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Asheville Top 40 Indoor Things to Do, Attractions, Museums

Also see: Top 150 Outdoors | Top 20 Romantic Outings | Top 10 Holiday Outings | Top 10 Girlfriend Getaways | Top 10 Mancations | Top 20 Green Guide | Top 10 Art Outings | Top 12 Winter Outings | Top 10 for Kids | Top 10 Free Outings | Top 10 for Rainy Day | Top 10 Civil War Sites | Perfect Weekend Itineraries | Blue Ridge National Heritage Area | Jackson County Top 25 | Burke County Top 20 | 25 Coolest NC Mountain Small Towns
There are so many things to do and see in Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina. There is something for everyone - including museums, shopping, performing arts, galleries, and tours in Asheville and many surrounding towns. Below are "indoor" things to do.

Biltmore Biltmore Estate
Touring the Biltmore House is easily the number one indoor attraction in Western North Carolina. Spend a day or two and find out why! In addition to touring the "castle", explore 8,000 acres with gardens, the winery, Antler Village, shopping, restaurants and more!
See our extensive Biltmore 15-page Guide.

Downtown Hendersonville

Downtown & Small Towns
While downtown Asheville is the largest with plenty of shops, restaurants, museums, and art galleries, don't forget about our charming small mountain towns, each with a different personality and surprising finds: Marshall | Morganton | Cashiers | Dillsboro | Hot Springs | Mars Hill | Franklin | Sylva | Cherokee | Beech Mountain | Brevard | Hendersonville | Maggie Valley | Black Mountain | Waynesville | Bryson City | West Asheville | Old Fort | Highlands | Spruce Pine | Little Switzerland | Saluda | Tryon | Weaverville | Banner Elk | Burnsville | Flat Rock | Montreat

City Tour LaZoom Tours
Take the most fun city tour ever in a bright purple bus! Through captivating stories, outlandish comedy skits, and an enthralling musical soundscape, experience Asheville's history, current culture and counterculture with their 90 minute interactive bus tours that depart from downtown. Haunted tours too!
See our LaZoom Tours Guide or Click here to visit their Web site.

Great Smoky Mountain Railroad

Great Smoky Mountains Railroad
Ride a scenic train on excurisons through the mountains along the Nantahala and Tuckasegee Rivers, across valleys and through tunnels. Choose from a variety of train adventures departing from Bryson City. First class passengers enjoy dining and souvenirs. Many special event trains. See our photos & video.
Click here to visit their Web site.

Asheville Outlets Asheville Outlets
Opened May 1, 2015! Shop 75 national and local outlets in this beautiful outdoor shopping village. See our special feature. It's located on I-26, just six miles from Biltmore and seven miles from downtown Asheville. It's pet friendly with many events and sales throughout the year.
Click here to visit their Web site.

Art Art Galleries & Studios
Did you know that Asheville is the one number small city for art in the country? In addition to dozens of galleries in downtown, Biltmore Village and River Arts District, visit artist studios and more galleries in the surrounding towns and mountain valleys. Browse and shop!
See our Art Gallery Guide & Art Events, Festivals & Tours

River Arts District River Arts District
Some 185 working artists have set up shop in the River Arts District. Drive a little, walk a little to visit studios and galleries. Find an amazing variety of art and see how the artists create it. It's just a few miles from downtown Asheville and Biltmore Estate.
See our River Arts District Guide.

Creative Mountain Food Tours

Creative Mountain Food Tours
Take a 2-3 hour fun-filled guided walking tour, especially appealing to foodies and history buffs. Enjoy food, beverage and dessert tastings at least five local and unique eateries. Stroll, sip and taste while going behind the scenes to hear insightful tidbits of Black Mountain’s culture, history and cuisine.
Click here to visit their Web site.

NC Stage Theatre North Carolina Stage Company
Enjoy professional theatre in the heart of downtown Asheville with world-class productions in a very intimate setting (only 127 seats!). They also host concerts and other events, so there's something happening about every weekend.
Go to their Web site.

Beer Tour Beer & Local Craft Brews
Taste your way on a tour of the many craft breweries and pubs in and near Asheville. Many are located downtown. Take a tour of Highlands Brewing or Oskar Blues Brewery.
See our Beer City USA Guide.

Beer Tour BREW-ed Brewery & History Walking Tours
Take the only brewery tour in Asheville led by a certified beer expert! Learn how beer is made and how to taste it. Get special access to Asheville's breweries and learn the stories behind the pints. On the short walks between breweries, your guide will share stories of the early days of Asheville.
Click here to view their Web site.

Shoji Hot Tub Shoji Hot Tub Retreat & Spa
Soak away your stress in a private hot tub under a canopy of trees, dip into an invigorating cold plunge and relax in the cedar sauna. After your soak, get a customized massage and a variety of treatments. Loctated just ten minutes from downtown Asheville.
See our Shoji Retreats Guide.

