Asheville sits in the western Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s known for its flourishing art scene and cultural attractions. The population is roughly 89,000. Peak travel time occurs in the summer, when the average temperature is in the 70s.
History of Asheville
Asheville is named after Samuel Ashe, a governor of the state in the late 1700s. It was once known as Morristown. While the town was founded in 1794, it was 1920 before the area gained popularity. A few years later, during the Great Depression, the city refused to go into bankruptcy, but it was 1977 before it paid off all of its debts and regained its good name.
Famous Asheville natives include Thomas Wolfe, who wrote “Look Homeward, Angel” in the 1920s. There is a memorial built in his honor.
Another famous Asheville resident was E.W. Grove, who built the Grove Arcade in the late 1920s. The area fell into disrepair during the second world war, but is now completely restored.
The Biltmore mansion is the largest private residence built in the country. It serves as a hotel, restaurant and brewery today.
For more history, take the area’s trolley tour, where local storytellers share fascinating stories from Asheville history. You might also consider the guided walking tour during the day or the Haunted Asheville tour at night.
If you expected top-notch Southern cooking in Asheville, you won’t be disappointed. Popular Asheville restaurants like, Rocky’s Hot Chicken Shack and Tupelo Honey, offer hot chicken, soul food and Southern classics the whole family will love.
The area is also home to Jerusalem Garden Cafe, a Mediterranean and Middle Eastern restaurant with live music and belly dancing. Searching for a new twist on old favorites? Try Bouchon for French comfort food and al fresco dining. Calypso, the area’s go-to place for authentic Caribbean flavor, is known for its roots and West Indian curries.
Only in town for a few hours? Make sure you check out Pack’s Tavern for live music on the weekends, an outdoor patio that overlooks Pack Square Park and 32 taps ready to quench your thirst.
There are more than 20 Asheville breweries. It can be difficult to choose a starting point, but here are a few highlights of the area’s most popular breweries.
Wicked Weed Brewing Pub is known for being the hip brewery in the area, but it also features a popular high-end restaurant.
Archetype Brewing is known for its live music and experimental brews.
Highland Brewing offers free tours and samples.
If you’re searching for European-style craft beer, the French Broad River Brewery gets high marks.
The Oyster House is a fantastic oyster bar that includes a brewpub.
Lexington Avenue Brewery has live comedians.
If you’re truly in the mood for something unique, check out the Funkatorium. You can purchase Wicked Weed’s sour brews here, but the Funkatorium creates its own craft beer as well.
Things to Do in Asheville
A charming cultural district, art galleries and an open air market make Asheville ideal for a weekend getaway. To get an overview of Asheville, one should start by exploring Downtown Asheville, home to an array of independent shops, craft breweries, and walkable streets and neighborhoods. Spend an evening indulging at one of the popular restaurants or simply sit and enjoy a unique street performance. You’ll never run out of things to do in Asheville.
Additionally, the Blue Ridge Mountains are known for great hiking trails in the summer, but five ski resorts in the area attract thousands during the winter months. The closest resort to Asheville is Wolf Ridge Ski Resort, which is 30 minutes north of town.
Accommodations at one of Asheville’s nearly-five-star hotels, like Hotel Indigo, the Residences at Biltmore or Renaissance Asheville Hotel, will cost an average of $120 per night.
The area also has a few top-rated bed and breakfasts, including Abbington Green Bed and Breakfast, which averages $229 per night.
The iconic Vanderbilt hotel averages $200 per night and is known for its luxurious accommodations and fine dining.
The unique Grand Bohemian is a Tudor-inspired building with a hunting lodge decor and first-class quarters. It averages $175 per night.
The Posh Boutique Hotel is one of the less expensive hotels in the area, but it rates nearly five stars on Google at only $97 per night.
Most of the Asheville hotels are in the heart of downtown Asheville, close to dozens of restaurants, breweries and cultural exhibits.
Whether you’re searching for a romantic getaway or family fun, the area is a good value and packed with attractions.