15 Best Things To Do in Asheville, North Carolina

by Seema Nande Updated on 13 Oct 2018

North Carolina’s the Blue Ridge Mountains is best known for the city of Asheville in its western region. It is known for its vibrant and historic architecture and the general vibe of the city is that of a complete artistic aristocracy. With galleries and art museums just around the corner from virtually every city block, that is only to be expected. This besides, a city set in the mountains is bound to have some splendid views and such is the case in Asheville. Here are the best places to visit in Asheville.

Let's explore Asheville points of interest and 15 best things to do in Asheville:

1. Visit the Biltmore Estate

Biltmore Estate, AshevilleImage Source: flickr.com

The Biltmore Estate is one of the most majestic places to visit in all of Asheville. Featuring its stunningly imposing architecture and ambiance, tourists are able to delve further into the rich local history of North Carolina. The property and grounds are maintained very well, which makes the estate a real treat on any trip to Asheville. Tourists are free to roam about on their own or take a guided tour as they see fit but the true flavor of local history is to be found only with the guided tour.

2. Take a Tour of Biltmore Gardens

The Biltmore Gardens is actually a part of the Biltmore Estate and a great tourist destination for those who love nature’s lush greenery. Well-maintained and full of many rare and beautiful species of flowers, the Biltmore Garden is a great place to visit. The greenhouse contains numerous beautiful orchids and roses. This besides, tourists can also take a trip to the fish pond inside the garden. The feeling of peace is so palpable that makes anyone’s day with just a couple of hours.

3. Check out the North Carolina Arboretum

Tourist attractions in AshevilleImage Source: wikimedia.org

The North Carolina Arboretum is one of the most exotic places to visit in Asheville. The prime feature of the arboretum is the gardens that are so blissfully serene. The area is also ideal for hiking and cycling enthusiasts to unwind and explore. The ambiance makes it so easy to relax and rejuvenate amidst the flowers. Spending a day at the North Carolina Arboretum is definitely one of the major highlights of any trip to Asheville and is enjoyable alone or with the company.

4. Drop by the Folk Art Center

Folk Art Center - ImageImage Source: flickr.com

Folksy arts and crafts are highly interesting from any culture or ethnic background. This is because they are such a rarity in today’s world. The Folk Art Center in Ashville is one of the nicest ways to spend a day with family and kids. On display are quilts, pottery, homemade clothing, and jewelry and everything is openly available for purchase here. Anything that catches the eye can be purchased right here and this makes for wonderful shopping and gifting options on any trip to North Carolina.

5. Take the Asheville Ghost Walking Tour

The Ashville Ghost Walking Tour is exactly as it sounds; spine-chilling and spooky! Take a tour of the city’s darkest secrets and delve into the gruesome local history. This is a two-hour guided tour unlike any other in the United States. The best part is that tour guides have a thrilling form of narration that will leave tourists clamoring for more of the eerie side of the otherwise quaint city of Ashville.

6. Have a Drink at the Highland Brewing Company

Not a destination for the kids, the Highland Brewing Company is one of the best local breweries in all of Ashville if not all of North Carolina. The tasting room is privy to all the latest flavors and the beer is simply to die for. This aside, the tourists get a full tour of the facilities in order to take in the entire manufacturing process and the equipment used in the best breweries. This is a great way to spend an afternoon full of fun and information not usually disclosed to the general public.

7. Take a Tour of the Smith-McDowell House

The Smith-McDowell House is Asheville’s first mansion ever and the oldest surviving house to date. The guided tours provide plenty of information regarding this epic home’s history and the unusual mix of room décor. On top of that, the tour guides give a detailed narration of the wide array of historical artifacts preserved in the Smith-McDowell House. A great way to kill time and an even better way to gain insight into the history of Asheville in North Carolina, the Smith-McDowell House is simply too good to be missed by casual tourists and bona fide history buffs alike.

8. Stop by the Thomas Wolfe Memorial

Located in Asheville, the Thomas Wolfe Memorial is the perfect way to get a glimpse of the culture, literature, and history of North Carolina. In fact, this memorial also features a museum that is granted to be the primary source of information on the history of North Carolina. The memorial regales the story of Thomas Wolfe – an unsuccessful novelist who died at a young age and is a great tourist spot that offers actual insight into the literary history of North Carolina as well.

