Asheville, North Carolina, a city nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, offers tourists a distinctive fusion of outdoor experiences, a thriving cultural environment, and a vibrant art scene. It is a year-round attraction that draws visitors with a variety of activities that suit a variety of interests. Visitors visiting Asheville may enjoy the ideal weekend escape or a lengthy vacation while being surrounded by beautiful scenery.

Adventure seekers and art lovers can find something to enjoy in Asheville’s astounding selection of attractions and activities. The city has a well-deserved reputation as a creative hotspot in the Southeast because to its thriving arts scene, which is home to various galleries, museums, and public artworks. There are several possibilities for outdoor lovers, including hiking, biking, horseback riding, and water sports. A taste of the local food may be had in neighborhood eateries and breweries, which make up the city’s culinary culture.

Visitors may enjoy Asheville’s rich history, architectural treasures, and breathtaking natural surrounds by exploring the city. Asheville offers the perfect backdrop for a wonderful and varied vacation experience, from strolling through the century-old gardens to indulging in complimentary vineyard tastings. This thriving alpine city has something for everyone, whether you’re looking for adventure or leisure.

Asheville History

Asheville, North Carolina, has a rich history that dates back to its founding in the late 18th century. The city’s architecture and well-preserved historical sites reflect its storied past, making it an ideal destination for history enthusiasts. Among the tree-lined streets, visitors can find landmarks that showcase Asheville’s transformation from a humble settlement to a vibrant city in Western North Carolina.

The Thomas Wolfe Memorial State Historic Site is one example, offering guided tours for those who want to explore and learn more about the city’s early days. Other attractions, such as the Beaucatcher Tunnel, provide a glimpse into the infrastructure that connected Asheville to the wider region. The 1800s and 1900s were significant decades for Asheville, marked by the construction of architecturally stunning buildings and monuments.

Biltmore Legacy

The renowned Biltmore estate must be included while talking about Asheville’s past. George Vanderbilt, a prominent member of the Vanderbilt family, began constructing the 8,000-acre estate in 1889. By the time the estate was eventually finished in 1895, its immense size and elaborate architectural features had already established it as a symbol of riches and luxury.

Since then, the Biltmore estate has gained international acclaim as a must-see historical destination. Visitors may fully immerse themselves in the opulent lifestyle of the Gilded Period because to the abundance of architectural marvels. The estate also provides insight into George Vanderbilt and his family’s endeavors, who made substantial contributions to the growth and prosperity of Asheville.

Take the time to savor the rich tapestry of architectural styles and illustrious history that this attractive city has to offer as you explore the historical sites in Asheville. There are many fascinating places to discover and experience, whether you want to meander around Asheville’s ancient streets or explore the lavish Biltmore estate.

Taste of Asheville

Downtown Dine-outs

Asheville is home to a rich culinary scene featuring independent restaurants that cater to every taste. The downtown area, with its vibrant food culture, offers a variety of dining options. From eclectic cafes, farm-to-table establishments, to a wide array of international cuisines, there’s something for everyone. When visiting Asheville, make sure to explore these downtown dine-outs that showcase the city’s commitment to locally-sourced ingredients and unique culinary experiences.

Beer City

Asheville has been dubbed “Beer City, USA” and is proud of its thriving craft beer scene. Boasting an impressive number of breweries and microbreweries, visitors will be delighted as they explore the city’s offerings. Start with Highland Brewing Company (56 Patton Ave), Asheville’s original brewery, before making your way to Hi-Wire Brewing (197 Hilliard Ave), which offers a mix of flagship beers, seasonals, specialties, and sour & wild ales. The craft beer scene extends beyond downtown, so be sure to check out additional breweries on your visit.

Farm to Table

A visit to Asheville cannot be complete without experiencing its “Foodtopia,” where farm-to-table dining is celebrated. Asheville’s Farm to Table movement focuses on using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients in dishes served at numerous restaurants throughout the city. Connecting diners with regional farmers, these establishments provide a unique dining experience that highlights Asheville’s agricultural roots and commitment to sustainability. Enjoy responsibly-sourced meals that showcase the best of Appalachian cuisine while supporting local farms and businesses.

