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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.
Don’t miss the views that can be seen from Grandfather Mountain, which at 5,946 ft’ is one of the highest peaks in the Blue Ridge Mountain range. Grandfather Mountain State Park encompasses 2,456-acres of wilderness to explore. If you are staying in Asheville, 70 miles from Asheville, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Climbing Camps, Climbmax
This 5-day summer camp focuses on climbing for all skill levels. Activities include indoor climbing, outdoor climbing, biking, tubbing, and more. June-August 2022. 9 AM-5 PM, ages 6-16. Starts at $500/session.
Treetop Soaking Cabanas
Take in the Smoky Mountains while enjoying an open-air, private soaking cabana perched on the mountainside at Lakeview at Fontana! This unique wellness experience includes essential-oil infused soaking salts, Turkish towels, and robes.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Asheville Community Acupuncture
This community-supported acupuncture clinic provides Traditional Chinese Medicine, including acupuncture, herbal medicine, lifestyle counseling, and integrative healing techniques. Treatments are provided in a community room setting on a sliding scale and they are open almost every day, with evening and weekend hours. Acupuncture treatments last approximately 30-60 minutes
Asheville Yoga Center
The region’s largest and oldest yoga center, this studio offers over 100 classes a week, with four yoga studio rooms plus a boutique offering high-quality apparel. With a solar-powered campus and a variety of other green features, Asheville Yoga Center is committed to sustainability. Mats and props provided in each class.
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.
Apple Quest Scavenger Hunt, Hendersonville
A local Girl Scout troop created the Apple Quest scavenger hunt. A dozen clues lead participants on a search for bronze apples located at downtown landmarks. Free brochures are available at the Visitor Center. (201 S 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.
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.
Handmade Holiday Sale at Grovewood Village
Head to Grovewood Village 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. 10 AM-5 PM.
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)
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).
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.
Asheville Schools, Colleges, and Universities
Find information on Asheville-area public schools, private schools, colleges, and universities. Many also offer public events and programs.
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.
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.
Top Mediterranean Food in Asheville
Find the best places for Mediterranean food in Asheville offering Greek food, Israeli street food, Moroccon, Lebanese inspired dishes, and creative fusions. Enjoy gyros, tapas, falafel, spanakopita, paella, tabouleh and yogurt sauces like tzatziki to dip or spread, and savor!
Romance Package, Beaufort House Inn
Stay in this grand, historic B&B near downtown Asheville and romance it up with flowers, champagne and Godiva chocolate truffles. Plus, enjoy a two-course gourmet breakfast, wine reception, free parking and more.
Rate: $84/couple in addition to room
Rate: $84/couple in addition to room
Top 20 Picnic Spots
Dine outdoors in nature! Plan a picnic at some amazing locations where you can enjoy sweet views.
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.
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.
Inspired Change Yoga
Inspired Change Yoga is a safe supportive community for all to practice, explore, and connect with self and others. Their goal is to make yoga accessible to everyone; and they offer classes for kids, teens, beginners, and advanced practitioners. Cost: They offer a visitor’s pass for $29, which includes unlimited yoga for seven days.
Enjoy plenty of fishing spots, whether novice or experienced. Full- and half-day guided trips, tying classes and classes geared toward women.
Best Massage & Bodywork in Asheville
A top destination for massage therapy and bodywork, find the best massage in and around Asheville for the perfect wellness getaway. Western North Carolina (WNC) features a wide diversity of world-class licensed and insured massage therapists specializing in holistic wellness and healing arts.
Appalachian Trail Day Hikes near Asheville
Take a "walk in the woods" in the most scenic sections of the 2,174-mile Appalachian Trail near Asheville, high in the North Carolina mountains. See our favorite six-day hikes for all fitness levels.
Vagina Monologues Asheville, The Orange Peel
This play, based on interviews with over 200 women, raises funds and awareness to end domestic and sexual violence against women. 100% of proceeds from this production will go directly to Helpmate of Asheville. Click below for tickets!
Ride Kanuga, Hendersonville
The newest addition to Kanuga Conference & Retreat Center is Ride Kanuga mountain bike park. Founded by world-champion downhill racer Neko Mulally, the park features 12 downhill-specific trails suitable for all ability levels.
Offering authentic Japanese food known as “washoku,” this casual north Asheville eatery serves a bounty of fresh, home-style dishes in a casual setting. Guests can enjoy complimentary green tea and even a crane folding activity while dining! Try the sushi buffet on Sundays. 674 Merrimon Ave, Suite 105
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.
Award-Winning Restaurant Gift Cards, AIR
Asheville’s Independent Restaurant Association (AIR) is all about food in Asheville and making a difference in the kitchen and in the community. Consider a gift card from AIR’s many award-winning restaurants and experience how AIR is food in Asheville…and so much more.
From the innovative to the traditional, Asheville has a plethora of Indian restaurants for every taste. See the best places for a lunch buffet to sample everything or to satisfy a specific craving for curries, thalis, or tandoori dishes served piping hot and spiced to your preference.
