Tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains is the vibrant city of Asheville, where local artists have transformed run-down warehouses into working studios and restaurateurs have created their very own “Foodtopia.” The area’s fresh mountain air and rolling green hills drew a young George Vanderbilt away from New York to build a country home in Asheville, which would become the largest private residence in America. Known as Biltmore, this opulent mansion is now open to the public — but it’s only one reason of many to visit Asheville. If you’re not drawn by the art galleries, microbreweries or museums, you may be interested in hiking forest trails or learning about traditional Cherokee culture. No matter what you come for, we know you’ll want to stay.
The Perfect Asheville Weekend
Day One: Start your visit by exploring the art galleries, museums and boutique shops of Downtown Asheville. Stroll the Asheville Urban Trail to see some of the city’s best public art, or just let yourself wander — you’re sure to find a colorful shopfront or sidewalk cafe to draw you in. Bibliophiles won’t want to miss a visit to writer Thomas Wolfe’s childhood home; art lovers should check out the Asheville Art Museum or go a little farther afield to the River Arts District, where you can watch potters and painters at work.
Day Two: Spend your second day living large on the Biltmore estate. Start by touring the massive chateau-style home (built by the Vanderbilts), wandering its extensive gardens and taking in the views of the surrounding mountains. There are several restaurants on the estate where you can eat lunch. Spend your afternoon at the new Antler Hill Village, where you can visit a winery or tour a farm that dates back to the early 1900’s. If you’re looking for a more active way to spend your afternoon, pop by the Outdoor Adventure Center to arrange a biking, horseback riding or fly fishing expedition.
Day Three: Get outta town! Visitors of any age and ability can appreciate the natural beauty of the Asheville area by hiking in Chimney State Park, driving along the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway or taking a gentle walk through the landscaped gardens of the North Carolina Arboretum. Alternatively, you can use this day to focus on the unique culture of the area, with a trip to the Cherokee nation or the Folk Art Center.