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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

February 24, 2021
A drive along the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway is literally a trip through time. Construction on the Parkway began near Cumberland Knob in North Carolina in September 1935. Works Project Administration crews completed some of the early road construction, landscaping and recreation area development. As you travel the Parkway today,…
January 25, 2021
January 26 is National Plan for Vacation Day and I’m including my tips for vacation planning amidst the unpredictability of 2021. My husband and I have sadly been planning back-to-back transatlantic and Mediterranean cruises for more than a year that have just been canceled. But, we’re still healthy and still…
December 31, 2020
The Blue Ridge Parkway, a unit of the National Park Service, is managed as a scenic route but also to protect the natural resources along the Parkway corridor. When high elevation nighttime temperatures dip below freezing, there is little winter sun and moisture is on the roadway, sections of the…
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. These merchants can ship gifts directly to your door or to the recipient’s location if you won’t be able to deliver the…
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…
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.

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…