Asheville, North Carolina is a wondrous place to visit any time of year, but a fall vacation here is truly a delight. Autumn Is a favorite season for many who come to this Appalachian resort destination, a time of year when a kaleidoscope of color serves as a picturesque backdrop to the historic beauty of this town. The diverse architectural styles of the city – a heritage collection of preserved buildings ranging from Beaux Arts to neoclassical, and crowned by a fabulous Art Deco City Hall - make this one of the fastest growing vacation and wedding destinations in America.
There is plenty to do and a lot to see while in the area. In the heart of the Blue Ridge, this mountain city boasts over 30 art galleries, a culinary explosion of tastes to suit any foodie, and a wide variety of outdoor activities. Hiking, white water rafting, and zipline adventures abound. Accommodations are plentiful in this city of 500,000 residents, too. If one of the many branded hotel chains located here is not to your liking, choose one of the idyllic mountain view resorts, or take a fall vacation with the family at a comfortable, affordable rustic cabin. Bed and breakfast inns abound in the area, and several beautiful campgrounds and RV parks beckon those who love a vacation experience closer to nature.
One of the top attractions in the area is the Treetops Adventure Park. Here among the towering trees of a woodland park, adventurous visitors are treated to a huge menu of challenges. Choices are available for anyone who likes to climb, hike, jump, swing, rappel, or zipline. There are four adventure trails, each with varying levels of difficulty and between 10 and 15 challenges along the way. If you are ready for the zipline go to the park website at www.ashevilletreetopsadventurepark.com to get all the information.
VISIT THE BILTMORE
The Biltmore Estate is a must see destination for any traveler who appreciates architecture, American history, or the sheer beauty of a spectacularly landscaped mansion set in the midst of 8000 acres of Appalachian splendor. This estate was built between 1889 and 1895 by George Vanderbilt and is still owned by family descendants. At nearly 180,000 square feet, this is the largest privately owned home in America. Go to www.biltmore.com to find out more about this magnificent estate.
VISIT THE GROVE PARK INN SPA
The ultimate in luxury is available to those who visit the OMNI Grove Park Inn Spa. This opulent resort features subterranean rock walls and a main pool area with two waterfall pools amidst a labyrinth of tunnels and arches. In addition, there are ten therapeutic mineral baths, and after a soak guests may choose from three après spa fireside lounges to relax in overstuffed chairs with warm blankets, and enjoy light snacks and herbal teas. See the Grove Park website: www.groveparkinn.com.
VISIT THE NATURE CENTER
The Western North Carolina Nature Center is an ideal fall vacation attraction for the whole family. This center gives the visitor a close-up look at the animals, birds, and plant life native to the Southern Appalachia region. Since 1976 this 40 acre nature preserve has been a major attraction in the Asheville area and it continues to grow and offer greater diversity of species each year. Check out the website for the Center at www.wildwnc.com.
TAKE A UNIQUE TOUR
Perhaps a zipline or a rugged hike is not your cup of tea. Take a tour on the Purple Bus. The LaZoom Comedy Tour gives riders a tour around the city and some great comedy entertainment along the way. This open air conveyance gives guests a great view, but some just ride the bus to enjoy the party. The bus has a designated driver so you can bring your own beer or wine. Find out how to book this tour at www.lazoomtours.com.
THE TREASURE OF APPALACHIA
The natural hot springs in the area initially led to settlement of this mountain town. By the end of the nineteenth century, Asheville had many health spas and resorts for wealthy clients and the city began to flourish. Today it is a booming city that retains its cultural legacy. Experiencing the exquisitely preserved architecture, and the visual splendor of autumn in the Blue Ridge are rich treasures visitors to this fall vacation wonderland can take home with them.