The Black Walnut Inn, a Historic Bed and Breakfast in Asheville NC

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[Updated July 29, 2021] “You don’t choose Asheville… Asheville chooses you.”

This enigmatic insight from Peter White, co-owner of the Black Walnut Bed and Breakfast Inn, was a perfect summation of our fascination with what was then still a burgeoning little Blue Ridge mountain town.

By our second visit to Asheville in 2014, you could really feel the bustling energy of the town’s progressive movement. From great music and art scenes to green restaurants and endless outdoor activities, it immediately felt like the sort of place we could call home.

White and his wife, Lori, were among a new wave of entrepreneurs who first visited Asheville in the late ’90s and early 2000s. At the time, they were nearly 30 years into running the Old Stone Bakery in Martha’s Vineyard.

They fell in love with the beauty of Asheville’s surrounding natural beauty and vibrant culture, bought a historic home in the Montford neighborhood in 2004, and invested their entire live savings into restoring it to its former glory.

Within a few years it was one of the most beloved bed and breakfasts in Asheville NC, earning features in Travel & Leisure and 1000 Places to See Before You Die.

It was easy to see why upon our first visit. The Black Walnut Inn offers a great mixture of historic charm and modern luxury, from lovingly landscaped gardens and a newly renovated carriage house to the elegant dining room and gorgeous guest rooms.

So here’s a guide to this historic Asheville B&B, including its intriguing architectural design, excellent amenities, and some of the awesome activities available nearby.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: After this piece was published, we learned that the Black Walnut B&B Inn had been sold to a new owner, Alicia Wilson, in 2019. We leave our story intact to reflect our personal experience at this beautiful Asheville bed and breakfast.)

READ MORE: The Best Things to Do in Asheville NC

Living Room at Black Walnut Bed and Breakfast in Asheville NC



ADDRESS: 288 Montford Avenue, Asheville NC 28801

PHONE: 828-254-3878

EMAIL: [email protected]

Check Rates for the Black Walnut Inn via

ACCOMMODATIONS: The Black Walnut B&B offers eight guest rooms, including two pet-friendly rooms in the restored Carriage House.

All guest rooms have private baths en-suite, and most offer in-room fireplaces.

Guests also receive lavish breakfasts in the Inn’s elegant, antique-filled dining room, as well as afternoon tea served with delightful homemade treats.

DIRECTIONS FROM BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY VISITOR CENTER: Turn right onto Hemphill Knob rd, then another right on the Blue Ridge Pkwy, and follow it for .6 miles until you reach the US-74-A W ramp to Asheville.

Turn right to merge onto US-74 ALT W, then continue on I-240 W for 4.7 miles. Take exit 4C toward Haywood St/Montford Ave, then merge onto Cherry St N.

In 148 feet, turn right onto Montford Ave. The Black Walnut Bed and Breakfast Inn will be on your left in approximately .6 miles. 

RESERVATIONS: Check Rates for the Black Walnut Inn via



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Walnut Room at Asheville bed and breakfast The Black Walnut Inn


Located just north of downtown Asheville, the Montford Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Most of the 600+ historic buildings in Montford were residences built between 1890 and 1920, with cosmopolitan architectural styles ranging from Arts & Crafts and Neoclassical Queen Anne and Victorian.

The Black Walnut Bed and Breakfast Inn was built in 1899. Like many homes in the area, was designed by Richard Sharp-Smith, who was also the supervising architect for the world-renowned Biltmore House.

The Asheville bed and breakfast is a sensational showcase for Sharp-Smith’s unique take on the English shingle style, with half-timbering, pebbledash (a.k.a. roughcast) exterior, and the original diamond-paned windows.

After Lori and Peter White bought the B&B (which Lori described as her “dream home”), the Black Walnut Inn was lovingly restored to enhance the building’s historic character.

At the same time, they introduced modern creature comforts such as air conditioning, Wifi, and private en-suite bathrooms.

The Whites’ labor of love also included renovating the home’s old Carriage House to create two additional guest rooms for the pet-friendly B&B.

READ MORE: 15 Festive Ways to Celebrate an Asheville NC Christmas

Black Walnut Bed & Breakfast Inn with fireplace in Asheville NC


The Walnut Room, in which we stayed, is the largest of the 8 rooms available at the Black Walnut B&B. Measuring 20 X 22 feet, it is one of only two rooms that can hold up to 3 people.

Located on the second floor in the northwest corner, where it overlooks the tranquil gardens and koi ponds, this was originally the house’s master suite.

It’s a gorgeous suite with a more masculine touch than you’ll find in some of their smaller rooms, all centered around a ginormous King-sized wooden sleigh bed with a cozy down mattress.

Warm peachy tones are offset by luxurious black, gold, and sage fabrics, with antique wooden tables, lamps, and a mirrored armoire adding to the Inn’s historic appeal.

The room includes a large seating area, with sofa and armchairs in front of the flat screen TV and romatic roaring fireplace.

The bathroom boasts a big granite vanity and a porcelain tub that’s big enough for two (with overhead shower for those who don’t enjoy baths). The lush, large Turkish towels and Aveda toiletry products add an extra touch of indulgent luxury.

But what makes the Black Walnut one of the best bed and breakfasts in Asheville, North Carolina is the breakfast itself.

At many B&Bs we’ve visited during our international travel adventures, the morning meal feels like a perfunctory service. But at the Black Walnut Inn, it’s truly an event worth savoring.

After nearly 30 years running a critically-acclaimed bakery, Lori & Peter White clearly take pride in the pastries and other products their kitchen produces. Their delightful 3-course meal was easily among the best breakfasts in Asheville we’ve ever had.



Exterior view of the Biltmore Estate in Asheville NC

The Biltmore Estate

Finished in 1895, multi-millionaire George Washington Vanderbilt II’s 135,280 square foot, 250-room Biltmore Estate is the largest privately owned house in the United States.

