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Properly known as the Botanical Gardens at Asheville , the tranquil nature sanctuary is located on the grounds of the University of North Carolina at Asheville, but operates as an independent non-profit. It was established in on abandoned timberland that had been badly eroded. Today there are more than species of native plants found in the garden, which has a gurgling creek running through it as well as some great spots for a picnic.

We saw tons of North Carolina wildflowers and flowering trees during our visit, including trillium, flame azaleas, and Eastern redbuds. It was another one of our favorite free things to do in Asheville NC.

Thomas Wolfe Memorial is the boyhood home of the legendary author. Tom, who lived there for 10 years before enrolling at UNC, adapted colorful stories of his family, friends, and boarders into the fictionalized novel. Located at Blue Ridge Parkway milepost , less than 7 miles from Downtown Asheville, the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center is a great place to learn more about the history of the route.

There are themed exhibits on everything from Blue Ridge flora and fauna to Cherokee history , traditional Appalachian culture, and the construction of the Parkway which lasted from to The Visitor Center features a foot, interactive digital map of the Parkway, as well as an award-winning minute film that offers an excellent overview of the history and nature that make the BRP so special.

It ultimately connects to the Mountains-to-Sea Trail , which stretches 1, miles from the North Carolina mountains to its coast. One of our favorite memories from our latest trip to Asheville was a magnificent picnic we shared while watching the sunset at the Craggy Gardens Visitor Center.

Located at Blue Ridge Parkway milepost Note that it can get quite windy and cold up there, with an elevation of approximately 5, feet.

So this excellent Asheville attraction brought back loads of nostalgic arcade memories. They also offer adult beverages such as beer some from local breweries , as well as snacks and sodas. As we search for a Blue Ridge Mountain town to call home, Weaverville NC would be at the top of our list if real estate prices were not a factor.

Located 8 miles from downtown Asheville, Weaverville population 4, feels far removed from the hustle and bustle of the burgeoning metropolis.

There are lots of fun things to do in Weaverville NC, including an array of downtown parks, great restaurants , historical museums , and cultural attractions. From weekly drum circles in Pritchard Park to decades of killer concerts at the Orange Peel, Asheville is known as one of the hippest music towns in the Blue Ridge region. The Moog Store and Moogseum both offer great opportunities to learn more about this iconic inventor and his enduring influence on the evolution of popular music. The Moog Store is offering small group sessions by appt only that include a brief history of Moog Music, demos of historically significant instruments, and more.

Located on a picturesque acre plot of land in Leicester NC about 17 miles from Downtown Asheville , this fourth-generation family farm started focusing on growing grapes back in They have more than 6 acres of grapes planted now, and plan to gradually expand it 10 acres.

You can also purchase their small-batch wines online. Although there are no apple orchards in Asheville proper, there are quite a few options in Hendersonville NC, which is just 25 miles south of the city. Starting on Labor Day weekend, the farm also features family-friendly activities such as an apple cannon, cow train, and a corn maze you can try to navigate.

Formally known as the Basilica of St. Inside, the basilica features elaborate stained glass windows made in Munich , statues of saints made in Italy , a marble altar from Tennessee , and a wood carving of the Virgin Mary and John the Apostle made in Spain.

Walk-in visits are permitted during the hours posted on their website, and self-guided tours of the basilica are free though donations are always appreciated. Horseback riding is a great way to immerse yourself in natural beauty Asheville has to offer, and the Biltmore Equestrian Center offers private two-hour tours. Theirs are the only Asheville horseback riding tours within the city limits, exploring the trails of the historic property.

Expert guides lead up to four guests at a time through the world-renowned estate, which is surrounded by the Pisgah National Forest. Note that all participants will need a Biltmore day pass or annual pass, or an overnight room at the estate. The area is home to two beautiful lakes Junaluska and Logan , surrounded by some of the tallest mountains in NC, and offers awesome outdoor recreation in the Shining Rock Wilderness. Downtown Waynesville is very walkable, with the best shops in a 5-block area on Main Street.

Christmas at the Biltmore is easily the largest celebration, with a tree-raising event, daytime and candlelit nighttime tours of the festively decorated rooms of the Biltmore House, and holiday happenings in both the Antler Hill and Historic Biltmore Village areas. But the largest privately owned home in America is far from the only Asheville Christmas game in town. We encourage anyone who loves the Blue Ridge region to learn about the Leave No Trace principles of responsible environmental stewardship.

Stay on marked trails, take only pictures, pack out your trash, and be considerate of others who share the trails and parks you explore. Remember that waterfalls and rocky summits can be dangerous. Experience Asheville like a local with our free Asheville Favorites checklist, including restaurants, breweries, and hiking. Plus, get local updates — including events and hidden gems — straight to your inbox.

