There are many fun things to do in Western North Carolina and discover in Asheville; the hard part is figuring out how to fit it all in one trip! Our website showcases a 90-mile radius around Asheville (16 counties), which means there is something for everyone, no matter your interests. Starting in Asheville’s vibrant downtown area and expanding to every corner of our fair city and beyond, you'll find national treasures, award-winning restaurants, museums, boutiques, music venues, performing arts, art galleries featuring local artists, and self-guided tours you can’t find elsewhere.

If you love outdoor activities, there are tons of places to go explore our national forests and parks, filled with hiking trails, waterfalls, spectacular mountain views, and thrilling outdoor adventures.

Start making your wish list with help from our extensive travel guide, and click the links below for even more ideas and Asheville attractions! Here are 101 things to do around Asheville, North Carolina, and other Western NC attractions.

Asheville & WNC: Top Things to Do & Places to Go

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.

Lake Lure

There's a lot happening in this lake town! In addition to a beach to keep cool on hot summer's day, there's a wonderful Town Center Walkway that connects the beach to the beautiful Flowering Bridge. Take a boat tour of the lake or bring your mountain bike for their new trail system at Buffalo Creek Park.

Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

Take a scenic train ride on excursions along the Nantahala and Tuckasegee Rivers, over the mountains, across valleys, and through tunnels. Choose from a variety of train adventures departing from Bryson City. Many special event train rides including beer, wine, and Polar Express.

Nantahala Outdoor Center

Nantahala Outdoor Center offers whitewater rafting trips on the French Broad River just outside of Asheville, or just a short drive is 500-acres of family-friendly adventure near Bryson City with over 100 itineraries of river and land-based activities like rafting, kayaking, zip lines, ropes courses, mountain biking, hiking and more. Enjoy riverside dining at two restaurants, shopping at the… read more

Adventure Center of Asheville, Outdoor Family Fun!

Family adventures for ages 4 and over: Climb our Treetops Adventure Park with over 70 challenge elements with 7 different aerial trails, zip our Kid Zip park (ages 4-10), or Asheville Zipline Canopy Tours (ages 8+), or ride Kolo Bike Park.  Open all year and just minutes from downtown Asheville.

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… read more

(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.

Waynesville, NC

Downtown's quaint old buildings, brick sidewalks, galleries, and general store take you back to a more leisurely time. Each summer, Folkmoot USA. attracts entertainers from all over the world. The… read more

Downtown's quaint old buildings, brick sidewalks, galleries, and general store take you back to a more leisurely time. Each summer, Folkmoot USA. 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.

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… read more

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!

Shoji Hot Tub Retreat & Spa

Soak away your stress in a private hot tub under a canopy of trees, dip into an invigorating cold plunge, and relax in the cedar sauna. After your soak, get a customized massage and a variety of… read more

Soak away your stress in a private hot tub under a canopy of trees, dip into an invigorating cold plunge, and relax in the cedar sauna. After your soak, get a customized massage and a variety of treatments. Located just 10 minutes from downtown Asheville.

Asheville Salt Cave & Spa

Experience a unique oasis in Asheville, a salt-enriched microclimate that allows the body and mind to gain relaxation and balance. The power of salt therapy has been known for centuries. Plus, get… read more

Experience a unique oasis in Asheville, a salt-enriched microclimate that allows the body and mind to gain relaxation and balance. The power of salt therapy has been known for centuries. Plus, get a hot salt stone massage and other spa treatments. Read more in our full-page feature on the Salt Cave.

Tryon Foothills Wine Country

Visit five wineries in the prime isothermal wine growing area in the beautiful foothills near Columbus and Tryon: Parker-Binns Vineyard, Overmountain Vineyards, Russian Chapel Hills Winery,… read more

Visit five wineries in the prime isothermal wine growing area in the beautiful foothills near Columbus and Tryon: Parker-Binns Vineyard, Overmountain Vineyards, Russian Chapel Hills Winery, Mountain Brook Vineyard and Green Creek Winery. It's an easy 45-mile drive from Asheville via I-26 East (near SC line).