The centerpiece of the Vanderbilts’ 125,000-a

cre retreat soon attracted famous friends such as inventors Henry Ford and Thomas Edison, and Presidents William McKinley, Teddy Roosevelt, and Woodrow Wilson.

That infusion of wealth funded much of the art deco-style architecture that made downtown Asheville one of the fastest-growing towns in North Carolina.

The Biltmore remains the most beloved Asheville attraction today. Guests can tour its Châteauesque-style architecture, lushly landscaped gardens, and wineries.

It’s especially popular during the holidays, with Christmas at Biltmore lasting from early November to January.

READ MORE: The Best Places to Celebrate Christmas in North Carolina

Autumn Leaves at the Linn Cove Viaduct on the Blue Ridge Parkway
Photo by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett

Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway is the longest linear park in the USA, stretching 469 miles from Great Smoky Mountains National Park in NC to Shenandoah National Park in VA.

The most visited unit of America’s National Park System for 70+ years, the parkway passes right through Asheville (under 7 miles from the Black Walnut Inn).

The possibilities for day trips from Asheville along the BRP are endless, with popular overlooks such as Craggy Dome, Graybeard Mountain, Looking Glass Rock, the Cradle of Forestry, and Mt. Mitchell all within easy driving distance.

There are also some amazing Blue Ridge Parkway hikes in the area, including the Graveyard Fields Loop, the Crabtree Falls Loop, and the Craggy Pinnacle trail.

READ MORE: The 20 Best Blue Ridge Parkway Overviews in NC & VA

Couple outside Posana Cafe, one of the best Downtown Asheville Restaurants
Posana Cafe, Photo via Explore Asheville

Downtown Asheville Restaurants & Breweries

After four visits to the city over the last 8 years, we’re continually blown away by the downtown Asheviille restaurant scene, which is full to bursting with creative culinary talents.

Want Southern fare with a dash of flair? Try Tupelo Honey or 12 Bones Smokehouse (the Obamas’ favorite local BBQ joint). Healthy options? Check out the Green Sage Cafe, Plant, and Chef Peter Pollay’s Posana.

In the mood for more exotic fare? Try multiple James Beard Award nominee Meherwan Irani’s excellent Indian at Chai Pani, or the farm-to-table French bistro, Bouchon.

Or you can spend a great afternoon dining and drinking on the patio at famous brewpubs like Highland Brewing, the Sierra Nevada Brewery, and Wicked Weed.

READ MORE: The Best Downtown Asheville Restaurants

View Behind Pisgah Inn in Peak Fall Colors
View behind Pisgah Inn, photo by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett

Pisgah National Forest

Encompassing over half a million acres, Pisgah National Forest spans 12 counties (from Brevard north to Boone) and essentially surrounds Asheville.

Incorporating land that was originally part of the Biltmore Estate, the forest also includes parts of the Blue Ridge Mountains and Great Balsam Mountains.

This haven for nature lovers is beloved for its picturesque scenery, including majestic mountains, old growth hardwood forests, and some of the best Western NC waterfalls.

It’s also a hotbed for outdoor recreation, including a seemingly endless array of excellent hiking trails and camping opportunities.

READ MORE: The 15 Best Pisgah National Forest Hiking Trails

Exterior Shot of North Carolina Glass Center in River Arts District Asheville
NC Glass Center, photo via

River Arts District

Encompassing 23 historic industrial buildings lining a one-mile stretch of the French Broad River (which is a popular place for tubing in NC), the River Arts District is at the heart of Asheville’s thriving cultural scene.

From the Asheville Cotton Mill and Curve Studios to Foundation Woodworks and the North Carolina Glass Center, each is home to an array of galleries and artist studios.

Whether you’re looking for Appalachian folk art, museum-worthy fine art, or unique candles, clothing, and jewelry, this area is a shopaholic’s dream come true.

It’s also home to some of Asheville’s best restaurants, including All Souls Pizza, 12 Bones Smokehouse, and VIVIAN Restaurant.  –by Bret Love; photos courtesy Black Walnut Bed and Breakfast Inn unless otherwise noted

READ MORE: The Best Places to See Christmas Lights in North Carolina


Leave No Trace logo

We encourage anyone who loves the Blue Ridge region to learn about the Leave No Trace principles of responsible environmental stewardship. 

Stay on marked trails, take only pictures, pack out your trash, and be considerate of others who share the trails and parks you explore. 

Remember that waterfalls and rocky summits can be dangerous. Never try to climb waterfalls or get close to a ledge to get a selfie.

When you're exploring the wilderness, it's better to be safe than to be a statistic!

The BRMTG was created by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett, the award-winning team behind the world-renowned responsible travel website Green Global Travel. Born and raised in North Georgia, Editor-In-Chief Bret Love grew up hiking and camping in the Blue Ridge Mountains with his family. A professional writer/editor since 1995, he's covered travel and culture for 100+ publications, including American Way, Destination Marriott, Georgia Travel Guide, National Geographic, and Southbound. In 2010 he co-founded the award-winning website, Green Global Travel, which is ranked among the world's top travel blogs. Since launching BRMTG in 2020, he and Mary Gabbett have visited 50+ Blue Ridge Mountain towns together. Though she lived in NYC for 14 years, photographer/Business Manager Mary Gabbett's family has Georgia roots dating back 200+ years. Her great-grandfather was President of the Western Railroad of Alabama. Before moving to Atlanta in 1989, she fell in love with the North GA mountains, where her aunt owned a cabin. In 2010 she co-founded Green Global Travel, and has since traveled to more than 40 countries on six continents. Her photos have appeared in numerous travel publications (including National Geographic and Southbound) and various textbooks.