August 30-September 2, 2024

Asheville and the North Carolina mountains have many things to do and events during Labor Day Weekend. 

Kick off the weekend on Friday night with: 

Concerts on the Creek: Free outside live music in downtown Sylva, with Dashboard Blue (classic hits, big variety) 7-9 PM at Bridge Park, two blocks from Main Street with shops, restaurants, and breweries. Family-friendly, bring a chair or blanket. Read more about the concert.

Drum Circle: The popular Friday night tradition in downtown Asheville includes many drummers and dancers in Pritchard Park, 6-10 PM. Read more about the Drum Circle

See more weekend events and festivals below!

Get Outside!
Hit the hiking trails, zip line, raft the rapids, tube down the rivers, and find waterfalls. And that's just a few ideas. See our Top 70 Outdoors Things to Do!

Biltmore
It will certainly be a busy weekend at Biltmore. See our Biltmore Insider's Guide with plenty of tips and the latest ticket offers (save $10 if you purchase tickets online 7 days in advance). And explore thousands of acres with many options for outdoor adventures at Biltmore, like biking, rafting, Segways, fishing, and more. They also kick off many special fall events in September - read more!

Accommodations
Book early to get your top choice: Bed & Breakfasts | Hotels | Cabins | Camping

Top 20 Things to Do Labor Day Weekend

Lake Lure

There's a lot happening in this lake town! In addition to a beach to keep cool on hot summer's day, there's a wonderful Town Center Walkway that connects the beach to the beautiful Flowering Bridge. Take a boat tour of the lake or bring your mountain bike for their new trail system at Buffalo Creek Park.

Top Restaurants In & Near Asheville

From casual to sophisticated, there are many restaurants for all tastes, with flavors from around the world. Plus, find many more award-winning chefs throughout the mountains. See our top picks… read more

From casual to sophisticated, there are many restaurants for all tastes, with flavors from around the world. Plus, find many more award-winning chefs throughout the mountains. See our top picks for dining in Asheville.  

Explore Downtown Asheville

During the day, downtown Asheville bustles with shoppers browsing more than 200 galleries, antique shops and local boutiques. Each evening, enjoy street entertainers, restaurants, breweries,… read more

During the day, downtown Asheville bustles with shoppers browsing more than 200 galleries, antique shops and local boutiques. Each evening, enjoy street entertainers, restaurants, breweries, festivals and music. Walk the Urban Trail and tour historic sites. See our Top 25 things to do downtown.

Beach at Lake James

Our top mountain beach is found at Lake James State Park, with a wide sandy beach, bathhouse, concessions and kayak / paddleboard rentals. Nearby, camp, picnic, hike and mountain bike. 

Our top mountain beach is found at Lake James State Park, with a wide sandy beach, bathhouse, concessions and kayak / paddleboard rentals. Nearby, camp, picnic, hike and mountain bike. 

Winery Visits & Tours

In addition to the nation's most visited winery at Biltmore, take a winery tour in the foothills area including around Hendersonville and Morganton. Sample the local wines while enjoying the… read more

In addition to the nation's most visited winery at Biltmore, take a winery tour in the foothills area including around Hendersonville and Morganton. Sample the local wines while enjoying the mountain views. See our Top Wineries to see in western North Carolina.

Lake Glenville

This pristine reservoir near Cashiers has the highest elevation of any lake east of the Mississippi. Signal Ridge Marina rents a variety of Bennington pontoons and tritoons, as well as tubes,… read more

This pristine reservoir near Cashiers has the highest elevation of any lake east of the Mississippi. Signal Ridge Marina rents a variety of Bennington pontoons and tritoons, as well as tubes, paddleboards, skis, wakeboards and kneeboards. There's even a beach!

Top 20 Picnic Spots

Dine outdoors in nature! Plan a picnic at some amazing locations where you can enjoy sweet views.

Dine outdoors in nature! Plan a picnic at some amazing locations where you can enjoy sweet views.

Fontana Lake & Dam

Located in the Great Smoky Mountains, enjoy fishing, boating, camping and swimming in this beautiful lake. Drive or walk across the highest dam east of the Rockies and stop by the Visitor Center… read more

Located in the Great Smoky Mountains, enjoy fishing, boating, camping and swimming in this beautiful lake. Drive or walk across the highest dam east of the Rockies and stop by the Visitor Center to learn more about it.

Whitewater Rafting & Kayaking

We are lucky enough to have six rivers near Asheville that are good for rafting and kayaking. Find professional companies that provide rafting guides, so no experience is necessary. You can even… read more

We are lucky enough to have six rivers near Asheville that are good for rafting and kayaking. Find professional companies that provide rafting guides, so no experience is necessary. You can even learn how to kayak in the rapids or paddleboard on a lake.

Waterfalls Top 60

Of hundreds of waterfalls near Asheville, we picked the most spectacular falls that are easy to find. Some can be enjoyed with a short walk or even roadside. Others require a scenic hike. See full… read more

Of hundreds of waterfalls near Asheville, we picked the most spectacular falls that are easy to find. Some can be enjoyed with a short walk or even roadside. Others require a scenic hike. See full descriptions for each, with plenty of photos! Also see Waterfall Drives & Maps.

