Welcome to Asheville
Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the beautiful, spirited and
eclectic town of Asheville has long been a haven for artists, poets
and visionaries. In this rugged region of majestic terrain, the
'Paris of the South' is a cultural epicentre with an extensive
display of wonderfully preserved Art Deco, Beaux Arts and
Neoclassical architectural triumphs. These structures hint at
Asheville's fascinating history as an elite getaway during
America's Gilded Age.
One of its premier cultural attractions is the Biltmore Estate,
one of the largest homes in the country, commissioned in 1895 by
George Vanderbilt. Today, its magnificent grounds boast a luxurious
inn, stunning gardens and an award-winning winery. Its 8,000 acres
offer visitors a taste of the abundance of outdoor activities the
Asheville region offers, including hiking, mountain biking, fly
fishing, rafting and golfing.
Downtown Asheville is a vibrant destination for both tourists
and locals, with buzzing arts and music scenes. The Urban Trail
offers visitors a comprehensive understanding of the town. Its 30
landmark sculptures, arranged along a lovely walk through downtown
streets, reveal Asheville's legends and lore. Countless galleries
showcase hundreds of artists, from fine to hip to folk artists and
mountain craftsmen. The music and performing arts scenes include a
symphony orchestra, an opera company and dozens of venues for
bluegrass and folk, jazz and blues, and rock and alternative music.
The local writers' scene is thriving, and Asheville natives like
Thomas Wolfe, whose boyhood home is now a historic site downtown,
and Charles Frazier, who penned
Cold Mountain(the novel's namesake is located
just 35 miles (56km) from Asheville) have had significant impacts
in the literary world. Shoppers will delight in the many antique
shops, funky boutiques and farmers tailgate markets found
throughout the area, as well as in historic Grove Arcade, another
of Asheville's architectural gems, a bustling marketplace with
unique shopping and dining options.
Information & Facts
English is the most common language but Spanish is often
spoken in south-western states.
The US Dollar (USD) is the unit of currency and is divided into
100 cents. Only major banks exchange foreign currency. ATMs are
widespread and credit cards and travellers cheques are widely
accepted. Travellers cheques should be taken in US Dollars to avoid
hassles. Banking hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm.