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Retiring in Asheville & Western North Carolina
Considering retiring? See why Asheville and Western North Carolina is named one of the best places to retire including perks like easy and accessible trails and waterfalls, world-class health care, life long learning programs, arts, music and more!
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.
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.
Swimming Near Bryson City
Swim, kayak, canoe at this small park at Fingerlake Day Use Area of Fontana Lake. You’ll find a small park with picnic tables, public restrooms and a swimming area.
Restaurants in Brevard
Find a variety of places to eat and drink in Brevard including upscale dining casual eateries, pubs, food trucks, bakeries, coffee shops, 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)
Asheville Community Yoga
Aside from donation-based yoga classes, they offer sliding scale healing arts services, including acupuncture, Ayurvedic wellness consultations, holistic health coaching, treatments with essential oils, reiki, reflexology, and more
Winter Events & Outings
January, February, March: These months are the most serene time of the year in Asheville and the Blue Ridge Mountains, so it's the perfect time for a romantic North Carolina mountain getaway - maybe a Valentine's escape. See our Top 12 Asheville winter things to do and the best events.
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.
Best 40 Museums & Historic Sites
Explore a big variety of very interesting museums and historic places in Asheville and the surrounding mountain small towns, filled with the fascinating history and culture of the Appalachian Mountains. Many are free to visit.
Biltmore Ticket Specials
See the latest seasonal ticket specials and deals to tour Biltmore House, gardens, and winery on our Biltmore Guide. Often, you can save $8/person or more if you buy tickets 7 days in advance! Senior & military discounts too.
Dread Life Kitchen, Hendersonville
Serving up soul food in Hendersonville, owner Raynard Walker offers comfort food favorites like wings, shrimp and grits, mac-n-cheese, smoked meats, collards, and more with a Caribbean twist. Dine-in or pick up a meal to bring home, along with home-made lemonade or sweet tea. They also offer catering for events! 3591 Chimney Rock Rd, Hendersonville
Connemara Hiking Trails, Hendersonville
Hike to the top of Glassy Mountain via a five-plus-mile trail system located on the grounds of the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site in Flat Rock.
Green Tea Sushi
Serving a variety of traditional Japanese dishes including sushi and sashimi, this restaurant is a local favorite for take-out. Enjoy hibachi dishes (though not cooked in front of guests) and large portions. Try the Fire and Ice roll! 2 Regent Park Blvd
Western North Carolina Nature Center
Kids of all ages will love this 42-acre wildlife park, providing a home for 60+ animals native to this region, including foxes, bears, wolves, bobcats, cougars, river otters. Don’t miss the Red Panda Exhibit!
Falconry Package, Sourwood Inn
Stay two nights at this mountaintop inn on 100 acres, just 10 miles from downtown Asheville, and enjoy a unique falconry experience complete with Rocket Girl (in pic) flying to your glove.
Glamping Near Asheville
Find our top glamping locations near Asheville. This combination of glamour and camping satisfies both the city slicker and nature lover. Arrive to a fully set up mountain campsite in our Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, no assembly or equipment required.
Woodfin Whitewater Wave
Read all about this world-class, manmade whitewater wave, riverfront park, and greenway system coming to the French Broad River near Asheville as part of The Woodfin Greenway & Blueway Project.
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.
Appalachian Pinball Museum, Hendersonville
Appalachian Pinball Museum : Everyone is a kid again at Appalachian Pinball Museum, where $12 allows you to play all day. The museum features more than 70 games, including pinball classics as well arcade and video games. The oldest pinball machine dates to 1946. Enjoy soda, snacks or a beer while you play. (538 N. Main St.)
Top Beer & Local Craft Brews
Taste your way through Beer City USA at craft breweries and pubs in and near Asheville. Many are located downtown, so you can create your own walking tour. See our top spots for local brews.
French Broad River: 15 Ways to Enjoy
Find some of our favorite ways and places to enjoy the river, beginning at the source of the French Broad River (near Rosman, NC), and following the river downstream to the Tennessee state line (about a 70-mile section!)
Oklawaha Brewing Company, Hendersonville
This brewery around the corner from Main Street takes pride in being kid-friendly with board games, coloring supplies, chalk, and nonalcoholic options. (147 1st Ave E)
Vanderbilt Wine Club, Biltmore Winery
Save up to 25% on Biltmore Wine and get exclusive access to tasting events, receive special wine shipment of 3 bottles each season, and save on wine purchased at the estate. Choose from Red, White, Mixed, or Sweet. Membership is free, minimum of 2 shipments.
