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This is the coolest town on our list for temperature (highest town in the eastern USA at 5,506 feet elevation). While it's very popular for skiing and snowboarding each winter, they have an impressive trail system for hiking and mountain biking in the summer. Summer golf and scenic chairlift rides too. Each fall, follow the yellow brick road at Autumn at Oz.
Holiday Sip & Shop at Grovewood Gallery
Head to Grovewood Gallery for a variety of unique holiday gifts including ceramic tableware, wooden bowls and utensils, blown glass, fine jewelry, handwoven scarves, letterpress greeting cards, and much more. Wine and non-alcoholic cider will be available for sipping!10 AM-5 PM.
Military Discount, Wildberry Lodge B&B
Active military receives 15% discount on any room and suite rates at this luxury, log-constructed mountain lodge, offering private balconies and breathtaking views of the valley, just 12 miles from downtown Asheville.
Rate: From $169/night
Rate: From $169/night
Jackson County Top 30
So many things to do - art, train excursions, heritage sites and more! Includes the towns of Cashiers, Cherokee, Dillsboro, Sylva, Balsam, Cullowhee, Glenville and Sapphire.
With our great diversity of terrain, climates and plantlife, birds of many varieties love our mountains and many state and national parks with protected land. See our favorite birding locations near Asheville.
Stroll down Marion's Main Street lined with historic buildings, churches and the courthouse. It sits at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains near popular attractions like Mt. Mitchell and Linville Falls. Don't miss the Livermush & Bigfoot Festivals!
Asheville Schools, Colleges, and Universities
Find information on Asheville-area public schools, private schools, colleges, and universities. Many also offer public events and programs.
Shop 'til you drop with a huge variety of stores, galleries and 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.
Bearwallow Mountain Trail offers a one-mile hike to exceptional views. At 4,232 feet above sea level, with a grassy meadow summit, the mountain features a nearly 360-degree view that includes Mount Mitchell and Mount Pisgah. The trail also provides a bird's-eye view of Hickory Nut Gorge, downtown Hendersonville and the South Carolina high country. A historic fire tower occupies the summit, along with grazing cows.
OM Sanctuary Retreats
This center for self-renewal in Asheville has inspiring outdoor spaces like labyrinth gardens, stone paths, patios, waterfall fountains, green space, and woodland trails. They offer aromatherapy, massage, energy work, guided meditation, yoga, tai chi, guided hikes, belly dancing, tarot readings, and more. Choose from a variety of retreat options ranging from large groups to individual packages that include one overnight stay, light breakfast, Holistic Class, and contemplative destinations.
Thermal Belt Rail Trail
Bike, jog and walk the 13.5 paved rail-to-trail path that connects the towns of Ruth, Rutherfordton, Spindale and Forest City - with plenty to see along the way.
Gem Mining Top Spots
Gem mining has been a favorite activity for visitors to the mountains of North Carolina for many years. Most gem mines in the Asheville and Franklin areas are open from spring through autumn. Also tour several gem and mineral museums.
Top Wedding Lodging in and Around Asheville
Planning a wedding in Asheville and looking for nearby lodging or hotel room blocks that can accommodate your large group? Find a variety of lodging options for your wedding weekend, bachelorette weekend, elopement, and more.
Hands-On Learning & Children's Museums
Find children's museums and other hands-on learning centers in Asheville and Western NC including STEM-focused, interactive play, science museums, aquariums, and more.
Find one of the biggest varieties of wildflowers in the country. The Great Smoky Mountains alone is a world-renowned preserve of wildflower diversity with more than 1,660 kinds of flowering plants. Take a hike deep into Pisgah National Forest or enjoy wildflowers from your car as you drive the Blue Ridge Parkway.
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 home to hundreds of world-class artists. Here are our favorite galleries to see their creations.
Sachi Massage and Wellness
Serving Asheville and Hendersonville, this wellness center is dedicated to bringing you health and wellness at affordable prices. They offer everything from couples massage with the sounds of tranquil waterfalls and soothing music to a peaceful, healing Himalayan Salt room. Add aromatherapy to your massage for deep relaxation.
Art on the Greene, Banner Elk
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.
The largest downtown in western North Carolina outside of Asheville is filled with historic buildings and updated streetscapes with flowers and art. Find many spots for outdoor dining and a big variety of quality shops and galleries along a six-block stretch of Main Street. Don't miss two street festivals, the Garden Jubilee and the huge NC Apple Festival.
