North Carolina’s Outer Banks islands may be high on your to-visit list, but there are plenty of great stopping points to be found further inland. Case in point: Asheville. Although bigger cities Charlotte and Raleigh may seem to get all the attention, Asheville has the right mix of urban and natural attractions to make the city a worthy addition to your travel plans. Here are a few things you should expect when you visit the town that’s been called “The Land of the Sky” and “Paris of the South.”
Things to Do in the City
Asheville is perhaps best known for its vibrant arts community. As such, finding something interesting to do isn’t much of a problem. Dozens of museums, theaters, and venues call Asheville their home, and the city plays host to multiple festivals all year round. One of the most interesting attractions, however, has nothing to do with the arts. The Biltmore Estate, an impressive castle designed in the art deco architectural style, is located right in the middle of downtown. The estate hosts famous paintings from Renoir and the like, and it also has some gardens and a winery. While you’ll probably have your motor home, the well-kept grounds might tempt you to book a night’s stay.
Nature All Around You
Asheville’s art, music, and food might be enough to draw any visitor in, but it’s the city’s geographical location that cinches the deal. Located between the Appalachian Blue Ridge Mountains and the Great Smoky Mountains, Asheville promises beautiful sites and tons of outdoor activities to take part in. While hiking and taking in the beauty of the mountains are the obvious choices of leisure, there are also plenty of parks and gardens in and around Asheville, so you’ll have no problem finding opportunities to bike, fish, golf, and more.
Autumn: Best Time of the Year for “Leaf Looking”
It’s one of Asheville’s most notable attractions, but you can only catch it during a window that lasts just a few weeks. The city and surrounding areas are notable for the color-changing foliage in autumn. While the majesty of the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains are appealing at any time of the year, viewing them in all their yellow, red, and orange beauty is truly something else. The end of October is said to be the best time to catch the trees’ peak colors on display. That said, if you show up a little late, don’t worry too much – Asheville winters are fairly mild, and you can expect the snowfall to reach only a couple of inches.
Visiting With Your Motor Home
As Asheville is surrounded by natural reserves, the area is a safe haven for those traveling by motor home. Bear Creek Campground, sandwiched between downtown Asheville and the nearby mountains, should serve you well if you’re looking to spend equal time touring the city and hiking through nature. The further you move into the mountains, the more likely you are to come across places to hang your hat for the night, including the Lake Powhatan national park grounds.
Whether you come for the nature, the city, or both, Asheville is bound to delight. Spend some time viewing the mountains from a cafe or seeing the far-off city from the side of the range, and perhaps you’ll understand why it’s called “The Land of the Sky.”