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1. Biltmore Estates

Biltmore Estates

Biltmore Estates

Biltmore Estates

1 Lodge Street
AshevilleNC  28803
(800) 411-3812
Tours are offered for the house and the winery. There are several restaurants, a hotel and gift shops on the grounds.
 
Hours:
Monday - Sunday: 9:00a - 5:00p

The Biltmore House is a four-story French Renaissance manor which was built between 1889 and 1895. It is the largest privately owned house in the United States. The house has 178,926 square feet of floor space and 135,280 square feet of living area, which covers about 4 acres. The exterior walls are Indiana limestone. The steeply pitched roof has a copper roofline with Vanderbilt's initials repeatedly inscribed along the crest. The estate has 8,000 acres.

There is a total of 250 rooms. When bathrooms were unheard of, Biltmore House had 43. There are 65 fireplaces and three kitchens, along with 34 bedrooms, a grand Banquet Hall and a Library containing 10,000 volumes. The staircase is one of the more prominent features with its three-story winding balustrades with carved statures. There are 16 chimneys and are covered with slate tiles.

The Banquet Hall is the largest room in the house, measuring 42 feet wide and 72 feet long, with a 70-foot-high barrel-vaulted ceiling. The table could seat 64 guests.

There is additional living space on the second floor with the more lavish guest bedrooms and suites. The third floor have additional guest rooms. The forth floor has 21 bedrooms for the housemaids, laundresses, and other female servants. Male servants were housed in rooms above the stable and complex.

Located in the basement level included an indoor 70,000 gallon heated swimming pool with underwater lighting, a bowling alley, and a gymnasium with once state-of-the-art fitness equipment. There was also a pastry kitchen, rotisserie kitchen, walk-in refrigerators, servants' dining hall, laundry rooms and additional bedrooms for staff.

 
On Biltmore Estates, there are 3 hotels

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2. Gray Line Trolley Tours

Gray Line Trolley Tours
Gray Line Trolley Tours
36 Montford Avenue
Asheville, NC
(828) 258-6101
Departure Location: Visitor Center or any tour stop
Duration time: 1.5 hours to 1.75 hours
 
Take a hop-on-hop-off trolley tour to lean about Asheville, NC. The trolley departs every 30 minutes from the Visitor Center and various stops around the city. You can learn abou the history, heritage and architecture of Asheville.

Also take one of the Ghost Tours with will take you through the haunted history of Asheville.

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3. Basilica Of Saint Lawrence


Basilica Of Saint Lawrence


Basilica Of Saint Lawrence

Basilica Of Saint Lawrence

97 Haywood Street
Asheville, NC 28801
(828) 252-6042

The Basilica of St. Lawrence is Spanish Renaissance architecture. The basilica was designed and built in 1905 by Spanish architect. The foundation is made of massive stone and the solid brick structure was built to endure generations. The structure has no beams of wood or steel in the entire structure. All the walls, floors, ceilings and pillars are made from tile and masonry material. The roof is made of tile with a copper covering.

From the main aisle inside the church, you can see the beauty of the ellipse and the beauty of the dome. The dome is built entirely of tiles and is self-supporting. The dome has a clear span of 58x82 feet and is believed to be the largest unsupported dome in North America. The statues came from Italy and the high alter is made from marble found in Tennessee. The basilica is known for its many elaborate stained glass windows, many which were made in Munich, Germany.

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4. Brewery Tours

Fun things to do in Asheville NC : Sierra Nevada Brewery in Asheville, NC.
Asheville is the place for local craft beers and breweries. Take a tour of several of the many local breweries and sample the local craft beers. Also learn about the history and processing of making different beers. The tour guides are experienced and knowledgeable.

Sierra Nevada Way is one of the most popular tours.

100 Sierra Nevada Way
FletcherNC  28732
(828) 708-6176
 
Hours: See Website for times & tour selections

Reservations for Tours: millsrivertours@sierranevada.com or (828) 708-6176

Also see Brewery Tours

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5. Lexington Glassworks

Fun things to do in Asheville NC : Lexington Glassworks in Asheville, NC.

Lexington Glassworks

81 South Lexington Avenue
Asheville, NC 28801

(828) 348-8427

Located in downtown Asheville, NC, Lexington Glassworks has in-house demonstrations of glassblowing and pottery creations. Each piece is skillfully crafted with century old techniques.

The owners of Lexington Glassworks invite you to view the glassblowing process from start to finish by watching the artists at work. There are many items for sale and each one is unique. This makes great gifts or lovely additions to your home.

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6. Blue Ridge Parkway

Fun things to do in Asheville NC : Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina.

Blue Ridge Parkway

AshevilleNC  28801

The Blue Ridge Parkway has been known to be America's Favorite Drive and considered the nation's most scenic highway. It is 469 miles long and connects the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in NC to the Shenandoah National Park in VA.

There are many attractions to visit along the parkway:

Folk Art Center MP 328
Pisgah Mountain MP 408.6
Graveyard Fields MP418.8
Devil's Courthouse MP 422.4


There are 26 tunnels on the parkway in North Carolina due to the elevation of the mountains. Driving the parkway is a relaxing and enjoyable drive. There are many areas to pull off and enjoy the beautiful mountain vistas. Discover scenic hiking trails, picnic areas, and scenic overlooks. There are also many towns that are a short drive off the Parkway.

The Parkway Visitor's Center is at  Milepost 384.5 near Asheville, NC.

Hours:
9:00a - 5:00p daily.
Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Admission: Free.

Phone: (828) 348-3400

Website: https://www.blueridgeheritage.com/

Explore the listing of hours and opening and closing dates for visitor centers, campgrounds, and concessions and facilities - many of which are at or near the Highlights featured.

