Asheville Travel Guide

  • Front View
    Front View
    by riorich55
  • st. lawrence basilica
    st. lawrence basilica
    by doug48
  • grove arcade
    grove arcade
    by doug48

Asheville Highlights

  • Pro
    matcrazy1 profile photo

    matcrazy1 says…

     Unique, very friendly and mixed atmosphere, watching people (hippies, yuppies, punks...); art (Art Deco, music, painting etc.), antiquities, mountains around, good size, friendly locals again, surely... 

  • Con
    b1bob profile photo

    b1bob says…

     It is so far off the beaten path that it doesn't occur to many (especially from other countries) to go here. 

  • In a nutshell
    americanwildchild profile photo

    americanwildchild says…

     come on over and relax in the Apps. you won't be disappointed. 

Asheville Things to Do

  • Biltmore Estate

    On our second day in the Asheville/Waynesville area we planned our day around visiting Biltmore Manor. After our great breakfast including desert at our Bed and Breakfast about 20 miles away in Waynesville, we bought our tickets online to save a little time and money when we arrived and took the 30 minute drive to Biltmore. There are plenty of...

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  • Authentic Salt Cave in Downtown...

    Upon entering this unique space you are surrounded by tons of large salt crystals, 2 waterfalls, awesome lighting, and soft music. You can relax in a zero gravity chair or on the salt covered floor that has numerous pillows. This space is so tranquil. You can fall asleep almost instantly and completely relax for 45 minutes. When you exit the cave...

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  • The Blue Ridge Parkway

    I love promoting the Blue Ridge Parkway but it is hard for me to do in this context because it is spread over nearly 500 miles in two different states. In North Carolina alone it stretches over 250 gorgeous miles from southwest of Asheville to the Brinegar farm and cabin near my hometown of Mount Airy in the northwestern part of the state. At...

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Asheville Hotels

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Asheville Restaurants

  • Good Selection of Local Beers

    Barley's in downtown Asheville is a nice place to get something to eat and drink. They serve pizza and the usual bar food. What sets this place apart is the good selection of local craft beers. Barley's has good pizza, which can be ordered by the slice or as a whole pizza. But the best thing on the menu here is the beer - try Highland or Catawba...

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  • I Beg to Differ (the Oysters Rockefeller...

    After waiting YEARS to find a home-style, non-chain restaurant in the area that served Oysters Rockefeller, then waiting 'til they opened at 5:30 (after browsing Asheville all day) my oysters came to the table in under 8 min. Were they possibly nuked? FUGGETABOUTIT ! Too much shredded parm, not cooked enough. Real bummer, as it was supposed to be...

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  • I Beg to Differ (the Oysters Rockefeller...

    After waiting YEARS to find a home-style, non-chain restaurant in the area that served Oysters Rockefeller, then waiting 'til they opened at 5:30 (after browsing Asheville all day) my oysters came to the table in under 8 min. Were they possibly nuked? FUGGETABOUTIT ! Too much shredded parm, not cooked enough. Real bummer, as it was supposed to be...

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Asheville Nightlife

  • Weekend rocking

    This place is fairly new and MUCH better than what was there before. We walked by on a Saturday, not knowing it had changed hands. We saw the new name on the awnings out front and went in to check it out. UNIT 50, a pretty well known local band, was rockin' the place down. We shared a big basket of tatsy wings and had a few beers... they have...

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  • wine bar

    sante is a upscale wine bar located in the grove arcade in downtown asheville. sante has both an excellent wine and beer selection. a very nice place to have an after work drink in downtown asheville. casual.

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  • the wood is good

    The real Irish atmosphere comes out at the Wood on Sunday afternoons when they have live traditional Irish music. It was one of the reasons (oh, and maybe some more IPA) we stayed in town so late and even thought of spending the night. We were glad we did. The music was excellent with the band featuring a harpist, a few fiddlers and a guitarist...

