21 best things To do in Asheville, NC

surrounded by the blue Ridge Mountains and located along the French broad River, Asheville just might be the most stunning city in the United States. There are lots of fun things to do in Asheville NC to keep you busy!

Take in the views of the city from the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, and you’ll quickly see why it’s referred to as the Land of the Sky.

There are numerous things to do in Asheville and for such a small city, it really packs a punch when it comes to activities on offer.

Hiking in the mountains, feasting on southern cuisine, relaxing in hot springs, and sampling craft beer are just a few of the things you won’t want to miss. 

I’ve spent a lot of time in Ashville over the last decade, and in fact, my partner and I got married and had our honeymoon in here! It’s easily one of my favourite cities in the USA and a place I always look forward to visiting.

In this Asheville travel blog, I’m excited to share some of the best activities, attractions, and places to check out in the city!

Table of Contents
1. check out the Biltmore Estate
2. Take a walking Tour
3. Drive the blue Ridge Parkway
4. Climb Mt. Pisgah
5. dinner With a view at Pisgah Inn
6. Play Disc Golf
7. Feast on southern Food
8. drink local Craft Beer
9. check out a few Museums
10. explore the RAD (River Arts District)
11. fun on the River
12. listen to Buskers
13. Day trip to hot Springs
14. join the Friday Drum Circle
15. shop at the Grove Arcade
16. treat yourself at the Grove Park Inn
17. Take a Hike
18. explore the North Carolina Arboretum
19. go on a Ghost Tour
20. Sundowners at sky Bar
21. See a Show
Bonus! Food tour For a Cause
Now You know What to do in Asheville NC!

1. check out the Biltmore Estate

A check out to the Biltmore Estate definitely deserves the top spot on this list of things to do in Asheville.

This historic mansion was built between 1889 and 1895 by George Vanderbilt. It’s a terrific example of the Gilded Age and an absolutely stunning place to explore.

The Biltmore Estate is actually the largest privately-owned home in the US.

It features an astounding 250 rooms and is surrounded by picturesque gardens, ponds, and a lovely conservatory full of various plants and flowers.

After touring the estate and the grounds, be sure to drop by the winery. You can take a tour of the underground cellars, sample several different types, and pick up a bottle of your favourite wine to take home.

You can check out the Biltmore Estate each day from 9AM to 5PM. Tickets cost $70 for adults and $35 for youth with a free audio guide.

Pro tip – if you book your tickets at least a week in advance, you save $10! It’s about a 15-minute drive from downtown to reach the estate, which you can find on the map here.  

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2. Take a walking Tour

Whenever I’m in a new city, I love going on a walking tour to get to know the place. Asheville is a small city and is very walkable, so you can easily explore downtown on your own two feet.

Thanks to explore Asheville, you can choose between two excellent self-guided walking tours of Asheville. They have an urban trail as well as an architecture trail that you can follow.

Both have interactive and printable maps, and the urban trail even has an audio guide as well.

If you’d prefer to go with a guide, you can sign up for the Tip-Based Asheville walking Tour.

This excellent walking tour is about 2.5 hours long, taking you through downtown Asheville while covering all the highlights and insider tips on where to eat and drink (plus, some samples along the way). The cost is based on tips, so whatever you feel is appropriate. 

Another (spookier) option is to join this 1-hour haunted ghost tour! all of the stories your guide will tell you are based on historical events, local legends, and eyewitness accounts of paranormal activity across the downtown area. Creepy! find out more here.

3. Drive the blue Ridge Parkway

If you’re wondering what to do in Asheville, just jump in your automobile and take a cruise on the blue Ridge Parkway. This national Parkway and All-American road is part of the Appalachian Mountains and one of the most scenic drives in the country.

The Blue Ridge Parkway actually stretches through both Virginia and North Carolina. It’s 755 km (496 miles) long and is full of viewpoints, hiking trails, historic sites, and so much more. This is one of the most incredible places to check out on your trip to Asheville.

Every time we have people come to check out when we’re in Asheville, one of the first things we do is head out for a drive on the blue Ridge. These remarkable views really never get old, so I don’t mind going back every time we’re in town.

If you don’t have your own wheels, another way to see this stunning Asheville attraction is to join a tour. this one takes you in an SUV where you simply sit back and enjoy the ride. Drive the blue Ridge Parkway, go on a 30-minute walk and experience an remarkable sunset over the mountains. 

4. Climb Mt. Pisgah

As I mentioned, there’s a lot to see and do along the blue Ridge Parkway. one of the best things to do in Asheville NC is hiking up the trail at Ms. Pisgah, which is easily accessible via the Parkway.

It’s about a 45 minute to hour-long hike to reach the top of Mt. Pisgah. While it’s not exactly an easy hike, it’s not too difficult. The hike is about 1.2 miles (1.85 km) to the top and there are plenty of places to rest along the way.

There’s a large TV tower at the top and an observation deck. From here, you can enjoy some of the best views of the blue Ridge Mountains and the city off in the distance. You can find the trailhead for Mt. Pisgah on the map here.

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5. dinner With a view at Pisgah Inn

After hiking up Mt. Pisgah, you’re sure to work up an appetite. While you can certainly bring a picnic lunch to have on the Parkway, my vote goes to enjoying a meal at the nearby Pisgah Inn.

