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Historic Small Towns

Explore Historic Western North Carolina 

Forest City Clock
Photo of clock in Historic Forest City, courtesy of Vicki Dameron.

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.  Some of these quaint  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 Asheville

The largest city, Asheville, is served by the area’s only regional airport.  A magnet for people seeking rest and relaxation in the mountain air, Asheville has historically attracted visitors like George Vanderbilt who decided to build his Biltmore Estate here. Today, this vibrant community is alive with music, mountain artists, restaurant, breweries and shopping.

Other Historic Places: Boone, Cullowhee, Cherokee 

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 preserved their old-time, small-town charm.