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About the Asheville Area

For more than a century, Asheville and its surrounding region of the Blue Ridge Mountains have inspired authors, artists, and celebrities, including George Vanderbilt who built his home here, the 250-room Biltmore House at the Biltmore Estate, which is now open to the public. Asheville community leaders were also instrumental in the establishment of the Blue Ridge Parkway and its route through the high peaks of Western North Carolina. After successfully seeing the creation of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Asheville visionaries recognized the opportunities that a scenic byway would create, along with its ability to preserve and showcase some of the most extraordinary views in the Southern Appalachians. The region has even been designated as a National Heritage Area because of its importance to the history and culture of our country.

A primitive outpost in 1797, Asheville was a crossroads of Native American trails on a plateau surrounded by mountains and rivers on all sides. The railroad transformed Asheville and Buncombe County into a resort and therapeutic health center when it arrived in 1880. Then, as now, Asheville became an appealing destination for visitors searching for a mountain escape. The nearby towns of Hendersonville and Black Mountain boast small town charm with big city culture including crafts, museums, breweries and a wide variety of lodging.

Stories from Asheville Area

August 23, 2021
When will the Parkway's leaves change to their wardrobe of fall colors? If you’re wondering when the peak Blue Ridge Parkway Fall leaf season will be this year, you’re not alone.
June 17, 2021
Many activities in the regions surrounding the Blue Ridge Parkway are available year-round for free.
February 24, 2021
A drive along the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway is literally a trip through time. But there’s lots more history and heritage to experience along the Parkway beside the route itself.
January 25, 2021
Tips for planning your Blue Ridge Parkway travels that are useful every year, not just during a pandemic!
December 31, 2020
When high elevation nighttime temperatures dip below freezing, sections of the Parkway may be closed due to ice and snow. The roadway is not plowed or salted so closed areas become wonderful winter playgrounds.
December 4, 2020
Many of the businesses along the Blue Ridge Parkway remain open year-round and offer such eclectic merchandise that you can shop for everyone on your holiday gift list from the comfort of your home and have the gifts delivered to your door or directly to the recipient.
November 16, 2020
2020 has been a year of challenges. Even while staying at home we still seem to be busy. And with the cases of COVID-19 apparently on the rise across the country, maybe this holiday season is the time to take a romantic getaway in a nearby locale rather than gathering family members that live in different communities into one place and risking spreading the virus. Regardless of when you choose to enjoy a romantic getaway, we have some options and ideas for you to consider.
October 14, 2020
Fall color season is upon us and the hillsides are dotted with the reds of maples, sourwoods and sumac and the yellows of birches and yellow poplars. But even after the trees are bare, these routes offer sites worth visiting- they promise to tickle your taste buds, enthrall your eyes…
August 26, 2020
The Blue Ridge Mountains are dotted with farms producing everything from Christmas trees to trout. Fruit, flowers, herbs, jams, jellies, pies, wreaths and other crafts are all produced right here in the mountains.
April 17, 2020
Whether you are enjoying the entire Blue Ridge Parkway or just visiting regions in North Carolina or Tennessee, there are many ways to enjoy nature and the outdoors, even in the lodging opportunities available along the route.

Recommended Itineraries

Region: North Carolina
Duration:2 - 3 days
A two-day trip through the Pisgah District comes with unique rewards. There is a natural resource emphasis that features relic populations of plants, long vistas across rugged and remote areas, and a feel of wilderness that dominates many areas.
Region: North Carolina
Duration:1 day
A one-day trip through the Pisgah District is a long drive – perhaps best undertaken from the comfort of your car – but comes with unique rewards. There is a natural resource emphasis that features relic populations of plants, long vistas across rugged and remote areas, and a feel of…