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41 Fun Things to do in Asheville, NC & Best Places To Visit

Asheville is a city in North Carolina, the mountain city is nestled in the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains, which are a segment of the historic Appalachian Mountains.

Rolling mountains, breathtaking sceneries, hiking trails, and picnic sites are just some of the things that make the city a popular vacation destination.

But what really makes Asheville famous is its historical figures like Thomas Wolfe, the famous American novelist, and George Vanderbilt, who built Biltmore Estate, the largest private mansion in the United States.

The region’s history is told through the historical sites and museums spread throughout the city, and as you will find out, this famous city is nothing without its history.

Asheville is also a major hub for the arts, and attractions like the River Arts District will show you just how vibrant the art scene is.

It was in this city that the now-defunct Black Mountain College was founded; a college that championed art-making as a vital component of education.

With this in mind, here is a comprehensive list of 41 things to do in Asheville, NC that will make your vacation worthwhile. 

The city will surprise you in a good way and make your vacation experience worth remembering for years to come.

Things to do in Asheville, NC:

1. Biltmore

RozenskiP | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.7

Entry tickets: $76 per person, Free for kids under 6

Address: 1 Lodge St, Asheville, NC 28803

  • It was built between 1889 and 1895
  • It is America’s largest privately-owned mansion

Owned by the Vanderbilt family, Biltmore is a Châteauesque-style mansion that was built by George Washington Vanderbilt II, an art collector.

Today, the grandiose mansion stands as a historic attraction site that visitors can explore or stay in.

It is set on lush green well-manicured gardens and has a rooftop that offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape that consists of tall trees and rolling hills.

Visitors can either take a self-guided or guided tour of the mansion and its gardens to learn its interesting history and see its historical decor.

At the estate’s Antler Hill Village, you will be treated to an assortment of fine wine as you soak up what a luxury estate life feels like.

If you like, you can stay overnight for a wholesome estate life experience.

  • It is 18 minutes from Asheville Regional Airport 

2. The North Carolina Arboretum

Patterned Quilt Garden in Asheville North Carolina @Jill Lang | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.8

Entry tickets: Free entry 

Parking Fee: $10 for personal vehicles

Address: 100 Frederick Law Olmsted Way, Asheville, NC 28806

  • It is spread across 434 acres of land
  • It was established in 1986

Nestled in the scenic Pisgah National Forest, the North Carolina Arboretum is a family-friendly attraction dotted with nature trails, lovely gardens, water ponds, and picnic areas.

It is part of the Appalachian Mountains and offers grounds for you to connect with nature and get lost in the beauty of the surrounding landscape.

If you love hiking, you will have over 10 miles of trails to explore.

The trails are suitable for both expert hikers and moderate hikers.

Plan to spend your day at the North Carolina Arboretum on a picnic exploring its breathtaking Bonsai Garden, nature exhibits, an EcoLab, and its plant collection area.

You are allowed to bring food and drinks from outside, but be sure to make use of the provided waste bins.

  • It is 10 minutes from Asheville Regional Airport

3. New Belgium Brewing Company

Rating: 4.7

Entry tickets: Free entry 

Address: 21 Craven St, Asheville, NC 28806

  • An award-winning craft beer company
  • It was opened in 2016

Famous for its award-winning craft beer, the New Belgium Brewing Company opened its Asheville branch in 2016 and since then, it has been the brewer of choice for most locals and visitors.

Before Covid, the facility was open for tours to give visitors a peek into what happens behind the scenes.

Visitors would learn how craft beer is made and get an opportunity to taste their best-selling beers.

Currently, tours are on pause, but you can still visit to enjoy the best of Asheville’s hand-crafted beer which you can enjoy in the indoor space or on their beautiful lawn.

New Belgium Brewing Company is child-friendly as long as the kids are in a responsible adult’s company at all times.

Leashed dogs are welcome too!

  • It is 15 minutes from Asheville Regional Airport

4. Asheville Pinball Museum

@Stacy Jones | Facebook

Rating: 4.8

Entry tickets: Adults: $15, Children (10 and below): $12 

Address: 1 Battle Square Ste 1b, Asheville, NC 28801

  • It is located in downtown Asheville
  • A family-friendly attraction

Open from Wednesdays to Mondays, Asheville Pinball Museum offers an opportunity for you and your family to have a good time.

It has 35 pinball machines available for you and once you pay your admission fee, you are free to play for as long as you like as you enjoy a soda, beer, or snack.

There is a wide range of arcade games to choose from that serve visitors of all ages.

The Asheville Pinball Museum is well designed to create an ambiance that’s suitable for the games.

Come ready to have a fantastic time.

Our only warning, you will enjoy the games too much that you will lose track of time!

