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21 Best Things To Do In Asheville, NC


by Lesya Woodruff


Are you planning a trip to Asheville, NC and wondering what activities to add to your itinerary? Look no further! In this article, we have compiled a comprehensive list of the 21 best things to do in Asheville. Known for its stunning natural beauty, vibrant arts scene, and historic charm, Asheville offers something for everyone. From exploring the breathtaking Blue Ridge Mountains to immersing yourself in eclectic galleries and unique craft breweries, this lively city in western North Carolina has it all.

Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast seeking thrilling adventures or a culture aficionado looking to soak up the local art and music scene, Asheville has countless attractions to keep you entertained. Get ready to embark on a journey filled with scenic hikes, awe-inspiring architecture, mouthwatering local cuisine, and vibrant street festivals. So, let’s dive in and discover the best that Asheville has to offer!

Explore the Biltmore Estate

The Biltmore Estate is a must-visit attraction in Asheville, North Carolina. This grand mansion, built by George Vanderbilt in the late 19th century, offers a glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of the Gilded Age. From the breathtaking architecture to the sprawling gardens, there is much to see and admire. Don’t miss the chance to explore the extensive grounds and indulge in wine tastings at the on-site winery.

Take a hike on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Embark on a scenic adventure along the Blue Ridge Parkway, one of America’s most scenic drives. With its winding roads and breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and forests, this is a paradise for nature lovers and photography enthusiasts. Make sure to stop at the numerous overlooks and hiking trails along the way to fully appreciate the beauty of the Appalachian Mountains.

Discover the vibrant arts scene in the River Arts District

The River Arts District in Asheville is a haven for art enthusiasts. Take a stroll through the neighborhood and explore the myriad of art galleries, studios, and workshops. You’ll find a diverse range of artistic styles and mediums, including paintings, sculptures, ceramics, and more. Don’t forget to interact with the artists themselves and gain insights into their creative process.

Indulge in the local craft beer scene

Asheville is known for its thriving craft beer scene, with numerous breweries dotted throughout the city. Take a brewery tour and sample the wide variety of unique and flavorful brews on offer. From hoppy IPAs to rich stouts and everything in between, there’s a beer for every palate. Don’t forget to try the flagship beers of Asheville’s renowned breweries, such as Sierra Nevada and New Belgium.

Savor the flavors of Southern cuisine

Experience the taste of the South by indulging in Asheville’s vibrant food scene. From farm-to-table restaurants to local diners and food trucks, there is something to satisfy every craving. Don’t miss the chance to try traditional Southern dishes like fried chicken, shrimp and grits, and collard greens. And for dessert, indulge in a slice of homemade pecan pie or a classic banana pudding.

Explore the stunning waterfalls of Pisgah National Forest

Pisgah National Forest is a nature lover’s paradise, offering numerous hiking trails and breathtaking waterfalls. Take a hike to iconic falls like Looking Glass Falls, Sliding Rock, and Triple Falls. The cascading waters surrounded by lush greenery create a tranquil and picturesque setting. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture these natural wonders.

Visit the North Carolina Arboretum

The North Carolina Arboretum is a beautiful botanical garden located just outside of Asheville. Take a leisurely stroll through the various gardens and admire the stunning displays of flowers and plants. Don’t miss the Bonsai Exhibition Garden, which showcases a unique collection of carefully pruned and cultivated bonsai trees.

Take a scenic drive along the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Located just a short drive from Asheville, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers spectacular scenery and outdoor recreational opportunities. Take a scenic drive through the park, stopping at various overlooks to take in the panoramic views. Don’t forget to pack a picnic and enjoy a meal surrounded by the beauty of nature.

Get adventurous with outdoor activities

Asheville is a playground for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a wide range of activities. Go hiking in the Appalachian Mountains, try your hand at whitewater rafting on the French Broad River, or go ziplining through the lush forests. Don’t miss the chance to experience the thrill of outdoor adventure in this picturesque destination.

Immerse yourself in the history of the Thomas Wolfe Memorial

Step back in time and visit the childhood home of renowned American writer Thomas Wolfe. Explore the historic boarding house and learn about the life and literary works of this influential author. Don’t miss the opportunity to take a guided tour and gain insights into Wolfe’s upbringing and the inspiration behind his novels.

Discover the unique shops in downtown Asheville

Downtown Asheville is a shopper’s paradise, with a wide array of unique boutiques and local shops. Browse through eclectic clothing stores, handmade jewelry shops, and local art galleries. Don’t miss the chance to pick up a one-of-a-kind souvenir or piece of artwork that captures the spirit of Asheville.

Attend a live music performance

Asheville has a vibrant live music scene, with numerous venues hosting performances ranging from local bands to internationally acclaimed artists. Catch a show at iconic venues like The Orange Peel or explore the local bars and cafes for intimate acoustic performances. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience the diverse range of musical talent that Asheville has to offer.

Explore the beauty of the Botanical Gardens at Asheville

The Botanical Gardens at Asheville is a serene oasis, offering visitors a chance to immerse themselves in nature. Take a leisurely stroll along the winding paths and discover a variety of plant species, including native wildflowers and rare plant collections. Don’t forget to relax in the peaceful surroundings and take in the natural beauty.