There are many attractions to visit along the parkway:

Within North Carolina:

Folk Art Center MP 328
Craggy Gardens MP 364
Pisgah Mountain MP 408.6
Graveyard Fields MP 418.8
Devil's Courthouse MP 422.4

 

Outside of North Carolina:

Blue Ridge Music Center MP 213 (700 Foothills Rd, Galax, VA 24333)
Waterrock Knob MP 451.2
Cumberland Knob MP 217.5
Moses H. Cone Park MP 294
Mount Pisgah MP 408
Peaks of Otter MP 86

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7. Southern Highland Craft Guild Folk Art Center


Southern Highland Craft Guild Folk Art Center

Southern Highland Craft Guild Folk Art Center

Southern Highland Craft Guild Folk Art Center

382 Blue Ridge Parkway (Milepost 382)
Asheville, NC  28805
(828) 298-7928

Hours
Open daily except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.
January-March: 9:00a - 5:00p
April-December: 9:00a -6:00p

Admission Fee: Free

The Folk Art Center in Asheville features some of the finest comtemporary and traditional arts and crafts of the Southern Appclachians. There is a variety of creations from hundreds of artists and several galleries and exhibits. You can even watch an artist at work.

The Folk Art Center has many craft books and videos.

You can find 250 works from The Guild's Permanent Collection "Craft Traditions" with crafts dating from 1850s when you go upstairs.

The Folk Art Center is the most popular attraction on the Blue Ridge Parkway, welcoming 250,000 visitors each year.

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8. North Carolina Arboretum

North Carolina Arboretum
North Carolina Arboretum

100 Frederick Law Olmsted Way
AshevilleNC  28805


Hours:
April - October

Monday - Sunday 8:00a - 9:00p (entrance gate closes at 8 p.m.)

November - March
Monday - Sunday 8:00a - 7:00p (entrance gate closes at 6 p.m.)

There is no admission fee, but there is a parking fee ($16.00 per vehicle as of March, 2020).

The North Carolina Arboretum is a 434-acre public garden located in the Bent Creek Experimental Forest in the Pisgah National Park. The arboretum is located about 10 miles from downtown Asheville. Visitors can stroll through 65 acres of gardens which include the National Native Azalea Collection, the Bonsai Exhibition Garden, a Heritage Garden that celebrates Southern Appalachian horticulture, a holly garden and a stream garden. Its tree collection includes a set of Metasequoias planted in 1950, and now said to be the tallest in the south (over 100 feet in height). The arboretum also includes many hiking and bicycling trails.

The arboretum offers free guided tours on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday.

There is no admission fee, but there is a parking fee ($14.00 per vehicle as of April, 2017).

Time to spend is 1 to 2 hours

Some of the gardens are:

  • Blue Ridge Quilt Garden - parterre reflecting quilt designs of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
  • Dickinson Holly Garden - a variety of American and non-native hollies.
  • French Broad River Watershed Training Center - Educational programs relating to streambanks and waterways, pasture management, stormwater runoff, and erosion control.
  • Heritage Garden - a demonstration garden for plants used in traditional Western North Carolina crafts, including dye-making, basketry, paper-making, and broom-making.
  • National Native Azalea Repository - a streamside garden representing almost every azalea species native to the United States, with cultivated varieties and hybrids. This repository is part of the North American Plant Collections Consortium.
  • Plant Professional Landscape Garden (2 acres) - a study, training, and testing site that contains 250+ ornamental plants from the Certified Plant Professional exam.
  • Plants of Promise Garden - residential demonstration gardens that include plants being evaluated for the Southern Appalachian region.
  • Stream Garden - a formal setting of trees, shrubs and perennials.
  • Support Facility Perennial Border - perennial flowers.

The arboretum's bonsai collection has about 100 display specimens which include Asian trees, Japanese maple, Chinese elm.

 

Driving Time and Distance
FromRouteDistanceTime
Asheville I-240 W 11 Miles 20 Minutes

Brevard

NC-280 W and NC-191 N 25 Miles 40 Minutes
Hendersonville I-26 W 19 Miles 30 Minutes
Hendersonville NC-191 N 18 Miles 33 Minutes

 

Driving directions:

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9. Zipline Adventure Park


Zipline Adventure Park

Zipline Adventure Park

Zipline Adventure Park

The Adventure Center of Asheville
85 Expo Drive
Asheville, NC 28806
(877) 247-5539 for Reservations

If you are looking for adventure and excitement, then visit The Adventure Center of Asheville

Directions:
  • The Asheville Adventure Center is off Patton Avenue behind Regent Park adjacent to the CROWNE PLAZA RESORT at 1 Resort Drive in Asheville.
  • Take Exit 3A off of I-240
  • Use Regent Park Blvd, not Hansel Ave., for access to the Adventure Center of Asheville.

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10. Western North Carolina Nature Center


Western North Carolina Nature Center

Western North Carolina Nature Center

Western North Carolina Nature Center

AshevilleNC  28805
(828) 298-5600
Hours: 10:00a - 5:00p

Directions: Follow I-240 E to US-74 ALT W/Fairview Rd. Take exit 8 from I-240 E and
Follow US-74 ALT W and Swannanoa River Rd to Gashes Creek Road.

WNC Nature Center  features one of the largest collections of Southern Appalachian animal species in the world. It is home to over 60 species of animals including river otters, black bear, red wolves and cougars housed in a natural setting as they would normally be living if the animals were in the wild. There are also hundreds of species of plants, all representative of this unique bio-region, the Southern Appalachians. The WNC Nature Center is 6.2 miles from downtown Asheville.