The mountain town of Asheville, North Carolina is scenic, fun and exciting. Tucked in the gorgeous Appalachian Mountains, Asheville treats both locals and new guests to a wide variety of the arts and outdoor activities. The downtown area is considered historic, and its beautiful buildings have been preserved over the years. There are over 30 art galleries, as well as fantastic places to dine, superb live music venues and entertainment and beautiful views right when you step out of the door. The fall season offers crispness to the mountain air and the thousands of trees in orange, yellow and red as far as the eye can see. Asheville is a quieter, up and coming city that many are discovering to be well worth the trip. Discover these fantastic things to do in Asheville for yourself!
The Blue Ridge Parkway
This scenic drive has been called “America’s Favorite Scenic Drive,” and is the source of some of the best landscapes and beauty of America you will ever see. Part of the National Park System, the Blue Ridge Parkway is over 400 miles of scenic perfection. The drive offers views of the stunning mountains, provides many scenic overlooks for the chance to stop and take it all in, great hikes, lovely wildflowers and birds for the birders. The drive connects Shenandoah National Park and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Driving by sheer drop-offs amongst the fall colors of the mountains along the great drive gives people a glimpse at the real beauty of nature. Experience several states and parks by taking America’s favorite scenic drive and discover the beauty for yourself.
The famous Biltmore estate resides as a popular tourist attraction in Asheville. A visit to the estate is usually divided into two areas consisting of the magnificent gardens and then, of course, the grand house. The mansion was built in the late 1800s and represents a Chateauesque-style manor, with detailed and stunning architecture, giving the appearance of being in Europe and not in North Carolina. The mansion has over 100,000 square feet of living space, and walking tours of the house and gardens are included in the ticket price. The estate sprawls over 8,000 acres and several days can be spent trying to see everything. Visitors recommend saving at least a few hours for the magnificent gardens along and pack a picnic to enjoy the outdoor beauty with. The mansion has been dubbed one of America’s few “castles,” and the views of the Blue Ridge from the mansion will take your breath away.
Basilica of St. Lawrence
A basilica has obtained a special designation by a Holy Father due to the building’s history, dignity and antiquity. The beautiful basilica found in Asheville treats guests to more lovely architecture as well as self and guided tours. The same architect that worked on the mansion known as the Biltmore House also helped and worked on the Basilica of St. Lawrence. The dome ceiling and stained glass features of the basilica are visitor favorites, and many enjoy the beauty of such a creation whether they are religious or not. This basilica offers a glimpse of the history at Asheville and is conveniently located in the downtown area if you are out and walking around the city.
Whether you love art or not, the Lexington Glassworks displays are awe-inspiring. These works of art pay tribute to Asheville’s famous art scene and are one of the must-see items while in Asheville, North Carolina. Admittance is free, and guests can watch the glassblowers create their glass art. Demonstrations are given to the public, and there are many beautiful glass pieces of all shapes, colors, and sizes available for purchase. Located in downtown Asheville, the studio is informal, and fun and visitors highly recommend the experience.
Asheville Visitor Center
The Asheville visitor center is a great place to start your trip. The center has some exhibits on Asheville and the area, as well as members from nearby attractions, are present like the Biltmore Estate to sell tickets. A downtown trolley is available to get you around the city so visitors can enjoy the sights at ease. Information on tours, restaurants, and shops can be found here, and staff can answer questions visitors may have. There is an excellent overview of Asheville attractions as well as many throughout the entire state. Visitors can decide what they want to see, where to eat and more at the visitor center. A gift shop is available on site, and there are many great souvenirs and items to commemorate your trip.
The North Carolina Arboretum
Are you an avid hiker or want to get out and see some of Asheville’s beauty? The Arboretum has well-designed gardens and some great hikes suitable for all ages. The Bonsai Collection is a favorite, but be aware that it is only available seasonally from April until October. There are wonderful displays of native and non-native plants to see. Biking trails are available, and there are a gift shop and café for your visit. Kids and parents will love the model train called the Rocky Cove Railroad that operates from 12- 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays and demonstrated the coming of trains to North Carolina. Don’t forget your camera to take photos of the beautiful arbors in which the area was named for.
Asheville’s food is well-known and raved about. The dining options, wine, and beer choices are fantastic, and many people return to Asheville simply for the food! Trendy stores and places of similar nature are not too common in Asheville. The city offers history, a wide choice of arts, music and of course, the beauty of the Appalachian Mountains and the Blue Ridge Parkway. The scenery alone is worth the trip, and the views guests receive encourage many to return. City tours, food tours, the River Arts District, Trolley tours, bus tours and brewery tours are just a few of the other things offered in lovely Asheville. The city provides a romantic and fun filed vibe in the mountains of North Carolina and becomes a favorite stop for many people even after visiting one time. Don’t forget to tour around the downtown area for many attractions and to experience the vibe and life in Asheville. One of the best times to visit is in the fall when the thousands of trees change color. Scenic walks and drives will let visitors experience the stunning beauty of the mountains and the vibrant colors that are so famous. Are you ready to explore Asheville? Make sure to try out these amazing things to do in Asheville, North Carolina.