Monday, October 8, 2012

Asheville, North Carolina

Close to North Carolina's borders with Tennessee, Georgia and South Carolina is Asheville. This city has a naturally stunning setting, between the Smoky and Blue Ridge mountain ranges. It is liberal, art-loving with many monikers, including the 'Paris of the South' and the 'San Francisco of the East,' which is surely confusing to anyone who has heard both! It defies the traditional southern stereotypes with it's alternative atmosphere and residents, and is popular as a tourist destination, especially with domestic visitors as those outside the States are usually not aware of this interesting city.

Smoky Mountains
by Snotgoblin Flickr Creative Commons


The city's abundant Art Deco architecture adds to its uniqueness, and it has art galleries coming out of its ears, so do not miss Asheville if you are a fan of art! These are very varied- from the Appalachian Craft Centre to the Red Square Gallery of Russian Art and Culture to the Bella Vista Gallery of contemporary art. There is also an Art Museum, along with several other museums.

A landmark of Asheville is the Biltmore Estate, a magnificent mansion on sprawling grounds which was built as an escape by George Washington Vanderbilt II. It is still owned by one of his descendants, and is the largest privately owned home in the US at 250 rooms, 175,000 square feet. The amazing building is a monument to the Gilded Age which followed the Civil War, and the heady social heights which the Vanderbilt family reached thanks to the shipping and railroad tycoon Cornelius. We toured the house and gardens of the very impressive residence to get a glimpse of how the other 0.001% live, and it is enviable!

Biltmore Estate
by Smart Destinations Flickr Creative Commons


Microbrewery tours, ghost tours, arts and culture festivals and the beautiful mountains and trails surrounding the city kept us very busy and far from bored during a visit to Asheville!

A car rental is the perfect way to see the spread-out cities and sights of North Carolina, check out NC Car Rental at nccarrental.com

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