Grandfather Mountain is the highest peak in the Blue Ridge mountain
range and a globally recognized nature preserve. Stand head and
shoulders above the surrounding region, be struck with awe by 360-
degree views of mountain ridge after mountain ridge retreating to
the horizon, and discover sanctuary for the human spirit.
The Mile High Swinging Bridge was built to give visitors easy access
to the breath-taking view from Grandfather Mountain's Linville Peak.
The 228-foot suspension bridge spans an 80-foot chasm at more than
one mile in elevation. Surveys show that the journey to the other
side is always considered the highlight of a trip to Grandfather
The Blue Ridge Parkway
The Blue Ridge Parkway, sometimes called "America's Favorite
Drive", is the most visited unit of America's National Park System.
A trip down the Parkway provides stunning, long range vistas and
close-up looks at the natural and cultural history of the southern
Appalachian mountains. The 469 mile drive is designed as a drive-
awhile and stop-awhile experience, so please don't be in a hurry.
Spring is a wonderful time to visit and May is probably the best
overall month for seeing the variety of wildflowers that dominate
the roadsides and trails. Park facilities open on a staggered
schedule in the spring and all openings are listed in the NEWS
section of this site. Year-round facilities include the Peaks of
Otter Lodge and restaurant north of Roanoke, Va, the Museum of North
Carolina Minerals at Spruce Pine, NC, and the Folk Art Center and
Parkway Headquarters in Asheville, NC.
Chimney Rock Park is the natural fulfillment of your trip to the
mountains. Take a deep breath of refreshing mountain air, become
invigorated by our hiking trails, and let your cares fade away in
the cool mists of Hickory Nut Falls. This is the perfect place to
reconnect with nature and spend time with family and friends. The
Park, located 25 miles southeast of Asheville, North Carolina,
offers the best of the mountains in one place-spectacular 75-mile
views, hiking trails for all ages, a 404-foot waterfall, a variety
of special events and much more.
The Biltmore House
In the 1880s, at the height of the Gilded Age, George Washington
Vanderbilt II, a son of William Henry Vanderbilt, began to make
regular visits with his mother to the Asheville area. He loved the
scenery and climate so much that he decided to create his own winter
estate in the area, as his older brothers and sisters had built
opulent summer houses in places such as Newport, Rhode Island and
Hyde Park, New York.
Vanderbilt's idea was to replicate the working estates of Europe. He
commissioned Richard Morris Hunt, who had previously designed houses
for various family members, to design the house in imitation of
several Loire Valley chateaux, including the Chateau de Blois.
Wanting the best, Vanderbilt also employed Frederick Law Olmsted to
design the grounds, including the deliberately rustic three-mile
Approach Road, and Gifford Pinchot to manage the forests. Intending
that the estate could be self-supporting, Vanderbilt set up
scientific forestry programs, poultry farms, cattle farms, hog farms
and a dairy. The estate included its own village and even a church.
Family members and friends invited from all over the United States
and beyond came to experience the opulent estate with the splendor
of Olmsted's sweet-smelling gardens, rich foods at the 64 seat
banquet table, and the utter beauty of Vanderbilt's mountainous
Vanderbilt paid little attention to the family business or his own
investments, and the construction and upkeep of Biltmore depleted
much of his inheritance. After Vanderbilt died of complications from
an appendectomy in 1914, his widow sold much of the original 125,000
acres (506 km²) to the federal government to become Pisgah National
Forest. The estate includes approximately 8,000 acres today and is
split in half by the French Broad River. It is owned today by The
Biltmore Company, which is controlled by Vanderbilt's grandson,
William A.V. Cecil. In 1963, it was designated a National Historic
Landmark. The Biltmore House official site
is just 30 minutes down the road. You'll find plenty to do in Black
Mountain, "The Front Porch of Western North Carolina," but if you'd
rather just relax, there's plenty of nothing to do, also. Here are
Choose your favorite kind of overnight accommodation - we have them
all - country inns, B&Bs, private cabins, motels. Either stay in
town and walk everywhere, or settle in a few short minutes away.
(You can't get too far, it's a small town.)
When you're settled in, visit our historic downtown. Amble through
the shops where regional art and crafts abound, along with all kinds
of furniture (we're the antique and new furniture hub for Western
Pamper your palate at a variety of eating establishments, many with
Stroll around the lake. Sit and rock. Drink in the ever-changing
mountain views. Luxuriate in the peace and fresh air.
Or, play the golf course, hike the trails, bike the country roads,
fish the lake, paint the scenery, listen to the mountain music, drop
by the Center for the Arts, visit the museum, experience the
history. And if you're here on Sunday, you will probably find your
Black Mountain is a tourist town with a family atmosphere. Many
families go back several generations. They like the place and want
to bring up their children here. Many others have come to visit and
stayed for good.
Asheville Chamber of Commerce
Asheville Chamber of Commerce The city of Asheville and its
surrounding towns are nestled in two of the oldest mountain ranges
in North America, both the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and
the ever-gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains. Some fun facts about
The native Cherokee tribe called them "great blue hills of God." We
call them home. The majestic mountains of Western North Carolina,
the Great Smoky Mountains and The Blue Ridge (home to the Parkway),
surround the city of Asheville and embrace "The Greater Asheville
In the late 1800s, a young man named George Washington Vanderbilt
visited our mountains and chose to make them his summer home. Today,
that home - the 255 room Biltmore House - is still America's largest
private residence and centerpiece of the working estate Mr.
Vanderbilt planned. Today's visitors come for the same reasons as
Mr. Vanderbilt and numerous other famous Americans.
Everything in the greater Asheville Area has history, even the name
of Asheville's county, Buncombe, has a fascinating story behind it.
Author Thomas Wolfe was born here and wrote about his mother's
boarding house in 'Look Homeward Angel.' Just down the mountain,
poet Carl Sandburg chose to call Flat Rock home. Henry Ford, Thomas
Edison, Firestone, and F. Scott Fitzgerald, to name a few, came here
to enjoy our hospitality and rest, relax and renew their
appreciation for life.