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With 25 craft breweries in the North Carolina mountains near Asheville, where to begin? Use our Beer Guide to plan your strategy. You can walk to many breweries in downtown Asheville, especially in the South Slope Brewing District. Two recent big additions include Sierra Nevada and New Belgium.
(1.5 to 8 miles round-trip, moderate to strenuous) This unique hike offers plenty of breathtaking viewpoints and a wooden boardwalk over fragile vegetation. The Tanawha Trail features many rock outcrops to enjoy sweeping mountain panoramas. Turn around at any time or continue the trail to Beacon Heights (4 miles). Milepost 302.8 Blue Ridge Parkway.
Spa at Greystone Inn
Stay at this luxury inn on beautiful Lake Toxaway for a pampering weekend of spa treatments, outstanding cuisine, and relaxation by the water. Facials, manicures, pedicures, massages and herbal body wraps are a sampling of services. The resort also has golf, boating, pool and many other amenities. Located in Pisgah National Forest near Brevard and Cashiers.
Looking Glass Rock
(6.5 miles roundtrip, strenuous) For 180+ degree views from a rock face, hike to the top of this iconic summit in the Pisgah National Forest. You'll hike the "backside" of the mountain, gaining 1,700 feet in elevation and a gradual climb almost the entire way.
Chimney Rock Park Hikes
(1 to 4 miles, easy to strenuous) Hike a variety of trails with spectacular views of Hickory Nut Gorge or a 400-foot waterfall. Often overlooked, the challenging Four Seasons Trail begins near the Meadows and takes you through a beautiful deciduous forest and boulder fields.
Gallery of the Mountains
Located inside The Omni Grove Park Inn, this gallery features American handmade crafts by more than 100 local and regional artists of the Southern Appalachians. Be sure to visit their sister shop, Grovewood Gallery, located across the street in Grovewood Village. 290 Macon Avenue.
Deerpark Restaurant @ Biltmore
This grand Sunday brunch buffet on Biltmore Estate has been a favorite for many years. Located in a converted barn with walls of windows, Deerpark's big menu includes estate-grown greens, berries, eggs, and hand-carved meats. It’s especially popular for special occasions and holidays (including Easter & Mother's Day), so make reservations well in advance. Sunday 10-2. Admission ticket or annual pass required.
Pub and Grub Crawl
Explore Black Mountain with Creative Mountain Food Tours during a 2.5-hour guided walk, stopping at pubs, restaurants and a brewery for local beers and hard ciders paired with snacks made by local chefs. Usually one Saturday per month. $48/person.
See our Top 10 Things to Do on Valentine's Day and Week in Asheville and the North Carolina mountains, with a photo tour of romantic getaway ideas.
The Montford Rooftop Bar
Soak in epic sunsets and mountain views from atop the Hyatt Place Hotel in downtown, while enjoying seasonal craft cocktails, local beer, wine and small bites. Both indoor and outdoor spaces. Valet parking. 199 Haywood Street, Asheville
The Amazing Pubcycle
Ride through downtown on a wicked-cool 13-person pedal powered (motor-assisted) contraption like no other. Imagine riding your bike sideways, hanging out at your favorite pub on wheels. Pubcycle is a BYOB activity, so get your brew on!
Navitat Canopy Adventures
Just 22 minutes from Asheville, Navitat Canopy Adventures is a world-class eco-adventure with huge ziplines traversing a secluded 242-acre mountain cove with 1,200 feet of elevation change. Fly above the treetops on breathtaking zip lines up to 350 feet high, from 360 feet to 3,600 feet long and at speeds up to 65 mph! Rappel, walk suspended sky bridges and see panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Navitat is rated among the nation’s best by many.
Lake Junaluska BOGO, Lambuth Inn
Stay a night on beautiful Lake Junaluska midweek (Sunday-Thursday nights) through December, and get the second night free! This renovated historic hotel has mountain views, lakeside trail and many amenities.
