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Asheville’s Best Free + Budget Things To Do


by Gay Vargas



Welcome to Asheville, a vibrant city nestled in the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Known for its rich history, stunning natural beauty, and thriving arts scene, Asheville offers a wide array of activities and attractions for visitors on a budget.


Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, history buff, art lover, or food aficionado, Asheville has something to offer to everyone. The best part? Many of the city’s attractions and experiences are free or budget-friendly, making it an ideal destination for those seeking adventure without breaking the bank.


Asheville’s downtown area is a bustling hub of art galleries, local shops, and farm-to-table restaurants. Take a leisurely stroll through the streets and immerse yourself in the city’s unique blend of bohemian charm and Southern hospitality. Be sure to explore the vibrant River Arts District, home to numerous artist studios and galleries where you can admire and purchase one-of-a-kind works of art.


For outdoor enthusiasts, Asheville offers a multitude of options. Lace up your hiking boots and explore the scenic trails of the Blue Ridge Parkway, a 469-mile drive that winds through the Appalachian Mountains. If you’re looking for a more challenging hike, head to nearby Pisgah National Forest, where you can summit Mount Pisgah for breathtaking panoramic views.


In addition to its outdoor beauty, Asheville is also known for its stunning parks and gardens. Pack a picnic and spend a relaxing afternoon at the North Carolina Arboretum, where you can wander through miles of gardens and hiking trails. The Biltmore Estate, a historic Vanderbilt mansion, is another must-visit attraction. While entry to the house requires a fee, the expansive grounds and gardens can be explored for free.


Art and culture thrive in Asheville, with numerous art galleries and museums showcasing the works of talented local and international artists. Explore the Asheville Art Museum, which features a diverse collection of contemporary art, or visit the Black Mountain College Museum, dedicated to preserving the legacy of the renowned experimental college. Many galleries offer free admission on certain days or have discounted rates for students and seniors.


No visit to Asheville is complete without experiencing its rich history. Take a self-guided tour of the Montford Historic District, where you can admire a stunning collection of Victorian-era homes. Explore the Thomas Wolfe Memorial, the childhood home of the famous author, or delve into the city’s past at the Smith-McDowell House Museum, the oldest surviving house in Asheville.


In addition to its cultural offerings, Asheville boasts a vibrant food and drink scene. Sample delicious local cuisine at the city’s food trucks, which offer a variety of culinary delights at affordable prices. Don’t forget to visit the iconic Grove Arcade, where you can find a range of gourmet food vendors. And of course, no visit to Asheville would be complete without trying the city’s renowned craft beer. Take a tour of one of the local breweries and savor the flavors of Asheville’s thriving craft beer culture.


Music and entertainment are also at the heart of Asheville’s vibrant atmosphere. Catch a live show at one of the many venues in the city, from intimate folk and bluegrass performances to lively concerts featuring both local and national acts. The streets of downtown Asheville are often filled with the sounds of talented street musicians, adding to the city’s lively and eclectic ambiance.


Asheville is also host to a variety of events and festivals throughout the year. From the Asheville Yoga Festival to the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival, there is always something happening in this lively city. Many of these events offer free or low-cost admission, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in Asheville’s vibrant culture.


If you’re looking to venture beyond the city limits, Asheville is surrounded by stunning natural attractions. Explore the majestic waterfalls of Dupont State Forest, or embark on a scenic drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway to witness the beauty of the surrounding mountains.


With its breathtaking natural beauty, thriving arts scene, and budget-friendly attractions, Asheville offers an unforgettable experience for visitors of all interests and budgets. So pack your bags, embrace the spirit of adventure, and get ready to discover all that this captivating city has to offer.


Downtown Asheville

Downtown Asheville is the heart and soul of the city, bustling with energy and offering a wide range of experiences for visitors. From art galleries and unique shops to farm-to-table restaurants and lively entertainment venues, there is something for everyone to enjoy.


