Top Five Reasons to Visit Asheville


“may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.”

ᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠᅠ -- E.E. Cummings


Asheville gets more than 3 million overnight visitors annually. Here are the top five reasons so many relish a visit to the area and keep coming back again and again.


Amazing Asheville The city of Asheville itself is a major reason for visiting the area. You’ll like the easy-going, hip, laid-back atmosphere, with Asheville’s diverse mix of young hipsters, ex-hippies, artists, adventurers, entrepreneurs and retirees, not to mention plenty of friendly regular folks. You’ll enjoy the city’s many fine restaurants, in all price ranges, and its very active nightlife for both straights and gays. You’ll appreciate the selection and variety of places to stay, from chain hotels and motels to cozy B&Bs and mountain lodges. You’ll like the Art Deco and other historic architecture of Downtown Asheville and the varied neighborhoods around Downtown. You’ll enjoy visiting the dozens of art and crafts galleries and experiencing the plethora of festivals, musical events, culture and theater in the area. While not a large city, Asheville is in that category of interesting and intriguing small and mid-size cities that draw savvy and sophisticated visitors from all over the country, places like Charleston, Savannah, Santa Fe, Taos, Sedona, Santa Barbara, Bar Harbor and Key West. Best of all, Asheville is easy to get to, a short drive from the major population centers of the East or a quick flight from most major cities.


Biltmore House and Biltmore Estate America’s largest private home has 250 rooms, and the estate has 8,000 acres of scenic forests, fields, lakes and rivers, 75 acres of formal gardens, a luxury inn, a dozen eating and drinking options and the most-visited winery in the country. More than a million visitors annually gaze in awe at the French Renaissance chateau, a remarkable example of the wealth of America’s Gilded Age. Don’t think it’s a tourist trap. It’s anything but – truly it’s an attraction like no other you will see in your travels in North America.


Blue Ridge Parkway The Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the most-visited units of America’s National Park Service system, with more than 14 million visitors annually, and no wonder! It’s one of the most beautiful and unspoiled drives in the country, with dramatic mountain scenery around every curve, plus plenty to do in cities, towns and villages that lay along the parkway. More than one-half of the parkway, 252 miles, is in Western North Carolina, and its passes directly through Asheville, where the parkway is headquartered. About two-thirds of the visitors to the parkway are on the North Carolina section, which is more scenic and at higher elevations than the Virginia section.


Great Smoky Mountains National Park America’s most-visited national park -- with more than 10 million visitors a year -- is ideal for those who love majestic mountains and the great outdoors. You’ll like the hiking on more than 900 miles of trails, camping in developed campgrounds or in the backcountry, picnicking by cold streams or waterfalls, seeing black bear, deer, elk, wild turkeys and other wildlife. If you’d rather stick closer to your car, the park has more than 380 miles of scenic drives and five historic districts with 100 preserved buildings. An easy hour’s drive from Asheville, the Great Smokies Park is split between Western North Carolina and East Tennessee, with slightly more of it in North Carolina.


Mountain Scenery and Outdoor Activities Beyond the Smokies and the Parkway, the Asheville area offers a wealth of fun and adventure outside, in more than a million acres of national forest lands, plus state forests, state and city parks and private reserves. Whether it’s fishing, boating, whitewater rafting, ziplining, golfing, tennis, tubing, hiking, biking, camping, hunting, climbing, birding, rock hounding, snow skiing or just relaxing with a good book by a crackling fire or in the summer sun, you’ll find more than enough to keep you and your family and friends occupied for weeks.

All content copyright © Lan Sluder except selected photographs used by permission and brief quotations or other fair use text, which are owned by the copyright holder.

We have made every effort to confirm the accuracy of information on this website, and in the Amazing Asheville book and ebooks, but travel information is subject to frequent change, and no warranty is made, express or implied. Please notify us of any errors or omissions, and we will attempt to correct them as soon as possible. All opinions expressed are those of the author, Lan Sluder, unless otherwise noted.