Navitat Canopy Adventures

Just 22 minutes from Asheville, Navitat Canopy Adventures is a world-class eco-adventure with huge ziplines traversing a secluded 242-acre mountain cove with 1,200 ft of elevation change. Fly… read more

Just 22 minutes from Asheville, Navitat Canopy Adventures is a world-class eco-adventure with huge ziplines traversing a secluded 242-acre mountain cove with 1,200 ft of elevation change. Fly above the treetops on zip lines up to 350 ft high, from 360 ft to 3,600 ft long and at speeds up to 65 mph! Rappel, walk suspended sky bridges, and see panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. 

Asheville Art Museum

Explore an outstanding collection of American art of the 20th and 21st centuries and discover the richness of Western North Carolina’s unique artistic history at the Asheville Art Museum. … read more

Explore an outstanding collection of American art of the 20th and 21st centuries and discover the richness of Western North Carolina’s unique artistic history at the Asheville Art Museum. Established by artists and incorporated in 1948, the museum is committed to being a vital force in community and individual development and providing lifelong opportunities for education and enrichment…

Grovewood Village

Discover a hidden gem rich with art and history adjacent to The Omni Grove Park Inn. This site is home to Grovewood Gallery, an outdoor sculpture garden, two museums, and Eldr restaurant. 111… read more

Discover a hidden gem rich with art and history adjacent to The Omni Grove Park Inn. This site is home to Grovewood Gallery, an outdoor sculpture garden, two museums, and Eldr restaurant. 111 Grovewood Rd. Free on-site parking.

 

Top Restaurants In & Near Asheville

From casual to sophisticated, there are many restaurants for all tastes, with flavors from around the world. Plus, find many more award-winning chefs throughout the mountains. See our top picks… read more

From casual to sophisticated, there are many restaurants for all tastes, with flavors from around the world. Plus, find many more award-winning chefs throughout the mountains. See our top picks for dining in Asheville.  

Brevard

Picturesque Main Street has many local shops, restaurants, galleries, brewery, museums and favorite O.P. Taylor toy store. Big events include the White Squirrel Festival, 4th of July celebration,… read more

Picturesque Main Street has many local shops, restaurants, galleries, brewery, museums and favorite O.P. Taylor toy store. Big events include the White Squirrel Festival, 4th of July celebration, Brevard Music Festival and Halloweenfest. This is the Land of the Waterfalls with hiking, biking and famous Sliding Rock.

Biltmore Winery

Sample wines in the Tasting Room, included in admission to Biltmore Estate. Enjoy specialty tastings and a variety of tours. Shop for all the Biltmore wines and plenty of gift items. Located in… read more

Sample wines in the Tasting Room, included in admission to Biltmore Estate. Enjoy specialty tastings and a variety of tours. Shop for all the Biltmore wines and plenty of gift items. Located in Antler Hill Village, it's open late every day.

French Broad Adventures

Asheville’s closest adventure experience offers whitewater rafting, ziplines, and canyoneering expeditions just 30 minutes from Downtown Asheville. Experience a fun-filled rafting adventure with… read more

Asheville’s closest adventure experience offers whitewater rafting, ziplines, and canyoneering expeditions just 30 minutes from Downtown Asheville. Experience a fun-filled rafting adventure with knowledgeable guides or choose a milder calmwater trip in the heart of the scenic valley near Hot Springs. Enjoy both indoor and outdoor experiences. Half and full-day trips. 

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… read more

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.

Bare Dark Sky Observatory, Burnsville

Located at the Mayland Earth to Sky Park in Yancey County, this nationally recognized observatory is open to the public for 360-degree views of the moon, planets, and stars through custom-built… read more

Located at the Mayland Earth to Sky Park in Yancey County, this nationally recognized observatory is open to the public for 360-degree views of the moon, planets, and stars through custom-built telescopes. Each 2-hour stargazing session offers a chance for visitors to learn more about the night sky. Adult tickets at $20.

American Museum of the House Cat

See a fascinating collection of 10,000+ cat-related curiosities, including many rare and fascinating antiques, collected by "CatMan2" for the past 20 years. One of the few museums in the country… read more

See a fascinating collection of 10,000+ cat-related curiosities, including many rare and fascinating antiques, collected by "CatMan2" for the past 20 years. One of the few museums in the country dedicated to felines. Near Dillsboro.

Sierra Nevada Brewery

(100 Sierra Nevada Way, Mills River) See their impressive east coast brewery in south Asheville - complete with a taproom, big restaurant, free tours, events, and live music.

