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S & W Building in downtown (56 Patton Ave.) - one of Asheville's most recognized art deco landmarks - was built in 1929-1930. It was deseigned by Douglas D. Ellington, an architect then living in Asheville (born in Clayton, NC). He designed numerous buildings in Asheville and also the University of Pennsylvania, and the famous Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. S & W Building houses S & W Cafeteria which is worth of short visit for art deco interior or coffee break. Pay attention to the use of pink granite, gold leaf, glazed terracotta, metal, and polished marble.
Just in case you have $2.9 mln to spend :-), the property is for sale. Follow the link below for details. But think first how many great travels you may experience for that money :-).
Updated Apr 4, 2011
lake lure and chimney rock village is a very nice side trip from asheville. lake lure is a beautiful mountain lake and chimney rock village is home to chimney rock state park. the lake lure area offers boating, fishing, hiking, and a number of good bars and restaurants. lake lure is located about 30 miles east of asheville. from downtown take I-40 to I-26 east. on I-26 exit US 64 north. for more information see my lake lure and chimney rock pages.
Updated Jul 24, 2009
hendersonville is a small town located about 20 miles southeast of asheville. hendersonville has a very nice downtown historic district. hendersonville's main street has a collection of shops, restaurants, bars, and two museums. hendersonville is a very worth while side trip when in the asheville area. from downtown asheville take I-40 to I-26 east. on I-26 east exit on to US 64. see my hendersonville pages for more information.
Updated Jul 24, 2009
We took about a 45 minute drive to the south of Asheville to tour the apple orchard in Zirconia and pick apples. A fun time was had by all. You just go in and get a basket of your desired size and fill it up and pay on the way out. They serve hot cider here, cider slushies, and oh, the best apple cider donuts, in fact, the only apple cider donuts I have ever had. $6 for ten of them. Can't beat that.
They have about 25 varieties of apple trees too so you're getting a huge variety of apples to choose from. Granted, this all depends on the time of the season during which you visit. Some apple trees were picked bare and others were under ripe. They also have Asian Pears and Peaches among other things.
Written Dec 5, 2008
About 30 miles southeast of Asheville lies the town of Flat Rock. Carl Sandburg purchased a house here that became his home until he died. Situated on a hill overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains it was a perfect place for Carl to write while his wife raised champion goats (no kidding! pun intended!)
Upon his death, Sandburg's wife donated the house and it's contents to the National Park Service. She literally left everything and moved to Asheville. If you tour the house ($5.00 fee), you will find it exactly as it was when Carl Sandburg lived there. Stacks of magazines, walls of books, awards, prized and more walking sticks than you can imagine.
After touring the house you can visit the farm and see some of the descendants of the prize goats. There are also numerous trails to walk on.
I knew nothing of Carl Sandburg before visiting. This trip was a great education on Carl that is in a beautiful park setting. You could walk the property regardless of who lived there and still enjoy the visit. Serene!
Written Jan 25, 2008
Lake Lure was a filming location for scenes from the movies Dirty Dancing (1987). Do you remember that famous musical and romance film starring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey? It's a little, mountainous town and old (as for the USA - 1927) spa located along the very beautiful lake with deep green waters, sandy beaches around, rocky and covered by forest mountains up around. National Geographic has called Lake Lure one of the most beautiful man-made lakes in the world and they are right!
There is Lake Lure Pavilion on a lake peninsula. It's a wooden, pretty located building that people rent for various meetings, reunions etc. It offers a beautiful view of Chimney Rock Mountains, the beachfront, and the marina. Town of Lure is only a short drive (some 3-4 miles) from Chimney Rock and only 28 miles southeast of Asheville.
Updated Mar 5, 2007
Phone: +1 (828) 625-9983.
Whenever you stay in Ashville a day trip to the magnificient Great Smoky Mountains covered by forests is a must. It's a part of the Blue Ridge Mountains which are a division of the larger Appalachian Mountains, I know from my geography classes at school.
I drove some 50 miles west of Asheville to enter Great Smoky Mountains National Park (FREE entrance, no fee!) and passed the park and North Carolina - Tennessee state line driving U.S. Highway 441 (Newfound Gap Road). I stopped at numerous lookouts. Views over the mountains are spectacular, never to forget especially in peak fall season. I was lucky to be there (half-late October usually). I took some hiking along the Appalachian Trail, too.
Warning: check the weather forecast before you go and plan your trip on sunny day if possible. Foggy and rainy weather is quite common in the Great Smoky Mountains. Only some parts of Washington state and Alaska get more rains.
Updated Mar 5, 2007
Phone: +1 (865) 436-1200
Chimney Rock Park is a privately owned park in Chimney Rock, 25 miles southeast of Asheville. Wow, I am very happy I hit my car there! If you are in Asheville, relax, book a room in Chimney Rock and stay there for one day. You will be impressed! Take time to smell roses!
I enjoyed a lot hiking outstanding rocks, climbing net of unbelievable pretty and unique wooden stairs and platforms fixed to the steep rocks and passing narrow passages between the rocks. Add underground waterfall inside a cave, and spectacular views of surrounding mountains with the town, river and lake down (if it's not foggy though). Strolling along town full of beautiful, old, wooden houses, shopping in local shops lined along winding street with a mountain river in backyard was a blast!
Updated Mar 5, 2007
Phone: +1 (800) 277-9611
There was no vacancy for my second night in Asheville. Therefore I had to drive south to South Carolina. The next morning on the way back driving US-25 as soon as I noticed large direction sign: Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site I followed it and I was lucky to discover one of the most beautiful places in North Carolina - a place of silence, peace, beautiful lake, fresh mountain air, pretty trees in fall colours - where I was also lucky to get to know more about life of a famous American poet and his family, to see how he lived and to take time to smell roses.
Carl August Sandburg (1878 - 1967) was an American poet, historian, novelist, balladeer and folklorist, born in Illinois from Swedish parents. At age 67 his family moved from the Midwest to the Connemara estate, in Flat Rock, North Carolina. Wow! This beautiful, peaceful hilly area with pretty lake surrounded by trees in fall colours really amazed me. The Sandburg's white house on a top of a hill overlooks mountains up and meadows below. I enjoyed a short but interesting guided house tour as well as a stroll around the property with barns, farmyard, animals grazing etc.
Updated Feb 12, 2007
Phone: +1 (828) 693-4178
The Biltmore Inn, the four stars hotel and the only accommodation at the Biltmore Estate is skipped by most visitors to the estate. That's why I include it in the off the beaten path category. You may stay there if you can spend over $200 - $400 (depends on a season) per night for two people. If not, like me, do stop and visit its impressive interiors and gardens around. You will be welcome by a smiling doorman opening doors leading to the lobby :-).
I didn't like the building exterior. They should create something more old-fashionable in style in such place, I think. But the spacious lobby bar designed in style of the early 20th century really impressed me. I liked especially the stone wall with two fireplaces and a lot of space around and above me. Add that smiling doorman dressed in a suit opening entrance door for you :-) I also liked gardens with some wooden passages and garden structures covered by climbing plants.
Updated Feb 12, 2007
Phone: +1 (800) 624-1575
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