If you’re looking for things to do in Asheville, then consider this list your primer to the many activities available in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Whether you’re a first-time visitor, or perhaps well acquainted with the flare of this Southern Appalachia getaway, here are 50 ideas to help you see, do, and explore the best Asheville has to offer.
#1 Downtown Asheville – You feel it the moment you begin strolling through Asheville’s vibrant city center – it’s an unmistakable mountain vibe that has beckoned visitors to this region time and again. Lining the streets of this walkable neighborhood you’ll find a wide array of independent shops, craft breweries, and some of the best dining options in the southeast.
2. Take in Asheville’s freshest talent with the many lively street performances from talented buskers.
3. Go shopping for cool indie wares, wearable art, local designs, and vintage styles at one of many chic boutiques.
4. Learn how this hip mountain town came to be. Jump aboard LaZoom, the big purple bus, for an irreverent look into Asheville’s colorful history, cruise through town on the hop-on hop-off trolley tours guided by local storytellers, or learn more about the city’s unique past on a self-guided walking tour along the Urban Trail.
5. Peruse Asheville’s legendary independent bookstores like Malaprops and Captain’s Bookshelf, or sip champagne with your pooch at the Battery Park Book Exchange.
6. Find that perfect piece of art or handmade craft available for sale at downtown art galleries, craft fairs, or the open air market at Grove Arcade.
7. Climb to the top of Asheville’s tallest buildings and enjoy the view from above at one of the many rooftop hangouts like SkyBar and downtown’s Thirsty Monk.
8. Is that drumming you hear? Follow the rhythm to the downtown drum circle, a long-standing Friday night tradition.
9. Explore Asheville’s darker side with a nighttime Haunted Asheville tour, or immerse yourself in the theatrical solve-a-puzzle-to-escape challenge, Condundrum.
10. Biltmore – An enduring legacy of America’s gilded age, take a tour of George W. Vanderbilt’s winter chateaux, or better yet, upgrade to a special behind-the-scenes or rooftop tour. Head outside to explore the century-old gardens, go horseback riding, or biking across the many trails. The winery offers free tastings; however if you’re a fan of bubbly, then upgrade to a paid tasting (it’s worth it). There’s also great dining, shopping, and family activities available at Antler Hill Village.
11. Visit Biltmore Village, located outside the entrance of Biltmore. This former neighborhood for estate workers is now filled with great shopping, amazing arts and craft galleries, and delicious restaurants.
12. The Great Outdoors – The breathtaking beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains has lured travelers to this region for over a century, and no trip to Asheville would be complete without exploring some of America’s most cherished national forests, like Pisgah and Nantahala.
13. Drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Dubbed “America’s favorite drive,” this 469-mile scenic road passes right through Asheville and serves as your gateway to outdoor adventure.
14. Be sure to pack your hiking shoes to explore the timeworn trails dotting the mountain landscape. Trails range anywhere from easy-as-pie to whoa Nellie! Be sure to research which trails are best for you, and get ready for some incredible views.
15. Bike the Blue Ridge! Road or trails, there are plenty of way to challenge yourself with a bike ride in the mountains.
16. Asheville is home to hundreds of native and migratory species of birds. Grab your binoculars and practice your birding skills. Bonus points if you see a peregrine falcon!
17. Venturing outdoors is like taking a mountain safari. Native wildlife includes everything from foraging bears to herds of elk. Be sure to appreciate from a distance.
18. Go waterfall hunting. There are hundreds of beautiful waterfalls scattered throughout the region, and many are easy to access within a short walk from the car. Dip your toes into the cool waters at the base or on a really hot day go for a swim. Just mind the slippery rocks, and never wade into the water from the top.
19. Stand atop the highest peaks east of the Mississippi. Mt. Mitchell is king of the Blue Ridge standing at over 6,000 feet in elevation.
20. Take a pit stop at the Folk Art Center, located on the Blue Ridge Parkway it’s filled with the crème de la crème of regional handmade crafts.
21. Visit a state park. Go deep into the heart of Western North Carolina where you’ll find numerous state parks to explore such as Chimney Rock Park, DuPont, and Gorges.
22. Catch a mountain trout or small mouth bass by taking part in a guided fly-fishing expedition. Already a pro? Local outfitters are a great resource to find the secret spots teeming with fish.
23. Practice your Tarzan yell as you zip line hundreds of feet above the forest canopy.
24. Splash around on an exhilarating ride down the area’s best whitewater rapids, or slide down an all-natural 60-foot waterslide.
25. If you want to keep your outdoor adventures closer to Asheville, then try your hand at stand-up paddleboarding (SUP), tubing, or boating down the French Broad River.
26. Explore the nature trails at the North Carolina Arboretum and the Botanical Gardens of Asheville, both of which are home to n