(100 Sierra Nevada Way, Mills River) See their impressive east coast brewery in south Asheville - complete with a taproom, big restaurant, free tours, events, and live music.

Cherokee

Home to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Cherokee, NC offers a variety of ways to experience the cultural heritage and long history of the tribe. Tour the Museum of the Cherokee Indian and… read more

Home to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Cherokee, NC offers a variety of ways to experience the cultural heritage and long history of the tribe. Tour the Museum of the Cherokee Indian and the Oconaluftee Indian Village. Watch "Unto These Hills." Shop for local crafts, see their painted bears, attend a pow wow or try your luck at the huge Harrah's Casino. It's also a major gateway to the…

Spruce Pine

This small town offers not one but two main streets, Upper Street (Oak Avenue) and Lower Street (Locust Avenue). A must-stop is the Toe River Arts Council Gallery. Visit for many festivals and gem… read more

This small town offers not one but two main streets, Upper Street (Oak Avenue) and Lower Street (Locust Avenue). A must-stop is the Toe River Arts Council Gallery. Visit for many festivals and gem mining.

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.

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.

Western North Carolina Farmers Market

Come and enjoy the atmosphere and bounty of the mountains. The retail area features displays of high-quality fruits and vegetables, mountain crafts, jams, jellies, preserves, sourwood honey, and… read more

Come and enjoy the atmosphere and bounty of the mountains. The retail area features displays of high-quality fruits and vegetables, mountain crafts, jams, jellies, preserves, sourwood honey, and dozens of other farm-fresh items. The market is open year-round, seven days a week.

Beech Mountain

This is the coolest town on our list for temperature (highest town in the eastern USA at 5,506 feet elevation). While it's very popular for skiing and snowboarding each winter, they have an… read more

This is the coolest town on our list for temperature (highest town in the eastern USA at 5,506 feet elevation). While it's very popular for skiing and snowboarding each winter, they have an impressive trail system for hiking and mountain biking in the summer. Summer golf and scenic chairlift rides too. Each fall, follow the yellow brick road at Autumn at Oz.

Harrah's Cherokee Casino

Play a huge variety of games and 3,800+ slots, along with live action tables for Blackjack, Craps, Roulette and more. Find a big variety of great restaurants, hotel, spa, shopping and more. 

Play a huge variety of games and 3,800+ slots, along with live action tables for Blackjack, Craps, Roulette and more. Find a big variety of great restaurants, hotel, spa, shopping and more. 

Linville Caverns

North Carolina's only natural limestone caverns feature stalactite, stalagmite formations, and an underground stream. Guided tours.

North Carolina's only natural limestone caverns feature stalactite, stalagmite formations, and an underground stream. Guided tours.

Madison County

Hike the Appalachian Trail at Max Patch or Lover's Leap, soak in natural hot springs, go horseback riding, raft down whitewater rapids, ski, bike, fish, camp and explore the unspoiled mountains… read more

Hike the Appalachian Trail at Max Patch or Lover's Leap, soak in natural hot springs, go horseback riding, raft down whitewater rapids, ski, bike, fish, camp and explore the unspoiled mountains just north of Asheville.

Batton Clayworks

Learn pottery skills from this husband and wife team in their quaint, professional pottery studio! In a two-hour lesson, guests will make four pieces, including a turn on the wheel. Choose from… read more

Learn pottery skills from this husband and wife team in their quaint, professional pottery studio! In a two-hour lesson, guests will make four pieces, including a turn on the wheel. Choose from eight finishing colors and have your pieces shipped once completed. No experience necessary!

The Learning Center at PARI

This former NASA campus in Pisgah National Forest is now a fascinating space and science center open for camps, events and occasional tours. See exhibit galleries, a gem and meteorite collection,… read more

This former NASA campus in Pisgah National Forest is now a fascinating space and science center open for camps, events and occasional tours. See exhibit galleries, a gem and meteorite collection, hands-on research and star gazing nights. Previously called Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute. 

Marion

Stroll down Marion's Main Street lined with historic buildings, churches and the courthouse. It sits at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains near popular attractions like Mt. Mitchell and Linville… read more

Stroll down Marion's Main Street lined with historic buildings, churches and the courthouse. It sits at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains near popular attractions like Mt. Mitchell and Linville Falls. Don't miss the Livermush & Bigfoot Festivals!