Rate: From $109/night
Rate: From $109/night
Skyterra Wellness Retreat
A beautiful mountain retreat in the Land of the Waterfalls where you set aside life’s obligations to focus on your own health and well-being. This caring community of stress management, fitness, and culinary experts helps you break old cycles, jumpstart new habits, and embrace the healthy, revitalized lifestyle you deserve. Stay for a week, or as long as you'd like. Rates include daily yoga, fitness, meditation, and education classes, private room, and chef-prepared meals.
This new restaurant and bar in downtown Asheville pairs Cuban cuisine with Asheville flair. Menu favorites include Palomilla Sliders, Ropa Vieja and Tostones. Don't forget their Cuban Daiquiri. Located on the fourth floor of Cambria Hotel adjacent to Grove Arcade, their outdoor terrace has fantastic views. Open breakfast and dinner. 15 Page Avenue
Beech Mountain Ski Resort
As the highest ski and snowboard area in the eastern US, ride 17 slopes on 95 acres. Find runs for every skill levels, with a vertical drop of 830 feet and 80+ inches of annual snow. The Alpine Village has ice skating, brewery and even a mountaintop bar. Snow tubing and terrain park. Ski vacation packages and lessons.
Mt. LeConte & Alum Cave
(11 miles round-trip, strenuous) The Alum Cave Trail is the most-hiked in the Great Smoky Mountains. You'll see why, with interesting geological features and stunning views. To reach the 6,593-ft. summit of Mount LeConte (third highest peak in the Smokies), you'll climb 2,853 ft. in elevation in 5.5 miles.
Couples Mind/Body Spa Package, Still Point Wellness
This four-hour spa escape for two includes a 90-minute Salt Water Float and a 75-minute Esalen Massage back to back. While you are receiving a massage, your partner is floating; then you switch. Downtown Asheville.
The Village Potters
A must-stop in the River Arts District, meet six very accomplished artists and watch them at work. Buy contemporary art in three galleries. Be a potter for an afternoon with their hands-on workshop.
310 ART Gallery
See the work of 25 local artists in this large gallery in the River Arts District featuring contemporary painting, sculpture, mixed media, jewelry and photography. Plus, see studios of five resident artists working and demonstrating daily. And take a big variety of workshops. Open Monday-Saturday. 191 Lyman Street.
The Spa at the Inn on Biltmore Estate
Indulge yourself. It will be easy to imagine being a pampered guest of one of America’s most revered hostesses, Edith Vanderbilt. Your revitalizing journey begins the moment you step foot into this luxurious facility, designed to reflect and evoke the elegance of Biltmore. Choose from a wide array of treatments that incorporate the Estate’s natural offerings to create a soothing, rejuvenating and unique experience.
This artsy village is just a few miles from Sylva. On the banks of the Tuckasegee River. Dillsboro has been a tourist stop since the late 1800s. Although it's a tiny village, find an impressive mix of specialty shops and galleries representing many local artists. Go to many art festivals. Many arrive by train on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad on an excursion.
Watch glassblowers at work and see their amazing creations on display in their working studio in downtown Asheville. Their taproom features local beer in hand-blown glasses! Open 7 days. No glassblowing on Tuesdays. 81 South Lexington Avenue.
Tupelo Honey - South Asheville
Located near Biltmore Estate, they have become a neighborhood favorite Southern food restaurant in South Asheville - with responsibly sourced ingredients and craft cocktails. Lunch, dinner and weekend brunch will make you say, “Shoo Mercy, that was good!” 1829 Hendersonville Road.
This tiny town of 600 residents is big on things to do in Graham County, home to Fontana Lake, Lake Santeetlah, Stecoah Arts Center, Cherohala Skyway and hikes and waterfalls in Nantahala National Forest.
Triple Falls, DuPont State Forest
This unique three-tier waterfall offers a chance to safely get a close-up view in the middle of three cascades. It's only a one-mile roundtrip hike - and a half mile from High Falls and Hooker Falls.
