Named a must-see destination in 2007 by Frommer’s, Asheville NC continues to amaze travelers from across the world. Top-notch outdoor activities, excellent restaurants, must-see art galleries, superior golf courses, as well as first-class accommodations, Asheville is known as one of America’s premier destinations for the young and young-at-heart.
Having a mix of Art Deco, Beaux Arts and Neoclassical building architecture forming its skyline, The Grove Arcade is a wonderful spot for shopping downtown. Located in a renovated historical building dating from the1920’s, the Arcade was the dream of self-made millionaire E.W. Grove, the gentleman who built the Grove Park Inn. Today the Grove Arcade includes unique shops and galleries, restaurants, offices and 42 luxury apartments.
Just one street south of Grove Arcade is Wall Street. A favorite stroll for locals and visitors alike, its cobblestoned lane is lined with lovely little clothing stores, book and curiosity shops, as well as 3 of Asheville’s favorite restaurants; Early Girl Eatery known for its organic Southern cuisine, Laughing Seed Café for vegetarian/vegan cuisine, and The Market Place for field-to-table cuisine. Before you leave Wall Street, make sure to stop and have your picture taken beside the giant Flat Iron on the corner!
Remember those wonderful old Woolworth Stores that use to dot America’s busy downtowns in years gone by? Asheville’s art community took the old Woolworth building on Haywood St., extensively renovating its interior to now offer individual sales areas for 150 artists in what is called Woolworth Walk. There’s something for everyones taste and price range.
Make sure to take the time to meander down Lexington Avenue. You’ll find the delightfully unexpected; from uniquely different political bumper stickers to punk tee-shirts to new age books and crystal. You’ll definitely find the unique in this funky and eclectic neighborhood! Afterward, head towards Biltmore Ave with everything from Mast General Store to the red British double-decker bus now permanently parked (and home to The Double Decker Coffee Company.)
While in the area near The Double Decker Coffee Company, take the time to check out the top quality galleries nearby. You’ll want to stop and enjoy the many delightful bronze statues scattered throughout Asheville and if the weather is warm, head over to play in Pack Square Parks delightful squirting fountains called “Splashville”.
Asheville’s botanical offerings are as equally amazing as its downtown. Starting with the Botanical Gardens at Asheville and then moving on to the North Carolina Arboretum, nature’s beauty is found within every inch of the mountains in which Asheville lies. World-class kayaking, biking, hiking, rock repelling, golfing and fishing are just a few of the outdoor activities you’ll readily find available here, as well as superb first-rate accommodations such as The Inn on Biltmore Estate, The Grand Bohemian Hotel, and the renown Grove Park Inn with its 5-star golf course.
For a short weekend getaway or a delightfully longer stay, it’s hard to match the city of Asheville. Nestled comfortably in the rugged mountains of western North Carolina, Asheville definitely has it all !