Fun things to do in Asheville

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Most Viewed Things to Do in Asheville

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    Lake Lure

    by goingsolo Updated Aug 23, 2005

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    Lake Lure is located about a half hour outside of Asheville. The fairly large lake is pretty popular with residents of the land locked city and with tourists due to its pricey resort type lodge or other hotels. This is the place to go to enjoy the beach, take a boat ride or other such water oriented activity. With the mountains in the background, its a scenic and unusual sight and also a great place to go and escape the summertime heat and humidity.

    North Carolina
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    • Spa and Resort
    • Family Travel
    • Beaches

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    Mount Mitchell State Park

    by goingsolo Written Aug 6, 2005

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    Mount Mitchell is the high point of North Carolina. The park is several miles off the Blue Ridge Parkway just north of Asheville. Here you a take a short walk to the top of the highest peak east of the Mississippi or choose a longer and more strenuous route. There's also a nature trail that's a shorter and easier way to walk through the forest area, a restaurant and a visitor's center which will tell you more about the area.

    Given the speed limit and sights along the Blue Ridge Parkway, Mount Mitchell is about an hour's drive from Asheville. Its a nice place to visit in the summer since temperatures at this elevation are cooler than those in the valley, where humid sticky area engulfs the valley during this time of year.

    Mount Mitchell State Park
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    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking

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    Blue Ridge Parkway

    by goingsolo Updated Aug 6, 2005

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    The Blue Ridge Parkway is so popular and contains so many interesting points along its route that it is an attraction in itself and not just a means of transportation. The parkway runs from Shenandoah National Park in Virginia to the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina, some 360 miles away. A portion of the parkway lies just outside of Asheville and contains some pretty sights and interesting points of interest. Just north of Asheville, you'll find Mount Mitchell- North Carolina's highest peak- just off the parkway. Since its a 2 lane road and the speed limit is 35 mph and even less at many steep and winding intervals, its slow going on this route. But the road itself is the destination so, if time permits, be sure to take a drive along the parkway and take enough time to enjoy the sights along the way.

    The North Carolina section of the Blue Ridge Parkway has some dramatic changes in scenery as the road climbs to an elevation over over 6,000 feet. You'll also find some cooler temperatures as you continue driving. The parkway is most popular in the spring and fall, but you'll find a fair number of cars here on any given weekend.

    Blue Ridge Parkway
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    Chimney Rock Park

    by goingsolo Written Aug 6, 2005

    This park is not so well known, but the 300 foot chimney and Hickory Nut Falls are fairly recognized sights. The privately run park is about a half hour south of Asheville and there's a steep entrance fee to get in. But its a fun place to hike and see some of great scenery, including Lake Lure which is nearby. For more information, feel free to visit my Chimney Rock Park page.

    Chimney Rock Park
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    • Hiking and Walking

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    Bele Chere

    by americanwildchild Updated Aug 4, 2005

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    Bele Chere is a huge, mostly free outdoor festival held around the end of July. It is a great venue for local bluegrass, and in my opinion, the reason to come to experience the local flavor. The city blocks off all of downtown and has stages set up on a lot of the main roads.

    There are plenty of local vendors and good Carolina BBQ stands. Try a fried green tomato sandwich!!!

    This year (2005) we were entertained by Derek Trucks, Blues Traveler, Karl Denson, and Ben Harper, to name some of the more well known musicians...John Hyatt, Yo Mama's Big Fat Bootie Band...

    The Ben Harper show was not free, and it was sold out so I didn't go...but Karl Denson's Tiny Universe was free and right in front of the post office on a side street...what a GREAT night!!!

    explore local arts and crafts booths....

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  • See the Cathedral of All Souls

    by MandaJ320 Written Mar 25, 2005

    This Episcopal church caught my eye. It is on the National Register of Historic
    Buildings. It was built in 1895, and was founded by George Vanderbilt. The style is Romanesque, and was inspired by many English churches.