NC mountain winery Winery Tours
In addition to the big winery at Biltmore, visit wineries in western North Carolina and taste their wines while enjoying the beautiful scenery at their vineyards.
See the Top 12 Wineries near Asheville

Asheville Spa Spas & Wellness
Relax and rejuvenate as you get pampered at a spa. From natural hot springs to world-class destination spas, there are plenty of choices. We have been a destination for wellness for centuries. Also find a mecca for holistic and alternative wellness.
See: Spas & Massage Guide & Holistic Alternative Health Guide

Thomas Wolfe Thomas Wolfe Memorial
This is the novelist's boyhood home and setting for "Look Homeward, Angel." Tour the fascinating, rambling house located downtown Asheville at 52 North Market Street.
See our Thomas Wolfe Memorial Guide.

Morganton Morganton & Burke County
Stroll through downtown shops and galleries, visit craft breweries, and enjoy great restaurants. Take the Catawba Valley Wine Trail. It's also home to the Waldensian Heritage Museum and movie locations for The Hunger Games.
Go to the Burke County Web site.

Sylva, Jackson County Jackson County
So many things to do, includes towns of Cashiers, Cherokee, Dillsboro, Sylva, Balsam, Cullowhee, Glenville and Sapphire. Art, train excursions, heritage sites and more.
Go to the Jackson County Web site.

Biltmore Village Biltmore Village
Meander tree-lined streets and explore 40 unique shops and relax at 10 cafes and restaurants. Most businesses are housed in historic cottages and buildings. Don't miss the fabulous New Morning Gallery.
See our Biltmore Village Guide.

Parkway Visitor Center Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center
Learn all about the Parkway with an I-Wall, a 22-foot interactive map of the entire Parkway which provides multi-media information on places to visit on and near the Parkway. The Center’s exhibits highlight the natural and cultural diversity, and a 70-seat theater shows a beautiful movie of the Parkway. Free.
Read more about the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center.

Cherokee Cherokee
Learn about the Cherokee Indian heritage at several museums, including Museum of the Cherokee Indian and Oconaluftee Indian Village.
See our Cherokee Guide for more.

Cherokee Casino Harrah's Cherokee Casino
North Carolina's only casino, newly expanded to 150,000 square feet! Play brand-new games and slots and dazzling favorites like Digital Blackjack and Baccarito. Great restaurants, hotel, spa, shopping and more!
See our Harrah's Cherokee Casino Guide

Asheville Museum

aSHEville Museum
See the first women's cultural museum in the southeast USA, with 3,000 square foot of gallery space with rotating exhibits, ranging from historic to contemporary and local to national to global. The gift shop carries a variety of art, crafts and fair-trade items. The Museum Café has locally-made treats. Open 7 days a week. Downtown at 35 Wall Street.
See our aSHEville Museum Guide.

Swannanoa Valley Museum Swannanoa Valley Museum
A small history museum packed with interesting historical exhibits in downtown Black Mountain. Learn about the social, cultural and natural history of the Swannanoa Valley in Buncombe County with a rotating series of interesting exhibits. Or take one of their guided hikes.
See our Swannanoa Valley Museum Guide.

Art Museum Asheville Art Museum
Explore world-class special exhibitions and the museum's outstanding collection, showcasing the very best of 20th-century American art.
See our Asheville Art Museum Guide.

Antique Car Museum

Estes-Winn Antique Automobile Museum
If you are a car buff, this collection of 20 classics will delight. Located near downtown Asheville. Free.
See our Asheville Antique Car Museum Guide for more.


Wheels Through Time Museum Wheels Through Time Museum
See hundreds of classic motorcycles and automobiles in Maggie Valley in one of best transportation museums in the country. This massive collection includes more than 300 of America's rarest and most historic classic motorcycles.
See our Wheels Through Time Museum Guide.

Carl Sandburg Home Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site
This National Park Service site honors the accomplishments of Carl Sandburg. Explore the historic home, and visit the farm and trails at Connemara. Located in Flat Rock, just south of Hendersonville.
Read more about the Carl Sandburg Home.

Folk Art Center Folk Art Center
See crafts from artists from Southern Appalachia with three fine art galleries and daily craft demonstrators. Shop in their store. No admission fee. Located on the Blue Ridge Parkway near U.S. 70 intersection.
See our Folk Art Center Guide. See the latest Folk Art Center Art Show.

Antique Barn Antique Barn
If you love to plunder for antiques and deals on collectibles, this is the place! This antique mall features furniture, architectural salvage, collectibles, and accessories from 75 independent antique dealers. It's part of the Biltmore Antiques District that includes 13 antique stores within a mile and a half of the Biltmore Estate.
See our Antique Tobacco Barn Guide. | Also see Best Asheville Antiques

Linville Caverns Linville Caverns
North Carolina's only caverns with natural limestone caverns feature stalactite and stalagmite formations and an underground stream. Guided tours.
See our Linville Caverns Guide.

