Things to Do in Asheville, NC
Like any community, there are plenty of great things to do in Asheville, NC. Sometimes these events, attractions and restaurants are well known, while other times it takes a well-trained eye or local guide to introduce you to them. If you are looking for more variety, the more populous cities in North Carolina are certain to accommodate your desires of activities.
In Asheville, you'll find all the tried and true retailers like Dillard's, Old Navy, JCPenney and Gymboree. But also nestled in this western North Carolina community is a plethora of eclectic shops selling unique gifts, artwork, toys and furniture. Asheville Supports and Values Small Businesses Tops for Shoes has been a downtown staple since 1960. Owner Bob Carr says his staff – many of whom have been at the store for 15 to 30 years – can find a shoe for anyone.
Asheville's music venues create a symphony of sound that appeals to audiophiles of all genres. Array of Music The city's expanding musical menu not only embraces traditional bluegrass"š but also jazz"š Celtic melodies"š Indie rock and international ryhthms.
Experience the unique and complex flavors of international vegetarian cuisine at Laughing Seed Café. Locally grown products and organic ingredients, combined with the flair for global fusion, give this restaurant's dishes a distinctive and delicious character that vegetarians and meat lovers alike will love.
Two wheels are better than four. That's the motto in Asheville‚ a town where bartenders commute by bike‚ lawyers strap mountain bikes to their BMWs‚ and the person bagging your groceries might be a nationally ranked cyclist. Competitive Bikers Many competitive bikers call Asheville home‚ and an even greater number of amateur cyclists enjoy the city's dedication to two-wheel culture. And that's just in town. Head to the outskirts and you'll find avid cyclists cruising country roads and mountain bikers tackling endless miles of forested singletrack.
Western North Carolina makes it easy to lace up your walking shoes and hit the trail. That’s what brought me to the area, and the trail guides I write give me a life-enriching opportunity to share my enthusiasm for our mountains with newcomers.
Asheville's 12 Bones Smokehouse is the go-to-spot for great smoked barbecue. This casual dining restaurant serves everything from baby back ribs, smoked turkey and chicken to vegetarian selections and sides.
Sound pioneer Bob Moog revolutionized popular music in 1964 when he invented the Moog synthesizer. A slate of rock's most influential bands — including the The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Doors, The Beach Boys Stevie Wonder, Pink Floyd and Parliament & Funkadelic — used Moog's invention to create new sounds and push rock music in new directions. Moog Synthesizers Today
An evening of dining at Tupelo Honey CafÃ© might start with an appetizer of honey chipotle wings with blue cheese dressing, followed by a seared salmon fillet for dinner. Or, you could try the eatery’s famous sweet potato pancakes and homemade hot chocolate. Meanwhile, a visit to Mamacitas could include a meal of raging fajita burritos or a plate of Baja-style fish tacos with sautÃ©ed vegetables.
Known as "Foodtopia" for its impressive array of fine restaurants, commitment to locally grown ingredients and variety of food-related events and initiatives, Asheville soon may also lead the nation in green restaurants. With 100,000 residents, the city already has an oversize devotion to culinary excellence and variety. It boasts more than 250 independent restaurants, 17 active farmers markets, longstanding support for the farm-to-table movement and a bevy of local farmers.
Driving through the mountains of North Carolina is a popular activity, but it is not reserved to only the roads. It also extends to the numerous golf courses scattered throughout the region, where avid golfers can tee it up and drive golf balls nearly year-round.
Asheville City Market Saturday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 18 – Dec. 19 161 S. Charlotte St. French Broad Food Co-op Saturday Tailgate Market Saturday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 12 – Oct. 25 90 Biltmore Ave. North Asheville Tailgate Market
A city doesn’t call itself “Foodtopia" without having a vibrant dining scene, and Asheville restaurants helped the town live up to its nickname even in the worst economy. When things turned bad in 2009, it would have been understandable if many locally owned eateries simply turned off the ovens and closed their doors. Oddly enough, the exact opposite has happened. Asheville’s top independent restaurateurs have actually reinvigorated the city with an impressive selection of new spots to grab a meal.
Asheville has refreshing answers to whatever "ales" you, thanks to 10 microbreweries doing business in the community. In 2011 and for the third consecutive year, Asheville won the national title of Beer City USA as voted by readers of Examiner.com and organized by the Denver, Colo.-based Brewers Association.
The farm-to-table movement that helped Asheville earn its status as a "Foodtopia" continues to grow as more restaurants, grocery stores and farmers markets offer meats, vegetables, fruits and other foods that were locally grown and produced. This expansion of farm-fresh food has been embraced by residents and visitors who receive the benefit of eating the freshest foods they can find, while also helping the local economy.
