Asheville's most famous son, novelist Thomas Wolfe (1900–38), grew up in a 29-room Queen Anne–style home that his mother ran as a boardinghouse. In his prime in the 1930s, Wolfe was widely viewed as one of the best writers America had ever produced; his reputation gradually waned, although today he is being rediscovered. The house—memorialized as "Dixieland" in Wolfe's novel Look Homeward, Angel—was badly damaged in a 1998 fire; it reopened in 2004 following
a painstaking $2.4 million renovation. While about one-fifth of the furniture and artifacts were lost in the fire, the house has been restored to its original 1916 condition, including a light canary-yellow paint on the exterior. You'll find a visitor center and many displays, and there are guided tours of the house and heirloom gardens.