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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.
Front Street Arts & Crafts Show
Stroll down the main street in artsy Dillsboro and see works 40 of the best regional artisans, along with family entertainment and festival food. Many galleries, too. 10 AM-4 PM.
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.
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.
Christmas Day & Week Dining, Attractions
Find things to do and restaurants open on Christmas Day and week in Asheville and the surrounding mountains.
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.
A great celebration of the local beer scene, mixing Bavarian traditions with Asheville's eclectic vibe. Downtown. Tickets required if you are tasting!
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.
This festival of flowers celebrates two months of spring blooms that include 75,000+ tulips, orchids, azalaeas and elaborate floral displays inside Biltmore House.
Downtown After Five
Enjoy live music, food and beer in downtown Asheville, starting at 5 PM on Lexington Avenue. Free admission.
In Pack Square Park in downtown Asheville, 10 AM-6 PM, with live music, organic local food and beer, cooking demos, samplings, natural arts and crafts. Free.
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.
Hear and feel the beat at the weekly drum circle every Friday night in downtown Asheville in Pritchard Park. And dance the night away!
Forest Festival at Cradle of Forestry
More than 80 traditional craftsmen, exhibitors and entertainers celebrate our forests at the site of the first forestry school in America. Wood carvers, weavers, blacksmith, archery, horse-drawn wagon rides and lumberjack competition at the adjacent Pink Beds picnic area.
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.
Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands
Top art show! See and buy traditional and contemporary fine art and craft directly from members of the Southern Highland Craft Guild, with 200+ juried artists from mountain regions of nine states. Held inside the US Cellular Center in downtown Asheville.
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.
NC Gold Festival
Strike it rich at the Official NC Gold Fest in Old Fort with exhibits, mining demonstrations, gold panning, arts and crafts, music and food. Free admission.
Heritage Weekend at Folk Art Center
This free festival features traditional music, dancing and heritage craft demonstrations. A highlight is the World Gee Haw Whimmy Diddle Competition on Saturday.
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
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.
Downtown After Five
Enjoy live music, food and beer at this outdoor concert in downtown Asheville. Free admission, 5-9 PM.
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.
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.
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!
Footloose Musical, Asheville Community Theatre
Energetic musical version of the 1984 film with the Top 40 score amplified with new songs, Footloose celebrates the wisdom of opening minds and listening to the voices of young people. Fri & Sat 7:30 PM; Sun at 2:30 PM; Thurs 2/21 and 2/28 at 7:30 PM. Tickets from $15/person
Garden Jubilee Festival
This huge plant and crafts festival covers eight blocks of Main Street in downtown Hendersonville. Free seminars and tips from expects - including decks and patios. Memorial Day Weekend.
Fine Art & Master Crafts Festival
This outdoor show in Banner Elk features juried fine art and master crafts. Held on the lawn of the historic School (185 Azalea Cir SE), find mixed media, jewelry, sculpture, glass, pottery, painting, photography, wood & more. Friday 1-5 PM, Saturday 10 AM-5 PM, Sunday 10 AM-4 PM.
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!
Snowbound @ ACT Theatre
Asheville Community Theatre's revival of this crowd-pleaser. It’s Christmas Eve in 1955 at a small town train depot where the snowy weather causes delays. Strangers become friends, friends become family, and the warmth of human connection is deepened through stories and songs. Fridays and Saturdays 7:30 PM; Sundays 2:30 PM
Jeeves at Sea @ NC Stage Theatre
Professional theatre in downtown Asheville: Set sail for laughter as Bertie Wooster revels in life aboard the Vanderley yacht as the pampered guest of the lively Lady Stella accompanied by his peerless valet Jeeves. Wed-Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 2 PM, Feb 9 &16 2 PM
Laugh Your Asheville Off Comedy Festival
Get ready to laugh aa the largest stand-up comedy event in the southeast returns with 40 comics performing at mulitple venues in Asheville. Single event tickets & combo passes.
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.
Dickens Christmas Celebration
Enjoy many festivities including strolling carolers, storytellers and instrumentalists in historic Biltmore Village. And chestnuts roasting on an open fire!
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.
Candlelight Christmas Stroll
Downtown Weaverville has luminaries along the streets, local choirs and bands will provide music, and horse and buggy rides will be available through town. 6-9 PM. Local businesses will be open late and the official tree lighting at 7:30 PM.
Weaverville Art Safari
This self-guided, make-your-own-agenda event throughout Weaverville and surrounding scenic valleys is a rare opportunity to interact with artists and see the process behind their critically-acclaimed works of art. And it's fun to buy directly from the artists!
Lake Lure Autumn Arts Festival
See and buy craft and art by 90+ artists from many different disciplines. Also enjoy live music and entertainment, food vendors and the beauty of the lake. Free admission. 119 Arcade St, Lake Lure
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."
Lake Lure Polar Plunge
Jump into the chilly waters of Lake Lure to raise money for local charities. What a way to start the new year!