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.
Outdoor Festivals & Events
Cabin Specials, Greybeard Rentals
See last minute and other specials for vacation rentals in the Asheville, Black Mountain and Montreat areas - in a big variety of sizes from one bedroom to nine.
Rate: From $129/night
Rate: From $129/night
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.
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)
The Scarlet Bee
Tapas style Mediterranean restaurant is ideal for sharing with your group and trying new things! Enjoy small plates you can eat with your hands along with a creative, herbal-focused menu of house sodas, tonics, and cocktails. Try their shatta spicy dip, chicken shawarma, and beef kebabs. Order the baklava for takeout to enjoy at home! 853 Merrimon Avenue
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.
Fun for Children
There are plenty of outdoor adventures for children of all ages, including a special KidZip, educational trails, nature centers and more.
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.
River Arts District
Some 185 working artists have set up shop in the River Arts District. Drive a little, walk a little to visit studios and galleries. Find an amazing variety of art and see how the artists create it. It's just a few miles from downtown Asheville and Biltmore Estate.
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
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!
Find the top retirement communities in and around Asheville. Choose from the community that best meets your needs whether you're looking for independent living, service options, continuing care, assisted living, memory care, or skilled nursing.
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!
Lake Julia at DuPont State Forest
This 99-acre pristine, secluded lake is located in the Southern portion of DuPont State Recreational Forest and is the largest lake in the forest. The hike to the lake is three miles round trip from High Falls Access Area. Trails are easy to moderate.
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.
Point Acupuncture & Apothecary
Founder Alison Colberg L.Ac. Dipl. O.M. practices Daoist influenced Classical Chinese medicine which includes acupuncture, herbalism, essential oils, nutraceuticals, medical qi gong, functional medicine, stone medicine, nutritional therapies, and medical intuition as well as several adjunct techniques. They have a full dispensary of Chinese medicinal herbs for unique, custom formulas for each client's individual needs.
Book Early and Save 25% on a Fall Getaway to Lake Junaluska
Experience colorful leaves and crisp autumn air where the mountains meet the lake! Save 25 percent off lodging this fall at Lake Junaluska's Terrace Hotel or Lambuth Inn when you book between Aug 1 and Labor Day. This special offer is valid for multiple-night stays from Sept 6-Nov 6.
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.
Find the best restaurants for barbecue ribs, pulled pork, chicken, beef brisket and more - cooked for 15+ hours over hardwood coals or perfectly smoked and seasoned. Don't forget the classic sides like baked beans, cornbread, collard greens, slaw and banana pudding.
Bhramari Brewing Company
(101 S Lexington Ave) Presenting a selection of flagship brews, as well as fun and unique small-batch brews, this brewery and restaurant offers a friendly atmosphere and is rumored to have the best burger in Asheville. Don’t miss brunch from 11 AM-3 PM on Sundays. Open daily.
The People’s Acupuncture of Asheville
Located close to downtown Asheville, this community supported acupuncture clinic offers a casual and supportive group setting for treatment. They offer acupuncture treatments on a sliding scale making it affordable for those who need it. They also offer a variety of medicinal herbs for purchase!
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.
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.
Hot Yoga Asheville
This premier hot yoga studio in Asheville offers multiple types of hot yoga classes at 100-105 degrees, including Hot 26, a Bikram-inspired class. They also offer Inferno Core, a hybrid pilates and yoga class, which provides a full-body workout. Only in town for the week? Buy the visitor’s pass for $50 for a week’s worth of classes. This pass includes a yoga mat and towel rental.
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.
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.
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
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.
Japanese, Sushi & Poke
Whether you’re gathering around the grill at a hibachi steakhouse, have a hankering for sushi take-out, or want a colorful poke bowl, find our top picks for Japanese restaurants in Asheville.
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.
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.
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.
The Riveter, Fletcher
In addition to indoor rock climbing and workout studios, The Riveter has a two-part bike park. Outdoors under a canopy, are four separate lines providing terrain for all skill levels. Experienced riders practice jumps and drops, while younger riders hit the flowy pump track. Also on the property, four larger outdoor lines vary in difficulty from green to double black.
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.
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!
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.
Wineries Near Asheville
Find many fun, friendly wineries for sampling local wines, relaxing and enjoying the beautiful scenery at their vineyards. Many are located near each other - perfect for visiting several in a day.
Jump Off Rock, Hendersonville
Within 15 minutes of downtown Hendersonville, Jump Off Rock is one of the most easily accessible overlooks in WNC. On a clear day, peer into four states and watch the sunset over the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky mountains.
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.
Top 10 Things to Do in Burnsville
Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains 40 minutes from Asheville, Burnsville is a small town with a lot going on. Outdoor adventure, the highest state park in the East, tons of artist studios and a beautiful downtown are all part of the Top 10 Things to Do in Burnsville.