Great things to do in asheville nc
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Their beloved wolves have been known to howl in unison when the mood strikes. Downtown Asheville has an astounding array of critically acclaimed restaurants for a square-mile mountain town with a population of less than , people. Looking for more exotic fare? The French Broad River winds its way right through the heart of Asheville.
The river is lined with lush, verdant parks that are perfect for picnics and recreation. Rafting the French Broad River is one of the most fun things to do in Asheville with kids, or a group of friends. The Nantahala Outdoor Center has been offering guided white water rafting trips here longer than anyone else. They have half-day tours that are aimed at beginners ages 8 and up.
There are also full-day, 8-mile, intermediate tours that tackle more challenging Class IV rapids. This is a great river for kayaking in the off-season, when the water is high and tourist traffic on the French Broad River is relatively low. Now the area is the creative home to more than artists working in a broad variety of mediums. Visitors looking for a weekend getaway immersed in culture will find excellent shopping opportunities in countless galleries occupying 22 former industrial buildings along a one-mile stretch of the tranquil French Broad River.
Located just southeast of Asheville, the area surrounding the Green River Gorge boasts some of the most biodiverse forest in the eastern United States. But for a change of pace, try canyoneering, one of the most adrenaline-pumping things to do in Asheville. Green River Adventures offers two options for rappelling. At 70 feet tall, the Little Bradley Waterfall is perfect for youngsters aged 12 and up and first-timers.
Big Bradley Falls, at feet, is more challenging, and recommended for thrill-seekers ages 15 and up. Both tours include expert instruction and plenty of practice time. It may be a mountain town, but Asheville can still get extremely hot during the dog days of summer. But the very first Asheville brewery, Highland Brewing Company, was founded back in and remains one of the best breweries in Asheville.
Guided walking tours of the facilities— one of the best free things to do in Asheville— are available every day of the week. The original Asheville beer tour is offered 3 times a day on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Each lasts around 45 minutes, and include a beer tasting to celebrate the occasion. They also offer private tours. At the end of August, the best apple orchards around Asheville start opening.
Create your Asheville fall bucket list here. We love grabbing a light dinner with some of my favorite cocktails at Edison. If you are stuffed from lunch, just snack on a charcuterie board with drinks from The Great Hall Bar.
We are not going to lie: waking up in the mountains is rough, especially if there is fog. The darker mornings make it harder to get up and out the door early.
Not only do they serve breakfast all day, but they offer lunch and dinner as well as locally source their food. And, mimosas. Read all of our top breakfast recommendations — touristy and more local — with vegan and gluten-free options, too. One of our weekend brunch favorites includes Jerusalem Garden Cafe in downtown Asheville.
Read more about the best Asheville brunch spots. Personally, two of the most fun places to get lunch if you are visiting Asheville are at Biltmore Estate. You will need a Biltmore ticket or annual to enter them. Stable Cafe has the best sandwiches and cocktails in the coolest setting: The former Vanderbilt horse stables. GQC has both vegan and gluten-free options. Whether or not you are a vegan or vegetarian, Laughing Seed Cafe is another gem, and we devour subs gf pizza and grinders available at Apollo Flame Bistro, especially after a BRP parkway hike.
Bouchon, Ukiah, and Limones are the perfect date night restaurants. You may also grab dinner at the breweries like Wicked Weed and Bhramari. Asheville has the best donut shops. We just ate a delicious Vortex donut the other day; it melted in our mouths. If you are here in the fall, go to all of the apple orchards and try their donuts.
We think Sky Top has the best since they make their cinnamon cider donuts in front of you and serve them piping hot.
Many of the AVL food trucks circulate the brewery scene. We always go for the tacos and burritos — and yes, they can do lactose and gluten-free. Visiting Biltmore is a must, at least once. We are annual passholders and head to Biltmore a few times a month.
You can easily spend a day at Biltmore touring the house and wine tasting. Grab a bite to eat, walk the gardens, and hike one of their miles worth of trails. Think red wine and chocolate. See how to make the most out of that Biltmore ticket price. Also, know that there are kid-friendly activities on the Estate , including a farmyard and live demonstrations. If you are visiting Asheville in November through early January, Biltmore at Christmastime is spectacular.
