Links of Interest
Part of the Appalachian Mountains, nestled in the spectacular Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountain ranges, this region includes the tallest mountains in the eastern United States and is known for its scenic beauty. Home to one of the most dynamic arts communities in the world, the area is famous for its music and crafts, including such traditional skills as quilting, wood carving, basket-weaving and glass-blowing. The surrounding countryside abounds with outdoor activities of every kind, including fly-fishing, golfing, horseback riding, hot air ballooning, mountain biking, paddle sports, rock-climbing, skiing and snow boarding. For these reasons, many visitors choose Asheville as their base from which to explore the Blue Ridge Parkway and Great Smoky Mountains. Here are some of our favorite escapes...
The Estate consists of an extraordinary 250-room mansion, thousands of acres of gardens and grounds, as well as restaurants and shops. Modeled after a 16th-century French chateau in the Loire Valley, the house is a monument to the Gilded Age. The Estate houses a vast collection of works by master artists, grounds and formal gardens, operates a large dairy and an award-winning winery, making it the largest self-sustaining estate in America.
Blue Ridge Parkway
The 470-mile Parkway is considered the nation’s most scenic highway. Starting at Shenandoah National Park in the north and winding through the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville and into the entrance of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the south end, the Parkway has numerous overlooks, roadside exhibits and miles of hiking trails. A trip along the Parkway is a delight any time of the year.
This 10-acre nonprofit nature preserve is dedicated to preserving and displaying the native flora of the Southern Appalachians. Located next to University of North Carolina Asheville with a garden themed gift shop.
Brevard Music Center
Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina, the Brevard Music Center is a picturesque 140-acre campus offering more than 80 orchestra, opera and chamber concerts each summer.
Chimney Rock Park
Whether it's taking in the breath-taking spectacle of a thundering waterfall or taking on the 200-foot vertical challenge of the trails and stairs, a visit to Chimney Rock Park is more than a walk in the woods or an awe-inspiring view. It's an unforgettable life experience in one of North America's truly great natural wonders.
Flat Rock Playhouse
Officially designated the State Theatre of North Carolina in 1961, the Playhouse was founded in 1952 by Robroy Farquhar and his Company of Vagabond Players. What began as a few weeks of summer performances is now an eight-month season of plays including Broadway musicals, comedy, drama and theatre for young people.
Located in Pack Square in downtown Asheville, the landmark is home to the Asheville Art Museum, Colburn Earth Science Museum, Diana Wortham Theatre, Health Adventure, and YMI Cultural Center.
Pisgah National Forest
Consists of over half a million acres of forests surrounding Mt. Pisgah.
Thomas Wolfe Memorial
Come visit the boardinghouse and adolescent home of Thomas Wolfe. Here you will learn about his boyhood and how his experience transformed him into a major literary figure who left an indelible mark on American literature.
WNC Nature Center
Get “hands-on” with nature and experience the wild environment of the Southern Appalachian region. Located on a 42-acre Natural Heritage site, the Nature Center has many species of wildlife, gardens, trails, indoor exhibits and farm animals.
The Corner Kitchen
Tucked into a quiet corner of Biltmore Village, in one of Richard Sharpe Smith's original houses, is one of Asheville's most surprising restaurants. Serving the finest casual cuisine in a unique setting. Join them for breakfast and lunch Monday-Saturday with brunch on Sunday and dinner served nightly.
Early Girl Eatery
Serves a wide variety of delicious southern dishes that’ll please every palette. Made from scratch, with many ingredients acquired from local farmers, their menu reflects the creative diversity of true southern cooking.
The Lobster Trap
Voted ‘Best Seafood Restaurant’ in the Mountain Xpress Best of Western North Carolina for 2005 and 2006, The Lobster Trap is a locally owned restaurant dedicated to offering fresh seafood. Captain Tom sends lobsters in the morning right off his boat in Portland, ME. Their trout comes fresh from the Shining Rock Wilderness area of Pisgah National Forest. Live music nightly.
Tupelo Honey Café
Here, one finds an upscale yet casual environment with a sleek mahogany bar and open kitchen that invites customers to get up close to the creation of Tupelo Honey’s southern specialties. Offering a unique menu combining old southern favorites with a creative twist, presenting healthier options, fresh ingredients and large portions at a fair price.
