Things to Do

Attractions

Explore Asheville attractions such as shopping, tours, parks, art galleries, music concerts, and hundreds more.

Linville Caverns

Located in WNC near Grandfather Mountain, Linville Caverns are worth the visit. Deep beneath Humpback Mountain, nature has sculpted a veritable masterpiece in stone. Toiling many centuries, slowly moving ground water has been the primary artist for this creation of underground labyrinths. The water dissolved out an incredible series of rooms and passages. The cavern was discovered in the 1800′s by men intrigued by the mystery of fish swimming out of the mountain. Since then, extensive research has been done to acknowledge the history, folklore, geology and biology of Linville Caverns. The mystery is still alive.


(828) 756-4171 or (800) 419-0540

Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

With the romance and mystique of an era gone by, guests on board the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad will enjoy year-round scenic train journeys through some of the most beautiful landscapes in the Great Smoky Mountains. Nantahala Gorge Excursion (4½ hour round trip), Day Out With Thomas™, Peanuts™ Pumpkin Patch Express, and the Polar Express™, are just a few of the wonderful trips available to passengers. Call for additional information, or to make advance reservations.


1-800-872-4681 or 828-586-8811

Asheville Art Adventure

Discover Asheville’s art, architecture, and the historic events and people who helped create this unique community by exploring downtown with the Asheville Art Adventure. Not just another walking tour, this iPhone app offers an interactive experience that includes free printable Adventure Passport available at www.GoFingo.com, the chance to earn Adventure Rewards, and special offers from local merchants.


The Orange Peel

The Orange Peel Social Aid & Pleasure Club of Asheville, North Carolina was voted one of Rolling Stone magazine’s Top 5 Rock Clubs in the country. Asheville’s premier downtown live music club is a smoke free facility that features a state of the art sound and lighting system. Musical acts appearing on stage have included Bob Dylan, The Flaming Lips, Ben Harper, Blondie, Spoon, Sonic Youth, My Morning Jacket, Dinosaur Jr, Smashing Pumpkins, Arcade Fire and many more. Our warm atmosphere and beautiful facilities are also ideal for private parties and events of all kinds. We look forward to seeing you at the Peel!


Fox Mountain Guides and Climbing School

Fox Mountain Guides and Climbing School is the south’s only AMGA Accredited Guide Service. They offer rock climbing, ice climbing guiding and rock climbing courses across North Carolina. A great and exciting way to see the Mountains! FMG also offers a teen adventure summer camps June through August. We only use American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) trained and certified Instructors and Guides. No other guide service in the Southeastern USA upholds this incredibly high standard. Excellence in Rock Guiding and Instruction since 1994.
- The South’s only AMGA Accredited Guide Service
- AMGA Certified Instructors or Guides on every trip
- No experience necessary
- We cater to all ability levels and ages


Toll Free: 1-888-28-GUIDE (4843)

Chimney Rock Park

If you’re ready for some exercise, we’ve got the spot for you. The Park features six different hiking trails, ranging in difficulty from easy-to-moderate to moderate-to-strenuous. Some lead to 404-foot Hickory Nut Falls; others lead through the woods through old growth forests, dazzling displays of wildflowers and interesting rock formations. The Great Woodland Adventure features fun, whimsical sculptures of some of the animals that call the Park home. Guided bird and wildflower hikes are just a few that are offered throughout the season. The Park, a Natural Heritage Area, is located 25 miles SE of Asheville in scenic Hickory Nut Gorge. Open all year. Live it up!


828-625-9611

Asheville Tourists Baseball

Take yourself down to the ballgame next year (the 2011 season is completed) at McCormic Field, 30 Buchanan St., as you watch Asheville’s minor-league heroes, The Tourists, confront a host of regional contenders.


(828) 258-0428

Omni Resorts The Grove Park Inn

The Grove Park Inn overlooks Asheville’s skyline and the Blue Ridge mountains. Built in 1913, the Inn is on the National Register of Historic Places and a member of Historic Hotels of America. Amenities include a 40,000 sq ft world-class spa, Arts & Crafts antique furnishings, Club Floor, Donald Ross designed golf course, tennis, swimming, Sports Complex, shops, fine dining and children’s programs.
290 Macon Ave.,Asheville, NC 28804


(800) 438-5800

Flat Rock Playhouse

Flat Rock, NC
The State Theatre of North Carolina, and one of the finest local playhouses in the United States. Highly acclaimed throughout the theater world. The Playhouse’s dual mission of producing the performing arts and providing education in the performing arts includes a ten-show professional series; a summer and fall college apprentice and intern program; performances and cabaret series by the YouTheatre; year-round classes and workshops for students from kindergarten through adults. Flat Rock Playhouse now hosts over 90,000 patrons annually and is a major contributor to the local economy and the Arts in North Carolina.


