Plan a Trip To Asheville

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Guild Artist Holiday Sale at the Folk Art Center
Guild Holiday Makers Sale at the Folk Art Center
Get great deals on amazing art directly from the artists, offering over-runs, discontinued stock, and studio seconds in a festive atmosphere. And don't miss the special exhibits and main store at the Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Free admission. 10 AM-4 PM. 
Polar Express Train
Polar Express Train
Ride to the North Pole on the Polar Express Train at the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad to pick up Santa. It's fun for all ages. Departs from Bryson City. See our guide for all the details.
Christmas Day Asheville
Christmas Day & Week Things to Do
Find things to do and restaurants open on Christmas Day and week in Asheville, Biltmore and the surrounding mountain towns.
NC Apple Festival
NC Apple Festival
Spread out with a self-guided tour of orchards in the area with apples, food, vendors, shopping, and more at each location! This event will not have the downtown street fair, music, kiddie carnival, or parade. But come back to Hendersonville for added food and shopping all weekend! 10 AM-10 PM each day all weekend.
Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands
Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands
Meet 200 craftspeople that come together in downtown Asheville with their fine handcrafted items, while local musicians play live on the arena stage and craft educators share their knowledge. Admission.
Blue Ridge Pride
Blue Ridge Pride Festival
The biggest LGBTQ pride festival in western North Carolina is held in downtown Asheville at Pack Square Park, with more than 100 vendors, entertainment, as well as a kids area with lots of fun activities.
Thanksgiving in Asheville
Thanksgiving Day & Weekend
See things to do on the holiday weekend, including the best restaurants open on Thanksgiving Day. Kick off the holiday season in style!
Apple Butter Festival
Apple Butter Festival, Bakersville
Enjoy the sights, smells, and tastes of autumn on the Creekwalk with music, crafts, and homemade apple butter making during peak fall color. Free admission. 92 Crimson Laurel Way. 10 AM-4 PM
Saluda Arts Festival
Saluda Arts Festival
Outstanding festival with 100% hand-picked regional artists along Saluda's historic Main Street. See a big diversity of art media and enjoy music representing Americana, blues, folk and contemporary. Watch artist demonstrations. Free. 10 AM-4 PM.
Autumn at Wizard of OZ
Autumn at Oz at Beech Mtn
There's no place like the Beech Mountain's Land of Oz. Stroll along the yellow brick road, experience a recreation of Dorothy's journey from her home in Kansas and meet many of the characters so central to "The Wizard of Oz." The event sells out, so buy tickets ahead.
Christmas at Biltmore
Christmas at Biltmore
The biggest event of the holiday season. See America's largest home decked out in festive finery. Candlelight Evenings are especially magical. See our extensive guide with tips, photos and details.
Spring Go Chimney Rock
Spring-Go!
Lots of fun in Chimney Rock Village with a pancake breakfast, Cow Pie Bingo, recycled garden art contest, llamas strutting their stuff in a Main Street parade, a grilled dinner and a special outdoor performance at the Gathering Place.
Steeplechase
Tryon Block House Steeplechase
A festive day with picnics, sundresses, elegant hats, tailgating and the sights & sounds of thoroughbreds thundering past in Tryon, at the longest running steeplechase in North Carolina. The National Steeplechase Association sanctions four of the races.
Bridal Veil Falls
While its upper slide and 40-foot free fall may slow to a trickle during the summer, freezing winter temperatures transform it into a curtain of icicles each year, with a mountain of ice forming at the base. This makes for great cold-weather sightseeing, but be sure to proceed with caution along US 64.
Lake Lure Arts Festival
Lake Lure Spring Arts Festival
See and buy craft and art by 90+ artists from many different disciplines during Memorial Day Weekend. Also enjoy entertainment, food vendors and the beauty of the lake. Free admission. 119 Arcade St, Lake Lure
Chow Chow Food Festival Asheville
Chow Chow Food Festival
Savor Asheville's creative culinary scene with many events, chef demos, and hands-on experiences. Meet and connect with the makers and collaborators who nourish, nurture and create in our Appalachian Mountains. 
