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Give the Gift of Nature, The North Carolina Arboretum
Treat the nature lover in your life to the gift of beauty and solace. Gift memberships to The North Carolina Arboretum Society include one year of access to 65 acres of magnificent landscapes and gardens, 10+ miles of forested trails for walking, biking, and hiking, free parking, and more! Gift memberships purchased before December 31st will receive an extra three months.
Looking Glass Rock
(6.5 miles roundtrip, strenuous) For 180+ degree views from a rock face, hike to the top of this iconic summit in the Pisgah National Forest. You'll hike the "backside" of the mountain, gaining 1,700 feet in elevation and a gradual climb almost the entire way.
Southern Appalachian Anglers
Take a full-service, guided fly fishing or bass fishing trip near Asheville. You can enjoy the Appalachian Mountains by boating and/or wading in North Carolina's stream-fed lakes and rivers. Professional fishing guides ensure exciting fishing on the best pristine rivers in WNC.
Near the Grove Arcade, atop Cambria Downtown Asheville, this rooftop bar has a large outdoor terrace complete with outdoor firepits and cozy couches to soak in the Blue Ridge views. Enjoy a variety of craft cocktails, local brews and wine. The traditional Cuban menu has a great selection of small plates, entrees and desserts to choose from. 15 Page Avenue
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.
Vinnie's Neighborhood Italian
This award-winning italian restaurant is known for their excellent service and authentic family atmosphere. The menu features “Old School” Italian classics like chicken parmesan, lasagna, penne bolognese, assorted seafood and more. Vegan and gluten-free options available.
Mt. LeConte & Alum Cave
(11 miles round-trip, strenuous) The Alum Cave Trail is the most-hiked in the Great Smoky Mountains. You'll see why, with interesting geological features and stunning views. To reach the 6,593-ft. summit of Mount LeConte (third highest peak in the Smokies), you'll climb 2,853 ft. in elevation in 5.5 miles.
See this unique-to-Biltmore large-scale outdoor sculptural work by environmental artist Patrick Dougherty, known as “Stick Man,” in the estate’s Antler Hill Village. Dougherty weaves saplings and branches into intricate artworks, fashioning whimsical forms ranging from gigantic snares and cocoons to sculptural interpretations of notable buildings. Free with daytime admission!
Bear's Smokehouse Asheville
This smokehouse in Asheville’s South Slope offers award-winning K.C. Style BBQ with signature items like brisket burnt ends, smoked sausage, loaded baked potatoes, and more. They also offer vegan options like tempeh and Impossible Meatloaf and a variety of craft beer to enjoy! Open 7 days a week with online ordering and delivery available. 135 Coxe Ave
Downtown Asheville Festival of the Arts
See 100+ regional, local and national artists and craft artisans with fine jewelry, a big variety of art and hand-crafted apparel and decor. Downtown Asheville (80 Court Plaza). Free admission. 10 AM-5 PM.
North Carolina Arboretum
Stroll through a variety of gardens and on peaceful woodland trails, located in Asheville adjacent to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Don't miss their impressive bonsai garden exhibit and many special events during the year.
The Gift of Adventure, Navitat
Navitat Holiday Adventure Packages make a thrilling gift. The Adventure Seeker ($100 + tax) includes a $99.95 Navitat Adventure gift certificate, $20 Gift Shop certificate, and Navitat sticker. The Dynamic Duo ($210 + tax) includes two $99.95 Navitat Adventure gift certificates, $30 Gift Shop certificate, and Navitat sticker.
Around the Farm, Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate
Free yourself of the stresses of everyday life and reconnect with nature. Explore life on a working farm and Biltmore’s commitment to sustainability with this refreshing, change-of-pace escape. The package includes accommodations, breakfast at Village Social daily, Farm and Forest tour, exclusive daily farm experiences, and more. April 1 - September 30, 2021. Click for rates.
Shoji Spa & Lodge
Soak away your stress in the only outdoor Japanese-style retreat on the east coast, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains. This unpretentious and unique day spa features completely private Salt hydrotherapy tubs, wet cedar sauna and invigorating double cold showers - all on the edge of the National Forest. Shoji’s world-class Licensed Massage & Bodywork Therapists provide massages such as Swedish, Deep Tissue, Four Hands, Hot Stone, Prenatal and Japanese-inspired elements of Thai and Shiatsu in combination with our Massages. A variety of spa packages and Shoji’s Signature Tub Side Tea Service are also available.
Highland Brewing Co.
(12 Old Charlotte Highway, Asheville) Visit the pioneers of craft beer in Asheville, brewing since 1994. Stop by their big Tasting Room to sample 15 brews every day of the week, along with live music and many outdoor concerts. Take a 45-minute guided tour of the fascinating brewing and packaging process. Easy parking.
