Interactive Exhibit at Asheville Science Museum. Interactive Exhibit at Asheville Science Museum.

Museums in Asheville: Exploring 8 Fantastic Spots

Asheville, North Carolina, museums are renowned for their vibrant art and culture. This article will take you on an enthralling tour of the establishments that preserve history, honor innovation, and arouse wonder.

Asheville’s museums are a tribute to the city’s commitment to the arts, offering world-class art collections and immersive exhibits highlighting the region’s rich legacy.

1. Famous Museums in Asheville

1.1 Asheville Art Museum

Visit one of the top art museums, Asheville Art Museum, which recently had a beautiful renovation. The museum showcases American art from the 20th and 21st centuries. Throughout the three floors of the building, the museum’s collection of 5,000 items and works of art are on exhibit in stunning galleries.

There are three storeys of spotless galleries, a MakerSpace, and many family-friendly and community events. Check out the rooftop sculpture patio, which has a cafe serving food and drinks, including local beer. Up here, you have a fantastic view of Asheville’s downtown.

1.2 Asheville Radio Museum

The Asheville Radio Museum showcases more than 100 early to mid-20th-century amateur and commercial radios. The small, specialized museum, established in September 2001, provides a tailored educational experience about radio technology’s social, political, and economic effects, including how it makes cell phones, GPS, Bluetooth, and other devices possible.

September 2021 was declared Asheville Radio Museum Month by the city’s mayor in honour of the institution’s 20th anniversary. Since the museum is on the Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College campus, combining a visit with several other historical locations like the Smith-McDowell House is simple.

1.3 Asheville Museum of Science

The Asheville Museum of Science is one of Asheville’s well-liked children’s museums. This is one of the city’s top family-friendly activities. An excellent Teratophoneus Dinosaur skeleton, Teratophoneus Curriei, is on display at the Asheville Museum of Science, a hands-on children’s museum. Additionally, there is an STE(A)M lab and an interactive water exhibit for the French Broad River. Young geologists will enjoy the rock and gem exhibit. 

1.4 Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center

The Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center aimed to make the arts the focal point of education. The museum strives to preserve and carry on Black Mountain College’s creative tradition. The duration of rotating exhibitions is roughly four months.

Unlike many other schools and universities, Black Mountain College was established in 1933 as a liberal arts college. The faculty owned and ran it, making the arts a vital component of the educational process.

1.5 Asheville Pinball Museum

In addition to unlimited pinball at one price on dozens of other machines in the collection, you can also enjoy more than 50 classic pinball tables and vintage video arcade games. The Asheville Pinball Museum is located in the old Battery Park Hotel. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The pinball machines include a few from the 1940s. The machines from the 1960s and later are still functional, even though the earliest ones are not meant for play. Each machine has a plaque with background details.

1.6 Estes-Winn Antique Car Museum

The Estes-Winn Antique Car Museum is located at the entrance to the Omni Grove Park Inn and offers a wide variety of antique cars for viewing. Built in 1923, the historic structure once held Biltmore Industries’ weaving shop looms.

Car museum
Image from Antique Car Museum

Now, visitors can view antique vehicles such as a rare 1957 Caddy Eldorado brougham and the city of Asheville fire truck, built in 1922 as a fire truck for the local fire department. All antique cars are in working order. 

1.7 Biltmore

Biltmore can best be described as a museum. You will find carefully preserved and restored items from George Vanderbilt’s collection throughout this world-renowned mansion. Built over a century ago, Biltmore remains as grand as it was in its heyday.

Biltmore museum
Image from Biltmore

George Vanderbilt built Biltmore in the 1890s as a private retreat in the mountains of North Carolina. It’s an architectural gem. Biltmore has a total of 250 rooms, 35 of which are bedrooms, 43 of which are baths, and 65 of which are fireplaces.

1.8 Thomas Wolfe Memorial

Thomas Wolfe, a literary giant with a towering 6-foot-6 frame to match, spent his early years in Asheville in his mother’s boarding house among various fascinating visitors. Today, this Victorian boarding house serves as the cornerstone of the Thomas Wolfe Memorial. It is decorated with original stained-glass bay windows and, according to some, the echoes of prior occupants.

This museum gives guided tours around the mansion, with 29 rooms displaying real objects. These include bottles of ink dropped into the forgotten cistern by guests who shared Wolfe’s passion for writing and the hand-carved wooden bed on which Wolfe’s mother bore her eight children. 

2. Portal to the City’s Soul

Asheville is renowned for its rich cultural heritage, boasting some of the finest museums in the country. Located in the heart of the Blue Ridge mountains, the city’s famous museums bring together a rich history, art and innovation. They are not merely repositories of knowledge; they serve as a portal to the city’s soul.


Last Updated on December 27, 2023 by Sathi Chakraborty

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