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About the Asheville Area

For more than a century, Asheville and its surrounding region have inspired authors, artists, and celebrities, including George Vanderbilt who built his home here, the 250-room Biltmore House. 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.

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.

Stories from Asheville Area

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.
September 20, 2018
The Blue Ridge Parkway Association announces hiring of new Executive Director to succeed Tom Hardy, who will retire later this year.
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
” 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: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…