A downtown stroll in Asheville will take you past intriguing examples of Art Deco and Neoclassical architecture, which serves as the perfect backdrop to dozens of art galleries, shops, and boutiques. The soaring edifice of the century-old Basilica of St. Lawrence is also an inspiring sight. The city's crown jewel, however, is the 8,000-acre Biltmore Estate; George W. Vanderbilt's 250-room French Renaissance castle, complete with 75 acres of gorgeous gardens. Learn more about the site's history during guided horseback trail rides, or go on a guided Segway tour. In the fall, arrange for a car rental in Asheville and revel in the splashes of color that paint the Blue Ridge Mountains in red and golden hues. The Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the most scenic roads in the country. You'll spot waterfalls gracing the hillsides along the parkway and beyond.
Recurring Festivals and Events
Asheville is home to numerous music festivals. In July, more than 350 performers take part in Folkmoot USA, in nearby Waynesville, a joyous celebration of folk dancing and music. The Mountain Dance and Folk Festival is another July event that features skilled musicians playing the fiddle, banjo, and dulcimer as talented folk dancers bring the area's heritage to life. From early November to early January, Christmas at Biltmore is filled with unforgettable experiences. Among the dozens of Christmas trees is a 35-foot Fraser fir in the Banquet Hall. Over a thousand poinsettias and miles of lights further transform the famous estate into a magical palace.
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