is filled with plenty of history, local color and fun and interesting things to do. O Asheville
is filled with plenty of history, local color and fun and interesting things to do. Often visitors will take the opportunity to orient themselves by taking a tour. A walking tour is certainly an option. There are also two trolley tours of Asheville and one humorous bus tour. Often visitors will use these tours as a way of familiarizing themselves with the main sites. Or, in the case of the Grey Trolley or Historic White Trolley Tours, as a means of transportation from accommodations in Asheville or central locations where parking is available to places like Biltmore Village, the Grove Arcade, the Grove Park Inn and the River Arts District.
Following, I will give an overview of the trolley and bus tours Asheville
has to offer, highlighting the advantages of each tour.
Gray Line Trolley Tour
Gray Line Trolleys are easy to spot on the streets of Asheville because they are bright red and fashioned after the trolleys of the early 20th
Century, with open-air windows and retro design features that evoke Asheville’s past. Visitors purchase a two day pass and can get on or off at nine trolley stops including: the Chamber of Commerce, The Grove Park Inn, River Arts District, the Haywood Hotel, Biltmore Village and more. The narrated tour lasts about an hour and a half and includes an overview of Asheville’s art, architecture, history and stories about local characters, famous authors and artists and other interesting facts about the Appalachian city that make it unique. There is also a special Ghost Tour of Asheville for visitors who want a slightly different slant on local history. A two-day pass is available with this tour, along with free admission to the Thomas Wolfe Memorial.
Historic White Trolley Tours
This trolley tour also offers visitors a two-day pass. As indicated in the name, the tour emphasizes Asheville’s history. A professional narrator gives visitors information about points of interest. The nice thing about this tour is that it stops at many different locations. These sites are convenient to locally known restaurants and shopping districts. Visitors can hop on or off at any point and cover a wide area in a two-day span. The trolley goes through Downtown Asheville, Biltmore Village, the Grove Park Inn and the River Arts District. The White Trolley Line departs on an hourly basis from April through November.
LaZoom Sightseeing Bus Tours
LaZoom Bus Tours are for visitors who want entertainment and humor, and a slightly quirky viewpoint of Asheville, when they see the main sites of the town. Asheville locals and visitors recognize the bus because of the purple color and costumed characters that hover nearby certain street corners, eliciting laughs and remarks from tour participants as well as passers by. Though the perspective of this bus tour is decidedly different from the White Trolley Tours and Gray Line Trolley Tour, the theme is much the same. The narrator of the tour is usually dressed in costume and delivers factual, historical information about Asheville in a funny, upbeat way. This tour departs several times per day, from Tuesday through Sunday beginning in May, and mostly on weekends in the off season. LaZoom Bus does not offer transportation through Asheville, like the other two tours. There are two pick-up and drop off locations, one at the French Broad Food Co-Op at 90 Biltmore Avenue and The Thirsty Monk Pub at 92 Patton Avenue.
First time and repeat visitors to Asheville will learn a great deal about the town’s history, art, architecture, writers and neighborhoods. Taking a tour is a great way to familiarize yourself with points of interest that you may want to explore more thoroughly later in your trip. A two-day pass on either the White or Gray Line Trolley Tours is a wonderful way to see the highlights of Asheville, without driving and parking, or walking the steep hills in the Downtown area.
Bring a camera along and a loved one to take the tour with you. Most of all – have fun!
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