Start your exploration of downtown by taking a leisurely stroll along the vibrant streets. The architecture of the buildings is a mix of historic and modern, creating a charming and eclectic atmosphere. Discover hidden alleys and courtyards tucked away amidst the bustling city, where you can find quaint shops and local artisans showcasing their crafts.


Asheville is known for its thriving arts scene, and downtown is home to numerous art galleries where you can admire and purchase works of art from talented local and international artists. From contemporary and abstract art to traditional and folk art, there is a diverse range of styles and mediums to explore. Keep an eye out for First Friday Art Walks, where galleries open their doors to the public, offering free admission and the opportunity to meet artists.


Food enthusiasts will be delighted by the array of culinary options in downtown Asheville. From farm-to-table restaurants sourcing their ingredients from local farms to international cuisines and trendy food trucks, there is something to satisfy every palate. Don’t miss the Asheville City Market, where you can sample and purchase fresh produce, artisanal products, and tasty treats from local farmers and artisans.


In the evening, downtown Asheville comes alive with music and entertainment. Catch a live show at one of the many music venues, ranging from intimate listening rooms to larger concert halls. Asheville has a rich music heritage, particularly in genres such as bluegrass, folk, and Americana. Be sure to check the local events calendar for concerts and live performances happening during your visit.


For those who enjoy a vibrant nightlife, downtown Asheville has plenty to offer. Discover a wide selection of breweries, cocktail bars, and wine bars, where you can sample local craft beers and indulge in creative cocktails. Many venues also feature live music, creating a lively and enjoyable atmosphere.


Downtown Asheville is also home to several historic landmarks, including the Basilica of Saint Lawrence and the Asheville Masonic Temple. Take a self-guided walking tour to admire the architectural beauty of these buildings and learn about their historical significance.


Exploring downtown Asheville is an experience that combines the charm of a small-town atmosphere with the vibrancy of a thriving city. Whether you’re shopping for unique souvenirs, savoring delicious cuisine, or immersing yourself in the city’s arts and music scene, downtown Asheville has something for everyone to enjoy.


Outdoor Activities

Asheville is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a plethora of activities that take advantage of its stunning natural surroundings. From scenic hiking trails and thrilling water sports to breathtaking vistas, there are countless opportunities to explore the great outdoors.


One of the highlights of outdoor recreation in Asheville is the Blue Ridge Parkway. It spans 469 miles through the Appalachian Mountains and offers breathtaking views and access to numerous hiking trails. Take a drive along the parkway, stopping at overlooks to admire the panoramic vistas of rolling mountains, colorful foliage, and cascading waterfalls. There are also multiple trailheads along the parkway that cater to all skill levels, from leisurely walks to challenging hikes.


If you’re a hiking enthusiast, make sure to explore the trails of Pisgah National Forest. Just a short drive from Asheville, this vast forest is a true outdoor playground. Climb to the top of Mount Pisgah for sweeping views of the surrounding mountains or embark on the iconic hike to Catawba Falls, a picturesque waterfall that cascades over a series of rocky ledges.


For thrill-seekers, Asheville offers exciting opportunities for white-water rafting and kayaking. The French Broad River, which flows through the city, provides the perfect backdrop for adrenaline-pumping water adventures. Join a guided rafting tour or rent a kayak and navigate the river’s rapids for an unforgettable experience.


If you prefer a more serene outdoor activity, Asheville is also home to numerous lakes and rivers where you can enjoy fishing, paddleboarding, or simply relaxing by the water. Pack a picnic and spend a leisurely afternoon at Lake Powhatan or Lake Lure, both offering scenic beauty and recreational opportunities.


Cycling enthusiasts will find plenty of picturesque routes to explore in and around Asheville. Whether you prefer mountain biking on challenging trails or a leisurely ride along the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, there are options for all skill levels. You can also rent a bike and explore the city on two wheels, taking advantage of Asheville’s bike-friendly streets and pathways.


