Plan a Trip To Asheville

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Farmer's Markets
Farmer's Markets
There are dozens of farmer's markets throughout the mountains. The biggest by far is the Western North Carolina Farmers Market that is open every day in Asheville. In downtown, the City Market on Market Street is every Saturday 8 AM-1 PM and the French Broad Co-op Market is Wednesdays 2-6 PM. Find more markets and pick up the Local Food Guide by the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project.
Lake James:
Lake James State Park
(.5 to 3.5 miles, easy to moderate). This state park with a beautiful lake has seven hiking trails and a beach for relaxing afterwards.
Waterfalls Park, Newland NC
Waterfalls Park
See multiple cascades at the roadside Waterfalls Park in Newland, complete with picnic tables. Three falls total about 50 ft., with a short trail to get a closer look at the different tiers.
Chocolate
Chocolate Tour
We are lucky to have so many chocolatiers in the Asheville area. The hottest stop is the French Broad Chocolate Lounge in downtown and their nearby chocolate factory. And don't miss longtime favorite, The Chocolate Fetish. Check out the stops on our Chocolate Lover's Tour.
Biltmore Village
Biltmore Village
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.
Brevard Little Theatre
Brevard Little Theatre
Founded in 1935, this community theatre has been entertaining residents and visitors alike with dramas, comedy, musicals and more.
Mast General Store, Asheville
Mast General Store
This favorite stop for tourists and locals is an old-fashioned general store with the latest products, including clothing, fun gifts, cooking accessories and a huge candy section. Downstairs is a great outdoors department with all the major brands. 15 Biltmore Avenue. 
Museum of Minerals
Museum of North Carolina Minerals
Located at Milepost 331 on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Little Switzerland, this free museum features treasures found around the state and the local Spruce Pine Mining District through interactive displays on a wide variety of minerals and gems.
Log Hollow Falls
Log Hollow Falls
(1 mile round-trip, easy) Located near Looking Glass Falls, this 25-ft. waterfall is often missed since it's off the beaten path in Pisgah National Forest.
Elopement Whitegate Inn
Elopement Package, 1889 WhiteGate Inn
Getting married made easy near downtown Asheville with your choice of indoor or outdoor ceremony, photography, officiant, bouquet, two-tier wedding cake, two night stay in a luxury suite, gourmet breakfast, concierge service and more. Up to 6 guests for ceremony. Excludes holidays & October.
Rate: From $2,100
Pisgah Inn Restaurant
Pisgah Inn Restaurant
Open April-October, Pisgah Inn is the only restaurant on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Asheville. Located near Mt. Pisgah at 5,000 feet elevation, enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner, seven days per week. Windows frame a panoramic mountain view. You can also pick up a picnic-to-go. 24 miles from downtown Asheville. From NC 191 at Arboretum, take Parkway south for 14 miles to Milepost 408. Super scenic drive.
Pisgah Forest Picnic
Forest Heritage National Scenic Byway Picnics
There are plenty of roadside stops (many by a cascading river) on this Byway through the Pisgah National Forest. The section on U.S. Highway 276 between Brevard and the Blue Ridge Parkway passes by Looking Glass Rock, Looking Glass Falls, Sliding Rock and the Forest Discovery Center. Home to many waterfalls. Just four miles south of the Parkway is the Pink Beds Picnic area with an easy four-mile loop hike.
Trombatore Trail
Trombatore Trail
(5 miles roundtrip, strenuous) Adjacent to the Bearwallow Mountain trail is this woodland trail to the grassy summit of Blue Ridge Pastures in the Hickory Nut Gorge area, just 19 miles from downtown Asheville.
Thomas Wolfe Memorial
Thomas Wolfe Memorial
This is the novelist's boyhood home and setting for "Look Homeward, Angel." Tour the fascinating, rambling house located in downtown Asheville. 52 N. Market Street.
French Broad Brewing Co.
French Broad Brewing Co.