9. Head Over to the Pinball Museum

The Pinball Museum is one of the most remarkable museums in North Carolina and easily among the most unique museums in the world. The vintage arcade games, pinball machines, and old-school video games that can still be played here are just a lot of fun for the whole family. The greatest hits of all time, including Pac Man, Mrs. Pac Man, and Tron can all be found right here for a truly amazing day. Not meant only for gaming aficionados, the Pinball Museum makes for a fun family weekend.

10. Tour the Western North Carolina Nature Center

Harboring over sixty species of animals, the Western North Carolina Nature Center is a great place to visit on any trip to Asheville, North Carolina. The forty-two-acre zoological park operated by the City of Asheville's Parks and Recreation Department is the perfect showcase of the wildlife in the Southern Appalachian region. Happily, it is not just the fauna that this park showcases, but several varieties of flora as well. Time spent here is time well spent alone or with a family.

11. Go Hiking in the Pisgah National Forest

Pisgah National Forest, AshevilleImage Source: flickr.com

The Pisgah National Forest located in the Appalachian Mountains of western North Carolina is an absolute treat. Forest treks, rock climbing, river boating, camping, and hiking are only some of the many remarkable activities here. Truly one of the best things to do on a trip to Asheville, a trip to the Pisgah National Forest is bound to include superb views of waterfalls from atop mountain peaks, camping in the open, and picnics with the family in lush greenery and serene surroundings.

12. Check out the Antique Car Museum

The Antique Car Museum at Grovewood Village in Asheville, North Carolina is simply superb. As the name promises, travelers and visitors get to see a large collection of rare vintage cars in pristine condition. The simple and rustic setting of the museum is augmented by the cars that are still in running condition. One of the most famous pieces showcased here is the 1957 Cadillac Eldorado. Built on what was once a world-famous textile mill which is included in the tour, this museum is simply great.

13. Soul Searching at the Basilica of St. Lawrence

The Minor Basilica of St. Lawrence the Deacon and Martyr in Asheville is as famous as it is beautiful. The mixture of Beaux-Arts and Spanish Baroque architecture is mesmerizing. There are guided tours available but since this is a place of worship tourists can simply walk around on their own. The domed ceiling is iconic and the ambiance is truly welcoming and warm. One of the best places to visit in Asheville, the Basilica of St. Lawrence is not a destination one should ever miss.

14. Take a Tour of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area

Designated as National Heritage Area the twenty-five westernmost counties of North Carolina together form the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area in the Blue Ridge Mountains. This is a compilation of various activities from nature walks to museums and offers several recreational and cultural activities. The visitor center is in itself highly informative and educational. That besides, the many cultural hubs along the drive host various interesting cultural events to indulge in. Truly an amazing way to spend a week or two touring Ashville in North Carolina.

15. Go for Some Adventure Sports at Asheville Treetops Adventure Park

The Asheville Treetops Adventure Park sounds like a mouthful but the experience is completely worth it. The top activities include tree climbing, rope swinging, rappelling, and other challenges, such as zip lines. The wooded setting of this entire theme park in Asheville, North Carolina is what makes it even more exotic and adventurous. The staff are always very patient, helpful, and friendly and the whole experience is the adventure of a lifetime. Any trip to the city of Ashville, North Carolina is incomplete without a trip to this spectacular park.

Author: Seema Nande
A deep-dyed Piscean, Seema is a dreamer. This extends to the fact that she is seldom in another world of her's or dreaming of the place she would rather be. A wild-child at heart and a keen observer otherwise, Seema's free-spirited psyche is eternal...

Must see places in Asheville ranked on popularity. Here is the complete list of best attractions in Asheville and point of interests to visit.

  1. # 1 of 846 Things To Do in Asheville | Added 1310 times in trip plans
    Biltmore Estate

    Tags: Park, Estate, Historical Site, Leisure

    Address: 1 Lodge Street, Asheville, NC 28803

    Timings: 09:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    Known as America’s largest home The Biltmore Estate spawns a gargantuan area of 178,926 sq ft. Commissioned by George Vanderbilt and built by his architect Richard hunt the estate stands as Amer...Read more

  2. # 2 of 846 Things To Do in Asheville | Added 1054 times in trip plans
    Blue Ridge Parkway

    Tags: Park, View Point, Broadway, Road

    Address: Asheville, NC

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    America’s longest linear Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway is a National Parkway and runs about 469 miles through Virginia and North Carolina. It runs along the ridges of the Blue Ridge Mountain from...Read more

  3. # 3 of 846 Things To Do in Asheville | Added 860 times in trip plans
    Thomas Wolfe House

