The Appalachian Art Scene- Asheville, North Carolina

The Blue Ridge Mountains

The first stop of the road trip is Asheville, North Carolina. Driving through the Appalachian Mountains and then the Blue Ridge Mountains brings back so many memories of living here when I was a kid. But most importantly, we had our first meal of the trip: Bojangles Famous Chicken and Biscuits. (I'm honestly getting hungry typing this.) The sweet, sweet ice tea, the buttery biscuits that leave a fine film of grease on your fingers, the smell of crispy fried chicken. You can't use your phone after eating it because the grease will smudge your screen. That's how you know it's good.

Our first host, Tom, lives walking distance outside of the middle of town. Tom is a writer and a blogger who loves to hear stories about traveling and frequently hosts travelers via CouchSurfer. His personal blog can be found here http://thomasmarkzuniga.com/ and another blog he helps write for is http://yourotherbrothers.com/

Asheville, NC was first populated pre-Civil War era by a soldier who cashed in his soldier's land grant to settle down in the peaceful mountains of the area. Slowly the town grew and today it is known for its arts, music, and rich Appalachian history. The extravagant Biltmore Estate, a symbol of industry and new money, was built in the late 1800's and the population subsequently rapidly increased.

Asheville, NC

Hiking and Rock Sliding in the Mountains.

Music echoes down every street, with the melodies changing at each corner- from traditional jazz, to electronic soundscapes, to beat boxers. After exploring the downtown area the first afternoon, we plan a full day of hiking and exploring. In late May the weather can still be rainy and cloudy so while the weather isn't the best, it was still warm (and hella humid). By far the highlight was Sliding Rock. A natural slip-n-slide about 25 feet of smooth rock into a deep pool at the end. One tip, prepare for cold water. The temperature was around 55 degrees.

sliding rock north carolina

looking glass falls north carolina

Next we hiked to Looking Glass Falls in Pisgah National Forest. It is a very short hike less than a quarter miles off of highway 276. The water was chilly, but still warm enough to go swim if you wanted to. You can walk into an alcove behind the waterfall if you don't mind getting a little wet from the mist.

Overall Asheville was an amazing place to start the trip and we left more excited for the rest of the trip!