Asheville is a beautiful city in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. There are many things to do in Asheville, from hiking and biking to visiting the Biltmore Estate and exploring the River Arts District. The city is also home to a number of breweries, including New Belgium and Sierra Nevada, as well as many restaurants and cafes.
If you’re looking for a place to relax, there are plenty of parks and gardens to enjoy, or you can take a scenic drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Asheville is the perfect destination if you’re looking for adventure or simply want to enjoy some time in nature.
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Visit Historic Sites in Asheville, NC
1. Biltmore Estate
A trip to the Biltmore Estate is a truly unforgettable experience. From the moment you enter the estate, you will be amazed by the sheer size and beauty of the estate. There is so much to see and do that it can be hard to know where to start. A great place to begin is with a tour of the mansion itself. The Biltmore House is a beautiful example of Gilded Age architecture, filled with works of art. After exploring the mansion, you can enjoy the estate’s gardens. With over 250 acres of land to explore, you can easily spend the day touring the Biltmore.
2. Basilica of St. Lawrence
The Basilica of St. Lawrence is a parish church in Asheville, North Carolina. The church was founded in 1905 and is named after St. Lawrence, the patron saint of Asheville. The Basilica is known for its Gothic Revival architecture and stained glass windows, which Louis Comfort Tiffany designed. The church is open to the public for visiting and worship. Mass is offered daily, and the church hosts several concerts and events throughout the year. The Basilica of St. Lawrence is a beautiful and historic place of worship that is well worth visiting.
Enjoy the Scenery in Asheville, NC
3. Blue Ridge Parkway
The Blue Ridge Parkway is one of America’s most iconic roadways and is especially beautiful in the fall. Stretching 469 miles through Virginia and North Carolina, the Parkway offers breathtaking views of the Appalachian Mountains. It is also home to abundant plant and animal life, making it a popular destination for hikers and nature lovers. In addition, the Parkway has numerous historical and cultural sites, from the 112-year-old Mabry Mill to the Blowing Rock attraction.
4. Botanical Gardens at Asheville
For a stunning display of flowers, plants, and trees from all over the world, visit the Botanical Gardens at Asheville. The gardens are open year-round, and there is always something in bloom, whether delicate Japanese cherry blossoms in the spring or vibrant chrysanthemums in the fall. In addition to the carefully landscaped gardens, there is a conservatory with tropical plants that will make you feel like you’ve been transported to another world. The Botanical Gardens are a must-see for nature lovers visiting Asheville.
5. The North Carolina Arboretum
The North Carolina Arboretum is a 434-acre public garden located just south of Asheville. The gardens feature over 10 miles of hiking trails, a bonsai exhibit, an Elwes Pavilion, and a beautiful scenic overlook. The Arboretum is also home to the NC State Blueberry Breeding Program, which develops new varieties of blueberries that are well-suited to the state’s climate. In addition to its gardens, the Arboretum also offers educational programs for all ages, including classes on gardening, nature photography, and bird watching.
Outdoor Activities Around Asheville, NC
6. Dupont State Forest
The Dupont State Forest is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts in Asheville, North Carolina. The 10,000-acre forest is home to several waterfalls, including the 65-foot triple cascade of Hooker Falls. You can enjoy hiking, mountain biking, and picnicking in the forest. Camping is also allowed in certain areas. The Dupont State Forest is a great place to enjoy the beauty of nature and escape the hustle and bustle of city life.
7. Pisgah National Forest
Located about an hour from Asheville, Pisgah National Forest is one of the most popular outdoor destinations in North Carolina. The forest covers over 500,000 acres and features a wide variety of things to do. Hikers can explore dozens of trails, ranging from easy walks to challenging climbs. Mountain bikers can enjoy over 200 miles of singletrack, and climbers can test their skills on some of the best rock faces in the Southeast. In addition, the Forest is home to many waterfalls, campsites, and picnic areas.
