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Summer Arts and Crafts Market
More than 40 local artists display and demo their arts and crafts in artsy Dillsboro, 10 AM-4 PM. Plus, live music, food and hands-on activities.
Diamond Brand Outdoors Paddling
Find the latest and greatest paddlesports gear their heritage outfitter store in south Asheville. Find recreational kayaks, whitewater boats, fishing kayaks and stand up paddleboards from the top brands. Plus, get plenty of advice from experts and check out their demo days.
Tom Branch Falls, Indian Creek Falls and Juney Whank Falls
See three waterfalls in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the Deep Creek area with a two-mile hike. Deep Creek is also a popular tubing spot each summer.
High Falls at Lake Glenville
(1.5 miles round-trip, strenuous) Also known as Cullowhee Falls, this 150-ft. waterfall at Lake Glenville near Cashiers becomes the most powerful a few days of the year when extra water is released from the dam for kayakers. A new hiking trail takes you to the base for a great view.
Elk in Cataloochee, Great Smoky Mountains
Watch the elk in beautiful Cataloochee Valley in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The best time is just before sunset. Take a picnic and tailgate. Also, tour historic buildings or hike.
Organic Growers Conference
The Annual Spring Conference by Organic Growers School at UNC Asheville features 70+ sessions per day: regionally-focused workshops on growing, permaculture, homesteading, and urban farming. Trade show, seed exchange, kid’s program. From $49/person per day, $99/weekend
The Foundation Performing Arts
The "big city" 1,300-seat performing arts center is located on the Isothermal Community College Campus in tiny Spindale and features an impressive Mainstage Performing Arts Series featuring music, dance, comedy, theatre and more.
A new outdoor festival in the South Slope near downtown Asheville to showcase the creative arts as a tool for positive change in our world. 11 AM-9 PM. Free admission.
Asheville's public market features specialty shops, restaurants, and sidewalk vending with fresh food and crafts. This block-long historic building has an interior "mall" and shops around the entire exterior. A must stop!
Downtown on Battery Park and O. Henry Avenues.
Downtown on Battery Park and O. Henry Avenues.
25 Guided Tours & Experiences
Take a guided tour for sightseeing, art, wildlife, history, food, beer, waterfalls, wellness and more in Asheville and western North Carolina. See our list of favorites.
Second Saturdays, River Arts District
Home to over 200 artists, the River Arts District (near downtown Asheville & Biltmore) is extra festive on each second Saturday in 2018. Find show openings, hands-on classes, demos, music and more in 23 repurposed industrial buildings along the French Broad River.
Virtu Skin & Body
Experience the best facials in Asheville. Founder/Owner of Houston's first Day Spa, Brea Gratia has relocated to Asheville. For 38 years she's provided fabulous facials to a loyal clientele. Come be surprised by the masterful techniques and results. Unique in every way – from the aromatics used to the protocols and ambiance.
Top 80 Art Festivals 2018
See our favorite art festivals, events and shows this year in Asheville and surrounding towns in the western North Carolina mountains.
Art on the Greene
Find a big variety of 40 artists working with metal, glass, pottery, wood, jewelry and more in downtown Banner Elk. Many restaurants, shops and things to do nearby. Benefits their historic school renovation. 10 AM-5 PM. Free admission.
Romance Package, Beaufort House Inn
Stay in this grand, historic B&B near downtown Asheville and romance it up with flowers, champagne and Godiva chocolate truffles. Plus, enjoy a two-course gourmet breakfast, wine reception, free parking and more.
Rate: $84/couple in addition to room
Rate: $84/couple in addition to room
(3.2-mile loop, moderate) Hike from downtown Hot Springs via the Appalachian Trail. You will climb to a rock outcropping for beautiful views of the river and town. It's a romantic spot, but don't leap!
So many things to do - art, train excursions, heritage sites and more! Includes the towns of Cashiers, Cherokee, Dillsboro, Sylva, Balsam, Cullowhee, Glenville and Sapphire.
Shelton House, Waynesville
This grand, historic home built in 1875 is home to the Museum of North Carolina Handicrafts, with every room packed with craft, art and furnishings from the 18th and 19th centuries. Open May-October.
Silver Leaf Herbal Pharmacy & Acupuncture
Evan Bussanich, L.Ac. Dipl.OM. is a natural medicine practitioner specializing in Chinese, Ayurvedic, Western herbal medicine, Homeopathy, and Classical Acupuncture. His general practice focuses on Chinese and Ayurvedic herbal medicine for internal conditions, with an emphasis on gastroenterology, immunological disorders, and chronic infections. Near downtown Asheville.