If you’re coming to Asheville, you better bring your appetite. The city is famous for great food, and local restaurants serve up their specialties in style. A Trip for the Taste Buds
Asheville provides year-round adventure to keep its residents active. When the weather's warm, thrill-seekers head to the Nantahala Outdoor Center for a whitewater adventure. Or, they try their hand at ClimbMax Climbing Center, which offers both indoor and outdoor rock climbing.
With art-focused festivals, musical events, a variety of fun attractions and much more, Asheville is home to a diverse, well-rounded cultural scene. Famous Film Draws Tourists
Outdoor enthusiasts have plenty of room to roam in Asheville, with Outside Magazine recognizing Asheville as one of the best cities in America for outdoor recreation. Here are some of the attractions: North Carolina Arboretum
Asheville's famous Biltmore is many things: a National Historic Landmark, America's largest home, a renowned winery, a world-class luxury inn and even more.
Asheville's creativity and offbeat spirit doesn't stop with its dining, shopping and music scene. The city also offers any number of festivals and events – some of which are so unique they defy categorization. ActionFest New in spring 2010 was the inaugural edition of ActionFest, the world’s first film festival for action films and those who make action cinema possible, from filmmakers to stuntmen and fight choreographers.
Shoppers, grab your walking shoes if you’re heading to Asheville – the city offers a variety of retail opportunities, including boutiques, shopping malls and antique shops, located throughout the city. Read on to learn more about Asheville’s thriving shopping scene. Downtown
As aficionados know, there’s chocolate, and then there’s chocolate: The kind some swear is better than – well, you know. And fortunately, available right here in Asheville. Indian Kulfi, Dragon’s Sigh, Ancient Pleasures, Canela Picante and Masala Chai may sound like exotic treasures – and they are. All are unique chocolate truffle flavors you’d be hard-pressed to find in an ordinary sweet shop, but are right at home in Asheville’s finest chocolate shops. French Broad Chocolate Lounge
A nexus of creativity of all types, Asheville’s environs have inspired literary works that are read the world over. Famous authors past and present have called Asheville home, from O. Henry and Thomas Wolfe to Wilma Dykeman and Gail Godwin. And bookish types find the city a haven of literary riches that include independent bookstores, a thriving library system, book clubs and events such as poetry readings, writers’ workshops and author appearances. Malaprops Bookstore/Cafe
There is something always happening in downtown Asheville – including street performers. Artists and street musicians blend with tourists and locals on a regular basis to bring an interesting vibe to the city’s streets. One of the main intersections to see all of the action is at Biltmore and Patton Avenue, in the vicinity of the Zebulon Vance Monument. And you never know what you might see – could be a juggler, fiddler or stilt walker.
Witness spring in full bloom at the Biltmore's annual Festival of Flowers. The festival spans 13 days each summer and showcases the best of what the Biltmore has to offer, from its sprawling gardens to the newly opened Antler Hill Village, where visitors can shop, dine or tour the winery.
The Blue Ridge Parkway has been nicknamed America's Favorite Drive, and 20 million annual visitors make it the most visited attraction within the U.S. National Park System. Booming Business The 469-mile byway that connects the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina to the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia provides an economic impact of $2.3 billion each year to the communities through which it passes. One of those communities is Asheville, which is near milepost 377.
With so much to see and do in Asheville, you may wonder why you’d ever want to leave town. But a short road trip yields any number of unique destinations – with great shopping, entertainment, history and dining. Hendersonville
Want to feel like you’re on top of the world? Climb the towering 315-foot monolith known as Chimney Rock, the anchor of Chimney Rock State Park. Plenty of Activities “The park encompasses everything you want in a mountain vacation in one place – hiking, rock climbing, picnicking, great views, waterfalls,” says Meghan Rogers, public relations and events manager at Chimney Rock State Park. “You name it, you can do it here.”
Whether you prefer a gentle glide down a peaceful stream or riding the rapids of a lively river, there’s fun to be had on the water in Western North Carolina and the surrounding area. White Water Rafting
Asheville's status as a heavyweight in the arts scene is certainly well-deserved. Its cultural prowess extends to all areas of the art spectrum, whether it be galleries, museums or public displays. Case in point: the Asheville drum circle. Every Friday night the city puts on a drum circle in downtown’s Pritchard Park. Lots of people come – some drum, some dance.
Sure‚ Asheville has plenty of activities to keep grown-ups busy – from lounging in a spa to rappelling down a rock face. But it’s also brimming with great places for kids to play. Outdoor Activities
Asheville may be far enough north for snow, but it does not have a hockey team. And those who want to see live football should be prepared to visit a high school on a Friday night. Yes, the town was almost completely devoid of any full-contact spectator sport until a few tough ladies laced up their roller skates and decided it was time to dish out a little pain. Actually, it looks like a lot.