Belmont Lanes courts globe-chuckers of all stripes and skill levels to set foot among its myriad lanes and entertainment apparatuses. Sextets of revelers can enjoy a two-hour party, which supplies the group with a pizza and pitcher of soda to celebrate the overthrow of pins and unification of hand and boulder. Meanwhile, cosmic bowling gives spatial thrills for late-night laning with the experience of visiting a galaxy of disco-ball planets. Party-goers should call at least one hour ahead of time to reserve their lane for cosmic bowling.
People tend to walk slowly across the Mile High Swinging Bridge, though not out of fear. The view is enough to slow anyone's steps. Spanning an 80-foot chasm one mile above sea level, the bridge grants 360-degree views of the mountains, specifically a rugged peak that rises to 5,946 feet: Grandfather Mountain. Recognized by the United Nations as one of the world's most diverse nature preserves, Grandfather Mountain bristles with verdant pines and wild flowers in full bloom, including the pinkshell azalea. The flower only grows in northwest North Carolina, and Grandfather Mountain claims the largest population.
Even on the eleven backcountry trails, hikers aren't inclined to move very fast. Up-close views of the area's wild flora and fauna are enough to inspire quiet, peaceful strolls. And on one trail?Grandfather Trail?cables and ladders physically challenge hikers as they climb to the mountain's peak. Other trails, meanwhile, wind past the park's seven animal habitats, where the likes of bears, cougars, and bald eagles live in their natural environments with their expert Feng Shui.
Although primarily an outdoor attraction, Grandfather Mountain does encompass a few indoor destinations. The Nature Museum chronicles the mountain's history?which stretches back billions of years to a time when the Earth still wore diapers?with two-dozen exhibits, including Indigenous American artifacts and mineral displays. Luckily, the park's onsite naturalists can help make sense of it all. Before or after exploring the mountain and its past, visitors can fuel up at the onsite restaurant or, if they can't bear to spend time indoors, picnic outside.
Grovewood Cafe could very well be a cottage from a fairytale. Greenery seems bent on overtaking the restaurant and completely surrounds its patio, where whimsical sculptures from Grovewood Gallery pop up from the ground. On the inside, flowers bring color to tables bathed in light from oversized windows. And, like many a Brothers Grimm character, chef and owner Larry Waldrop depends on local farms for sustenance.
Larry believes that the best meals are made from scratch, and without too much help from machinery. He prefers to chop his meat by hand, for instance, rather than use his government-issued butcher robot. His menu of Southern-inspired plates gives credit to several area farms?there's grilled meatloaf from Hickory Nut Gap Farm, pork from Heritage Farms, and chicken breast from Ashley Farms, which arrives encrusted in crunchy walnuts. Every day, there's a special free-range omelet available for lunch. And if you're in the neighborhood on a Sunday morning, stop by for the Grovewood's take on eggs benedict with fried green tomatoes, grilled Sunburst Farm trout, and swiss chard.
The Asheville Art Museum annually presents an exciting, inviting and active schedule of exhibitions and public programs based on its permanent collection of 20th and 21st century American art. The Museum also offers a wide array of innovative, inspiring and entertaining educational programs for people of all ages.
Tropical Gardens Miniature Golf strips away the cartoonish aspects of the game found on many courses, instead situating its 18 putting greens amid a diverse landscape of ponds and blooming floras. As a waterfall trickles nearby, a flamboyance of fake flamingos perches under the shade of a tree, silently observing golfers' mannerisms to use in their upcoming novel. Aside from navigating the miniature fairways, players can swing at baseballs in the batting cages or reunite quarters with their captive brethren in the video arcade.
Showcasing the mysterious inner workings of the human body and the curiosities of science, The Health Adventure invites families to peruse its colorful spaces brimming with interactive exhibits and educational classrooms where children and parents can bolster their knowledge together. The sizeable facility, which was recently relocated to the Biltmore Mall, houses innovative permanent exhibits, such as the dizzy tunnel and the Arrive Alive, which simulates how alcohol effects you while driving. Play areas give kids a chance to read, craft scale models of city hall with PVC pipes, and play in the dress-up closet. The traveling exhibit gallery hosts such kid-friendly themes as The Magic School Bus and Curious George, and elsewhere, participants can test their sportcentric mettle by clocking their pitch speed, calibrating their balance on a pommel horse, or identifying balls from various sports by taste.