Since the late 1700s, people have been visiting Asheville, North Carolina. At first, it was the Low Country plantation owners who would come to Asheville for the summer to avoid malaria. By the mid-1800s, the town was known for its "fresh-air tuberculosis cures"! Once the railway came to the area, a different group of people visited, among them the famed George Vanderbilt.
He loved the area and stayed to build his Biltmore Estate, a 255-room chateau & gardens (the largest in the USA).
After the "upperclass" found Ashville, other beautiful projects began and were finished such as the St. Lawrence Catholic Church with its domed basilica and Spanish baroque towers. In addition, an Art Deco Baptist Church, the Cathedral of All Souls, and the huge Battery Hotel were constructed. A great deal of money was invested in the public and private buildings of Asheville...that is until the crash of 1929. Progress was stopped, which, in a way, was good because much of Asheville's fine old architecture was saved.
But if you have to see just one thing, make sure that it is Biltmore House with its remarkable architecture. It took five years to complete and includes 50,000 pieces of art, antiques, and other furnishings. The distance from the front door of the mansion to the street is 3 miles!
Shops include A Gardener's Place and The Stable Shops. We still have a set of wine glasses with the Biltmore emblem engraved on them!
Save at least one day so you can leisurely tour the house, garden, and winery. Also, have lunch at one of the Biltmore restaurants. You also might want to visit Biltmore Village which is a cluster of shops & galleries located in the old employees' quarters outside the Biltmore gates.
Open every day except Thanksgiving & Christmas. 9 am to 5 pm
$31.00 for adults
While in Cashiers, we explored & discovered that Cashiers is part of Land of The Waterfalls.
The town next to Cashiers,Highlands, is the center of N C waterfall country. From Franklin to Highlands, U.S. 64 follows the Cullasaja River, offering the most falls: Lower Cullasaja Falls is a cascade), Dry Falls ( visitors can walk behind the deluge & view the backside without getting wet), & Bridal Veil Falls (which splashes down 120 feet & is a lacy cascade).
There is also popular Sliding Rock where you can slide along a 60-foot natural waterslide & then plung into a cold, cold pool below.
From Highlands, take N.C. 106 south for two miles to the Glen Falls Scenic Area, (here the water plummets 50 feet. If you go through Cashiers, take State Road 107 south into South Carolina. Turn left on Wigington Road (S.C. 37/413) & after 2 miles turn left on S.C. 130 (called N.C. 281 on the other side of the line.) Now, keep an eye open on your right for the area of Whitewater Falls, the tallest waterfall in the eastern U.S. Actually, it's a pair of falls that fall sequentially on either side of the NC/SC state line!
This is a dangerous area with slippery rocks & very long drops. No kidding, people have died here from falling!
There are more than 250 spectacular waterfalls within Transylvania County's Parkway & Off-Parkway drives.
There are two reasons why there are so many waterfalls in the area:
1. The mountains are the 1st to get heavy rain clouds rolling north from the Gulf of Mexico. The mountains trap the clouds (dropping about 100 inches of rain per yr).
2. This "flood" splashes down on mountains that rise nearly 5,000 feet from one side of the county to the other. " From upland coves water rushes in leaps to splash to the valley floor, creating cascades, chutes, cataracts, falls, jumps, shoals, slides, slips, % spills." (quoted from The Land of the Waterfalls" by Jim Bob Tinsley.