Visualizing Asheville

Artistic Asheville

Asheville is a vibrant city embedded in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, known for its thriving arts scene. A visit to Asheville presents an opportunity to immerse yourself in the creative and cultural atmosphere, which features local and international artists, art galleries, and more.

Several art galleries showcase the talents of Asheville’s artists. Some notable galleries to consider visiting include Radius Studios, featuring local artists in unique, contemporary spaces, and Blue Spiral 1, which displays a wide collection of innovative art pieces across various mediums.

Asheville Murals

Murals in Asheville serve as a public canvas for talented local artists, creating a visually stunning cityscape. As you wander through the streets of Asheville, keep an eye out for these impressive pieces of street art that showcase the city’s creativity and spirit.

Some noteworthy murals include:

  • ‘Greetings from Asheville’: A colorful and vibrant postcard-like design, perfect for a souvenir photo
  • ‘Chicken Alley Mural’: Depicting a story from Asheville’s history, this mural adds a touch of whimsy to your experience
  • ‘Dreamers’: Located at The Block, this powerful mural serves as a tribute to the African-American community in Asheville

Asheville’s dynamic art scene, combined with its rich history and stunning location, make it an ideal destination for those seeking a cultural adventure. By exploring the numerous galleries and uncovering mural masterpieces, visitors can truly visualize and appreciate the artistic essence of this eclectic city.

Natural Wonders

Asheville, North Carolina, is surrounded by some of the most breathtaking natural wonders in the United States. Within a short drive from the city, visitors can explore mesmerizing landscapes, including the Blue Ridge Mountains, the French Broad River, and the lush forests of Pisgah National Forest.

Blue Ridge Mountains Gems

The Blue Ridge Mountains are the most iconic natural attraction in the Asheville area. A drive along the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway is an excellent way to immerse yourself in the region’s beauty. This 469-mile-long road stretches from Virginia to North Carolina, offering numerous overlooks, hiking trails, and picnic spots perfect for capturing picturesque memories.

Craggy Gardens, situated along the parkway, is a must-visit destination known for its unique high-elevation vegetation, rhododendron tunnels, and panoramic views. The North Carolina Arboretum is another gem located just a few miles south of Asheville, where you can explore enchanting gardens, walking trails, and a bonsai exhibition.

Blue Ridge Mountains AttractionsDescription
Blue Ridge ParkwayScenic drive with overlooks, hiking trails, and picnic areas
Craggy GardensUnique high-elevation landscape with panoramic views
North Carolina ArboretumGardens, walking trails, and bonsai exhibition

Do the Pisgah

Pisgah National Forest covers over 500,000 acres of wooded terrain, offering a wide range of outdoor activities, such as hiking, biking, and fishing. The forest is home to numerous waterfalls, the most notable being:

  • Looking Glass Falls: A 60-foot waterfall, easily accessible from the road.
  • Sliding Rock: A natural waterslide that drops into a chilled pool, perfect for a summer day.

The French Broad River meanders through the forest and offers various recreational opportunities such as whitewater rafting, kayaking, and tubing. Pisgah National Forest provides nature enthusiasts with plenty of picturesque spots to connect with the great outdoors.

Exploring Asheville

Asheville, North Carolina, offers a wide variety of experiences for visitors – from urban adventures to outdoor escapades. In this section, we’ll dive into some of the most popular activities in the area, including the Urban Trail Adventure, River Walks, Hiking Hotspots, and Wildlife Watch.

Urban Trail Adventure

The Urban Trail in Asheville is a must-do for history buffs and art enthusiasts alike. This self-guided walking tour takes visitors through the city’s rich history and vibrant arts scene. With over 30 stations, the trail showcases Asheville’s unique past, from its earliest days to the present. Take your time exploring the various art installations and historical landmarks that make Asheville a truly one-of-a-kind destination.

