January 8, 2021

Best Things To Do In Asheville NC

Asheville is a culturally diverse, eclectic city located in Western North Carolina. Located along the French Broad River with views of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains, it is most well known for its art scene, local breweries and restaurants, and outdoor activities nearby.
One thing we can promise you is that you’ll never be bored in Asheville! In the downtown area you’ll find over 30 breweries, tons of museums, art galleries, independent shops, and restaurants. If you love the outdoors, you’ll find hundreds of miles of hiking trails and scenic drives to explore.

WHERE TO STAY
Our South Asheville cottage is a brand new cozy private getaway nestled in the trees. Located just three minutes from the Asheville airport, twenty minutes to downtown Asheville, and close to many hiking and biking trails, this cottage is the perfect base for your next adventure in Asheville.
This one bedroom oasis was built with your comfort at the forefront of our minds! It features a super plush queen sized bed and a large bathroom with the most heavenly walk in shower. Grab a bottle of local wine and a face mask to relax with a refreshing at home spa day after a long day of adventure.
The common area is an open concept with a leather couch, smart tv, well equipped kitchen, and washer/dryer. Mike installed wheels on the kitchen island, so you can easily move it out of the way to open up the space for any of your cooking or impromptu dance party needs!
Attached to the cottage is a private deck space, perfect for listening to the birds sing over your morning cup of french-pressed coffee, a good book, or a bottle of wine for two.

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THINGS TO DO DOWNTOWN
Asheville may be a smaller city, but it sure packs a punch when it comes to things to do. In the downtown area alone, you’ll never run out of options. There are tons of museums, restaurants and breweries, shops, and art galleries to visit for every interest and every budget.

Museums
Whether you’re a fan of art, history, science, or even pinball, there’s a museum for you in Asheville.
The Asheville Museum of Science features interactive exhibits that people of all ages will find to be a fun, educational experience.
The Asheville Art Museum is a massive newly renovated museum featuring over 5,000 pieces of art. It is free to visit but donations are encouraged.
If you’re a fan of history or architecture, you MUST visit the Biltmore Estate . Located just 15 minutes from the cabin, this 8000 acre Chateau-style mansion is America’s largest privately owned residence. Spend an afternoon getting lost in one of the 250 rooms or 75 acres of lavish gardens. Be sure to make a reservation at the winery to try some perfect red wine and chocolate pairings. Admire the views of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the background during the day, and be sure to stick around past sunset to see the estate wondrously lit up at night.

Art
If you are a lover of art, we highly recommend visiting the River Arts District . This is one of Asheville’s most creative areas where you can visit local art shops and galleries, take an art class, or check out some of the local restaurants and breweries. Visit the North Carolina Glass Center for a free glass blowing demonstration, or the Asheville Cotton Mill Studios which features multiple different artists in one space.

Shopping
If you love shopping, you’ll find tons of locally owned shops in the downtown area full of thrifted clothing, handmade crafts and gifts, art galleries, and more. Stop by the Grove Arcade , an entertainment center in the heart of downtown with shopping and dining options for every taste. While you’re here be sure to visit my favorite place on earth, Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar. Browse through thousands of used books while sipping on some bubbly. You can even bring your pets with you too!

Best Restaurants
Asheville’s restaurant scene is so diverse and of the utmost quality. There are a large number of James Beard Award nominated and awarded chefs working in and/or owning restaurants in town. Most restaurants also have relationships with local farmers and use locally sourced ingredients.
Some of our favorite restaurants are:
Visit Chai Pani for great Indian street food, Bargello for handmade pasta, or spend an afternoon at Curate trying Spanish tapas with a group of friends. If you’re looking for a vegetarian option, we recommend Laughing Seed Cafe.

Best Breweries
A trip to Asheville would be incomplete without trying at least one (or a dozen) local craft breweries. The city of Asheville has more breweries per capita than any other US city, earning it the nickname “Beer City USA”. There are almost 30 local craft breweries in Asheville city limits with every kind of brew you can imagine.
Some of our favorite breweries include:
Asheville Brewing Company: Asheville Brewing Co is a unique brewpub/movie theater combination that serves delicious pizza and beer. They’ve expanded to a few locations, including a brand new beer garden called Rabbit Rabbit.
Sierra Nevada Brewery: Located just 5 minutes away from the cottage, so be sure to stop by the taproom at least once during your stay! Brewery tours are currently offered online, but you can pick up beers to go and enjoy a virtual tasting from the comfort of your room.
Urban Orchard Cider: If you’re a lover of hard cider, you can’t miss Urban Orchard Cider Co in West Asheville. The ciders are crafted in house using local apples grown in nearby Hendersonville. If you’re not a fan of cider, don’t worry! Their menu also includes local craft beer, wine, and food items.

OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES
Scenic Drives
The Blue Ridge Parkway is a 469 mile non-stop highway is a beautiful, scenic drive that connects Shenandoah National Park in Virginia to Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina along the Blue Ridge Mountains. There are mileposts along the way that make it very easy to find the many points of interest including hiking trails, waterfalls, scenic lookouts, and more.
In the warmer months we recommend picking up food and beer to go from a local restaurant or brewery and spending an afternoon biking along the parkway. Take it slow, stopping along the way to admire the gorgeous foliage and enjoy a relaxing picnic over the sunset.
In the winter, we recommend driving along the parkway to admire the long-range views and stopping to explore some of the hundreds of miles of hiking trails available along the way. Pull off at a scenic overlook in the evening to watch the colorful sunset and enjoy your delicious picnic.

Visit The North Carolina Arboretum
Located just south of Asheville off the Blue Ridge Parkway is the North Carolina Arboretum . This 434 acre natural garden is surrounded by the Southern Appalachian Mountains and consists of hiking trails and mountain biking trails suitable for all skill levels. You’ll find tours and events happening year-round, including a drive through holiday light display in the winter!
A Couple of Notes:
-Admission to the Arboretum is free, there is just a fee for parking.
-Dogs are allowed on most trails in the garden, but only service dogs are allowed indoors.

Pisgah National Forest
Located just 20 minutes north of Asheville via the Blue Ridge Parkway is Pisgah National Forest -a 500,000 acre park consisting of over 1,700 miles of hiking/biking trails, gorgeous waterfalls, historical sites, and numerous outdoor activities such as white water rafting, camping, fly fishing, and more.
Some notable sites to visit in the park include:
Mt. Pisgah: Visible from the heart of downtown Asheville is Mount Pisgah. There are quite a few trails in the area leading to the summit, which opens up to 360 degree mountain views where you can see for miles, all the way to the Great Smoky Mountains to the west. The most direct route to the top is the moderate 3.2 mile round trip namesake trail.
Mt. Mitchell: If you’re an experienced hiker looking for a more challenging trail you can hike to the top of Mount Mitchell, the highest summit east of the Mississippi! This 11.1 mile trail is accessible year round, but we’d recommend bringing along a pair of microspikes in the winter. Be sure to check the weather and research this hike ahead of time if you’re planning on checking it out.
Waterfalls: Pisgah National Forest is home to six waterfalls. They’re all quick and easy hikes so they’re great to visit if you’re just looking for an easy nature walk to scenic views. Some of the most notable waterfalls that you must visit include Looking Glass Falls, Catawba Falls, and Douglas Falls.

DuPont State Recreational Forest
DuPont State Forest is located just 25 minutes southwest of Asheville. It is North Carolina’s only designated recreation park. Nicknamed the “land of waterfalls”, this forest is most well-known for its hiking trails, waterfall tours, 80+ miles of biking and equestrian trails, and fishing opportunities.
Some notable hiking trails in the park include:
If you love waterfalls, there are a couple of trails that we highly recommend. Pack a picnic for the day and enjoy a romantic lunch under the views of the falls. For a more moderate option, you can hike a 3 mile loop that provides views of Hooker, Triple, and High Falls. The Hunger Games was actually filmed at Hooker and Triple Falls!
For a more strenuous option, you can hike or bike a 7 mile loop to see High Falls, Triple Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls along the way.
If you’re not as much into waterfalls and prefer mountain scenery, we’ve got you covered!
Cedar Rock Mountain is a moderate trail that provides dramatic views of the mountains and unique rock formations. It doesn’t have much elevation gain, so we highly recommend it if you’re looking for something short and sweet.
The Stone Mountain Loop Trail is a 4.5 mile moderately difficult trail that has a little bit of every kind of view you could want. Hike around the large granite rock formation, past a waterfall, and admire the long-range mountain views from the top.

DAY TRIPS
Chimney Rock State Park
If you love waterfalls or rock climbing, we recommend taking a day trip to Chimney Rock State Park . It’s located about an hour away from Asheville and has many iconic sites including the namesake granite monolith, Chimney Rock and world class rock climbing at Rumbling Bald . The 441 foot waterfall where the fight scene in Last of the Mohicans was filmed is located here, which you have a direct view of from our Rock View Cabin !

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Hot Springs, NC (45 minute drive from downtown Asheville)
Located just 45 minutes from downtown Asheville (less than an hour from our Asheville cottage!) along the Appalachian Trail is a mountain town called Hot Springs, North Carolina which makes for the perfect afternoon or day trip in the winter. Outdoor enthusiasts will find endless activities including hiking along the Appalachian Trail, fly fishing in the French Broad River, and relaxing in the mineral hot springs.

We hope you found this guide to be helpful and have an amazing time in Asheville! Let us know your favorite moments from your trip, and come back soon.