Biltmore Park Town Square

Get your perfect place in town squared away. Discover beautiful townhomes and condominiums perfectly sized for your life. Make your home in Biltmore Park Town Square and you’ll be just steps away from some of the most savory dining choices in the mountains. Not to mention world-class shopping and lively entertainment and the tallest mountains east of the Rockies right outside our window.


828-654-0660

Smith-McDowell House Museum, Asheville’s First Mansion

If you are planning a visit to the Asheville area for the color season, you might want to plan a visit to the Smith-McDowell House Museum. Built circa 1840 by James McConnell Smith, the Smith McDowell House is Asheville’s oldest surviving house and the oldest brick house in Buncombe County, North Carolina. Small admission fee.

 


828-253-9231

Vance Birthplace

On Reems Chreek Road off US 25 near Weaverville is the restored late 18th century homestead of North Carolina Senator and Civil War Governor Zebulon B. Vance. Open year-round. Admission is free.


(828) 645-6706

Pisgah Forest Fish Hatchery

Housed at the base of John Rock, the hatchery raises the thousands of trout used to stock area streams. Feeding the fish is a real treat for kids, and an educational center with programs and interpretive walking trail will educate and entrain all ages. FR 475 off US 276 N., Pisgah Forest.


(828) 277-3121

Blue Heron Whitewater

Closest whitewater rafting to Asheville, 22 miles NW, on the French Broad River. Choose the trip that fits your group and schedule. Half Day Trips enjoy five miles of beautiful scenery, fun class II-III rapids. Add three miles and a class IV rapid for the Full Day Trip. Minimum age is 8. Families with kids as young as 4 enjoy the calm water Float Trip. Locally owned and operated, small company big on details!


888-426-7238 / 888-H2o-Raft

YMI Cultural Center

For years, the 18,000 square foot YMI building was the social and economic center of Asheville’s Black community. Currently YMI is a cultural center operating with support from the City of Asheville. Its impressive Tudor-style structure is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and features four galleries and a 300-seat performing arts theatre.

39 S Market St, Asheville, NC 28801
(828) 252-4614

Crabtree Meadows

Crabtree Meadows marks the last stretch of the Parkway through the Blue Ridge Mountains. At approximately milepost 354, the road enters the Black Mountain Range, passes through the Great Craggies, and ends at the Atlantic-Gulf drainage divide.


Asheville Botanical Gardens

The Botanical Gardens at Asheville, North Carolina is located in one of the three most diverse temperate ecosystems on earth – the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Our collections are primarily native species displayed in both natural settings and in ways designed for ease of examination and beauty.


(828) 252-5190

Cherokee

Learn the history and meet the people of the Cherokee Indian Reservation. Visit the Oconoluftee Indian Village and see “Unto These Hills” for a great educational opportunity.


Asheville and WNC Summer Camps

Looking for a summer camp in the cool WNC mountains, then look no further, as the Asheville.com camp directory lists a broad range of selections.


Hickory Ridge Homestead

Experience Appalachian life in the late 18th century at this living history museum composed of a log cabin, a weaving room, a barn and a smoke house. This outdoor drama, Horn in the West, set during the same era, is performed on site. Located at 591 Horn in the West Dr., Boone.


(828) 264-2120

Scenic Wolf Resort

Enjoy the breathtaking views from Scenic Wolf Resort’s luxurious cabins year round! Wintertime guests enjoy skiing on 72 acres of the best mountain slopes. Spring and summer days can be spent swimming, mountain biking, hiking, whitewater rafting, horseback riding, fishing, or golfing at a nearby course. Leaf season is simply amazing! 30 properties, $241-$493/night. Breathtaking views, spacious cabins, fireplaces, private hot tubs, glass-enclosed heated pool, pet friendly, free Wi-Fi, free local fun including golf, skiing, whitewater rafting, and LaZoom tour.


(855) 807-1842

Asheville Art Museum

As the single visual arts facility serving Western North Carolina, the Asheville Art Museum, its collection and programs are the only such resources available to the diverse communities in the region.


Comfort Suites Asheville Outlet Mall

NEWLY RENOVATED ALL SUITE HOTEL at the Asheville Outlet Mall I-26 Exit 33. Walk to restaurants, pharmacy, shopping, groceries and movie theater. Free Fast Internet.
Senoir Rate. Group & Meeting Friendly Facility & Rates. Free Hot Breakfast Buffet. Pet Friendly. Fitness Center & Seasonally Heated Pool. AAA & AARP APPROVED!

