Discover so many things to do and see in Asheville and Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina. There is something for everyone - including museums, shopping, music, food, performing arts, galleries, and tours in Asheville and many surrounding towns. If you want to get outside, see our Top Outdoors Things to Do.
Touring America’s Largest Home is easily the number one indoor attraction in Western North Carolina. Experience the breathtaking beauty of Biltmore House and century-old gardens. Explore their 8,000-acre Blue Ridge Mountain backyard, taste award-winning wines, dine, shop, and relax at Antler Hill Village & Winery, and treat yourself to a four-star inn. See our extensive guide with many photos and tips.
Spend a day exploring downtown, with hundreds of locally-owned shops and galleries, museums, restaurants, breweries and pubs. Dance at the Drum Circle, go to a festival or enjoy street performers. See our Top 15 things to do!
Take the most fun city tour ever in a bright purple LaZoom 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 and beer tours too!
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.
Shop 75 national and local outlets in this beautiful, new outdoor shopping village. 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.
NC 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.
Top 20 Art Galleries
Visit a gallery to be amazed at big variety of local art and craft, including glass, paintings, pottery and every medium you can imagine. Asheville and the North Carolina mountains are home to hundreds of world-class artists. Here are our favorite galleries to see the their creations.
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.
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.
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, so you can create your own walking tour. Or take a guided 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.
Check out our favorite small town near Asheville! Ride the train on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad before you explore their downtown shops and galleries or paddleboard down the river. Nearby Deep Creek in Great Smokies features camping, hiking, trout fishing and the popular tubing. Raft the Nantahala River. And that's just the beginning!
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.
15 Wineries Near Asheville
In addition to the big winery at Biltmore, visit more than a dozen wineries in western North Carolina and taste their wines while enjoying the beautiful scenery at their vineyards.
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.
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.
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.
So many things to do, includes towns of Cashiers, Cherokee, Dillsboro, Sylva, Balsam, Cullowhee, Glenville and Sapphire. Art, train excursions, heritage sites and more.
Pet Friendly Guide - Asheville
Traveling with your dog? See our Pet Friendly Guide to Asheville and the North Carolina mountains, including lodging, hiking, Biltmore, kennels, dog parks and more.
Tryon International Equestrian Center
Watch horse jumping competitions with the best riders in the country at this amazing new world-class equestrian resort south of Asheville. Free admission to many events.
Enjoy many choices for great theatre, plays, music, dance and more in Asheville and nearby areas.
Asheville Art Classes & Lessons
Take a painting or pottery class or workshop for an afternoon or a week in Asheville at studios in the River Arts District. Group or private lessons are designed for beginners and experienced. Take home a souvenir of art that your create!
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.
Learn about the Cherokee Indian heritage at several museums, including Museum of the Cherokee Indian and Oconaluftee Indian Village.
Conundrum Escape Adventures
Escape room meets madcap mystery. Can you decode the clues? Can you crack the puzzles? Live action creates zany fun and immersive experiences like you’ve never seen. Located downtown Asheville at The Intrigue Lounge, a gadgety beer and concoction bar.
Find Foodie Favorites
Check out our very diverse and passionate food and drink scene. Be a little adventurous and try something new. Or enjoy time honored classics. In downtown, walk to 60+ locally owned restaurants, many use local food and offer outdoor dining. From crafted cocktails to a host of local brews, there's plenty to drink. Forage for food, visit a farm or tour a vineyard.
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.
Harrah's Cherokee Casino
Play a huge variety of games and slots and dazzling favorites, including video poker and slots, along with live gaming for Blackjack, Craps and Roulette. Great restaurants, hotel, spa, shopping and more.
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.
Estes-Winn Antique Automobile Museum
If you are a car buff, this collection of 20 classics will delight. Located near downtown Asheville. Free.
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 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.
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.
Top 30 Coolest Mountain Small Towns
Explore our favorite cool small towns in the NC mountains near Asheville, each with it's own personality, local shops and restaurants, and a relaxed atmosphere.
North Carolina's only caverns with natural limestone caverns feature stalactite and stalagmite formations and an underground stream. Guided tours.
New Belgium Brewing
Sample brews in the riverside Liquid Center Tasting Room at New Belgium Brewing, located near downtown Asheville. And take a 90-minute, free brewery tour (starting September 2, 2016).
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.
Asheville Art Museum
Explore world-class special exhibitions and the museum's outstanding collection, showcasing the very best of 20th-century American art.
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.
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!
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.
Basilica of St. Lawrence
See one of Asheville's architectural treasures and spiritual anchors with the largest freestanding elliptical dome in the country.
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 with space displays and star watching events.
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.
Smith-McDowell House: Asheville History Center
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.
Asheville Museum of Science
Explore the rich treasures of the earth at this museum called "a mini-Smithsonian of gems" in downtown Asheville. 44 Patton Avenue
Wine & Cocktail Bars
Unwind at one of our favorite downtown Asheville wine bars and great places for cocktails.
Shop 'til you drop with a huge variety of stores, galleries, outlets in the Asheville area. Find plenty of local, unique shops with items you won't find anywhere else. See the best areas to hit.
Stroll through this beautiful historic "mall" in downtown Asheville with high quality specialty shops and local restaurants. See local art and craft at the outdoor market.
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!
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.
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.
Live Music & Dancing, Downtown Asheville
Asheville offers a mulitude of places to go for live music and dancing any day of the week.
Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center
Tucked away in small village near Fontana Lake and Nantahala River is an amazing gallery that showcases the work of 180+ area artists and hosts a great summer concert series. Many artist studios nearby.
Bennett Classics Antique Auto Museum
Named “Best Museum in the Nation” by the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA), see a big variety of 70 vehicles representing decades of history. Located in Forest City and Rutherford County.
Tryon Foothills Wine Country
Visit five wineries in the prime isothermal wine growing area in the beautiful foothills near Columbus and Tryon: Parker-Binns Vineyard, Overmountain Vineyards, Russian Chapel Hills Winery, Mountain Brook Vineyard and Green Creek Winery. It's an easy 45-mile drive from Asheville via I-26 East (near SC line).
This well-known downtown concert venue has state-of-the-art sound and lighting with a capacity of 1,100 standing. It's a great setting for enjoying the premier musicians who perform here. The dance floor is several hundred square feet of springy wooden slats, and the stage is in perfect view from any angle on the floor. 101 Biltmore Avenue.
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.
Mountain Farm Museum & Oconaluftee Visitor Center
Located at the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Cherokee, see historic farm buildings is an open-air museum and great plenty of information from rangers.
Mingus Mill & Smokemont Church
See two historic structures within a few miles of each other in the Great Smoky Mountains, both located near the North Carolina entrance on Newfound Gap Road / US 441 near Cherokee.
Sierra Nevada Brewery
Sierra Nevada (100 Sierra Nevada Way, Mills River) opened its east coast brewery in south Asheville recently with a taproom, restaurant, free brewery tours and live music.
Western NC Nature Center
Learn about the area's natural resources, see animals in their native habitats, and view various exhibits on this 40-acre site. Open daily.
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.
Asheville Visitor Center
Your first stop in town should be the Asheville Visitor Center, with two locations downtown. Find plenty of information about things to do and knowledgable staff people to answer questions.
Check this out!