River Walks

Asheville is situated along the beautiful French Broad River, offering several picturesque river walks for outdoor enthusiasts. The River Arts District, home to over 200 local artists, is an excellent place to start. Here, you can take a leisurely stroll along the river, stop by various art galleries, and shop for unique souvenirs. Combine your river walk experience with biking by renting a bike and exploring nearby hiking and biking trails.

Hiking Hotspots

Surrounded by the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville is a haven for hikers of all skill levels. Some popular trails include:

  • Appalachian Trail: This famous trail extends over 2,000 miles through 14 states and offers breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
  • Blue Ridge Parkway: Known for its scenic drives, the parkway also boasts several hiking trails that showcase the Smoky Mountains’ captivating beauty.
  • Mount Mitchell: As the highest peak east of the Mississippi River, Mount Mitchell offers challenging trails and stunning panoramic views.

Wildlife Watch

For nature enthusiasts, a visit to Asheville wouldn’t be complete without exploring its diverse wildlife. Embark on a foraging tour with No Taste Like Home, which allows you to experience the local flora and fauna up close. From wild mushrooms to edible plants, a guided foraging excursion is an excellent way to learn more about Asheville’s natural habitat while enjoying the great outdoors. Keep an eye out for a variety of local wildlife, including deer, wild turkeys, and birds, as you traverse the area’s many trails and parks.

Popular Attractions

Historic Sites

Asheville is rich in history, and a visit to the Biltmore Estate is a must for anyone interested in grandeur and architecture. This 8,000-acre estate, built by George Vanderbilt, is the largest private home in the United States and features 250 rooms. The estate also includes a winery and beautifully landscaped gardens.

Another historic site worth visiting is the Thomas Wolfe Memorial, the childhood home of the famous author. Take a walking tour to explore the charming Montford historic district and discover its connection to notable figures and events.

Unique Asheville

This vibrant city is renowned for its distinctive art scene, with attractions such as the Folk Art Center, showcasing local and regional crafts, and Woolworth Walk, an art gallery featuring works from over 100 regional artists. Don’t miss the eclectic weekly drum circle at Pritchard Park or the impressive collection of vintage pinball machines at the Asheville Pinball Museum.

For music lovers, catch a live show at the Orange Peel or visit the Moogseum, a museum dedicated to electronic music pioneer Bob Moog. The historic Grove Arcade is another must-see, offering shopping, dining, and architectural wonder in one location.

Lands of Asheville

The city’s surrounding landscape is equally breathtaking, as it offers various outdoor activities. The North Carolina Arboretum is a popular attraction, featuring lush gardens, trails, and educational exhibits. The nearby Grove Park Inn, with its beautiful resort and spa, overlooks the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains.

Take advantage of the abundant state parks and go horseback riding or experience a performance by the Montford Park Players in their beautiful outdoor amphitheater. Finally, don’t forget to visit Pack Square and Grey Eagle, two iconic landmarks that offer a glimpse into Asheville’s past and present.

Craftsmanship in Asheville

Asheville, North Carolina, is well-known for its thriving arts scene and rich cultural heritage. In this vibrant mountain town, travelers can explore two distinct sides of Asheville’s craftsmanship: its thriving craft beer industry and its numerous arts and crafts markets.

Brewery Tour

Asheville boasts a lively craft beer scene, earning the title of “Beer City USA” thanks to its abundance of craft breweries and microbreweries. A brewery tour is the best way to sample the vast array of beers on offer, from local favorites like Highland Brewing Company to national brands such as Sierra Nevada. Visitors can experience the unique flavors and styles crafted in this beer-loving town by taking a guided brewery tour or embarking on a self-guided adventure.

  • LaZoom: This distinctive purple bus offers a one-of-a-kind “Brews Cruise” tour that combines humor, history, and beer tastings at some of Asheville’s best breweries.
  • Highland Brewing Company: As Asheville’s first craft brewery, Highland Brewing has a strong reputation for quality beers and sustainable practices. Be sure to enjoy a pint in their beautiful tasting room.
  • Sierra Nevada: A visit to Sierra Nevada’s Asheville location is a must for craft beer enthusiasts. The brewery offers tours, tastings, and a delightful taproom with farm-to-table fare.

