The Smith-McDowell House Museum is Asheville’s oldest surviving home.  Now a museum, it sits on the campus of the Asheville-Buncombe Technical College (AB-Tech), centrally located about 1 mile from the Biltmore Estate entrance, River Arts District and downtown Asheville, just off Biltmore Avenue on Victoria Road.  The entrance fee is $8 for the guided tour with short & informative movie.  The Docents are an incredible wealth of information and the history of the house tells the story of Asheville in many and varied ways.  The tour will take you from the mid-19th century to the present in about 1 hour.

Not a lot of hoopla or advertising, so easy to miss this little gem.  You won’t likely find crowds here – The Smith-McDowell House Museum is a quiet and uncrowded place to take in Asheville’s history.  Be sure and be on the look out for special events and lectures that are held at the Smith McDowell House Museum, particularly around Civil War history.  Within walking distance – on top of the hill and also on the AB-Tech campus, is the Fernihurst Mansion and although used as offices, it is free and parts are open to the public for viewing.  Many special events are held there, such as the Christmas Lighting on the Green, annual Asheville Bread Festival and more.

If you are looking for a convenient place to stay, Oakland Cottage B&B is just around the corner, so an easy walk to the AB-Tech campus, Smith McDowell House museum, and the Fernihurst Mansion.

Parlour at The Smith-McDowell House Museum
Dining Room at The Smith-McDowell House Museum
Depiction of a mid-19th century kitchen at the Smith-McDowell House Museum