15 Best Things to Do in Asheville, NC: Exploring the Charms of the Blue Ridge Mountains


15 Best Things to Do in Asheville, NC: Exploring the Charms of the Blue Ridge Mountains

Are you looking for an unforgettable adventure in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains? Asheville, North Carolina, is the perfect destination for nature enthusiasts, foodies, art lovers, and anyone seeking a magical experience. From stunning landscapes to vibrant culture, Asheville has it all. In this comprehensive guide, we'll take you through the 15 best things to do in Asheville, NC, and make sure you don't miss a single gem.

1. Explore the Biltmore Estate 

Your journey in Asheville must begin with the iconic Biltmore Estate, a masterpiece of architecture and history. The largest privately-owned house in America, this chateau-style mansion boasts magnificent gardens, stunning interiors, and breathtaking views. Stroll through the gardens, visit the winery, and immerse yourself in the opulence of this Gilded Age gem.

2. Discover the Beauty of the Blue Ridge Parkway 

Drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway, one of the most scenic routes in the country. Surrounded by lush forests and stunning vistas, you'll encounter numerous overlooks, hiking trails, and photographic opportunities. Fall in love with nature's beauty as you wind your way through this picturesque wonderland.

3. Experience the Arts at the River Arts District 

For art aficionados, the River Arts District is a dream come true. Home to over 200 artists, this vibrant neighborhood showcases an array of studios and galleries, where you can witness the creative process firsthand. From paintings to pottery, jewelry to sculptures, the diversity of artistic expression is awe-inspiring.

4. Embark on a Waterfall Adventure 

Asheville and its surroundings are dotted with enchanting waterfalls. Sliding Rock, Catawba Falls, and Looking Glass Falls are just a few must-visit spots for nature enthusiasts. Pack a picnic, hike the scenic trails, and refresh yourself in the cooling embrace of these mesmerizing waterfalls.

5. Wander Through the North Carolina Arboretum 

Nature lovers will be enchanted by the North Carolina Arboretum. Spread over 434 acres, this botanical garden offers a variety of trails, exhibits, and outdoor activities. Discover beautiful gardens, attend educational programs, and witness the wonders of nature up close.

6. Indulge in the Culinary Delights of Asheville 

Asheville's food scene is a true melting pot of flavors. From farm-to-table restaurants to innovative breweries, the city offers a rich culinary experience. Don't miss a chance to savor mouthwatering dishes, accompanied by craft beers and locally sourced ingredients.

7. Visit the Basilica of Saint Lawrence 

Immerse yourself in history and architecture by visiting the Basilica of Saint Lawrence. This awe-inspiring church is renowned for its intricate design and exquisite interiors. Whether you're religious or not, the Basilica will leave you in awe of its grandeur.

8. Discover the Folk Art Center 

Dive into the world of Appalachian heritage at the Folk Art Center. Operated by the Southern Highland Craft Guild, this center showcases traditional and contemporary crafts of the region. Shop for unique souvenirs and learn about the rich cultural history of the area.

9. Experience the Thrill of the French Broad River 

For adventure seekers, a trip to Asheville isn't complete without rafting or kayaking on the French Broad River. Feel the rush of adrenaline as you navigate the rapids and soak in the breathtaking scenery surrounding you.

10. Unwind in the Botanical Gardens at Asheville 

Nature enthusiasts will find solace at the Botanical Gardens at Asheville. Stroll through this peaceful oasis, showcasing native plant species and diverse ecosystems. It's a serene escape for those seeking tranquility.

11. Discover the History at the Smith-McDowell House 

Delve into the past at the Smith-McDowell House, Asheville's first mansion and the oldest surviving structure. This historic landmark provides insights into the region's history, culture, and lifestyle.

12. Embrace the Magic of the Grove Arcade 

Shopaholics and history buffs alike will fall in love with the Grove Arcade. This beautifully restored building is home to boutique shops, galleries, and restaurants. Explore its unique blend of old-world charm and contemporary retail.

13. Hike to the Craggy Gardens 

For nature lovers seeking breathtaking vistas, a hike to the Craggy Gardens is a must. The Appalachian Trail offers access to these magnificent, flower-covered balds, where panoramic views will leave you in awe.

14. Discover the Mystery of the Thomas Wolfe Memorial 

Literature enthusiasts will appreciate a visit to the Thomas Wolfe Memorial. The childhood home of Thomas Wolfe, a famous American author, offers insights into his life and works.

15. Catch a Show at The Orange Peel 

End your Asheville journey with a memorable evening at The Orange Peel, a renowned music venue. Known for hosting famous acts and creating an electric atmosphere, this spot guarantees a fantastic time.


  • Q: What is the best time to visit Asheville, NC? 

  • A: The best time to visit Asheville is during the fall, from September to November, when the foliage is at its peak, and the weather is pleasant.

  • Q: Are pets allowed on the Blue Ridge Parkway trails? 

  • A: Yes, leashed pets are allowed on most trails along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

  • Q: Can I buy local crafts at the Folk Art Center? 

  • A: Yes, the Folk Art Center offers a wide selection of traditional and contemporary crafts that you can purchase as souvenirs.

  • Q: Are reservations required to visit the Biltmore Estate? 

  • A: It is advisable to make advance reservations, especially during peak tourist seasons, to ensure a smooth visit to the Biltmore Estate.

  • Q: Is rafting on the French Broad River suitable for beginners? 

  • A: Yes, there are sections of the French Broad River that are suitable for beginners, with calmer waters and fewer rapids.

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