  • It is 16 minutes from Asheville Regional Airport

5. Craggy Gardens

Blue Ridge Parkway Scenic Mountains Overlook Summer Landscape Asheville NC at Craggy Gardens in WNC @Dave Allen Photography | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.7

Entry tickets: Free entry 

Address: 364 Blue Ridge Pkwy, Black Mountain, NC 28711

  • It is located on the Blue Ridge Parkway
  • A popular spot to watch sunrise and sunset

Along the Blue Ridge Parkway corridor is the breathtaking Craggy Gardens, a natural floral park with spectacular views.

In June, the gardens come to life with colorful flowers of different types, from violets to Turk’s cap lilies.

It is quite a gorgeous sight to behold!

To get to the Craggy picnic area you will hike for about 25 minutes along the Craggy Pinnacle Trail in the beautiful dense forest.

The hike is moderate and suitable for beginners.

You will be greeted by a beautiful view of the Blue Ridge Parkway which is dotted with mountain vegetation, rolling hills, and valleys.

Set out your picnic blanket and wait for the most breathtaking sunset you have ever witnessed.

It is all worth it.

  • It is 1 hour 7 minutes from Asheville Regional Airport

6. Basilica of Saint Lawrence

Rating: 4.7

Entry tickets: Free entry 

Address: 97 Haywood St, Asheville, NC 28801

  • It was opened in 1905
  • It is located in downtown Asheville

If you love history or are fascinated by historic architecture, the Basilica of Saint Lawrence should not miss your list of things to do in Asheville.

It is an architectural wonder that is one of the city’s treasures!

It was designed by renowned architect, Rafael Guastavino, in a Spanish baroque architecture style, which contributes to its reason for being one of the major attraction sites in Asheville.

You can take a self-guided tour to soak up its majestic grandeur prevalent on both its interior and exterior.

If you are spiritual, the Basilica of Saint Lawrence is an ideal place to pray or meditate.

Its welcoming and warm ambiance will make you feel right at home.

  • It is 16 minutes from Asheville Regional Airport

7. Botanical Gardens at Asheville

@en.wikipedia.org

Rating: 4.4

Entry tickets: Free entry 

Address: 151 W T. Weaver Boulevard, Asheville, NC 28804

  • It is located in the Southern Appalachian Mountains
  • It is spread across 10 acres of land

For a more relaxed tour experience, you should consider checking out the Botanical Gardens at Asheville.

The gardens are dedicated to the study of plants and their natural habitats.

This means that the gardens do not follow a specific or tailored structure like your usual botanical gardens.

They are just allowed to thrive as naturally as possible with minimal to no human interference.

You will feel as if you are exploring a natural forest, the only difference is that you will be educated about how the plants of the Southern Appalachians interact with their surroundings.

The Botanical Gardens at Asheville also offer designated picnic grounds where you can enjoy a serene picnic after your tour.

  • It is 18 minutes from Asheville Regional Airport

8. Lexington Glassworks

Reminiscent of a watercolor painting, these sleek vessels appear to be airy and soft. ⁠@lexingtonglass

Rating: 4.8

Entry tickets: Free entry 

Address: 81 S Lexington Ave, Asheville, NC 28801

  • It is located in downtown Asheville
  • A glassblowing studio and gallery

If you have never experienced a glassblowing session in your life, you have no idea what you are missing out on!

You should make Lexington Glassworks your first stop when you visit Asheville.

Owned and run by two friends, Geoff and Billy, the glassblowing studio offers visitors a unique experience where you are served craft beer to enjoy as you watch the pleasurable art of making hand-blown glassware.

What’s more, you will have the opportunity to purchase whatever you witnessed being made and/or any other piece from their beautiful collection of glassware.

Lexington Glassworks is the premier glassblowing studio in the city and stands out as one of the coolest things to do in Asheville.

  • It is 18 minutes from Asheville Regional Airport

9. The Folk Art Center (Southern Highland Craft Guild)

EWY Media | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.7

Entry tickets: Free entry 

Address: 382 Blue Ridge Pkwy, Asheville, NC 28805

  • It is home to the world’s largest collection of Appalachian craft
  • It was established in 1930

The Southern Highland Craft Guild represents and showcases artworks by over 900 craftspeople at the Folk Art Center.

It features contemporary and traditional Southern Appalachian craft that includes prints, glass, wood, pottery, jewelry, metal, textiles, and more.

The Folk Art Center is also home to the oldest craft shop in the US, the Allanstand Craft Shop, which was opened in 1895.

It is a great place to explore the region’s artistry and marvel at the creativity of the artisans whose works are featured.

Some of the artisans are present to interact with visitors and tell them more about their works.

The center is conveniently located on the Blue Ridge Parkway thus creating a natural and beautiful atmosphere.

  • It is 22 minutes from Asheville Regional Airport

10. Western North Carolina Nature Center

@Rebecca Warren | Facebook

Rating: 4.6

Entry tickets: $10.95 – Adults, $9.95 – Seniors (65+), $6.95 – Youths (3-15)

Address: 75 Gashes Creek Rd, Asheville, NC 28805

  • It was opened in 1973
  • It is open all year round

Spread across 42 acres of land, the Western North Carolina Nature Center is dedicated to teaching people about the plants and animals of the Southern Appalachian region, and encouraging them to take part in wildlife and environmental conservation efforts.