(near Biltmore Village, 101 Fairview Rd, Asheville) Sample their year-round European-style beers: the Wee-Heavy-Er Scotch Ale, 13 Rebels ESB, IPA, Ryehopper, Gateway Kolsch and Anvil Porter. Tasting Room also has an assortment of seasonal specialties, and frequently a beer on cask. Open 1-8 PM every day. Pints dollar-off on Mondays, and growler refills are a dollar-off on Wednesdays.
The Adventure Center of Asheville
Adventure Center of Asheville
Tucked away a mile from downtown is an outdoor lover's playground. Fly on 11 ziplines through old growth trees with skyline and mountain views. Test your skills in a treetop playground. Climb trees or mountain bike. Plus, bring the kids for the first-ever Kid Zip course. See our feature.
Roaring Fork Falls
Roaring Fork Falls
Located just two miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway (exit near Milepost 344) and five miles from Crabtree Falls in Pisgah National Forest at the base of Mt. Mitchell. It's an easy one-mile round-trip hike, near Setrock Creek Falls.
Fine Arts Theatre
Fine Arts Theatre
Downtown's only cinema is dedicated to first-run and independent films. See fine films not necessarily shown in the larger commercial theaters in the wonderfully-renovated, older movie house. Located in downtown Asheville at 36 Biltmore.
Cathey's Creek Falls
Cathey's Creek Falls
This 80-foot waterfall in Pisgah National Forest is just six miles west of downtown Brevard near U.S. Highway 64. It's a short but steep hike to the cascade hidden away in a lush cove.
Montford Park Players Shakespeare Festival
Montford Park Players Shakespeare Festival
North Carolina's longest-running Shakespeare Festival presents free theatre under the stars all summer long at the Hazel Robinson Amphitheater in Montford. Located in a park near downtown Asheville. 
Gems
Gems
Gem mining has been a favorite activity for visitors to the mountains of North Carolina for many years. Most gem mines in the Asheville and Franklin areas are open from spring through autumn. Also tour several gem and mineral museums.
French Broad Chocolate Lounge
French Broad Chocolate Lounge
Savor hand-crafted, artisanal, organic chocolates and pastries in this extremely popular emporium, served with wine, beer, coffee or tea. Or sip liquid truffle chocolates. Next door, Chocolate + Milk features the best ice cream in town. Skip the long lines at the Lounge and pick up truffles there! 10 South Pack Square, downtown Asheville. 
Green Man Brewery
Green Man Brewery
(27 Buxton Avenue, Asheville, South Slope) Sample iconic ales loyal to traditional English-styles at one of the oldest breweries in NC. Their 3-story "Greenmansion" has multiple tasting rooms and 18 taps (mountain views from the top floor). Open seven days a week with tours Thursday through Saturday. Pet-friendly.
Sliding Rock
Sliding Rock
The most popular natural waterslide in North Carolina for generations is in Pisgah National Forest near Brevard. Slide down a 60-ft. smooth rock waterfall into a pool of chilly water. Bathrooms and showers are open and lifeguards on duty from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Asheville Outlets
Asheville Outlets
Shop 75 national and local outlets in this beautiful, new outdoor shopping village. It's located on I-26, just six miles from Biltmore and seven miles from downtown Asheville. It's pet-friendly, and there are many events and sales throughout the year.
Table Rock Picnic
Picnic Atop Table Rock
Have a picnic on one of the biggest tables in the country! The rocky summit of the elongated rock summit provides plenty of spots on the rim of the Linville Gorge, with a moderate 2.2-mile round-trip hike.
Mt. Sterling
Mt. Sterling
(5.4 miles round-trip, strenuous) Atop Mt. Sterling (5,842 ft. elevation) is the historic, 60-ft. tall steel fire lookout tower with nice views. You will climb 2,000 ft. in elevation.
City Bakery
City Bakery
Specializing in European-Style breads and pastries, they bake over twenty varieties of artisan breads and rolls using centuries-old hand-shaping and baking techniques. Also, their master baker is constantly conjuring up new ideas for breads that stand out in flavor, texture and overall quality. Stop in for coffee, sandwiches, soup and salads too. 60 Biltmore Avenue.