Asheville Hot Air Balloons
You will enjoy a fantastic ride in the sky, floating in the air in a hot air balloon above the beautiful mountains near the Pisgah National Forest. Many options are available to you and include fabulous views during the spring and summer months, as well as the spectacular hot air balloon views of fall foliage during autumn.
Climbmax Climbing Center
ClimbMax Climbing Center, in downtown Asheville, is a full-service indoor/outdoor climbing facility with guided outdoor tours available. Parties and corporate programs available.
French Broad Rafting Expeditions
Experience the thrill of whitewater rafting on Asheville’s own French Broad River. Offering a five or nine-mile whitewater rafting trip with high-adventure or calm-water rafting and a guide in every raft, guaranteed. Located about 30 minutes from Asheville.
Largest selection of bicycles, parts, accessories and clothing in the region. Road and mountain bike rentals available for adults and kids. Professional staff with over 300 combined years experience in the bicycle industry.
Reems Creek Golf Club
Designed by Hawtree & Son of Oxford, England, the course offers a Scottish Highlands look with its rolling terrain and deep, large knolls. Completely surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains, Golf Digest rated the course Four Stars. Features a pro shop, lessons, driving range and restaurants
Offering calm-water float trips on the French Broad River through Biltmore Estate property. Canoes, kayaks, rafts and tubes available for family fun adventure.
Declared a historic area and Local Historic District in 1989, the Village is home to over 30 unique shops and 10 cafes and restaurants housed in historic cottages and buildings. A classic planned community; the tree-lined streets, brick sidewalks and period architecture make the area a delight to explore.
One of Asheville’s architectural jewels and a premier historic downtown attraction, the Arcade was built by E.W. Grove, visionary creator of the Grove Park Inn. Featuring local crafts, fresh food and an array of restaurants and shops representing the area’s distinct mountain heritage.
Mast General Store
Restored to its 1940s heyday, this grand downtown emporium features vintage housewares, quality outdoor gear, comfortable clothing for every season and old-time barrel candy. Other historic locations in Waynesville, Hendersonville and the 1883 original store in Valle Crucis.
Southern Highland Craft Guild
Located on the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, the Folk Art Center was opened as a cooperative effort between the Southern Highland Craft Guild, the National Park Service and the Appalachian Regional Commission. The Center showcases the finest in traditional and contemporary crafts of the Southern Appalachians. It also houses the Guild’s century-old Allanstand Craft Shop, exhibitions in three galleries, a library and an auditorium.
Western North Carolina Farmer’s Market
With local farmers, wholesalers, area merchants and crafters, the Market is situated on a 36-acre site overlooking the Biltmore Estate and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Featuring a year-round selection of fresh-from-the-farm produce, canned goods, honey, hand-crafted items, flowers and ornamental plants.
Shoji Japanese Spa
An outdoor Japanese-style hot tub retreat, Asheville’s one and only hot tub day spa. Offering private hot tub rentals, a cold plunge and wet/dry sauna. Lots of extras including Japanese Yukatas, sandals, towels, herbal soaps, shampoos, lockers, dryers and showers and even a complimentary cup of Shoji’s signature tea blend. Your private tub is enclosed with Shoji sliding doors and bamboo walls on three sides tucked into a mountainside. The fourth side is bordering and open to the national forest.
Asheville's oldest establishment dedicated to your health, wellness and relaxation. Offering a wide array of spa services. The luxurious, botanically based formulas of Pevonia and Eminence are used exclusively for their potency and purity. Their spa stores offer a warm, serene environment where you can browse to find the perfect gift for yourself or someone you love.
Whether just an hour or a full day of spa pampering, you deserve it. Their estheticians have searched the earth for the finest botanicals, purest essential oils, and the highest quality skin care products available. Located in the historic district of downtown Asheville, you can experience the true essence of luxury in a day spa.
Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce
Official Tourism Website of Asheville
The Laurel of Asheville
A monthly publication serving as a guide to Asheville, Biltmore, and the surrounding areas. Each month is filled with articles, advertisements, and features dedicated to supporting Asheville's culture, commerce, and community.
Asheville's definitive resource for a variety of longer-term vacation rentals.
Comprehensive guide to local businesses, what to do, where to go and how to get there.
Your Home for Everything Asheville! Information, Articles, Maps, Calendar of Events, Dining guide, Real Estate, Movies and much more?we are the Pulse of the Mountains, so come explore the Soul of WNC.
Hotels and Unique Lodging
Asheville, NC Travel Guide