The outdoor adventures in Asheville extend beyond hiking and water sports. The area is also a haven for rock climbers, with its rugged cliffs and boulders offering thrilling challenges for climbers of all levels. Grab your gear and head to popular climbing spots such as Rumbling Bald or the Linville Gorge Wilderness Area.


For a unique outdoor experience, consider taking a hot air balloon ride over the beautiful landscapes surrounding Asheville. Drift above the treetops and take in panoramic views of the mountains, forests, and rolling hills for a truly unforgettable adventure.


Whether you’re seeking adventure or simply want to immerse yourself in nature, Asheville’s outdoor activities provide a wealth of options to satisfy every outdoor enthusiast. Soak in the beauty of the mountains, breathe in the fresh air, and create lasting memories in this natural playground.


Parks and Gardens

Asheville is a city known for its stunning natural beauty, and its parks and gardens showcase the best that the area has to offer. From picturesque gardens bursting with colorful blooms to peaceful green spaces where you can relax and reconnect with nature, there are plenty of options to explore.


One of the most popular destinations for nature lovers is the North Carolina Arboretum. Located just a short drive from downtown Asheville, this 434-acre botanical garden features a wide variety of gardens, including the Bonsai Exhibition Garden, Quilt Garden, and the National Native Azalea Collection. Take a leisurely stroll along the miles of walking trails, admire the vibrant flora, and learn about the diverse ecosystems of the region.


The Asheville Botanical Gardens, located adjacent to the University of North Carolina Asheville, is another must-visit for plant enthusiasts. Spanning 10 acres, this urban oasis is home to a diverse collection of native plants, including rare and endangered species. Take a self-guided tour of the gardens and discover the beauty and diversity of the Appalachian plants.


If you’re looking for a park where you can enjoy recreational activities, Pack Square Park is a perfect choice. Located in the heart of downtown Asheville, this urban park features open green spaces, fountains, and a stage where live performances are held. Pack a picnic and relax in the shade of the trees, or participate in one of the many community events and festivals that take place in the park throughout the year.


Another notable park in Asheville is Carrier Park, a 35-acre recreational facility that offers a range of activities for visitors of all ages. Take a bike ride along the French Broad River Greenway, play a game of disc golf, or enjoy a picnic by the river. The park also boasts a velodrome, where you can watch or participate in cycling events, as well as baseball and softball fields and a playground for children.


For a more secluded and peaceful experience, venture to the Botanical Gardens at Asheville. This 10-acre woodland sanctuary showcases native plants and wildflowers. Wander along the well-maintained trails, cross picturesque bridges, and immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature.


Asheville is also home to several parks with stunning water features. Azalea Park, located along the banks of the French Broad River, is known for its beautiful displays of azaleas and rhododendrons. Take a leisurely stroll through the park and enjoy the vibrant colors of these blooming shrubs. Another popular destination is Sliding Rock, a natural rock slide that plunges into a refreshing pool of water. During the summer months, visitors can slide down the smooth rock face and cool off in the crystal-clear mountain water.


Whether you’re a nature enthusiast or simply seeking a peaceful escape, Asheville’s parks and gardens provide the perfect opportunity to connect with the natural beauty that surrounds the city. From vibrant gardens to serene green spaces, these outdoor spaces offer a respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and allow you to fully immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature.


Art and Culture

Asheville is a city that celebrates creativity and embraces its vibrant arts scene. From world-class galleries and museums to unique street art and live performances, the city offers a rich cultural experience for visitors of all interests.


One of the cultural highlights of Asheville is the Asheville Art Museum. Located in downtown Asheville, this museum showcases a diverse collection of American art and craft from the 20th and 21st centuries. Explore the thought-provoking exhibitions and learn about the artists who have shaped the art world. The museum also hosts various educational programs and workshops for all ages.


Another iconic cultural institution in Asheville is the Black Mountain College Museum and Arts Center. Dedicated to preserving the legacy of the renowned experimental college, the museum features exhibitions that highlight the collaborations and innovations that took place at the college. Explore the history of this influential institution through archival materials, artwork, and multimedia displays.


