An Insider's Travel Guide to Asheville and Western North Carolina
Welcome to the Beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains and America's Favorite Arts and Culture Town . . . Asheville, North Carolina!
This travel guide to Asheville North Carolina and the mountains of Western North Carolina will help you plan your perfect Blue Ridge Mountain Vacation. As a husband-and-wife team of travel journalists, we explored this region many times over the years. Falling in love with the beauty and charm of the mountains, we decided to make our home here.
This guide is filled with our personal recommendations - the most tempting restaurants, the best scenic drives, the unforgettable hiking trails and outdoor places, the most memorable boutiques and art galleries, the special "must see", one-of-a-kind places we take our friends and family when they visit.
Asheville With its eclectic blend of mountain beauty, artistic passion, and home-town friendliness Asheville, North Carolina is like no other small city in America. Our Asheville travel guide will introduce you to the best attractions, the most interesting art galleries, the most colorful and inviting shops. You'll discover the restaurants that serve delicious dishes crafted from the finest regional ingredients. You'll learn where to shop for affordable antiques, why tailgate markets are so popular, and where to find the hidden delights and undiscovered treasures that make this an unforgettable mountain city.
Biltmore Estate Acclaimed as the largest and most opulent private home in America, taking the Biltmore House tour to experience the grandeur of a bygone era is just the beginning! Lush and beautiful Biltmore Gardens offer hours of strolling through sensual splendor. The exquisite Biltmore Winery offers tours and wine tastings. Fine hiking trails and a host of outdoor activities make Biltmore Estate's 8,000 acres your personal playground, and at Riverbend Farm you can participate in mountain farm life of the late 1800's.
Blue Ridge Parkway Welcome to America's favorite scenic drive! This stunning ribbon of road follows the spectacular peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains offering ever-changing vistas of awesome mountain scenery. Many parkway guidebooks offer a standard mile-by-mile description of the road, but our Blue Ridge Parkway guide breaks the parkway into fascinating itineraries that take you to the most breathtaking overlooks, the best hikes and the historic towns and attractions that await just beyond the legendary parkway boundary.
Mountain Towns Western North Carolina and the Blue Ridge Mountains are home to the most incredible collection of charming, historic, and artistic towns - more than twenty of them! From the picturesque, barely-a-block-long downtown of Saluda to the dazzlingly elegant shopping haven of Highlands, to the fine galleries, excellent restaurants and superb craft shops of delightful mountain towns like Waynesville, Hendersonville, Blowing Rock and Black Mountain; the towns of the Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains offer a feast of shopping, dining and great times.
The Great Outdoors This is what mountain vacations are all about. But with hundreds of thousands of acres of public lands to play in, the question is: where? Our guide will help you find the unforgettable scenic drives, the best places for dazzling fall colors or awesome spring blooms as well as whitewater rafting, spectacular hiking and biking trails for every ability. We'll also share where the best parks and gardens are, and take you to secret places by sparkling rivers and spectacular mountaintop meadows where you can picnic, let the kids run, breath the mountain air and just enjoy the magic of being in the Western North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains.
Galleries and Shopping We'll help you find the unique shopping experiences that can make your vacation special. Discover one-of-a-kind Carolina Blue Ridge Mountain craft galleries with the best pottery, quilts, weavings, carvings and more; world-class fine art galleries featuring the works of local and internationally renowned artists; and funky, fun, unique and unusual shops and boutiques. Did we mention Antiques? Asheville, North Carolina is "Antique Central". Then there are the heavenly local bakeries, the artisan chocolate shops, and fresh-from-the-farm Tailgate Markets . . . and so much more!
Restaurants We love those special restaurants that offer creative, delicious, handcrafted meals at reasonable prices, don't you? No chain restaurants in our guide, just the best-one-of-a-kind restaurants offering superb local cuisine. Recommendations range from great, homemade eat-on-brown-paper barbeque places to elegant white-linen dining featuring artisan meals created from the finest, freshest local (and often organic) ingredients. Are you ready for great eating?
Asheville Mountain Magic