Memorial Day Weekend 2017 in Asheville

Memorial Day Weekend in Asheville

Start the summer season in Asheville during Memorial Day Weekend with many things to do and a big variety of events and festivals.

Kick off the weekend on Friday night with:

  • Concerts on the Creek, Sylva: Free outside live music in downtown Sylva, with Freeway Revival (rock/Americana) 7-9 PM at the 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 includes many drummers and dancers in Pritchard Park in downtown Asheville, from 6-10 PM. Read more about the Drum Circle.

Get Outdoors (or Indoors)!
Hit the trails, zip line, raft, tube and find waterfalls. And that's just a few ideas. See our Top 70 Outdoors Things to Do! Also find plenty of inside fun with our Top 60 Indoor Things to Do.

Biltmore Estate
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). In addition to touring the house, winery and gardens, don't miss the Fashionable Romance Exhibition inside the house. And explore thousands of gorgeous acres with many options for outdoor adventures at Biltmore like biking, rafting, Segways, fishing and more.

Accommodations
Book your room early to get your top choice. See our guides for top picks for a great getaway: Bed & Breakfasts | Hotels | Cabins | Camping

Memorial Day Weekend Top 12 Things to Do

Waterfalls Top 60
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 descriptions for each with plenty of photos! Also see Waterfall Drives & Maps.
Mountain Hikes Top 60
Best 75 Mountain Hikes
There are thousands of miles of hiking trails near Asheville, many of which are pristine in national forests or parks. We picked our favorites and created extensive guides for each with photos and details. Find hikes all skill levels in the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains.
Downtown 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, festivals and music. Walk the Urban Trail and tour historic sites. See our Top 20 things to do downtown.
Biltmore House
Experience Biltmore Estate
Take in the grandeur of our country's largest home, the "Downton Abbey" of America. Explore the many rooms inside the house, walk through breathtaking landscapes and gardens, taste vintages at the winery and enjoy fine dining. Take a guided tour for a "behind the scenes" look. If you have been before, discover many new things to do with our detailed insider's guide!
Farm-to-Table Dining
Local Restaurants
From casual to sophisticated, there are restaurants for all tastes. In downtown Asheville, choose from 60+ locally-owned restaurants with cuisine from around the world. Many feature "farm-to-table" seasonal specials with local food. Check out our favorites.
Asheville Beer
Asheville Beer & Brewery Guide
Downtown Asheville is the epicenter of the local craft beer explosion. See a complete list of the craft breweries, pubs, taverns, taprooms, brewery tours and more in our Asheville Beer Guide.
Zip Line Canopy Tour
Top 10 Zip Line Canopy Tours
Fly above the trees and experience the mountain's natural beauty from a bird's perspective. See our favorite zip line canopy courses to enjoy in the Asheville area in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. No experience is needed. Canopy guides provide all instruction and assistance. So it's fun for all fitness levels!
Blue Ridge Parkway Top 50
Blue Ridge Parkway Top 50
Drive the Parkway north or south from Asheville and quickly climb the Blue Ridge Mountain ridge and reach elevations of 5,000+. Our mile-by-mile guide of the Parkway covers the 193-mile section near Asheville. So many things to do along one of the most scenic drives in the United States.
Art Galleries & Studios
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.
Swimming Holes
Cool Off in Mountain Swimming Holes
Refresh yourself and have fun in our cool mountain waters in our lakes, rivers and waterfalls. See our favorite swimming spots, including popular Sliding Rock, tubing spots, pools and beaches.
Lake Glenville & Signal Ridge Marina
Lake Glenville
This pristine reservoir near Cashiers is 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!
Fontana Lake
Fontana Lake & Dam
Located in the Great Smoky Mountains, enjoy fishing, boating, camping and swimming in this beautiful lake. Or walk the Appalachian Trail across the highest dam east of the Rockies.

