Western North Carolina is known for its lush mountain scenery and rich heritage. The region’s cultural roots have been developed over time by the revolutions in art, science, and technology. There’s no better way to immerse yourself in the area’s history than by visiting some of the finest museums in North Carolina. Don’t forget to download our free Vacation Guide to discover more of the area’s top activities.
6 Can’t-Miss Museums in North Carolina
1. Biltmore Estate
You can’t plan a trip to North Carolina without putting The Biltmore on your list. Regarded as Asheville’s top tourist attraction, this magnificent estate offers visitors a glimpse into the lives of the Vanderbilt family. Tours of the breathtaking mansion include displays of the family’s collection of art, clothing, and furniture. The luxurious gardens and grounds include their acclaimed Rose Garden, which features over 250 varieties of the fragrant flower.
2. Asheville Museum of Science
The Asheville Museum of Science is the perfect interactive science experience for kids of all ages. Their educational programs and variety of exhibits are a fun experience for the entire family. Our favorite exhibit is the Paleontology room, which features a Teratophoneus dinosaur skeleton and a hands-on fossil dig.
3. Henderson Heritage Museum
The picturesque town of Hendersonville, a short drive away from the Orchard Inn, is brimming with history and local charm. While you could easily spend a day in Hendersonville, one of our favorite attractions is the Henderson History Museum. This little museum is the perfect place to learn about Western North Carolina history and culture. Their exhibits are constantly changing; they offer a comprehensive look at everything from the Civil War to the Golden Age. The best part? The museum offers free admission!
4. Historic Grovewood Village
Grovewood Village is an ideal arts and crafts destination. This historic site is home to an Antique Car Museum, Homespun Textile Museum, and the nationally-recognized Greenwood Art Gallery. Grovewood Village has something for everyone. Your visit could include a leisurely stroll through the sculpture gardens, a lesson on vintage automobiles, or a meal at the contemporary Golden Fleece restaurant.
5. Asheville Pinball Museum
Unleash your inner child at Asheville’s most boisterous and entertaining museum. Price of admission at the Asheville Pinball Museum includes unlimited play of over 80 retro video games and pinball machines. Try your hand at these nostalgic games and see if you can beat the outrageously high scores!
6. Black Mountain College Museum and Arts Center
This unique art museum celebrates the legacy of Black Mountain College, an experimental 20th-century art university in Western North Carolina. The center features revolving contemporary exhibitions that focus on art from the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. In addition, the museum hosts events such as concerts, film screenings, and artist talks. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.
Like many of the museums you’ll visit during your stay in North Carolina, Orchard Inn has a unique history of its own. The inn itself is over 100 years old, and it was originally called “The Mountain Home” for its magnificent views of the Appalachian Mountains. Immerse yourself in our B&B’s history by booking a stay in the Mountainview Suite East. This newly renovated lodging has exposed wooden beams, a fireplace, and a jaw-dropping view of the mountains from its back porch. Book your getaway with us today!