is on the national register of historic places. The Grove Park Inn features a championship golf course.
The Grove Arcade is a Neo Gothic building structure complete with Gargoyles. It was built by the same man who built the Grove Park Inn Resort. The Grove Arcade features specialty shops, crafts and restaurants.
Thomas Wolfe Memorial, 52 North Market St. is located in downtown Asheville. This is the boyhood home of Thomas Wolfe who wrote Look Homeward Angel. It is designated as a State Historic site.
Pack Place is the center of Asheville. The square is a gathering place for locals and visitors alike. here you will find the Asheville Art museum, the Colburn Earth Science Museum, the Health adventure and the YMI cultural center. The Asheville Art museum exhibits artwork by Southern artists. It is not a very large museum you can leisurely explore it in an hour.
Smith McDowell Museum at 283 Victoria Rd is located on the Asheville Buncombe Community College Campus. The Smith McDowell house was built in 1840. On display are historic exhibits and a Civil War memorial.
Asheville has many festivals every year. The most well known festival is Belle Chere (Bell Cher or Share). This is a large 3 day festival held the last weekend of July. Over 300,000 people have been known to visit Asheville just to attend Belle Cher. The festival offers music, dancing in the streets, face painting, game booths, art and crafts booths, kiddie rides and more. Driving into the city for Belle Chere and finding a parking place can be quite nerve racking and expensive so it is advised to take a shuttle. There are shuttles available throughout the city.
Other festivals are held annually in and around the Ashville area reflect the diversity of culture in the city. There is the Goombay festival held in downtown in August, an African culture festival with music, dancing, food and more. There is a Greek festival held in September featuring Greek food, dancing and music. The most famous festival, other than Belle Chere is the Mountain Dance and Folk festival. This festival has been held every year since 1927 the first weekend of August. It features mountain folk dancing, clogging, music and arts and crafts. There are other events held in the city and surrounding areas throughout the year.
Shindig on the Green is a bluegrass concert with mountain dancing (clogging) held every Saturday throughout the Summer on the City County Plaza in downtown Asheville.
Lake Julian Park is located in Arden which is a suburb of Asheville. It is a very clean park with paddle boats for rent, sail boats, a small marina, a playground, a camp ground, picnic tables, grills, ducks, geese, a restaurant nearby and more. However, there is no swimming due to an undertow.
Asheville is located between the French Broad River and Swannanoa River. Both rivers offer recreation. On the French Broad River you can go canoeing, boating and fishing. The French Broad river also offers white water rafting north of Asheville. There are numerous parks throughout Asheville along the French Broad River. Many people fish along the Swannanoa River. The Swannanoa river is stocked with trout.
The Botanical Gardens of Asheville, located off I-91, display trees and plant life that are native to the Southern Appalachian mountains. In the same area, called Bent Creek, is Lake Powhatan. This lake has a nice clean beach with picnic tables and grills, swimming and trout fishing in Bent Creek. Water is cold.
The Western North Carolina Nature center at 75 Gashes Creek Rd features natural habitat exhibits of animals and plants that live in the Southern Appalachian mountains. This is the closest place Asheville has to a zoo.
Asheville is in a good locality to many North Carolina tourist attractions. Nearby Cherokee offers a casino, an Indian Village, a museum, and many more historic places of interest. Take a day trip to Chimney Rock, and nearby Lake Lure just forty five minutes from Asheville and well worth the trip. Lake Lure has a clean public quiet beach. Chimney Rock offers more scenic views, a beautiful waterfall and hiking trails. North of Asheville off of the Blue Ridge Parkway is Mt. Mitchell, the highest mountain peak east of Mississippi.
Lodging Near Attractions