Asheville, North Carolina, nestled in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, is a vibrant city known for its thriving arts scene, stunning natural landscapes, and culinary delights.
Whether you’re an adventure seeker, nature lover, art enthusiast, or foodie, Asheville has something to offer for everyone.
Here are 21 of the best things to do in Asheville, with multiple options to cater to diverse interests.
Go On An Adventure
Asheville is an adventurer’s paradise, with numerous companies offering thrilling outdoor experiences. NOC (Nantahala Outdoor Center), French Broad Rafting, Asheville Adventure Company, and Blue Heron Whitewater are among the top adventure companies in the area. Whether you’re looking for whitewater rafting, ziplining, paddleboarding, or hiking, these companies provide expert guides and equipment to make your adventure unforgettable.
With its stunning natural beauty, Asheville is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Lace up your hiking boots and explore the numerous trails in the area. Asheville Trails provides comprehensive information on the best hiking trails, including favorites like the Blue Ridge Parkway, Mount Mitchell, and Looking Glass Rock. Don’t forget to visit waterfalls such as Dupont State Forest, Sliding Rock, and Catawba Falls for breathtaking views.
Take A Tour
Immerse yourself in Asheville’s history, culture, and ghostly tales by taking a tour. Gray Line Asheville offers a variety of guided tours, including the Asheville Historic Trolley Tour and the Haunted Ghost Tour. Asheville Terrors specializes in spooky tours that reveal the city’s haunted past. For a unique experience, hop on a LaZoom Comedy Tour, where humor and history blend together. Other tour options include Cedar Rock Adventures, City Brew Tours, and Foothills Foodie Tours.
Have Some Drinks
After a day of exploring, unwind at one of Asheville’s charming bars and lounges. Storm Rhum Bar, The Montford, Pillar, and Rankin Vault are popular spots offering handcrafted cocktails and a cozy ambiance. For a unique experience, visit Sovereign Remedies, Social Lounge, or Little Jumbo known for their innovative drinks. Top of the Monk and Imperiál provide a chill but fun atmosphere and creative libations. If you’re looking for a speakeasy-style bar, Antidote is the place to go.
For the skateboarding and BMX enthusiasts, Asheville offers several excellent skateparks. Asheville Parks and Recreation, RAD Skatepark, and Foundation Skatepark are popular destinations where riders can showcase their skills or simply enjoy watching others perfect their tricks.
Take In The Visuals
Asheville’s vibrant art scene is evident throughout the city, but the River Arts District is a must-visit for art enthusiasts. Discover an array of art studios, galleries, and public art installations. The district is home to hundreds of artists and craftsmen showcasing their work. Explore the various studios, such as Cotton Mill Studios, St. Claire Art, Jane Schmidt, and Curve Studios. The district also hosts special events and open studio tours throughout the year.
Relax In A Park
When you need a break from the bustling city, Asheville’s parks provide tranquility and natural beauty. The Asheville Parks and Recreation Department manages numerous parks, including the popular Pack Square Park, Carrier Park, and French Broad River Park. These green spaces offer opportunities for picnicking, walking trails, outdoor sports, and even paddleboarding.
Go Record Shopping
For music enthusiasts and vinyl collectors, Asheville boasts an excellent selection of record stores. Voltage Records, Static Age Records, Harvest Records, and Records in the Rad are among the local favorites. Explore their collections and discover hidden gems from a wide range of genres.
Satisfy your sushi cravings at Asheville’s top-notch sushi restaurants. Wasabi, Zen Sushi, and Udon offer authentic Japanese cuisine in a cozy atmosphere. Yum Poke Spot specializes in delicious poke bowls, while Mr. Sushi serves a variety of sushi rolls. Other notable options include Green Tea Japanese Restaurant, Miyako House, Asheville Ichiban, and Heiwa Shokudo.
Get Your Wine On
Indulge in Asheville’s thriving wine scene by visiting local wineries and wine bars. Asheville Wine Market, 5 Walnut Wine Bar, Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar, and Sante Wine Bar offer an extensive selection of wines in a relaxed setting. To experience the beauty of nearby vineyards, plan a visit to Plēb urban winery or Addison Farms Vineyard.
