Sunday, October 19, 2008

Touring Downtown Ashville, North Carolina

Website Photo from Romantic Downtown Ashville

Finally we escape the madness and visit Ashville, NC. A very popular destination area, but at least not tacky! Our RV Park is right off I-40 at exit 20, although the park lists their address as Waynesville, about another 20 miles away. After getting settled in, we drive to Waynesville and find lunch. The town is cute and obviously a tourist area.

First stop: The Visitors' Center

Historic Bus Tour - worth every cent!

The next morning, first thing we do is find the Visitor’s Center in downtown Ashville, about a half-hour drive away, & spend a couple of hours there finding out all we can. Prior to leaving, we buy tickets for the tour on the Historic Trolley for the next day. But for now, we take our own walking tour and have lunch at Tupelo Honey’s, a fitting name, we think. Actually the name comes, we are told, from a town in Mississippi, yet to be visited. Yes, lunch was good!

Lunch at Tupelo Honey

Getting lunch right!

The town is resplendent with historic interesting buildings. One of the more interesting, the F.W. Woolworth & Company (remember those?) is now an art gallery. They have the old soda fountain inside, still very popular for getting that malted milk & double scoop cone. It was busy; Bob and I didn’t partake of any goodies.

S & W Cafetaria Building

Woolworth, now an art gallary & ice cream parlor

Walking further, we came to Wall Street, home to many shops & restaurants. One four legged resident gets to sleep in the shop’s window – lucky dog! He didn’t pay any attention to us. The next day we had lunch at this nationally acclaimed vegetarian restaurant, The Laughing Seed. Yes, it is yummy!

Wall Street, Ashville, NC

A fortunate local

Honey checking menu at the Laughing Seed Cafe

A little further down Wall Street, we come to Cat Walk, which actually has nothing to do with cats, but rather a cat walk connecting second stories, otherwise called a footbridge. No matter, local artists made good use of the name and we are amused by the sculptures.

Sculpture at the Cat walk which has nothing to do with cats!

Our next find was the inside shopping mall – absolutely stunning. The pictures don’t do it justice. The glass ceiling is magnificent & throws just the right light inside. We didn’t shop, but enjoyed the architecture.

Beautiful inside shopping mall

A ceiling to be proud

How cool is this?

My idea of the perfect mall

Our last stop walking back to our car was the historic brick Basilica. It is a true treasure & we regret not staying longer to get better photos. But, we want to drive out to Chimney Rock State Park before the day is over. Much to do & see!

Sign in front of church

A rare & beautiful brick Basilica


For further information: Ashville, NC

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