High Falls at Lake Glenville
(1.5 miles round-trip, strenuous) Also known as Cullowhee Falls, this 150-ft. waterfall at Lake Glenville near Cashiers becomes the most powerful a few days of the year when extra water is released from the dam for kayakers. A new hiking trail takes you to the base for a great view.
Biltmore Package, 1899 Wright Inn & Carriage House
This two-night stay features deluxe accommodations, bottle of Biltmore wine (or flowers) and chocolates in room upon arrival, gourmet breakfast for two and two tickets to the Biltmore Estate.
See the spectacular panoramic view of Linville Gorge at Wiseman's View in Pisgah National Forest, overlooking Hawksbill and Table Rock Mountains. Near Linville Falls.
Home to an impressive arts community, with galleries and an arts center downtown. Also boasts a big equestrian community, with many horse-related events, including a Steeplechase each spring. The amazing Tryon International Equestrian Center attracts horse lovers and riders from all over the world. Near Saluda.
Indian Lakes Scenic Byway
This 60-mile drive takes you by Fontana and Santeetlah Lakes in far western North Carolina, through the historic communities of Stecoah and Robbinsville, in rural Graham and Swain counties.
Hot Springs Mineral Soak
Soak in the natural hot mineral springs by the river, used by visitors for centuries seeking the legendary healing powers. Located about an hour's drive north of Asheville on the Appalachian Trail.
6 Mountain Beaches near Asheville
Hit the beach on pristine, cool mountain lakes in the NC mountains near Asheville, complete with sandy shores, lifeguards and plenty of summer fun in the water.
Bryson City Great Smoky Campgrounds
Find campgrounds for tents, camper and RVs near several entrances to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the Cherokee, Fontana Lake and Bryson City areas.
Cataloochee Ski Area, Maggie Valley
Located at 5,400 ft. in the Great Smoky Mountains, their 18 slopes have 100% snowmaking with 5 lifts on 50 acres. Ski and snowboard rentals, packages, kids & adult school and nearby tubing park. Gentle slopes for novices while seasoned experts take on Upper Omigosh. Located 40 miles west of Asheville in scenic Maggie Valley.
Mid-Week Savings, Hill House B&B
Stay Sunday-Thursday and get 1/3 off all nights after your first night. Or extend a weekend stay and get 1/3 off your third night. This historic B&B near downtown Asheville has hearty breakfasts and many amenities including Jacuzzi tubs. Excludes holiday periods.
Rate: From $109/night
Rate: From $109/night
Canton Labor Day Festival
Big celebration in Canton since 1906. Sunday features music festival, art and food, 12-9:30 PM ($10/person) at Sorrells Park, and free gospel concert at Colonial Theatre. Monday features a big Labor Day Parade at 10 AM, plus a music festival and car show, 12 PM-9 PM (free). 20 minutes west of Asheville.
Best of the Blue Ridge Scenic Loop Drive
See the best mountain views, waterfalls and gardens, along with shopping and sampling of local beers, with this 60-mile loop drive that starts and ends in Asheville. Includes Pisgah National Forest and the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Blue Ridge Travelers Guide
Order this free, print guide for Marion, Little Switzerland, Linville Falls, Old Fort and Lake James areas of McDowell County - east of Asheville.
Art on the Greene
Find a big variety of 40 artists working with metal, glass, pottery, wood, jewelry and more in downtown Banner Elk. Many restaurants, shops and things to do nearby. Benefits their historic school renovation. 10 AM-5 PM. Free admission.
South Mountains State Park
(2-40 miles, easy, moderate, strenuous) This state park near Morganton has 40 miles of hiking trails. Our favorite is High Shoals Falls 2.7-mile loop trail to a beautiful 60-foot waterfall. Combine several trails for a much longer hike.
Saturday Night Lights
Watch horse jumping with the best riders in the country at the impressive Tryon International Equestrian Center with an exciting atmosphere featuring entertainment, food, kids' activities and Venetian carousel rides. Competitions vary each week. Free admission.
