A Bookbinder’s Shop: The Vanderbilt family and Titanic
I found this store very interesting. It offers books and various items related to the Vanderbilt family (founders and owners of the Biltmore Estate) and their era at the end of the 19th century: paintings, table lamps, clocks and other home decor of that time.
What to buy: I surely thought about some books on the Vanderbilt family but I didn't buy any. Instead I started to read some of them in this store :-).
I got to know one very interesting fact from life of George Washington Vanderbilt II who undertook to have Biltmore House constructed near Asheville in 1888. In 1912 George W. Vanderbilt II and his wife booked passage on the Titanic but canceled due to a premonition of Mrs. Vanderbilt's mother. It was too late for them to get their servant and baggage off the ship; both were lost when the Titanic collided with an iceberg and sank on April 15, 1912. Well, he was not only rich but also very lucky :-). Although soon later he lost most of his assets due to bad investments. He died unexpectedly in Washington, D.C. after an operation for appendicitis in 1914.
What to pay: Over $20 per each book I liked.
- Historical Travel
- Road Trip
A Christmas Past: Christmas year round
I love all these American colorful Christmas shops which are to my surprise usually open year round. They always make me feel like at family home. This one in the Stable area next to the Biltmore House is quite large and offers ubelievable choice of Christmas ornaments and music.
What to buy: I thought about CDs with classical American Christmas songs. There are also numerous charming old-fashionable Christmas ornaments.
What to pay: Well, these CDs cost a lot in my opinion: over $15 for about 30 min. CD. Generally all Christmas ornaments are much more expensive in the USA than in Poland :-(.
- Family Travel
- Road Trip
Gentlemen's Gallery: Upscale clothing store
I didn't like exterior look of this locally-owned store and especially I couldn't afford that terribly dressed woman model sitting on a chair by the shop entrance. They need better designer and more creativity to set up window display as well.
But to my surprise when I finally came in I found great selection of top quality, urban style men's cloths and accesories, more than just suits and sweats. That time I had to think that maybe this store had enough upclass local customers to take care of exterior look.
It's open Mon-Sat 10 a.m. - 5.30 p. m.
What to buy: Men's clothing & furnishings, also - despite the name - women's apparel, wear and accessories.
What to pay: Warning: it's an upscale and expensive store!
- Hiking and Walking
- Road Trip
Enviro Depot: New Age shopping for kids?
The green and very American advertisement "World's coolest toys" encouraged me to enter and take a quick look into this toy shop. I remember amusing writing inside the shop: "Unattended Children Will Be Sold or Given a Kitten." The interior design of the shop and some toys on stock are unique. I had to think that the store was designed and run by either a hippie or/and a greenpeace activist. The store is open Mon - Sat 9 am - 6 pm.
What to buy: Enviro Depot stocks fun, eclectic, educational toys that seem to draw as many grown-ups as children into their enticing sphere.
What to pay: Whatever you need. Well, I have to say that the choice of various toys for kids of each age is great.
- Budget Travel
- Family Travel
Kim's Wig Center: Do you want orange/green hair?
As soon as I saw numerous wigs displayed in the front window in downtown Asheville I entered my first ever wig store. The very friendly stuff made me some good laugh offering me "the Asheville's New Age Hair" - a wig of orange/green hair in a few styles to choose from.
What to buy: Good choice of ladies' wigs, men's wigs and toupees, and hair accessories - for each age, hairstyle and lifestyle :-).
What to pay: Moderately priced store.
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
New Morning Gallery: Art For Living in Biltmore Village
If you've never been to New Morning Gallery, you've never seen anyplace quite like it. Two floors filled with an overwhelming and exquisite variety of unique handmade ceramics, art glass, furniture and jewelry.
Featuring master artists from around the country, New Morning Gallery, is a 30 year old fixture in Asheville created and owned by ecclectic visionary John Cram. Mr. Cram also opened a fine art gallery downtown on Biltmore Ave. called Blue Sprial 1 which houses the largest collection of work by artist Will Henry Stevens.
There's something for everyone for sale at New Morning Gallery and most of the items make you gasp at their imagination and originality. This is a store that embodies the spirit and grace of Asheville and is a must see for all who pass through.
What to pay: Work in the gallery ranges from moderately priced home accessories, prints and t-shirts and jewelry to one-of-a-kind pieces worth thousands. Though very little is truly "cheap," the average shopper could easily find something they couldn't live without, and it's always a nice feeling to pay artists for their brilliant work.
- Arts and Culture
- Luxury Travel
Biltmore Village: Historic Shops
Just across from the entrance to the Biltmore Estate, you'll find the Biltmore Village, a 12 square block area of shops housed in converted early 1900-era homes. There are some interesting stores, art galleries and restaurants.
Biltmore Village: Shopping where Biltmore servants used to live
Constructed in the 1890's for the house workers at the Biltmore Estate, the historic cottages of Biltmore Village have been converted to all kinds of shops, restaurants and boutiques.
What to buy: Fine coffee and tea, jewelry, antiques, arts and crafts.
What to pay: It leans to the upscale.
Carriage House: Biltmore gifts
The Carriage House is the Biltmore Estate gift shop. you can find almost every gift and souvenir imagineable.
What to buy: I bought a Biltmore Estate cookbook and Christmas ornament for my mama. I looked for a shot glass with the Biltmore Estate logo for my daddy. It happened they were out of shot glasses at the time, but they do mail order online.
Chevron Bead Co.: Small Local Shops
Chevron provides an immense selection of beautiful beads. I recommend making your own jewelry because it is much more inexpensive than buying it--plus you get to customize the piece to your tastes. I recommend making a necklace at the store. Ask the clerk for a planning board, select your beads, and they will finish it for you right there!
What to pay: It really depends on the beads and other accesories you choose. Anywhere from $3-$50.
The Asheville Mall: Shopping like in a living room
Certainly not one of the biggest malls I've been to, but not one of the smallest either. What makes Asheville Mall special is that is has a carpet. Doesn't sound to exciting, does it? But the carpet on the floor makes the shopping trip more comfortable. It's a mall to feel fine in - not so sterile like other malls. Talking bout the shops - well, they are the same as in all the other malls. Foot Locker, Sears, Payless Shoe Source, Victoria's Secret, music stores, clothing stores and a nice food court.
What to buy: 124 shops, 4,600 parking spaces, 891,701 square feet
Lexington Ave.: Thrift Stores!!
This road is so much fun!! It has an art gallery, thrift stores, a used music store, a coffee shop, a juice bar, antiques, boutiques, T.S. Morrison's (Asheville's oldest store--worth going to just for the homemade ice cream from Ultimate Ice Cream Co.), and on and on.
Enviro Depot: Green!
Enviro Depot is an environmentally "correct" toy shop. I took the snap not knowing whether to put it here or as a local customs because it points out the surprisingly hippie character of Asheville.
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