If you are in Asheville with your children, the center would be a great place to take them if you want them to learn about conservation from an early age.

It has 60 animal species and hundreds of plant species, featured in its interactive exhibits, like the Appalachian station for amphibians, small mammals, and reptiles, and the Otter Falls which houses otters and aquatic turtles.

There are picnic tables where you can hang out to take a break from the tour and enjoy a drink or snack from the on-site vending machine.

  • It is 21 minutes from Asheville Regional Airport

11. Grovewood Village

A hand operated freight wagon, originally part of the Biltmore industries. Bob Pool | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.7

Entry tickets: Free entry

Address: 111 Grovewood Rd, Asheville, NC 28804

  • It is adjacent to the Omni Grove Park Inn
  • A favorite attraction for lovers of art and history

Located 10 minutes north of downtown Asheville, Grovewood Village is set on 11 acres of land dotted with lush natural forest vegetation.

It is an attraction that takes visitors back in time through art and historical memorabilia.

The historical attraction, which was originally known as Biltmore Industries Inc., is home to museums, an art studio, an art gallery, and a restaurant.

The Antique Car Museum showcases a wide range of vintage automobiles that are still functional to date.

The Gallery of the Mountains showcases amazing artwork by local artists.

The Biltmore Industries Homespun Museum will tell you all about the history of Biltmore Industries Inc. and the role it played in the growth of arts and crafts in the United States.

And once you are done exploring, you can enjoy a delicious meal at the patio of the Golden Fleece Restaurant as you soak up the natural ambiance.

  • It is 24 minutes from Asheville Regional Airport

12. Thomas Wolfe Memorial

Nolichuckyjake | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.5

Entry tickets: Adults: $5, Children: $2

Address: 52 N Market St, Asheville, NC 28801

  • It was the home of novelist Thomas Wolfe
  • It is located in downtown Asheville

Also known as the Thomas Wolfe House, the Thomas Wolfe Memorial is a National Historic Landmark that was featured by Wolfe in his famous first novel, Look Homeward, Angel.

The house was bought by his mother, Julia Wolfe, for her family.

When Wolfe wrote his first novel, he incorporated his experience living in the house with his family as well as the lives of his friends and other people who lived or visited the home.

In his novel, he named the house Dixieland.

Thomas Wolfe died in 1938 from tuberculosis and in 1945, the house was designated a historic site in his honor.

In 1998, the Thomas Wolfe Memorial house was destroyed in a fire, however, it was restored and reopened in 2003.

It is one of the most visited attractions in Asheville owing to its historical and literary significance.

  • It is 17 minutes from Asheville Regional Airport

13. Gray Line Trolley Tours of Asheville

Nolichuckyjake | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.7

Entry tickets: $33 per person

Address: 36 Montford Ave, Asheville, NC 28801

  • It offers guided tours of Asheville
  • An award-winning tour company

If for some reason you cannot take a walking tour of Asheville, this is where Gray Line Trolley Tours of Asheville comes to your aide.

The tour company prides itself in providing locals and visitors the best sightseeing tours of the city.

The company has been in operation since 2007, an assurance that they know Asheville, even its most hidden gems, better than anyone else.

What’s more, Gray Line Trolley Tours of Asheville works with knowledgeable guides who will answer all your questions about any of the attractions you will visit.

Tours are conducted in their beautiful and spacious trolley cars that drive around the city stopping at major attractions.

  • It is 17 minutes from Asheville Regional Airport

14. Pritchard Park

permanent checker/chess table in Pritchard Park in downtown Asheville. Gingo Scott | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.1

Entry tickets: $33 per person

Address: 67 Patton Ave, Asheville, NC 28801

  • It is a small city-center park
  • It is located in downtown Asheville

If you want to enjoy the beautiful outdoors but don’t want to leave the city, Pritchard Park is your answer.

The little park is located in the heart of downtown Asheville and offers visitors an outdoor space to breathe some fresh air and marvel at the city’s vibrant ambiance.

Pritchard Park is lined up with tall trees and lovely landscaping.

You can either sit on the benches or at its amphitheater-style seating area.

Pritchard Park’s biggest draw is the Drum Circle, a live drumming and dancing event, that takes place in the park every Friday night of April to October.

The event attracts people of all ages, and what’s more, anyone can participate!

The park might be small, but it might also be one of the coolest things to do in Asheville.

  • It is 17 minutes from Asheville Regional Airport

15. Mount Mitchell State Park

Winding pathway through mountains. Margaret.Wiktor | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.8

Entry tickets: Free entry

Address: 2388 NC-128, Burnsville, NC 28714

  • It was established in 1915
  • It was North Carolina’s first state park

They say the best things in life are free and in the case of Mount Mitchell State Park, this statement couldn’t be any truer.

It is one of the most beautiful attractions in Asheville.