Enjoy a Candlelight Christmas Evenings Tour of the home with the fireplaces lit and Christmas trees in every room. One of our personal favorite things to do in Asheville involves visiting The Thomas Wolfe Memorial and taking a house tour. You might recognize his name from his novel Look Homeward, Angel. Most notably, Wolfe barely changed the names and spellings of his Asheville community members.
This was scandalous and ill-received gossip, at the time. She was quite the entrepreneur of her time. Also watch a short video and tour the museum. One of the free things to do in Asheville, the Black Mountain College Museum offers contemporary and historic exhibitions, events, and research opportunities for the community.
We dropped in one afternoon and toured the current art exhibitions. Small but worth a quick visit, you can budget about minutes here. Of course, kids are welcome. This area is a mini-version of Wynwood Walls in Miami, Florida. You might just catch Gus Cutty or Jerry Cahill working on a masterpiece. Watch an indie film at Grail Moviehouse or attend the Uncommon Market.
Bike the new RAD greenway. If you are looking for wilder things to do in Asheville, check out the LaZoom bus. How many times have you spied a purple bus tearing down the streets of Asheville full of giggling and rowdy adults?! We suggest purchasing tickets in advance. Get there early, too, as you board the bus based on your arrival order. Totally worth that ticket price at least once.
Walk into a funky, kitschy bar full of eccentric tour guides and cat pillows before hopping on the drunk bus. Zelda Fitzgerald stole my heart although she did hump a bush in the rain. Find locally crafted bevies. They even hand you a personal cooler.
For the best Asheville things to do for your inner geologist, head to the Asheville Museum of Science. A smaller science learning center, learn more about North Carolina geology and local specimen. AMOS has gemstones, dinosaur bones, and animal installations.
Encounter hands-on exhibits and scavenger hunts, learn about the French Broad River, and dig for fossils. AMOS is also one of the best kid-friendly things to do in Asheville. They even have a forest-themed playground with bears.
Visitors of the home can take a guided tour, walk the park, hike the grounds, or visit the bookstore. Looking for dark tourist things to do in Asheville, NC? Head to Riverside Cemetery to pay your respects to literary greats. Henry — are buried here. Asheville is one of the coolest cities in America and is located along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Since it is in the Blue Ridge Mountains , there is an eclectic mix of attractions in Asheville. Asheville is one of the cutest small towns in the South for many reasons. The town itself has a vibrant arts scene, especially in the downtown district.
It is also where you can find the Biltmore Estate, which is a historic house museum that has acres of property, a massive mansion, and its own shopping district. If neither of those things interests you, Asheville is perfectly situated for exploring the great outdoors. There are also a few hidden gems you might not find on other lists of Asheville attractions. One of the best things to do in Asheville is the North Carolina Arboretum.
It is over acres of trails, gardens, and more nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Arboretum has 65 acres specifically set aside that are nothing but cultivated gardens.
The garden has both native and exotic plant species. Usually, from April to October there is something in bloom at the Arboretum. It is also known for having one of the most extensive bonsai collections in the United States. Hikers looking for a place with fairly easy hiking and biking trails will love the Arboretum.
There are over 10 miles of manicured and well-kept trails for you to explore. One of the most popular Asheville attractions is the Biltmore Estate. Built over a span of six years and opened to the family in , the Biltmore Estate has been the shining jewel of Asheville, and maybe even the Blue Ridge Mountains, ever since.
On the estate, there are also miles of gardens, a greenhouse, woodlands with trails running throughout, a replica European-style village, restaurants, and a winery. The Biltmore can be kind of expensive to tour, but it is well worth it.
It is the only house of its kind in the United States and is full of beauty and history. You can easily spend the whole day exploring. Asheville is known for many things. One of those is its art scene. That art scene is so vibrant and healthy that it is overflowing onto the streets of Asheville. Asheville boasts more than 15 murals of all shapes and sizes. There are also murals with a spiritual or political message.
Some are collages of different images or quotes and others are made for photo ops. Walking around and trying to spot the various murals is one of the fun free things to do in Asheville.
Over , acres of it were once owned by the Biltmore Estate, but over time more and more have been sold back to the United States government. The National Forest is now over , acres of dense hardwood forest, waterfalls, rivers, and mountain peaks.
Go hiking, biking, pack a picnic, or just drive through the park to see some stunning views. It is also known to have some of the best hiking trails in Southwestern North Carolina. They range from easy to difficult and you can see breathtaking waterfalls or climb the highest peaks in the East.