Rate: From $35/shipment depending on wines selected
Rate: From $35/shipment depending on wines selected
Mother's Day Weekend
Find ideas for events and things to do with mom or grandma in Asheville and the mountains, including flowers, shopping, art, spas and more.
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.
Downtown After Five
Enjoy live music, food, and beer at this big outdoor concert in downtown Asheville. Free admission, 5-9 PM.
Mast General Store, Hendersonville
This WNC institution stocks clothing, gear, toys, and souvenirs for all ages, but kids particularly enjoy the barrels full of all kinds of candy. (527 N Main St)
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.
Anniversary Package, 1889 WhiteGate Inn
The perfect way to celebrate your love on any occasion. Includes a two-night stay in this historic B&B near downtown Asheville, roses, hand-dipped chocolate strawberries, artisan baked cake and romantic dinner for two. Use Promo Code: Anni1
Rates: Start at $270
Rates: Start at $270
Earth Day Kid's Festival
This kid-centered festival celebrates Earth Day with a variety of fun, environmentally-focused activities for kids in grades K-12 including arts, crafts, music performances, hands-on learning, interactive booths, and more. 12 AM-4 PM at Rabbit Rabbit in Downtown Asheville.
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.
Elopement Packages, Miss Caroline's Country Wedding Chapel
Get married in an adorable tiny church in Maggie Valley, surrounded by the Smoky Mountains. Package includes a ceremony, recorded music and photographs. Extras include flowers or overnight cabin stay.
Rates: From $449
Rates: From $449
CODA Music Festival
This music festival held at Montreat College near Black Mountain is entirely student-organized, providing students with hands-on experience in creating a fun family-friendly event, celebrating art and culture. 1 PM-8 PM.
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.
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.
Asheville Communities & Neighborhoods
Find unique neighborhoods and communities in Asheville, including historic, downtown, family-friendly, mountain top, current "hot spots" and more.
10 Reasons to Move to Asheville
See why Asheville receives countless accolades for being one of the best places to live in the United States, including our friendly small towns and communities high in the hills.
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.
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!
Restaurants in Dillsboro
Find plenty of dining options, including family-friendly, pet-friendly, fast-casual, riverside dining, and a brewery offering 32 taps!
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.
Pisgah National Forest
This 500,000+ natonal forest surrounds Asheville and features some of the most beautiful and rugged mountain scenery. Not to mention, the best recreational opportunities in eastern North America with whitewater rivers, waterfalls and hundreds of miles of trails.
(25 Sweeten Creek Rd) Located just outside Biltmore Village, this small, family-owned brewery brings pub-style back to the brewery experience. With an emphasis on quality beer and a focus on classics and comfort. They also offer a pub-style menu. Open daily. Dog friendly!
South Slope Brewing District
On the southside of downtown, explore the fast-growing "Brewery District" with eight breweries and a growing number of restaurants and shops, transitioning from sleepy industrial warehouses to a hip neighborhood.
Social Distancing Things to Do in Asheville and Western NC
Many are craving fresh air as cabin fever sets in and a break from coronavirus news becomes necessary. Find hikes, waterfalls, scenic drives and more that allow you to safely enjoy the outdoors while maintaining a safe, social distance.
Since the late 1890s, tourists have flocked to this tiny railroad town of 700 residents. Main Street has many longtime businesses, including fantastic galleries and restaurants. A must stop is the 1899 Pace's "old time" General Store that is part museum. Since 1892 is Thompson's Store and Ward's Grill. Learn about the Saluda Grade at the Depot. Raft and tube on the Green River.
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.
Meander tree-lined streets, explore 40 unique shops and relax at 10 cafes and restaurants. Most businesses are housed in historic cottages and buildings. Don't miss the fabulous New Morning Gallery.
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.
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.
Enjoy plenty of fishing spots, whether novice or experienced. Full- and half-day guided trips, tying classes and classes geared toward women.
Asheville Community Yoga
This nonprofit yoga center offers donation-based classes and workshops, focusing on yoga and healing arts. They offer all-levels yoga classes, including yoga for kids, meditation, private yoga therapy, and more. Yoga mats and props provided! Visit the onsite Karma Cafe for a nourishing post-yoga meal or shop at the onsite thrift shop Zen & Now for preloved yoga clothing.