Downtown After 5, Asheville
Downtown After Five
Enjoy live music, food, and beer in downtown Asheville, starting at 5 PM on Lexington Avenue. Free admission.
International Day Festival, Waynesville
International Day
This street festival in downtown Waynesville is the ultimate cultural exchange with international and regional artwork, international dance and music from Folkmoot USA, and great food. 10 AM-5 PM. Free admission. 
Rhododendron Festival
Rhododendron Festival
Two Rhododendron Festivals (North Carolina and Tennessee versions) are held in the Roan Mountain area! The one in Bakersville NC is Friday & Saturday. In TN, it's Saturday & Sunday.
Mountain Dance & Folk Festival
Mountain Dance & Folk Festival
A favorite showcase since 1928, mountain fiddlers, banjo pickers, dulcimer sweepers, dancers, balladeers, and others come together for a showcase of authentic bluegrass music and dancing in Asheville.
Asheville Comedy Festival
Laugh Your Asheville Off Comedy Festival
Get ready to laugh at the largest stand-up comedy event in the southeast returns with 40 comics performing at multiple venues in Asheville. Single event tickets & combo passes.
Greening Up the Mountains Festival
Greening Up the Mountains Festival
Celebrate the arrival of spring at this big downtown Sylva street festival, about an hour's drive west of Asheville. Three stages of music, crafts, music, more. Free admission.
Asheville Summer Festivals
Top 50 Summer Festivals & Events
See our list of the best festivals and summer events in Asheville and the surrounding towns and mountains during June-August.
Shindig on the Green
Shindig on the Green
Musicians and dancers from across Western North Carolina gather to share the region's stirring Southern Appalachian mountain culture and traditions outdoors in downtown Asheville. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and stake out a spot on the "green."
LEAF Downtown Asheville
LEAF Downtown Asheville
International music festival at Pack Square Park downtown with three stages of music, food trucks and 90 local and artisan vendors on Friday afternoon and all day Saturday until 10 PM. Free.
BBQ Festival
Spruce Pine BBQ & Bluegrass Festival
Great BBQ with live bluegrass, antique tractor show, jamming stage, championship clogging teams, artists & crafts vendors, and local food vendors. At the Riverside Park across the river from downtown Spruce Pine, 305 Tappan Street. 
Asheville Art in the Park
Asheville Art in the Park
See and buy fine arts and crafts from dozens of local artists at Pack Square Park in downtown. 10 AM-5 PM.
Spring Herb Festival at WNC Ag Center
Spring Herb Festival at WNC Ag Center
Largest herb festival in the Southeast with 50+ businesses with plants, books, soaps, herbal crafts, medicinal herbs, lotions, dried flowers, baked goods, herbal gifts and much more. Free admission.
Dirty Dancing Festival
Dirty Dancing Festival
Fans of the cult-classic Dirty Dancing will relive memories of Baby's first dance in the film’s original, breathtaking backdrop of Lake Lure.
Western North Carolina Pottery Festival
Western North Carolina Pottery Festival
Meet 40+ master potters from across the country at this premier juried art event. Watch them in action and buy amazing creations that you will treasure for a lifetime.
Hendersonville, NC, Christmas
Hendersonville Home for the Holidays
Main Street twinkles with thousands of lights with many festive events including hayrides, tours, ice skating, and fantastic shopping.
Wood Day at Folk Art Center
Wood Day at Folk Art Center
Join Guild woodworkers for an exciting day exploring various forms of woodcraft. Featuring the Annual Carve Off Competition. 10 AM –4 PM.
Downtown After 5, Asheville
Downtown After Five
Enjoy live music, food and beer in downtown Asheville, starting at 5 PM. Free admission.