Intimate Wedding Packages, Simple I Do's of Asheville
Create romantic memories of your big day on a mountain peak, by a waterfall or even at a brewery. Elopement and small wedding packages suit your personal style with custom vows, a short video of the ceremony, beer or champagne, photography, commemorative gifts and more.
Rate: From $495
Rate: From $495
Rehabilitation & Skilled Nursing Communities
Find the best rehabilitation and skilled communities around Asheville that offer both offer short-term and long-term options including rehabilitation services, care for those recovering from surgery or injury, and ongoing medical care for chronic illnesses and disabilities.
Explore the best mountain communities in North Carolina with stunning views, resort-like amenities, golf courses, hiking trails, and more for your perfect mountain home.
Bryson City Gem Mining
Miners and gem enthusiasts have been panning the Smoky Mountains for gems as far back as the 1800s. Find a variety of spots to gem mine throughout Bryson City!
Romantic Escape Package, The Esmeralda Inn
Celebrate a anniversary, birthday or special occasion with your sweetie at this Chimney Rock landmark. Includes a couples massage, breakfast, bottle of wine and dinner certificate.
Rate: $380 plus room cost
Rate: $380 plus room cost
Itto Ramen Bar & Tapas
Located in West Asheville, Itto Ramen Bar & Tapas features eight signature ramen bowls and multiple tapas, including poké bowls, gyoza, and tempura sweet potato. Find a great selection of sakes, plus many local brews. 630 Haywood Rd
50 Late Fall & Holiday Events
November & December: Find many events during our long holiday season, including Christmas at Biltmore, giant light displays and the Gingerbread House competition.
Bullington Gardens, Hendersonville
This 12-acre, nonprofit horticultural education center offers programs, activities, and workshops. The gardens and grounds include a popular fairy garden, a large dahlia garden, therapy garden, shade garden, butterfly garden, perennial borders, native woodland garden, pumpkin patch, and herb garden.
10 Ways to Beat the Heat in the Mountains
Find the best ways to beat the heat around Asheville including swimming holes, river rafting, waterfalls, natural waterslides, lakes, and more!
Active Adult Communities
Find top Active Adult Communities in the greater Asheville area offering independent living residences with a variety of features for the active 55+ buyer. Choose the lifestyle, location, and amenities you're looking for.
Skyterra Wellness Retreats
Retreat to the Blue Ridge Mountains for a week of self-care! Stress management, fitness, spa, and culinary experts help you relax and break old habits that no longer serve you. Whether it's weight loss, yoga, hiking, or healthy, chef-prepared food that interests you, Skyterra guides you towards sustainable lifestyle changes at a 300-acre wooded campus of pristine trails and waterfalls. All-inclusive with programming, lodging, three delicious chef-prepared meals daily catered to your dietary needs and preferences, snacks, and refreshments. See their website for rates.
Be Waterfall Wise Safety Tips
Brevard & NC’s Land of Waterfalls is a popular destination for exploring waterfalls. See their Be Waterfall Wise page for tips including current conditions, waterfall safety cards, and waterfall safety videos.
Mountain Discovery Pass, Carolina Mornings
Choose from a large variety of cabins, cottages, and vacation rentals in the Blue Ridge Mountains (that sleep 2-25 guests). Eligible properties offering our Mountain Discovery Pass will receive a Biltmore Estate pass as well as access to activities including zip-lining, a trampoline park, rafting, snow tubing, and a ski lift pass!
Rates: From $100/night studio, $134/night 1BR, $185/night 2BR
Rates: From $100/night studio, $134/night 1BR, $185/night 2BR
Seclusion Package, Pinecrest B&B
Book a 2-night couple’s getaway at the beautiful Pinecrest Bed & Breakfast in Asheville. Package includes self-check-in, charcuterie tray and a bottle of wine upon arrival, daily hot breakfast delivered to your room, in-room couple’s massage, 1 picnic lunch with hike itinerary, and unbeatable hospitality! Click for rates.
Honeymoon Package, Hot Springs Log Cabins
Arrive on Sunday to your romantic honeymoon cabin. Enjoy 5 nights of romantic seclusion, before checking out on Friday. A bottle Biltmore wine and chocolates truffles are included to help you celebrate. No wedding required! Outdoor hot tub on porch. (Sun-Thurs nights only.)