There’s a reason it’s called “High”—the falls has a total height of about 100 feet, and depending on when you visit, you can experience the natural power of this waterfall when the water is high or see it up close and personal when the water is low.
Places to Stay in and around Sylva
Sylva offers a picturesque, small-town escape with plenty of unique places to stay including rustic cabins, large vacation rentals with back porch mountain views, charming B&B’s, historic inns, and more.
Enjoy a scoop of ice cream in a freshly made waffle cone or a caramel apple made with fruit from Henderson County orchards. (506 N Main St)
Romance Package, Orchard Inn
This grand couples getaway at an historic inn in the cool small town of Saluda includes two weekend nights in a private cottage, couples massage, elegant dinner for two in their farm-to-table restaurant, bottle of French Champagne, chocolate covered strawberries, breakfast each morning.
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.
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
Kid-Friendly Restaurants in and around Asheville
Find plenty of kid-friendly restaurants in Asheville with extra “kid perks” like casual settings with outdoor space, play areas, arcade games, and more.
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.
Asheville Schools, Colleges, and Universities
Find information on Asheville-area public schools, private schools, colleges, and universities. Many also offer public events and programs.
Burnsville Vacation Rentals
Find places to stay around Burnsville including top cabins, vacation rentals, bed and breakfasts, and more!
Pisgah Forest Gem Mine, Hendersonville
Enjoy mining fun year-round no matter the weather at this indoor facility featuring rubies, sapphires, emeralds, Aquamarine, topaz, and other precious or semi-precious gems and fossils. You can even have your treasure made into a piece of jewelry before you leave. (507 N Main St)
Top Asheville Wedding Officiants
Whether you want a destination wedding, elopement, commitment ceremony, or vow renewal, these top Asheville wedding officiants can help you plan your vows with ease. With years of experience helping couples celebrate their love, officiants help create a meaningful wedding ceremony in the mountains that you'll cherish.
Elk in Cataloochee, Great Smoky Mountains
Watch the elk in beautiful Cataloochee Valley in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The best time is just before sunset. Take a picnic and tailgate. Also, tour historic buildings or hike.
Asheville Wedding Cakes, Catering, and Bartending
If you're planning your wedding in and around Asheville, then you have your pick of fantastic food, cocktails, and wedding cake options! Asheville's foodie status affords couples a variety of delicious cuisines and styles from formal to casual options. See our top picks!
DB bar D Outfitters, Mills River
Tucked into a bend of the Mills River, North River Farms occupies 1,450 acres. The farm partners with DB bar D Outfitters to offer guided hunting and fishing trips on the property. Full-day and half-day fly-fishing trips with an expert guide are available along more than four miles of private-access water.
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.
Botanical Gardens at Asheville
This 10-acre garden near the University of North Carolina in Asheville features Southern Appalachian plants, and includes peaceful hiking trails in the middle of the city.
Great Smoky & Tsali Mountain Biking, NC
Find mountain biking heaven in the Nantahala National Forest with 40 miles of trails overlooking Fontana Lake in the Great Smoky Mountains. Located near Bryson City, where you can find bike rentals and supplies.
Weaverville BBQ Festival
New for 2021, this delicious festival will include a judged BBQ competition with prizes, live music, kid activities, artisans and crafters, entertainment, and more! $2 for adults, kids 10 and under are free. 4-8 PM.
Independent & Continuing Care Retirement Communities
Find the top senior housing options near Asheville and the Blue Ridge Mountains for older adults who need extra support. These communities include residential and personal care homes, memory care communities, rehabilitation, skilled nursing, hospice care, and respite care.
Monarch Butterfly Migration
See the amazing Monarch Butterflies as they migrate 2,000+ miles each fall to Mexico, passing through the Asheville area in September and early October. Find the best spots to see them along the high passes of the Blue Ridge Parkway and special events to learn more about them.
Top Spas in and around Asheville
Relax and rejuvenate as you get pampered at a spa. From natural hot springs to world-class destination spas, there are plenty of choices. We have been a destination for wellness for centuries. Also, find a mecca for holistic and alternative wellness. In recent years, Asheville has become a well-known destination for travelers seeking holistic and alternative wellness.