There are so many great spots to visit in Asheville that it wouldn’t be possible to include them all on a single list! This vibrant mountain city offers an incredible variety of local artisans, natural beauty, outdoor activities, fabulous food, and so much more. We absolutely adore our home city and love to share it with visitors from all around the world.
If you’re looking to visit Asheville soon, use this list of top things to do to inspire your trip planning. If you’re planning a group trip to Asheville, get in touch for a complimentary planning session. We know how hard it can be to manage the logistics of a destination bachelorette party or a special birthday celebration…let us take that stress away for you!
1. Drive the Blue Ridge Parkway
Begun in 1935, during the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the stunning Blue Ridge Parkway now covers an impressive 469 miles between the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia and the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. Perfect for a North Carolina road trip, the Blue Ridge Parkway conveniently runs right through Asheville.
Enjoy a leisurely scenic drive to bask in the beautiful view or explore one of the hundreds of miles of trails leading to mountaintops, waterfalls, forests, and adventure along the way.
Pro tip: bring a pre-packed picnic from Asheville Picnic Company or The Rhu and make a day of it!
2. Hike in the Pisgah National Forest
As one of the first national forests in the United States, Pisgah holds plenty of history on top of its spellbinding beauty. We adore this area just outside of Asheville! We highly recommend you take time to get outdoors and appreciate this stretch of protected forest where summit views, pounding waterfalls, and peaceful forest trails await. It’s a lovely location for forest bathing, if you’d like to join us!
3. Wander the River Arts District
Asheville’s River Arts District (RAD) is a quirky part of our vibrant city that you’re sure to love. Made up of former industrial buildings, the RAD now houses artists of all kinds who are making and selling their work for locals and visitors alike. With around 200 artists here, you’re bound to find something that catches your eye!
Pro Tip: the River Arts District is lovely any day but is especially alive on the Second Saturday of each month. That’s when the full RAD community collaborates to hold gallery walks with demonstrations, workshops, live music, wine tastings, delicious food, and more! Stroll the mile-long district at your leisure or let the free hop-on-hop-off trolley do the work.
4. Go With the Flow on French Broad River
The River Arts District runs along our beloved French Broad River. In good weather, join us for some SUP yoga or just grab a float and let the water soothe your soul.
Pro Tip: you can hop on and off the river as you float/kayak/canoe, stopping along the way to grab a tasty beverage at a craft brewery, take a peek inside artist studios, or catch some live music at an outdoor venue.
5. Swing by Pritchard Park for the Drum Circle
Every Friday night in Pritchard Park, there’s a drum circle open to everyone. Come by to check it out, listen to everyone jamming together, and feel like you’re truly part of our welcoming community!
Pro Tip: want to drum along? Locals usually bring extra drums so guests can join in on the beat. You can even prep for the big event with an all-levels drumming class at a local shop called Skinny Beats. Whether you’re drumming, dancing, or simply observing, this is quintessential Asheville and definitely not to be missed!
6. Enjoy Asheville’s Awesome Local Foodie Scene
Asheville NC is now known as a foodie capital and we couldn’t agree more! We actually offer food tours in Asheville because we are so obsessed with the awesome food scene here. From traditional southern cuisine to modern fusion to locally-sourced everything…Asheville’s foodie scene is reason enough to come visit!
For trip planning inspiration, here are some of our favorite Asheville restaurants for groups.
7. Stop by the Folk Art Center
Located along the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Folk Art Center is such a fun spot to stop, learn more about the unique history of craftsmanship in Appalachia, and support local artisans with your purchase of locally-made crafts and gifts. The Southern Highland Craft Guild has been shaping the creative economy of this region since 1930. Pop in during your North Carolina road trip!
8. Tour & Taste at Local Wineries
Asheville’s local wineries are a real treat! Within just a short drive from downtown Asheville, you can tour wineries, taste our local varietals, and soak up the views. A guided Winery Tour is perfect for a weekend getaway with your girlfriends (especially bachelorette parties!) or for a romantic activity with your partner. We love our local vineyards in Asheville. Let us do the driving and we’ll introduce you to them!
Asheville is also home to more than 40 small craft breweries, including the impressive Highland (Asheville’s first microbrewery), Bold Rock Mills River Cidery, and Ginger’s Revenge, so keep exploring and supporting local crafts.
We’re always happy to make recommendations for your group. Feel free to contact us for a complimentary planning session!
9. Visit the Largest Private Home in the USA
Located right here in Asheville, the Biltmore Estate is the largest private home in the United States. You can pay to visit the estate, touring the house — a place just oozing with wealth — and grounds which cover some 8,000 acres and include multiple restaurants, spectacular gardens, wineries, and an extensive trail system.
10. Unwind with Mountaintop Yoga
Asheville has long been known as a place to retreat, unwind, and get healthy. Fun fact: it was once known for its clean air, so folks from all over the eastern seaboard would come here to recover from tuberculosis. That attitude of health and wellness still exists here today.
Wanna do like the locals do? Yoga hikes are some of our favorite things to do in the Asheville area! We love exploring our beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, so combining a lovely hike with a yoga session on the mountaintop is just the perfect way to unwind and bask in nature’s beauty.
11. Visit the North Carolina Arboretum
Whatever time of year you’re visiting Asheville, the North Carolina Arboretum is a perfect place to visit. Western North Carolina is one of the most biologically-diverse places on the planet, and the NC Arboretum does a fantastic job showcasing the abundance of flora found right here in our backyards. Wander the extensive grounds, enjoy the carefully-planned landscaping as well as the stunning variety of plants and flowers all around.
Even if you visit in winter, the Arboretum is a beauty! A stroll through the annual Winter Lights display at the Arboretum is a fun way to soak up the festive spirit of the holidays.
12. Treat Yourself to Wellness Therapy
Massages, salt caves, Japanese-style spas…Asheville takes its wellness therapies very seriously! If you’re seeking a way to relax and treat yourself, we have so many suggestions. Consider a mobile massage or take a look through our top spas in Asheville to totally unwind!
What do you think? Are you excited to check out all these great spots to visit in Asheville? If you’re visiting us soon, we would be honored to take part in your special celebration or getaway. Check out our tours and always feel free to reach out if you have any questions about beautiful, wonderful Asheville!