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 including ​​Chimney Rock Park (pic at top of page)! Also find plenty of inside fun with our 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). And explore thousands of gorgeous acres with many options for outdoor adventures at Biltmore like biking, rafting, Segways, fishing and more.

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 15 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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. You can reach elevations of 5,000+ ft. 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.
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.
Tubing near Asheville
River Tubing
Find the best places to tube down a river on a hot summer day, including the French Broad River through Asheville, Deep Creek in the Smoky Mountains and Green River Gorge - with rentals and shuttle services. 
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 Tours Asheville
Top 8 Zip Line Canopy Tours
Fly above the trees and experience the mountains' natural beauty from a bird's perspective. See our favorite zip line canopy courses to enjoy in the Asheville area of the North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains. No experience is needed. Canopy guides provide all instruction and assistance. It's fun for all fitness levels!
Art Galleries & Studios
Top 20 Art Galleries
Visit a gallery to be amazed at a big variety of local art and craft, including glass, paintings, pottery and every other 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.
Lake Glenville & Signal Ridge Marina
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, paddleboards, skis, wakeboards and kneeboards. There's even a beach!
Sliding Rock
Sliding Rock
The most popular natural waterslide in North Carolina for generations is in Pisgah National Forest near Brevard. Slide down a 60-ft. smooth rock waterfall into a pool of chilly water. Bathrooms and showers are open and lifeguards on duty from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Top 20 Picnic Spots
Dine outdoors in nature! Plan a picnic at some amazing locations where you can enjoy sweet views.
Lake Santeetlah, NC
Lake Santeetlah
This gorgeous lake in Graham County is mostly surrounded by the Nantahala National Forest. Swim, boat, camp and fish in the pristine waters, near Robbinsville. 
Whitewater Rafting & Kayaking
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 learn how to kayak in the rapids or paddleboard on a lake.

Memorial Day Weekend Events

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.
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.
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. 
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, kids' activities and Venetian carousel rides. Events vary each week. Free admission.
Banner Elk Art
Art on the Greene
Saturday, May 27, 2017 to Sunday, May 28, 2017
Find a big variety of 40 artists working with metal, glass, pottery, wood, jewelry and more in downtown Banner Elk. Many restaurants, shops and things to do nearby. Benefits their historic school renovation. 10 AM-5 PM. Free admission.
Arts & Crafts Fair
Rotary Arts & Crafts Fair, Cashiers
Saturday, May 27, 2017 to Sunday, May 28, 2017
See works from 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.
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, unique lawn and garden accessories, and arts and crafts. 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).
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. 

Lake Lure Beach

Hit the Beach
Yes, we have sandy beaches in the mountains - including Lake Lure! See our Top 6 Beaches Near Asheville.

More Events!
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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