    Visiting hours MOnday- Saturday, 11-4

    the Cathedral of All Souls

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    Crossroads: Pack Square

    by b1bob Updated Jul 31, 2004

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    I took this picture when the sun was just wrong. Let me write what that sign says:

    CROSSROADS

    Native American trails guided settlers to this site, where in 1793 the Buncombe County Court placed the first courthouse, prison, and stocks. With the opening of the Buncombe Turnpike in 1829, this public square became the crossroads for stagecoach travelers and a gathering place for drovers who herded cattle, hogs, and turkeys to markets farther south.

    Placed by the Pless Family

    You will notice a shadow of a raised middle finger in the upper right corner of the photo. It was, indeed, directed at me for attempting to engage some of the peace protestors in honest and polite debate.

    Crossroads in Pack Square
    Related to:
    • Architecture
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    • Castles and Palaces

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    Some orientation

    by acemj Updated Mar 22, 2004

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    Here's a map that shows the Asheville portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The area to the west includes beautiful Maggie Valley where I spent some time at a Methodist camp with my uncle's family one time. It's really a peaceful spot. Toward the northeast of the map is Linville where you'll find amazing caverns, waterfalls and some of the best hiking trails in the state.

    web shot

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    Great Smoky Mountain Railroad

    by acemj Updated Mar 22, 2004

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    A great, comfortable way to tour the mountains. There are different routes that you can choose that will take you through mountain tunnels and gorges and some beautiful natural scenery. You'll even go by the wreckage of the train used in the crash seen from the Harrison Ford movie, "The Fugitive.'" Best of all, the train is windowless and you really don't feel enclosed as you wind leisurely through the mountains with the fresh air blowing in.

    web shot

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    What's up with the pigs?

    by acemj Written Mar 9, 2004

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    In Pack Square, at the base of the Vance Monument, you'll see these pig statues that represent the more rural and agricultural history of the square. In 1793, the Buncombe County commissioners approved the building of the courthouse, which essentially gave rise to the square itself. But for the first 80 years or so, the square was just a resting place for folks passing through. It was a dirt space with a small watering hole for passersby, but it wasn't until 1880 that Asheville Mayor Edward Aston had the idea to make it a more dignified spot. He paved the roads and had the livestock pens removed from the area and gradually, the space became the cultural and social focal point of the whole county.

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    Pack Square

    by acemj Updated Mar 9, 2004

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    In the center of town, right by the City Hall, you'll find this public square with this enormous granite obelisk (the Vance Monument) built in 1898 to honor Civil War Governor Zebulon Vance. Some of the best restaurants in Asheville are right here on the square complete with great outdoor seating and a friendly atmosphere.

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    Lake Lure

    by acemj Updated Mar 9, 2004

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    Lake Lure (where Dirty Dancing was filmed!)
    Only a half-hour outside of town, Lake Lure offers great scenery, boating, waterskiing, tubing and some nice nature trails. There's also a good tourist information office right next to the lake that has free info for the whole area.

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    Chimney Rock Park

    by acemj Updated Mar 9, 2004

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    In the Hickory Nut Gorge about a half-hour from Asheville, this impressive monolith and park offers impressive 75-mile views, hiking trails and a 404 foot waterfall.
    Many movies have been filmed here, most famously 'The Last of the Mohicans.'

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking

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    Along the 3rd oldest river on earth

    by KaiM Updated Dec 8, 2003

    If you have some time you should make a trip to the French Broad River. West of Asheville a road follows the river. It is quite nice with some great picnic areas to make a rest and watch the stream.

    I found an article about the French Broad River, which states that this is the third oldest river on earth. Only the Nile and another small stream in North Carolina are known to be older. The French Broad River is even older than the mountains in which it now finds itself. It existed before a huge landmass crashed into the eastern shores of the main body of land that is now North America. When the collison took place, over thousands of years in duration and millions of years ago, the land slowly buckled and began the formation of the Appalachian Chain. As the mountains gained height, the river kept flowing, cutting into and through them as they rose.

    French Broad River
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    • Backpacking
    • Road Trip

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    Amazing what you'll find in North Carolina

    by acemj Updated Aug 4, 2003

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    The Basilica of St. Lawrence, which was completed in 1909 immediately reminded me of Spain the first time I looked at it and a little research revealed that it is indeed, an example of Spanish Baroque Revival style. You'll find it at 97 Haywood Street.

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