Asheville Museum of Science
Winter is here so now is the time to step inside AMOS and explore. Yes, it was designed for children, but if you don’t have any readily available, I promise you can still enjoy the visit.
Seeing the gemstone collection inside the Colburn Hall of Minerals alone is enough to draw me inside. Burnham Colburn, bank president and builder of one of the 1sthomes in Biltmore Forest, scoured the mountains for rare emeralds and blood red rubies. He would amass what may have been the world’s largest collection of rocks, minerals and Indian artifacts. After donating much of his collection to the University of South Carolina, Colburn left about 300 of his finest specimens to be displayed locally at his death in 1959.
Rankin Vault Cocktail Lounge
Not far from AMOS is “The Vault”, as it is known by locals. If you like burgers, go here! They have won awards 3 years in the WNC Battle of the Burger. Located in the Imperial Life Insurance Building near the corner of College Street and Rankin Avenue, The Vault features a custom walnut bar, local draft beers and patio seating. The namesake bank vault, built by the Mosler Safe Company, has a table perfect for groups up to 12 people. And, oh yes, you can get a uniquely crafted, delicious cocktail made from local ingredients. Or for more simpler tastes, a locally brewed beer to wash down that burger.
The Fine Arts Theatre
This Art Deco style theatre is the only theatre left operating in downtown Asheville. It originally opened as the Strand Theatre on October 24, 1946 and had a seating capacity of 800 in orchestra and balcony. It was renamed the Fine Arts Theatre on June 8, 1962.
The Fine Arts Theatre, in its current incarnation, was opened as a first-run art- and independent-film theater in 1996 by John Cram as an extension of his decades-long venture in the arts in Asheville. He opened the fine art gallery, Blue Spiral 1, next door in 1991 and saw opportunity in the old theater to bring quality art films to Asheville while helping to revitalize a depressed downtown.
It is the home of the Asheville Film Festival held in November of each year.