8. Beaver Lake
Beaver Lake is a great scenic spot perfect for picnics, fishing, or just taking a stroll. The lake is also a popular spot for birdwatching, as it is home to a variety of songbirds, waterfowl, and even the occasional Bald Eagle. In the winter, the lake freezes and becomes a popular spot for ice skating and cross-country skiing. No matter what time of year, Beaver Lake is sure to provide a fun and relaxing experience.
9. Lake Julian Park
Lake Julian Park offers a variety of things to do, including fishing, swimming, boating, and picnicking. Several miles of hiking and biking trails also wind around the lake. The park is open year-round and is a great place to enjoy the outdoors. The park is a popular spot for swimming and sunbathing in the summer.
The lake has a sandy beach area, and a lifeguard is on duty during summer. The park has a playground, picnic shelters, and a covered pavilion. The park is a popular destination for ice skating and sledding in the winter. Lake Julian Park is a great place to enjoy the outdoors all year round.
10. Lake Louise Park
Lake Louise Park is a public park featuring a scenic lake, walking trails, and picnic areas. There is also a playground, basketball court, and sand volleyball court. In addition, the park offers a variety of things to do throughout the year, including fishing, canoeing, and hiking. Whether you’re looking for a place to relax or an opportunity to get active, Lake Louise Park is a great option.
Enjoy Art in Asheville, NC
11. Asheville Art Museum
When visiting Asheville, North Carolina, spend some time at the Asheville Art Museum. The museum houses over 2,000 works of art, including paintings, sculptures, and mixed media pieces. In addition to the permanent collection, the museum also features rotating exhibitions of contemporary and local artists. The Asheville Art Museum is a great way to spend an afternoon exploring Asheville’s vibrant arts scene. Admission to the museum is free.
12. River Arts District
The River Arts District in Asheville, North Carolina, is a must-visit for anyone looking for things to do in the area. The district is home to various art galleries, studios, shops, and restaurants, all within walking distance. You can easily spend a day exploring the district, and there is something to see and do around every corner. Whether you’re interested in purchasing some local art or simply admiring it from afar, the River Arts District is a great place to start your Asheville adventure.
13. Woolworth Walk
If you’re looking for things to do in Asheville, check out Woolworth Walk! This unique shopping destination is located in the historic Woolworth Building, which was once home to a five-and-dime store. Today, the building houses a variety of local businesses, including art galleries, retail shops, and restaurants. You can stroll through the galleries, browse the shops, and enjoy a meal or snack at one of the eateries. Woolworth Walk is also home to several events throughout the year, such as art shows and live music performances.
14. Southern Highland Craft Guild
The Southern Highland Craft Guild is a collaboration of over 800 craftspeople from nine southeastern states, and it has been promoting the traditional crafts of the region since its founding in 1930. Today, the guild operates a flagship store in downtown Asheville, as well as several smaller outlets throughout the city.
In addition to selling handmade crafts, the guild also offers workshops, demonstrations, and other educational programs. So whether you’re interested in purchasing a unique souvenir or learning to make one yourself, the Southern Highland Craft Guild is worth visiting.
Things to Do with Kids in Asheville, NC
15. Western North Carolina Nature Center
The Western North Carolina Nature Center is home to various animals, from the red wolves that call the center home to the otters that frolic in nearby rivers. The center also offers a variety of educational programs, from hikes and canoe trips to lectures and workshops. Visitors can explore the nearly 300 acres of forest and wetlands or stroll along one of the many miles of trails.
The Nature Center is also home to a state-of-the-art animal hospital, which provides care for injured and orphaned animals. Whether you’re looking to learn about nature or just enjoy the company of some furry friends, the Western North Carolina Nature Center is a great place to spend the day with your family.
16. Asheville Pinball Museum
The Asheville Pinball Museum is a must-visit for any classic game fan. Located in the historic Biltmore Village, the museum features over 50 pinball machines from the 1950s to the present day. You can play all of the machines for a small fee, and there is also a library of classic video games available to play. In addition, the museum houses a collection of rare and vintage pinball parts and a workshop where you can learn about how the machines are built and repaired. Whether a pinball wizard or a nostalgic gamer, you will surely enjoy your visit to the Asheville Pinball Museum.
