One thing is for sure, if you find yourself in Asheville for an extended period of time or even a brief stop-in, you won’t find yourself short of things to do. From hiking and biking trails in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, to dozens of restaurants with mouth-watering menus, to local shops and stops, Asheville, North Carolina has hundreds of attractions to keep you busy and always coming back for more.
1. Drive the Blue Ridge Parkway
Lovingly titled America’s Favorite Scenic Drive, the Blue Ridge Parkway sprawls for 469 miles from Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park all the way down to North Carolina’s Great Smoky Mountains. It offers incredible overlooks, access to numerous hiking trails, and views of some of the tallest peaks, including Mount Mitchell and Grandfather Mountain. The Blue Ridge Parkway is completely free and open year round (weather permitting), so whether you plan on driving up for a picnic in the great outdoors or just cruising with the windows down, you’re guaranteed to be awed by all the beauty.
2. Stroll through the Botanical Gardens of Asheville
The Botanical Gardens are a unique way for both visitors to get a taste of the native flora of North Carolina, and for locals to volunteer and participate in the care of these stunning plants and flowers. When you arrive, make sure to pick up a map so you can see everything. You can select whether to stay on the main loop weaving through half a mile of gardens, or to venture off on to smaller trails to get even more out of your time. Whether you participate in their adult classes, just like to mindlessly wander the trails or decide to dedicate time volunteering, the Botanical Gardens of Asheville offer peace and serenity to all its guests.
3. Be rejuvenated on a Yoga Hike
Do you love hiking? Do you love yoga, or perhaps have always wanted to try it? Well then, Asheville Wellness Yoga Hikes are a must-do for you. Your guide will take your group – private or not – on an easy/moderate two mile round trip hike into the Blue Ridge Mountains. At the summit you’ll be guided through a relaxing yoga flow, suitable to all experience levels. Just make sure you wear comfy clothes that move and breathe, bring sunscreen and a water bottle and you’ll be good to go! For pricing information and additional questions (like what to expect on their new sunset yoga hike!), check out Asheville Wellness Tours.
4. Get a taste of Asheville on a Food Tour
Every historic town in the US has specific foods which characterize it, and Asheville is no exception. But instead of planning ahead of time all the restaurants you want to hit on your trip, let Asheville Food Tours do the work for you! They select the best of the best and not only guide you to each restaurant, but they give you a taste of Asheville from a local’s inside view. With four tours to choose from – The Downtown Tour, Food Fan Foot Tour, Brunch Tour and Night Tour – there’s an option for everyone.
5. Sample the freshest at the Farmers Markets
Farmers markets are a great way to not only experience the local culture, but they allow patrons to shop local and buy some of the freshest produce. Asheville hosts approximately 20 farmers markets, some of which remain open year round – like the ever popular WNC Farmers Market – while others are primarily open late spring to early fall. So if you plan on cooking dinner yourself one evening, stock up on the best ingredients from the best local farmers.
6. Stop into Nine Mile for dinner
This critically acclaimed Caribbean-inspired restaurant is sure to inspire you to come back again and again and again to try everything on the menu. Nine Mile is both vegetarian and vegan-friendly, with a wide range of assorted dishes, desserts and beverages, and a tofu so delicious it’ll change anyone’s mind on this item. Visit any of the three locations in Asheville to taste for yourself why people call it “a Favorite neighborhood eatery.”
7. Support the locals at the River Arts District
One of the best ways to experience the culture of a community is by perusing its local art. The River Arts District doesn’t just showcase the work of its brilliant local artists, but it gives visitors a chance to talk with the artists, watch them work on their craft and support their passion by purchasing some truly unique and personalized pieces. Whether your taste is jewelry, pottery, mixed media or photography, you’ll see it all. And if you really want to dive into the art yourself, check out the Upcoming Events for opportunities to get hands-on with artistic techniques yourself.
Enjoy your stay
No matter what brings you to Asheville, it’s certain you’ll find yourself wanting to extend your stay to experience all the local attractions and native beauty of this North Carolina town tucked into the landscape of the Blue Ridge Mountains.