Grab a drink and head out to their observation deck while you wait for a table. They have plenty of rocking chairs where you can kick back and soak in the remarkable views.

Having eaten here several times, I’ll give my recommendations for the fried green tomatoes and the walnut-crusted mountain trout.

They’re open from 11:30-4 for lunch and then again from 5-9 for dinner. You can get directions and find the Pisgah Inn on the map here.

If you’d rather be up in the mountains than down in town, you might want to look into booking a room here. It’s pretty amazing when you can wake up and have the blue Ridge Mountains right outside your window! 

6. Play Disc Golf

If you enjoy the terrific outdoors, one of the top things to do in Asheville is playing a round of disc golf.

For those unfamiliar with the sport, it’s just like golf but with a frisbee instead. The goal is to get your disc into a basket with the least amount of throws, and you can use a variety of different discs in the process.

The biggest difference between disc golf and regular golf is that it’s almost always totally free! That’s the case at nearby Richmond Hill, an excellent course and local hangout. get directions and find the park on the map here.

If you’ve never played disc golf before and don’t have any gear, there are plenty of shops in Asheville where you can pick up a starter kit.

For about $10, you can get a driver, a mid-range disc, and a putter. just try not to lose them on your first round. most people write their name and phone number on discs as a precautionary measure.

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7. Feast on southern Food

Asheville is home to plenty of remarkable restaurants of all different styles. If you’re travelling here for the first time, I recommend sticking mostly to southern fare. After all, you’re in the south even though the state is North Carolina!

For brunch, a solid choice is Biscuit Head. Their slogan is “put some south in your mouth” and that’s exactly what you’ll do here. choose your favourite biscuit (I love the pulled pork) and top it off with their various jams and butters. 

One of the best restaurants in Ashville, in my humble opinion, is home Grown. This local eatery serves local food cooked by local people, so you know your money is going right into the local economy when you eat here.

I personally love their Redneck Pot Pie or buttermilk fried chicken. You can see home grown and much more in our “Streets, Beats & Eats” video on Asheville.

8. drink local Craft Beer

Asheville has been named Beer City USA on several occasions. There are over 40 breweries and beer pubs here in total! As such, sampling local craft beer should be high atop your list of things to do in Asheville NC.

Walking around Asheville, you’re never too far from a brewery. some of the best places for a beer include Asheville Brewing Company, Burial, and green Man. the best way to find your favourite brew is ordering up a flight to sample 4-5 different styles.While they’re not exactly microbreweries, it’s also worth it to check out the Asheville locations of new Belgium and Sierra Nevada. The former has a scenic location right along the French broad River, while the latter is a bit of a hike as it’s out by the airport.

If you want to take a tour of either, be sure to sign up well in advance! I’ve been to a lot of breweries, and these are two of the best I’ve ever seen.

9. check out a few Museums

If you’re downtown and aren’t quite sure what to do in Asheville, why not drop into one of the city’s museums for a bit? Whether you’re interested in art, science, or even pinball, there’s a museum for you here.

The Asheville Art museum has recently had some major renovations and is bigger and better than ever!

It’s open from 10-5 Tuesday-Saturday and 1-5 on Sunday. It’s totally free to visit, but donations are very much appreciated. You can find the museum on the map here.

Just a block away, you’ll find the Asheville museum of Science. They’ve got lots of amazing exhibitions and displays that are fun for all ages. It’s open Monday-Saturday from 10-5 and from 1-5 on Sunday and costs $7-8 to visit.

If you love a good retro pinball machine or video game, you’ll definitely want to check out the Asheville Pinball Museum.

For $15, you can play as many games as you want on their 80+ machines. hours vary depending on the day, but they’re usually open until 9PM. get directions to the museum here.

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10. explore the RAD (River Arts District)

For art lovers, one of the top things to do in Asheville NC is visiting the RAD (River Arts District).

Hundreds of artists have galleries and studios in this area along the French broad River. It’s a really fun place to explore for a while, especially on the weekends.

On the second Saturday of each month, the RAD is a very lively place. There are demonstrations, workshops, wine tastings, live music, and a lot more. There’s even a free trolley that you can ride as you bounce around the different venues.

Whether you’re interested in painting, ceramics, photography, or jewelry, you’ll find something to enjoy in the RAD.

While you’re over here, be sure to drop in another excellent local craft brewery — Wedge. You can find the River Arts district on the map here. 

11. fun on the River

Speaking of the French broad River, there are lots of fun things to do there. Well, at least during the warmer months. There’s not much going on in the dead of winter…

One of my absolute favourite things to do in Asheville is tubing down the river.

The best way to enjoy the Homer Simpson of water sports is by signing up with this tubing experience. It’s like a floating pub crawl!

I won’t give it all away, but it’s a lot of fun and you can also bring your own beverages to put in the onboard cooler. Click here for details.

If you’d prefer a bit more activity than just lazily floating down the river, you can also rent a kayak or a SUP (stand-up paddleboard). There are a few different places that rent boards as well as tours (such as this one) you can sign up for to get out and enjoy a day on the river.

12. listen to Buskers

Walking around downtown Asheville, you’re sure to hear a lot of music. some of it may be coming out of shops and bars, but more typically than not, it’s actual musicians jamming in the street!

It’s very common to see people “busking” on the streets of Asheville. Busking is when you play m

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