Swannanoa Valley Museum
Swannanoa Valley Museum
4.5
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Swannanoa Valley Museum has served the western North Carolina community since 1989 as Buncombe County's primary museum of general local history. Open Tuesday - Saturday 10:00am - 5:00pm Seasonally - Open by appointment only in winter.
Duration: < 1 hour
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles29 reviews
Excellent
15
Very good
11
Average
2
Poor
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Terrible
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CharismaJ2
Melbourne, FL197 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2017 • Couples
Worth the stop if you're in town. Museum is free, although they have a box when you walk in for a suggested $5 donation. When we were here, there was an exhibit on Rafael Guastavino, who was a Spanish architect and builder that created tile arches you have seen on Ellis Island, the Biltmore Mansion, Grand Central Station, and many others. I don't know if this is a permanent exhibit, but it is wonderful to learn about Guastavino and his work. Upstairs you learn about the town of Black Mountain and Swannanoa Valley. Go back in time like I did and take the model train around the track and blow the whistle, or sit down at the old manual typewriter to remember how we used to type many, many many years ago! We enjoyed this museum very much.
Written November 11, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

aecsmith83
Black Mountain, NC3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2017 • Couples
We had a terrific time visiting the museum. It is in the town's old fire house and has two galleries - one with changing exhibits that featured an exhibit from Boston on Rafael Guastavino who built the Boston Public Library, Ellis Island, and the Biltmore Estate and retired in Black Mountain. Upstairs was lots of fun and had displays on local history including touch exhibits where you could type on a typewriter and dial a rotary phone. Well worth a visit. Entry is by donation.
Written January 5, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Naturelover212
Asheville, NC66 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2017 • Couples
We recently had a chance to visit this museum to see the excellent exhibit on the builder and architect, Rafael Guastavino entitled "Palaces for the People" who spent his last years in Black Mountain before he died. The entire first floor was taken over by this temporary, excellent show. The second floor has a permanent collection on the history of Buncombe Co. which was also highly informative and featured many local artifacts. Although the museum is small, one could spend up to an hour or more browsing and learning about the history of the area. It's a good way to take a break from shopping and eating in the delightful town of Black Mountain! The museum is not open year round, so it's best to contact them before heading there.
Written December 1, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cynthia L
Asheville, NC212 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2016 • Couples
Parking is difficult especially at lunchtime so by the time we walked to the museum in the hot sun we were frazzled. There is a big banner advising that renovations are underway but nowhere did it say CLOSED. We have all been visitors in a facility being renovated (Volcano House in Hawaii being one) so we assumed some areas might be off limits. No - the entire museum is CLOSED until July 2016. If it had said that on the banner we would not have wasted time finding parking. An easy fix that I hope someone in Black Mountain addresses.
Written April 28, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Frank E
Asheville, NC389 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2017 • Couples
My wife and I went on a Thursday morning at opening time and had the museum to ourselves. The docent provided an excellent introduction to the museum. We saw the Raphael Gaustavino tile arch temporary exhibit and the permanent collection. Fascinating!
Written November 9, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

brethol
Granite Falls, NC31 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2017 • Friends
Our senior group made this a stop on our way out of Asheville. We found it to be a quaint local museum with very knowledgeable staff. The exhibits of how the area came about by way of railway were very interesting. It's worth a visit.
Written October 26, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ZenHealer7
Asheville, NC2,263 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2017 • Friends
This is a cute and tiny museum that exhibits a bit of ocal history. However the highlight was the visiting Guastavino exhibit that was very interetsing. I have live din NYC and Boston and was not aware how many of the beautiful public buildings were commissioned by him.
Written October 13, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Livoniagal
Louisiana202 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2017 • Family
One of the most important pieces of any puzzle is a local historian and I did find the lady that worked there to be knowledgeable. As a designer, I have a particular interest in Guastavino tiles and enjoyed the exhibit that has been running there. There is also some antique displays and history of the area. Black Mountain College history is available here as well including little known facts about the college and the Albers. Stop in when you visit Black Mountain.
Written September 27, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Russell B
Canon, GA53 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2017 • Couples
This museum was a pleasant surprise. It was extremely interesting to examine the old tools. This reminded me of the stories my parents and grandparents spoke of using in the so-called good ole days.
Written September 20, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mixa's Travels
Oldsmar, FL3,608 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2017 • Couples
We especially went on this visit to see the special exhibit on Rafael Guastavino, who did the vaulted ceilings of the Biltmore and many other buildings in the US. Having visited the Biltmore Home, the Basilica of St. Lawrence in Asheville and Christmount (former location of Guastavino home Rhododendron), we were glad we were in town for this special exhibit. A most amazing man and his son who brought a different style of doing domed buildings that were quicker to build and fire-proof. Both of which were important in that era of the late 1800's and early 1900's. Coming over with just his young son, he built and amazing business and was recognized for his unique architectural style. The special exhibit gave us so much more insight into this man and his son, the impact they had on many buildings in 31 states, and the entrepreneurship he had to grow the business. A video helped explain how the technique of building the domes without trusses or other supports. A truly amazing technique that is almost a lost art. From the exhibit we learned that Guastavino's son, was a success in his own right along with his father. Anyone in the Asheville area should take time to learn more about this amazing man. At least visit and take a tour of the Basilica of St. Lawrence where you can see the work and learn about this architectural style. Of course, visit the Museum for a more in depth look into Guastavino.
Written June 3, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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