Trip to Asheville, NC

Old Apr 30th, 2003, 05:34 PM
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Trip to Asheville, NC

My friend and I will be traveling to Asheville, NC from Indiana for a long weekend in a couple of weeks. We will be visiting Biltmore, but have no other plans. Where else should we plan to visit? Can anyone recommend good restaurants in the area?
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Old Apr 30th, 2003, 06:39 PM
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Check out the winery at the Biltmore. There's a tour and wine tasting offered & a decent restaurant there, too. Consider staying at the Biltmore Inn. The Grove Park Inn has a great spa.
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Old Apr 30th, 2003, 06:49 PM
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When we went last week, we saw a minor league baseball game, which was great fun. Had good chicken and dumplings and spaghettti at a little Greek restaurant nearby -- not fancy -- called Three Brothers. Check out Chowhound.com for restaurant recommendations.
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Old Apr 30th, 2003, 11:09 PM
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You'll have plenty of things to keep you busy in Asheville! I hope you'll have a wonderful time in my town -- here are my top five picks for things visitors mustn't miss while in the area, excluding Biltmore Estate of course.

1. Hickory Nut Gorge

This wooded canyon is located southeast of Asheville and is home to the villages of Gerton, Bat Cave, Chimney Rock Village, and Lake Lure. Towering above its namesake village is Chimney Rock, a natural granite monolith that is the centerpiece of Chimney Rock Park, a thousand acre nature park with waterfalls, caves, hiking, and lots more! East of Chimney Rock Village is Lake Lure, a beautiful little town at the head of the lake from which it takes its name, centered around an historic resort hotel and a beautiful public park with a beach.

2. Blue Ridge Parkway

This road snakes from Virginia to Tennessee, via the mountains of North Carolina and is rightly called America's most scenic drive. You can hop on the parkway in Asheville and go in either direction for unbelievable views on a clear day of distant ridges, peaks, and lakes. If you head east, you can access the Folk Art Center, which houses a museum and commercial gallery of very high-quality handcrafted crafts, including quilts, pottery, and furniture. Keep going east and you'll reach Mt. Mitchell, highest peak in the East, as well as other spectacularly beautiful areas such as Craggy Gardens.

3. Asheville Urban Trail

Slightly more than a mile and a half long, this is a walking trail through downtown Asheville that employs thirty beautiful sculptures and other artworks to tell you a tale of the city's past and future. Some of the city's abundance of truly spectacular architectural jewels are also featured on the trail, including the Drhumor Building with its frieze of writhing mermaids, dragons, and angels. The trail also takes you past some wonderful shops and restaurants, as well as emporiums like those in the Kress Building and at Woolworth Walk, both crowded with first class, locally created art, and both located in historic department store buildings.

4. Asheville's historic neighborhoods

Asheville boasts many more historic buildings and homes than you'd find in towns many times its size, and this is the best way to see them. Biltmore Village, just outside the gates of Biltmore Estate; Montford, home to Riverside Cemetery with its ornate sculptured tombs, just northwest of downtown; downtown itself, for those architectural jewels not on the Urban Trail such as First Baptist Church, modeled on the Florentine Duomo; Grove Park, surrounding the must-be-seen-to-be-believed Grove Park Inn Resort and Spa -- those are just a few!

5. Pack Place

This is a museum complex in the heart of downtown, and Station 1 on the Urban Trail. Here you'll find the Asheville Art Museum, the Colburn Gem and Mineral Museum, the Health Adventure, the Diana Wortham Theatre, and YMI Cultural center. The Health Adventure is geared toward children, but has attractions that adults might find interesting as well, while the YMI Center is a museum dedicated to African-American history and art. I seem to recall reading that the Health Adventure is moving to much larger quarters north of downtown, near UNC-Asheville, but I'm not sure if they've moved out of Pack Place yet, but it really is more for children anyway. You'll find the Colburn, YMI or Asheville Art Museum more interesting anyway.

It's hard to stop at five attractions when there's so much more to see and do! I haven't even mentioned the NC Arboretum, on the edge of Pisgah National Forest or the Botanical Gardens at Asheville, up at UNCA. Then there's Dupont State Forest, down between Brevard and Hendersonville, plus the downtown shopping districts of both those towns, plus the towns of Black Mountain and Saluda...

A long weekend isn't nearly enough to enjoy Asheville!
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Old Apr 30th, 2003, 11:42 PM
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It strikes me now that having typed in the phrase 'handcrafted crafts' will now enable me to accept my Certificate of Redundancy Certificate, not to mention the fact that I should have said that touring the city's historic neighborhoods is the best way to see them. Perhaps I can accept my certificate at the annual Ninnies of America dinner.

Speaking of dinner, however... There are quite a few Asheville restaurants worth your patronage. I have eaten at McGuffey's, located east of downtown on Tunnel Road, near the Asheville Mall, and at Cafe on the Square, on Pack Square downtown, and wholeheartedly recommend them. Both feature American cuisine. I also recommend The Mellow Mushroom, located on Broadway downtown, for pizza, and Kam's Frozen Custard, in the Grove Arcade, which has the best ice cream/custard I have ever eaten.