17. Asheville Museum of Science
The Asheville Museum of Science is a great place to learn about the natural world. The museum has various exhibits, ranging from geology to ecology. The museum also offers a variety of programs and events, such as educational talks and hands-on activities. Visitors can also explore the museum’s collections, which include more than two million specimens. The Asheville Museum of Science is an excellent resource for anyone interested in learning more about the natural world.
Local Things to Do in Asheville, NC
18. WNC Farmers Market
The WNC Farmers Market is the perfect place to find fresh, local produce. Open year-round; the market features a variety of vendors selling everything from fruits and vegetables to flowers and honey. There’s also a wide selection of prepared food, including artisan bread, pies, and jams. In addition to supporting local farmers, the WNC Farmers Market is a great place to find unique gifts and souvenirs. There is plenty of parking, and the market is handicap-accessible. The market is open Tuesday through Saturday, 8 am to 6 pm.
19. Breweries in Asheville, NC
Asheville, NC, is quickly becoming a destination for beer lovers. The city is home to over 20 breweries, each with its own unique style and flavor profile. From the hoppy IPAs of Wicked Weed Brewing to the sour beers of Burial Beer Co., there is always something new to try.. In addition to traditional breweries, Asheville has several cideries and meaderies. Urban Orchard Cider Co. specializes in small-batch ciders, while Blue Ghost Brewing Co. offers a wide selection of meads made with local honey. No matter your taste, you’re sure to find a new favorite in Asheville’s thriving craft beer scene.
20. Wineries in Asheville, NC
The city of Asheville, North Carolina, is home to a booming wine industry. The Biltmore Estate Winery is housed in a gorgeous mansion that dates back to 1895, while the Asheville Wine and Farmer’s Market offers a chance to sample local wines alongside seasonal produce.
The region’s mild climate and volcanic soils are well-suited to viticulture, and the city’s many wineries offer visitors a chance to sample the area’s unique wines. In addition to traditional red and white wines, Asheville’s wineries produce a wide range of styles, including sparkling wines, dessert wines, and even orange wines.
21. Apple Picking in Asheville, NC
Fall is the perfect time to go apple picking in Asheville, NC. The cool weather is ideal for spending a day outside, and the crisp apples are perfect for making pies and cider. There are a few different ways to go about apple picking. You can pick your own apples at one of the many orchards in the area, or you can go on a guided tour. Either way, you’re sure to have a fun day. And don’t forget to stop by one of the local cideries to sample some of the best cider in the country.
22. Take an Asheville Food Tour
Asheville, North Carolina, is a food lover’s paradise. With its abundance of farm-to-table restaurants, local craft breweries, and unique food artisans, there is something for everyone to enjoy. And what better way to experience all that Asheville has to offer than on a food tour? Food tours are a great way to sample a variety of foods and learn about the history and culture of a place.
Asheville offers various tours showcasing different aspects of the city’s food scene. For example, the Downtown Dining Tour takes you to some of Asheville’s best-known restaurants, while the Farm-to-Table Tour gives you a behind-the-scenes look at how local farms produce fresh ingredients for the city’s chefs. No matter your interests, an Asheville food tour is sure to tantalize your taste buds.
Many people choose Asheville, North Carolina as their vacation destination for its stunning scenery and many outdoor activities. However, this city has much more to offer than just picturesque views. Asheville is also home to a thriving arts and culture scene. Asheville is located near many popular attractions, such as the Biltmore Estate and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Whether you’re looking for an adventurous vacation or a relaxing getaway, this city is sure to please you.
Alexandrea Sumuel is the founder of Wander With Alex, where she provides vacationers and travel enthusiasts with trip ideas, travel guides, news, and itineraries. She travels to experience, eat, and explore-- and, on occasion, escape! Alex’s mission is to help people travel better.