Fascinating history can be found at a variety of museums and historic sites in Asheville and the many small towns of the western North Carolina mountains - including the Blue Ridge and Great Smokies. Learn about our Appalachian natural and cultural history, including the Cherokee Indians. Discover why our area is so rich in art and music.
Best Museums & Historic Sites near Asheville
Blue Ridge Heritage Trail
A fun way to explore is with a new interpretive trail by Blue Ridge National Heritage Area that traverses 27 counties in Western North Carolina with 69 signs that highlight important and fascinating cultural and natural heritage sites and attractions. Also find interactive kiosks in five NC Welcome Centers at interstate entrances to the region. Pick up a large map brochure and hit the road!
“The trail is a collection of special places throughout the North Carolina mountains and foothills that embody the remarkable history and culture of our region,” said Angie Chandler, Executive Director of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership. “These sites define the national significance of our region and are the cornerstone of why Western North Carolina was designated a National Heritage Area.”
The Blue Ridge Heritage Trail not only covers well-known sites, but you'll find some hidden jewels too. Since it covers such a large area, you can pick and choose to create your own experience. QR codes on each sign help you locate other nearby sites. The signs are located along main walkways at historic, natural and scenic sites, attractions, towns and cities, in some state parks, along the Blue Ridge Parkway and in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park - all within the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area. Words and photographs tell an illuminating story about each site and illustrate many aspects of the region's natural and cultural heritage including that of the Cherokee, traditional music, agriculture, and craft. Pick up a free map at visitor centers throughout the mountains.