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Pack Your Bags…Next Stop Asheville

The region will not leave you disappointed.

By Heather Small Hawley on September 20, 2021

Asheville residents play trivia at brewery

When you think of Asheville, a quaint town nestled in the mountains may come to mind. But this small, unique city is filled to the brim with activities you’d expect to find in a much larger city, and visitors and residents can’t get enough.

Ready for a glimpse of all this area has to offer? Let’s explore its must-walk paths, fun, quirky hangouts, live music venues and more.

Group of hikers in Asheville

Tread Here

Lace-up your walking shoes and head to Historic Downtown Asheville. Here, you can find Asheville’s Urban Trail, an easy 1.7-mile exploration of the area’s intriguing past. Visitors can also take guided walking tours — Asheville by Foot or Hood Huggers — to help them better understand the city’s culture. If hiking in nature is more your thing, not to worry. We suggest hiking Craggy Gardens, where you can find dense tunnels and gorgeous views, Mount Pisgah on the Blue Ridge Parkway, and Catawaba Falls.

More than 5,000 new and classic arcade games are housed at the Asheville Retrocade

Quirky Spots

For those of you who prefer to explore the quirky side of the city, get ready! The Asheville Retrocade will take you down memory lane. Made up of 5,000 new and classic arcade games, it has the largest selection of classic and modern video games in the Southeast.

The Moogseum is another gem you’ll want to visit. This immersive museum allows visitors to play theremins and synthesizers and learn how electricity becomes sound.

And if you need a way to end an evening while you are here, try a spooky night out with Haunted Asheville or Gray Line Ghost Tours. You’ll spend your evening traveling the streets of this historic city while learning about several eerie sites. Who knows what you’ll see?

Cans of Catawba Brewing Co. brews

Bottoms Up

Beer lovers, Asheville might just be your new favorite place. Known as “Beer City USA,” this area has more breweries per capita than any other U.S. city. Try one of the creatively crafted brews at Hi-Wire Brewing, or head on over to Bhramari Brewing Company, which aims to have folks discover something new in every sip, and sample The Good Fight or Fast Cars, Danger, Fire and Knives. Another option is Asheville Pizza & Brewing. Here, take a swig of the 828 Pale Ale or 2019 Carolina Mountain Monster Imperial Stout.

Dessert Time

If your sweet tooth is calling, Asheville will not disappoint. French Broad Chocolate handcrafts a variety of goodies you are sure to love. Try the Asheville Grown Collection, made of bonbons and caramels, from lavender and honey to raspberry and chocolate habanero. Old Europe Pastries is also a must-visit, especially if you want to chow down on an éclair or a piece of cake.

Band plays live music in ashveille nc

Sounds of Asheville

The local music scene in Asheville is one you are going to want to experience. A few venues to check out include Isis Music Hall and Kitchen 743 in West Asheville, where visitors can grab a meal and enjoy a show. Other local favorites include The Grey Eagle, The Orange Peel and Jack of the Wood.

Caffeine is Calling

Whether you are trying to start your day off right or need a mid-day pick-me-up, the region has a number of coffee shops ready to fix your caffeine cravings. Located in the River Arts District, Grind LLC offers delicious espresso drinks as well as fresh pastries. Another local favorite is High Five Coffee, a family-owned business that exclusively serves Counter Culture Coffee, roasted in Durham.

Aerial shot of Chai Pani Restaurant Group

Forks & Knives

Getting hungry? No problem.

You are sure to find any dish you are looking for, as downtown Asheville alone boasts over 50 locally-owned restaurants.

For lunch or dinner, take a seat at Carmel’s Kitchen & Bar, the home of creative and casual cuisine that features an outdoor dining patio. Other favorites you’ll want to enjoy include PIE.ZAA Pizza, a late-night pizza shop located in South Slope, and The Lobster Trap, which serves fresh seafood.

As you can see, Asheville is flourishing with things to do and see — and whether it’s your next city to visit or live, you are sure to love every minute of your time here.

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