Learn about Asheville’s brewing history at the Asheville Museum of Science

The Asheville Museum of Science offers a fascinating glimpse into the brewing history of the city. Explore exhibits that showcase the brewing process, the role of water in brewing, and the significance of hops. Don’t miss the chance to learn about the cultural and economic impact that beer has had on Asheville.

Take a scenic ride on the Asheville Urban Trail

The Asheville Urban Trail is a 1.7-mile self-guided walking tour that takes you through the city’s downtown area. Along the way, you’ll encounter 30 unique sculptures and plaques that depict various aspects of Asheville’s history and culture. Don’t forget to pick up a trail guide and embark on this interactive journey through the heart of the city.

Experience the magic of the Asheville Drum Circle

Every Friday evening, locals and visitors gather in downtown Asheville for the Asheville Drum Circle. Join in or simply observe as musicians and dancers create a rhythm-filled atmosphere under the stars. Don’t miss the chance to experience the sense of community and creativity that the drum circle embodies.

Explore the exhibits at the Asheville Art Museum

The newly renovated Asheville Art Museum houses a diverse collection of American art, ranging from traditional to contemporary pieces. Explore the various galleries and admire works by renowned artists. Don’t miss the opportunity to attend one of the museum’s educational programs or special exhibitions.

Relax and rejuvenate at the Asheville Salt Cave

Step into the calming atmosphere of the Asheville Salt Cave and experience the healing properties of Himalayan salt. Relax in reclining chairs surrounded by salt-covered walls and floors while breathing in the salty air. Don’t miss the chance to escape the hustle and bustle and indulge in a unique wellness experience.

Go on a guided tour of the Asheville Ghost Stories

Discover the spooky side of Asheville with a guided ghost tour. Explore historic locations and hear chilling tales of restless spirits and haunted legends. From haunted hotels to eerie graveyards, this tour will leave you with a newfound appreciation for Asheville’s rich history and supernatural folklore.

Take a scenic hot air balloon ride

Soar above the picturesque landscapes of Asheville in a hot air balloon for a unique and unforgettable experience. Enjoy breathtaking views of the rolling hills, forests, and mountains as you glide through the sky. Don’t miss the chance to capture stunning aerial photographs and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Enjoy a leisurely stroll through the Asheville Botanical Gardens

The Asheville Botanical Gardens is a hidden gem nestled within the University of North Carolina-Asheville campus. Take a peaceful walk along the nature trails and discover a variety of native plants and flowers. Don’t miss the chance to relax on one of the benches and soak in the tranquility of this natural oasis.

Experience the Best of Asheville, NC

With its stunning natural beauty, vibrant arts scene, and rich history, Asheville, North Carolina offers something for everyone. From exploring historic landmarks to immersing yourself in nature, this diverse city has 21 Best Things To Do in Asheville, NC to satisfy every traveler’s interests. So plan your trip and get ready to embark on an unforgettable adventure in this charming Appalachian destination.


In conclusion, Asheville, NC is a vibrant and dynamic city that offers an array of thrilling activities and attractions. Whether you’re a nature lover, history enthusiast, or foodie, there is something for everyone in Asheville. From exploring the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway to visiting the iconic Biltmore Estate, the city’s charm and beauty will leave you mesmerized.With its thriving arts and music scene, Asheville also provides ample opportunities to immerse yourself in cultural experiences. Take a stroll through the eclectic downtown area, discover local galleries and boutiques, or indulge in the delicious farm-to-table cuisine that the city is renowned for.So, whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or a longer vacation, Asheville, NC should be at the top of your list. With its picturesque landscapes, rich history, and an abundance of activities, it is truly a destination that will capture your heart and leave you wanting more.


1. What are the best outdoor activities to do in Asheville?

Asheville is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Some of the best activities include hiking along the numerous trails in the Appalachian Mountains, biking along the Blue Ridge Parkway, or taking a scenic rafting trip down the French Broad River.

2. What is the best time to visit Asheville?

The best time to visit Asheville is during the fall season (September to November) when the foliage is at its peak. However, spring (March to May) and summer (June to August) also offer pleasant weather and a variety of events and festivals to enjoy.

3. What attractions can I visit in Asheville?

Some popular attractions in Asheville include the Biltmore Estate, the North Carolina Arboretum, the Basilica of Saint Lawrence, and the Asheville Art Museum. Additionally, exploring the vibrant downtown area is a must-do, with its unique shops, galleries, and eateries.

4. Are there any family-friendly activities in Asheville?

Absolutely! Families can enjoy visiting the Western North Carolina Nature Center, exploring the interactive exhibits at the Asheville Museum of Science, or embarking on a family-friendly adventure at the Adventure Center of Asheville.

5. What is the food scene like in Asheville?

Asheville is known for its diverse and vibrant food scene. From farm-to-table restaurants to food truck festivals, there is no shortage of culinary delights to indulge in. Be sure to sample the local favorites such as biscuits and gravy, craft beer, and homemade ice cream.