A Swannanoa Solstice
A local's favorite holiday concert - 16th year! Appalachian music showcase with world influences. Many artists playing mandolins, harps, bagpipes, dulcimers and world percussion. 2 & 7 PM at Diana Wortham Theatre in downtown Asheville. $45/adult
Hot Nights, Cool Rides Auto Show
One of the largest car shows in the South lines Main Street in Forest City, with a big variety of 400 vehicles including hot rods, motorcycles, model T's and classic Mustangs. Food and live music. Free admission. 9 AM-8 PM.
3 Nights For 2 Fall Special, High Hampton Resort
Book a three-night stay and pay for just two at this 1,400-acre mountain resort in Cashiers – with European-style spa, scenic golf course, lake, falconry, guided hikes, restaurants & more. October 1-Nov 20, 2018
Rate: Starts at $299/night for a couple
Rate: Starts at $299/night for a couple
This gorgeous lake in Graham County is mostly surrounded by the Nantahala National Forest. Swim, boat, camp and fish in the pristine waters, near Robbinsville.
Find Festivals Galore
Free festivals, art shows and quirky events abound in downtown Asheville and our great mountain small towns. See our favorites for each season.
(4 miles round-trip, strenuous) One of the most popular and rewarding hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains. With an elevation of 4,800 ft., the rare rock summit is one of the park's most recognizable geological structures. It's all uphill with 1,700 ft. in elevation gain.
Pioneer Day & Mountain Thunder Car Show
Two events in Old Fort: See traditional Appalachian crafts, food, games and storytelling (10-5) at the Mountain Gateway Museum. Then stroll by a big variety of classic cars and trucks on Commerce Street (9-2). Free admission.
Roan Mountain Picnics
Picnic with the rhododendron each June. Or picnic along the Appalachian Trail atop one of the balds with panoramic views.
Tumblestone Waterfall Tours
Get picked up at your accommodation in the Asheville area for a guided, half-day waterfall excursion that will take you to three impressive waterfalls in two protected forests. Plus, ride on a very scenic portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Licensed & Insured.
Experience 190 steep, climbing curves in just 12 miles, climbing 1,900 feet in elevation. Take N.C. Highway 226A from U.S. 221 north of Marion to Little Switzerland at the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Diamondback is loaded with switchbacks looping almost 360-degrees, making it extra fun for motorcyclists.
(3.2-mile loop, moderate) Hike from downtown Hot Springs via the Appalachian Trail. You will climb to a rock outcropping for beautiful views of the river and town. It's a romantic spot, but don't leap!
Monarch Butterfly Migration
See the amazing Monarch Butterflies as they migrate 2,000+ miles each fall to Mexico, passing through the Asheville area in September and early October. Find the best spots to see them along the high passes of the Blue Ridge Parkway and special events to learn more about them.
Hard Apple Cider Tour
Head to Hendersonville for a self-guided tour of cideries that create a big variety of hard ciders from local apples and blackberries - about 20 minutes south of Asheville. Near several wineries too!
Top 50 Summer Events & Festivals
June, July, August: From street festivals to outdoor concerts, check out our top summer picks for Asheville and the surrounding NC mountain towns. Most are free.
The Swag Dining
Enjoy an elegant dinner or Sunday brunch at this secluded mountaintop, luxury lodge at 5,000 feet elevation in the Great Smoky Mountains. Sunday brunch buffet has two carving stations and home-made desserts. Lunch picnics too! Reservations required. Open late April through early November. 2300 Swag Road, Waynesville
Cedar Rock Mountain, DuPont Forest
(4.5 miles loop, moderate) This hike provides wonderful views and dramatic scenery - and it's not difficult. Rising only a few hundred feet above the surrounding plateau, walk across areas of granite with great views.
Huckleberrys Crafted Spirits Day
Sample spirits from 19 NC distillers along North Trade Street in downtown Tryon. Also includes arts, crafts, a dozen food trucks and live music. 12-5 PM. Free admission.