The Ultimate Guide To Asheville and the Western North Carolina Mountains
The Ultimate Guide to Asheville & the Western North Carolina Mountains

The Online Version of the Best-selling Regional Guidebook


Book Reviews


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Times-News (Hendersonville, NC), Barbara Diamond, Sunday, August 2nd, 2012

"Until now, if you wanted detailed information about Hendersonville, it took some doing. A trip -or call or letter -to the Visitors Center will get you a fact-packed booklet about our fair City of Four Seasons, relocation guides if you are so inclined, a thick stack of tourist brochures, and plenty of helpful advice.
The friendly folks at the Chamber of Commerce gladly provide additional facts, and local real estate agents hand out detailed driving maps and other goodies. Relocation sourcebooks -the best of which is Places Rated Almanac -offer pages of statistical and social date. And, of course, the Yellow Pages list the addresses and phone numbers of most local businesses.
All of that information is super -but keeping it handy, and using it effectively, can be quite a juggling act, especially when you driving. Local artist-author Lee James Pantas must have been thinking the same thing, because he came up with the perfect solution: The Ultimate Guide to Asheville & The Western North Carolina Mountains.
Well priced (at $18.00) for a book of its size and scope, The Ultimate Guide is thoroughly researched, organized for easy use, and illustrated with many of Pantas' own gorgeous pen and ink drawings. Because it was written by someone who actually lives here, The Ultimate Guide has a sense of caring, commitment and completeness that is often lacking in regional guides written by visiting authors.
Pantas has divided The Ultimate Guide into five sections: "Getting Acquainted" (with the Asheville-Hendersonville area); "The Best of Asheville, Hendersonville and Flat Rock" (accommodations, dining, special events, fun activities for kids, favorite itineraries, places of worship, art galleries, shopping, outdoor recreation and so forth); "Asheville" (city and neighborhood facts, natural and man-made attractions, schools, hospitals and the like); "Hendersonville and Flat Rock" (history, city facts, lots of things to see and do, education, medical facilities, etc); and "Western North Carolina" (exploring the areas surrounding Asheville and Hendersonville).
Guidebooks, in general, are geared to the needs of short-term visitors and newer residents. Since Asheville and Hendersonville are replete with both categories, The Ultimate Guide should attract and keep a large and enthusiastic readership. However, even those who have lived here for a while will find the book -with its abundant listings, phone numbers, addresses, recommendations, and historical information -a helpful year 'round reference.
The listings of accommodations include seasonally-adjusted room rates, and the restaurant descriptions include average meal prices. Establishments that the author deemed particularly outstanding are given a start. Whereas "one star" might be the lowest rating is some guidebooks, here it signifies excellence.
With that in mind, author Lee James Pantas certainly deserves a nice, big shiny star for his fine coverage of our area and all that it has to offer."

Asheville Citizen Times (Asheville, NC), Dale Neal, June 28, 2005

"The Ultimate Guide to Asheville & the Western North Carolina Mountains" by Lee James Pantas has just been published. Besides Pantas' pick of the best accommodations, restaurants and attractions in the area, the book includes pen-and-ink drawings by the locally famed artist. Rick Boyer, the original author of the "Places Rated Almanac," offers a foreword to Pantas' comprehensive guidebook.

Forsyth County News (Georgia), Alton Bridge, Sunday, October 18th, 2004

"As the leaves in north Georgia, western Carolina and eastern Tennessee begin to change, people begin planning trips to get away from the asphalt and sidewalks to see that leaves that have been painted by nature's brush. One of the most beautiful areas for anyone who can get away for a weekend is the Asheville, N.C. area.
The area is blessed with a rich history, folk festivals and beautiful parks and homes that are open to the public. Before taking a tour of the Asheville area, the traveler should read two books: "Historic Asheville" by Bob Terrell and "The Ultimate Guide to Asheville by Lee James Pantas. These books will help the traveler understand the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina."

The Fairview Town Crier, Mike Paterson (Editor), November, 2002

"When a hometown boy makes good, it's news. Lee Pantas is a Fairview resident, so when he gets a book published, we are just going to have to publish the event. The name of his book is The Ultimate Guide to Asheville & The Western North Carolina Mountains. Not only did Lee write the book, he also illustrated it with hundreds of his own very fine pen and ink drawings.
If you were going to visit our western mountain region, you would want this book to plan your stay. If you live here (and you do) you would want the book so you could know every meaningful detail of our surroundings, and impress every visiting friend and relative with your extensive knowledge of our beautiful area. Lee has made it fun and interesting with his new book. So, go out and buy one! It only costs $18.00. Lee Pantas will do the same for you when you write your book -if it's interesting that is. Hey Lee -Well Done!"

Nancy Marstall - Author , Asheville, NC, August 3rd, 1998

First, congratulations on a fabulous book! You really produced a gem -excellent in every way. Easy to follow, extremely informative and chock full of good stuff. We've shown it to many people already and will highly promote it for you. We appreciate the mention of The Blue Book in the real estate section. Thank you.

John W. Hoppes, Dillard, Georgia, December 28, 1998

Dear Mr. Pantas:
Just a note to tell you how much I have enjoyed your book The Ultimate Guide to Asheville and Hendersonville. We have fallen in love with Asheville, bought Biltmore Estate passes, stayed at the Grove Park Inn and used your book as the ultimate guide.

We really enjoyed your ink drawings, especially the Grove Park Inn, the Biltmore House, the Conservatory at Biltmore House, the Winery at Biltmore House, the Asheville City Building, and the All Souls Church. If you have the time, please send me your prices on these prints and sizes,
John W. Hoppes


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