Historic Small Towns & Cities
Explore Historic Western North Carolina in the Blue Ridge Mountains
The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area is dotted with small towns and cities with downtowns and neighborhoods that have been officially designated as Historic Districts in North Carolina. Some of these quaint small Appalachian towns began as post-Revolutionary War settlements. Others evolved from 19th-century farm communities or as a direct result of the coming of the railroad to Western North Carolina after the Civil War.
Historical Places in Western NC: Asheville
The largest city, Asheville, is served by the area’s only regional airport. This vibrant community is alive with traditional music, mountain artists, craft heritage, restaurants and shopping opportunities, much of which is based on the history of the city and its development after the completion of the Biltmore Estate.
Other Historic Places in Western NC to Visit: Boone, Cullowhee, Cherokee and More
Smaller towns have personalities all their own. Boone and Cullowhee are heavily influenced by the universities located there; Cherokee is naturally the place to go for a Native American experience with the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indian. Because of their historical nature, and each community's commitment to preserving its history and heritage, the small towns with designated Historic Districts have also managed to preserve their old-time, small-town charm.
Learn about the many charming communities and historic sites in Western NC that bear the distinction of being designated "Historic Downtowns or Neighborhoods."
Photo of clock in Historic Forest City, courtesy of Vicki Dameron.
- Black Mountain
- Blowing Rock
- Forest City
- Hot Springs
- Mars Hill
- Mount Airy
- North Wilkesboro
- West Jefferson
- Valle Crucis