Sign up here. If you love mountain biking , the Blue Ridge Mountains are your home away from home. We are not expert mountain bikers, by any means, but we do love hitting the trails. Living in Asheville, we have transformed into professional picnickers.

You can either pack a picnic for your hike or enjoy something lighter by a lake. For easy picnics, head to a winery like Stone Ashe Vineyards. Grab our full list of the best Asheville picnic spots. With acres of streams, nature trails, bridges, and spots perfect for picnicking, this lesser-known gem is also a refuge for endangered wildflowers. Pack a blanket and bring a book! This holiday lights display is truly one of the best winter things to do in Asheville.

From November to January 1st, the Arboretum lights up its gardens with innovative creations, wildlife exhibits, and lights that dance to music. Of course, you can see Bonsais, butterflies, and their famous Quilt Garden. You must pay a small parking fee to enter the grounds. Does Winter Lights sound magical? Read more about all of the best spots to catch Christmas lights in Asheville. Are you looking for things to do in Asheville where you can meet the furry Western North Carolina locals in a safe environment instead of on the trails or our front steps…?

The center also houses snakes, turtles, hawks, goats, frogs, and donkeys. Find plenty of exploration stations and themed playground areas for the littles — spider-web jungle gym included. Wide and paved walking paths are extra stroller-friendly. After hours, stroll the grounds with a beer or cider in hand. Enjoy local eats too. Like The North Carolina Arboretum, there is a small entrance fee.

Or, become a member. One of our top weekly things to do in Asheville, we love walking the 2-mile Perimeter Trail around Beaver Lake and dip into the Bird Sanctuary. Beaver Lake is perfect for a stroll after a North Asheville lunch or dinner. Bring a book and some binoculars. The Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary houses a. Birdwatchers can spy hawks, osprey, herons, vultures, kites, sparrows, woodpeckers, ducks, wrens, swallows, warblers, and bluebirds. Although Beaver Lake is privately owned, the area is open to the public and free.

Please consider leaving a donation in the parking lot box, though. One of our top recommended things to do in Asheville is enjoying the three or four waterfalls at DuPont. Triple Falls and Bridal Veil Falls are famous. We suggest parking in the Hooker Falls Access Area. If you still have energy, walk under the covered wooden bridge to Bridal Veil Falls, which adds 4 more miles to your hike. If you need lunch afterward, drive minutes to nearby Hendersonville — another one of our favorite towns.

Asheville sees the most visitors in the fall and around the holidays. The leaves! Growing up in CT, we thought New England was the boss of fall foliage. Who knew that the Western North Carolina mountains had an equally breathtaking fall season? Nothing beats an Asheville autumn. Enjoy fall foliage hikes, corn mazes, apple picking, and catching those purple and pink sunsets.

Our top things to do in Asheville, NC in autumn include visiting the apple orchards for cider donuts and brewery hopping for spiced and pumpkin beers. Pick a pumpkin. Trek the most beautiful fall foliage hikes , and wine taste at the vineyards with the best views.

Asheville in the fall is also a great time to drive down the Blue Ridge Parkway. In need of cooler summer things to do in Asheville, NC? Drive under one hour to Skinny Dip Falls to kiss the magical Dragon Tree on your way to this serene waterfall. Spread out along the falls and take a dip in one of its pools. You can also head over to Sliding Rock and literally slide down a foot natural boulder into the chilly waters.

Sliding Rock has reopened, and Skinny Dip Falls looks a bit different — the bridge washed away and the falls have a new path. Imagine walking along the Riverwalk in the River Arts District and suddenly spying a gaggle of floating and cackling unicorns….

Where can you get your tubing on? French Broad Outfitters and Zen Tubing are just a few. While the best things to do in Asheville, NC — to us — are all outdoors, our next go-to are those breweries. Asheville has no shortage of beer. Below, find the best Asheville things to do that involve all of the booze: wineries, distillers, cideries, wine bars, and rooftop bars. You cannot come to Asheville without trying as much of the local craft beer as possible.

As locals, what are our favorite breweries in AVL? For something different, Bhramari and Funkatorium sours are sure to impress or weird you out. Directly in Asheville, check out pleb urban winery in the River Arts District. Of course, Biltmore has a famous winery, and wine tasing is included with your ticket. If you head out of Asheville, our personal favorite wineries are in Hendersonville , including Sawyer Springs, St.

If you know Christine from The Uncorked Librarian, you also know that we partner with Cultivated Cocktails for some of our literary-inspired drinks. They sell the best cocktail schwag, too. Of course, if you are gluten-free or looking for apple-related drinks, Asheville and Hendersonville have the best cideries and meaderies.

