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Category Archives: Asheville Live

A Glimpse of Asheville

DSC00004Located in the mountains of Western North Carolina, lays the beautiful city of Asheville. Whether you come here in the fall to see the leaves change color on the parkway, a spring visit to the Biltmore House to see the flowers bloom, or for a summer vacation to enjoy all the outdoor activities you can imagine, Asheville is the perfect place to visit any time of the year.  

This small city is a great place to be if you’re traveling here with your family, by yourself, or with your significant other. The adventure of Asheville begins as soon as you step foot in downtown. Here you will find some of the best restaurant and small shops. You will not want to miss a trip to the French Broad Chocolate Lounge! Call us here at Wilcox Travel and we would love to set you up a tour of downtown Asheville so that you can learn the history of the wonderful town. While you are downtown make a trip down to the River Arts District to enjoy multiple art studios and experience the culture of Asheville. If you are a fan of the night scene then you will love some of the bars there are, including Aloft hotel where you can go on the roof and see all of the city under the stars.

Just ten minutes from downtown Asheville located in Biltmore Forest sits The Biltmore Estate. The house is one of the biggest private homes in the US and the estate is one of the largest that is still privately owned. Don’t forget to get your tickets at the front gate because you will not want to miss out on the walk through tours they offer of the home. A visit to the Biltmore Estate can last all day and will still leave you wanting more. Surrounding the house are the estates gardens, a pond, and many walking trails, including one that line the French Broad River. Not to mention the many dining options they have from snacks to completely formal, which is great for celebrations and special occasions. You can enjoy a free tour of the winery and if you are of age, free wine testing when the tour is complete! The options at The Biltmore Estate are endless.

After you have enjoyed two of the most famous places in Asheville you will want to continue your adventure outdoors! Surrounding Asheville are many hiking trails, waterfalls, places to zip line, a tubing experience down the river, a drive down the parkway, and much more. The hiking trails range from very easy, something the whole family can do and then there are strenuous ones for the most adventure seeking outdoor lovers! While on your hike or outdoor adventure there will be plenty of opportunities to view the wildlife. There are also great places to horseback ride, or play golf in the valley of the mountains.

If you love to shop there is something for you too! Besides the many shops in downtown Asheville and Biltmore Forest, an outlet mall recently opened up fifteen minutes down the road with plenty of stores for all different tastes.

There are so many activities to do you will want to spend as much time in Asheville that you can! Enjoy your adventures and come see us here in these beautiful mountains we call home. Contact Wilcox Travel so we can help you plan the perfect trip to Asheville, NC.

Wilcox Travel Consultant Fred Reed Receives Life Time Award | Wilcox World Travel & Tours / American Express the leader in Christian travel

Work begins on downtown Asheville AC Hotel

Eating Green in Asheville

by Melissa (Missi) Hathaway
Asheville was placed as a top destination for America’s Greenest Dining, through a collaboration between Blue Ridge Sustainability Institute and Asheville Independent Restaurant Association (also known as AIR) and is set to continue its healthy dining initiative into the foreseeable future.

The green restaurant program includes dealing with issues of energy efficiency and waste management and a large number of eateries now support the drive and partner up with suppliers and with each other for further green ideas and developments. In an interview with The Huffington Post, Randy Talley of AIR claimed that ‘it’s good for the community, good for the planet, and good for our bottom line.’

Last year residents protested against a coal fired plant in the area, which was seen as damaging to the environment through its process of stripping coal from mountaintops, proving that Asheville takes its green issues very seriously indeed.

The move by restaurants has put Asheville on the map as America’s first Green Dining Destination and is drawing in tourists who are attracted by the green initiatives offered here and who are curious to see the results for themselves.

In February this year, Asheville managed to reach its goal of having 15 certified restaurants in the city go green, with the 16th being certified shortly afterwards, and this enabled the city to earn the accolade of America’s first green dining destination. The Mayor, Terry Bellamy, announced that ‘Asheville’s 15 Certified Green Restaurants are leading the way toward zero waste’ as well as sustainability and that they were giving diners a superior selection of establishments to choose from (

Green Restaurants

The certified restaurants range from 2, 3 and 4 star dining destinations and they offer a wide range of food. All restaurants are located within Asheville. The choice includes:

French Broad Chocolates

Located on South Lexington Avenue, this eatery is all about chocolate. Visitors can relax in the chocolate lounge, sipping wine or hot chocolate and nibbling on chocolate brownies and cake. French Broad Chocolates also deliver to customers, who can browse the selection of truffles and caramels online. Locals have the option of ordering first and collecting at the restaurant.


Plant is situated on Merrimon Avenue and serves dinner from 5 to 9 Sunday to Thursday and 5 to 10 on Friday and Saturday. The restaurant offers plates featuring local flavors and is wholly vegetarian. On the menu are small plates of Seitan Satay Skewers, made with grilled pineapple and peanut sauce, and Smoke Hummus. Entrees include red curry tofu, mixed mushroom grill and smoked Portabello steak made with polenta, chard and grape tomato salad. Plant has received favourable reviews in WNC magazine and Mountain Xpress and was chosen as ‘best of WNC’ in 2012 by Mountain Xpress readers.

The Green Sage

This restaurant is located downtown and in South Asheville, and is a 4 star dining destination. Food is local and organic and the restaurant promotes healthy lifestyles with its gluten free and vegetarian dining, as well as preservative free meats. Guests can choose from grass fed beef, chicken or Tempeh sandwiches in classic, Swiss shroom or Greek Feta styles as well as Chipotle Jack burgers. Salads are a popular option at the restaurant, such as spinach and beet or Sage house salad.