Leicester Art Tour
Come to Leicester Studio Tour
Take a free, self-guided tour to 23 studios and shops in Leicester, a community nestled in the mountains near Asheville. 10 AM-6 PM
Tulips at Biltmore
Spring Events & Festivals: Top 40
Check out our calendar of the best festival and events in Asheville and western North Carolina in April and May.
Winter Lights NC Arboretum
Winter Lights at the NC Arboretum
Returning to the gardens this year, the popular show will return to the traditional outdoor walk-through open-air format with glowing landscapes and plenty of new displays. The show will include the 50ft lighted tree, Quilt Garden, many of your favorite lighted designs, and new ones for 2021! We are delighted to be a sponsor of this festive event.
Bluff Mountain Festival
Bluff Mountain Festival
This free, family-friendly festival in Hot Springs (at the spa) features great old-time and bluegrass music, ballads, clogging, square dancing, as well as a silent auction and raffle of regional artwork, local crafts, vacation packages and more. 10 AM to 5 PM. Offers an array of delicious foods, too.
Kenilworth Artists Open Studio Tour
Kenilworth Artists Open Studio Tour
Kenilworth neighborhood, just five minutes from downtown Asheville, annual Open Studio Tour features 20+ jewelers, painters, glass-workers, fabric artists, potters, woodworkers, photographers and more!
Jawbone Falls
A sandy oasis of rosebay rhododendron, laurel, and white pine, this waterfall features a small island at the downstream end of its pool—perfect for just the right photo angle. While there are no boulders to lounge on, throw down a towel for some sunbathing in this picturesque spot. Or, go for a swim in the large pool at the bottom of the long, steep slide from the Tuckasegee River, surrounded by dense underbrush.
NC Mountain State Fair
Mountain State Fair
Enjoy lots of rides, exhibits, animals, food, and much more. Fun for all ages! We especially love the impressive exhibits in various buildings. See the many competitions from quilting, photography, extreme garden vegetables, flowers, crafts, and more. Watch craftspeople at work.
Morganton Festival
Morganton Festival
A big street festival in downtown Morganton that includes fine arts and crafts, festival cuisine, a beer garden, teen and kid zones, four stages of entertainment, a sunrise run on Saturday and much more. Free admission!
Fiber Weekend
Fiber Weekend
Craftspeople at the Folk Art Center share their inspiration and expertise in a variety of textile arts. Saturday demos include quilting and appliqué, doll making, weaving, mixed media fiber arts, clothing, printing design, tapestry weaving and natural dyeing. Two fashion shows on Sunday (Mother's Day)! Free admission. 
Lake Julian Festival of Lights
Lake Julian Festival of Lights
This drive-thru light show in south Asheville features 50 animated light displays and thousands of colored lights in a lakeside park. $10 per car. 6-9 PM. Tickets must be purchased online.
Easter Hat Parade in Dillsboro
Easter Hat Parade in Dillsboro
Old hat, new hat, yellow hat, blue hat. They're all welcome at Dillsboro's annual Easter Hat Parade at 2 PM, showcasing a variety of interesting hats atop participants of all ages, including pets.
Garden Jubilee Hendersonville
Garden Jubilee Festival
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. 
Pack Square Park
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. Free. 
CiderFest NC
CiderFest NC
At North Carolina’s premier cider celebration, taste 90 different varieties of cider and mead from 20+ makers, plus see local arts and crafts, taste unique food pairings and enjoy live music. Benefits Western NC Green Building Council. 1-5 PM at Carrier Park near the River Arts District. $33/person advance tickets. 
New Year's Eve
New Year's Eve
Head to downtown Asheville for many dining and entertainment choices or go to celebrations throughout WNC. Special events on Jan 1st too. See our top New Year Celebrations and Things to Do.
Parade of Nations
Parade of Nations
Folkmoot, an international music and dance festival, has its Parade of Nations down Main Street in Waynesville at 10 AM with elaborate costumes. Free to attend. 
Chow Chow Food Festival Asheville
Chow Chow Food Festival
Savor Asheville's creative culinary scene with many events, chef demos, and hands-on experiences. Meet and connect with the makers and collaborators who nourish, nurture and create in our Appalachian Mountains. 