Farmers Market Western North Carolina Farmer's Market
Come and enjoy the atmosphere and bounty of the mountains. The retail area features displays of high quality fruits and vegetables, mountain crafts, jams, jellies, preserves, sourwood honey, and dozens of other farm fresh items. The market is open all year round, and seven days a week.
See our WNC Farmer's Market Guide.

Emerald Village Emerald Village
A fascinating group of gem, mining, and historical attractions nestled deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway and within an hour's drive of Asheville. Located in a spectacular mountain setting, Emerald Village is home to seven real mines and has many exhibits that are free to enjoy. Mine for gems!
See our Emerald Village Guide.

Western NC Air Museum Western North Carolina Air Museum
See award winning restored and replica antique and vintage airplanes at the Hendersonville Airport. Take a close-up look to airplanes and talk to people who love them.
Read more about the WNC Air Museum.

Vance Birthplace

Vance Birthplace State Historic Site
This pioneer farmstead about 12 miles north of downtown Asheville features the birthplace of Zebulon Baird Vance. Tour the five-room log house and its outbuildings are furnished to evoke the period from 1795-1840.
See our Vance Birthplace Guide

Basilica Basilica of St. Lawrence
See one of Asheville's architectural treasures and spiritual anchors with the largest freestanding elliptical dome in the country.
See our Basilica of St. Lawrence Guide.

PARI Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI)
Initially developed by NASA in 1962 as the east coast facility to track satellites and monitor manned space flights, it's now a world-class research center. Tour this remote campus in the Pisgah National Forest and see their Galaxy Walk, the extensive astronomical poster, print and space memorabilia displays and the historical site of the first 26 Meter Antenna used to communicate with astronauts.
Read more about Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute

Smith-McDowell House Smith-McDowell House Museum
Relive the romantic Victorian era in Asheville's oldest house (circa 1840). Explore opulent period rooms, history exhibits and grounds designed by the renowned Olmsted Brothers. 1.5 miles from downtown Asheville.
See our Smith-McDowell House Museum Guide.

Mineral Museum

Colburn Gem and Mineral Museum
Explore the rich treasures of the earth at this museum called "a mini-Smithsonian of gems." Pack Square in downtown Asheville.
See our Colburn Earth Science Museum Guide.

Also see the Museum of NC Minerals on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Wine Bar

Wine & Cocktail Bars
Unwind at one of our favorite wine bars and great places for cocktails.
See our favorite Downtown Asheville Wine & Cocktail Bars.

Grove Arcade

Grove Arcade
Stroll through shops in the historic "mall" in downtown Asheville. See local art and craft at the outdoor market.
See our Grove Arcade Guide.

Orchard at Altapass Orchard at Altapass
This 101-year-old apple orchard turned Appalachian Cultural Center celebrates the people, music, art, and natural beauty of the Blue Ridge mountains. Shop for local mountain art, jams, jellies, sauces, sweets, gifts, and more. Listen to music and pick up your apples!
See our Orchard at Altapass Guide.

Performing Arts

Performing Arts
Enjoy many choices for great theatre, music, dance and more. Our favorites include the Brevard Music Summer Festival, Asheville Symphony and the Community Theatre of Asheville.
See our Asheville Performing Arts Guide.

Flat Rock Playhouse Flat Rock Playhouse
See a fabulous professional show at the State Theatre of North Carolina, about 30 miles south of Asheville, with an eight month season of plays including Broadway musicals, comedy, and drama.
See our Flat Rock Playhouse Guide & Schedule

Orange Peel The Orange Peel
Go to a concert at one of the best music arenas in the South! Many national touring bands perform here, and it's located in downtown Asheville.
See The Orange Peel Guide.

Moog Music, Asheville

Moog Music
The company founded by synthesizer pioneer Bob Moog, hand builds electronic musical instruments in their downtown Asheville factory. Visit The Moog Store to get hands on with the instruments or set up a factory tour for the full Moog Experience.
Click here to view their Web site.

Cradle of Forestry Cradle of Forestry
Travel back in time with historic cabins, crafters, old logging equipment, guided tours, movie, food and shopping. Home of the first forestry school (opened in 1898) in America. In Pisgah National Forest. Open mid April through October.
Go to our Cradle of Forestry Guide

More Mountain Attractions & Things To Do

Western North Carolina Agriculture Center: See a big variety of shows, festivals and even the Mountain State Fair.

Live Music & Nightlife: End the day with live music and dancing.

Attractions for Children: Bring the kids and have some fun!

Asheville Visitor Center: Your first stop in town should be the Visitor Center, with lots of information about things to do and knowledgable staff people to answer questions.

Billy Graham Cove Training Center: Take a free tour of the Chapel at The Cove, a 1,200 acre retreat.

Lake Junaluska Conference & Retreat Center: Home of thousands of enriching events and worship services each year, operated by the United Methodist Church.


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Writing & Photography By Mark File - ©2003-2015 File Investments, Inc - All Rights Reserved