Art galleries abound in Asheville, offering a range of artistic styles and mediums to explore. The River Arts District, located along the French Broad River, is a must-visit destination for art lovers. With around 200 working artist studios and galleries, it’s a vibrant hub to witness the creative process firsthand and purchase unique pieces directly from the artists.


In addition to the formal art spaces, Asheville is known for its vibrant street art scene. Take a stroll through the streets of downtown Asheville and discover colorful murals and graffiti adorning the walls of buildings. The city’s eclectic atmosphere provides a canvas for local and international street artists to express their creativity.


Theater enthusiasts will be delighted by the many live performance venues in Asheville. The Diana Wortham Theatre, located in downtown Asheville, hosts a wide range of performances including theater, dance, and music. Catch a play at the Asheville Community Theatre, which showcases local talent and presents a diverse lineup of productions throughout the year.


Music is deeply woven into the fabric of Asheville’s cultural identity. From iconic music venues hosting both local and national acts to lively street performances, there is always something to satisfy your musical cravings. Don’t miss the weekly drum circle in Pritchard Park, a beloved Asheville tradition where anyone is welcome to join in and celebrate the power of rhythm.


Asheville also celebrates its literary history and thriving literary community. Pay a visit to the Thomas Wolfe Memorial, the childhood home of the famous author, to learn about his life and works. Attend a poetry reading or literary festival to discover the talent of local writers and immerse yourself in the city’s literary heritage.


To truly immerse yourself in Asheville’s art and culture, be sure to check the events calendar for art walks, gallery openings, and live performances. These events often feature local artists and musicians, providing an opportunity to engage with the community and experience the vibrant cultural scene firsthand.


Asheville’s commitment to fostering creativity and celebrating the arts creates a vibrant and thriving cultural landscape. From world-class museums to grassroots art movements, the city offers a diverse range of artistic experiences that will leave you inspired and enriched.


Historic Sites

Asheville is a city steeped in history, with a rich heritage that can be explored through its many historic sites and landmarks. From grand mansions to preserved neighborhoods, these sites offer a glimpse into the city’s past and the people who shaped it.


A standout historic attraction in Asheville is the Biltmore Estate, a magnificent mansion that stands as a testament to the Gilded Age. Built by George Vanderbilt in the late 19th century, this sprawling estate features a 250-room French Renaissance château surrounded by meticulously landscaped gardens and a picturesque vineyard. Take a guided tour of the house and learn about its fascinating history and opulent architecture.


The Montford Historic District is another must-visit for history enthusiasts. This neighborhood, located just north of downtown Asheville, is characterized by its beautifully preserved Victorian and Arts and Crafts-style homes. Take a leisurely stroll along the tree-lined streets to admire the architectural beauty of these historic houses, many of which have been converted into charming bed and breakfasts.


The Thomas Wolfe Memorial, located in the childhood home of the famous American author, provides a glimpse into the early life of this literary icon. Explore the rooms where Wolfe lived and wrote, and learn about his influential works through exhibits and interactive displays. The Memorial also hosts literary events and workshops throughout the year.


For a deeper dive into Asheville’s history, visit the Smith-McDowell House Museum. Housed in Asheville’s oldest surviving house, this museum explores the region’s history from the antebellum era to the present day through exhibits and artifacts. Discover the stories of the families who lived in the house and learn about Asheville’s transformation over the years.


A lesser-known gem is the Grove Arcade, a historic building that was once a bustling marketplace. Built in the 1920s, it now houses a collection of shops, galleries, and restaurants. Explore the beautifully restored architecture, and soak in the atmosphere of this vibrant hub.


Connect with the African-American heritage of Asheville by visiting the YMI Cultural Center. Located in the historic YMI Building, which was originally a gathering place for the local African-American community, the center showcases exhibits and hosts events that celebrate the culture, history, and contributions of African-Americans in Western North Carolina.