Asheville Orchid Festival
The Western NC Orchid Society hosts a big show and competition at the North Carolina Arboretum. Hundreds of orchids will be on display and vendors will be selling them with plenty of advice.
Cherokee Voices Festival
Experience the 11,000-year old Cherokee culture through dance, music, storytelling, arts and crafts. Held at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, 10 AM-5 PM, with a blowgun contest at 11 AM. Traditional food available for purchase. Free admission.
Bonsai Expo at NC Arboretum
This horticultural extravaganza features a juried display of bonsai by clubs from across the southeast, a renowned bonsai marketplace, workshops, free demonstrations and a popular Ikebana exhibit.
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.
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.
Downtown After Five
Free live music concert, as well as a wide variety of food and drink vendors. Lexington Avenue in Asheville. 5-9 PM.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Explore this fantastic historic arts & crafts campus in Asheville with Grovewood Gallery, working artist studios, a sculpture garden, Golden Fleece restaurant, two museums and historic factory tours. 111 Grovewood Rd (adjacent to Grove Park Inn). Free parking.
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.
Shoji Spa & Lodge
Soak away your stress at this outdoor Japanese retreat nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains. This upscale day spa features private hot tubs, a dry cedar sauna, an invigorating cold plunge and luxury slate showers--all on the edge of the National Forest. Shoji's 25 world-class licensed massage therapists specialize in couples' massage. Choose from any massage offered, such as Atama and Ashi, deep tissue, swedish, warm stone, Thai, shiatsu, herbal body wraps and more.
Beech Mountain Ski Resort
As the highest ski and snowboard area in the eastern US, ride 17 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.
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
Choose from a large variety of top-notch vacation rentals in Asheville, Black Mountain and Montreat, complete with excellent customer service. Find cabins that are pet friendly, plus feature WiFi,... read more
Jerusalem Garden Cafe
Transport your senses to faraway lands with authentic made-from-scratch Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes. On Friday and Saturday nights, enjoy belly dancing and live music. Lunch and dinner every day. See our Jerusalem Garden Cafe feature with pics and video. 78 Patton Avenue.
310 ART Gallery
See the work of 25 local artists in this large gallery in the River Arts District featuring contemporary painting, sculpture, mixed media, jewelry and photography. Plus, see studios of five resident artists working and demonstrating daily. And take a big variety of workshops. Open Monday-Saturday. 191 Lyman Street.
With 25 craft breweries in the North Carolina mountains near Asheville, where to begin? Use our Beer Guide to plan your strategy. You can walk to many breweries in downtown Asheville, especially in the South Slope Brewing District. Two recent big additions include Sierra Nevada and New Belgium.
Pub and Grub Crawl
Explore Black Mountain with Creative Mountain Food Tours during a 2.5-hour guided walk, stopping at pubs, restaurants and a brewery for local beers and hard ciders paired with snacks made by local chefs. Usually one Saturday per month. $48/person.
Deep Creek Waterfall Hike
(2.5 miles, moderate) Hike to three waterfalls in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on this loop trail at Deep Creek, near Bryson City.
Find much to do! Ride the train on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad before you explore their downtown shops and galleries, or paddleboard down the river. Nearby Deep Creek in the Smokies features camping, hiking, trout fishing and the ever-popular tubing. Raft the Nantahala River. And that's just the beginning!
Lake Junaluska Golf
Play by a beautiful lake in the shadows of the Great Smoky Mountains. The 18-hole course is 5,034 yards and par 68. Green fees start at only $15. Stay a few days with a variety of lodging options, from hotels to cabins. Located near Waynesville and Maggie Valley, a 30-minute drive west of Asheville.
The Montford Rooftop Bar
Soak in epic sunsets and mountain views from atop the Hyatt Place Hotel in downtown, while enjoying seasonal craft cocktails, local beer, wine and small bites. Both indoor and outdoor spaces. Valet parking. 199 Haywood Street, Asheville
Flat Rock Playhouse
North Carolina's State Theatre in Flat Rock presents the best of Broadway musicals, comedy and drama from May through December. Located 29 miles south of Asheville near Hendersonville.
Winter Getaway Specials, Tryon Resort
Stay at this international equestrian center during their off season and get a fantastic deal for a tiny house, cabins or inn rooms. Resort amenities include restaurants, shopping and golf. Near many small towns.
Rate: From $99/night
Rate: From $99/night
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.
Lake Toxaway Getaway Sweepstakes, Brevard
Enter to win a sweepstakes during February 2019 for a grand Lake Toxaway getaway to Greystone Inn, including dining at Brevard's best restaurants, fly fishing trip and spending money.
Black Balsam Knob
(1-10 miles, moderate) For sweeping 360-degree views, hike across these bald mountaintops. Almost entirely devoid of trees above 6,000 ft., the summit is more reminiscent of New England than North Carolina. Black Balsam Knob is part of the 30-mile Art Loeb Trail, so you can hike as far as you want. Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 420.