Many ciders are sold at the local breweries and wineries. Urban Orchard and Noble are the most well-known cideries in Asheville. Botanist and Barrel and Bold Rock just opened downtown Asheville taprooms.

Rooftop bar hopping always makes the top of the list for the best things to do in Asheville, NC. The poshest Asheville rooftop bars promise sunsets, small plates with your Southern favorites, and jaw-dropping views. Their delicious craft cocktails are perfect before a fancy dinner out in downtown Asheville. You may wish to take an Asheville Rooftop Bar Tour to see them all with a designated driver.

However, if you are looking for relaxing things to do in Asheville with a bottle or glass of wine, head to:. Wedge Brewing is right next door. Battery Park Book Exchange — This champagne bar used bookstore is iconic. Read more about the best and most hipster Asheville wine bars. We just love the Asheville bar scene , and bar hopping is one of the most fun things to do in Asheville. Have we made you hungry yet? You must need something to eat by now to soak up all of that booze.

And man, all of those waterfalls and hikes sure do make a gal ravenous. One of the best things to do in Asheville is eat. We always openly share that Tom and I Christine have many food intolerances. Asheville is extremely understanding and accommodating for food allergies, intolerances, and preferences. This entire section is all about the food. PennyCup Coffee Co.

Vortex has delicious donuts and coffee. Just look for the double-decker red bus. Newer to Asheville, Rowan Coffee in downtown is simple but delicious.

That historic building is gorgeous inside. Find a park, art museum, music, restaurants, and chocolate shops. The French Broad Chocolate Lounge has everything a chocolate lover desires. Discover desserts, hot cocoa, truffles, bonbons, cakes, custards, cookies, coffee, brownies, booze, and ice cream. Need we say more? French Broad Chocolates serves up lactose-free, gluten-free, and vegan options. We also personally love nearby Asheville Chocolate.

Asheville Chocolate features tea, coffee, and hot chocolate with a variety of hand-crafted chocolates. Plus, find decadent gelato. Vegan and gluten-free options included. At the end of August, the best apple orchards around Asheville start opening. Create your Asheville fall bucket list here. We love grabbing a light dinner with some of my favorite cocktails at Edison. If you are stuffed from lunch, just snack on a charcuterie board with drinks from The Great Hall Bar.

We are not going to lie: waking up in the mountains is rough, especially if there is fog. The darker mornings make it harder to get up and out the door early. Not only do they serve breakfast all day, but they offer lunch and dinner as well as locally source their food.

And, mimosas. Read all of our top breakfast recommendations — touristy and more local — with vegan and gluten-free options, too. One of our weekend brunch favorites includes Jerusalem Garden Cafe in downtown Asheville. Read more about the best Asheville brunch spots.

Hiking and biking trails are also littered throughout, making for easy places to stretch your legs and get some exercise in during this long drive. The Blue Ridge Parkway is busiest in the fall months thanks to the beautiful leaves as they turn orange in the fall.

Mid-summer is also a good time to try visiting if you want a less crowded but still enriching experience. Even better, mid-summer is when a lot of blooming flowers can be seen dotting the parkway, such as azaleas, rhododendrons, and laurels. A trip to the River Arts District is a must-do for artists and art enthusiasts.

True to the free-spirited nature of Asheville, the River Arts District is made up of 22 buildings of historical or previous industrial purpose. A cotton mill, a tannery, and all sorts of other fascinating spaces by the French Broad River fill the district with an old-fashioned atmosphere, offset by the modernity of the art found. Walking through the River Arts District will let you feast your eyes on works created by over different artists, ranging from paintings to ceramics and from photography to textiles.

Even hand-crafted jewelry and more lovely souvenirs can be found here, and you might get to meet some of the artists behind them! Local artists enjoy talking about their work but take note of studio operating hours if you want to meet them. Studio Strolls is an exciting event where a free trolley service takes guests across multiple different studios, all open for the special occasion!

Looking for one of the best places to go on vacation? No trip to Asheville is complete without a stop at Biltmore Estate. It is cited as the biggest privately owned house not just in North Carolina, but in all of the country. The home eventually expanded its uses, with a winery being built in the s and hotels being set up in the s.

Finished in , it boasts an opulent French Renaissance design and a whopping rooms, including 35 bedrooms and 43 bathrooms. Many secret passages hidden behind trick doors are scattered about the home, some of which are available to tour.