The Green Sage has featured in articles about its sustainability in the Asheville Citizen Times, WNC magazine and UNC TV.

Luella’s Bar-B-Que

The ethos at Luella’s is great food made with honest, loving hands. The name of this Asheville restaurant comes from the owner’s grandmother Luella who was renowned for her astonishing cooking. Plates are cooked with soybean oil and used oils are recycled at Blue Ridge Biofuel. Guests can choose such dishes as dry rubbed sweet potato chips, smoked jumbo wings, chile rubbed beef brisket and smoked andouille sausage and there is also a selection of salads served.

Luella’s involves itself with the community through causes such as MANNA Foodbank and the American Red Cross.

Experience Asheville’s Green Dining for Yourself

Asheville is a popular tourist destination, famed for its scenery, food, art and beer. There are a wide variety of culinary delights on offer in the city, from Mediterranean to vegetarian plates and southern cooking with a twist. Asheville is proud of its cuisine and its new status as green dining destination means that there is an emphasis on healthy eating and local produce such as organic beef or mountain trout as well as seasonal vegetarian dishes and fresh salads. This is bound to attract even more visitors, particularly those for who green issues are important and like to do what they can to protect the environment. There are sidewalk cafes to sit out at and many of the city’s restaurants feature live music for their diners’ enjoyment. Tourists come to Asheville for the mountain attractions, the hospitality and food, as well as the craft fairs held throughout the year. There are online discount coupons available for visitors to Asheville, featuring special packages on local attractions, and with competitive flights available as well as online overseas car insurance deals, getting here is easier than ever. Compare the best prices from online insurance companies to make sure you are getting the best deal for your trip and visit Asheville, where green dining is taking the city by storm.

New WNC Motorcycle Tours

Wilcox World Travel and Tours has created WNC Motorcycle Tours that showcase our beautiful mountains and amazing roads that provide unforgettable rides. We love to see new activities that bring more people to Asheville and we are happy that it comes from a local company that has been here in town since 1965.

“We don’t like to buy packages and then be told, we have to buy extra this or extra that or we will be sorry.”-Tyler Wilcox

We took a look at the upcoming WNC Motorcyle Tours to see what they were all about and we are happy to know that the guys at Wilcox Travel put this together because of their love for riding in these mountains. Here are just a few reasons why we love what they have done.

Self Guided

We know what you are thinking…”But I want a guide.” Don’t worry, you can have a guide if you must. However, we love the idea of self guided tours. They provide you with the route, all the stops along the way, how long you should stay and what to see! It is exactly like having a guide there without having to be rushed along or being forced to see something you are not interested in. You don’t even have to follow the route if you don’t want to. Being self guided also means no minimum passenger requirements for you to take a tour. Go as a single rider, a couple, or as a group of 30. The possibilities are endless.

Central Hub

This is where it helps to have motorcycle tours designed by people who actually ride them. Wilcox has designed their tours around the brand new Aloft Hotel in downtown Asheville. You need to see this place, there is no bad room in this hotel and it features many “firsts” for the Aloft brand. The tours allow you to begin and return to the hotel each day negating the need for you to carry your luggage around with you. They told us that when they ride, they don’t want to have to strap all of their junk to their bikes, they believe riding is much more enjoyable when it is just you and the bike. You also get a chance to explore downtown Asheville every night and experience why so many people fall in love with this small town.

It Is Included

We don’t like tours and activities where they nickle and dime you to death and neither does the team at Wilcox. They took the same model they use for their group tours all across the globe and brought it back home. “We don’t like to buy things and then be told, we have to buy extra this or extra that or we will be sorry.”-Tyler Wilcox. They take care of the hotel accommodations, breakfast, motorcycle rental, motorcycle delivery, motorcycle gear (including helmet, and rain gear), motorcycle full coverage insurance, 24 Hour roadside assistance, pre-planned routes and guidance, and other area information. What more could you possibly need? Leave your worries behind and ride!

What Are You Waiting On?

If you have ever wanted to come visit Asheville or the Western North Carolina Mountains there is no better time than now. We hope you will come see our beautiful mountains and experience a WNC Motorcycle Tour, we are convinced there is no better way to get the wind in your hair and connect with the majesty of the Appalachian Mountains. Call the team at Wilcox World Travel and Tours to get more information about their newly developed motorcycle tours. The first tours will start in the Spring of 2013 but they are already taking reservations!

Wilcox Travel
1 West Pack Square Suite 1700
Asheville, NC 28801

Phone: 1-800-2-WILCOX (1-800-294-5269)


Downtown Building Collapse

A building in Downtown Asheville Collapsed today. You can view the live video on our site via our North Cam. Reports are that no people were inside and there were no injuries.

You can also follow updates on WLOS News 13.

Aloft Opens its 60th Hotel In Asheville


aloft_001 (Photo credit: Stéphane Bayle)

The Aloft Brand is a global hotel chain that is owned by Starwood Properties responsible for the well known Sheraton Hotels. Earlier this year, Aloft opened its 60th hotel in the heart of Downtown Asheville. The Aloft has 115 guest rooms, 1,800 square feet of outdoor meeting space on the pool deck and 649 sq. ft of indoor meeting space.

The Aloft is in walking distance to our favorite local restaurants and breweries. Shops surround the lobby entrance and Downtown is within minutes to the Biltmore Estate and the Blue Ridge Parkway.

One of our favorite features of the new Aloft is that it features artwork in public spaces as well as the guest rooms produced only by local artists. If you find something you want to take home, you can purchase anything displayed in the hotel.

We hope you will come stay with us in Asheville and experience everything our great city has to offer!