Asheville - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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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.

Asheville's historic attractions are best seen from aboard a vintage trolley. This narrated tour features the town's memorable sites such as the Montford Historic District, the Grove Park Inn and Biltmore Village. The Thomas Wolfe memorial and Grove Arcade Building are also included in the tour. The ghost tours add a darker twist...

The Liville Caverns are an underground labyrinth of rooms and passageways moulded out of the rock-bed beneath Humpback Mountain by years of flowing water. The caverns were first discovered in the 19th century when it appeared that fish were swimming out the mountain. Today, guided tours make this extraordinary attraction available to all.

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