    Tags: Memorial

    Address: 52 N Market St, Asheville, NC 28801, USA

    Timings: 09:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    Those who are into history and literature will definitely know who Thomas Wolfe is. One of the greatest artists in the writing world, Wolfe has immortalized his place in the people’s heart. Henc...Read more

  4. # 4 of 846 Things To Do in Asheville | Added 831 times in trip plans
    Smith - Mc Dowell House Museum

    Tags: Museum, Architecture

    Address: 283 Victoria Road, Asheville, NC 28801

    Timings: 12:00 pm - 04:00 pm Details

    The Smith - Mc Dowell House is city’s oldest surviving house and is also the first. It was bought by Sarah Smith McDowell after the death of her parents and you can notice the distinctive differ...Read more

  5. # 5 of 846 Things To Do in Asheville | Added 374 times in trip plans
    Pisgah National Forest

    Tags: Forest, Waterfall, Hiking Trail, Entertainment

    Address: Pisgah Forest, NC

    Timings: 08:00 am - 04:30 pm Details

    The Pisgah National Forest Park which was formed in 1916 is home to some of the most amazing waterfalls, forest covers and mile high peaks. The Blue Ridge Mountain and the Great balsam mountains are a...Read more

  6. # 6 of 846 Things To Do in Asheville | Added 675 times in trip plans
    Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site

    Tags: Historical Site

    Address: 1928 Little River Rd., Flat Rock, Flat Rock, NC 28731

    Timings: 09:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    The home of a Pulitzer Prize winning poet Carl Sandburg, is considered as one of the most important National historic site in America. The house was built sometime in 1839 by an architect hired by Chr...Read more

  7. # 7 of 846 Things To Do in Asheville | Added 680 times in trip plans
    Western North Carolina Nature Center

    Tags: Park, Zoo, Aquarium, Entertainment

    Address: 75 Gashes Creek Road, Asheville, NC 28805

    Timings: 10:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    A 42 acre zoological park located in Gashes Creek Road The Western North Carolina Nature Center is home to over 60 species of animals and birds. Here you’ll find especially the animals native to...Read more

  8. # 8 of 846 Things To Do in Asheville | Added 566 times in trip plans
    Asheville Hot Air Balloons

    Tags: Outdoors, Entertainment, Hot Air Balloon

    Address: Asheville, NC, United States

    Timings: 06:00 am - 09:00 pm Details

    If you are searching for a recreational activity amidst the clouds then Asheville Hot Air Balloons is the perfect place for you. For about an hour when you are up in the air and down below its all gre...Read more

  9. # 9 of 846 Things To Do in Asheville | Added 420 times in trip plans
    Craggy Gardens

    Tags: Trail, Garden, View Point, Hiking Trail

    Address: Craggy Gardens Visitor Center, 195 Hemphill Knob Road, Asheville, NC

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    The Craggy Gardens are a part of the Blue Ridge Parkway and also the most beautiful viewpoint in the Parkway. There are trails to the picnic point where you can have a fun and enriching experience of ...Read more

  10. # 10 of 846 Things To Do in Asheville | Added 305 times in trip plans
    Asheville Zip-line Canopy Adventures

    Tags: Outdoors, Entertainment, Adventure

    Address: 1 Resort Dr, Asheville, NC

    Timings: 10:00 am - 02:00 pm Details

    One of the most exciting places in Ashville for a truly adventurous experience the Asheville Zip-line Canopy is the perfect place to go to. It has about 60 unique climbing, zipping, walking, jumping, ...Read more

  11. # 11 of 846 Things To Do in Asheville | Added 290 times in trip plans
    Haunted Asheville Ghost Tours

    Tags: Tour

    Address: 80 Broadway, Asheville, NC 28801, United States

    Timings: 08:00 am - 11:59 pm Details

    As the name suggest, if you’re interested to have a chill run up your spine take part in the interesting but scary Ghost tours. Asheville has a history of centuries making it ripe with legends o...Read more

  12. # 12 of 846 Things To Do in Asheville | Added 280 times in trip plans
    Chatlos Memorial Chapel

    Tags: Church, Religious Site, Landmark

    Address: 1 Porters Cove Road, Asheville, NC

    Timings: 09:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    Nested within the Blue Ridge Mountains the Chatlos Memorial Chapel looks like a chapel pulled from a fairy tale. There’s also the Billy graham training centre at The Cove which offers Christian ...Read more

  13. # 13 of 846 Things To Do in Asheville | Added 162 times in trip plans
    Black Mountain College Museum And Arts Center

