Here are our favorite things to do in Asheville (and we fibbed; there are way more than five!):
Find out why Asheville is known as the “Land of the Sky.” Set against the dramatic backdrop of the regal Blue Ridge Mountains, this city could not be more perfect for nature-lovers. We have forests, parks, trails, nature centers, and gardens galore. Try:
- Biltmore. Stunning! You can tour the beautiful historic gardens and an impressive 8000-acre array of delights. With paved trails, it’s a great walk for all ages and abilities.
- The North Carolina Arboretum. Feast your eyes on acres of cultivated gardens, groomed trails, wonderfully diverse plants, and the Southern Appalachians in the background. (If you like this type of adventure, also make the Botanical Gardens of Asheville a stop on your journey).
- Carrier Park. If you’re traveling with children, take a break and let them get their energy out. This park offers a playground, basketball court, sports fields, tracks, and opportunities for walking, biking, and picnicking.
- Bent Creek Experimental Forest. This is a 6300-acre forest (also home to the Arboretum) within the Pisgah National Forest. The research forest features numerous studies on forest management and restoration, and you can enjoy hands-on demos to learn more. Plus, that scenery!
- Craven Gap Trail. Located on the Blue Ridge Parkway, this is a 4.8 mile round trip trail that is both kid and pet-friendly. Work up a sweat in one of the south’s most beautiful settings.
If hiking’s your thing, you’re in the right place. We have a great selection of trails for all ability levels, from easy to moderate to wow-you’re-insane. Take a hike.
If shopping is on your list, you’ll be glad to know you have a variety of options in Asheville. It’s a one-stop-shop for… shoppers. We’ve got the big choices, including the Asheville Mall and Asheville Outlets, but what we really love are the small, eclectic shops and galleries that make our city so vibrant. Make sure to stop in at:
- Sweeten Creek Antiques
- The Regeneration Station
- New Morning Gallery
- Asheville Bee Charmer
- Groveland Villages (yes… arts and crafts shops aplenty!)
- Mast General Store
- Asheville Emporium
- Downtown Asheville Arts District (stroll, browse, enjoy)
- WNC Farmers Market
- Kress Emporium
If you don’t have a specific item or destination in mind, just wander through the arts districts and streets of Downtown. You’ll find everything you didn’t even know you were looking for.
3. Listen, Watch, and Be Entertained
Asheville, North Carolina is home to many entertainment venues, including the Famous Biltmore, the Asheville Pinball Museum, the Folk Art Center, and much more. Catch a show at the Asheville Community Theatre, the Diana Wortham Theatre, Montford Park Players, North Carolina State Company, the Magnetic Theatre, Ambrose West, and our other local treasures.
And of course, you must stop at Off the Wagon Dueling Piano Bar for the show of a lifetime. Sure to be a highlight of your visit (or your week, if you’re a local), you’ll be part of the fun in our all-request show.
4. Eat and Drink
After all that hiking, walking, shopping, browsing, and sightseeing, you’ll need to refuel. Replenish yourself at Nashville's best eateries, pubs, and breweries. Our favorites include:
- The Dining Room
- Blue Ridge
- Twisted Laurel Downtown
- Sunny Point Cafe
- Green Man Brewery
- Vinnie’s Neighborhood Italian
- Fork Lore
- The Corner Kitchen
- Hi-Wire Brewing
- Highland Brewing Company
- White Labs Kitchen and Tap
- Biltmore Estate Winery
- Off the Wagon (wine, beer, cocktails, and specialty pours / shots)
You can also take advantage of Eat Asheville tours, as well as brewery and winery tours. Taste what Asheville has to offer!
The best aspect of visiting or touring Asheville is that you can just breathe and relax. Whether you stroll through the gorgeous grounds of the Biltmore, wander into a gallery featuring our talented local artists, or eating a fresh farm-to-table meal at a local eatery, you have the chance to slow down and breathe. Savor the tastes, sights, sounds, and smells of our great city.
Try the Asheville Hop-On/Hop-Off Trolley Tour, private tours of the Blueridge Parkway, a Blueridge Parkway Waterfalls Tour, guided walking tours, Craggy Gardens, the Western North Carolina Nature Center, the Folk Art Center… whatever you are in the mood for, you’ll find it here. Just take the time to fully enjoy it. There’s no need to rush (we want you to come back again and again!).
No visit to Asheville, North Carolina would be complete without a stop at Off the Wagon Dueling Piano Bar. And locals, we love you too. Come on by.