Home to an impressive arts community, with galleries and an arts center downtown. Also boasts a big equestrian community, with many horse-related events, including a Steeplechase each spring. The amazing Tryon International Equestrian Center attracts horse lovers and riders from all over the world. Near Saluda.
Concerts on the Creek, Sylva
Unwind on Fridays with this free outside live music summer series in downtown Sylva. Shows are 7-9 PM at the Bridge Park, two blocks from Main Street with shops, restaurants and breweries (so come early!). Family-friendly with a big variety of music. Bring a chair or blanket.
Lake Lure Cabin Rentals
Find a big variety of cabins, condos and other vacation rentals at Lake Lure - as presented by Rutherford County Tourism.
All Is Calm & 12 Dates @ NC Stage
Two shows alternate! A holiday favorite, All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914 returns this year bringing reminders for peace and joy this season while a second show The Twelve Dates of Christmas brings laughter and light heartedness with a one-woman show. Perfect for date night in downtown Asheville.
Season's at Highland Lake
Located on the grounds of historic Highland Lake Inn & Resort, you will find inspired seasonal cuisine and impressive wine list in a relaxed atmosphere. Enjoy a casual lunch, romantic dinner or Sunday Brunch. Only five minutes from Hendersonville and 30 minutes from Asheville. 86 Lily Pad Lane, Flat Rock.
Hilltop Fall Festival
Much fun in downtown Rutherfordton: Friday night Soapbox Derby for big kids, Saturday morning Overmountain 5K and Tour de Pumpkin 50K & 100K bike rides and festival 9-5 with crafts, music, scarecrow contest.
Newfound Gap Road
Drive the very popular U.S. Highway 441 through Great Smoky Mountains National Park from Cherokee. First stop should be the Oconaluftee Visitor Center and Mountain Farm Museum. Then drive 18 miles and climb 3,000 ft. to Newfound Gap on the Tennessee border. Many turn around here or drive up to Clingmans Dome. Another option is a hike on the Appalachian Trail.
The French Broad Overview
This 17-mile N.C. Scenic Byway just north of Asheville starts at I-26, Exit 19. Take U.S. 25/70 toward Marshall and turn left at the first stoplight onto Monticello Road. Go three miles to N.C. Highway 251. Turn right and drive along the French Broad River to Marshall. Stop at Ledges Whitewater River County Park and watch the kayakers while you picnic.
Other Desert Cities @ NC Stage
Professional theatre in downtown Asheville: Brooke Wyeth returns home to Palm Springs after a six-year absence to announce that she is about to publish a memoir.
Tour a state-of-the-art wine production facility in Hendersonville. Their impressive Tasting Room features wines from 100% estate-grown fruit. The high altitude, long, sunny days and cool nights in the Blue Ridge Province of the Appalachian Mountains allow them to grow some European varietals like Grüner Veltliner. 2695 Sugarloaf Road, Hendersonville. Open Sunday-Thursday 12-6 PM & Friday-Saturday 12-7 PM, with tours at 2 PM every day.
Blue Ridge Distilling & Defiant Whisky
Tucked away in the rolling hills of Rutherford County is the makers of the rising star Defiant American Single Malt Whisky. Located in Golden Valley (north of Forest City), they picked this location for its water aquifer. Stop by to watch the crew at work. They are happy to stop to give you a tour and a sample!
Watch the fun at Sapphire Valley Ski Resort in Cashiers as homemade outhouses race down the slopes on skis. 11 AM-3 PM
Experience Biltmore’s historic winery and savor complimentary tastings, relax at the wine bar and enhance your wine knowledge with specialty tastings and tours. Plus, enjoy shopping for all the Biltmore wines and distinctive products to complete your visit. Located in Antler Hill Village, it's open every day and included in your Biltmore Estate admission ticket.
Children ages 4-10 can now enjoy zip lines at this first-of-a-kind park built for kids. Ride nine zips from 50 to 250 ft. long and explore four climbing elements. It's a self-guided tour with an adult escort for children 4-6. Kids ages 7-10 may zip alone or with an adult. Located just five minutes from downtown at the Adventure Center of Asheville.
Tuckasegee River Rafting & Tubing
Ride down the family-friendly rapids of the "Tuck" in a raft, inflatable kayak or tub in Jackson County - near Dillsboro and Sylva. Outfitters offer a variety of guided and self-guided river trips.
