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NC Apple Festival
Downtown Hendersonville features more than 150 vendors lining eight blocks of the main event area. There is continuous entertainment from 10 AM-10 PM each day. The King Apple Parade, always held on Labor Day, culminates the Main Street activities.
Shindig on the Green
Musicians and dancers from Western North Carolina gather to share Southern Appalachian mountain culture and traditions at Pack Square Park in downtown Asheville. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and stake out a spot on the "green."
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. Walk through on Dec 1.
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.
Line up for your free Hunter's livermush sandwich while enjoying live music, hog calling, eating contest and more in downtown Marion, 5-9 PM.
WNC Daylily Flower Show
Hundreds of daylilies will be on display and for sale at the North Carolina Arboretum, hosted by the WNC Daylily Society. Society members provide information on care and cultivation of daylilies.
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.
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.
At North Carolina’s premier cider celebration, taste hard cider from 15 cider-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 Salvage Station. $30/person advance tickets.
Spring Herb Festival at Western NC Farmer's Market
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.
River District Artists Studio Stroll
Head to the River Arts District near downtown Asheville to find 180+ artists at work in 25 converted industrial buildings along the river. Great deals on art! 10 AM-5 PM. Free admission. See our guide for details.
Lake Lure Arts Festival
Featuring handmade creations from more than 60 artisans from across the region, including painting, photography, jewelry, leather, metal, soaps and more on Memorial Day Weekend. Admission is free. Across from the beach, 2771 Memorial Highway.
Mountain Life Festival Great Smoky Mtns
Experience the traditional fall activities that were an important part of rural life in the Great Smoky Mountains, including hearth cooking, apple butter and apple cider making, blacksmithing, lye soap making, food preservation, broom making and quilting.
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.
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!
Dillsboro Festival of Lights & Luminaries
Experience the magic as the entire town 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.
National Gingerbread House Competition
See the winning gingerbread houses and creations on display at The Omni Grove Park Inn, elaborately decorated for the season. Public viewing Sunday-Thursday except Christmas week. See our guide for all the details.
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.
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.
A weekend at LEAF is the equivalent of going on a year-long multicultural musical and dance odyssey - longtime favorite festival held in Black Mountain on a lake with camping and limited tickets.
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 by the Rutherford County Orchestra at the Gathering Place.
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.
Downtown After Five
Enjoy great music, food and beer in downtown Asheville at this free popular outdoor concert. 5-9 PM
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.
Victorian Christmas at Smith-McDowell House
Tour Asheville's oldest home at the Smith McDowell House, decked out with decorations from the Victorian period. Located just a few miles from Biltmore and downtown. Open Wed-Sat.
Art on Main, Hendersonville
Meet and buy from 85 juried fine art artists with paintings, clay, metal, wood, fiber, jewelry, glass and more. Watch demos. Main Street downtown Hendersonville has many galleries too, Sat & Sun 10 AM-5 PM
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. Tickets $5/person.
Western North Carolina Pottery Festival
Meet 45 master potters from 17 states as they come together in Dillsboro for this premier art event. Buy amazing creations that you will treasure for a lifetime.
Block House Steeplechase
Usher in spring 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.
Small Town Christmas, Rutherfordton
Many events along Main Street throughout the day 1-9 PM. Shop sidewalk vendors at the Christmas Market from 1-5 PM and stroll by the storefront windows featuring live interactive displays 2-4 PM. Christmas Parade at 5 PM. Tree lighting at 6:30 PM at Courthouse. All free to attend.
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.
Art in Autumn Fest
Fun outdoor arts and crafts festival in Weaverville that includes 100 juried artists, food and live music. Free admission and parking. Just 7 miles north of downtown Asheville.
Two Rhododendron Festivals (North Carolina and Tennessee versions) are held in the Roan Mountain area!
Easter Sunrise Service at Chimney Rock
Celebrate Easter by watching the sun rise over Hickory Nut Gorge during the annual service atop Chimney Rock. Free admission.
NOC's Guest Appreciation Weekend
This longtime favorite weekend at Nantahala Outdoor Center main campus near Bryson City features free attractions, live music and entertainment - along with great end-of-season deals.
