The City of Asheville is the largest city in Western North Carolina and the county seat of Buncombe County. The city is located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains and is known for its natural beauty. Asheville serves as the regional hub for business, health and human services, the arts, shopping, dining and other community amenities for citizens and visitors.

Outstanding scenery and recreational opportunities make the Blue Ridge Parkway one of the most popular units of the National Park System. "America's Favorite Drive" winds its way 469 miles through mountain meadows and past seemingly endless vistas. Split-rail fences, old farmsteads and historic structures complement spectacular views of distant mountains and neighboring valleys. The Parkway incorporates several recreation areas, some exceeding 6,000 acres. These parks within the Parkway have visitor centers, camp grounds, picnic areas, trails and, in many instances, concessionaire-operated lodges, restaurants, and other facilities. The Parkway intersects Asheville at US 25, US 70 and US 74, and NC 191. The Linn Cove Viaduct (MP 304) is an engineering marvel that wraps around Grandfather Mountain. Check out the Blue Ridge Parkway Destination Center, the NC Arboretum, and the Folk Art Center. For more information visit BlueRidgeParkway.org.

Visiting Asheville

Asheville is a splendid place to visit, whether you're seeking beautiful mountain scenery, contemporary art galleries, fine organic cuisine, outdoor adventures or a romantic getaway. Known as an art colony, a healing resort and a home to notable statesmen and luminaries, Asheville is one of the most welcoming, vibrant cities in America. The city's rich architectural legacy, with its mix of Art Deco, Beaux Arts and Neoclassical styles, is the perfect backdrop to the energy that emanates from the locally owned-shops and galleries, distinctive restaurants and exciting entertainment venues. Your activity choices include strolling through downtown Ashevilles many art galleries, whitewater rafting on a clear mountain river, visiting craftspeople in their studios, hiking on one of 75 trails in the area, exploring some of the 100 antique shops, or just relaxing over a refreshing drink at one of many local coffeehouses or sidewalk cafs. If you like the hiking and antique shops, just a few states away in Ohio, you will find the Hocking Hills. For more information on that area visit, HockingHills.com.

Asheville is that type of unique, special place that lingers sweetly in your mind and memories for years to come. The city's rich architectural legacy with its mix of Art Deco, Beaux Arts and Neoclassical styles is the perfect retro-urban backdrop to the edgy energy that emanates from the locally owned-shops and art galleries, distinctive restaurants and exciting entertainment venues. Known as an art colony, a healing resort and a home to notable luminaries, statesmen and bohemians, Asheville is one of the most welcoming, vibrant cities in America.

A Brief History

Asheville was a primitive outpost in 1797. Frontiersmen such as Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett traveled through in the early days. Asheville was little more than a crossroads of Indian trails on a plateau surrounded by mountains and rivers on all sides.
The railroad transformed Asheville and Buncombe County into a resort and therapeutic health center when it arrived in 1880. Asheville became a Mecca for visitors searching for a mountain escape, its population climbing to nearly 30,000 seasonal residents in 1890.

Rich Architecture
Asheville had no money to invest in urban renewal projects that were so popular in other cities following Black Monday. The magnificent buildings built during the boom years were spared the bulldozer as a result of Asheville commitment to repay its debt.
This is why Asheville is a snap shot of what an American boomtown looked like during the turn of the century. It isnt unusual to find quaint mom and pop shops in elegant surroundings.

Pioneers, Philanthropists and Artists
Asheville has always drawn visionaries, poets and explorers. George W. Vanderbilt came to Asheville in the late 1880s and quickly purchased 120,000 acres to build his grand estate. The endeavor took six years and Vanderbilt commissioned renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted to design the grounds and gardens, and celebrated architect Richard Morris Hunt to help him plan the house. Biltmore Estate has withstood the test of time and modern mansions are dwarfed by the regal home.
Thomas Wolfe was born in Asheville and grew up in his mothers rambling boardinghouse, known as Dixieland. Wolfe is one of the giants of American literature, and Asheville is the backdrop for his autobiographical novel, Look Homeward, Angel.

For more information and on things to do, visit ExploreAsheville.com.


The City of Asheville is the largest city in Western North Carolina and the county seat of Buncombe County. The city is located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains and is known for its natural beauty. Asheville serves as the regional hub for business, health and human services, the arts, shopping, dining and other community amenities for citizens and visitors. For more information on the city of Asheville, visit Ashevillenc.gov.

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