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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

September 10, 2020
Some leaves in the Asheville area are already beginning to stop producing chlorophyll and 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. It’s usually in October which is often the busiest month along the Parkway. 
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.
August 12, 2019
The Blue Ridge Parkway, the beautiful drive that over 14 million people visited in 2018, requires a lot of people to keep running, as you could imagine. A key piece to this is volunteers - unpaid and serving out of love for the Parkway.
July 15, 2019
If you're wondering where to go swimming during your Blue Ridge Parkway trip, we've rounded up all the best spots. It's important to note that while there are some beautiful waters located right on the Parkway itself, swimming is not allowed in Parkway waters. But there are no shortage of great swimming holes nearby, as well as guided rafting tours, kayak rentals, tubing, and some beautiful lakeside rentals.
November 18, 2018
Spending the holidays in the Blue Ridge Mountains brings to mind cozy fireside nights under homespun quilts, a brisk family hike to find the perfect Christmas tree on the farm, and the very the best slopes for skiing and sledding. We’ve rounded up all this and more in our guide to festive winter fun in the communities along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
October 16, 2018
The Blue Ridge Parkway and surrounding mountain communities in both Virginia and North Carolina have a long and storied history as an arts and culture destination. Traditional artisans practice their crafts to this day, while up and coming artists forge ahead in new techniques and cutting edge creativity.
January 31, 2018
The Blue Ridge Parkway Association's membership and Board were warmly welcomed for our Winter Meeting by Visit Hendersonville. We got a chance to explore the countryside and a favorite destination in Henderson County.
November 27, 2017
“Three days, two lanes, and one spectacular fall road trip along the South’s most storied highway. Jason Frye, accompanied by his wife,…
November 27, 2017
” As a travel photographer, I consider myself a puzzle solver. Despite best-laid plans, there are always elements I can’t anticipate. For…

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…