Walking Tour of Asheville, North Carolina
The charming and interesting city of Asheville has long been popular as a mountain resort area, and serves as an eastern gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The most important tourist sight in the area is the Biltmore Estate, an incredible mansion, built by George Vanderbilt. However, it lies several miles outside the city center, so is not included in my walking tour. A stroll around the historic center is, nevertheless, extremely pleasant because of the interesting architecture and browsing through the many shops, as well.
My walk begins in Pack Square, at the junction of Biltmore Avenue and Patton Avenue. Pack Place, on the south side of the square, contains three worthwhile museums, but you may want to save them until the walk is completed.
Exit the square, heading east on Patton Ave, and then turn right on Otis Street and right again on Battery Park Avenue. The Grove Arcade, a Gothic-style shopping center, is on your left, at the corner of O. Henry Avenue. Stop in and look around before proceeding.
Now, walk north on O. Henry Ave and turn right on Haywood Street. The Basilica of St Lawrence, which dates to 1909, is on your left as the road bends toward the south. Turn left onto Walnut Street and walk one block to Lexington Park, on the left. This is an area inhabited by many artists. Look for their workshops in the alleyways.
Continue east on Walnut Street to N Market Street and turn left. Here you will find the Thomas Wolfe Memorial State Historic Site, housed in the author’s boyhood home.
After your visit, walk north on Market to Woodfin Street and turn right (the street name becomes Oak St as the road turns southward). Ahead, on your left, is the First Baptist Church, built in 1927, which is a blend of Art Deco and Italian Renaissance architecture. Continue south on Oak Street, and then turn right on College Street, and left into City/County Plaza, where you will find Asheville’s City Hall, a distinctive Art Deco structure. After a closer look, walk across the plaza and back to Pack Square, where the walk began.