Morganton & Burke County

Stroll through downtown shops and galleries, visit craft breweries, and enjoy great restaurants. Take the Catawba Valley Wine Trail. It's also home to the Waldensian Heritage Museum and movie… read more

Stroll through downtown shops and galleries, visit craft breweries, and enjoy great restaurants. Take the Catawba Valley Wine Trail. It's also home to the Waldensian Heritage Museum and movie locations for The Hunger Games.

Banner Elk

This quaint mountain village at 3,700 feet elevation is located between the Beech Mountain and Sugar Mountain ski areas, near Grandfather Mountain hiking, and has great restaurants, breweries, and… read more

This quaint mountain village at 3,700 feet elevation is located between the Beech Mountain and Sugar Mountain ski areas, near Grandfather Mountain hiking, and has great restaurants, breweries, and shops. Enjoy Wildcat Lake Beach and many events, including the Woolly Worm Festival in October!

Hot Springs

This tiny town of 567 residents is perhaps best known for its hot mineral springs. Located north of Asheville at the junction of the Appalachian Trail (which goes right through downtown) and the… read more

This tiny town of 567 residents is perhaps best known for its hot mineral springs. Located north of Asheville at the junction of the Appalachian Trail (which goes right through downtown) and the French Broad River. Hike from town up to Lover's Leap for a great town view.

Saluda

Since the late 1890s, tourists have flocked to this tiny railroad town of 700 residents. Main Street has many longtime businesses, including fantastic galleries and restaurants. A must stop is the… read more

Since the late 1890s, tourists have flocked to this tiny railroad town of 700 residents. Main Street has many longtime businesses, including fantastic galleries and restaurants. A must stop is the 1899 Pace's "old time" General Store that is part museum. Since 1892 is Thompson's Store and Ward's Grill. Learn about the Saluda Grade at the Depot. Raft and tube on the Green River.

Blue Ridge Parkway Top 50

Drive the Parkway north or south from Asheville and quickly climb the Blue Ridge Mountain ridge to see breathtaking vistas. You can reach elevations of 5,000+ ft. Our mile-by-mile guide of the… read more

Drive the Parkway north or south from Asheville and quickly climb the Blue Ridge Mountain ridge to see breathtaking vistas. You can reach elevations of 5,000+ ft. Our mile-by-mile guide of the Parkway covers the 193-mile section near Asheville. Along the way, plan to stop to visit the Folk Art Center or discover one of the other fun things to do along one of the most scenic drives in the…

Pet-Friendly Guide

Traveling with your dog? See our Pet-Friendly Guide to Asheville and the North Carolina mountains that includes lodging, hiking, Biltmore, kennels, dog parks and more.

Traveling with your dog? See our Pet-Friendly Guide to Asheville and the North Carolina mountains that includes lodging, hiking, Biltmore, kennels, dog parks and more.

DuPont State Forest

Hike, mountain bike or horseback ride a multitude of trails to see many waterfalls and lakes on 10,000 acres. Plus, picnic on mountaintops and swim at Hooker Falls. Visitor center, free admission… read more

Hike, mountain bike or horseback ride a multitude of trails to see many waterfalls and lakes on 10,000 acres. Plus, picnic on mountaintops and swim at Hooker Falls. Visitor center, free admission.

Performing Arts

Enjoy many choices for great theatre, plays, music, dance, and more in Asheville and nearby areas.

Enjoy many choices for great theatre, plays, music, dance, and more in Asheville and nearby areas.

Whitewater Rafting & Kayaking

We are lucky enough to have six rivers near Asheville that are good for rafting and kayaking. Find professional companies that provide rafting guides, so no experience is necessary. You can even… read more

We are lucky enough to have six rivers near Asheville that are good for rafting and kayaking. Find professional companies that provide rafting guides, so no experience is necessary. You can even learn how to kayak in the rapids or paddleboard on a lake.