Max Patch on Appalachian Trail
(1.4 or 2.4 miles, moderate) Hike a section of the famous Appalachian National Scenic Trail (or AT) near Hot Springs. What a picnic spot, with 360-degree mountain views! The 1.4-mile short loop crosses the summit. The 2.4-mile loop circles the mountain for outstanding views from all the sides. Or extend your hike in either direction of the AT.
The charming town of Valdese celebrates the "Glorious Return" of the Waldenses from exile in Switzerland to their native Italy in 1689. Find 170+ vendors crafts, great food and top-quality entertainment. Main Street. 9 AM-6 PM. Friday night concert also. Near Morganton.
Gift a Cozy Getaway, Buffalo Creek Vacations
Give the gift of a Buffalo Creek Vacation with a gift certificate. Recipients can choose to sleep in a caboose or a luxury log cabin on a bison ranch. Located 30 miles west of Asheville, with hot tubs, game rooms, fire pits, and pet-friendly accommodations.
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.
Gallery of the Mountains
Located inside the historic Omni Grove Park Inn, this gallery showcases American handmade crafts by more than 100 local and regional artists living in the Southern Appalachians. Discover curated collections of finely crafted jewelry, pottery, home décor, unique gifts, and Asheville-made mementos. 290 Macon Ave.
Canopy Ridge Farm Outdoor Adventure Park, Lake Lure
Soar through Hickory Nut Gorge over a forest canopy, hillsides and more as you tour 60 acres of Blue Ridge foothills. Guided zipline tours are 1.5 hrs with 6 lines, featuring a 1000 ft long ZipZilla line. Ages 4 & up can zip. Rent a GoPro and capture your adventure! Convenient location to nearby Lake Lure.
Isis Restaurant & Music Hall, West Asheville
This iconic concert venue, bar and eatery is located in the heart of West Asheville. The Art Deco style building, retains its original name when this historic cinema was built in the 1930’s. Today, with two indoor stages, multiple bars, and outdoor stage and patio, Isis Restaurant and Music Hall is one of the hottest spots in the city for live music.
Beer City Festival
Sample brews from 30+ local breweries downtown in Pack Square Park, with live music and local food. Hosted by Asheville Brewers Alliance, part of Beer Week. Buy tickets in advance (often sells out).
This rooftop restaurant and bar in downtown Asheville pairs Cuban cuisine with Asheville flair. Brunch favorites include Bistec a Caballo, Vaca Frita Hash Con Huevos, Empanadas de Picadillo o Pollo, and their famous El Cubano sándwich. Traditional breakfast dishes such as pancakes, eggs, and omelets also available. Don't forget their Cuban Daiquiri, Brunch Punch, or Bloody Mary. Located on the fourth floor of Cambria Downtown Asheville, adjacent to Grove Arcade, their outdoor terrace has fantastic mountain views. Serving Weekend Brunch from 7 AM -2 PM each Saturday and Sunday. 15 Page Avenue
Bliss Farm & Retreat, Barnardsville
Bring your retreat to this 50-acre peaceful farm in Pisgah National Forest north of Asheville. It’s the idyllic spot to focus on health and wellbeing with yoga, spa services, healing arts and farm to table meals. Get in touch with nature with mountain views, walking trails, meditation sites, and a variety of animals. Stay in the inn rooms or cabins, for groups of 10-24. When not hosting retreats, they are open to vacationers.
Downtown's quaint old buildings, brick sidewalks, galleries and general store take you back to a more leisurely time. Each summer, Folkmoot U.S.A. attracts entertainers from all over the world. The Museum of NC Handicrafts is housed in the historic Shelton House. On summer Friday nights, come down for the Mountain Street Dances.
Asheville Art Classes & Lessons
Take an afternoon- or week-long painting or pottery class/workshop in Asheville at studios in the River Arts District. Group or private lessons are designed for beginners and experienced. Take home a souvenir of art that your create!
Give the Gift Worthy of an Art Collector, Grand Bohemian Gallery
The Grand Bohemian Gallery makes fine art available to the collector in us all. Showcasing contemporary painting, wood, artisan-made jewelry, and sculpture by local, regional, and internationally recognized artists. Explore the exhibitions, receptions, and “art & wine” dinners.
Asheville Independent Restaurants, Up-To-Date Dining Choices
AIR is a group of 150+ locally owned, independent restaurants in Asheville (one of the largest organizations of its kind in the country). AIR is dedicated to keeping Asheville’s food scene eclectic, authentic, and flavorful. Find a list of current Takeout/Delivery and Dine-In options for Asheville’s Independent Restaurants, updated daily.
You don't have to travel to Havana to enjoy a night in Cuba; just go to Hemingway’s Cuba! Menu favorites include Empanadas, Tostones Board, Ropa Vieja and Vaca Frita or enjoy a classic Cuban Sandwich. Or sip on a Cuban Daiquiri and gaze out over Downtown Asheville and the Blue Ridge Mountains from their amazing rooftop. 15 Page Avenue, 4th Floor
Bed & Breakfasts
Awake to a grand breakfast at one of the many B&Bs in Asheville and the North Carolina mountains. What a way to start your day of touring the area! There's a big variety and we feature the best of the best.
