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Leonardo da Vinci – 500 Years of Genius
See Leonardo da Vinci– 500 Years of Genius, to explore the inventor, artist, scientist, engineer, sculptor, anatomist, musician, architect, and philosopher. Displayed at Biltmore for an unforgettable multi-sensory experience of light, color, and sound.
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.
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.
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.
This small town offers not one but two main streets, Upper Street (Oak Avenue) and Lower Street (Locust Avenue). A must-stop is the Toe River Arts Council Gallery. Visit for many festivals and gem mining.
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.
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.
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 to learn more about it.
The Gorge Zipline, Saluda
The Gorge Zipline Canopy Adventure is one of the steepest and fastest canopy tours in the U.S. This adventure takes place in the rugged Green River Gorge area of southeastern Henderson County.
Things to Do in Cashiers
Located in beautiful Jackson County, find many things to do in Cashiers including hiking, fishing, skiing, unique shopping, art shows, festivals, concerts, and more!
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Grove Arcade Summer Festival
Head to historic Grove Arcade for activities, games, demonstrations, and a live raffle at 5 PM. Enjoy beer and wine courtesy of Wedge Brewing at the festival, as well as food and drink specials at top restaurants nearby. Festival is free. 12-7 PM.
Top 20 Places for Takeout in Asheville
Looking for the best places for takeout in Asheville? From wings, tacos, burgers, and pizza to soups, salads, ramen, sushi and more, here are the top 20 takeout restaurants in Asheville. Bon appetit!
Whether you like your tacos authentically Mexican or prefer fusions like Tex-Mex and California-style tacos, find the best joints to curb your taco craving in Asheville.
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.
Horseback Riding in and around Bryson City
Explore the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains on horseback! Find a variety of guided trail rides in and around Bryson City.
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.
South Mountains State Park
(2-40 miles, easy, moderate, strenuous) This state park near Morganton has 40 miles of hiking trails. Our favorite is High Shoals Falls 2.7-mile loop trail to a beautiful 60-foot waterfall. Combine several trails for a much longer hike.
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.
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
Fed by Greenland Creek, this falls features multiple sections of sliding cascades, totaling 45 feet in height. The waterfall’s namesake, Carlton McNeill died at age 86 in 2007 after years of living in and caring for the hiking trails and scenery of Panthertown Valley. It’s hard to find a veteran hiker of the area who doesn’t have a memory of McNeill stumbling out of the woods to give them a hand with their expedition.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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)
Nantahala National Forest
The largest national forest in North Carolina (531,286 acres), Nantahala covers much of the western tip of the state. Find a wealth of outdoor activities and plenty of scenic views, hiking trails and waterfalls.
Beech Mountain Biking & Hiking
Hike, bike and golf in the highest town in eastern America, and enjoy cool temperatures all summer long. Their 20-mile trail system is open year-round.
This beautiful waterfall setting is an easy hike in Pisgah National Forest. It's located in a lush cove off NC Highway 215, about 10 miles north of Highway 64 and 6.7 miles south of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
West Asheville Yoga
Known as the sweetest little yoga studio in Asheville, this studio honors all paths of yoga and features multiple classes throughout the week, including Yoga Basics, Morning Vinyasa Flow, Yoga for Resiliency, Prenatal Yoga, Kundalini Yoga with a meditation and gong bath, and more. This small neighborhood studio is the original donation-based yoga studio.
Labor Day Weekend Events & Things to Do
See our special list of top events, festivals and things to do during Labor Day Weekend in Asheville and the surrounding towns and mountains.
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
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.
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.
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.
Cradle of Forestry
Travel back in time with historic cabins, crafters, old logging equipment, guided tours, movies, food and shopping. Home of the first forestry school (opened in 1898) in America. In Pisgah National Forest. Open mid-April through October.
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 for dining in Asheville.
Pack Square Park
Downtown Asheville's historic public square has been a central focal point since the city's creation in 1797. Spanning from the Vance Monument to the Roger McGuire Green in front of City Hall and the County Building, it's home to many festivals and free events.
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.
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.
10 Reasons to Get a Biltmore Annual Pass
Biltmore is a little slice of heaven and as any local can tell you, using the annual pass just twice almost makes up its value, plus it comes with so many great perks and exclusive discounts you can’t find anywhere else. Read on for the top reasons to get your annual pass, and find out how to get discounted annual passes, for a limited time.
Top Guided Tours & Experiences
Take a guided tour for sightseeing, art, wildlife, history, food, beer, waterfalls, wellness and more in Asheville and western North Carolina. See our list of favorites.
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.
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.
Top 40 Spring Events & Festivals
April & May: See our top picks for Spring events and festivals in the Asheville area of the North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains. Many are free!
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.
Flat Rock Playhouse Christmas
Experience this dazzling holiday celebration! This all-new show comes to life with a cast of Flat Rock favorites, bringing magic and merriment to the stage- capturing the spirit of the holidays with seasonal classics and new adaptations and medleys.
This quaint mountain village at 3,700 feet elevation has great restaurants, breweries, shops, Wildcat Lake beach, and many events including the Woolly Worm Festival in October. Near Beech Mountain skiing and Grandfather Mountain hiking.
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)
Grandfather Mountain Package, Banner Elk
Stay in your choice of 3 popular lodging accommodations and receive two tickets to walk the Mile High Swinging Bridge, visit the nature museum and see the spectacular views atop this famous peak.
Rates: From $110
Rates: From $110
Top 75+ Outdoors - Asheville & NC Mountains
Explore our mountains with hikes, waterfalls, rivers, lakes and many thousands of acres of national forest and park land. Get outside in the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains with our 70 favorite things to do.
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)
Drive to the top of the highest peak east of the Mississippi River, located along the Blue Ridge Parkway. This state park has an observation tower, plenty of hiking and a restaurant. Be prepared for much cooler temperatures at the top. Open year-round (except snowy days in the winter).
Downtown After Five
Enjoy live music, food, and beer at this big outdoor concert in downtown Asheville. Free admission, 5-9 PM.
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.
Top Yoga Experiences in Asheville
See our top spots to practice yoga in and around Asheville whether you’re new to yoga, or have a steady yoga practice. With the highest concentration of experienced, certified, world-class yoga teachers in the region, Asheville has some of the best yoga studios and experiences in the Southeast. (Photo: Asheville Wellness Tours)
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.
Outdoor Festivals & Events
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
Family-Friendly Activities in and around Asheville
Looking for some family fun in or around Asheville, North Carolina? Check out our list of the top family-friendly outings for exploring Asheville with kids! Western North Carolina is a virtual outdoor playground with parks and gardens, kid-friendly hikes, whitewater rafting, ziplining, biking, and more.
Planning Your Move to Asheville
Find information for planning your move to Asheville and Western NC including counties, county services, utilities, schools, community resources, and more.
This bird sanctuary is a wonderful wildlife oasis in the very busy north Asheville area. Walk a 3/8-mile boardwalk through a wetland area and by the lake, complete with sitting areas along the way to soak up the views and watch birds.
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.
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.
Green & Eco-Friendly Real Estate
Find your green home in Western North Carolina with focuses on sustainability, community living, and energy-efficient green built homes.
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.
Dog City USA
See our top spots to visit in downtown Asheville on the Dog City USA trail, which includes the Doggie Welcome Center, a restaurant with a dog menu, a bakery and a hotel with rescue pooches.
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.
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.