Live Music
Live Music & Dancing, Downtown Asheville
Asheville offers a mulitude of places to go for live music and dancing any day of the week.
Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site
Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site
This National Park Service site honors the accomplishments of Carl Sandburg. Explore the historic home, and visit the farm and trails at Connemara. Located in Flat Rock, just south of Hendersonville.
Blue Ridge Parkway Association
Blue Ridge Parkway Association
The officially designated marketing partner of the Parkway, they are a membership organization that publishes the Blue Ridge Parkway Directory & Travel Planner each year. 
Reems Creek Golf Club, Weaverville
Reems Creek Golf Club, Weaverville
Designed by Hawtree & Son of Oxford, England, the course offers a Scottish Highland look with its rolling terrain, deep and large knolls which bisect the beautifully manicured tees, fairways and greens. This secluded setting which captures the splendor and rustic beauty of the North Carolina mountains "Places to Play" rating of 4 stars. 10 miles north of downtown Asheville.
LaZoom Tours
LaZoom Tours
Take the most fun city tour ever in a bright purple bus full of laughter! Through captivating stories, comedy skits and an enthralling musical soundscape, experience Asheville's history, current culture and counterculture with their 90-minute interactive bus tours that depart from downtown. Haunted and beer tours, too!
Pisgah Brewing Company
Pisgah Brewing Company
(150 Eastside Drive, Black Mountain) is located in Black Mountain about 10 miles east of Asheville. They specialize in brewing hand crafted certified organic beer. Try the Pisgah Solstice, a Belgian-style ale, or the darkest ale, the rich and smooth Pisgah Porter.
Cedar Rock Falls
Cedar Rock Falls
This 20-foot waterfall is along one of our favorite hikes up to the summit of John Rock. To reach the falls, hike about mile from the Fish Hatchery and Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education.
Mountain Farm Museum
Mountain Farm Museum & Oconaluftee Visitor Center
Located at the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Cherokee, see historic farm buildings in an open-air museum and get plenty of great information from rangers.
Black Mountain Ciderworks
Black Mountain Ciderworks
(100 Eastside Drive, Black Mountain) Their Tasting Room has four ciders on tap, made from Henderson County apples.
Packs Tavern
Pack’s Tavern
(20 South Spruce St, downtown Asheville) A lively, fun spot thanks to an extensive renovation of an historic building by Pack Square Park, in front of City Hall. They carefully pair beer styles with food and rotate 30+ local, national and international craft beers to offer the best selection available. Park-side outdoor dining area too!
Waterfalls of Panthertown Valley
Waterfalls of Panthertown Valley Book
Get detailed hiking directions to and photos of 20 waterfalls, including Schoolhouse Falls, for beautiful Panthertown Valley with pictures of waterfalls, history of Panthertown, trails and overlooks, campsites and directions to each trailhead. Order a trail-friendly print version directly from local author and Pantertown expert Todd Ransom for $19.99.
East Fork Falls, NC
East Fork Falls
See a beautiful 18-foot cascade near the road in Headwaters State Forest, south of Brevard. It's a one-tenth of a mile trail with a short, steep section. 
Fly Fishing
Fly Fishing
Enjoy plenty of fishing spots, whether novice or experienced. Full- and half-day guided trips, tying classes and classes geared toward women. 
Lake Lure
Lake Lure
Walk across the beautiful Flowering Bridge that is now home to thousands of blooming plants, sun on the beach or take a boat ride across the lake.
Chimney Rock Wedding
Whether on top of the Chimney with a 75-mile panoramic view, at the base of a 404-ft. waterfall, surrounded by majestic cliffs, or in a silent grove, Chimney Rock State Park offers a unique... read more
Hi-Wire Brewing
Hi-Wire Brewing
(197 Hilliard, Asheville, South Slope) Hi-Wire is open every afternoon with four-year round beers: Prime Time Pale Ale, Hi-Pitch IPA, Bed of Nails Brown Ale and a pilsner lager, Hi-Wire Lager. They also offer seasonals. Visit their second brewery with a tasting room and beer garden in Biltmore Village, 2 Huntsman Place.