Don’t miss the Vance Birthplace State Historic Site, located just outside of Asheville. This site preserves the birthplace and early home of Zebulon Vance, a prominent 19th-century politician and Civil War officer. Tour the restored pioneer farmstead, learn about the daily life of early settlers, and explore the reconstructed log cabins.


Asheville’s rich history is beautifully preserved in its historic sites, allowing visitors to step back in time and gain a deeper understanding of the city’s cultural heritage. Whether you’re exploring majestic mansions, strolling through historic neighborhoods, or immersing yourself in museum exhibits, these sites provide a fascinating journey through Asheville’s past.


Local Markets and Shops

When visiting Asheville, exploring the local markets and shops is a must-do. The city is renowned for its vibrant arts and crafts scene, as well as its dedication to supporting local businesses. From eclectic boutiques and art galleries to bustling markets, Asheville offers a plethora of unique shopping experiences.


One of the highlights of Asheville’s shopping scene is the Downtown Asheville Art District. This area, often referred to as the “Flatiron District,” is home to an array of galleries and studios where you can peruse and purchase works of art from talented local artists. From paintings and sculptures to ceramics and jewelry, you’ll find an abundance of one-of-a-kind treasures to adorn your home or wear as a special memento of your visit.


The Grove Arcade is a historic shopping destination that should not be missed. This beautiful architectural gem, built in the late 1920s, houses a variety of local boutiques, specialty shops, and cafes. Browse through the unique offerings, which range from handmade crafts to artisanal foods and locally sourced products. The Grove Arcade is not just a shopping destination but also a vibrant community space, often hosting events and live music performances.


If you’re a fan of antiques and vintage finds, be sure to explore the Antique Tobacco Barn. Located just outside of downtown Asheville, this massive warehouse is filled with a treasure trove of vintage furniture, collectibles, and unique pieces from different eras. Spend hours exploring the aisles and uncovering hidden gems.


For those who appreciate locally made and sustainable products, there are several markets in Asheville that showcase the best of the region’s artisans and farmers. The Asheville City Market, held every Saturday, offers a wide variety of fresh produce, handmade crafts, and delicious treats. Browsing the stalls, you’ll discover everything from organic vegetables and homemade jams to handmade soaps and jewelry.


For a taste of Asheville’s culinary offerings, explore the South Slope neighborhood, which is known for its craft breweries, boutique chocolate shops, artisanal cheese stores, and other epicurean delights. Savor small-batch chocolates at the French Broad Chocolate Lounge, sample award-winning cheeses at the Asheville Cheese Company, or embark on a delicious beer-tasting adventure at one of the many local breweries.


Asheville is also home to a range of independent bookstores and clothing boutiques, offering a unique shopping experience. Malaprop’s Bookstore and Café, a beloved local institution, features an extensive collection of books and hosts author events and literary readings. For fashion enthusiasts, boutiques like Duncan & York and Moon & Ivy offer curated collections of trendy clothing, accessories, and home decor.


Exploring the local markets and shops of Asheville is not just about shopping; it’s about supporting local artisans, farmers, and small businesses. It’s about immersing yourself in the vibrant and diverse culture of the city and taking home a piece of Asheville’s creative spirit. So wander through the streets, discover hidden gems, and enjoy the unique shopping experience that this eclectic city has to offer.


Food and Drink

Asheville is a food lover’s paradise, known for its vibrant culinary scene and emphasis on farm-to-table dining. With a multitude of independent restaurants, craft breweries, and local markets, the city offers a diverse array of flavors and experiences that will tantalize your taste buds.


When it comes to dining in Asheville, a farm-to-table approach is at the forefront. Many restaurants source their ingredients locally, ensuring that you’re getting the freshest and most flavorful dishes. Take a walk through the bustling Asheville City Market, where you’ll find a bounty of seasonal produce, artisanal cheeses, homemade jams, and much more. For a true taste of the region, indulge in a farm-fresh meal at one of Asheville’s farm-to-table restaurants, where the menus change with the seasons, reflecting the best of what the local farmers have to offer.


