8 Best Places in Asheville Every First Time Visitor Must See
When you want to rank the most scenic and picturesque mountain towns in the USA, Asheville has to be top five. The Blue Ridge Mountains surround Asheville, a mountain town located in the state of North Carolina. Asheville is renowned for its unique, historic buildings and its colorful arts scene. There is a lengthy list of wonderful things to do when you’re visiting Asheville because the city is full of wonderful places such as gardens, breweries, spas, and shops where you can go and do these amazing things.
Planning to visit Asheville? We’ve got you covered with a rundown of the best places in Asheville you must see.
Thomas Wolfe Memorial
Thomas Wolfe is a late American literature legend, and his former home is what is now known as the Thomas Wolfe Memorial. In 1998, it was engulfed in a fire 17 years after it was named a National Historic Landmark. Both the house and its artifacts were restored extensively, and then visitors could once again be welcomed into the building. This landmark remains on the most renowned literature landmarks in America till this day, and it’s located in the Downtown Ashville Historic District.
Blue Ridge Parkway
This location is dubbed as one of the most visited national parks in America. It’s probably most impressive in October, when the leaves are vibrant and extremely beautiful. This is the time when the park gets most of its visitors. This park covers a stretch of almost 470 miles, spanning from Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, to Great Smoky Mountains, North Carolina. If you would like to go at a time when there are not many people, you can go in the middle of summer. During this time, you get the chance to see flaming azaleas, rhododendrons, and mountain laurels as they bloom.
River Arts District
If you are a lover of urban art renewal and art galleries, then you will love the River Arts District. It’s situated down the French Broad riverbank. If you have an afternoon to spare, you can spend it taking a stroll through artist studios that used to serve as industrial warehouses. Here, you get to witness the ongoing live exhibit, or be part of one of the various immerse programs. At the River Arts Districts, you also get the chance to browse through many galleries till you find a new artwork that’s just perfect for you. The Arts District also houses some of Asheville’s most renowned restaurants so you can stop for food breaks during your art tour.
Moog Music Factory
One of the most popular pioneers of electronic music, Bob Moog, was a resident of the historic city of Asheville. He invented the world’s first synthesizer. An amazing fact is that synthesizers are still being hand-crafted at the Moog Music Factory till this day. If you’re a music lover, you should definitely make your way there to watch these instruments being crafted, and you can also get one or more for yourself and your friends and loved ones.
The downtown area of the city of Asheville is artsy, diverse, and funky. It draws tons of Asheville locals and visitors every day, and it is simply amazing. It is filled with tons of cafes, restaurants, and coffee shops. In the center of Downtown Asheville, there are over 30 boutiques and shops that are owned by Asheville locals. If you’re lucky, you might come across musicians, mimes, and other street performers making an appearance. Shows like Asheville Symphony and Asheville Lyric Opera are held after dark, so you can stay behind and catch one of them.
No trip to Asheville can be considered completed without a visit to the famed Biltmore Estate. It is a grand estate owned by George Vanderbilt and it has a rich past that can be traced all the way back to 1889. It is a French Renaissance-style estate that’s referred to as the largest private home in the United States. It took six years to complete and it is fitted with 65 fireplaces and 250 rooms including 43 bathrooms and 35 bedrooms. The gardens span an impressive 8,000 acres and they were designed by the same landscape architect who designed the Central Park, Frederick Law Olmsted. This estate has a detailed and rich history and you have so much to see and learn on a tour of Biltmore Estate.
Folk Art Center
This art center houses the Southern Highland Craft Guild, and it is located off the Blue Ridge Parkway. The history of the guild can be traced back to the 1890s, and it is still the guild that represents Southern Appalachia’s craftsmen and artists. When it comes to popular and most toured spots situated off the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Folk Art Center has to be one of the top ranked, because it welcomes over 250,000 visitors every year. At the center, there are displays of contemporary and temporary crafts. You can also find a bookstore, a library, and a craft shop.
Craggy Gardens houses about 20 threatened or endangered rare plants. If you are a lover of nature, you definitely should pay a visit to this location. You get the chance to see the unique trees on the mountain that hardly grow tall because of the winds. The side of the trees that’s sheltered is also the only side that produces any vegetation.
The list of awesome places in Asheville goes on and on and each place comes with a variety of opportunities and fun activities for you. You can always go treat yourself at the local spas such as Spa Theology, or the Grove Park Inn Spa. If you want to shop for souvenirs, you can always had over to Shopping in Asheville, Biltmore Park Town Square, or Downtown Asheville. Try to go to as many places as you can, and you’ll end up having the best time of your life in Asheville.