10 Best Things to Do in Asheville, North Carolina

Located in western North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville is home to the historic Biltmore Estate, the Basilica of Saint Lawrence and an art district that puts most cities to shame. With such accolades to its name, how does one choose exactly what to do when visiting Asheville? The following list should help. It includes the 10 best things to do in this North Carolina city. 

Downtown Asheville Art District, Asheville, NC

A visit to the Downtown Asheville Art District is definitely not a “one size fits all” activity. Instead, you may choose to visit any or all of the 25 museums, galleries and art studios comprising it. The very best way to experience as much of the district in one visit is to attend one of their Downtown Asheville Art District (DAAD) First Friday Gallery Walks. Scheduled on the first Friday of each month in April through December, you’ll truly experience the best of what the artists and curators offer.

Biltmore Estate, Asheville, NC

It goes without saying that a visit to the Biltmore Estate is among the best things to do in Asheville. Even merely gazing at the buildings and the grounds renders most folks awestruck. What’s even better? Taking a tour. Visit the house and gardens. Check out the winery and Antler Hill Village with its many exceptional demonstrations including woodworking, a blacksmith and a smokehouse. The outdoor adventure center offers a variety of activities available to day visitors. If you really want to splurge on something exciting, book a room and spend the night within the estate.

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BREW-ed, Asheville, NC

If you’re interested in beer—specifically beer in Asheville—then BREW-ed is for you. The Asheville Brewery Tours will take you to some of the most renowned Asheville breweries and educate you on beer in a manner you never realized was even an option. This expert-led brewery tour is one of the top 15 in the world, making it a must-do while in Asheville.

Haunted Asheville Ghost Tours, Asheville, NC

Asheville has a bit of a haunted past, and nowhere is that brought back to life that through Haunted Asheville Ghost Tours. The tour not only satisfies your inner ghoul, it gives you insight into the history of this amazing city, too.

Asheville Food Tours, Asheville, NC

Foodies positively love Asheville, and nowhere can you get a better taste of what the city offers than via Asheville Food Tours. Available seven days a week, the tours are kept small, so each participant can fully experience and learn from the tour. There are five tour options available: The Downtown Tour, Food Fan Foot Tour, Brunch Tour, West Asheville and Asheville Burger Challenge Tour. Each tour includes food and beverage tastings and a few extras, too. Book your tour in advance if you have limited time in Asheville.

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Asheville Pinball Museum, Asheville, NC

If you grew up in the era when pinball machines were a thing, you definitely must visit the Asheville Pinball Museum. Those who have grown up playing only video games marvel at the excitement. Visitors get to play actual pinball machines, with a maximum of 80 players at one time. Want to buy a vintage pinball machine to have in your own home? This is the place to make such a thing happen. If they don’t have what you want in their warehouse supply, they’ll likely have connections to someone who does.

Southern Highland Craft Guild, Asheville, NC

Immerse yourselves in the folk art of the Appalachians at Southern Highland Craft Guild. Both traditional and contemporary crafts are on display here in three galleries. There is also a library and a craft shop. You’ll come away knowing so much more about the Southern Appalachian people than you ever imagined after a visit to this craft guild.

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Pisgah National Forest, Asheville, NC

Go chasing waterfalls at Pisgah National Forest. 500,000 acres of pristine mountain peaks and forested slopes comprise the forest—along with countless waterfalls—making it an absolutely gorgeous outdoor spot to take in while in Asheville.

Botanical Gardens at Asheville, Asheville, NC

Open March through November, Botanical Gardens at Asheville draws countless visitors to the city each year. The 10-acre garden both studies and promotes those plants and flowers native to the Southern Appalachians. The gorgeous expanse is just part of what they offer. There are numerous classes and events each year, too. Best of all, admission and parking are free!

Grove Arcade, Asheville, NC

Sometimes people visit a city and simply want to shop and dine. If that’s the case while you’re in Asheville, you’ll want to head straight to Grove Arcade. Not only will you find fabulous shops and intriguing eateries, you’ll be mesmerized by the architectural wonder in which it’s housed. First opened back in 1929, it was a public market until World War II. Today it’s a trendy place to find just the right gift or to enjoy an iced tea or a glass of wine with lunch or dinner. An outdoor artist’s market sells wares from local artisans, too.

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