Asheville, NC is an artsy, retro-urban city offering a unique taste of history from nature reserves to preserved architecture. Visit the Biltmore Estate to tour the largest home in America. Innertube down the French Broad River. Be daring and slide down a long natural waterslide. Take a hike up the tallest mountain on the East Coast or take a tour of the city. There are many things to do in Asheville NC. Here are just a few.
1. Visit Biltmore Estate
One of the things to do in Asheville NC is visiting the Biltmore Estate. The house is an elegant French Renaissance chateau comprised of 250 rooms, making it the largest home in America. Explore the estate through a variety of activities from horseback riding to dining. Enjoy their winery tours and experience complimentary tastings. Visit the Wine Bar where you will savor reserve and sparkling wines, cheeses, and truffles. Little ones will enjoy horseback riding and swimming. To get to Biltmore Estate from Downtown Asheville, drive east on Patton Ave towards S Lexington Ave and turn right onto Biltmore Ave. Drive half a mile and turn right onto Southside Ave. Stay in the left two lanes to turn left onto McDowell St. Drive for 1.5 miles and take a right onto Biltmore Estate Dr. The address is 1 Lodge Street, Asheville, NC.
Biltmore Estate is a perfect getaway year around. Make it romantic and stay at the private Cottage after taking a midnight stroll through the gardens. The Estate celebrates holidays with events like Candlelight Christmas Evenings. They also offer an onsite hotel near Antler Hill Village and an inn on the Estate.
2. Experience Zen Tubing
Zen Tubing is a great outdoor experience in the French Broad River. It’s $20 per person and $5 extra to be shuttled back for a second round. You are given an inner tube with a backrest, covered bottom, and a cup holder. You’ll find free parking at one of Zen Tubing’s two locations. To get to the Midtown location, drive on I-240W. Take Hill St Exit. They’re located down the street at 608 Riverside Dr. To get to the South Asheville location, get on I-240W for 4 miles. Take exit I-26E to NC-191 S/Brevard Rd. Take exit 33. Turn left onto Brevard Rd. The southern route takes you past islands offering a place to picnic. The Midtown route will take you through the River Arts District. They are open seven days a week. Gates open 10 AM and trips last 2 – 4 hours.
If you are traveling in groups of 10 or more, you must make a reservation. Large groups are offered a $5 discount per person. It’s recommended that you bring sunscreen and footwear. Children 4 and under are not allowed. Innertubing is one of the greatest things to do in Asheville NC.
3. Explore Sliding Rock Recreation Area
Sliding Rock is a fun, nature-made water slide offering a 60-foot ride down where you will splash into an 8-foot pool of water. There is also a viewing platform for those who want to watch. The open season is from Memorial Day weekend through mid-October. It’s only $2 a person and is provided with on-duty lifeguards during the operating hours of 9 AM to 6 PM. To get there from Brevard, take US 64 E to US 276. Turn left and follow US 276 N for 8 miles.
This adventure is best during the warm season while you can still get in the water to cool down. However, Sliding Rock offers a beautiful site year around and is open for viewing. This natural waterslide is perfect for anyone in the family who can swim. There is no alcohol or picnicking permitted on site. This is definitely one of the best things to do in Asheville NC.
4. Visit Mount Mitchell
Rising to 6,684 feet, Mount Mitchell is the tallest mountain in the east and has much to offer. For a strenuous hike, walk the 6-mile Mt Mitchell Trail. It takes you to the highest summit with a 360 view of the Appalachian landscape. There is a multitude of other trails from easy to hard. If you’re not into hiking, then visit the exhibit hall, dine at the restaurant, or camp overnight. Directions from Asheville; Take I-40E to Exit 72 at Old Fort. Continue on US-70E for 9.6 miles, then turn left onto NC-80N/Lake Tahoma Rd. Follow NC-80N for 12 miles. Turn left to enter the Blue Ridge Parkway. Take it south for 11.2 miles, and then turn right onto NC-128 N.
Don’t leave out this experience as it is one of the best things to do in Asheville NC. It is perfect for the whole family if visiting for the day. However, hiking and camping may not be suitable for smaller children. It’s common for visitors to see a black bear. Please visit the links above to learn more about black bears and what to do if you encounter one. The park is open year around, but the hours for the office, park, museum, restaurant, and gift shop vary.
5. Discover Asheville’s Urban Trail
This tour encompasses the history of Asheville and is known to citizens as the “museum without walls.” This 1.7-mile tour features notable people, historical events, and architecture crafted by local artists. You’ll take a fascinating tour of author Thomas Wolfe’s home during the journey. The adventure begins at the corner of Pack Square and Biltmore Ave and from there follow the directions on the downloadable map.
Asheville’s Urban Trail is ideal for anyone in the family. There is no cost for this trip as it is self-guided.
6. Observe River Arts District
The River Arts District consists of many open studios where anyone can pop on in and watch an artist at work. The area is an inner-city scene of old factories and shops. Most artists welcome and encourage visitors to watch as they create unique works of art. To get to there from Downtown Asheville drive Patton Ave West and pass through the Clingman Ave Intersection. Turn Right into the traffic circle to cross Patton onto Clingman Ave, and you’re there! One of the best things to do in Asheville NC is to stop by and enjoy the artist at work.
The River Arts District makes a great stop for anyone interested in art or looking for a romantic day. The best time to visit is during the Bi-annual Studio Stroll. It is the largest walking tour of artists open studios in the region and is a promising experience. Stop by and enjoy the art, dine at a local restaurant, and shop for unique gifts.
7. Tour the Estes-Winn Antique Car Museum
Established by Harry Blomberg in 1965, the Estes-Winn Antique Car Museum is home to several rare and vintage vehicles. Many of their antique automobiles are preserved in their original condition, including some horse-drawn carriages and an antique American LaFrance fire engine. From Downtown Asheville, take Merrimon Ave to Farrwood Ave. Follow Farrowood Ave to Grovewood Rd.
Everyone will find this car museum a real treasure. The museum is free and open from 10 AM – 6 PM Monday – Saturday, and 11 AM – 5 PM on Sunday. The museum is closed January – March.
Some of the best things to do and places to visit in Asheville NC hold historical importance and provide unforgettable experiences. Asheville is home to modern artists, beautiful and historical artifacts, and breathtaking nature destinations. It is a wonderful holiday destination as it also has many great places to stay. Visit Asheville for an unforgettable vacation.