Asheville, N.C., and the Biltmore Estate need little introduction to many people.
Asheville sits in the mountains of North Carolina off of Interstate 40 and is the home University of North Carolina at Asheville.
Like many cities that serve a college-aged population, there’s a variety of interesting art galleries, pubs, shopping and restaurants.
There’s also a big tourist attraction to the city because of its numerous recreational opportunities, such as hiking, camping and white water rafting. My sister and I had the pleasure of rafting down the French Broad River a few years ago and really loved it. We stayed at a local hostel and visited the area’s state and national parks.
On our way to Gatlinburg, Tenn., earlier this year, Chris and I made a stop over in this busy mountain city and took in the downtown nightlife on a Saturday night. We ate good food and listened to live music at
Another cool place to check out while your downtown is the Double Decker Coffee Company— a coffee shop inside an old, red double decker bus.
On Sunday, we visited the historic Biltmore Estate and the North Carolina Arboretum, which had an exhibit on bonsai.
The Biltmore Estate was built by George Vanderbilt in 1895 and features 34 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms and 65 fireplaces. The basement houses a swimming pool, bowling alley, gym, kitchens and servants’ quarters. It’s an amazing sight to see, but you’ll need more than a day to explore the house (which takes more than 3 hours to properly view all the rooms), the gardens, the farm and the winery.
There’s also a few restaurants (besides the winery) on the property and outdoor activities, such as bike riding and hiking on trails.
The flowers in the gardens were beautiful. I’m just disappointed we couldn’t stay longer. I was so tired and couldn’t walk anymore.
The North Carolina Arboretum features 434 acres of public gardens and is located within the Bent Creek Experimental Forest of the Pisgah National Forest.
The bonsai exhibit featured 100 specimen in a variety of plants. It was very pretty and enjoyable.
I also really liked the quilt display in which a garden plot was planted with different colored flowers in the pattern of a quilt.