Dig Local Asheville App
Dig Local Asheville Dining App
Download the free Dig Local Asheville app and use their Daily Scoop feed to see the most current live music calendar, menu specials and more, updated every day. Then use their interactive map to find your way. Other info on the app includes beer, art and more.
Waterrock Knob
Waterrock Knob
(2.4 miles round-trip, strenuous) Hike to the summit (6,292 ft.) of the 16th highest mountain in the eastern United States. Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 451.
Cataloochee Valley Hiking
Cataloochee Valley Hiking
There are many hiking trails in beautiful Cataloochee Valley, home to the elk. A quick favorite is the one-mile Rough Fork Trail along the cascading stream.
Picnics
Picnics
We have the perfect picnic spot for any occasion! Take a backpack on a hike to a waterfall or picnic atop a mountain summit with panoramic views. You could also stop along the Blue Ridge Parkway and spread a blanket on the grass. While there are many designated picnic areas along the Parkway and in the national forests surrounding Asheville, you can also create your own picnic spot.
Pigeon River Adventure Center
Pigeon River Adventure Center
Enjoy outdoors exploration with whitewater rafting, zip line canopy tours or Jeep tours in the Great Smoky Mountains. Or do all three without moving your car with their "Triple Adventure!"
Basilica of St. Lawrence
Basilica of St. Lawrence
See one of Asheville's architectural treasures and spiritual anchors with the largest freestanding elliptical dome in the country.
Westville Pub
Westville Pub
(777 Haywood Road, West Asheville) This local favorite has about a dozen taps pouring a frequently-changing variety of local and regional craft beers. This neighborhood bar in West Asheville is a bit off the tourist path, but well worth a visit with live music many nights.
Grassy Creek Falls
Grassy Creek Falls
(2 miles round-trip, easy) Located adjacent to the Blue Ridge Parkway in Little Switzerland (near Milepost 334), a gentle hiking trail takes you to a beautiful collection of cascades. (There is also a Grassy Creek Falls in DuPont State Forest near Bridal Veil Falls.)
Beech Mountain Biking & Hiking
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.  
Waterfalls Top 60
Waterfalls Top 60
Of hundreds of waterfalls near Asheville, we picked the most spectacular falls that are easy to find. Some can be enjoyed with a short walk or even roadside. Others require a scenic hike. See full descriptions for each, with plenty of photos! Also see Waterfall Drives & Maps.
Green River Tubing
Wilderness Cove Tubing
Tubing the Green River in Saluda is an exciting float that includes class I & II rapids. Enjoy the splashing water, great swimming holes and relaxation, with tube rentals and shuttles available for 1-, 2-, 3- or 4-hour floats. Memorial Day through Labor Day weekends.
Wine & Cocktails
Wine & Cocktails
Unwind after a busy day of sightseeing at one of the many wine and cocktail bars in downtown Asheville. Our favorite is the Battery Park Champagne Bar in Grove Arcade (pic). Social Lounge has a great rooftop!
Great Smoky Mountains Hiking
Great Smoky Mountains Hiking
See our favorite hikes on the North Carolina side of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 
Southern Appalachian Brewery
Southern Appalachian Brewery
(822 Locust, Hendersonville) They specialize in making small batches of craft beer. Tasting Room downtown frequently has live music.
Bryson City Cabins
Find a big variety of vacation rentals next door to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Fontana Lake and the Nantahala River Gorge. From one-bedroom romantic hideaways to group lodges, and even... read more
The Lodge on Lake Lure
This luxury inn combines southern elegance with rustic serenity at a beautiful lakeside retreat. After a wine and cheese hour at 5 PM on the deck, enjoy a locally-sourced dinner in their Tree Tops... read more
Cabin Rental Polk County
Cabin & Cottage Rentals: Tryon, Saluda & Columbus
Find log cabin, condo or cottage vacation rentals by ponds or with mountain views in the First Peak of the Blue Ridge - many options near the Tryon International Equestrian Center.
Lake Glenville & Signal Ridge Marina
Lake Glenville
This pristine reservoir near Cashiers has the highest elevation of any lake east of the Mississippi. Signal Ridge Marina rents a variety of Bennington pontoons and tritoons, as well as tubes, paddleboards, skis, wakeboards and kneeboards. There's even a beach!
