Asheville NC is the largest city in Western North Carolina, with a population of over 70 thousand. It is conveniently located between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Great Smoky Mountains. It is a popular tourist destination, mainly because of its liberal population and artsy community. The city has been called the ‘Paris of the South’ and ‘San Francisco of the East’. So, what is there to see and do in Asheville? Museums and Attractions This city is known across the nation for its interesting architecture, especially around the Biltmore Estate. In the 1890s, Asheville became famous as a high-end health resort and was later visited by famous names such as Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and F. Scott Fitzgerald. The Arts and Science Centre downtown is a definite must-see for tourists. Here you can find a lot of museums and attractions such as the Asheville Art Museum, the Colburn Earth Science Museum and the YMI Cultural Centre which features exhibits of African-American life in the area. The Black Mountain College Museum and Arts Centre is dedicated to exploring the legacy of Black Mountain College – a famous educational community. One of Western North Carolina’s most historic buildings – the Grove – has been converted into an arcade which boasts lovely local craft shops, locally-grown food and many restaurants. Basilica of St. Lawrence, built in 1909 and designed by renowned architects Rafael Gustavino and Richard Sharpe Smith, is one of Asheville’s most historic sites and architectural treasures. It has a beautiful elliptical dome which is definitely worth seeing. Outdoor Activities The West Carolina Mountains offer a seemingly endless array of outdoor activities. This location is famous for being a top outdoor adventure destination which offers such sports as white-water rafting, hiking and mountain biking. The The area also boasts natural waterslides, stunning vistas and amazing natural bike and hiking trails. Shopping If you are into shopping, head on downtown. Every street offers a variety of unusual businesses. There is a huge variation of shopping malls and districts, with numerous clothing and jewellery shops, outfitters and stores for toys for the kids. The Grove Arcade is a great spot to shop ‘till you drop. And after your spree, sit down in one of its renowned restaurants for a bite to eat. The Historic Baltimore Village also offers an array of elegant restaurants and interesting boutiques. Art and Entertainment The Asheville art scene is very lively. There are hundreds of artists, galleries, performing venues and events. There are street performers who occupy almost every corner downtown, as well as venues which offer opera, ballet, country and jazz music, as well as experimental performances. Asheville is also home to numerous galleries. You can sign up for one of many Art Walks and explore more than 30 galleries. The River Arts District houses many contemporary and traditional artists, where visitors are greeted with a friendly welcome. Asheville also offers a lively nightlife scene. Here you will find many wine bars, pubs and cafes. You are guaranteed never to be bored, since there are numerous live music performances almost every night.