NC Mineral and Gem Festival
Go to Spruce Pine to shop, swap and discover beautiful jewelry, gemstones, minerals, fossils and more. $3/person. Also, go to Grassy Creek Gem Show at Parkway Fire Department (136 Majestic View) with 60 vendors and free admission.
Blue Ridge Pride
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.
Appalachian Christmas Carol at Vance Birthplace
A candlelight evening of story and 1800s tradition, with a Carolina twist. Meet the ghost of Christmas past, present and future reexamine the legacy of Governor Zebulon Vance. $5/person. Tours every 30 minutes, 5-9 PM.
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!
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.
The Big Crafty
150+ local indie artists, crafters, makers with food, drink and music in Pack Square Park downtown, 12-7:30 PM.
Hendersonville Home for the Holidays
Main Street twinkles with thousands of lights with many festive events including carriage rides, parade, Broadway shows, tours, ice skating and fantastic shopping.
Art After Dark
Downtown Waynesville galleries present special shows, with refreshments and live music 6-9 PM. Tree lighting too. Very festive small town atmosphere. Kicks off "Holly Days" weekend.
Toe River Studio Tour
More than 100 fine artists and crafts people in every medium open their studios for a free, self-guided cultural adventure in the Penland, Spruce Pine and Burnsville area.
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 fast!
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 6 PM. Offers an array of delicious foods, too.
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.
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.
Aluminum Christmas Tree Museum
This quirky exhibit in downtown Brevard features dozens of vintage aluminum Christmas trees and ornaments inside the Transylvania Heritage Museum. A fun trip back in time. Wed-Sat. Free admission.
Classic Nashville Christmas, Flat Rock Playhouse
Jason Petty and his Classic Nashville Roadshow cast presents classic holiday hits recorded by Gene Autry, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Brenda Lee and Elvis Presley.
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.
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. Many Cultures Day, 11 AM-4 PM, at Friendship Center.
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.
Asheville Holiday Parade
Downtown, 11 AM. A fun and creative parade that kicks off Asheville's holiday season with marching bands, floats, dance and theater troupes, walking groups and Santa Claus himself.
Earth Day at Chimney Rock
Join Chimney Rock State Park Rangers, biologists and other environmental educators to learn about the great work being done to protect our beautiful landscape. Booths will be located in Chimney Rock Village behind the Old Rock Café, 431 Main St. 11 AM-3 PM. Free.
Winter Lights at the NC Arboretum
Stroll through impressive light displays in the Arboretum gardens, especially designed to compliment the plants and trees in this beautiful setting. We are delighted to be a sponsor of this festive event.
A Night Before Christmas
Downtown Waynesville's historic Main Street area is filled with bright lights, friendly folks, the wonderful sounds of the holiday season, special gallery openings, delicious food and drink. Small town Christmas at its finest. 6-9 PM
A great day at New Belgium Brewery on the French Broad River near downtown Asheville with live music, food trucks, craft beers and more. Our favorite is the Anything that Floats Parade competition. Free admission.
Mountain Dance & Folk Festival
Since 1928, mountain fiddlers, banjo pickers, dulcimer sweepers, dancers, balladeers and others have come together the first weekend in August for a showcase of authentic bluegrass music and dancing in Asheville.
Asheville Outdoor Show
Local outdoors retailers Diamond Brand Outdoors and Frugal Backpacker present a free, fun expo at The Salvage Station (468 Riverside Dr, Asheville), 12 Noon until 4 PM, with the latest trends, technologies and innovations in outdoor recreation with 75 vendors, music, kids zone.
Longtime local favorite, a French bistro with comfort food using local ingredients. A romantic, intimate and charming setting. Enjoy fresh mussels prepared multiple ways, Escargot, Burgundy’s signature stew Boeuf Bourguignon and their famous fries. Dine al fresco along bricked walkways. Pair hand-selected French wines. 62 Lexington Avenue.
Brevard Summer Music Festival
Choose from 80 public concerts, staged operas and musicals during a seven week period (mid June through early August) at their campus in Brevard, 32 miles from downtown.