Mount Mitchell

Drive to the top of the highest peak east of the Mississippi River, located along the Blue Ridge Parkway. This state park has an observation tower, plenty of hiking and a restaurant. Be prepared… read more

Drive to the top of the highest peak east of the Mississippi River, located along the Blue Ridge Parkway. This state park has an observation tower, plenty of hiking and a restaurant. Be prepared for much cooler temperatures at the top. Open year-round (except snowy days in the winter).

Wine & Cocktail Bars

Unwind at one of our favorite downtown Asheville wine bars and great places for cocktails.

Unwind at one of our favorite downtown Asheville wine bars and great places for cocktails.

Hands-On Learning & Children's Museums

Find children's museums and other hands-on learning centers in Asheville and Western NC including STEM-focused, interactive play, science museums, aquariums, and more. 

Find children's museums and other hands-on learning centers in Asheville and Western NC including STEM-focused, interactive play, science museums, aquariums, and more. 

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… read more

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.

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,… read more

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.

Sliding Rock & Swimming Holes

Be a kid again and splash around in a cool mountain swimming hole. Ride down Sliding Rock, swim under a waterfall, sun on a mountain beach or pristine lake, or spend a lazy day tubing down a river… read more

Be a kid again and splash around in a cool mountain swimming hole. Ride down Sliding Rock, swim under a waterfall, sun on a mountain beach or pristine lake, or spend a lazy day tubing down a river.

Top 8 Zip Line Canopy Tours

Fly above the trees and experience the mountains' natural beauty from a bird's perspective. See our favorite zip line canopy courses to enjoy in the Asheville area of the North Carolina Blue Ridge… read more

Fly above the trees and experience the mountains' natural beauty from a bird's perspective. See our favorite zip line canopy courses to enjoy in the Asheville area of the North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains. No experience is needed. Canopy guides provide all instruction and assistance. It's fun for all fitness levels!

Top 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.

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.

Top Beer & Local Craft Brews

Taste your way through Beer City USA at craft breweries and pubs in and near Asheville. Many are located downtown, so you can create your own walking tour. See our top spots for local brews.

Taste your way through Beer City USA at craft breweries and pubs in and near Asheville. Many are located downtown, so you can create your own walking tour. See our top spots for local brews.

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… read more

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!

Top Art Galleries

Visit a gallery to be amazed at a big variety of local art and craft, including glass, paintings, pottery, and every other medium you can imagine. Asheville and the North Carolina mountains are… read more

Visit a gallery to be amazed at a big variety of local art and craft, including glass, paintings, pottery, and every other medium you can imagine. Asheville and the North Carolina mountains are home to hundreds of world-class artists. Here are our favorite galleries to see their creations.

Fly Fishing

Enjoy plenty of fishing spots, whether novice or experienced. Full- and half-day guided trips, tying classes and classes geared toward women. 

Enjoy plenty of fishing spots, whether novice or experienced. Full- and half-day guided trips, tying classes and classes geared toward women. 

River Arts District

Some 185 working artists have set up shop in the River Arts District. Drive a little, walk a little to visit studios and galleries. Find an amazing variety of art and see how the artists create it… read more

Some 185 working artists have set up shop in the River Arts District. Drive a little, walk a little to visit studios and galleries. Find an amazing variety of art and see how the artists create it. It's just a few miles from downtown Asheville and Biltmore Estate.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Top 30 in NC

Explore the most visited national park in the country! See our top places and things to do in the Great Smoky Mountains on the North Carolina side near Asheville. Four entrances to the Park are… read more

Explore the most visited national park in the country! See our top places and things to do in the Great Smoky Mountains on the North Carolina side near Asheville. Four entrances to the Park are within 60 miles of downtown Asheville.

Gem Mining Top Spots

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… read more

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.

Weekend Getaways: Discover Top 40 Coolest Mountain Small Towns Near Asheville

There are lots of options if you want to plan a few fun day trips while you are in Western North Carolina. Explore our favorite cool small towns in the NC mountains near Asheville, each with its… read more

There are lots of options if you want to plan a few fun day trips while you are in Western North Carolina. Explore our favorite cool small towns in the NC mountains near Asheville, each with its own personality, local shops and restaurants, friendly residents, and relaxed atmosphere.

Lake Santeetlah

This gorgeous lake in Graham County is mostly surrounded by the Nantahala National Forest. Swim, boat, camp and fish in the pristine waters, near Robbinsville. 