Located about 35 miles away from downtown Asheville, the park is home to the summit of Mount Mitchell which stands at 6,684 feet above sea level.

If you are feeling energetic or you just enjoy hiking, you can walk to the summit which will take you about 4 and a half hours.

However, if hiking is not your struggle to embrace, you can drive up to the summit, where a breathtaking view of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the surrounding scenic landscape awaits you.

There is a beautiful observation deck at the summit.

There are also other trails for you to explore in Mount Mitchell State Park like the Deep Gap Trail and the Balsam Nature Trail.

Other draws to the park include its tent-only camping ground which is open from May to October.

Dogs are permitted in the park.

  • It is 1 hour 30 minutes from Asheville Regional Airport

16. Pisgah National Forest

Sean Pavone | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.8

Entry tickets: Free entry but individual attractions inside might require admission fees

Address: 1600 State St #151, Asheville, NC 28801

  • It was established in 1916
  • It covers an area of 512,758 acres

If you are looking for free things to do in Asheville, look no further, Pisgah National Forest is your answer.

The breathtaking forest that was once considered the property of George Vanderbilt is characteristic of rolling mountains, scenic hiking trails, spectacular waterfalls, and whitewater rivers.

Among its biggest draws is its school of forestry, which is the first in the United States, and two designated wilderness areas, Linville Gorge and Shining Rock, which are two of the first such areas in the country.

Visit Pisgah National Forest ready to have a picnic surrounded by tall trees and spectacular forest vegetation, hike any of its beautiful trails, go on a scenic drive, or enjoy a thrilling bike ride.

One of the forest’s trails, the Looking Glass Rock Trail, will take you to the famous Looking Glass Rock.

It derives its name from the fact that when it rains in winter and the water freezes on the rock, it reflects the sun like a mirror.

  • It is 37 minutes from Asheville Regional Airport

17. Cradle of Forestry in America

@Source | Jaime Landauer

Rating: 4.8

Entry tickets: $6 per adult (13+), Free for children under 13

Address: 11250 Pisgah Hwy, Pisgah Forest, NC 28768

  • It was founded in 1898
  • It is located in the Pisgah National Forest

Nestled in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Pisgah Forest, the Cradle of Forestry in America prides itself as being the site for North America’s first school of forestry.

Biltmore School of Forestry was located here when it was established by Carl A. Schenck.

Its location in the middle of a forest gives it the advantage of enjoying a beautiful setting surrounded by cool fresh air and a spectacular view.

Visitors come to explore its interactive exhibits which show Dr. Schenck’s forestry efforts and experiments.

Other activities to do at the Cradle of Forestry in America include hiking, birdwatching, a visit to the Forest Discovery Centre where you will watch a documentary, explore historical buildings which include a commissary and a schoolhouse, a logging locomotive, a portable sawmill, and a gift shop.

Kids can have fun with the firefighting helicopter simulator and at the Adventure Zone.

The Cafe at the Cradle will be at your service offering you snacks and lunch.

  • It is 36 minutes from Asheville Regional Airport

18. No Taste Like Home Wild Food Tours

@No Taste Like Home

Rating: 5.0

  • It was established over 25 years ago
  • It offers wild food tours

We know you have been on a food tour, but trust us when we say you have never experienced anything like what No Taste Like Home Wild Food Tours company offers.

It prides itself as the biggest foraging education company in the world.

You will embark on a tour through fields and the forests of Asheville in search of wild foods like mushrooms, leaves, plants, seeds, and wild fruits. 

The tours are guided by experts who have many years of wild food knowledge and will teach you everything you need to know about wild edibles.

After a day of collecting wild food, you will take back your findings to a restaurant in Asheville, chosen by the tour company, where they will use your food collection to make you a meal.

This is one of the most exciting things to do in Asheville and one that you will not be forgetting any time soon!

19. LaZoom Tours

Nolichuckyjake | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.8

Entry tickets: Ticket prices vary depending on the tour of choice

Address: 76 Biltmore Ave, Asheville, NC 28801

  • It is located in downtown Asheville
  • It was established in 2007

Founded by a street-performing couple, Jima and Jen, LaZoom Tours offers sightseeing tours of Asheville, but with a twist.

Instead of the usual boring bus tour, the company has entertaining tour guides who perform comedy skits, inside the bus, of all the places that you are going to explore.

You will learn about each place in a very entertaining way.

LaZoom Tours offers different themed tours.

The Hey Asheville: City Comedy Tour will take you around attraction sites in downtown Asheville, the River Arts District, and Montford.

LaZoom’s Ghosted: Comedy Bus Tour will give you a 60-minute haunted tour.

The Fender Bender: Band and Beer Bus is a tour that will teach you everything about Asheville’s brewing companies and their history. Beer is served on the bus.

LaZoom’s Kids’ Comedy tour, Lil Boogers is tailored for kids’ entertainment since the other tours are not kid-friendly.

