1) Get Outdoors in Western North Carolina
Surrounded by the Appalachian Mountains, you can find any number of outdoor activities.
Some of the most thrilling East Coast rock climbing exists in and around Asheville:
- Chimney Rock State Park: Chimney Rock is one of the most prominent geological sites in the state and hosts some of the best rock climbing you will find in the area.
- Rumbling Bald: Rumbling Bald is known for having some of the best bouldering and challenging rock climbing terrain in the Southeast.
- Looking Glass: Looking Glass in the Pisgah National Forest is the typical Southeast climbing destination. The Nose, a four-pitch classic, is one of the multi-pitch trad routes on this granite dome with massive exposure.
- Climbmax and The Riveter: For indoor climbing options, you can try Climbmax downtown and the Riveter and South Asheville.
There are hundreds upon hundreds of miles of hiking trails in western North Carolina. Whether you are looking for a short loop with big views like Craggy Gardens, a rugged waterfall trek like Turtleback Falls, or a backcountry backpacking trip on the Appalachian Trail, we have it all.
Asheville is home to some of the premier mountain biking parks and trail systems east of the Mississippi River, including:
- Pisgah: The rugged backcountry Pisgah gnar is exactly what mountain bikers dream about.
- Kanuga: Kanuga bike park offers progressive jumps on beautiful machine-built trails.
- Bent Creek: You won’t find a better trail system than Bent Creek so close to a major city.
- Dupont State Forest: Thrilling downhill and flow trails meet classic Appalachian bedrock at Dupont.
- Tsali: Just a few hours from Asheville, Tsali combines the beauty of Fontana Lake with seemingly endless flow.
- Fire Mountain: The Fire Mountain Bike Park in Cherokee offers a little bit of everything.
While you might not think about going to the mountains for watersports, there is plenty to do on the river in and around our city:
- Whitewater rafting
- Fly Fishing
- Float Trips
- And more
2) The Arts and Food
It is no surprise that a city surrounded by the mountains has inspired artists. For those who want to browse and possibly take home pieces from world-class artists, make sure you take some time to explore the River Arts District. Additionally, you’ll find galleries in downtown Asheville and in each mountain town surrounding the city.
In addition to the arts, our city is synonymous with food and beverage. Asheville earned it’s moniker as the beer city by having the highest concentration of craft breweries in America. However, it’s not just beer. Our area is home to some of the most famous restaurants and cocktail bars in the South.
3) Top Music Venues in Asheville
Here in western North Carolina, our music roots run as deep as those of the mountains. Our state has seen some of the greatest musical artists get their starts from traditional bluegrass or twangy country to hard-hitting rock and roll.
With many venues catering to different styles, Asheville, NC, is no exception to the music scene in North Carolina. It is the beating heart of it. So if you find yourself in need of weekend plans with friends or the perfect venue for a romantic date, let’s look at the top places to enjoy live music around town.
1. Isis Music Hall
This iconic 1930’s art deco movie house in the heart of West Asheville is fantastic for catching a rock show in an intimate setting. They don’t focus on any single genre. Showcasing both well-known names and local favorites from Jazz and funk to Celtic and Rock, you can hear it here.
With a capacity of 450, the Isis Music Hall is open to all ages and provides a full bar and restaurant experience. And you don’t want to miss their Tuesday Bluegrass Session!
2. Orange Peel
If you are looking for a rocking good time, the Orange Peel is the place to be. Located in downtown Asheville, this 1,050 standing-room-only venue hosts acts sure to get you moving. They’ve hosted Bob Dylan, Sonic Youth, Sam Bush, and many more.
Age restrictions vary by the show for the main floor, with wine and beer available. But their separate bar, PULP, is located in the basement and has a full liquor selection. On nights when there isn’t a show in the main venue, you can often catch smaller acts at PULP.
3. Off The Wagon
Located on the last brick-paved road in Asheville, Off the Wagon is a unique, crazy musical experience. This Dueling Piano Show venue features two local musicians going head to head with just their voices and a piano. You request it, they sing it. So you get a wide array of musical influences all in one fun show. And feel free to sing along!
Off the Wagon is a place to sit down, enjoy some music, and have a great time with friends. While they don’t have a restaurant on-site, you can bring whatever takeout you would like.
4. Highland Brewery
The first legal Brewery in Asheville is more than just beer. Located on a 40-acre hilltop campus in East Asheville, Highland hosts walking trails, volleyball courts, and live music. The Taproom hosts events and music year-round, while in the warmer months, The Meadow stage and bar area provides the feel of an open-air festival.
With a definitive rock and bluegrass lean, you can kick back and enjoy a locally crafted drink to a local artist as the sunsets. And with all that space, they are one of the friendliest places to pets on this list.
5. Asheville Music Hall
Boasting live music six days a week, the Asheville Music Hall located in downtown Asheville is a great mid-sized venue (~360 capacity) to catch everything from stand-up comedy and Americana to electronic. With a full bar and the associated One Stop Kitchen, Asheville Music Hall is truly a one-stop entertainment venue that will have you coming back for more.
6. Grey Eagle
Historic Asheville’s longest-running all-ages venue, The Grey Eagle, has hosted over 10,000 different bands and artists. With a focus on new and upcoming performers as well as more established favorites like the Avett Brothers and Band of Horses.
Whether it is a standing room, only performance on the dance floor, or an intimate seated show, the Grey Eagle can accommodate. With an in-house taqueria and full beer menu, you can enjoy a tasty meal and drink along with great live music.
No Matter the Occasion
Open six days a week for live music (sorry Tuesdays, but we need a break), Off the Wagon is a no-frills, first come, first serve venue with no need to hassle with buying tickets or scheduling around a specific date. Shows start at 6 pm on Friday and Saturday and at 7 pm other days of the week. Our performers know all your favorite songs from the radio, and our bartenders the perfect drink to go with them.
Whether you are celebrating a special occasion, want a unique date, or a fun night out with friends, you are sure to have a great time with us. Let us know if you have any questions about the venue. We hope to see and hear from you soon.