Shopping and Crafts

In addition to its beer scene, Asheville has a rich history of traditional and contemporary art, with abundant opportunities for visitors to explore local galleries, studios, and craft fairs. These events showcase the work of talented artisans from across the region, making it the perfect destination for art lovers and shoppers alike.

  • Blue Ridge Craft Trails: Discover 200 craft sites across 25 Western North Carolina counties, celebrating Asheville as a vibrant hub for handmade crafts and arts organizations.
  • Omni Grove Park Inn Arts & Crafts Conference: This annual event showcases exquisite art and craftsmanship through workshops, exhibitions, and lectures.
  • Weaverville Art Safari Studio Tours: Embark on a self-guided tour of artists’ studios in the picturesque town of Weaverville, just a short drive from Asheville.
  • Lake Lure Arts & Crafts Spring Festival: Support local artists in need and find unique handmade treasures at this annual event.
  • Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands: Organized by the Southern Highland Craft Guild, this seasonal fair features traditional and contemporary crafts from over 100 artisans.

As you explore Asheville’s craftsmanship through its breweries and art scene, the city’s stunning natural surroundings and vibrant energy provide the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable experience.

Asheville Nightlife

Asheville, North Carolina, is a city known for its vibrant arts and culture scene, and its nightlife is no exception. When visiting this charming city, you’ll find a variety of exciting activities to enjoy after the sun goes down.

Music Venues

Downtown Asheville is home to a number of live music venues, showcasing a wide range of musical genres. One of the most popular spots to catch live music is The Grey Eagle, which hosts both local and touring artists and bands. The intimate setting and excellent acoustics make it a great place to enjoy live performances.

Another must-visit music venue is New Belgium Brewing Company. Located in the South Slope neighborhood, New Belgium features live music concerts on their outdoor stage, along with locally brewed craft beers.

Beer and Fun

Asheville’s thriving brewery scene is undoubtedly a highlight of the city’s nightlife. Downtown and South Slope are two areas known for their concentration of breweries, offering visitors a chance to sample unique, locally-crafted beers. The following venues are worth a visit:

  • Ben’s Tune Up: An almost completely outdoor bar with a festive atmosphere and ramen eatery. It was once an auto shop, now transformed into a lively social spot.
  • 5 Walnut Wine Bar: Located in the heart of downtown Asheville, this wine bar offers a relaxing ambiance, with live music and a chance to people-watch.
  • Appalachian Vintner: A popular destination for fans of craft beer, this establishment offers a vast selection of beers on tap and frequently hosts tasting events.

Asheville offers an exciting variety of nightlife options, catering to various interests and tastes. From live music venues to beer gardens and wine bars, this charming city guarantees memorable evenings for its visitors.


Asheville, North Carolina, offers a diverse range of activities and attractions for visitors to explore. With its stunning location in the Appalachian Mountains, the city is known for its natural beauty and outdoor activities. Hiking the Blue Ridge Parkway provides a chance to immerse oneself in the beautiful landscapes, while the Biltmore Estate, America’s largest privately-owned residence, offers a glimpse of opulence and history.

The city’s arts and culture scene is also noteworthy, with numerous galleries and studios in the River Arts District and a vibrant music scene throughout the city. For those interested in gastronomy, Asheville boasts a fantastic food and craft beer scene, catering to a range of tastes.

Visitors looking for convenience in getting around may find that some areas are more walkable than others, and taking advantage of the Asheville Redefines Transit (ART) bus system can provide access to the city’s central downtown hub.

Overall, Asheville, NC, maintains a high quality of life for its residents and offers an engaging and memorable experience for tourists. With its mix of outdoor adventures, historic attractions, and cultural experiences, Asheville is a must-visit destination in the United States.