Memorial Day Weekend Events

White Squirrel Festival
White Squirrel Festival
Saturday, May 27, 2017 to Sunday, May 28, 2017
Go nuts at the White Squirrel Festival in downtown Brevard that features a parade, plenty of live music, food, arts and much on Memorial Day Weekend.
Asheville Beer City Festival
Beer City Festival
Saturday, May 27, 2017
Sample brews from 30+ local breweries downtown in Pack Square Park on Memorial Day Weekend, with live music and local food. Hosted by Asheville Brewers Alliance, it's the kickoff to Beer Week. Buy tickets in advance (often sells out).
Mountain Sports Festival
Mountain Sports Festival
Friday, May 26, 2017 to Sunday, May 28, 2017
Whether you’re a hardcore athlete or a newbie trying an event for the first time, the annual Mountain Sports Festival in Asheville offers something for you. Memorial Day Weekend
Americana Burlesque & Sideshow Festival
Americana Burlesque & Sideshow Festival
Friday, May 26, 2017 to Sunday, May 28, 2017
Celebrating the Vaudeville Revival here in Asheville. See renowned circus and burlesque artists from around the world. They promise fashion, contortion, trapeze, and tease!
Garden Jubilee Festival
Garden Jubilee Festival
Saturday, May 27, 2017 to Sunday, May 28, 2017
This Downtown Hendersonville Festival is the ideal event for passionate gardeners searching for the perfect plants and unique lawn & garden accessories and arts & crafts, on Memorial Day Weekend.
Tryon International Equestrian Center, NC
Saturday Night Lights
Saturday, May 6, 2017, Saturday, May 13, 2017, Saturday, May 20, 2017, Saturday, May 27, 2017
Watch horse jumping and riding with the best jockeys in the country at the impressive, new Tryon International Equestrian Center with an exciting atmosphere featuring music, food, kid's activities and Venetian carousel rides. Events vary each week. Free admission.
Lake Lure Arts Festival
Lake Lure Arts Festival
Saturday, May 27, 2017 to Monday, May 29, 2017
Featuring handmade creations from more than 60 artisans from across the region, including painting, photography, jewelry, leather, metal, soaps and more on Memorial Day Weekend. Admission is free. Across from the beach, 2771 Memorial Highway.
Kenilworth Artists Open Studio Tour
Kenilworth Artists Open Studio Tour
Saturday, May 27, 2017 to Sunday, May 28, 2017
Kenilworth neighborhood, just five minutes from downtown Asheville, annual Open Studio Tour features 20+ jewelers, painters, glass-workers, fabric artists, potters, woodworkers, photographers, and more!
Pack Square Park
Memorial Day Concert and Ceremony
Monday, May 29, 2017
Held on the Roger McGuire Green Stage of Pack Square Park in downtown Asheville starting at 2:30 PM with the Army National Guard's Army Band performing a half hour before and after the ceremony. Free
Arts & Crafts Fair
Rotary Arts & Crafts Fair, Cashiers
Saturday, May 27, 2017 to Sunday, May 28, 2017
See works of 90 of the finest artisans from the Southeast on the Village Green in Cashiers, 10 AM- 5 PM. Find ironwork, woodcraft, textiles, cakes, jams, pottery and more. Free admission, but donations accepted.

Lake Lure Beach

Hit the Beach
Yes, we have sandy beaches in the mountains. Top picks are Lake Lure (pic above) and Lake James State Park

More Events!
​​Chimney Rock Park (pic at top of page) has special activities on May 28-30 (in addition to their hiking and spectacular views) that are especially fun for kids. Meet some of Grady the Groundhog’s woodland friends or possibly our birds of prey, a Red-tailed hawk and Great Horned Owl, at their daily 2 PM Family Animal Encounters. A Park naturalist will explain each animal’s role in our ecosystem, how they came to live at the park and lessons on what we can do to help protect wildlife. For more family fun, get one free climb on the Climbing Tower.

For 20+ more events to choose from during the Memorial Day Weekend, go to our Daily Events Calendar (updated by our partners every day). 

Western NC Veteran's Cemetery

Pay tribute to our heroes at the Western North Carolina State Veterans Cemetery in Black Mountain, with an American flag placed at all 5,700+ graves. A Memorial Day service takes place at 10 AM on Monday. Read more about the Veterans Cemetery

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