No visit to Asheville is complete without exploring its vibrant craft beer culture. The city boasts countless breweries, each offering a unique selection of beers that cater to all tastes. Take a brewery tour to learn about the brewing process and sample a variety of craft beers, from hop-forward IPAs to smooth stouts. Don’t miss the chance to experience the lively atmosphere of the breweries, where locals and visitors alike gather to enjoy good company and great beer.


If you’re a foodie with a taste for international flavors, you’ll be delighted by Asheville’s diverse culinary options. From Indian and Thai to Mexican and Ethiopian, the city is home to a range of excellent international restaurants. Sample authentic dishes from around the world, and indulge in the bold and vibrant flavors that make Asheville a global gastronomic destination.


For a unique dining experience, explore Asheville’s food truck scene. These mobile kitchens offer a wide variety of cuisines, from gourmet burgers and tacos to wood-fired pizzas and fusion dishes. Follow your taste buds and seek out these culinary gems that can be found parked at various locations around the city. Take your meal to a nearby park or enjoy it in one of Asheville’s outdoor seating areas while immersing yourself in the vibrant atmosphere.


Asheville is also known for its creative and quirky coffee shops and cafes. Enjoy a cup of locally roasted coffee while soaking up the relaxed ambiance of one of the city’s cozy coffee houses. Many of these establishments showcase local art, provide live music, or even offer workshops and events, creating a unique and inviting space to enjoy your favorite caffeinated beverage.


Indulge your sweet tooth at one of Asheville’s dessert destinations. From gourmet ice cream and decadent chocolates to artisanal pastries and cakes, there’s no shortage of sweet treats to satisfy your cravings. Whether it’s a scoop of homemade salted caramel ice cream or a slice of rich chocolate cake, Asheville’s dessert options are sure to leave you wanting more.


With its emphasis on locally sourced ingredients, vibrant craft beer scene, international flavors, and unique dining experiences, Asheville is a dream destination for food and drink enthusiasts. Immerse yourself in the culinary delights of this city, and savor the unforgettable flavors that have made Asheville a top destination for gastronomy.


Music and Entertainment

Asheville is a city that pulsates with music and entertainment, offering a diverse and vibrant scene that caters to all tastes. From live music venues and street performances to music festivals and lively dance clubs, the city has something for every music and entertainment enthusiast.


Live music is at the heart of Asheville’s cultural fabric, with numerous venues showcasing a wide range of genres. From intimate listening rooms like ISIS Music Hall and The Grey Eagle, where you can get up close and personal with talented musicians, to larger concert halls like The Orange Peel and Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, which host both local and national acts, there’s always a live performance to enjoy. Experience the soulful sounds of blues, the foot-tapping rhythms of bluegrass, the smooth melodies of jazz, or the energetic beats of rock and indie music.


Asheville’s streets come alive with music, thanks to the talented street musicians who share their passion and talent with locals and visitors alike. Take a leisurely walk through downtown Asheville and listen to the sounds of guitarists, fiddlers, and other musicians. The vibrant atmosphere and eclectic musical offerings create a truly unique experience.


Music festivals are a major highlight of Asheville’s entertainment scene. The city hosts a variety of music festivals throughout the year, ranging from the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival, which celebrates the rich traditions of Appalachian music and dance, to the Asheville Yoga Festival, a unique blend of yoga, music, and mindfulness. These festivals bring together artists from around the world, showcasing the incredible talent and creativity that Asheville has to offer.


For those who love to dance the night away, Asheville has a thriving nightlife. From dive bars with live music to trendy dance clubs, there’s a venue for every vibe. Get your groove on to the beats of local DJs, or explore the city’s vibrant LGBTQ+ scene at clubs like Scandals Nightclub or O.Henry’s. No matter your preference, Asheville offers an energetic and inclusive environment for dancing and celebrating.


