Falling in love with Asheville, NC
Before beginning our amazing 2010 Road Trip Adventure, my husband and I had decided that our last stop would be Asheville, NC. I had never been. Almost went last year for a conference, but had to cancel last minute. My husband kept telling my about some amazing attraction or another, but honestly, I didn’t really think much of it.
There are travel writers who will say that before you go anywhere, especially if it is somewhere you will write about, that you should research it. I however like going everywhere without researching it at all. I want to come with a completely fresh perspective and even a bit clueless. It’s part of the journey for me. And so when we planned to stay only one day in Asheville, it wasn’t something we had thought would matter. Until I got there. Or rather until I saw it the next day (we arrived so late the night before I saw nothing).
I have always heard that Asheville is beautiful, and it didn’t disappoint. A town surrounded by mountains, it has been called the San Francisco of the South. Artsy, laid back, with a friendly feel, it’s no wonder so many great things are said about it. I spoke briefly to a few people, and it seems everyone is from somewhere else but absolutely love living there.
The downtown area is small and full of cute shops, busy restaurants featuring a variety of cuisine, and bars. You can also enjoy museums, theaters, and art galleries all located nearby.
Our kids had a wonderful time at The Health Adventure, a wonderful health and science center located in Downtown Asheville. The boys spent a long time checking things out, building, playing, learning. The center is interactive and the staff is incredibly friendly, engaging children in the various activities they have and helping them think about the exhibits throughout. Though the center isn’t overwhelmingly huge by any means, it was captivating enough to keep the kids busy on just one section for a long time. So much so, we almost missed checking out The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, one of their newest Summer exhibits.
Another major highlight of our trip to Ahseville was visiting the breathtaking Biltmore Estate. I was very curious about visiting this incredible destination located on 125,000-acre estate which was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, who has been referred to as father of American landscape architecture and who is the creator of our very own Central Park here in New York City.
The lavishing grounds and home of the Biltmore Estate require more then just one day to take it all in. Even with walking through 4 acres of floor space and viewing 250 rooms, 34 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms, and 65 fireplaces, you still walk away feeling you didn’t see it all. We walked through the garden, a masterpiece in itself, and the greenhouses, and sat outside to enjoy a small lunch which we brought with us.
The Biltmore sellsyear-long passes, and I can totally understand why. We only saw but a small portion of what guests can enjoy regularly, which was sad, but gives us an additional reason to return to Asheville.
Our stay was short, and we had gotten a Go Ridge Card (which I highly recommend for visitors looking to enjoy the many activities in Asheville and want to save money in the process). We never expected that there was so much to do in Asheville.
On our last afternoon there we decided to walk around Downtown and take in some of the local scene. We walked right into Downtown After 5, a free concert series that happens weekly through September. And it is in situations like these that I am happiest as a traveler, when I get to sit back and watch the locals enjoy all their city has to offer as well as their community. It felt relaxing, fun, and close to what I would want “home” to feel like. We had a really good time, and despite the rain that fell on us for a short moment, no one cared. Friends and family came together, laughing, dancing, and talking as the band Soulglass Rebellion played on.
Maybe it was the beauty of the mountain silhouettes that surrounded us. Maybe it was the gratification of having come to an end of another wonderful family adventure. Maybe it was Asheville being the best it could be. Whatever the case, we ended our 2010 Road trip Adventure on a higher note then we could have ever anticipated, and we thank the people of Asheville for contributing to the many happy memories our family has to share.
Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. Complimentary accommodations and access to attractions were provided courtesy of Residence Inn Biltmore and the Asheville Visitor Center. The views and opinions expressed here are strictly my own. For more information please refer to the disclosure page.
Love Asheville! And the Biltmore Estate is where the movie "Being There" with Peter Sellers and Shirley MacLaine was filmed. So glad you had such a lovely day there!
So happy you had such a great time! But, even happier we finally got to meet! See you in September babe 🙂
Hi Barbara, I have to check the movie out! Thanks for the tip!
Lisa, so, so great meeting you as well. See you soon! xoxox
I love Asheville. I'm really looking forward to visiting this fall, the foliage should be gorgeous!
Biltmore Estates was also the backdrop for the movie 'Richie Rich.'
Great post! I'm glad you enjoyed Asheville. But that was Soulgrass Rebellion that you have pictures of, not Drivin' n' Cryin'. They were at the previous Downtown After 5
Ah! Thank you Stephani! I will correct!
So, so happy you were able to include Asheville in your trip and that you had a great time! We can't wait to welcome you back!
Carol CainSherida (@Foodtopia)
Thank you Sherida : ) I can't wait to be back!
Great post! So glad you liked our Go Blue Ridge Card attraction pass. If you ever make it back we have another sightseeing product that might also be a good fit. It's called the "Custom Explorer Pass" and it allows you to build your own ticket to the attractions. You add only the attractions you want to see onto your custom pass and save money vs buying tickets at each location. The more you add, the more you save. Plus, it's valid for 30 days. Both sightseeing passes can be found at SmartDestinations.com/blueridge.
@Tara – Fall is the BEST time to visit the area. Don't forget your camera!
Thanks Judy! Great info on the Explorer Pass! Will have to check it out on a next visit to Asheville!
You really managed to show Asheville in an interesting light 🙂
Though I wonder, is there any back story to Biltmore Estate, like who did it belong to ?
Carol CainIvo Stoichev
Thanks Ivo! One post wouldn't be enough to highlight all the interesting features of the Biltmore Estate, that's why links (bold text link back to page) are so helpful. But for a short answer to an interesting question: George Washington Vanderbilt between 1889 and 1895. I invite you to visit their site for more elaborate information. Enjoy!
Thank you for the answer, it was really helpful, hope to see more interesting things in your blog
Thanks for the post. I've lived in west asheville off haywood for a couple years. It is a great place to spend some time and relax. 😉
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