  • It is 18 minutes from Asheville Regional Airport

20. Asheville Museum of Science

Nolichuckyjake | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.0

Entry tickets: $8 per person, Children/Students/Military: $7, Free for children under 2 years

Address: 43 Patton Ave, Asheville, NC 28801

  • A family-friendly attraction
  • It was opened in 2016

Located in Asheville’s downtown, the Asheville Museum of Science is a small center dedicated to educating adults and children who are interested in the sciences.

The science museum features interactive exhibits in which you will find over 350 minerals like feldspar, beryl, and kyanite, that have been collected in North Carolina and other parts of the world.

The interactive exhibits and educational programs cover everything about the formation of the earth, from volcanoes to general geologic processes.

Notably, the Southern Appalachian Forest exhibit imitates the biodiversity of Asheville and gives visitors an experience that feels as if they were in the actual Appalachian Mountains!

The Asheville Museum of Science might not be so popular, but it is one of the best things to do in Asheville for families and kids.

  • It is 17 minutes from Asheville Regional Airport

21. Craggy Mountain Line

@Source | Dave Withers

Rating: 4.8

Entry tickets: 2 hours: $90 – 4 people or less, $100 – up to 10 people, $150 – 10 to 15 people

Address: 111 Woodfin Ave, Asheville, NC 28804

  • It was established in 2001
  • It is located in Woodfin town

The historic Craggy Mountain Line is a 3.5-mile railroad that provides operations for vintage trains and trolleys.

The small railroad is part of the former historic Southern Railroad.

Visitors are given a ride in one of the vintage trains or trolleys from the 1920s, through the scenic forested area. 

They have themed rides during the festive season for visitors of all ages to enjoy.

Craggy Mountain Line also offers charter rides for groups and families that are celebrating special occasions.

If you are visiting Asheville with friends for a birthday celebration, why not take an exciting 2-hour charter ride here!

  • It is 19 minutes from Asheville Regional Airport

22. Adventure Center of Asheville

@Adventure Center of Asheville

Rating: 4.8

Address: 85 Expo Dr, Asheville, NC 28806

  • It is located in downtown Asheville
  • A suitable adventure for adults and kids

It’s rated one of the most adventurous things to do in Asheville for families.

The Adventure Center of Asheville is located about 10 minutes away from downtown Asheville in a tree preserve.

It offers ziplining fun with a spectacular view of the Blue Ridge Mountains and Asheville’s downtown area.

For the Full Tour, there are 11 zip lines and sky bridges awaiting you.

The Adventure Center of Asheville has the KidZip, which takes pride in being the first zip line designed for children under the age of 10 in the United States.

Other exciting activities offered here include mountain biking, a Kolo bike park, and afterschool clubs and camps for kids.

  • It is 16 minutes from Asheville Regional Airport

North Carolina has tons of great attractions and cities visit, don’t miss our list of things to do in Fayetteville in your vacation!

23. The Omni Grove Park Inn

The old historic hotel opened in 1913 and has been visited by many United States presidents. Irina Mos | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.5

Accommodation price: From $239 to $1,250 depending on the season

Address: 290 Macon Ave, Asheville, NC 28804

  • It is a 4-star resort
  • It was built in 1913

Set on the slope of Sunset Mountain in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Omni Grove Park Inn resort oozes elegance and luxury. 

The grandiose resort has hosted a long list of American presidents including the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama.

If you are seeking a luxury stay in Asheville during your vacation, this is the right resort for you.

You will have a world-class experience through the cuisine served, accommodation, and other amenities offered by the resort.

Apart from its location which offers sweeping views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Omni Grove Park Inn resort is famous for its award-winning spa.

The spa is designed to imitate the outdoors with its cavern and rock formation architectural design.

The Spa at Omni Grove Park Inn is everything you need to relax and forget about the world for a while.

You don’t have to be staying at the resort to dine here or access its spa, you can walk in at any time and give yourself an experience fit for royalty!

  • It is 23 minutes from Asheville Regional Airport

24. Wortham Center for the Performing Arts

IrinaK | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.7

Address: 18 Biltmore Ave, Asheville, NC 28801

  • It was opened in 1992
  • It was formerly known as the Diana Wortham Theater

Nestled in Park Square Cultural District, Wortham Center for the Performing Arts is a center for live performances that include music, theater, and dance.

The complex has three performance venues namely the Diana Wortham Theater, the Tina McGuire Theater, and the Henry Labrun Studio.

If you are looking for an evening plan while in Asheville, you should have Wortham Center for the Performing Arts on your list of things to do in Asheville.

And even if you are not interested in watching a performance or there are no events lined up during your stay, you can simply take a tour of the complex.

It is beautiful on both the interior and exterior.

  • It is 18 minutes from Asheville Regional Airport

25. Hickory Nut Gap

Shannon Gragg | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.6

Entry tickets: $10 per person

Address: 57 Sugar Hollow Rd, Fairview, NC 28730

  • It was established in 1916
  • An agricultural farm

Located about 20 minutes from the city, Hickory Nut Gap is an ideal place to include in your itinerary if you are looking for unique attractions near Asheville.