Meanwhile, the outside consists of 8, acres of garden, with 2. Each season hosts different events, ranging from regal Christmas displays to beautiful spring blooms. Essentially, the Folk Art Center is an eclectic exhibit of all sorts of arts and crafts made locally, not just from Asheville but across the Appalachian region. It was created during the Great Depression in in order to help create a market for artists and their work across the area — though it does have roots all the way back to the s.

The goal of the Folk Art Center is to promote handmade works that combine traditional and contemporary elements, some dating all the way back to the 19tch century.

Three galleries showcase all sorts of handicrafts, ranging from sculptures to woodworking, from paintings to glass, and from quilts to jewelry. There are also demonstrations of crafts that have almost been forgotten since they were brought down from mountain tribes, such as broom-making, cabinetry, and weaving. The facility covers 42 acres and is dedicated to an educational mission: to teach the public about the habitats, diversity, and variation of the everyday life of mammals in Asheville and beyond.

The indoor exhibits of the nature center include small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and the very interesting World Underground exhibit that discusses what exists beneath the ground.

The outdoor exhibits, on the other hand, are dedicated to local species, like foxes, turtles, raccoons, otter, and even endangered farm animals. Events are hosted every now and then throughout the year, and a hiking trail spans the grounds of the center so you can take a nice hike and enjoy the natural atmosphere.

Wolfe spoke of the home unflatteringly: a cheaply-made house, as he called it, with dirt yellow paint and a broken-down look. The Thomas Wolfe Memorial, housed in that former boarding house, is amazing for fans of the novel because of the accuracy with which he described each room.

The Grove Arcade was one of the first indoor shopping malls in all of the country, which makes it a unique mix of historical and fun on this list of places to go in the city of Asheville. The Gray Line Trolley is an amazing way to see all the tourist attractions and activities that the city has to offer. Grovewood Gallery is housed in a building that was once the woodworking and weaving factory for Biltmore Industries — a name you likely remember from another one of the places to visit in the city of Asheville, Biltmore Estate.

Now, Grovewood Gallery is home to crafts of all kinds from contemporary artists, both local to North Carolina and from all across the country. More than creators have their work on display here, and there are sculpture gardens outside that promote a peaceful and calming environment. Visting other areas of North Carolina? This group of drummers gathers every week without fail — except in the winter — in Pritchard Park. While there, together, they perform an impressive set of impromptu jams that fill the park and the areas near it with joyful music.

They bring dunduns, djembes, congas, shekeres, and other percussion instruments to create catchy beats and flowing rhythms. Usually, a crowd of interested audience members and excited dancers will slowly gather to join in on the fun and entertainment.

The Pritchard Park Drum Circle is said to congregate in order to keep Asheville, North Carolina weird, which is quite a lovely thought. The tradition began with just 10 drummers in and has since grown to showcase cultural diversity, teach classes, and entertain the public. The Asheville Museum Of Science is a small and humble but very fun location. The most loved parts of this museum are very varied, providing lots of different experiences in one.

Termed as one of the most beautiful places in the USA , the Botanical Gardens at Asheville are a delightful mix of habitats for different species of flora. Horticultural displays range from trees to flowers, including many local varieties of plants for a more personal and tailor experience.

Address: W T. Waterfall-lovers will enjoy the Pisgah Ranger District, experienced hikers may love the Grandfather Ranger District, and horseback riders will enjoy the Appalachian District, which is further out and away from the city. In your exploration of this natural Asheville location, you can go on guided hikes or participate in programs that change seasonally. Day-use areas are scattered throughout the forest, with amenities and options to keep the whole family busy.


25 Best Things To Do In Asheville, NC (And Nearby!) You Must Do – Southern Trippers

There is an observation deck that is easily accessed that has great views of the peak. The Asheville Art Museum is a wonderful representation of art in the Southern Appalachian region that continues to strive for better representation in the art scene. One of our personal favorite things to do in Asheville involves visiting The Thomas Wolfe Memorial and taking a house tour. Note that all participants will need a Biltmore day pass or annual pass, or an overnight room at the estate. Historians and architects believe it may be the only freestanding elliptical dome in the United States. For those looking for one of the more unique things to do in Asheville, consider the Asheville Pinball Museum. Great location with food and beverage on site


50 Things to Do in Asheville, N.C. | Asheville, NC’s Official Travel Site

Termed as one of the most beautiful places in the USA , the Botanical Gardens at Asheville are a delightful mix of habitats for different species of flora. The design of the spa is pretty impeccable and fun, with a 6,star ceiling made with fiber optics, music that plays underground, and two waterfalls. We usually write our lists a little biased: The things we love to do in Asheville involve hiking and drinking.


– Coolest places in asheville nc – coolest places in asheville nc

The Silver River Center For Chair Caning is the only place in all of North America that is a museum and learning center for the dying art of chair caning.

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