Meanwhile, I have heard very good things about Early Girl Eatery (organic/vegetarian/American), Salsa (Mexican/Caribbean), Vincenzo's (Italian), and John Henry's (Charleston/American), all located downtown, as well as Trevi (Italian), located in Biltmore Station in Biltmore Village, on Hendersonville Road, and Province 620, which serves up a mix of vegetarian Greek as well as seafood and steaks, located on Hendersonville Road near Biltmore Park.

Here's the web address of a handy dining guide published by the Mountain X-Press, a local independent weekly paper. The guide has listings for just about every restaurant in Asheville and the surrounding towns, grouped by category.

http://www.mountainx.com/dining/
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Old May 1st, 2003, 04:04 PM
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Hauntedheadnc's recommendations are so good, it makes me want to visit the places (and I live here

What are you interested in? Hiking? Shopping? Rafting? Likewise, what kind of food do you like?

Mike Honeycutt
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Old May 1st, 2003, 06:43 PM
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Mike,

Thanks for your help.
We enjoy visiting historic areas, seeing different examples of architecture, museums, and scenic drives. I read in a travel brochure that downtown Asheville is scenic. Should we plan to visit there? Are shops and restaurants open on Friday evening? We should arrive in Asheville around 2:00 or 3:00 in the afternoon. Our interest in food is steaks, seafood, Italian, or Mexican for dinner. For lunch we would enjoy homemade soup and/or sandwiches on homemade bread. We are staying at the Hampton Inn near Biltmore. Do you have any recommendations in that area?
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Old May 1st, 2003, 06:55 PM
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Downtown Asheville is pretty nice. There are many good resturaunts and places to walk around. I would reccomend chimney rock park. If you are going to the biltmore you can also check out nearby hendersonville, supposed to have lots of antique shops. I am of the college age and tend to enjoy Asheville a great deal (have been going to Brevard, NC to work for many summers.
If you drive up in the Pisgah National Forrest. Be sure to stop for ice cream at Dotties (I think thats what it's called--drawing a blank---it is right at the entrance to Pisgah. They recently redid the Asheville mall, it is fairly nice, but no different than any run of the mill mall. If you are into shoe shopping you can't pass up the chance to go to TOPS for shoes in downtown Asheville. They have an amazing shoe selection.
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Old May 1st, 2003, 11:26 PM
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"Scenic" doesn't do downtown Asheville justice. There are so many great buildings there it's hard to pick any one over another, but be sure to pay attention to the buildings you'll pass by if you walk the Urban Trail. Asheville is home to a stunning collection of art deco structures, many of which, including City Hall and the S & W Cafeteria Building, are featured along the trail.

Other buildings that can't be missed include, but are by no means limited to, the Jackson Building with its gargoyles, on the corner of Pack Square and Market Street, and the Grove Arcade Public Market, a neo-gothic shopping mall dating from the 1920's that occupies an entire block bounded by Battle Square, O. Henry Avenue, Page Avenue, and Battery Park Avenue. Both of these building, plus another stunner, the Spanish baroque style Basilica of St. Lawrence on Haywood Street, can be found along the Urban Trail.

Of course, off the trail are numerous architectural must see's including First Baptist Church, which I mentioned earlier, and the federal courthouse, a wonderful example of Depression-era gloom next door to the federal building on Otis Street. Look for the carvings that adorn the front of the building.

Then there are entire streets of historic buildings that are like miniature worlds unto themselves. Wall Street is such a street and North Lexington Avenue is another.

Shops and restaurants downtown will be humming on a Friday afternoon and well into the night, as Asheville's nightlife is excellent for a city its size.

You really couldn't have picked a better place than Asheville if your interests lie in architecture, musuems, history, and scenery! Feel free to ask me about anything I've mentioned in either of my posts to you, mlm59.
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Old May 2nd, 2003, 06:16 AM
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Cassandra
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You might find useful info on this thread -- my trip report plus a number of very useful comments and responses:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threadselect.jsp?fid=1

Or search on "Asheville" under NC category and look for the trip report (as well as other good threads).
 
Old May 5th, 2003, 12:11 PM
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This is great information! My husband and I will be celebrating our 20th anniversary at the end of the month at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville. They are supposed to have several very good restaurants, and several are mentioned on this site previously. Anyone have recommendations for a special celebration like this in Asheville? Also, my husband is a huge train buff and I have heard about the Smoky Mountains railroad which does a dinner train on Saturday nights (we will be there 4 days). Anyone been there/done that?? We have been to Asheville 3-4 times and have done all the Biltmore stuff. Thanks in advance for help!
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Old May 6th, 2003, 06:16 PM
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I have never stayed at the grove park in, but have walked around the property--the view is absolutly amazing!
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