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Asheville Transportation

  • BEST WAY TO GET AROUND IS MOTOR SCOOTER

    GETTING AROUND ASHEVILLE ON A MOTOR SCOOTER IS GREAT FUN. NO PARKING PROBLEMS. SO MANY GREAT RESTAURANTS AND BARS. FROM QUITE EXPENSIVE TO A GREAT DINNER FOR $12. TONS OF STORES TO SHOP AND BY VIRTUALLY ANYTHING. I WILL NEVER LEAVE ASHEVILLE!

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  • Getting around Asheville

    Asheville's downtown is easy to walk. From Civic Center parking garage I walked less than half a mile one way to cover the area.But if you stay a few miles away you first have to get to downtown from your motel. Ask at the lobby or: - call a taxi (numbers here)- take a bus; there are almost 20 bus routes run by Asheville Transit Services...

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  • Just wanted to add a taxi ph #

    Just wanted to add the phone number for the best taxi driver in everyway,actual driving skills, courtesy,customer service and having a real good time while riding with him. His name is big Jon and like this person suggested if you dont have transpo call a taxi company and since big Jon works for blue bird call blue bird and here is their number...

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Asheville Shopping

  • Biltmore flowers to buy

    This place, left to the entrance to the Conservatory is full of potted plants and flowers cultivated by Biltmore gardeners. There are also various accesories, tools, and seeds for your garden.Well, if you are not from the USA, keep in mind that you are not allowed to import any living plants to most of the countries unless you obtain special...

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  • beer to go?

    Unfortunately this great looking beer store was closed Sunday afternoons or I'd have likely picked up some beers for the remainder of our road trip. Though from the window display they had a great selection of Belgian ales I'd have likely stuck with the local beers. Think globally friends, but please drink locally. Beer, what else? Life is too...

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  • Always buy independent!

    I am an admitted sucker for an independent bookstore. I love the atmosphere, I love the idea of someone hand-picking the selection of books, and mostly I love the way communities will rise up and support their local bookstores. You can find the most interesting natives in the local bookstores. I just stopped in to look and wound up walking out with...

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Asheville Local Customs

  • Don't they celebrate Halloween?

    I was in Asheville some 2 weeks prior to Halloween. Before I had seen quite many Halloween decorations both in small Virginia towns and in Richmond, Virginia. So, I expected to see them in downtown Asheville again. I was mistaken. I didn't see any pumpkin, even one, in downtown. The only Halloween decoration I saw was a funny dressed human size...

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  • Blacksmith at work

    I saw a demenstration of blacksmith's work in the Historic Horse Barn in the Biltmore Farm Village. It included forging and shaping iron with a hammer and anvil. The metal was heated until it glowed orange as part of the forging process. The blacksmith created small decorative element used for stair railing.The forge, hammers, anvils and other...

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  • Woodworking

    I have seem woodworker at work in the Historic Horse Barn in the Biltmore Farm Village. The woodworker used original tools from the beginning of 20th century. In western North Carolina woodworker's skills were used, among others. in house building and wagon building.The owners of the Biltmore Estate, the Vanderbilts, established Biltmore Estate...

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Asheville Warnings and Dangers

  • Do not judge at first look

    If you ever go to Asheville downtown and park your car on higher lever of multistore garage you may see not the best face of the city - its skyline dominated by a few ugly high rise buildings including the tallest BB&T Bank Building with some neglected and messy houses below which mostly don't look charming. But, please, do not judge any place...

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  • 2 days is a minimum for Asheville!

    I've already visited quite many castles in Europe. Usually it's guided or self-guided tour around the interiors plus walk around surrounding gardens. Shortly 2-4 hours was usually enough time. But the Biltmore Estate is much more than the castle and gardens. It's an estate: huge property with a few more attractions at a distance of a few miles one...

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  • where is FEMA

    This was what it looked like around here the next day. Scary, eh? But don't be discouraged from visiting...this isn't the norm. Alls I'm sayin....this global warming is a real issue and I do believe as it gets more tropical and warm down here, we will be receiving more storms...Asheville is not prepared for this sort of thing in any way. It was sad...

