Extend your stay in Asheville
Whether you are a foodie, a nature lover, or one who enjoys art and music, Asheville has it all. Seriously, there are countless adventures to be had and breaking them down into this short article was immensely challenging. By no means is this an end all tale, as each explorer will surely find what is best for them on their own, but please use this as a guide to get you started...
Arts, culture, beer, and food all in one city
Spend some time getting lost among former industrial and historical buildings that are home to artists’ working studios in the River Arts District, located along the French Broad River. There are no official “Open Hours” but daytime is the best time to visit to observe artists in their creative state. Studios often host workshops as well. There are also culinary artists at work in the district serving up some delicious meals in boutique cafes and one can always make their way across the river to New Belgium Brewery for a pint and tour.
Speaking of beer, Asheville is home to numerous breweries serving up specialized craft beer throughout the city. If you're the type of traveler who wants to see as much as possible, then join an Asheville Brewing Tour. However, if you prefer going at your own pace then make your way to South Slope district, which is home to several breweries plus colorful, “instagrammable” murals. Even if beer is not your thing, this district is home to award winning restaurants and some sweet treats. Check out Sunshine Sammies for homemade ice cream sandwiches, fresh baked cookies, and housemade marshmallow s’mores.
Before closing out your city tour, head over to West Asheville, an up and coming dining destination in a hipster neighborhood. Jargon serves southern-inspired dishes and Nine Mile serves Caribbean-inspired dishes.
If it’s a rainy day and you want to play indoors, then you must go to the Asheville Pinball Museum!
Lace up the shoes and head outside
As mentioned above, Asheville is a mecca for the outdoor enthusiast. Located within the Blue Ridge Mountains, there are countless opportunities for recreational activities.
A haven for waterfalls and clifftop outlooks is Pisgah National Forest. Sliding Rock is a popular destination but can be overcrowded. However, the crowds are there because it's not everyday you get to slide down a waterfall into crisp, cool water. Chimney Rock, another stop to add to your list, is one of the most iconic sites in North Carolina and home to Hickory Nut Waterfall, a 404-foot waterfall.
Explore more in the area: 24 Must See Parks in the Southeastern United States
One also doesn’t need to go out into nature to get a good hike in. Explore the 434 acres of trails and gardens at the North Carolina Arboretum. Want to know more about the wild edible plants in this area? Go on a foraging tour with No Taste From Home, and learn how to identify berries, mushrooms, flowers, and more. If you are visiting during Autumn you can go apple picking at local, family run orchards.
Want to cover more distance and take in some of the most breathtaking mountain scenery east of the Mississippi? Take a drive on the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway stopping for photos around every curve and admiring the vast wilderness and endless vistas. You can drive or hike up to the highest mountain in the Appalachian range, Mount Mitchell, and knock that peak off your bucket list.
For your time in Asheville, mix and match from our recommendations above to curate your own experience. With this guide and your imagination, we’re confident that Asheville will not let you down. Fall foliage season is one of the best times to really take in the beautiful nature but the unique city vibes can be found all year round. Enjoy your trip!
Check out our USA trips including Yosemite, Joshua Tree, Zion, & Bryce Canyon National Parks.
Additional reading: Visitor Guide to Smoky Mountain National Park
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