Mount Mitchell, the tallest mountain in the state and on the east coast, is less than an hour from Asheville. The mountain is named for Elisa Mitchell who fell to his death while studying the mountain. He is supposedly buried here, although I don't know of any markers indicating where.
The mountain is known for dramatic changes in weather and year round cold temperatures. Snow is possible here even in July.
Driving into the Appalacians is such a treat from ANY direction. I remember the first time I rode through the Blue Ridge I was on a Greyhound, moving to Key West and we stopped in Asheville for a few minutes. The sun was just coming up over the mountains, and without the leaves on the trees (it was December) the slopes of the mountains were a fire red. Very Beautiful!
Since that Greyhound ride, I have repeatedly come back to this unique place. Spring in the Apps is a must-see. Purple rhodendrons light up the mountainsides and fogs and mists swirl through the valleys after spring rains. It smells so fresh and is good for the skin up there!
Favorite thing: Most tourists come to Asheville for the Biltmore Estate, a truly remarkable chateau, but nothing can compare to the natural beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. This picture from the web shows why they're called blue . . .
Favorite thing: One might think I was posing for this picture, but I was truly worn slap out and it was only 1pm. This is no complaint, a rigorous tour over hill and dale with acemj is good for the body and soul, not to mention the VT page. The views and everything I learned on that day was well worth it and, as an added bonus, I was able to sleep well each night that weekend.
Favorite thing: Asheville has a great spirit and lots of things going on. For such a relatively small town, there is an amazing artistic spirit. This lady was standing on the street painting a bistro where I was having lunch. I noticed that she was standing and practicing her very solitary art by herself, focused and serious. It reminded me of many artists in Paris or other European cities. But then a few minutes later, a couple walked by and said hello and it became obvious that the artist knew them well. Her face brightened and she stopped what she was doing and they talked as old friends and I was reminded that this is the South, where things are slower and people take time to enjoy each others' company.
Favorite thing: Here's a look at a marker that let's passersby know that the S&W Cafeteria is a landmark and an important Art Deco building. You can take a historic walking tour of downtown Asheville to acquaint yourself with all of its important sights.
Favorite thing: I love driving the two hours from Charlotte to Asheville and spending time in the fresh mountain air. The town is smaller and so much different than Charlotte, that it's refreshing and gives me a different perspective of the world. Best of all, there are so many places you can go within a half hour of Asheville where you can alone in nature and take your time to reflect on things.
Fondest memory: My fondest memory of Asheville was walking around Biltmore (and downtown Asheville) with Mark. The weather cooperated with us nicely and many of the flowers were in bloom. We had a good supper and I learned something about Asheville and people in general that day.
The Blue Ridge Parkway has 22 million visitors each year. That is more than any other park of the US National Park system. The first part of the Parkway opened more than 60 years ago. Today the scenic road is 469 miles long from Shenandoah National Park in Virginia to Great Smoky Mountains National in North Carolina.
One of the most beautiful parts of the Blue Ridge Parkway is in the Asheville region. Forest-covered mountains, a curvy road, rocks and rivers. The elevation varys from 650 to nearly 6,050 feet. Roadside are more than 300 miles of hiking trails.
To get more information, brochures and maps you should enter one of the twelve visitor centers along the Parkway. I went to the visitor center northeast of Asheville. Another good source for information is the website www.blueridgeparkway.org
Favorite thing: A little bit north of downtown Asheville is the campus of the University of North Carolina at Asheville. The campus is located on a hill and surrounded by trees. Just take a walk across the area. It´s nice. UNC Asheville (www.unca.edu) is a state-funded four-year university with approximately 3,250 students. Their athletic teams called Bulldogs compete in the Big South Conference (NCAA Div. I).
Mountains can be just as calming as the Ocean.
Every corner we took was just as breath taking as the last.
Fondest memory: Going treking everyday to a new spot and coming back to the cabin that night to fix a home made meal. We all pitched in on making the evening meal.
Favorite thing: Asheville is a great little hippie town! Reading the local paper gave me an idea about the sense of community and activism that the people have in Asheville. Overall I really enjoyed the atmosphere of the whole town.
Biltmore House. This was build in the early 1900s. It was built by a member of the Vanderbilt family. You can view the house, grounds and a winery. There is good shopping, great mountain views and festivals during the year that are very entertaining. They have, I forgot the name, which is held near the end of June that is celebrated all around downtown. It is outstanding entertainment, food, drink and shopping.
Fondest memory: They have on the Friday after Thanksgiving a event which they call 'First Light'. It is located in downtown Asheville in the government plaza. All the Christmas lights are lit uptown while fireworks are bursting behind the tall buildings. It is a sight that will take your breath away.
Favorite thing: Asheville boasts the most Art Deco architecture in the Southeast outside of Miami. This is a photo of the S&W Cafeteria on Patton Avenue.
Favorite thing: You just can't beat the view of the Appalachian foothills behind the Biltmore Estate. Citizens of Asheville are lucky to have a view like this close at hand at all times.