Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Asheville - Part 1

I'm breaking the Asheville portion of our vacation into at least three (possibly four) posts to lessen the likelihood of boring overwhelming you with too many photos at one time. Asheville, North Carolina, is a beautiful city, well laid out, well maintained, and has  architecture to die for. It's a city built on hills and surrounded by mountain views.

On the first non-traveling day of our vacation, we woke up in our Asheville hotel room full of enthusiasm and excitement, eager to get out and see the sights. We weren't sure where to go first, so we asked the folks at the hotel's front desk for suggestions. They came up with several ideas, and their first one turned out to be a real winner: a Gray Line Trolley tour of Asheville.

Our tour was to start at the Asheville Visitor Center, and we knew exactly how to get there. We'd seen it several times the evening before, when we first arrived in town and got lost while trying to find our hotel.

The weather that day was gorgeous, noticeably cooler than the heat and humidity we'd left behind in our Deep South homes and a perfect day to sit back and let someone else do the driving. We let our driver/tour guide do the talking while we ogled--and took pictures--out the open windows.

Asheville is noted for its historic homes, beautiful structures like these:

We saw so many beautiful homes, and our tour guide told us the history of each one. I wish I could remember the stories so I could pass them on to you.

Fortunately, with the aid of Google, I've done a better job of identifying some of the buildings we saw on our tour:

This is the Grove Park Inn, built by E. W. Grove and opened in 1913.
 Since then, a number of U.S. presidents have stayed there.

Dome of the First Baptist Church

The Asheville Art Museum, formerly the Pack Memorial Library

Asheville City Hall

Basilica of St. Lawrence

At left is the 15-story Jackson Building, Asheville's first skyscraper.
Next to it is the Westall Building.

The Grove Arcade Building, built by the same person who built the
Grove Park Inn (shown above). Click this photo to enlarge it, then notice
the faces in the bottom right corner of the picture. These faces, with
noses like that of a pig, are all around the building and are said to
be the image of a man who owed a long-unpaid debt to Dr. Grove.

More tomorrow, folks.


  1. Tell me you got to go inside the Grove park in and see those magnificent fire places???!!! Tell me you got to sit on the back porch of endless rocking chairs and sip some tea while watching the sun sink below those mountains????!!!

    I've done it once... and I visit often in my mind! I think that if I could ever live in the south again, I'd want it to be there!

  2. Holly, we didn't stop at the Grove Park Inn. We could have (the tour let people get on or off at several scheduled stops along the way), but we thought we'd just ride through the whole tour and see everything, then choose a few special places to go later. Unfortunately, we filled up the next two days and never made it back there.

  3. Oh, I'm so sorry... that is one of the most magical places I've ever been! I long to go there again!

  4. Love the legend about the pig noses!

  5. Janet, I like the pig-nose legend, too. And I just remembered something: One time when my granddaughter's high school prom date turned out to be a jerk, she replaced his face with a pig's head in all of her digital prom pictures. Great minds, etc.


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