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
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
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
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
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.