Rate: From $500
Rate: From $500
Noir Collective AVL
Located in the historic Black business district known as “The Block” in downtown Asheville, this boutique shop and art gallery was created by and for Black entrepreneurs. It’s a safe space for Black-Owned Businesses in Asheville to showcase their arts, services, products, and more.
Give Camping Comfort, SylvanSport
Give the gift of camping comfort with products that make outdoor adventure accessible. What started as an idea to create an innovative pop-up camper has evolved into a line of award-winning adventure trailers and camping accessories. Check out their innovative gear, designed to enrich multiple areas of your life.
Best 40 Fall Festivals & Events
September & October: Enjoy the cooler days of autumn with a big variety of events and outdoor festivals in Asheville and western NC towns. See our fall color foliage forecast for the best places to see the changing leaves.
Asheville Art Museum
Explore world-class special exhibitions and the museum's outstanding collection, showcasing the very best of 20th and 21st century American art in the heart of downtown Asheville.
Asheville Art Classes & Lessons
Take an afternoon- or week-long painting or pottery class/workshop 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!
Carolina Living Choices
Carolina Living Choices is a guide for active, senior living retirement in Western NorthCarolina. They offer a wealth of information and expertise on real estate, 55+, and retirement communities near Asheville, including lifestyle resources for education, enrichment, recreation, and travel. See helpful articles and request a free print and digital retirement guide on their website.
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 within 60 miles of downtown Asheville.
Asheville Strong: Support Small Businesses of WNC
Support our small businesses and shop gift cards now from Asheville and WNC restaurants, hotels, shops, salons, theatres, markets, mom-and-pop shops and more.
Ski & Snowboard
Hit the slopes for plenty of winter of fun. Since we have the highest mountains in eastern America, you will find plenty of snow, either natural or man-made, for sking and snowboarding.
Find some of the most spectacular scenery with many hikes along the rim to peaks like Table Rock, Hawksbill and Shortoff. And don't forget Linville Falls!
An Evening of Romance, Bent Creek Lodge
Upon arrival your room will have romantic soft candlelight, gourmet truffles, soothing music and a dozen roses. They do the work and you'll get the credit!
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 innovative restaurants, many with outdoor dining. From crafted cocktails to local brews, there's plenty to drink. Forage for food, visit a farm or tour a vineyard.
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, and there are many events and sales throughout the year.
Carolina Christmas Show
This Broadway-style show in Marion features live music, dancing, and comedy sure to put you in the holiday spirit! There are four performances to choose from throughout the weekend. Tickets are $12-25.
Virtual Experiences in Asheville & Western NC
Enjoy some virtual experiences in Western NC including outdoor video tours, fitness, meditation, museum tours, kid resources and more.
Downtown After Five
Enjoy live music, food, and beer at this big outdoor concert in downtown Asheville. Free admission, 5-9 PM.
Restaurants in Cashiers, NC
From casual lunch spots with outdoor patios, pubs, and cafes, the small town of Cashiers offers big flavor! Whether dine-in or take-out, savor bbq, pizza, Mexican, American fare, and more.
For a fascinating stroll through history, head to this sprawling cemetery near downtown Asheville, with 87 acres of rolling hills and flower gardens. The cemetery dates to 1885 and holds more than 13,000 burials and 9,000 monuments. It is the burial place of noted authors Thomas Wolfe and William Sidney Porter, better known as O. Henry.
Oklawaha Greenway, Hendersonville
This 3.25-mile trail is a 10-foot-wide paved path that is great for walkers, joggers, and cyclists and is also handicap accessible. It connects five local parks.
DuPont State Recreational Forest
Hike, mountain bike or horseback ride a multitude of trails to see many waterfalls and lakes on 10,000 acres. Plus, picnic on mountaintops and swim at Hooker Falls. Visitor center, free admission.
Sleep under the stars in our national parks, forests or a campground. Or stay in a hostel.
Top 100 Art Festivals & Events
See our favorite art festivals, events and shows this year in Asheville and surrounding towns in the western North Carolina mountains.