The lush farm is set on the foothills of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, comprising large acres of green grass for the animals to feed on.

If you are interested in agriculture or understanding the process of rearing animals and meat processing, you will enjoy a tour of the farm.

Hickory Nut Gap is renowned for its healthy grass-fed beef, and pasture-raised pork and chicken.

Some of the products you can purchase here are homemade sausages, ham, local cheeses, barbeque, jewelry, pottery, handmade soap, and beer.

  • It is 22 minutes from Asheville Regional Airport

26. Blue Ridge Parkway

Dave Allen Photography | Shutterstock

Entry tickets: Free

Address: 195 Hemphill Knob Rd, Asheville, NC 28803

  • It is rated America’s favorite drive
  • It is 469 miles in total

Sometimes you just want to take a long drive away from the city to unwind and get lost in nature.

In Asheville, the Blue Ridge Parkway makes this possible with its miles of endless meanders through spectacular forest vegetation.

Its beauty in all seasons is what makes it a famous attraction.

Here in Asheville, the All-American Road cuts across the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains that form part of the Appalachian Mountains.

Your view will be a landscape characteristic of mountain vegetation, rolling mountains and hills, and valleys.

You can drive for 10 to 50 miles and then back to the city.

The Blue Ridge Parkway also draws visitors with its gorgeous hiking trails, picnic sites, and other outdoor activities like biking. 

  • It is 22 minutes from Asheville Regional Airport

27. Appalachian Trail

Matt Wunder | Shutterstock

Rating: 5.0

Entry tickets: Free

Address: 160 Zillicoa St # A, Asheville, NC 28801

  • The Appalachian Trail is 2,200 miles in total
  • It is the longest marked footpath in the United States

If you want to have a taste of the Appalachian Trail, you can drive 36 miles to Hot Springs, a town through which the mighty trail cuts.

Hiking the whole length of the trail from Maine to Georgia is a dream come true for many hiking enthusiasts.

It takes 5 to 7 months to complete and only 1 out of 4 hikers finish the hike.

And for many hikers, just getting an opportunity to get a taste of what it feels like to walk the world’s longest hiking-only trail, is an honor.

You wouldn’t want to miss the opportunity to add this experience to your travel archive.

In Hot Springs town, the 1.6 miles hiking loop is popularly known as the Lover’s Leap Hiking Trail.

It might be short, but even experienced hikers say it is no walk in the park.

However, the promise of the beautiful 360-degree panoramic views throughout the hike makes it all worth it.

Plus, you can tell people you hiked the mighty Appalachian Trail!

They don’t need to know you didn’t hike the whole trail.

  • It is 18 minutes from Asheville Regional Airport

28. Haunted Asheville Ghost Tours

@Source | Carla Martin

Rating: 4.7

Entry tickets: Between $20 and $26 depending on the tour

Address: 80 Broadway St, Asheville, NC 28801

  • Tells you all about Asheville’s dark side
  • It is owned by TV personality, Joshua Warren

Ghost tours make for the most thrilling and memorable adventures.

Don’t miss an opportunity to have such an experience with Haunted Asheville Ghost Tours, renowned for their hair-raising tales and dark history.

You will be given guided tours of all the spooky places in the city and those that hold a dark history like the Biltmore Village.

The guides are knowledgeable and artful in their story-telling leaving you thrilled and chilled.

So, what forms the basis for the spooky stories?

Warren, the owner of Haunted Asheville Ghost Tours believes that the mountains and the city harbor the spirits of Native Americans who lived here years ago and that their ghosts can be seen and their presence felt during these tours.

  • It is 18 minutes from Asheville Regional Airport

29. Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center

@Source | Josh Tripoli

Rating: 4.5

Entry tickets: Free entry

Address: 120 College St, Asheville, NC 28801

  • It was founded in 1993
  • It is located in downtown Asheville

Located on Pack Square Park, the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center was established to preserve the legacy of the Black Mountain College and the achievements of John Andrew Rice, its founder, who founded the school as an experiment to introduce holistic learning and the study of arts into the education system.

The college was renowned for its emphasis on focusing on the success of individual students rather than the institution.

Unfortunately, a lack of funds forced the college to close in 1957.

The Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center was founded to recognize the extraordinary achievements made by the college in liberal arts, especially in music, theater, performance, dance, and contemporary and modern art.

Visitors can explore exhibitions, watch films, or attend lectures, interviews, and seminars during a visit here.

  • It is 19 minutes from Asheville Regional Airport

30. Asheville Urban Trail

Gingo Scott | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.0

Entry tickets: Free entry

Address: 11 Biltmore Ave, Asheville, NC 28801

  • It is a 1.7 miles walking tour
  • Perfect for exploring downtown Asheville

Downtown Asheville is a hub for famous attractions and some unpopular hidden gems.

There is no better way to uncover them than by walking the Asheville Urban Trail.