Flock to Rock Birding Weekend
Flock to Rock Birding Day
Led by birding experts, events at Chimney Rock Park includes bird walks, workshops ranging from bird photography to hummingbirds, hawk watches and family nature walks.
Greek Festival
Greek Festival
At this festival, hosted by the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church of Asheville, you can sample some of the traditional foods and pastries (such as lamb shank, pastichio, spanakopita, gyro, souvlaki, and baklava), watch traditional dancing and enjoy the authentic Greek music. 
Montford Arts and Music Festival
Montford Arts and Music Festival
One of the largest one day free music and arts festivals in Asheville, held on Montford and Soco near downtown, with 100+ vendors of art, crafts and food. Live music. 10 AM-7 PM.
Drum Circle
Drum Circle
Hear and feel the beat at the weekly drum circle every Friday night in downtown Asheville in Pritchard Park. And dance the night away!
Dillsboro Lights & Luminaries
Dillsboro Lights & Luminaries
Experience the magic as the charming village is transformed into a winter wonderland of lights, candles, laughter, and song! Shopkeepers provide live music and serve holiday treats with hot cider and cocoa.
Biltmore Village Art Fair
Village Art & Craft Fair
Fantastic fair in Biltmore Village with 100 hand-selected artists from 16 states, representing the full spectrum of craft media - jewelry, ceramic, wood, fiber, metals, two-dimensional art and more.
Shindig on the Green
Shindig on the Green
Musicians and dancers from across Western North Carolina gather to share the region's Southern Appalachian mountain culture and traditions in downtown Asheville in Pack Square Park. Bring a lawn chair or blanket for the "green."
Heritage Folk Festival
Mars Hill Heritage & Music Festival
Two long-running festivals celebrate mountain craft, music and dance: the Heritage Festival and the Bascom Lamar Lunsford Music Festival. Both held downtown, adjoining Mars Hill University. Free. 10 AM-4 PM. Small fee for indoor evening concert. 
Pow Wow at Cherokee
Pow Wow at Cherokee
Experience authentic Indian dancing, drumming and tribal regalia. Dance competitions kick the excitement up even higher. Enjoy crafts, food and fireworks, too.
Toe River Studio Tour
Toe River Studio Tour
Drive scenic mountain roads to find 100 fine artists and crafts people in every medium at their studios for a free, self-guided cultural adventure in the Penland, Spruce Pine and Burnsville area.
Goombay Festival
Goombay Festival
This free festival in downtown Asheville is a celebration of African-Caribbean culture with music, craft market, food vendors, dance performances and competitions, a special area with activities for kids and much more! 
Coon Dog Day, Saluda
Coon Dog Day Festival
A street festival for dogs and their people with great food, live music, a very fun parade, crafts, street dance, dog competitions, and more in Saluda. Live entertainment until 11 PM. Free admission.
Cherokee Voices Festival
Cherokee Voices Festival
Experience the 11,000-year old Cherokee culture through dance, music, storytelling, blowgun contest, arts and crafts. Held at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, 10 AM-5 PM. Traditional food available for purchase. Free admission. 
Lakeshore Marina
We are one stop shop for family fun in the sun.
Asheville WNC Holiday Events
Holiday Season Top 50 Events (November & December)
See our favorite events, festivals and art shows during the holiday season in Asheville and western North Carolina mountains, including many small towns and Biltmore Estate. 
Arbor Evenings NC Arboretum Asheville
Arbor Evenings, NC Arboretum
Sip and stroll through the NC Arboretum gardens after dark (5:30-8 PM) with live music. Light food, beer, and wine are available for purchase. Admission is $5 per person. ArborEvenings run Thursdays and Fridays, June 23 - September 30, 2022.
Downtown After 5, Asheville
Downtown After Five
Enjoy live music, food and beer at this big outdoor concert in downtown Asheville. Free admission, 5-9 PM.