You can also enjoy Pisgah by taking a scenic drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway. During the fall, Pisgah National Forest is one of the best places to experience fall foliage in North Carolina. There are dozens of beautiful waterfalls near Asheville just waiting for you to explore.
It has four locations across the town focusing on sustainable and green coffee. High Five Coffee is a classy coffee shop with multiple locations across Asheville, serving local Counter Culture Coffee. Since , Grove Arcade has been considered one of the most elegant buildings in North Carolina. Today, Grove Arcade features dozens of galleries, restaurants, specialty shops of local art, fine gifts, and antiques.
In Portico Market, farmers sell their homemade goods and local crafts. Local restaurants have cozy sidewalk dining. The Grove Arcade transforms into a winter wonderland with holiday decorations and shops from November to January.
Wake Foot Sanctuary is a wonderful place to relax and enjoy the foot soak and massage services. The interior and colors immediately create the mood of tranquility while comfortably fitting in soft, deep chairs and enjoying foot massage in natural soap and salt foot soaks. Wake Foot Sanctuary welcomes all guests with a cup of revitalizing hot tea or a cool sparkling beverage with cookies and chocolate to make your stay even more unforgettable.
Who said Asheville could not give you some spices and flavors of far India? Chai Pani Indian street food is a popular venue in downtown Asheville with delicious and innovative Indian cuisine. Here you will find all the popular Indian dishes; daily thali specials, nimbu Pani, spicy chaat, and all your favorite names. A post shared by Chai Pani chaipani.
Multiple music festivals are a significant part of life and worth witnessing. Check your dates of visiting Asheville, and maybe you will be lucky to take part in one of the music festivals.
Still, the most popular and definitely the most beloved one is Downtown After 5, a series of concerts taking place on the third Friday lasting from May to September. The concerts are held at North Lexington Avenue.
From 5 pm to 9 pm, guests enjoy good music, craft beer, and snacks sold in food trucks for four hours. A more contemporary music festival gathering the lovers of alternative electro-music is held in May in the Black Mountains. Asheville Electro-Music Festival showcases a line of electronic and experimental music of local artists accompanied by visual shows.
Summer at Biltmore is full of live concerts and music. Every evening the South Terrace at Biltmore revives under the beats of music, star-studded shows performed by local artists on the backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountain.
Grovewood Village is one of the hidden gems of Asheville with rich history and art. The picturesque campus is located behind the Omni Grove Park Inn, which was once used for weaving woodworking operations of Biltmore Industries.
The second floor impresses with American-made studio furniture and an exclusive lighting collection. From admiring artwork in a historic mansion to a great hiking trail, here are the best things to do in Asheville, NC. Although you’re going to enjoy this Blue Ridge Mountains destination regardless of your interests, art and history fiends are likely to fall head over heels in love with the best things to do in Asheville, North Carolina.
A vibrant arts scene dominates the local culture: Biltmore, a historic mansion, is home to works by the likes of Renoir; the River Arts District, which used to be dominated by factory buildings, is now where most local artists set up shop; the Downtown Art District, on the other hand, is where most of the galleries and museums are located. And if art isn’t your thing, opt to explore the endless hiking trail or indulge in the foods prepared at the best restaurants in town. Asheville might not be the biggest city—it’s home to just over 91, residents—but it’s clearly very big in personality, rich in history and delectable in all things food and drink.
Ready to explore it? Just two miles west of central Asheville, you are able to encounter the very best the local art scene has to offer, with creative types showing off their wares throughout the various historical buildings in the area.
This is the best place to pick up a souvenir straight from the artistic mind who created it. Mingle with the artists and purchase works in a variety of mediums, styles and price points.
Biltmore Estate is a palatial mansion built by George Washington Vanderbilt II in the late s—it boasts rooms and is set on four acres of beautiful grounds. Every room in the French renaissance-style building is visually stunning and the basement sports a pool, a bowling alley and a huge kitchen. There is biking, hiking, seven restaurants, fly-fishing, a winery and even guided raft trips. Shops are plentiful and the space for large warehouses near the center of town means that they are accessible—and big.
– 27 Best Things to Do in Asheville, NC (+ Nearby Attractions!)
Along with drinking beer, one of our absolute favorite things to do in Asheville, NC includes exploring the endless hiking trails and waterfalls. Keeping your adventure to or within the vicinity of Asheville gets you to the Craggy Gardens, Mount Mitchell, and the Folk Art Center – and two.