Stroll this picturesque historic "town" in the city of Asheville near the entrance to Biltmore Estate. Find tree lined streets with trendy, mostly local boutiques, galleries, breweries and restaurants in buildings and cottages built by the Vanderbilts.
I-26 Scenic Highway
This is the only interstate section in the state to be selected as a scenic byway. Begins on I-26 at Exit 9 at Mars Hill. As you travel north, there is a scenic overlook offering views of the Blue Ridge Parkway. A second scenic overlook will be on the return route, where the NC Welcome Center is located. The highest point is Sam’s Gap (3,760 feet), where the Appalachian Trail crosses under the highway. Exit at Flag Pond in Tennessee and make a u-turn to return.
20 Winter Hikes Near Asheville
Hiking during the winter has many advantages - including better views thanks to leafless trees, few fellow hikers, no bugs, brilliant skies with more distant views and cool temps. See our top places for winter hikes in the Blue Ridge & Smoky Mountains.
This tiny town of around 800 residents is perhaps best known for its hot mineral springs. Located north of Asheville at the junction of the Appalachian Trail (goes right through downtown) and the French Broad River. Hike from town up to Lover's Leap for a great view of the town.
Go to Chimney Rock Park to see if Greta the groundhog sees her shadow to predict an early spring or a long winter. Other activities for kids of all ages.
This popular family resort town has been a favorite for generations. It has kept much of its local charm with vintage motels and plenty of gift shops with arts and crafts. The Wheels Through Time Museum has an outstanding collection of classic cars and motorcycles. Ski at Cataloochee.
Experience an old-fashioned Fourth of July celebration and street festival in Bryson City with a 5K, crafts, food, contests, live music and the best fireworks show in the Smokies.
3rd Night Free, Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds
Stay in a cabin near Biltmore and downtown Asheville for two nights and get the third night free in January, February and March. Warm up in the hot tub and relax by the wood burning fireplace.
Rate: From $358 for three nights
Rate: From $358 for three nights
Located in the foothills in wine and horse country, this tiny town (population 999) has a quaint historic downtown with a park and mountain views, scenic drive, wineries and Tryon Equestrian Center.
Located in Madison County, this college town has a quaint downtown of historic buildings and homes. Enjoy many educational and cultural opportunities at the university, including stage plays, art exhibits, the national clogging champions.
Blue Ridge Acupuncture Clinic
Founded in 2003, they provide the highest quality acupuncture and natural medicine services in Asheville. UNC-Chapel Hill graduate and owner, James Whittle has visited China eight times to work with Asia’s best and brightest physicians and acupuncturists.
Wehrloom Honey Bee Farm
Visit this farm for all-natural raw honey products and watch bees at work in their observatory, located in Robbinsville, NC. Self-guided and guided tours available.
Halo Events & Design
Halo is there to make sure your wedding or event goes better than you could have hoped for. The planning team at Halo will provide you and your guests with thoughtful, well-designed, unique events.
Canton Labor Day Festival
Big celebration in Canton since 1906. Sunday features music festival, art and food, 12-9:30 PM ($10/person) at Sorrells Park, and free gospel concert at Colonial Theatre. Monday features a big Labor Day Parade at 10 AM, plus a music festival and car show, 12 PM-9 PM (free). 20 minutes west of Asheville.
Yin Yang Package, Shoji Spa
Soak in your private, outdoor Japanese-style hot tub. Then share a luxurious 75-minute, side-by-side couples massage and decadent scalp massage with Jasmine, Ylang Ylang & Sandalwood. Forest setting in Asheville. Allow 3 hours - entire month of February.
Rate: $225 Single /$425 Couple
Rate: $225 Single /$425 Couple
Christmas at Biltmore
See the elaborate decorations inside Biltmore House during a quieter time on the estate.
Waterfalls & Wine Tour
Find six waterfalls in Pisgah National Forest near Brevard, with short, guided hikes "off the beaten path" with the Pisgah Field School, and end with a wine tasting. 2018 dates: Thursday & Fridays May 10-Aug 10 & Fridays October 5-26, 11 AM-3 PM. Small groups, book in advance. $65/person.
Table Rock Mountain
(2.2 miles round-trip, moderate) Hike to the top of one of the most recognized peaks in the Blue Ridge Mountains. This trailhead is just five miles from Hawksbill, so you can double your fun.
Fall Events & Festivals
Find our favorite autumn events and festivals during September and October in Asheville and the NC mountains.