Places to Stay in and Around Cashiers
Cashiers offers many lodging options including boutique hotels, inns, vacation rentals, camping, and more. Find destination lodging in Cashiers to accommodate romantic getaways, family vacations, pet-friendly stays, and ease of access to all the outdoor exploration!
Touring America’s Largest Home is easily the number one indoor attraction in Western North Carolina. Experience the beauty of Biltmore House and its century-old gardens where the Vanderbilt family once strolled. Come see why George Vanderbilt chose Asheville as the site for his famous estate. Explore Biltmore's 8,000-acre Blue Ridge Mountain backyard, taste award-winning wines, dine and shop. See our extensive guide with many photos and tips.
Wellness Vacations in Asheville & Western NC
Unplug from the daily grind for a rejuvenation getaway in the Blue Ridge Mountains! See our top spots for the ultimate wellness vacation including resorts, cabins, spas with lodging, meditative retreats, and more!
Fishing Guide for Great Smoky Mountains NC
See our fishing tips and best creeks, rivers and lakes to fish in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the North Carolina side and nearby towns including Cherokee, Sylva and Bryson City.
18 Scenic Drives
See gorgeous countryside, mountain views and charming communities on a windshield tour via national and state scenic byways near Asheville. Lots of opportunities for stops along the way.
Asheville’s largest curated, pop-up market for antiques, art, vintage decor, jewelry, and beyond is in the River Arts District. Rain or shine. 10 AM-4 PM. (1 Foundy Street)
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 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 United States.
Dillsboro Things to Do
Enjoy a variety of things to do and see in Dillsboro including riverfront shops, restaurants, art, pottery, galleries, fun festivals, excursions on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, and more.
Asheville Real Estate Overview
Get a picture of Asheville's real estate market including area neighborhoods, trends, average home prices, home sizes, forecast, statistics, and more.
Mikes on Main, Hendersonville
Step inside this retro soda shop and travel back a few decades to the era of soda jerks in paper hats and big band music. (303 N Main St)
7 Great Lakes Near Asheville
Explore these gorgeous lakes near Asheville with lots to do including beaches, boat rentals, water activities, swimming, camping, trails, and more!
Black Mountain Yoga
Black Mountain Yoga features classes for all ages and abilities. They offer a range of class styles, including flow and yin with gong sound healing, gentle and restorative, sunrise yoga, kids yoga, and private yoga therapy sessions. They also have a private sauna. Fun fact: The studio is 100% wind-powered.
Lake James State Park
This state park has a wide beach with a nice pavilion with changing rooms, open for swimming May-September. Also enjoy hiking, mountain biking, fishing and more.
McFarlan Bakery, Hendersonville
Since 1930, this old-school bakery has delighted customers with its long, glass case filled with baked goods — apple fritters, doughnuts, assorted cookies, cakes, pies, and more. (309 N Main St)
Places to Stay in and around Dillsboro
Find places to stay in Dillsboro including historic Inns, cabins, vacation rentals, and hotels that offer riverfront lodging, walkability to town, scenic balcony views, pet-friendly accommodations, hot tubs, and access to plenty of outdoor activities.
Alice in Wonderland, Downtown Asheville
Solve clues, take on challenges and unlock secrets to find Alice! Dress the part in this self-guided, escape room-style event in downtown Asheville. Tickets are $80/team. Kids are free. Participants will use the event app to play. Start anytime between 9 AM and 2 PM and expect to solve the mystery within 2-3 hours.
Winter Wonder Walk, Adventure Center of Asheville
Join this live-action immersive story-walk on an outdoor trail with live characters, lights, and a blustery guest, Jack Frost. Guests will set out on a quest through Winterland to find Jack Frost and the Dugar Plum Fairy and stop a terrible blizzard while meeting many wonderful characters along the way.
Combo Pass, Adventure Center of Asheville
Enjoy a full day of fun that includes multiple outdoor activities near downtown. Combo pass is $123/person for the Full Zip Tour and the Treetops Park. Express Zip and Treetops Park is $103/person. And Kid Zip and Treetops Adventure Park is $83/person.
Tiny House Communities in Asheville & Western NC
Discover tiny house communities in and around Asheville, offering larger than life perks with a smaller footprint.
Ensemble Stage, Banner Elk
Enjoy professional theater in the mountains based at the Historic Banner Elk School. This local theater troupe is known for high-quality performances with a robust year-round schedule of events.