Welcome to Asheville North Carolina
For a small city, Asheville North Carolina is jam-packed with fine art galleries, mountain crafts shops, antique stores and colorful boutique shops.
Asheville's downtown streets seem to hum with creative energy, and so many of the people are friendly and helpful, with an upbeat mood and can-do attitude. Music is everywhere and the theatre scene is vibrant. Fabulous cafes and fine dining restaurants offer tantalizing variety, with plenty of organic, vegetarian and artisan selections for every taste and budget.
Created by two local travel journalists, this unique, insider's guide to Asheville North Carolina will help you get the most out of your visit. We'll show you where to find local music, nightlife, top-notch entertainment, and those secret local places with the best fresh-ground coffee, delicious bakery and yummy chocolates.
One of our favorite ways to explore downtown Asheville is by walking, and we've created special walking guides that lead you to the finest art galleries, antique shops and great boutiques, plus another walk that shows you why Asheville North Carolina is renowned for its amazing architecture.
Our guide includes practical information as well, with the top tours, great shopping areas, locations of the best galleries and restaurants, and even how to save money and avoid long lines when you tour the Biltmore House and other attractions in Asheville NC. We'll help you find the best places to go, those less-known things to do that will make your visit to Asheville North Carolina special, and we'll tell you how to get there and what to expect when you arrive.
When you're ready to get out and about, we'll show you how to get to the best places to enjoy the stunning mountain wilderness that surrounds Asheville North Carolina. Whether you want to explore the spectacular Blue Ridge Parkway, Great Smoky Mountains National Park or the National Forests and State Parks near Asheville North Carolina, our guide leads you to the best sunsets, grand mountain views and spectacular waterfalls.
How do you like to experience the great outdoors? We cover it all, from amazing scenic drives and easy family walks to serious hiking, mountain biking and white-water rafting adventures.
Insider's Guide to Asheville North Carolina
The funky, sophisticated center of urban cool in the heart of the mountains
Eight Reasons to visit Asheville We travel a lot, after all, traveling is our job as well as our passion. We are often asked, "What is it that makes Asheville North Carolina such a great place?" Here are eight reasons why Asheville North Carolina is one of the coolest towns in America.
Our Asheville Favorites What are some of our all-time favorites? That's the question everyone asks us, so we decided to share a few of our special places, the ones we go back to time and again.
Top Attractions and Things to Do in Asheville NC
When and where to go, what to avoid, where to eat and the insider secrets that keep you smiling
The Biltmore House and the Biltmore Estate is a must-see, with tours of the largest private mansion in the United States and a wealth of activities on the magnificent 8000 acre Estate
The Blue Ridge Parkway is the must-do scenic drive that traces the mountain ridgeline and is a designated National Parkway and an All American Road
Downtown Asheville is a vibrant urban center ideal for walking, with trendy dining, big-city diversions, fine craft and art galleries, boutique shops and some of the best Art Deco architecture in the Southeast.
North Carolina Arboretum is much more than a beautiful public garden, offering miles of nature trails for hiking and biking as well as offering classes on mountain gardening and landscaping
Museums are a fun way to learn about historic Asheville, mountain culture and mountain geology.
- Asheville Art Museum
- Colburn Gem & Mineral Museum
- The Health Adventure
- Thomas Wolfe Memorial
- YMI Cultural Center
- Grovewood Gallery and Museums
- Smith-McDowell House Museum
- Biltmore Historic Museum
Folk Art Center and Allanstand Craft Shop is one of the oldest and most celebrated Appalachian Mountain craft centers, providing craft-making demonstrations and the renowned craft shop of the Southern Highland Craft Guild
Grove Park Inn Built in the tradition of the great National Park Lodges, the awesome granite Grove Park Inn is the ultimate mountain retreat. Gigantic stone fireplaces adorn its vast but inviting lobby and its terraces and restaurants offer visitors awesome sunset views of Asheville North Carolina and the surrounding mountains.
WNC Nature Center is a must-see for children and anyone interested in learning more about the flora and fauna of the mountain regions. This natural museum features native plants, farm animals and those hard-to-see-in-the-wild animals that inhabit the Carolina mountains, including the Red Wolf, River Otter, Black Bear and many more species native to the Blue Ridge Mountains
WNC Farmers Market This huge regional produce market is open year round and features dozens of vendors selling fresh fruits and vegetables, baked goods, and mountain-made preserves, condiments, cider and crafts.
Best Arts, Culture and Shopping in Asheville NC
The top entertainment venues for music and theatre, best shopping areas and authentic mountain cultural experiences
Art Galleries and Craft Galleries There are hundreds of galleries and studios in and around Asheville to explore, and we'll show you where the best and most interesting are located
Historic Biltmore Village is a charming area of historic buildings and shady streets lined with trendy shops and great restaurants
Antiques Asheville is an antique shoppers paradise with fine antique shops, antique malls and the legendary Tobacco Barn
Shopping Guide to the best boutique shops, independent booksellers and shopping areas in and around Asheville North Carolina
Music and Theatre Asheville boasts many fine theatres and live music venues
The River Arts District was once the brick and steel center of Asheville commerce, and today these massive factories and warehouses are home to hundreds of artist's studios
Grove Arcade is an elegant Beaux Arts architectural gem that houses some of Asheville's finest shops, galleries and restaurants.
WNC Farmers Market Open daily year round, Asheville's huge retail and wholesale market offers fresh fruits and vegetables, baked goods, and mountain-made preserves, condiments, cider and crafts
Tailgate Markets These friendly once-weekly neighborhood markets feature organic, farm fresh produce, heirloom fruits and veggies, free-range meat and poultry, artisan cheeses, baked goods and more direct from farmers
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