Float The Day Away
Take a leisurely float down the French Broad River and enjoy the scenic beauty of Asheville. Zen Tubing and French Broad Outfitters provide tube rentals and shuttle services for a relaxing river adventure. Soak in the sun, dip your toes in the water, and create unforgettable memories.
See All Of The Flora Fauna
Discover the rich biodiversity of the Blue Ridge Mountains by exploring the botanical gardens, arboretums, and wildlife centers in Asheville. The North Carolina Arboretum features stunning gardens, hiking trails, and educational exhibits. The WNC Nature Center showcases the region’s native wildlife and offers interactive experiences. For a closer look at the flora, visit the Botanical Gardens at Asheville or the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden.
Cruise The Blue Ridge Parkway
Embark on a scenic drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway, one of America’s most beautiful roadways. Experience breathtaking vistas, winding mountain roads, and opportunities for hiking, picnicking, and photography. Capture the essence of the Blue Ridge Mountains and witness the vibrant fall foliage or blooming wildflowers, depending on the season.
Play and Compete
Channel your inner child or challenge your friends to a game of pinball, skee-ball, or arcade classics. Asheville Pinball Museum and Retrocade, and Level 256 offer a nostalgic gaming experience with a wide selection of vintage and modern arcade games. Grab some quarters and prepare for a fun-filled gaming adventure.
Have A Board Game Day
If you prefer a more relaxed indoor activity, Asheville’s board game cafes and stores are perfect for a cozy day with friends or family. Check out Well Played Board Game Café, where you can enjoy delicious food and choose from an extensive library of board games. The Wyvern’s Tale is also a great spot to find board games to add to your collection.
Immerse yourself in Asheville’s vibrant music scene by catching a live show at one of the city’s renowned music venues. The Orange Peel, Salvage Station, Isis Music Hall, and The Grey Eagle host a variety of musical performances, ranging from local talents to nationally recognized artists. Experience the magic of Asheville’s diverse music community in an intimate and energetic setting.
Visit A Gallery
In addition to the River Arts District, Asheville is home to numerous art galleries showcasing a wide range of artistic styles. Visit the Blue Spiral 1, Momentum Gallery, Woolworth Walk, and New Morning Gallery to admire paintings, sculptures, ceramics, and other works of art created by talented local and national artists.
Eat, Eat, Eat!
Asheville’s culinary scene is thriving, offering a diverse range of flavors and dining experiences. From farm-to-table restaurants to international cuisines, the city has something to please every palate. Don’t miss the chance to dine at notable establishments such as Curate, Buxton Hall Barbecue, Sunny Point Café, and Leo’s House of Thirst. Asheville also hosts several food tours that allow you to sample a variety of local delights.
Have A Smoke
For those interested in tobacco-related products, Asheville is home to a few quality smoke shops. Pay a visit to 5 Points Gallery & Smoke Shop, Peace Pipe, and Octopus Gardens Smoke Shop, where you can find a selection of premium cigars, smoking accessories, and specialty items.
Find Your New Favorite Book
Book lovers will appreciate Asheville’s independent bookstores, offering a haven for literary exploration. Malaprop’s Bookstore, Downtown Books & News, and Firestorm Books & Coffee are beloved spots for browsing and discovering new reads. Lose yourself in the aisles, attend author events, or enjoy a cup of coffee while diving into a good book.
Visit The Biltmore Estate
No visit to Asheville is complete without exploring the iconic Biltmore Estate. This magnificent mansion, built by George Vanderbilt, offers a glimpse into the opulent Gilded Age. Wander through the grand halls, admire the exquisite architecture, and explore the meticulously manicured gardens. The Biltmore Estate also hosts special events, wine tastings, and outdoor activities throughout the year.
Asheville, NC, is a city that caters to a wide range of interests and offers endless opportunities for exploration and enjoyment.
Whether you’re seeking adventure, immersing yourself in art and culture, indulging in culinary delights, or simply basking in the beauty of nature, Asheville has it all. Plan your visit to this enchanting city and experience the 21 best things it has to offer.