Looking for things to do in Asheville NC when you visit? This is post #2 of my 3-part Asheville Series on Where to Eat In Asheville, What to Do in Asheville, and Where to Stay in Asheville.
Asheville may not be very big, but there are plenty of fun things to do here.
Whether you enjoy tromping through the woods, or sitting on a stool sampling flights of beer, or both, we’ve got you covered.
Today I’m sharing my list of favorite things to do in Asheville NC, from a local’s view point. For even more travel ideas, visit ExploreAsheville.com the official Asheville tourism site!
If I were visiting Asheville, North Carolina here’s what I would do…
Eat & Drink
Explore the amazing local food scene. For a full list of my #AVL restaurant recommendations link here.
Take a Culinary Tour through Foodtopia. With a plethora of dining opportunities and foodie adventure, Asheville is the perfect place to let your tastebuds be your tour guide! Check out this Taste of the Blue Ridge Package or Wild Wood Foraging Adventure.
Go on a Brewery Tour. Asheville is known for killer brews, and the best way to sample them all is to go on a guided beer hop!
Visit the Farmers Markets. Asheville has some fabulous farmers with with fresh produce and locally made goodies that will flip your lid.
Soak at the Spa
The Grove Park Inn Spa has been listed on multiple Top 10 and Top 20 lists as one of the very best spas in the US. It’s a little pricey, but will most certainly leave a lasting impression… I can’t wait to go back!
Spa Theology – A great spa downtown Asheville, conveniently located close to several popular hotels.
Sensibilities – Another wonderful spa downtown, with great unique body treatments for major relaxation.
Shoji – Right off the Blue Ridge Parkway, this Japanese-style spa offers outdoor geothermal pools to relax in before your massage.
Shopping in Asheville is a surprising adventure! Whether you are looking for a hand-made keepsake or a wacky wig, you can find it here.
Downtown Asheville – Find dozens of boutiques, custom jewelry stores, artisan galleries, old fashioned general stores, and quirky odds-and-ends shops.
Biltmore Village – Just across from the Biltmore Estate, this old neighborhood-turned-shopping-center is a great place to shop for clothing, jewelry, and art.
Biltmore Park Town Square – South of Asheville, this new shopping area boasts a large REI, Movie Theater, and tons of boutiques.
Apple Picking – South of Asheville, Henderson Country has more apple orchards than any other county in the US. Which means, you can pick to your heart’s delight. Do not miss the fresh apple bread and apple cider donuts at the farm stands!
Berry Picking – If you visit us in the spring and summer, you may not find an apple ripe for picking, but you could pick a bucket full of berries… and BOY are they good.
Antique Picking – Asheville is known as Antiquers Heaven! You can stroll down the aisles in a multitude of antiques shops and never see the same thing twice.
Explore The Local Culture
Friday Night Drum Circle – As long as the weather is nice, a strange phenomenon occurs each Friday night, downtown in Pritchard Park. Percussionists from all over the area show up the play their tantric beats for hours on end. This not only draws a crowd of observers, it draws dancers and hula-hoopers as well. The Drum Circle is a fun way to experience a little taste of Ashveille culture, and get your groove on at the same time.
Downtown Art Walk – On the first Friday of the Month, April-December, the art galleries downtown Asheville stay open late for you to explore. This is a great after dinner activity for couples. Who knows, you may even find a piece of art you just have to take home!
Live Music – Not only will you find musicians on the street corners of downtown Asheville all through the warm months, we’ve got some pretty great little music venues as well. Check out upcoming concerts at The Orange Peel and The Grey Eagle. We’ve seen some pretty big bands in these itty bitty concert halls.
River Arts District – Love art galleries and urban renewal? This is the place for you. Explore this bustling area where all the local artist like to hang. (There are some pretty great restaurants and breweries in the arts district as well.)
Take a Tour
The Biltmore Estate – It’s a crying shame to come to Asheville and not see the Biltmore Estate. I highly recommend it. This turn of the century estate was built as a vacation home by the Vanderbilt family and is now our nation’s largest house museum. It is stunning, shocking, and worth a day of your trip.
History Tours – I recommend the Historic Trolley Tour for the mild-mannered or history buffs… and La Zoom Tours for those who like to get a little crazy on a big purple bus. Your choice, no judgement.
Asheville Urban Trail – A walking tour of Asheville highlighting architecture, famous people and local history.
Ghost Tours – Ghost tour lovers, you know who you are. We’ve got some freaky ghosts here in the mountains that will scare your pants right off!
Discover Your Wild Side
If you are willing to leave the comforts of downtown and drive a few miles into the mountains, another level of adventure awaits!
Sliding Rock – South of Asheville in Brevard, this natural water slide is big fun for the whole family.
Rock Climbing – Practice climbing at the rock gym downtown, then go on a guided rock climbing tour in the Blue Ridge. Exhilarating fun!
Skiing/Snow Boarding – We may not have 14-ers in the Blue Ridge, but we’ve still got some great places for family skiing adventures.
Zip Lining – Fly through the trees with the greatest of ease, and get a major adrenalin rush at the same time. Great for family’s with older kids.
White Water Rafting – Riding the rapids down the Nantahala or Nolichucky River is not for the faint of heart. If you prefer a calmer river adventure check into float trips in the Asheville area.
Become One with Nature
The Blue Ridge Parkway – This majestic highway runs through Asheville and weaves across miles of mountain tops in either direction. Cruise along and take in the scenery, or stop and hike the countless mountain trails.
Pisgah National Forest – Home of the Cradle of Forestry, marvelous hiking trails and camp sites, and some very famous waterfalls. (As seen in movies!)
Chimney Rock – A natural monument overlooking picturesque Lake Lure. Climb the steps, if you dare! Another site for famous movie scenes.
Mt Mitchell – The highest point east of the Mississippi. Breathtaking and great for light hiking.
Linville Falls and Linville Caverns – Two must-sees within a few minutes of each other. These stunning waterfalls are only outdone by North Carolina’s only show cave, Linville Caverns. You can easily visit both in the same day.
Hiking Trails – There are SO many incredible hiking trails in the area, it’s hard to tell you where to start. Some of our favorites include: Graveyard Fields, Skinny Dip Falls Trail, and Craggy Gardens (all on the Blue Ridge Parkway) and Looking Glass Rock Hike in Pisgah National Forest.
Ready to come visit?
Well I’ve got an amazing Asheville Getaway Giveaway going on right now, including accommodations, dining, and all sorts of fun activities, worth $700.