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Asheville Tourist Traps

  • Without a $60 ticket, biltmore house...

    We finally executed our plan to goto Biltmore. However instead of just Biltmore, our plan was to first reach Biltmore take some snaps enjoy from outside and then move to Smoky Mountains, then overnight at Atlanta - spend the next day in Atlanta and return back to Charlotte. We enjoyed Smoky Mountains and Atlanta, but in Biltmore, the ticket counter...

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  • Biltmore Crowds - Get there Early

    When you visit Biltmore, Get there as early as possible to avoid the crowds. There will be crowds and they will be large. If you are planning to visit the Winery try and get there as soon as it opens. We did this and it was maybe a 5 minute wait. When we finished the tour and tasting the line was outside the winery and down the parking lot! For the...

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  • NO VACANCY for weekend!

    I arrived to Asheville at night on Thursday and stayed in Mountaineer Inn. I planned to stay in Asheville only one night. But next afternoon things changed as I liked Asheville so much that I wanted to stay one day more to see more. Unfortunatelly when I came back to Mountaineer Inn in the evening I was invited by NO VACANCY sign. The very helpful...

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Asheville What to Pack

  • Asheville is up in the mountains!

    For walking around Asheville, small, city backpack and surely bag for your camera - both better water-proof except in dry summer. Always comfortable walking shoes or boots depends on season and your activity. Sun-glasses especially in winter and summer and a rain coat, eventually less comfortable umbrella from fall to spring. Be prepared for hot...

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  • Packing List

    Obviously, don't forget your camera and any extra lenses you may have. Bring great hiking shoes and a coat if it's not summer. In the winter, it can get pretty nasty in terms of snow and ice. The roads especially along the Parkway are subject to closure due to the weather, so keep that in mind.

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  • Cooler in the mountains

    Whenever you travel to Asheville, count on it being 15° (8°C) cooler there than in, say, Charlotte. In the summer, that's a good thing. In the other 3 seasons, it may mean you will have to add one more layer of clothing. If the gardens on the Biltmore Estate is on your Asheville itinerary, bring a 35mm camera and lots and lots of film.

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Asheville Off The Beaten Path

  • Art Deco masterpiece for sale now!

    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...

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  • lake lure

    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...

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  • hendersonville

    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...

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Asheville Sports & Outdoors

  • Climbing in downtown

    Walking along shopping street (Wall Street) in Asheville downtown I surprisingly saw an outdoor climbing wall. A young climber who tried to reach a top of the wall had many supporters and just watchers down. They applaused when he finally succeded. I got to know that it was a competiotion for advanced climbers run by ClimbMax Climbing Center. The...

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  • Need some high adventure?

    There are lots of places to go white water rafting in the greater Asheville area. You can stop at the tourist office in downtown or just up the parkway from downtown and get all the information you need to hit the rapids.

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  • Skateboarding

    To deal with the complaints about children skateboarding on city streets, local businesses built a skate park. The skate park was well-used when I was there, but kids still were doing it on the sidewalks in town. A skateboard, some knee pads, and a helmet.

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Asheville Favorites

  • Stay and Do in Asheville

    Asheville in a word is phenomenal! I don't know if my favorite part is the uniqueness of downtown or just the overall culture of the place. When we visit, we always stay in one of two places. The first is the Bohemian Hotel (http://www.bohemianhotelasheville.com). This is the most unique hotel I have ever been in. Even if you don't stay there, you...

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  • not too many shakes

    The band was quite good with a female harpist, a few fiddlers, and a guitarist. The traditional music fit the scene well with lots of families with kids like at a playground but managing to be non-obtrusive just the same. It was very much like what I’ve experienced in the UK where families are encouraged to bring their kids to the pubs especially...

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  • virtually unchanged since the Great...

    We ordered two Sheppard’s Pies and two of the house brewed beers. The latter were a bit too cold for their styles but it was very hot out so all was forgiven and they managed to warm up before we polished them off. My Golden Ale was a lightly hopped version of an English session ale that mimicked the style well though seemed to be missing...

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Map of Asheville

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