    Tags: Art Museum, Museum

    Address: 56 Broadway, Asheville, NC 28801-2916

    Timings: 12:00 pm - 04:00 pm Details

    A museum quite in its nature and content the Black Mountain College Museum and Arts Center has long and interesting history. Founded in 1933 the college was home to many artists and intellectuals that...Read more

  14. # 14 of 846 Things To Do in Asheville | Added 262 times in trip plans
    Biltmore Village

    Tags: Village, Dine In, Shopping Center, Town

    Address: 10 Brook Street, Asheville, NC 28803

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    The village was conceived as a company town for Biltmore estate by George Vanderbilt and was formerly known as the town of ‘Best’. The town contains several shops and houses which offer an...Read more

  15. # 15 of 846 Things To Do in Asheville | Added 245 times in trip plans
    Woolworth Walk

    Tags: Art Gallery

    Address: 25 Haywood Street, Asheville, NC 28801

    Timings: 11:00 am - 06:00 pm Details

    A privately owned art gallery it is famously said that Woolworth Walk is ‘Worth the Walk’. It is Asheville’s largest art gallery and houses some of the best contemporary artworks by ...Read more

Explore the best things to do in Asheville. These are the most preferred tourist activities.

  • Thomas Wolfe Memorial

    52 N Market St

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Biltmore Estate

    1 Lodge St

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Biltmore Estate

    1 Biltmore Plz

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Asheville City Hall

    70 Court Plz

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Flat Iron Building

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Overlook

    Historic and Protected Sites
View On Map
  • Beaver Lake

    1292 Merrimon Ave

  • Lake Julian Disc Golf Course

  • Lake Tomahawk

    301 Laurel Circle Dr

  • Enka Lake

    Enka Lake Road

  • Lake Susan

  • Wards Carp Lake

View On Map
  • Asheville Art Museum

    2 S Pack Sq

  • WNC Nature Center

    75 Gashes Creek Rd

  • Black Mountain College Museum & Art Center

    56 Broadway St

  • Asheville Pinball Museum

    1 Battle Sq

  • Colburn Earth Science Museum

    2 S Pack Sq

  • Smith-McDowell House Museum

    283 Victoria Rd

View On Map
  • Asheville's Fun Depot

    7 Roberts Rd

    Amusement Parks Arcades
  • Mall Jump at Asheville

    3 S Tunnel Rd

    Amusement Parks Arcades
  • The Biltmore Company

    1 Lodge St

    Amusement Parks
  • Mountain Music and Amusements

    181 Cisco Rd

    Amusement Parks
  • Carolina Coin Amusement Co.

    101 Reddick Rd

    Amusement Parks
  • Day & Elizabeth

    6 Roberts Rd

    Amusement Parks
View On Map
  • Universal Joint

    784 Haywood Rd

    American Burgers Bars
  • Tupelo Honey

    12 College St

    Bars American
  • Avenue M

    791 Merrimon Ave

    American Bars Barbecue
  • Athena's

    14 College St

    Bars Burgers
  • Westville Pub

    777 Haywood Rd

    Bars American Burgers
  • O'henry's

    237 Haywood St

    Bars Night Clubs Restaurants
View On Map
  • Harrah's Casino Express

    863 Brevard Rd

    Casinos and Gaming Hotels and Motels
View On Map
  • Eastern National Park & Monument Association

    210 Riceville Rd

    Natural Parks
  • Looking Glass Falls

    Natural Parks
  • Coleman Boundary/Big Ivy

    Natural Parks
View On Map
  • Carrier Park

    220 Amboy Rd

    Dog Parks
  • French Broad River Park

    508 Riverview Dr

    Playgrounds Dog Parks
View On Map
  • Mountain To Sea Trail

  • Rice Pinnacle Trail Head

  • Lady Slipper Trail head At mountain To Sea

  • Rattlesnake Rock

  • Top Of Old Fort Mtn

  • Mt Pisgah Summit

View On Map
  • Curtis Wright Outfitters

    5 All Souls Cres

    Hunting and Fishing
  • Hunter Banks Co.

    29 Montford Ave

    Hunting and Fishing
  • Smoky Mountain Adventure Center

    173 Amboy Rd

    Hunting and Fishing
  • Asheville Fly Fishing Company

    Hunting and Fishing
  • Southern Appalachian Anglers

    725 Merrimon Ave

    Hunting and Fishing
  • Altamont Anglers

    30 Caledonia Rd

    Hunting and Fishing
View On Map
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