Livermush Festival, Marion
Liver Mush Festival
Line up for your free Hunter's liver mush sandwich while enjoying live music, hog calling, eating contest, and more in downtown Marion, 5-9 PM.
Montford Home Tour
Montford Home Tour
Explore Asheville’s Montford historic neighborhood with Victorian, Arts and Crafts, Greek Revival and Dutch Colonial homes dating back to the late 1800s. Self-guided tour of 10 homes, 1-5 PM, $25/person. Tickets at Asheville Visitor Center (36 Montford Ave).
Grandfather Mountain Highland Games
Grandfather Mountain Highland Games
One of the biggest Scottish Games in the United States, with plenty of live music (bagpipes to rock), athletic competitions, dancing, food, heritage vendors, and more.
Folkmoot USA
Folkmoot International Festival
The world comes to our mountains for NC's Official International Festival with visiting dancers and musicians from many countries, big street festival, performances, parade and more in Waynesville, Asheville and nearby towns.
Lake Glenville Waterfalls
Lake Glenville, one of the highest lakes east of the Rockies, has four hidden waterfalls along its 26-mile shoreline. Accessible only by boat these beautiful falls are majestic and serene. Hire a guide such as Lake Glenville Waterfall Cruises to give you a tour of all four or rent a boat and explore on your own – both Signal Ridge Marina and Lakeshore Marina offer rentals. Below are their GPS coordinates if you explore on your own: Mill Creek Falls: 35.175646, -83.170844 Hidden Falls: 35.172896, -83.153930 Norton Falls: 35.156688, -83.150239 Hurricane Falls: 35.136782, -83.125198
Candlelight Stroll Weaverville
Candlelight Stroll, Weaverville
Main Street Weaverville is illuminated for this festive evening with music, entertainment, Santa, kid activities, carolers, refreshments, horse carriage rides, and more. Also stroll through local shops for gifts! 6-9 PM.
Potters Market Marshall
Madison Potters Market
Meet 20+ of the finest potters from Madison County and beyond at Marshall High Studios. This historic high school turned artist studios is on a small island in the French Broad River in downtown Marshall, 25 miles north of Asheville.  Enjoy artisan coffee and pastries from a local baker and delicious lunches from one of Asheville's favorite food trucks. 9 AM-4 PM. Free admission. 
Lake Lure Olympiad
Lake Lure Olympiad
One of the biggest sports festivals in NC, the event in the spectacular Hickory Nut Gorge is anchored by three major races: 10K Dam Run, Triathlon and Race up Chimney Rock. Events for kids, beginner athletes and spectators, too. 
Santa on the Chimney at Chimney Rock State Park
Santa on the Chimney
Watch Santa practice for his world-wide chimney-dropping tour on his "practice chimney," the 312 ft. tall Chimney Rock monolith. Included with park admission.
July 4th
July 4th Week Festivals, Parades, Fireworks
Much is happening throughout the Week of July 4th with many parades and fireworks on Independence Day - in Asheville and many small towns in western North Carolina mountains.
Rough Butt Creek Falls
Far off the beaten path and fed by Rough Butt Creek, this scenic, 30-foot waterfall features cascading falls, a small pool, and banks overflowing with fern and rhododendron, and rocks coated in moss. Without the old railroad running by one bank of the river, you might get the sense that you’re in the middle of the rainforest, thanks to the explosion of greenery. The 40-foot cascade hits a small pool at the bottom, which you can easily wade across for a better view. But be careful—the rocks may be slippery.
Woolly Worm Festival
Woolly Worm Festival
Celebrate the coming of the snow season with woolly worm races, live entertainment and lots of food and craft vendors in downtown Banner Elk during peak fall color. Highly popular!
Lake Lure Arts Festival
Lake Lure Autumn Arts Festival
See and buy craft and art by 90+ artists from many different disciplines. Also enjoy live music and entertainment, many food vendors and the beauty of the lake. Sat 10-6, Sun 10-4. Free admission. 119 Arcade St, Lake Lure

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