There are plenty of great things to do in Asheville. Asheville is a dynamic city immersed in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. The conjunction of artisan communities, monumental architecture, galleries, fancy stores, and distinguished restaurants. If you and your significant other are planning to head to North Carolina, Let me tell you the best things to do in Asheville for each day of the weekend.
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Great Things to Do in Asheville, NC
The beautiful spring; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive alsoHarriet Ann Jacobs
Asheville area has loads of entertainment and culture, while also offers an atmosphere of intimacy and southern sophistication.
Friends always ask for travel advice for Asheville; “If you want to have a great weekend in Asheville, what would you do?” I’ve been in North Dakota for over two years now, and I often found myself fantasizing about another fantastic weekend in Asheville, especially during my first North Dakota winter. So allow me to tell my perfect daydream weekend in Asheville.
First things first, the hotel. We love the AC Hotel by Marriott Asheville in Downtown. Great location and a great hotel. Walking distance to fantastic boutiques, restaurants, and theaters. We have stayed at The Inn on Biltmore Estate, which is highly recommended. But for this particular weekend, I would choose the AC Hotel by Marriott because we’d love to watch a play or a concert on Saturday night, and this particular hotel is near everything.
Play & Dance with Drums
After checking in, we head to an Asheville tradition, The Drum Circle in Pritchard Park downtown Asheville. Every Friday night from April to October, everyone can participate in the drum circle. You can pretend to dance to the rhythm of many drums or play the drum.
It is a free event that runs from 6 to 10 pm. You can do a serious people-watching, and admire the diversity and atmosphere created around the sounds of those drums. Usually, we spend around an hour there, and then we head to one of the many great restaurants Asheville has to offer.
If you really want to appreciate Asheville’s rich history, culture, and architecture, and it’s your first time there, I would take a walking tour. We had an amazing experience the first time we took this urban trail tour. It lasts over an hour-long, and it starts from the center of town. Great experience and you get to know great people, culture, and history of the town.
Ghost Walking Tour
When it gets darker in Asheville, there is the possibility to take a Ghost Walking Tour. You’ll walk through Asheville’s streets led by an expert on the dark history of Asheville. Visit the Asheville Mystery Museum, and look for the woman who haunts the Omni Grove Park Inn. It is really fun, and you have to use ghost-hunting equipment. So cool!
Take an Electric Bike Brewery Crawl in Downtown
Visit the most popular Breweries in the city while riding an e-bike. Get immerse in the local vibe and taste the best craft brews in town. The South Slope Brewery is one of our favorites. Reserve your spot here.
Dine Downtown Asheville
Asheville area has over 70 locally-owned restaurants. We love Tupelo Honey because they serve scratch-made Southern food three times per day; breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Tupelo Honey is definitely our number one in downtown Asheville for our weekend; you will find beers, cocktails, and delicious food.
Explore Biltmore State
There’s no time to sleep in; we are in Asheville, NC. What a fantastic way to start the perfect weekend by visiting Biltmore Estate. Whether you hike the extensive red of trails, walk through its forests and gardens, or enjoy the luxury and sophistication of the largest mansion built by George Vanderbilt, Biltmore will deliver and fulfill your expectations.
Eat at Biltmore
Have breakfast or lunch at Biltmore, and have the ultimate experience that your palate will appreciate. They have several restaurants, and we love to eat at the Stable Cafe.
Another notable favorite activity at Biltmore you can’t miss is right after lunch, when you can go for a guided tour to the vineyards that ends in a delightful wine tasting.
So now that we’ve traveled in time and sophistication at Biltmore Estate, we have to explore more of Asheville. It is expected to be my day-dream weekend, so I indulge.
The River Arts District
Next stop, The River Arts District. Located along the French Broad River. There isn’t a better way to spend the evening walking a district filled with art galleries. Find the perfect handcrafted art, and watch live exhibits.
At The North Carolina Glass Center, you can have the opportunity to watch students learning the art of glassblowing. They take material out of the furnace and produce unusual glass items with different shapes and colors. It can be addictive to watch.
As you walk along the French Broad River, you will find amazing breweries to get a drink or a fabulous healthy smoothie that will give you the strength to keep going.