Red Stag Grill
Located inside the Grand Bohemian Hotel in Biltmore Village with contemporary food, an extensive wine-by-the-glass menu and a lively bar within a casual setting. The beautiful dining room features hand-hewn beams, distressed oak floors, handmade wooden tables, an intimate bar and cozy booths. Traditionally-prepared European comfort food is updated with local ingredients. 11 Boston Way.
Stroll through this beautiful historic "mall" in downtown Asheville with high quality specialty shops and local restaurants. See local art and craft at the outdoor market.
Adventure Center of Asheville: Outdoor Family Fun!
Open all year and just five minutes from downtown and 10 minutes from Biltmore, ride 11 zip lines from treetop platforms and adventure towers. Walk three sky bridges amidst 150-year old trees. Along the way, learn about the history of Asheville and the forest. After warming up on some shorter zips, enjoy a 1,200-ft. side-by-side zipline with panoramic views of the city and mountains.
(1.5 to 8 miles round-trip, moderate to strenuous) This unique hike offers plenty of breathtaking viewpoints and a wooden boardwalk over fragile vegetation. The Tanawha Trail features many rock outcrops to enjoy sweeping mountain panoramas. Turn around at any time or continue the trail to Beacon Heights (4 miles). Milepost 302.8 Blue Ridge Parkway.
Kids in Parks: Educational Trails in the Blue Ridge
Kids in Parks is a growing network of trails with free activity guides for children and families. Together, you'll engage with the outdoors by identifying trees and birds, viewing the forest from the perspective of animals and searching for natural features. Children can record their adventures online and receive prizes.
Give the Best View, Asheville Rooftop Bar Tours
Grab a gift certificate to Asheville Rooftop Bar Tours for three hours, three bars, sample cocktails or mocktails, and a driver! Enjoy an all-access pass to what makes Asheville unique—stunning views, history, and amazing food and drinks. 2020 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice winner.
Jack of the Wood
This lively British Isles-style pub features Irish food items such as bangers and mash, Irish stew, fish and chips along with 18 rotating taps and one cask tap. Sample brews while local musicians fiddle away on Irish reels or picking olde-time mountain music. 95 Patton Avenue, downtown Asheville
Baba Nahm, Downtown Asheville
This Mediterranean eatery in downtown Asheville offers a Middle Eastern-inspired menu of Israeli street food with easy grab & go convenience. They offer gluten-free options and the entire menu is free of chemicals and preservatives. Try the chicken shawarma and bring home some Gozleme flatbread!
Mornings at Biltmore House, The Inn at Biltmore
Go behind the ropes on a 75-minute tour exploring the Biltmore House in the quiet morning hours, including a rare Organ Loft view of Banquet Hall. The package includes Premium Guided Morning Tour, luxury stay, daytime access to gardens and grounds, and valet parking. Now - June 30, 2021. Click for rates
Kolo Bike Park at Adventure Center of Asheville
This outdoor playground is open year-round and just five minutes from downtown. Kolo is a sampler pack with 4 miles of trails with challenges, jump line, pump tracks and skills areas for beginner and advanced riders. Bring your own bike or rent one. Combine your ride with a zipline canopy tour or a Treetops Adventure Park climb.
Gift Local Honey, Killer Bees Honey
Sweeten the holidays with Killer Bees Honey. Their Western NC mountain-top apiaries are surrounded by 512,000 acres of National Forest, producing raw, organic honey of unmatched flavor, quality, and purity. The only honey that’s 100% toxin-free & unadulterated. Discover honey baskets, stocking stuffers & more.
Rocky’s Hot Chicken Shack
Feast on some “Tennessee style” hot chicken and southern soul food. They prepare their unique fried chicken to order, so it’s not spicy unless you want it that way! Ingredients are sourced locally and classic American recipes are made from scratch daily. Two locations in Asheville: West at 1455 Patton Avenue, and South at 3749 Sweeten Creek Road, Arden.
Vinnie's Neighborhood Italian
This award-winning Italian restaurant is known for its excellent service and authentic family atmosphere. The menu features “Old School” Italian classics like chicken parmesan, lasagna, penne bolognese, assorted seafood, and more. Vegan and gluten-free options available. 641 Merrimon Ave
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. 78 Patton Avenue.
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.
Skyterra Wellness Retreat
A beautiful mountain retreat in the Land of the Waterfalls where you set aside life’s obligations to focus on your own health and well-being. Stress management, fitness, and culinary experts helps you break old cycles, jump start new habits, and embrace the healthy, revitalized lifestyle. Spa treatments are customized. Stay for a week, or as long as you'd like. Rates include daily yoga, fitness, meditation, and education classes, private room, and chef-prepared meals.
Brevard Music Center Summer 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.