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7 Things To Do Your First Year in Asheville

Just moved to Beer City, USA and don't know where to start? We've got you covered.

By Livability on November 30, 2022

Asheville NC is a great place to live after college.

Asheville is among the Top 100 Best Places to Live in 2022, according to Livability.com, which noted its moderate climate, walkable downtown, lively arts scene, robust dining options, diverse economy and stunning natural features, including the Blue Ridge Mountains. In addition, the city ranks high in quality-of-life categories like health care, higher education, outdoor recreation, and arts and entertainment. Here are just a few ways to experience your new city.

Glass art is on display in the gallery at the North Carolina Glass Center in the River Arts District neighborhood of Asheville, North Carolina.
Jeff Adkins

1. Explore the River Arts District and take a class.

The River Arts District is an exciting place for artists to work and interact with residents and visitors. In addition, several artists offer classes to the public. The district is currently being transformed to make it an even easier place to get around on foot or two wheels. Plans call for more hotels, restaurants and shops to be added.

Women doing yoga on a mountain

2. Go forest bathing with Asheville Wellness Tours.

No water is involved — you’re taking in nature when you book an excursion with Asheville Wellness Tours, which offers forest bathing adventures for individuals and groups. Forest bathing is a guided walk within nature, with a relaxing 2.5-mile stroll that encourages participants to slow down, relax and reconnect with nature in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Three ginger beers from Gingers Revenge in the RAD in ASheville, NC
Lynne Harty

3. Sip a craft beer or two at a local brewery.

Dubbed “Beer City USA” and the “Napa Valley of Beer” for its 30+ microbreweries, craft beer production accounts for more than 60% of Asheville’s entire beverage industry. Popular places to enjoy a cold one include Catawba Brewing Co.Ginger’s Revenge and the long-standing Highland Brewing Co.

4. Go hiking at Mount Mitchell State Park.

Mount Mitchell State Park is highlighted by Mount Mitchell, the highest elevation point east of the Mississippi River. A raised platform gives visitors a 360-degree view from the mountain’s summit. The first state park in North Carolina is popular for hiking, mountain biking and camping. A restaurant operates during warm weather months, and about 350,000 people visit the park each year.


5. Visit the Biltmore.

A signature tourism attraction is Biltmore Estate, which remains as majestic as when it opened in 1895. Around the spacious estate is Biltmore Village, which originally served as a community for George Vanderbilt’s estate workers. Today, it features hotels and a shopping district. More than 2,000 employees work at properties such as Biltmore Estate, Biltmore Winery and The Inn on Biltmore Estate.

North Carolina
North Carolina / iStockPhoto/aheflin

6. Take a drive along Blue Ridge Parkway.

Designated as a National Parkway and an All-American Road, Blue Ridge Parkway stretches 469 miles and links Shenandoah National Park to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The parkway is known for its scenery and wildlife sightings, and the speed limit is only 45 mph in most areas so that motorists can enjoy all its splendor.

7. Grab some binoculars and go bird-watching at Richmond Hill Park.

It only takes about an hour to walk a 2.5-mile loop trail at Richmond Hill Park, where bird-watching is a popular activity, along with hiking and mountain biking. The trail is considered easy to navigate and is open year-round. Leashed dogs are welcome.

Want to know more?

If you’d like to learn more about the Asheville area, check out the latest edition of Livability Asheville, North Carolina

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