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The 15 Best Things To Do In Asheville, NC


Asheville, North Carolina is a popular tourist destination with plenty of attractions and activities to offer. From outdoor adventures to cultural experiences, there are so many best things to do in Asheville that cater to different interests and ages. Whether you're a nature lover, history buff, or foodie, Asheville has something for you.

In this article, we'll explore the 15 best things to do in Asheville, including popular attractions like the Biltmore Estate and the Blue Ridge Mountains, as well as hidden gems like the Asheville Pinball Museum and the Western North Carolina Nature Center.

BEST Things To Do In Asheville, NC

Visit The Biltmore Estate

The Biltmore Estate is a must-see attraction in Asheville. It is America's largest private residence, which covers more than 8,000 acres of land. The Biltmore House is an architectural marvel, and it boasts 250 rooms with priceless art pieces and antiques.

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There are various tour options, including the Behind-the-Scenes Guided Tour, Rooftop Tour, and Legacy of the Land Tour. Visitors can also enjoy the beautiful gardens, winery, and the Biltmore Farm.

Explore The Asheville Urban Trail

The Asheville Urban Trail is a 1.7-mile self-guided tour through the downtown area, which highlights the city's rich history and culture.

The trail consists of 30 stations that showcase Asheville's art, architecture, and landmarks. Visitors can pick up a free brochure at the Asheville Visitor Center to guide them through the trail.

Hike In The Blue Ridge Mountains

Asheville is surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains, which offers some of the best hiking trails in the country. The Blue Ridge Parkway, which is just outside Asheville, is a scenic drive that offers breathtaking views of the mountains.

There are several hiking trails to choose from, including the Mount Mitchell Trail, which is the highest peak east of the Mississippi River.

Tour The River Arts District

The River Arts District is an area along the French Broad River that features over 200 artists' studios and galleries.

Visitors can take a self-guided tour or participate in guided tours to see the artists at work and purchase their unique creations. There are also several restaurants and cafes in the area.

Stroll Through The North Carolina Arboretum

The North Carolina Arboretum is a 434-acre public garden that features over 65 acres of cultivated gardens and 10 miles of hiking and biking trails.

Visitors can explore various gardens, including the Bonsai Exhibition Garden and the Quilt Garden. The Arboretum also offers educational programs and events throughout the year.

Visit The Asheville Pinball Museum

The Asheville Pinball Museum is a unique museum that showcases over 80 classic pinball machines and arcade games. This museum is a perfect spot for vintage game enthusiasts and families looking for a fun afternoon.

Visitors can play all the machines by paying an admission fee, and the museum is located in downtown Asheville, making it easily accessible for everyone. The museum also offers parties, events, and tournaments for pinball enthusiasts.

Discover The Folk Art Center

The Folk Art Center is a museum and gallery that showcases traditional and contemporary craft by artists from Southern Appalachia.

The center is run by the Southern Highland Craft Guild, and visitors can explore the permanent exhibits and rotating shows that feature everything from pottery and weaving to jewelry and furniture.

The Folk Art Center also hosts workshops and demonstrations, making it an educational and entertaining experience.

Walk Around The Historic Grove Arcade

The Grove Arcade is a historic building in the heart of downtown Asheville that was built in the 1920s. The building was originally designed as a shopping arcade and is now home to a variety of shops, restaurants, and offices.

Visitors can stroll through the arcade, which features beautiful architecture, sculptures, and a unique atmosphere. The Grove Arcade also hosts events, including live music, art shows, and pop-up shops.

Try Some Local Beer At The Asheville Brewery Scene

Asheville is famous for its craft beer scene, with over 30 breweries in the area. Visitors can take a tour of the breweries and enjoy tastings at each stop. The breweries range from small, family-owned businesses to larger, well-known brands.

Some of the popular breweries in the area include Sierra Nevada, Highland Brewing Company, and New Belgium Brewing Company. Many of the breweries also have restaurants, so visitors can enjoy a meal alongside their beer.