This serene swimming spot in Pisgah National Forest is near popular Rainbow Falls and the natural water slide Turtleback Falls. It's family-friendy but a 2.5-mile roundtrip hike to reach.
Lazy Otter Outfitters
Located a little south of Asheville is one of the prettiest stretches of the French Broad River, away from the crowds and highways. Take a self-guided tubing, kayaking or canoeing trip ranging from two hours to all day, including the fun Sierra Nevada Express trip that makes a post-paddle visit to the brewery easy.
Biltmore Package, 1899 Wright Inn & Carriage House
This two-night stay features deluxe accommodations, bottle of Biltmore wine (or flowers) and chocolates in room upon arrival, gourmet breakfast for two and two tickets to the Biltmore Estate.
Biltmore Estate Hiking Trails
(Many options, easy to moderate) There are 23 miles of trails, for all fitness levels, to explore at Biltmore. You can walk several miles around the gardens near the house, including a half-mile stroll around the Bass Pond. Our favorite hike at Biltmore is the 1.3-mile Deer Park Trail, offering great views of the house.
Asheville Realty Group
If you are looking for homes for sale in Asheville and the western North Carolina mountains, check with these fun and hard working realtors. Find your perfect downtown condo, mountain cabin, charming bungalow or country house.
Bed & Breakfasts
Imagine waking up in a grand home and walking downstairs to the dining room, where you are served a gourmet feast! Feel like royalty and get pampered in one of the many B&Bs in our area. Enjoy a leisurely morning and relax after breakfast, rocking on a porch or by a roaring fire with your coffee. What a way to start the day!
NC Stage Company
Enjoy professional theatre in the heart of downtown Asheville with world-class productions in a very intimate setting (only 127 seats!). They also host concerts and other events, so there's something happening almost every weekend.
Located inside a historic house in Biltmore Village is a popular spot with simple and flavorful American fare, such as corned beef hash, bagel and lox, johnny cakes, hash browns, fried grits and cream cheese scrambler with a griddled bagel. Breakfast served 7:30 -11 AM Monday-Friday. Weekend brunch is 9 AM-3 PM. 3 Boston Way.
Belle Nicho Winery
This farmstead winery is located midway between South Creek and Silver Fork, near Morganton. They grow small quantities of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, but their focus is on French-American hybrids such as Seyval Blanc and Isabella, as well as the native Cynthiana (also called Norton). Try the Strawberry-Rhubarb Wine and Sweet Dog Red, a unique 50/50 blend of Chambourcin and Cabernet Franc. Their vineyard uses only organic products and solar power. 525 Patton Valley Drive, Nebo, NC. Open Friday-Sunday, 12-5 PM.
Adjacent to Fontana Dam is a year-round resort run by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with cabin rentals, historic lodge, camping, restaurants, outdoor pools, putt-putt golf, marina and much more.
Graveyard Fields Waterfalls
This popular hiking area on the Blue Ridge Parkway has two waterfalls. Second Falls (in pic) is just 1/3-mile walk from the Parkway. Upper Falls is on a four-mile loop trail in the mile-high meadow.
Modern Asheville Real Estate
Realtors Kelly and Troy combine their passion for real estate and design to help you mindfully buy, sell and find resources for creating a warm and clean home that works for you and today's modern lifestyle in the mountains. Specializing in Architectural, Modern, Mid-Century, Ranch, Vintage and Lofts.
Tryon International Equestrian Center
World-class complex for horse sport competitions has a variety of restaurants open to the public, including Roger's 50s Diner, Legends Grille above the arena, Blue Ginger Sushi, Campagna Italian and more! Visit Wed-Sun in April-November to watch horses. Top Sunday brunch spot. Closed in Aug & Sept 2018 for World Games. See our TIEC Guide.
Balsam Range Art of Music Festival
A two-day festival at Lake Junaluska featuring top bluegrass and acoustic musicians, with Balsam Range, The Atlanta Pops Orchestra and more. Workshops throughout the day. Single concert tickets and weekend packages.
Unto These Hills Outdoor Drama
America's most popular outdoor drama is the tragic and triumphant story of the Cherokee Indians. Set against the backdrop of the Great Smoky Mountains in Cherokee, the drama is presented under the stars at the beautiful Mountainside Theater nightly from June through mid-August.
Carson House Museum, Marion
Tour one of the most interesting house museums in the state, dating back to 1793, with a big collection covering 200+ years on three floors.