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May 24-27, 2024
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 Asheville's 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 the top of page) and North Carolina Arboretum. Also, find plenty of inside fun with our Indoor Things to Do.

Biltmore Estate
See our Biltmore Insider's Guide with plenty of tips and the latest ticket offers (save $8 if you purchase tickets online seven days in advance). And explore thousands of gorgeous acres with many options for outdoor adventures at Biltmore, like biking, rafting, Segways, fishing, and more.

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

Memorial Day Weekend Top 15 Things to Do

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.  

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.

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.

6 Mountain Beaches near Asheville

Hit the beach on pristine, cool mountain lakes in the NC mountains near Asheville, complete with sandy shores, lifeguards and plenty of summer fun in the water.

Hit the beach on pristine, cool mountain lakes in the NC mountains near Asheville, complete with sandy shores, lifeguards and plenty of summer fun in the water.

Veteran's History Museum of the Carolinas

A fascinating tour of US history through the eyes of Carolina veterans. The museum covers “modern” wars from World War I through Afghanistan, including the Cold War. Learn intriguing stories of… read more

A fascinating tour of US history through the eyes of Carolina veterans. The museum covers “modern” wars from World War I through Afghanistan, including the Cold War. Learn intriguing stories of those who served and see one-of-a-kind artifacts, uniforms, weaponry, original newspapers, and more. Open Wed-Sunday, March-December. Free admission.

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.

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… read more

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 are on duty during warmer months.

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.

Top 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… read more

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 their creations.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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… read more

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!

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. 

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. 

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… read more

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. 

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…

Memorial Day Weekend Events & Specials

Tier 3

Memorial Weekend Hiking Trip: Happy Hiking Co.

Calling outdoor enthusiasts! Take a three-day, two-night trip through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with Happy Hiking Co.

All food and most gear are provided, making it a great… read more

Calling outdoor enthusiasts! Take a three-day, two-night trip through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with Happy Hiking Co.

All food and most gear are provided, making it a great trip for someone who's never tried backpacking before. The cost is $450 per person for this intermediate-level trip. You can expect to hike up to nine miles per day to immerse yourself in the park with…

Free

GRINDFest AVL

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This free 3-day festival celebrates black business and entrepreneurship in Asheville. Enjoy a weekend of music, live performances, food, local vendors, community connection, and more in the River… read more

This free 3-day festival celebrates black business and entrepreneurship in Asheville. Enjoy a weekend of music, live performances, food, local vendors, community connection, and more in the River Arts District on Depot St.

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White Squirrel Weekend

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Go nuts at this three-day downtown Brevard festival featuring a parade, plenty of live music, food, arts, and much more on Memorial Day Weekend.

Go nuts at this three-day downtown Brevard festival featuring a parade, plenty of live music, food, arts, and much more on Memorial Day Weekend.

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Garden Jubilee Festival

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One of the largest gardening shows in Western North Carolina, this garden lover's top event happens over Memorial Day weekend with more than 200 plant and craft vendors lining Main Street in… read more

One of the largest gardening shows in Western North Carolina, this garden lover's top event happens over Memorial Day weekend with more than 200 plant and craft vendors lining Main Street in Hendersonville. Hours are 9 AM to 5 PM daily. 

Tier 2

Art on the Greene

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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… read more

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.

Tier 2

Downtown Asheville Festival of the Arts

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May 25-26, 2024

See 100+ regional, local and national artists and craft artisans with fine jewelry, a big variety of art and hand-crafted apparel and decor. Downtown Asheville (80 Court Plaza).… read more

May 25-26, 2024

See 100+ regional, local and national artists and craft artisans with fine jewelry, a big variety of art and hand-crafted apparel and decor. Downtown Asheville (80 Court Plaza). Free admission. 10 AM-5 PM.

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Memorial Day Concert and Ceremony

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.… read more

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

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

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

For events throughout the year, see our list of seasonal calendars.

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