Music and entertainment are not limited to the evening hours in Asheville. The city hosts a variety of daytime events, such as music brunches and afternoon concerts. Enjoy a relaxing afternoon on a patio, sipping a refreshing drink while listening to live music in the background. It’s the perfect way to soak up the vibrant atmosphere and unwind.


Asheville’s commitment to the arts extends beyond music. The city also embraces other forms of entertainment, such as theater and comedy. Catch a play or a comedy show at one of the local theaters or comedy clubs for an evening filled with laughter and entertainment.


With its rich musical heritage, thriving nightlife, and diverse entertainment offerings, Asheville provides a vibrant and lively atmosphere for music and entertainment enthusiasts. Immerse yourself in the sounds and sights of the city, and let the music and entertainment scene of Asheville captivate you.


Events and Festivals

Asheville is a city that knows how to celebrate, with a year-round calendar filled with events and festivals that showcase the city’s vibrant culture and diverse interests. From music and art festivals to culinary and outdoor events, there is always something happening in Asheville to entertain and captivate visitors.


One of the most renowned events in Asheville is the Biltmore Blooms Festival, which takes place in spring. During this time, the gardens of the Biltmore Estate burst into a riot of color as thousands of flowers bloom, creating a breathtaking spectacle. Stroll through the meticulously manicured gardens, attend gardening workshops, and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature.


Another highlight on Asheville’s events calendar is the Asheville Wine & Food Festival. This annual event brings together local chefs, wineries, and breweries to showcase the best of Asheville’s culinary scene. From wine tastings and cooking demonstrations to food pairings and live entertainment, this festival is a paradise for food and wine enthusiasts.


The River Arts District Studio Stroll is a must-visit for art lovers. Held twice a year, this event allows visitors to explore the working studios and galleries of the artists in the River Arts District. Mingle with the artists, watch live demonstrations, and purchase one-of-a-kind artwork directly from the creators.


Asheville also hosts a variety of music festivals that showcase the city’s rich musical heritage. The LEAF Festival, held in the spring and fall, brings together renowned musicians from around the world for a weekend of music, dance, and cultural exchange. The Mountain Dance and Folk Festival, the oldest folk festival in the country, celebrates the traditional music and dance of the Appalachian region, showcasing the talent and heritage of local performers.


For those who appreciate the outdoors, the Mountain Sports Festival is a must-attend event. This multi-sport festival offers a wide range of activities, including trail running, mountain biking, disc golf, and rock climbing competitions. Participants and spectators alike gather to enjoy the thrill of outdoor adventures and celebrate the active lifestyle that Asheville embodies.


Asheville’s commitment to sustainability is celebrated during the Asheville Earth Day festival. This event highlights environmental awareness and showcases local organizations, businesses, and individuals who are making a positive impact on the planet. Enjoy live music, interactive exhibits, and educational workshops that focus on eco-friendly practices and conservation.


When autumn arrives, Asheville comes alive with the vibrant colors of the changing leaves, and the city celebrates with the Fall Color Festivals. Throughout the season, various events take place, including guided hikes, scenic drives, and photography workshops, allowing visitors to fully immerse themselves in the beauty of the fall foliage.


These are just a few examples of the many events and festivals that take place in Asheville throughout the year. From celebrating the arts and culture to embracing the natural beauty of the region, Asheville offers a diverse range of experiences that are sure to captivate and entertain visitors of all ages and interests.


Nearby Natural Attractions

Surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville offers easy access to a wealth of nearby natural attractions. From majestic waterfalls and scenic hiking trails to stunning viewpoints and pristine lakes, nature lovers will find no shortage of opportunities to explore and immerse themselves in the great outdoors.


Dupont State Forest is a must-visit destination for hikers and waterfall enthusiasts. This expansive forest is home to several stunning waterfalls, including the iconic Triple Falls and High Falls, which have been featured in popular films. Lace up your hiking boots and embark on one of the many well-maintained trails that wind through the forest, leading to picturesque waterfalls and serene mountain vistas.


