Autumn in Asheville
by Amanda Giddon -- November 3rd, 2014
Driving down the Blue Ridge Parkway belting John Denver’s “Country Roads” and counting the colors in the trees is pretty unrivaled as far as weekend getaways go. This fall I took my insects to another city – Asheville, NC. Take a peek at a few of my memories and hit the parkway to make some of your own.
Downtown Asheville swells with energy and inventiveness. You can’t walk very far without being drawn into the harmonies of the street musicians or the mysterious appeal of performers. My personal favorites of the weekend were Chris Rodrigues and Abby the Spoon Lady, who made everyone feel like they could make magic out of their silverware drawer, and no gravity man, who managed to be both creepy and impressive at the same time.
Next I made my way to the Biltmore Estate, a Châteauesque style mansion, which was the lifelong project of George Washington Vanderbilt II. The Biltmore is currently the largest privately owned house in the United States. The 250 rooms are astounding, but I found the property’s sprawling gardens to be the real show-stopper.
After a wine tasting and a garden promenade at the Biltmore, I hit the Blue Ridge Parkway. The reds and yellows of fall peeked through the thick fog to reveal some awe-inspiring views. I pulled over to the scenic overlooks to soak up the smells of autumn and explore the trailheads that lined the meandering road.
Although Asheville has more than enough excitement to offer, I had to venture off to neighboring Hendersonville, NC, to find the best apple picking in the state. I visited Sky Top Orchard, a charming mountaintop of apple and fruit trees, and made out with a stellar crop of granny smiths. The ensuing apple pie did NOT disappoint.
If that leaves you hungry (how could it?) there’s always North Carolina barbecue and local beer not so far down the road.