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… read more

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.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Top 30 in NC

Explore the most visited national park in the country! See our top places and things to do in the Great Smoky Mountains on the North Carolina side near Asheville. Four entrances to the Park are… read more

Explore the most visited national park in the country! See our top places and things to do in the Great Smoky Mountains on the North Carolina side near Asheville. Four entrances to the Park are within 60 miles of downtown Asheville.

Weekend Getaways: Discover Top 40 Coolest Mountain Small Towns Near Asheville

There are lots of options if you want to plan a few fun day trips while you are in Western North Carolina. Explore our favorite cool small towns in the NC mountains near Asheville, each with its… read more

There are lots of options if you want to plan a few fun day trips while you are in Western North Carolina. Explore our favorite cool small towns in the NC mountains near Asheville, each with its own personality, local shops and restaurants, friendly residents, and relaxed atmosphere.

Sliding Rock & Swimming Holes

Be a kid again and splash around in a cool mountain swimming hole. Ride down Sliding Rock, swim under a waterfall, sun on a mountain beach or pristine lake, or spend a lazy day tubing down a river… read more

Be a kid again and splash around in a cool mountain swimming hole. Ride down Sliding Rock, swim under a waterfall, sun on a mountain beach or pristine lake, or spend a lazy day tubing down a river.

Best 75 Mountain Hikes

There are thousands of miles of hiking trails near Asheville, many of which are in pristine national forests or parks. We picked our favorites and created extensive guides for each with photos and… read more

There are thousands of miles of hiking trails near Asheville, many of which are in pristine national forests or parks. We picked our favorites and created extensive guides for each with photos and details. Find hikes for all skill levels in the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains.

Blue Ridge Parkway Top 50

Drive the Parkway north or south from Asheville and quickly climb the Blue Ridge Mountain ridge to see breathtaking vistas. You can reach elevations of 5,000+ ft. Our mile-by-mile guide of the… read more

Drive the Parkway north or south from Asheville and quickly climb the Blue Ridge Mountain ridge to see breathtaking vistas. You can reach elevations of 5,000+ ft. Our mile-by-mile guide of the Parkway covers the 193-mile section near Asheville. Along the way, plan to stop to visit the Folk Art Center or discover one of the other fun things to do along one of the most scenic drives in the…

Labor Day Weekend Events

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Goombay Festival

Sep 01, 2023 - Sep 03, 2023

This free festival in downtown Asheville is a celebration of African-Caribbean culture with music, craft market, food vendors, dance performances and competitions, a special area with activities… read more

This free festival in downtown Asheville is a celebration of African-Caribbean culture with music, craft market, food vendors, dance performances and competitions, a special area with activities for kids and much more! 

Tier 2

Earl Scruggs Music Festival

Sep 01, 2023 - Sep 03, 2023

Held at the Tryon International Equestrian Center, enjoy 20+ artists on three stages, including Old Crow Medicine Show, Jerry Douglas, Jim Lauderdale, Alison Brown, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and… read more

Held at the Tryon International Equestrian Center, enjoy 20+ artists on three stages, including Old Crow Medicine Show, Jerry Douglas, Jim Lauderdale, Alison Brown, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and Earls of Leicester. Book early for camping spots, lodging, and after-hours festivities. 

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NC Apple Festival

Sep 01, 2023 - Sep 04, 2023

Spread out with a self-guided tour of orchards in the area with apples, food, vendors, shopping, and more at each location! This event will not have the downtown street fair, music, kiddie… read more

Spread out with a self-guided tour of orchards in the area with apples, food, vendors, shopping, and more at each location! This event will not have the downtown street fair, music, kiddie carnival, or parade. But come back to Hendersonville for added food and shopping all weekend! 10 AM-10 PM each day all weekend.

Tier 2

Art on the Greene

Buy art and support the restoration of the historic school in Banner Elk. Find a big variety of artists working with metal, glass, pottery, wood, jewelry, and more. Many other things to do nearby… read more

Buy art and support the restoration of the historic school in Banner Elk. Find a big variety of artists working with metal, glass, pottery, wood, jewelry, and more. Many other things to do nearby. 10 AM-5 PM. Free admission. 

Tier 2

Canton Labor Day Festival

The Town of Canton has been putting on a huge celebration for Labor Day since 1906! The two-day festival features music, the WNC Handcraft Expo, and Food trucks from 12-9:30 PM on Sunday and 12-9… read more

The Town of Canton has been putting on a huge celebration for Labor Day since 1906! The two-day festival features music, the WNC Handcraft Expo, and Food trucks from 12-9:30 PM on Sunday and 12-9 PM on Monday at Sorrells Park. On Monday, watch as the big Labor Day Parade goes through downtown Canton from at 10 -11:30 AM.

Also on Monday, don't miss the Smoky Mountain Cruiser's …

Tier 2

Drum Circle

Sep 01, 2023

Hear and feel the beat at the weekly drum circle every Friday night in downtown Asheville in Pritchard Park from April-October. And dance the night away!

Hear and feel the beat at the weekly drum circle every Friday night in downtown Asheville in Pritchard Park from April-October. And dance the night away!

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