Food Festivals & Events
Summer Food Festivals
There's seldom a weekend in the summer without a great outdoor festival in Asheville and the surrounding small towns that includes plenty of food.
City Bakery
City Bakery
Since 1999, they bake a wide variety of artisan tradition French breads daily. Choose from an array of house-made croissants, danishes, eclairs, cheddar-scallion biscuits, sticky buns, bagels and other pastries. And pair it up with locally-roasted organic coffee or espresso. Opens at 7 AM for early risers. Two locations in downtown Asheville: 60 Biltmore Avenue & 88 Charlotte Street. 
Mt Mitchell Balsam Trail
Mt. Mitchell Balsam Trail
(3/4 mile loop, easy) Take a loop hike through the dense, aromatic fir forest high atop on the summit of Mt. Mitchell. Great place for a cool walk on a hot summer day.
Lake James beach
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.
Drum Circle
Drum Circle
Play, listen and dance at the Drum Circle every Friday night in Pritchard Park in downtown Asheville (except for winter months). All are welcome to one of the most diverse audiences you'll ever expereience.
Green Sage Cafe
Green Sage Cafe
This certified green restaurant nurtures the well-being of its customers through its fair-trade organic coffee and tea, organic beer and wine, natural and organic local food for breakfast and lunch. Look for the solar panels on the roof! 5 Broadway Avenue.
Penland School of Craft NC
Penland School of Craft
Take a tour or sign up for a class at this internationally-known school for art and craft, tucked away in the mountains near Spruce Pine. Their multiple galleries are free to visit with amazing works created by students and teachers.
Asheville Travel Guide
Asheville Travel Guide
Order a free printed copy of the official Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau travel guide or relocation information from the Chamber of Commerce.
Harrah's Cherokee Casino
Harrah's Cherokee Casino
Play a huge variety of games and slots, including video poker and slots, along with live gaming for Blackjack, Craps and Roulette. Great restaurants, hotel, spa, shopping and more.
Art Loeb Trail
Art Loeb Trail
This challenging, 30-mile hiking trail with spectacular views includes popular Black Balsam Knob. This trail is located in Pisgah National Forest and is a great option for multi-day backpacking since there are many campsites along the high ridges and balds.
Guided Walking Tours
Guided Walking Tours
History at Hand offers tours to Downtown history and architecture, Montford architecture, Riverside Cemetery and more. All walking tours are given by appointment. Tours must be booked in advance.
Blue Ridge Parkway Hikes
Blue Ridge Parkway Hiking
There are many hikes hidden along the Blue Ridge Parkway that takes you through lush forests, by waterfalls and to mountaintops with sweeping views. See our favorites!
Folk Art Center
Folk Art Center
See crafts by artists from Southern Appalachia with three fine art galleries and daily craft demonstrators. Shop in their store. No admission fee. Located on the Blue Ridge Parkway near U.S. 70 intersection.
Weaverville
Weaverville
Their small downtown area is filled with restaurants, galleries and interesting local shops. And it's only 10 minutes from both downtown Asheville and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Twice a year, they host the big Weaverville Art Safari with dozens of artists opening their studios to visitors. Nearby is Vance Birthplace State Historic Site.
Emerald Village NC Mining Museum
Emerald Village & Mining Museum
A fascinating collection of gem, mining and historical exhibits, including an underground mine tour. Pan for gold and minerals. Located near Little Switzerland, a few miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway. 
Cove Creek Falls
Cove Creek Falls
Located near Daniel Ridge Falls is a waterfall on a beautiful two-mile hike that includes a second, smaller cascade. It's also located near the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education.
The Magnetic Theatre
The Magnetic Theatre
Asheville's only professional theatre company dedicated to original works, performed at Magnetic 375 in the River Arts District. 375 Depot Street. 
Fun for Children
Fun for Children
There are plenty of outdoor adventures for children of all ages, including a special KidZip, educational trails, nature centers and more.

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