Mt. Mitchell Deep Gap Trail to Mt. Craig
(Up to 9 miles round-trip, moderate) Our favorite quick hike at Mount Mitchell is the Deep Gap Trail to Mt. Craig, a two-mile round-trip hike. Continue on the Deep Gap Trail for another 3.5 miles. For a more challenging hike, take the 5.5-mile Mt. Mitchell Trail from the Black Mountain Campground.
Tupelo Honey - Downtown Asheville
Longtime favorite for both locals and visitors! This is where Tupelo began in 2000 as a destination for scratch-made Southern food rooted in the Carolina Mountains. Breakfast, lunch and dinner served every day. Enjoy craft cocktails, specialty beers and famous honey dusted fried chicken at their new lounge, adjacent to original space. 12 College Street.
Tupelo Honey - South Asheville
Located near Biltmore Estate, they have become a neighborhood favorite Southern food restaurant in South Asheville - with responsibly sourced ingredients and craft cocktails. Lunch, dinner and weekend brunch will make you say, “Shoo Mercy, that was good!” 1829 Hendersonville Road.
Nantahala Outdoor Center
NOC's big Nantahala River campus offers rafting, zip lines, treetop adventures, paddleboards, hiking, biking, fishing and more for the whole family. It's like Disneyland for lovers of the outdoors! Near Bryson City.
Blue Ridge at The Omni Grove Park Inn
Feast on a farm-to-table artisanal buffet at this historic resort with mountain views. The Art of Breakfast buffet features two big rooms filled with countless options. Open at 6:30 AM daily. Reservations recommended for the popular Champagne Sunday Brunch 12 Noon-2:30 PM (longer hours for holidays including Easter & Mother's Day). 290 Macon Avenue
Dining on Biltmore Estate
Experience Biltmore's legacy of food and wine inspired by their heritage of fine dining and sustainable agriculture, with the finest ingredients from their pastures and gardens. Dine at the Bistro, Cedric's Tavern, Deerpark Restaurant, Stable Cafe and the Dining Room at the Inn on Biltmore Estate. Admission ticket or annual pass is required to dine.
The Spa at The Omni Grove Park Inn
Stars twinkle overhead, and the rock walls surrounding you resemble the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains. Plunge in near a waterfall, immediately hearing underwater music. Unwind with unique, luxurious treatments and healthy gourmet cuisine from the Spa Café. See more photos in our special feature.
The Amazing Pubcycle
Ride through downtown on a wicked-cool 13-person pedal powered (motor-assisted) contraption like no other. Imagine riding your bike sideways, hanging out at your favorite pub on wheels. Pubcycle is a BYOB activity, so get your brew on!
Spa at Greystone Inn
Stay at this luxury inn on beautiful Lake Toxaway for a pampering weekend of spa treatments, outstanding cuisine, and relaxation by the water. Facials, manicures, pedicures, massages and herbal body wraps are a sampling of services. The resort also has golf, boating, pool and many other amenities. Located in Pisgah National Forest near Brevard and Cashiers.
Dig Asheville Local Beer App
Download the free Dig Local Asheville app and use their Daily Scoop feed to see what's on tap at breweries and pubs, live music, specials and more. It's updated every day. Then use their interactive map to find your way.
See professional theatre in an intimate setting in downtown Asheville. In addition to their own season of great plays, they host other local theatres, dancers and musicians. Tickets from $16/person! See our NC Stage feature.
Highland Brewing Company
Head to Asheville's original craft brewery for great live music venues inside and outside, along with their tasting room with 15 of their brews on tap. You can tour the brewery, too.
Perched atop the new Hilton Garden Inn Asheville Downtown, this rooftop bar features hand-crafted cocktails and locally-sourced beers, served with a side of mountain views. Warm by the outdoor fire pit or unwind in the indoor ambiance inspired by America’s industrial roots. Opens at 4 PM every day. Convenient parking. 309 College Street
Beech Mountain Ski Resort
As the highest ski and snowboard area in the eastern US, ride 15 slopes on 95 acres. Find runs for every skill levels, with a vertical drop of 830 feet and 80+ inches of annual snow. The Alpine Village has ice skating, brewery and even a mountaintop bar. Snow tubing and terrain park. Ski vacation packages and lessons. 1967 pricing on lift tickets ($9 Tuesday, $9 Wednesday, $12 Thursday).