This gorgeous lake in Graham County is mostly surrounded by the Nantahala National Forest. Swim, boat, camp and fish in the pristine waters, near Robbinsville. 

Top Spas In and Around Asheville

Relax and rejuvenate as you get pampered at a spa. From natural hot springs to world-class destination spas, there are plenty of choices. We have been a destination for wellness for centuries.… read more

Relax and rejuvenate as you get pampered at a spa. From natural hot springs to world-class destination spas, there are plenty of choices. We have been a destination for wellness for centuries. Also, find a mecca for holistic and alternative wellness.  In recent years, Asheville has become a well-known destination for travelers seeking holistic and alternative wellness.

Best 75 Mountain Hikes

There are thousands of miles of hiking trails near Asheville, many of which are in pristine national forests or parks. We picked our favorites and created extensive guides for each with photos and… read more

There are thousands of miles of hiking trails near Asheville, many of which are in pristine national forests or parks. We picked our favorites and created extensive guides for each with photos and details. Find hikes for all skill levels in the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains.

Western North Carolina Nature Center

Kids of all ages will love this 42-acre wildlife park, providing a home for 60+ animals native to this region, including foxes, bears, wolves, bobcats, cougars, river otters. Don’t miss the Red… read more

Kids of all ages will love this 42-acre wildlife park, providing a home for 60+ animals native to this region, including foxes, bears, wolves, bobcats, cougars, river otters. Don’t miss the Red Panda Exhibit! 

18 Scenic Drives

See gorgeous countryside, mountain views and charming communities on a windshield tour via national and state scenic byways near Asheville. Lots of opportunities for stops along the way. 

See gorgeous countryside, mountain views and charming communities on a windshield tour via national and state scenic byways near Asheville. Lots of opportunities for stops along the way. 

Best 40 Museums & Historic Sites

Explore a big variety of very interesting museums and historic places in Asheville and the surrounding mountain small towns, filled with the fascinating history and culture of the Appalachian… read more

Explore a big variety of very interesting museums and historic places in Asheville and the surrounding mountain small towns, filled with the fascinating history and culture of the Appalachian Mountains. Many are free to visit.

Biltmore

Touring America’s Largest Home is easily the number one indoor attraction in Western North Carolina. Experience the beauty of Biltmore House and its century-old gardens where the Vanderbilt family… read more

Touring America’s Largest Home is easily the number one indoor attraction in Western North Carolina. Experience the beauty of Biltmore House and its century-old gardens where the Vanderbilt family once strolled. Come see why George Vanderbilt chose Asheville as the site for his famous estate. Explore Biltmore's 8,000-acre Blue Ridge Mountain backyard, taste award-winning wines, dine, and shop…

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… read more

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.

Find Foodie Favorites

Check out our very diverse and passionate food and drink scene. Be a little adventurous and try something new. Or, enjoy time-honored classics. In downtown, walk to 60+ locally-owned innovative… read more

Check out our very diverse and passionate food and drink scene. Be a little adventurous and try something new. Or, enjoy time-honored classics. In downtown, walk to 60+ locally-owned innovative restaurants, many with outdoor dining. From crafted cocktails to local brews, there's plenty to drink. Forage for food, visit a farm or tour a vineyard.

Hendersonville

The largest downtown in western North Carolina outside of Asheville is filled with historic buildings and updated streetscapes with flowers and art. Find many spots for outdoor dining and a big… read more

The largest downtown in western North Carolina outside of Asheville is filled with historic buildings and updated streetscapes with flowers and art. Find many spots for outdoor dining and a big variety of quality shops and galleries along a six-block stretch of Main Street. Don't miss two street festivals, the Garden Jubilee and the huge NC Apple Festival.

Jackson County Top 30

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. 

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. 

Downtown Asheville

Spend a day exploring downtown, with hundreds of locally-owned shops and galleries, museums, restaurants, breweries, and pubs. Visit Pack Square Park, dance at the Drum Circle, go to a festival or… read more

Spend a day exploring downtown, with hundreds of locally-owned shops and galleries, museums, restaurants, breweries, and pubs. Visit Pack Square Park, dance at the Drum Circle, go to a festival or enjoy street performers. See our favorite things to do!

Top 20 Picnic Spots

Dine outdoors in nature! Plan a picnic at some amazing locations where you can enjoy sweet views.