Just down the road, find Wedge at Wedge Studios. The Studio was founded by metal artist John Payne. The Wedge Brewery is one of our favorite breweries located at the lower level of the building. It has a great sitting outdoor area, drinks, food, and a bohemian atmosphere.
Enjoy a Play
Head to downtown Asheville for a play in the NC Stage Company. They host concerts, events, and world-class productions. Most importantly, they always have a play every weekend. It’s one of the most enjoyable things in Asheville on a Saturday night.
French Broad River
This is one of the most exciting Tours we’ve ever done, where we could explore the French Broad River on a stand-up paddleboard. You don’t need to be an expert, and they provide all the equipment including a dry bag to protect phones.
On Sunday morning, one of our traditional things to do in Asheville is to take a Trolley Tour around the Asheville area. Downtown is filled with charming boutiques, galleries, and fabulous restaurants. The atmosphere around the city will amaze you. By the way, there are plenty of great coffee houses to choose from all over downtown. Find more about the trolley tour here.
Asheville Art Museum
In November 2019, the Asheville Art Museum reopened its doors to the public after a fantastic renovation period. I loved the American art collection of artists from western North Carolina and Southern Appalachia. Its location is at 2 S Pack Square and it opens from 11 to 6 pm. It’s FREE!
Ride The Blue Ridge Parkway
One of the things to do in Asheville you’ll love the most is to head to the Blue Ridge Parkway and ride a good part of it. The ideal hours are by noon on clear blue skies. Definitely, you don’t want to drive through the Blue Ridge Mountains in the evening or during extreme weather conditions. So check the weather.
The Blue Ridge Mountains are a linear park in the US immerse in the Appalachian Mountains and runs 469 miles from Virginia to North Carolina. Bring a great camera because your iPhone or Android won’t be enough to capture the magnificent views of the park. Fall won’t disappoint. At this time of the year, trees will turn deep red and yellow. It is a great ride where you will find lovely waterfalls and the best views of the Appalachian.
We love waterfalls, we found a Fabulous tour which took us to fantastic hiking trails looking for waterfalls. They offered drinks and snacks. It’s important to bring water shoes. You can find a great deal for this tour here.
At Arrowmont Stables you can enjoy an excellent guided horseback adventure. This tour will take you through hardwood and white pine forests, and areas of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Flame Azalea Trail is included in the ride, with elevations up to 4,200 feet. Reservations here.
North Carolina Arboretum
The North Carolina Arboretum is a botanical garden located south of the Asheville area. The North Carolina Arboretum offers acres of gardens, trails, events, and educational programs. Walking through the gardens is a must-do experience you can’t miss.
There is an NC Arboretum Running Tour where you’ll be running through beautiful gardens, forest, passing a mountain stream, and know about the history of the Pisgah National Forest. This is a trendy tour and making reservations ahead of time is advised. Check here
Pisgah National Forest
Asheville is surrounded by 500.000 acres of hardwood forest known as the Pisgah National Forest. The scenic part of Pisgah National Forest starts when you make a right to US 276 Hwy North to Forest Heritage Scenic Byway.
Pisgah National Forest has plenty of trails and campsites distributed around its area, and It’s organized in 3 districts; the Grandfather Mountain, Appalachian, and Pisgah Districts.
Some of the most famous waterfalls in the forest are; Looking Glass Falls, Rainbow Falls, and Sliding Rock. We took a Hiking Tour to these waterfalls and it was spectacular. You’ll need to be in acceptable fitness conditions though because you’ll have to walk around three miles in the forest.
A self-guided tour is possible only if you have good navigation skills and know-how to read maps. Personally, I don’t have any navigation skills, hubby does because of his military background. But we didn’t opt for a self-guided tour, because we wanted to share the experience, know more about the area, and meet new friends.
If you find yourself looking for things to do in Asheville on a weekend, give it a try to this wonderful suggestions. The places mentioned here are just the ones we love, and we are able to visit in two days.
Asheville is equal parts sophisticated and eclectic. Asheville is everything to lift your soul to higher levels of pleasure.