Heritage & History

Joe Greene

African American Voices Speak of Rich History and Vibrant Future

We meet our guide Joe Greene at the WRES studio next to Jack of the Wood on Patton Avenue, as the groovy sounds of R&B, soul, and funk emanate from the station’s speakers. The music brings smiles and an occasional booty shake from passersby. Soaking in the lively bustle of modern downtown Asheville, one could easily overlook the city’s history and the voices of people who worked

Pride & Prejudice Costumes at Biltmore

Silver Screen Romance Meets Gilded Age Splendor

Love Is In the Air Biltmore’s iconic 8,000-acre estate and grand 250-room home, built for the Vanderbilt family and loved by the world for its history and architecture, espouses a level of grandeur usually reserved for the silver screen. So it’s fitting that this spring, Biltmore is unveiling a new exhibition that brings together the unforgettable stories of the Vanderbilt family

Sense and Sensibility - Biltmore Weddings Exhibit

Costumes Return to Biltmore

New Display to Highlight Wedding Fashion from the Big Screen Long a destination for weddings and romantic getaways in its own right, Biltmore is celebrating that history with a new exhibition opening next year. “Fashionable Romance: Wedding Gowns in Film” will run from Feb. 12 through July 4, 2016 and will be included with estate admission. It follows in the successful footsteps of

Wolfe Big

Asheville's Literary Connections

Asheville's literary heritage stretches across the 20th century and contemporary authors continue to be drawn here. These well-known novelists, poets, essayists and storytellers have ties to Asheville: F. Scott Fitzgerald, who spent two summers at the Omni Grove Park Inn Thomas Wolfe, Asheville native and author of Look Homeward, Angel Carl Sandburg, poet and biographer O. Henry, short story

Fall Cheese Board

Appalachian Food Legacies and Mountain Harvest

From hand-tied fishing lures to moonshine lore, Appalachia embodies a colorful culture all its own The Blue Ridge Mountains, the spine of southernmost Appalachia, are gently rolling as ranges go. Some of the oldest mountains in the world, the Blue Ridge and its famous scenic parkway are a source of much of the region's beauty, character—and even cuisine. Though the autumn trees are

Storyteller Cherokee Man

Over the Blue Ridge to Cherokee Territory

Asheville’s Ancient Connections Beyond the stunning Art Deco architecture, the sounds of drums in Pritchard Park on a Friday night and the smell of Mexico as you pass White Duck Taco - stop and ponder this…you are in the shadows of a sacred and ancient civilization dating back 11,000 years; the Cherokee. And their home is one of the oldest places on Earth, the Appalachian Mountains,

Shopping in Biltmore Village

Biltmore Village: Historic Charm for Today's Visitors

Built on a Distinguished History In 1888, George W. Vanderbilt arrived in Asheville, purchased land, and began planning the estate that would become his home—Biltmore. As construction of America's largest home neared completion and hundreds of domestic servants, gardeners and other workers were hired, Mr. Vanderbilt's architects and designers turned their sights toward the village

Video Thumbnail - youtube - Jerry Read Smith - Making Dulcimers in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Mountain Sounds, Legacy of Dulcimers

Locally Crafted Instruments Lend Melodies a Blue Ridge Ring Enthusiasts of Appalachian music are likely familiar with the whimsical sounds of dulcimers, instruments that have a rich legacy tied to the Blue Ridge Mountains. Jerry Read Smith, a local craftsman who has made more than 8,000 musical instruments, builds hammered dulcimers in his workshop in the nearby town of Black Mountain. The

Appalachian Allure

Top 8 Sunset Spots in Asheville, N.C.

The Best Places to Catch a Scenic Sunset The Blue Ridge Mountains offer some of the best vantage points to watch the sun drop below the peaks in a splash of color. People travel from all over the world to see the nightly show. We asked our social media fans to share their favorite places to watch the sunset in and around Asheville, North Carolina. Here are the results! 1. The Omni Grove Park Inn

St. Lawrence Basilica

Asheville’s Awe-Inspiring Church

Visiting the Basilica of St. Lawrence A European Master Comes to Asheville Described as “The Paris of the South,” Asheville can boast some keen similarities to the “City of Lights,” especially those reminiscent of the Left Bank: bohemian street performers, art gallery upon art gallery, busy sidewalk cafes and of course the food scene is tres magnifique . But there is

Omni Grove Park Inn Spa

How Asheville Became a Mountain Spa Escape

Asheville, N.C.’s Healing History as a Wellness Retreat Asheville, North Carolina's climate was recognized almost 200 years ago as offering vital benefits to anyone who could make the trip up the mountains from South Carolina, Georgia and other regional hot spots. In Asheville and nearby towns, the chief attractions were cool mountain air and gentle breezes, the absence of any swamps

Omni Grove Park Inn - Historic 2

The Legendary E.W. Grove

The Legendary E.W. Grove: A Man with a Vision Edwin Wiley Grove (1850 – 1927) E.W. Grove not only shaped the city of Asheville, he set in motion his dream that Asheville would become the alluring destination it is today. But who was the man behind the legendary name? Tragedy Leads To Purpose During the nineteenth century malaria struck the South with a vengeance. There was no cure and it

A statue of Olmstead lives at the NC Arboretum in Asheville

A Sense of Place: Frederick Law Olmsted’s Legendary Landscapes

See Designer’s Vision Blossom in Asheville He designed New York’s Central Park and Prospect Park; the city of Pinehurst, North Carolina, the landscape surrounding the U.S. Capitol. He pioneered not only landscape architecture but also conservation in America, and there are few places where the genius of Frederick Law Olmsted is better preserved than at Biltmore in Asheville. His

Downtown Asheville, N.C.

A Day on the Asheville Urban Trail

Walking through History on Asheville’s Urban Trail Asheville loves to do things differently. So it’s fitting the city’s history museum is outdoors along the sidewalks of downtown. Take a self-guided “scavenger hunt” to learn about tidbits of Asheville’s fascinating past. With the help of a map, walk 1.7 miles to 30 stations, each with a piece of art and a

Artisan Weavers at Fiber Day

Weaving Wonders: Asheville’s Rich Farm to Spindle Heritage

Get a Feel for Mountain Fiber Arts The natural fiber tradition runs deep in Western North Carolina. Spinning, knitting, weaving and felting are literally part of the region’s fabric. Some say that the tradition of selling functional weavings began 40 miles north of Asheville at a Presbyterian mission located on a remote crossroads near the Tennessee border. It was here in 1856 at

Autumn glory in the Smokies

An Eden Still Unspoiled

George Masa, Horace Kephart and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park There was drama in the mountains of Western North Carolina back in the 1920s and 1930s, and it had nothing to do with prohibition and moonshine. One need only read Serena , Ron Rash’s riveting novel set in the region’s rich timber country (or see the movie starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence) to

Beaufort House B&B

11 Things You Didn’t Know About Asheville-Area B&Bs

Getting Personal With Some Blue Ridge Boutiques Asheville’s emergence as a national destination is nothing new for this bohemian mountain city. At the turn of the 20 th century, Asheville was a favorite playground of America’s rich and famous. Look past its landmark buildings, however, and you’ll find a rich collection of eclectic B&B accommodations, many with a secret or

Thomas Wolfe House

Look Homeward, Thomas Wolfe Fans

Follow in the Footsteps of a Literary Giant Thomas Wolfe famously wrote “You can’t go home again,” but don’t let that stop you from exploring the Asheville native’s boyhood home. A contemporary of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway, Wolfe secured his place in the American literary canon with the critically acclaimed publication of his unabashedly