890 Brevard Rd., Asheville, NC 28806
800-622-4005

Great Smokey Mountains National Park

The country’s most visited national park, offering a variety of trails for hikers of any age or skill level. Trail maps and assistance are available at the Park Visitor Centers.


423-436-5615

Pack Place Education, Arts and Science Center

Downtown across from Pack Square, Pack Place Education, Arts and Science Center houses Three Centuries of Pack Square, and is the home for the Asheville Art Museum, Diana Wortham Theater, Colburn Earth Science Museum, the Health Adventure and the YMI Cultural Center.
“A must see” when visiting Asheville, NC.


(828) 253-3227

Hickory Furniture Mart

When you’re in Asheville, you’re just over an hour away from the nation’s leading home furnishings resource and a shopping experience you’ll never forget. See a thousand lines in nearly a hundred beautiful factory stores, outlets and galleries. Ideas galore. Famous North Carolina prices. On-site hotel, restaurant, shipping service. Visit hickoryfurniture.com.


800-462-MART

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

America’s most visited National Park. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has the Blue Ridge Parkway going through it, so it is to access with great vistas around every turn.


Mast General Store

Authentic general store featuring quality goods, traditional clothing and custom fit shoes. Since 1883, Mast General Store has been outfitting the Appalachians with traditional mercantile goods, comfortable clothing, rugged footwear and quality outdoor gear for all mountain seasons. Discover for yourself why….. some times are just too good to leave behind, and why it is a simple pleasure to just browse throughout the store.


Grove Arcade Arts and Heritage Gallery

The gallery features an state-of-the-art, interactive exhibition that uses a solid terrain model animated with regional voices, video, music and lasers to bring the culture and history of Western North Carolina to life. The Grove Arcade Arts & Heritage Gallery is a project of the Grove Arcade Public Market Foundation. Opened in January 2006, the gallery features the crafts, music and stories of the Blue Ridge. Visit the gallery and experience the places, objects and activities that authentically represent the people of Western North Carolina. The Gallery’s mission is to strive to help drive the local economy of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area by establishing strategic partnerships and promoting the region’s arts, crafts, music and cultural heritage.


The Health Adventure

The Health Adventure is a health and science museum for children and today’s families dedicated to improving health awareness, promoting wellness lifestyles, and increasing science literacy through programs and exhibits. We encourage curiosity, creativity, and the capacity for individual discovery. We recognize that each person perceives the world from a unique vantage point. Health, biological and physical sciences, technology, and the scientific process are emphasized in our interactive exhibits and curricula. We believe increasing science literacy enables people to make informed decisions about personal health, scientific advances, and career choices. While we are aware that there are many ways to learn, our creative programs and exhibits emphasize participation, exploration, and fun.
Address (physical): 800 Brevard Rd., Suite Asheville, NC 28802


(828) 665-2217

Asheville’s Urban Trail

The Asheville Urban Trail creates a living, historic walking tour of Asheville: a museum without walls, that illustrates and highlights the city’s heritage. “The remarkable abundance and survival of much of the city’s turn-of-the-century architecture has set the decorative tone for the rebirth of the downtown area. And the visual beauty and intricate detail of the architecture style found here is not only a feast for the eyes, but also stands as a visual reminder of the remarkable, creative history of the city and of the dynamic and talented individuals who first chose Asheville as home.” Along the Urban Trail the history of the city and of its people is represented in story and art.


(828) 259-5800

Catawba Science Center

This is 12,000 sq. feet of “hands-on” experimental exhibits that include live animals, earth and physical science, toddler areas and natural history exhibits. Located on the SALT block in the Arts & Sciences Center of Catawba Valley, 243 Third Ave., NE in Hickory.


(828) 322-8169

AppleWood Manor Inn

Grand Colonial Revival house on a spacious 1.5 acres, Montford Historic District, walk to downtown, gourmet 3-course breakfast, sizeable rooms, balconies, private baths, fireplaces, antiques, afternoon tea, … plus much more. Larry (a 6th generation native of Buncombe County) and Nancy’s goal is to make your stay memorable. AAA Three-Diamond $120-$195.


(828) 254-2244 or (800) 442-2197

Carl Sandburg Home

This historic site consists of a 22 room house, barns, sheds, rolling pastures, walking trails, two small lakes, ponds, flower and vegetable gardens, and an orchard. This is where Carl Sandburg felt the peace and solitude he required to write.


