Here in Asheville NC, just a few minutes from our Asheville bed and breakfast, the Blue Ridge Parkway can provide great 'touristing' for a long or a very short break. Today, we took a short drive over to picnic by the Folk Art Center and then to visit the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor center.
As an Asheville B&B owner,in my 19th season here, it's still a treat to go to the Folk Art Center. Right on the Parkway, it's open all year starting at 9am every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. The building itself is quite interesting, a blend of modern glass and multiple levels with walkways rather than stairs. It's surrounded by trees so it also fits the Parkway environment very well.
Artist exhibition space showcases members of the Southern Highlands Craft Guild, the largest juried guild of crafters in the southeast and based here in Asheville. Currently new members of the Guild are on display. Thread, metal, clay and wood are all materials that are put to amazing use by the artists...producing sculpture, pots, fabrics, quilts, multimedia constructions and some furniture. Ingenious and whimsical are both words that you will think of when you describe many of the pieces.
The Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center is just a mile or so from the Folk Art Center. It's a wonderful, rather new building combining steel and glass with barn-style roof construction that makes use of beautiful wood. There you find the history of the Parkway...begun as a WPA project during the Depression, and surprisingly, the last portion was completed in the 1980s. And when you visit, don't miss the film about the Parkway and the cultural heritage in the nearly 500 miles of mountains it crosses. Well worth seeing!