Visit The Thomas Wolfe Memorial

The Thomas Wolfe Memorial is a historic site that pays tribute to the famous author who was born in Asheville. Visitors can tour the historic home, which has been preserved to look as it did in the early 20th century.

The museum also features exhibits about Wolfe's life and work, as well as artifacts from his childhood. The Thomas Wolfe Memorial is a must-see for literature lovers and anyone interested in Asheville's history.

Explore The Western North Carolina Nature Center

The Western North Carolina Nature Center is located just a few minutes from downtown Asheville and is home to over 60 different species of animals. The center is open year-round and offers visitors the chance to learn about and observe animals in their natural habitats.

Visitors can see black bears, red wolves, and river otters, as well as a variety of birds and reptiles. The nature center also features interactive exhibits that provide a hands-on learning experience for visitors of all ages.

Take A Trip To Chimney Rock State Park

Located just 25 miles southeast of Asheville, Chimney Rock State Park is a must-see destination for anyone visiting the area. The park is home to a 315-foot granite monolith that offers stunning views of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains.

Visitors can hike to the top of Chimney Rock or take an elevator to the top for a bird's eye view of the park. In addition to the rock formation, the park features hiking trails, waterfalls, and picnic areas, making it the perfect spot for a family outing or a romantic day trip.

Discover The Smith-McDowell House Museum

Built in 1840, the Smith-McDowell House is the oldest surviving house in Asheville and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The house has been restored and is now a museum that offers visitors a glimpse into life in the 19th century.

Visitors can explore the house and its surrounding gardens and learn about the history of Asheville and its early settlers. The museum also features rotating exhibits that showcase the work of local artists and craftsmen.

Go On A Ghost Tour With Haunted Asheville

If you're looking for a spooky adventure, consider taking a ghost tour with Haunted Asheville. The tour takes visitors to some of the most haunted locations in Asheville, including the Basilica of St. Lawrence, where visitors can hear the ghostly choir that is said to haunt the church.

The tour also includes stops at the Battery Park Hotel, the Asheville Masonic Temple, and the Riverside Cemetery, where visitors can learn about the history and legends of these spooky sites.

Shop At The Asheville City Market

The Asheville City Market is a weekly farmers' market that takes place on Saturdays from April through December. The market features over 70 vendors who sell locally grown produce, artisanal cheeses, baked goods, and crafts.

Visitors can also enjoy live music and food trucks, making it the perfect place to spend a Saturday morning in Asheville.

People Also Ask

What Are Some Free Things To Do In Asheville?

Asheville has plenty of free things to do, including hiking in the mountains, visiting public art installations like the Urban Trail, exploring the River Arts District, and visiting local farmers markets.

What Is The Best Time To Visit Asheville?

The best time to visit Asheville is during the fall season from September to November when the foliage turns vibrant colors, and the weather is cooler. Spring is also an excellent time to visit when the city's gardens and parks are in full bloom.

What Are Some Must-visit Attractions In Asheville?

Some must-visit attractions in Asheville include the Biltmore Estate, the Asheville Art Museum, the North Carolina Arboretum, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Folk Art Center.

What Is Asheville Known For?

Asheville is known for its vibrant arts and culture scene, breathtaking mountain views, craft breweries, and farm-to-table food culture. It's also home to the famous Biltmore Estate, the largest privately-owned home in the United States.

Are There Any Outdoor Activities To Do In Asheville?

Yes, Asheville is surrounded by beautiful mountains, making it an ideal destination for outdoor activities like hiking, biking, fishing, kayaking, and ziplining. The city also has several parks and gardens where visitors can enjoy a picnic or take a stroll.

Final Thoughts

Asheville is a city with a plethora of activities and attractions for everyone. From the Blue Ridge Mountains to the vibrant downtown area, there is no shortage of things to do in Asheville.

Whether you're an outdoor enthusiast, an art lover, a foodie, or a history buff, you'll find best things to do in Asheville.

With so many options, it's no wonder Asheville has become a popular tourist destination. So pack your bags and get ready to experience the best of Asheville.

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