(828) 693-4178

WNC Nature Center

The Western North Carolina Nature Center is the first place where area children meet the animals they have read about. Deers, bears, cougars, wolf, racoons, birds and even farm animals are there for all to learn about. Exhibits on area poisonous snakes are worth absorbing. An aviary, self-guided nature trail and petting zoo make this a great place for the family. Small admission fee.


(828) 298-5600

Mount Mitchell State Park

There are a few places in the world that still stand apart from the ordinary. Rising more than a mile high, surrounded by the gentle mist of low-hanging clouds, Mount Mitchell State Park is one of these extraordinary places. 2388 State Highway 128, Burnsville, NC 28714


(828) 675-4611

Sliding Rock

Test your sense of adventure at this popular natural water slide fueled by 11,000 gallons of water a minute! Wear old jeans or shorts for the 150-foot long ride down slick rock into a six-foot-deep pool of chilled mountain water. And for safety’s sake, there’s a life guard or two watching the fun and aiming to keep it that way.


1-800-648-4523 or (828) 877-3265

Western North Carolina Agricultural Center

This is the home of the Western North Carolina State Fair. The facilities include the McGough Arena, J. Clayton Davis Arena, Outside Warmup Rings, Sales Arena, Stall Barns, and Youth Building.


32nd Annual Asheville Quilt Show

Visit the 32nd Annual Asheville Quilt Show “Quilts: From Inspiration to Creation.” from Sept 26th to 28th, Friday and Saturday 9-5 and Sunday 10-4:30 pm. The show will be held at the WNC Agriculture Center, Expo Building featuring over 250 quilts. Find quilts for sale, a hand-made item gift shop, vendors and product raffles. Entrance fee $6.

WNC Agriculture Center, Expo Building, 1301 Fanning Bridge Road, Fletcher, NC

The Brew-Hoppers Guide to Asheville

Most people aren’t aware that Asheville is the brewing capital of the Southeast. In fact, on just about any day of the year, one can select from about 50 locally brewed craft beers.

 


Blue Ridge Corn Maze

Bring the whole family and find your way out of a maze that traverses six acres of corn field. Open July through October.


(828) 884-4415

Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre

SART’s purpose has been to produce quality theatre by a professional non-profit company and to present plays concerning Appalachia that portray the rich culture and heritage of its people and to promote the development of original plays.


(828) 689-1384

Bele Chere

For three days each year, always the last full weekend in July, the central downtown area is barricaded against vehicular traffic and the largest free street festival in the Southeast holds court in Asheville. Festivalgoers from across the country come to celebrate our mountains, our bustling downtown area, our diverse cultures, and the festival that brings it all together once a year.


(828)259-5800

Land of the Waterfalls

Visit over 250 majestic waterfalls throughout Transylvania County. We’re in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains where the air is cool, the waters are pure, and the welcome is warm!


Diamond Brand Outdoors

Diamond Brand Outdoors is a complete outfitter and guide service in Arden, NC and in Downtown Asheville, NC. Whether you love hiking, camping, fly fishing, rock climbing, kayaking, or canoeing, Diamond Brand Outdoors is your one-stop shop for gear and information for your adventures in beautiful Western North Carolina!


Appalachian Cultural Museum

The mission of the Appalachian Cultural Museum is to provide a continuing reinterpretation of life and culture in the Blue Ridge region, and to serve as a laboratory for new museum ideas.


Biltmore Estate

George Vanderbilt created Biltmore Estate in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains more than a century ago as a retreat for family and friends; a place to rediscover gracious hospitality and revel in nature’s beauty. His vision holds true today. Explore Biltmore House, a magnificent 250-room château filled with priceless art and antiques. Stroll through century-old gardens designed by America’s first landscape architect. Savor award-winning wines and taste our chefs’ creations using estate-raised foods. Enjoy our 8,000 acres of forests, farmlands, and rivers on bikes, horseback, and rafts. Request a FREE 32-page Visit Planner


1-800-543-2961

Appalachian Trail

This world famous trial runs through North Carolina on its way from the State of Maine from the Stae of Georgia.


Pearson’s Falls

Located between Tryon and Saluda is Pearson’s Falls. The Tryon Garden Club has own this 250-acre site for nearly 70 years. Hours are 10am -6pm Wednesday-Sunday. Admission is $2 for adults.


FREE 828-749-3031

Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre

The Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre’s work includes family oriented dance theatre productions, collaborative shows, community involvement, dance networking, educational training, touring shows and presentations, and an international exchange program.


