With mountains as a backdrop for rich architecture and a vibrant art scene, Asheville, North Carolina, is a city that welcomes visitors to explore its diverse downtown that remains beautifully preserved. This historic place continues to thrive and is known as a healing resort with a characteristic mountain vibe and retro-urban backdrop.
What to do
If you’ve always wanted to see a grand castle, there’s no need to travel to Europe when there’s an architectural masterpiece in Asheville. The Biltmore Estate, created by George Vanderbilt and Frederick Law Olmsted, is considered the largest home in America and a jewel in Asheville’s crown. Vanderbilt’s magical estate consists of the finest wine at Antler Hill Village & Winery, an intimate exhibit hall of the Vanderbilt family in The Biltmore Legacy as well as concerts and outdoor recreational activities year-round. Vanderbilt built this dream after falling in love with the North Carolina mountains and it’s hard not to agree with him. Experience the breathtaking Southern Appalachians that Asheville is surrounded by for yourself with a scenic drive on Blue Ridge Parkway. With its old peaks, abundant biodiversity and cinematic waterfalls, this incredible gateway to the outdoors will take you to unparalleled views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, part of the larger Appalachian range.
Art lovers should stop by the Lexington Glassworks studio to sit down and watch the glassblowing process over a locally crafted beer. The open-door culture of this glass community lets you appreciate the artists at work and the hand-blown pieces they create, and it’s the perfect place to browse the gallery and find that next piece for your home or an irreplaceable gift for a special occasion. For live art, enjoy a free Shakespeare play and other great classics performed by the Montford Park Players. Located in the Historic Montford District, local actors take to the outdoor stage of the Hazel Robinson Amphitheatre for North Carolina’s longest running Shakespeare Festival.
Where to eat
For a nice variety of food, fun, exercise and a little local history along the way, Eating Asheville and Asheville Food Tours offer walking tours that take you through a unique and eclectic blend of food. As you explore the city with a tour guide, get a taste of the unique flavor of Asheville and the culinary treasures hidden in the town.
If you’re craving traditional Spanish cuisine, make your way to the heart of downtown Asheville and grab some tapas, patatas bravas and flan at Cúrate. With the best Spanish food and wine in the area, Cúrate literally means “cure yourself” in Spanish, so cure your hungry stomach by transporting yourself to Spain.
For those who are looking for delicious Southern comfort food, Tupelo Honey evokes the Southern spirit with its revival of foods and traditions from the Carolina mountains. Every bite you take is sourced from local farmers and made from scratch, so you know you’re only getting the best quality foods at the Southern table. Finally, if you’re visiting the Biltmore Village — the counterpart to the Biltmore Estate —and need some fuel to get through the day, eat at the Corner Kitchen and enjoy North American food in a Victorian cottage that’s more than 100 years old as you gaze upon the mountains from the outdoor patio.
Where to stay
Asheville is filled with Southern hospitality at its best. For a personalized stay on the Biltmore Estate, choose between the casual village hotel, luxurious inn or charming cottage to get that perfect amount of relaxation and escape you need. If you want to be within walking distance to downtown Asheville, consider the Bunn House, a small boutique hotel that features historic hardwood floors and architecture from 1905 contrasted with modern aspects for a refined and elegant luxury. As a quiet retreat from the spirited downtown, there is an acre of land to spend your evenings with unparalleled services.
You also have the option of sleeping where the famous Hope Diamond once stayed. The Reynolds Mansion was built in 1847 by Colonel Daniel Reynolds and transformed into the Reynolds Mansion Bed and Breakfast Inn by Billy Sanders and Michael Griffith in 2010. Sanders and Griffith have preserved the antebellum ambience of the mansion, turning it into a welcoming and comfortable place to relax away from the bustling downtown area. Rich with history and exceptional hospitality, this beautiful home is a great place to stay the night as a fantastic breakfast awaits you in the morning.
From outdoor adventures and art galleries to an edgy downtown and a thriving culinary scene, Asheville is the ultimate playground located in the Appalachian Mountains. For unforgettable scenery and a unique experience that will resonate in your memories, Asheville, North Carolina, is the ideal destination for you.
This article is presented by Gossett Audi.