When visiting, Asheville, there’s so much to do it can be daunting. We have a lively art community, rich history, active nightlife, thriving community, hiking trails, biking trails, museums, churches, theaters, breweries … like I said, there’s quite the list. For the moment, we’d probably be better off to just focus on some downtown Asheville highlights:
Basilica of St. Lawrence
Designed by Rafael Gustavino and Richard Sharpe Smith, who were also responsible for the Biltmore House, the Basilica of St. Lawrence is one of Asheville’s most obvious architectural treasures. Completed in 1909, the Basilica of St. Lawrence has the largest, freestanding elliptical dome in the entire US.
Thomas Wolfe Memorial State Historic Site
Thomas Wolfe grew up in Asheville and this one-time boarding house, known then as “Old Kentucky Home,” was his home from the time he was six until he went off to University of Northern Carolina at Chapel Hill. It is also the setting for his 1929 novel “Look Homeward, Angel.” Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1971, it has served as a literary shrine to Wolfe, who is buried nearby in the Riverside Cemetery, ever since.
Pack Place Education, Arts & Science Center
A collection of museums and attractions gathered together in one spot in downtown Asheville, Pack Place Education, Arts & Science Center is a must-see stopping point for anyone and everyone visiting the area. The Asheville Art Museum, Colburn Earth Science Museum, the Diana Wortham Theatre, and the YMI Cultural Center, featuring exhibits on African American life in Western North Carolina, are all in the complex or mere steps away.
Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center
Black Mountain College, founded in 1933, was one of the first schools of its kind: a college where the study of art was seen to be central to a liberal arts education. Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center is an exhibition space and resource center dedicated to exploring the history and legacy of this ground-breaking and acclaimed experimental educational community.
Almost demolished in the 1980’s, the Grove Arcade was constructed in 1923 as one of America’s first shopping malls. Fabulous architecture, interesting shops, and a rich history have allowed the Grove Arcade to retain its crown as one of the main centers of downtown Asheville.
Again, this is just a small sampling of the larger attractions in downtown Asheville. There’s not the space needed to list everything. When you stay with us, here at North Lodge on Oakland, however, all you need do is ask. We can provide you with all manner of ideas, based upon the kinds of things that interest you. Asheville has it – and we can direct you!