Buncombe County Map
Image: University of North Carolina Press
Buncombe County Quick Facts
Population (2014 census estimate): 250,539
Land Area (square miles): 656
County Website: buncombecounty.org
Places and Things in Buncombe County:
Buncombe County is the most heavily populated county of Western North Carolina, now with over 250,000 residents. Its county seat, Asheville, nicknamed "The Paris of the South" and becoming reknowned for its micro-craft breweries, is well-known as one of the nation's top tourist destinations.
Of particular note is the Biltmore Estate, which is open to the public and was built by the Vanderbilts. It is considered to be America's largest residence and features some of the most beautiful gardens in the nation, having been designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, who also created New York City's Central Park.
Downtown Asheville, featuring many buildings of art deco architecture has become a hotspot for music, restaurants, uniquely local retail shops, mountain crafts and micro-craft breweries. It is knows for its artsy culture and bohemian lifestyle. "Keep Asheville Weird" is a whimsical phrase that is often repeated by locals. Buskers (street musicians) are popular as is the drum circle during the summertime in Pritchard Park. A pleasant diversion for history buffs is taking a walking tour, known as the Asheville Urban Trail, that features bronze sculptures and historical placques.
In addition to Asheville, Buncombe includes the towns of Biltmore Forest, Black Mountain, Montreat, Weaverville and Woodfin. Biltmore Forest claim to fame is being North Carolina's wealthiest town. Black Mountain, a favorite of tourists who love small mountain towns, bills itself as the Front Porch to the Blue Ridge Mountains. Montreat, so named as a contraction of the words "mountain retreat," is home to evangelist Billy Graham, as well as Montreat College, a four-year liberal arts college, and the Montreat Conference Center, which serves the Presbyterian Church (USA).
Buncombe County is accessible via I-40 and I-26 and the Asheville Regional Airport. Both the French Broad River and the Blue Ridge Parkway are favorite destinations for locals and tourists, as is the North Carolina Arboretum and the Asheville River District, known for its art studios.
Places in the County on the National Historic Register
Cities, Towns and Communities:
Asheville (county seat) - zipcode: 28801
More Buncombe County Information:
Fairs and Events:
North - Madison, Yancey
South - Rutherford, Henderson
East - McDowell
West - Haywood