You can get an official map from the Pack Square Park information center to guide you, but ideally, the trail starts at the park.

It is an easy-to-follow trail with a total of 30 stops, guided by notable landmarks.

The refreshing and informative walk will take you through Asheville’s history, current state, and wow you with the city’s beautiful architecture, which mainly comprises historic buildings.

You can enter any of the restaurants or cafes to enjoy a drink or a delicious local dish. 

  • It is 19 minutes from Asheville Regional Airport

31. Mountain Play Lodge

@Kidding Around Greenville, SC

Rating: 4.6

Entry tickets: $12/$13 for students, $8/$9 for kids under 2, Free for parents

Address: 3389 Sweeten Creek Rd, Arden, NC 28704

  • An ideal attraction for children
  • It is located in Arden

Let’s be honest, vacationing with kids can be hectic, especially if you do not know fun places where you can take them to burn off some energy.

This is why you need to have Mountain Play Lodge as one of the top things to do in Asheville for kids.

It will take care of your kids by giving them an adventurous experience that they will never forget.

The indoor play area features slides, a jungle climbing structure, and a toy Biltmore Village.

Kids will have the time of their lives here running, climbing, jumping, and making new friends.

What’s more, Mountain Play Lodge is totally free for parents!

You can sit at the lounge area and enjoy your favorite drink or snack as you wait for your kid to drop from exhaustion.   

  • It is 10 minutes from Asheville Regional Airport

32. Blue Heron Whitewater

@Blue Heron Whitewater

Rating: 4.9

Entry tickets: $75 per person

Address: 35 Little Pine Rd, Marshall, NC 28753

  • Ideal for adults and kids
  • It offers fun on the French Broad River

Offering boundless adventure on the French Broad River, Blue Heron Whitewater is one of the best things to do near Asheville.

It is located about 22 miles northwest of Asheville in Marshall, a small town known as a hub for arts.

You can choose between full-day trips and half-day trips, but either way, you can be sure to have an adventurous rafting trip.

The employees and guides have been conducting rafting trips on the French Broad River for over 25 years, an assurance that you are in safe hands.

You can enjoy this moment with family or with friends.

And even if you are a solo traveler, you will find a like-minded group of people to join.

  • It is 38 minutes from Asheville Regional Airport

33. Biltmore Park Town Square

Direction and tourist information sign to Biltmore. Andriy Blokhin | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.5

Entry tickets: Free entry

Address: One Town Square Blvd, Asheville, NC 28803

  • It was opened in 2009
  • It is an urbanist shopping complex

Not every day needs to be full of adventure when you are on vacation.

Some days you need to enjoy a relaxed and lazy tour, and that’s why Biltmore Park Town Square comes recommended as one of the fun things to do in Asheville on a lazy day.

The 750-acre urban mall is packed with vibrant shops, restaurants, condos, and entertainment areas.

Surrounded by trees and beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains on the horizon, it’s easy to see why the well-structured complex is a favorite among locals and visitors.

You can explore its chain stores like Barnes & Noble, art galleries, a movie theater, and later have a delicious meal in any of the fine restaurants located here.

What’s more, the Biltmore Park Town Square has a history of its own; the land on which it’s built was once a dairy land for the Vanderbilt family. 

  • It is 8 minutes from Asheville Regional Airport

34. Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site

Zack Frank | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.7

Entry tickets: Adults: $10, Seniors (62+): $6, Free for children 15 and below

Address: 1800 Little River Rd, Flat Rock, NC 28731

  • It was established in 1968
  • It is spread across 246 acres of land

If you want an adventure that will take you outside Asheville but not too far away you should visit the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site, located about 30 minutes away.

It was the home of Carl Sandburg; writer and poet and was established as a historic site to preserve it and his legacy.

His writing won him three Pulitzer Prizes including one for his biography of Abraham Lincoln.

Visitors come here to pay their respects and learn more about his life and literary work.

  • It is 22 minutes from Asheville Regional Airport

35. Moogseum

@Source | Randy Reus

Rating: 4.7

Entry tickets: $8.50 per person, Free for children under 7

Address: 56 Broadway Street (Front, Asheville, NC 28801

  • It is located in downtown Asheville
  • It was opened in 2019

If you are a fan of electronic music, then you probably know of Bob Moog, the engineering physicist who invented the Moog synthesizer that transformed the electronic genre of music.

He passed away in 2005, and the Moogseum was founded in 2019 as a space to showcase his achievements in the music industry and preserve his legacy.

Apart from learning the history and science of electronic music, you will be given the opportunity to play a theremin and synthesizer.

You will also have access to over 1000 pieces of archival material that can only be found at the Moogseum.

If you are a music fanatic or are interested in physics engineering, this is the ideal attraction in Asheville for you.

  • It is 18 minutes from Asheville Regional Airport

36. Wake Foot Sanctuary

@Wake Foot Sanctuary

Rating: 4.9

Price: From $30 per person

Address: 1 Page Ave #115, Asheville, NC 28801

  • A beauty and health spa
  • It is located in the Historic Grove Arcade

Considering how much walking you will engage in during your vacation in Asheville, you will need to give your feet some tender love and care at some point.