Dine outdoors in nature! Plan a picnic at some amazing locations where you can enjoy sweet views.

Wineries Near Asheville

Find many fun, friendly wineries for sampling local wines, relaxing and enjoying the beautiful scenery at their vineyards. Many are located near each other - perfect for visiting several in a day… read more

Find many fun, friendly wineries for sampling local wines, relaxing and enjoying the beautiful scenery at their vineyards. Many are located near each other - perfect for visiting several in a day.

Shopping Guide

Shop 'til you drop with a huge variety of stores, galleries and outlets in the Asheville area. Find plenty of local, unique shops with items you won't find anywhere else. See the best areas to hit… read more

Shop 'til you drop with a huge variety of stores, galleries and outlets in the Asheville area. Find plenty of local, unique shops with items you won't find anywhere else. See the best areas to hit.

Cradle of Forestry

Travel back in time with historic cabins, crafters, old logging equipment, guided tours, movies, food and shopping. Home of the first forestry school (opened in 1898) in America. In Pisgah… read more

Travel back in time with historic cabins, crafters, old logging equipment, guided tours, movies, food and shopping. Home of the first forestry school (opened in 1898) in America. In Pisgah National Forest. Open mid-April through October.

Top 75+ Outdoors - Asheville & NC Mountains

Explore our mountains with hikes, waterfalls, rivers, lakes and many thousands of acres of national forest and park land. Get outside in the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains with our 70… read more

Explore our mountains with hikes, waterfalls, rivers, lakes and many thousands of acres of national forest and park land. Get outside in the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains with our 70 favorite things to do.

Live Music & Dancing, Downtown Asheville

Asheville offers a multitude of places to go for live music and dancing any day of the week.

Asheville offers a multitude of places to go for live music and dancing any day of the week.

Chimney Rock Park

See breathtaking 75-mile views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Hickory Nut Gorge, and Lake Lure. The park also features the highest waterfall in an NC State Park and hiking trails. Shopping and… read more

See breathtaking 75-mile views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Hickory Nut Gorge, and Lake Lure. The park also features the highest waterfall in an NC State Park and hiking trails. Shopping and dining located at the park entrance.

River Tubing

Find the best places to tube down a river on a hot summer day, including the French Broad River through Asheville, Deep Creek in the Smoky Mountains and Green River Gorge - with rentals and… read more

Find the best places to tube down a river on a hot summer day, including the French Broad River through Asheville, Deep Creek in the Smoky Mountains and Green River Gorge - with rentals and shuttle services. 

Bryson City, Smoky Mountains

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 … read more

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!

Asheville Festivals & Events

Check our calendar of events for festivals during each season, including art and craft shows, throughout the year, including most weekends. Most of these things to do are free! 

 

A Few of Our Favorite Asheville NC Things to Do

  • Step inside the Grove Arcade—a beautiful historic "mall" in downtown Asheville with high-quality specialty shops and local restaurants. See local art and craft at their outdoor market.

  • Explore the Montford Historic District located just north of downtown. Take a driving or walking tour to see a variety of architectural influences reflecting the cosmopolitan character of Asheville during the turn of the 20th century.

  • Play to win at the Asheville Pinball Museum—a downtown Asheville treasure trove for pinball and classic video games. It’s a great rainy-day activity with over 80 games!

  • Go a little outside city limits to the quaint small town of Black Mountain. Check out 40+ shops, 30 restaurants, and three breweries.

  • Take a leisurely stroll through the Botanical Gardens of Asheville, located just two miles from downtown at the University of North Carolina in Asheville. The garden collections focus on plants native to our Southern Appalachian Mountains, including approximately 600 species in all.

  • Hop in the car for a short drive from downtown Asheville to mile-high Craggy Gardens. Enjoy the crisp air, summer rhododendron, and super scenic trails.

  • Shop the wonderful Southern Highland Craft Guild store with a big variety of creations from hundreds of artists, browse rotating exhibitions in several galleries, and watch an artist at work at the Folk Art Center.

  • Catch a live music show at The Orange Peel—Asheville’s well-known concert venue that brings big-name acts from far and wide!

  • Take a walk through West Asheville to see a much more artistic and creative side of Asheville. Check out our travel guide.

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