Cradle of Forestry

This is a historical site and interpretive center in Pisgah National Forest near Brevard. The Cradle of Forestry is a beautiful place to visit any day of the week.


(828) 877-3130

Country Inn Asheville Downtown Tunnel Road

Located a few minutes from downtown Asheville, the Asheville Mall & the world-renowned Biltmore Estate, and the Blue Ridge Parkway, Country Inn Asheville Downtown Tunnel Road has over 45 restaurants within 5 blocks.  Amenities include indoor heated salt water pool & whirlpool, fitness room, complimentary fresh cookies and coffee, free USA Today paper, In-room coffee maker, iron & ironing board, LCD TV’s and free high speed Internet, jacuzzi rooms available. After a good night’s rest, join us for our complimentary hot and healthy breakfast buffet. Please call (828) 254-4311 to book your reservation today at Country Inn Asheville Downtown Tunnel Road.

199 Tunnel Road, Asheville NC, 28805
(828) 254-4311

Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education

A multi-agency wildlife center focusing on the wonders of NC native wildlife. Attractions include aquarium, guided walks, tour of fish hatchery, and gift shop. The center also offers a verity of schedules programs for groups. Special-event programs and educator workshops are also scheduled during the year. Free admission. FR 475 off us 276 N. Pisgah Forest.


(828) 877-4423

Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Center

On WCU campus in Cullowhee. The center celebrates heritage of the Southern Appalchian region through exhibits, publications, educational programs and demonstrations. Free.


(828) 227-7129

Gorges State Park

The newest addition to North Carolina’s state parks is right here in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Gorges State Park has over 80 inches of rain a year making it a temperate rain forest. The plunging waterfalls, rugged river gorges, sheer rock walls, and concentration of rare and unique species makes this a wonderful park to visit.


828-966-9099

Pisgah National Forest

Nearly 500,000 acres of protected forest, featuring hundreds of miles hiking, biking, and horse trails, waterfalls, and beautiful mountaintop views. Feature Story


828-257-4203 or 828-877-3265

Shoji Japanese Spa; Asheville’s Only Outdoor Hot Tub Spa

Relax at Asheville’s only outdoor hot tub spa.  Specializing in couples’ massages & spa packages.  Reap the benefits of hydrotherapy with our hot tubs, cold plunge & cedar sauna then relax with a massage.  Complete your visit with a stay in the adjoining Lodge or Loft.  10 minutes from downtown Asheville and 2500 feet above stress level . . .


828-299-0999

Cherohala Skyway

This new two-lane skyway spans 40 miles to link Tennessee’s Tellico Plains to Robbinsville, NC. Many scenic overlooks allow for beautiful view, excellent photography, and picnic lunches. Allow 1-1/2 to 2 hrs travel time.


(828) 479-6431

Thomas Wolfe House

The boyhood home of the author Thomas Wolfe (Look Homeward, Angel) is furnished with family posessions and open for tours (appx. 30 min.). A number of special events take place each year. Small admission fee.


(828) 253-8304

Oconaluftee Indian Village

Travel back to 1750 when you enter this recreated Cherokee community featuring Native American guides in traditional costumes. Craft demonstration including canoe construction and arrow making take place in the midst of a seven sided coucil house, sweat lodge and cherokee homes. , Ghwy 441 N. Cherokee.


(828) 497-2111 or (828) 497-2315

Folk Art Center

Located on the Blue Ridge Parkway, The Folk Art Center is the home ofthe Southern Highland Craft Guild, representing craft artists fromSouthern Appalachia. The Allanstand Craft Shop carries the work of over300 of these guild members. Open daily 9am-6pm, Apr.-Dec.; 9am-5pmJan.-Mar.


298-7928

Mineral & Lapidary Museum

The museum is located at 400 North Main Street below the Genealogical and Historical Society.


(828) 698-1977

Riverside Cemetery

87 acres, memorial monuments, historic grave sites, Birch St.


258-8480

Blue Ridge Parkway

One of America’s finest driving routes, following the the Blue Ridge Mountains from Virginia to the Great Smoky Mountains.


North Carolina Arboretum

A 427-acre facility with a Visitor Education Center, state-of-the-art greenhouses, beautiful gardens, and walking trails.


828-665-2492

North Carolina’s National Forests

Take a look at some of the nation’s top national forests located in the great state of North Carolina.


Bent Creek Experimental Forest

One of America’s oldest research forests that is maintained by the USDA Forest Service.


Nantahala National Forest

This national forest contains the Memorial Joyce Kilmer Forest that contains one of America’s oldest stand of Poplar Trees.