The Wake Foot Sanctuary is where everyone goes, owing to the top-notch service provided.

Located in downtown Asheville, the spa takes care of your feet and arms through long soaks and massages, as you take a nap or enjoy your choice of beverage.

You can also get a head, neck, or shoulder massage to relieve tight muscles and enhance blood flow.

You know you need and deserve this treat! 

  • It is 17 minutes from Asheville Regional Airport

37. Grove Arcade

Nolichuckyjake | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.3

Entry tickets: Free entry

Address: 1 Page Ave, Asheville, NC 28801

  • It is located in Downtown Historic District
  • It is one of the oldest buildings in North Carolina

Built in 1929, Grove Arcade is one of the historical buildings in Asheville and in the region.

It is named after E.W. Grove, who built it as a celebration of his love for Asheville.

The arcade is designed in a 1920s architectural style and features shops, restaurants, art galleries, offices, and apartments.

Here you can find local and international cuisine and local farm products and artworks at the Makers Market.

It is an iconic place to hang out in the evening and interact with locals.

You should note that Grove Arcade does not allow pets.

  • It is 17 minutes from Asheville Regional Airport

38. River Arts District

@River Arts District Artists, Asheville

Rating: 4.0★ – Trip Advisor

Entry tickets: Free entry

Address: 3 River Arts Pl, Asheville, NC 28801

  • A hub for local art
  • A home for over 200 artists

This vibrant and colorfully decorated neighborhood along the French Broad River is one of the top free things to do in Asheville.

A hub for the arts, River Arts District hosts over 200 local artists showcasing and selling their beautiful pieces.

The friendly artists will welcome you with warm smiles and engage you in their creative process of creating their pieces which include paintings, photographs, pencil work, glassware, sculptures, and more.

If you find anything you like, please buy it to support them.

It is a lovely and delightful neighborhood, and when you want to take a break, you can have a meal in any of the local restaurants.

Expect to find artistic decor in the restaurants too.

River Arts District has a vibrant nightlife of live entertainment and dancing.

  • It is 18 minutes from Asheville Regional Airport

39. Chimney Rock State Park

Sean Pavone | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.8

Entry tickets: Adults: $17, Children (5-15): $8, Free for children under 5

Address: Chimney Rock, NC 28720

  • It was established in 2005
  • It is home to the famous Chimney Rock

Imagine an elevator that, instead of being used to access the top of a building, is used to access the top of a rock!

Well, this is the thrilling experience you will have at Chimney Rock State Park, one of the most iconic places to visit near Asheville.

Visitors come from near and far to explore the park and climb the top of the historical Chimney Rock, a 500-million plus old granite monolith, that offers dramatic views of North Carolina comprising of forest vegetation, waterfalls, a lake, rolling mountains, valleys, and hills.

On a clear day, you will have over 75 miles of spectacular scenery to feast your eyes on.

Other exciting activities to enjoy in Chimney Rock State Park include birdwatching, picnics, hiking, and woodland adventure.

At the base of the park is the Village of Chimney Park where you can shop and dine.

  • It is 48 minutes from Asheville Regional Airport

40. Shoji Spa & Retreat

@Source | Kimberly Curtis

Rating: 4.5

Tickets: Prices differ depending on the type of treatment

Address: 96 Avondale Heights Rd, Asheville, NC 28803

  • A private outdoor spa
  • Located in Pisgah National Forest

If you are looking for romantic things to do in Asheville, Shoji Spa & Retreat sounds like the perfect attraction to have on your itinerary.

Nestled in the scenic Pisgah National Forest, the spa offers a salt bath treatment in an outdoor hydrotherapy tub, surrounded by trees, as you listen to amazing forest sounds.

You will get lost in nature as you decompress and soak up the scenery around you.

Shoji Spa & Retreat uses Japanese technology and style for its spa treatments and is the only one of its kind on the east coast.

Other services include massages, cold therapeutic showers, and the wet cedar sauna.

The spa and retreat center offers accommodation too.

You need to make a reservation in advance before visiting.

  • It is 21 minutes from Asheville Regional Airport

41. French Broad River Park

Gingo Scott | Shutterstock

Rating: 4.5

Entry tickets: Free

Address: 508 Riverview Dr, Asheville, NC 28806

  • A riverside recreational park
  • It is located in West Asheville

Located next to the French Broad River, this scenic park is a popular spot for pet owners who want to walk their dogs and still enjoy some outdoor tranquility.

French Broad River Park is dotted with green grass, wildflowers, and trees, that form large shades, making it perfect for a picnic.

You can relax on the green lawns, in the gazebos, or on the designated picnic tables spread around the park.

There’s a kids’ playground and an observation deck to view the beautiful river. 

  • It is 16 minutes from Asheville Regional Airport