The Chimney Rock State Park offers breathtaking views and thrilling hiking experiences. Stand at the top of Chimney Rock, a towering granite monolith, and soak in the panoramic vistas of Hickory Nut Gorge and Lake Lure. Explore the numerous hiking trails that wind through the park and venture to Hickory Nut Falls, a stunning 404-foot waterfall that cascades down an ancient cliff.


For a unique outdoor adventure, head to the Linville Gorge Wilderness Area. Known as the “Grand Canyon of the East,” this rugged and scenic wilderness area is a true paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Hike along the rim of the gorge for spectacular views or venture down into the canyon to explore the challenging trails and discover hidden waterfalls.


Located just a short drive from Asheville, the Pisgah National Forest offers endless opportunities for outdoor recreation. With over 500,000 acres of pristine wilderness, Pisgah National Forest is a playground for hikers, mountain bikers, and nature lovers. Embark on the challenging trek to the summit of Mount Mitchell, the highest peak east of the Mississippi River, or explore the numerous picnic spots, fishing streams, and camping areas scattered throughout the forest.


If you’re in need of a peaceful retreat, head to Lake Lure. This picturesque lake is nestled in the scenic foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and offers a range of recreational activities. Rent a kayak or paddleboard to explore the tranquil waters, or simply relax on the sandy shores and soak in the natural beauty that surrounds you.


The Blue Ridge Parkway, a scenic highway that winds through the Appalachian Mountains, offers breathtaking views and access to various natural attractions. Take a leisurely drive along the parkway, stopping at overlooks to admire panoramic vistas of rolling mountains and deep valleys. Explore the numerous hiking trails that are accessible from the parkway, offering the opportunity to immerse yourself in the beauty of the surrounding wilderness.


These nearby natural attractions offer a perfect escape from the city’s hustle and bustle, allowing visitors to reconnect with nature and experience the awe-inspiring beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Whether you’re seeking scenic hikes, stunning waterfalls, or peaceful lakeside retreats, Asheville’s natural wonders are waiting to be explored.



Asheville is a city that captivates visitors with its unique blend of natural beauty, vibrant arts scene, and rich cultural heritage. From exploring the historic districts and immersing yourself in the local art galleries to savoring farm-to-table cuisine and enjoying live music performances, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this captivating city.


Asheville’s natural surroundings provide a playground for outdoor enthusiasts, with scenic hiking trails, majestic waterfalls, and breathtaking viewpoints just a short distance away. Whether you’re seeking adventure in the mountains or a peaceful retreat by the lakeside, Asheville offers abundant opportunities to connect with nature and rejuvenate your spirit.


The city’s commitment to supporting local businesses shines through its markets, shops, and dining options. Explore the eclectic boutiques, discover unique artwork, and indulge in farm-to-table cuisine that highlights the flavors of the region. The craft breweries and lively music scene add to Asheville’s vibrant atmosphere, offering a diverse range of entertainment options for all tastes.


Throughout the year, Asheville is alive with events and festivals that celebrate its rich cultural heritage. From art walks and literary festivals to music festivals and outdoor adventures, there is always something happening in this dynamic city. These events provide the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture and engage with the thriving community.


Asheville’s charm lies in its welcoming and inclusive atmosphere. The city’s bohemian spirit blends seamlessly with its Southern hospitality, creating a welcoming environment where visitors feel at home. Whether you’re exploring the streets of downtown, conversing with local artists, or joining in the rhythmic beats of the drum circle, Asheville offers a sense of belonging and a vibrant energy that is truly infectious.


In conclusion, Asheville is a destination that inspires and delights with its natural wonders, cultural treasures, and warm hospitality. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, artistic encounters, or culinary delights, Asheville offers an unforgettable experience that will leave you longing to return. Embrace the spirit of adventure, immerse yourself in the beauty of nature, and let Asheville enchant you with its unique charm and character.