INTERNET SITES & APPS
Here are some of the best and most useful websites on Asheville and Western North Carolina:
Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce (www.ashevillechamber.org) focuses on business and business development.
Asheville Citizen-Times (www.citizen-times.com) has current and archived articles from the region’s leading daily newspaper, but most are behind a pay wall. The Citizen-Times is now owned by Gannett.
Asheville.com (www.asheville.com) is a commercial site, recently redesigned, with some good information, but you sometimes wonder which recommendations are based on advertising.
Biltmore House and Estate (www.biltmore.com) covers everything Biltmore.
Blue Ridge Parkway (www.nps.gov/blri/) is the National Park Service site on the parkway.
Blue Ridge Parkway Association (www.blueridgeparkway.org) has been the official marketing partner of the parkway for more than 60 years. While it does present commercial information on hotels, restaurants and other businesses near the parkway, it also offers a lot of valuable assistance to parkway visitors.
Buncombe County (www.buncombecounty.org) is the official site of Buncombe County, county seat of Asheville, with information on county services, real estate, the Asheville-Buncombe Library and more.
City of Asheville (www.ashevillenc.gov) is the official cite of Asheville city government. It has tons of information on city services, parks and recreation, parking, public transit and other useful facts.
Explore Asheville (www.exploreasheville.com) is the official tourism website of the Asheville Convention and Tourism Bureau. It offers a wealth of information on the Asheville area.
Great Smoky Mountains Association (www.smokiesinformation.org) helps raise money for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, through the store on its website and by running shops in visitor centers at the park, but it also has valuable park information for visitors.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park (www.nps.gov/grsm/) is the official site of the National Park Service. It is a superb site that will help you get the most out of the park.
Mountain Xpress (www.mountainx.com) is the online edition of the local alternative weekly, with especially good information on entertainment and dining.
Romantic Asheville (www.romanticasheville.com), while a commercial site, has a tremendous amount of visitor information presented in an easily accessible, appealing way.
Visit North Carolina (www.visitnc.org) is the official tourism site of the state of North Carolina, with loads of information on attractions, lodging, trip itineraries and more.
Best Mobile Apps for Asheville and the NC Mountains
Thousands of apps for travel are available for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. We’ve selected a few that are particularly helpful for visiting the Asheville area. Most of these apps are available from iTunes (https://itunes.apple.com), Google play (https://play.google.com) and the Windows Store (www.windowsphone.com) and related sites. Some can be downloaded from the developer’s or content provider’s site.
For full functionality, some of these apps require that you have cellular or wi-fi access during use.
Asheville Explorer’s Guide: A general guide to Asheville and some surrounding areas by Kay Holloway Cole and Sutro Media. It has photos and information on lodging, restaurants and sightseeing. It could use some updating – for example, it lists Bele Chere, Craggie Brewing, Club Hairspray, the old Dripolator, Magnetic Field restaurant and others that no longer exist. $2.99 for iPhone.
Asheville Specialty of the Region: New in May 2014, this app has photos, videos and descriptions of major sites in Asheville. For Android. Free.
Asheville Travel Guide: An interactive mobile app version of the official Asheville Travel Guide for 2014 from the Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau. Free for iPhone and Android from www.exploreasheville.com. Does not require cell service.
Asheville Urban Trail: This app provides selectable Google Maps markers for the Asheville Urban Trail, a walking tour with 30 stations highlighting the architecture, people and history of the city. For Android. Free.
Blue Ridge Parkway - Travel Planner Mobile App: Developed by the Blue Ridge Parkway Association in cooperation with the Blue Ridge Parkway unit of the National Park Service. Features include maps, popular hiking trails, campgrounds and lodging, interpretative stops, and major access points. Does not require cell service. Free for Android and iPhone.
BRPTracker: Provides mile-by-mile information as you travel the Parkway. Free for iPhone and iPad.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park – The Official Guide: Great Smoky Mountains Associations and the National Park Service partnered with Nomad Mobile Guides on a free Great Smokies Visitors Guide and also Best of the Smokies Bundle for $2.99. Does not require cell service. Some proceeds go to benefit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. For iPhone, iPad, iPod touch (optimized for iPhone 5) and Android.
TripAdvisor: While of course not specifically only for Asheville, TripAdvisor has around 90,000 user-written reviews and 5,000 photos of lodging, restaurants and sights in Asheville alone. It also has information on other WNC towns. Free. Apps available for many different phone and tablet platforms, including Apple, Android, Windows and other devices. Some are offline, and others require cell service. For information, see www.tripadvisor.com/apps. Yelp and some other social networking companies also offer their reviews on mobile devices.
Waterfalls of Western North Carolina: Useful app for waterfall hunters includes photos, descriptions and info on the trails to the falls. Developed by Flickin’Amazing, Inc. Web maps require cell service. $2.99 for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
All content copyright © Lan Sluder except selected photographs used by permission and brief quotations or other fair use text, which are owned by the copyright holder.
We have made every effort to confirm the accuracy of information on this website, and in the Amazing Asheville book and ebooks, but travel information is subject to frequent change, and no warranty is made, express or implied. Please notify us of any errors or omissions, and we will attempt to correct them as soon as possible. All opinions expressed are those of the author, Lan Sluder, unless otherwise noted.