Find out why a variety of folks, from entrepreneurs and adventure seekers to beer enthusiasts and pup owners, have taken notice of Asheville.
No matter your age or interests, Asheville has an adventure in store for you. From sipping some of the best brews your tastebuds have met to exploring the great outdoors and everything in between, it’s your time to embrace all that this great region has to offer.
Ready for a fun-filled day with the kids? Take them to Splasheville at Pack Square Park, where they can play and cool off in the splash fountain. It is open seven days a week through the summer.
Spanning just 3 square miles, downtown Asheville packs a lot into a smaller space. Along with the creative vibe that exudes throughout downtown, the area is home to art deco buildings, independent restaurants, microbreweries, museums, unique boutiques, art galleries and music venues.
Adventure seekers, the doors to Asheville are wide open, and it is calling your name. Get ready to explore nearly 1 million acres of protected wilderness, where you can hike, bike and paddle. And with views of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains and French Broad River, you’ll want to spend most of your time outside.
Students have access to several higher education campuses in and around the region, including Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, the University of North Carolina Asheville, Mars Hill University, Montreat College, Warren Wilson College and Western Carolina University-Asheville.
Travel+Leisure ranks Asheville among The Best Places to Travel.
Activities the whole family will enjoy can be found all over Asheville. Take a drive to the Asheville Pinball Museum, where you can rack up a high score on one of the 75 pinball machines. Visitors pay an admission price that allows them to play any machine without having to use quarters or tokens.
Experiences & Adventures
Pack Your Bags…Next Stop Asheville
The region will not leave you disappointed.
A few more must-visits to add to your list include the Asheville Museum of Science, which allows for experiential science learning, discovery and exploration; an Asheville Mural Trail; and the Adventure Center of Asheville, where families can mountain bike, try their hand at an elevated obstacle course and go flying along a zip line.
Top bands perform at many of Asheville’s venues, including The Orange Peel, Asheville Music Hall, The Odditorium, Salvage Station, Isis Music Hall and The Grey Eagle.
Sip & Sample
Raise a glass to Asheville’s well-established craft beer industry. Known to the locals as “Beer City USA,” about 25 breweries can be found in the city and metropolitan region. In fact, craft beer production accounts for more than 60% of Asheville’s total beverage industry. A few popular places to enjoy a cold one are Catawba Brewing Co., Ginger’s Revenge Craft Brewery and the longstanding Highland Brewing Company, which ditched its mascot, Scotty, in 2021 for a brand-new label and logo design.
The Biltmore Company oversees 8,000 acres and has 2,400 employees who work at properties such as the Biltmore Estate, Biltmore Estate Wine Company and The Inn on Biltmore Estate.
Excitement in Store
Slip into your comfortable shoes because it is time to shop till you drop. Asheville has plenty of options – peruse its wide selection of unique boutiques, antique stores and gift shops. A few local places we suggest you stop by include Atelier Maison, Fox & Beaux Boutique & Custom Jewelry Design Studio, Moonlight Makers and Fly Boutique. Psst… Southern Living magazine recognized Fly Boutique as one of the best boutiques in the Southeast in 2021.
Other popular retailers can be found in West Asheville, downtown, Weaverville, the River Arts District, Biltmore Park and Biltmore Village. And just 5 miles from downtown, you can find the Asheville Outlets, where you can spend more than a few hours scoring deals.
Men’s Journal ranked Asheville among its list of Five Favorite Dog-Friendly Cities.
There is no need to leave Fido at home when you’re out exploring Asheville, as the area boasts many dog-friendly places. Grab your pup’s leash and head to Chimney Rock State Park, North Carolina Arboretum or the Blue Ridge Parkway, which stretches 469 miles. A number of restaurants here also allow dogs on their outside decks or patios, including Carmel’s Kitchen & Bar, Posana, Rhubarb and even the elegant Biltmore Estate welcomes leashed dogs on its grounds. Meanwhile, some of the more popular pet-friendly lodging facilities include Hotel Indigo Asheville Downtown and Lake Powhatan Campground.
Livability.com ranks Asheville among the Top 100 Best Places to Live.
Start From Scratch
There are more than enough bakeries in the Asheville area to satisfy your sweet cravings. Visit Well-Bred Bakery & Café, located in Biltmore Village, and try one of the ooey-gooey cookies on the menu (we recommend the monster or ginger molasses) or maybe a slice of vanilla cheesecake or an espresso roulade. Karen Donatelli Bakery & Cake Designs serves up some pretty tasty cookies, danishes, sticky buns and cheesecake. And if you are feeling fresh baked bread, swing by City Bakery, where you can find a number of different loaves to pair with apple butter, olive oil or jam. Try one of their breakfast sandwiches, too – the veggie and goat sandwich is hard to pass up.