10 Reasons You Should Visit Asheville Now!
Nestled cozily in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains is where you'll find it: a vibrant little city known as Asheville, NC. Overflowing with good vibes, friendly people, and fresh mountain air, this peaceful pocket of the South has gained quite the following.
From a mouthwatering food scene and a dizzying array of craft beers to a bohemian art community and a mountain range radiating with adventure, it's no surprise so many travelers and transplants are flocking to this neck of the woods. So if you're seeking a destination with room to breathe, stretch your legs, and marvel in the majestic mountains, here are 10 reasons you, too, should head to Asheville!
Drive the scenic route down the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Road-tripping along the Blue Ridge Parkway is a must when visiting Asheville. As a native North Carolinian, I can still vividly remember family camping trips to this western part of the state and the level of hypnosis I would enter into when driving along this scenic route. No matter the season, the Blue Ridge Parkway is simply breathtaking.
This National Parkway is best known for its long-range vistas and close-up views of the Appalachian Highlands. While it winds 469 miles through North Carolina and Virginia, all you'll need is a few minutes on this route to recognize why it's also known as "America's Favorite Drive." My advice? Sit back, relax, and drive nice and slow!
Give yourself a history lesson by getting to know the Vanderbilts at the Biltmore Estate.
Built in 1895 as a way for George Vanderbilt to escape from everyday life, the Biltmore is the nation's largest privately owned home. You'll be grateful for the longer days of Summer when visiting this French-inspired chateau, as it means you'll have more time to explore the 8,000-acre grand estate.
In addition to touring the 250 rooms inside the home, experience the glory of the outside by discovering the historic gardens and taking part in the outdoor pursuits, such as horseback riding, biking, and off-road driving around the property.
Before wrapping up your visit, be sure to stop by the Biltmore Winery. Here, you can venture into a red, white, and Rosé journey by savoring complimentary tastings of more than 20 handcrafted wines.
Embark on a "brews cruise" bus tour and sip on local craft beers.
If the thought of a refreshing, locally crafted beer brings a smile to your face, you'll experience nonstop grins when visiting Asheville. Boasting more breweries per capita than any other city in the US, Asheville has solidly established itself among the top towns for local beers and brewing. From dark stouts to hoppy IPAs, this city has a local brew for just about every craving.
Join other beer enthusiasts by embarking on a "brews cruise," where you can tour a wide variety of local breweries. Tastes, sips, and an extrafun time are guaranteed!
Discover a wealth of wet and wild fun by chasing cascading waterfalls.
Step outside the humming city center of Asheville, and you will be greeted by countless cascading waterfalls. While many are located in remote areas of the mountains and require a hike to get to, there are dozens of breathtaking waterfalls that can be easily seen from the side of the road. And the best part? Chasing waterfalls is free!
Let your creative juices flow by the river with the buzzing art community.
Home to more than 200 artists, Asheville's River Arts District, also known as RAD, is a creative's dreamland. Throughout this one-mile stretch along the French Broad River, you will find old warehouses and historic textile mills that have since been converted into local artist studios. Newcomers are encouraged to embark on an "art trek" and visit these lively work spaces.
Whether you're craving to watch local artists at work, discuss their intricate design process, or strengthen your own skills by joining a class or workshop, this district is the place to be if you're feeling creative!
Test your balance and agility by kayaking down the French Broad River.
See Asheville from a different perspective by kayaking down the French Broad River Paddle Trail. In 2012, this water trail opened as a way to protect the river as a resource for outdoor recreation, education, and environmental stewardship. Running 117 miles through North Carolina, the Paddle Trail is ideal for all skill levels.
So go ahead, grab your kayak and set sail for a leisurely afternoon of floating. And if kayaking isn't your cup of tea, don't fret, as tubing, canoeing, rafting, and paddleboarding are available, too.
Relish the taste of Asheville's Foodtopia.
In Asheville, every meal is a celebration. And after it was christened Foodtopia by local residents, your taste buds can rest assured knowing they're about to encounter a revelational eating experience.
Because the city's culinary community encourages creativity in the kitchen, don't expect to chow down on just any ordinary meal. Get ready for fun foods such as blueberry-chipotle ribs at 12 Bones Smokehouse or sweet-potato coconut gravy at Biscuit Head. And if you're craving the perfect combo of sweet and savory, walk on over to Vortex Doughnuts for some funky flavors.
Hike, bike, birdwatch, or do whatever your outdoor spirit desires.
The Blue Ridge Mountains offer a plethora of outdoor adventures. With more than 369 miles of trails weaving along the Parkway, you'll be able to discover some of the most awe-inspiring wilderness in the country.
No matter which way you're looking to explore the lands — hiking, biking, rock climbing, fishing, the options are endless! — one thing is certain: you're guaranteed to have an unforgettable experience. And if you're really craving a challenge, you can even embark on the Appalachian Trail, a 2,180-mile-long footpath.
March to the beat of your own drum with Asheville's eclectic music soundtrack.
Don't let the small size of Asheville fool you when it comes to the live music scene. This city packs in big sound! While the area is proudly rooted in old-time mountain music — do the words "folk" and "bluegrass" ring any bells? — Asheville houses the full spectrum when it comes to innovative rhythms, beats, and tempos.
Whether you're in the mood for intimate music halls, spacious outdoor concert venues, or mountain-view amphitheaters, Asheville has you covered. So get ready to start tapping those toes, and check out the wide range of upcoming music festivals here!
Simply put, the fresh mountain air is good for the soul.
Did you know that back in the good ol' days, doctors would prescribe a trip to Asheville for restorative purposes? While that might seem a bit extreme, think about how cleansing those deep breaths of fresh mountain air must feel. That same mindset is still true today, as Asheville has become quite a haven for holistic and alternative health.
From moments of Zen at Shoji Spa to an underground 40,000-square-foot spa at The Omni Grove Park Inn, allow yourself to step outside the worries of the world and step into pure relaxation. As Lizz Wright, an American jazz artist and gospel singer, once stated, "Asheville is a great place to cultivate peace and presence." Serving as a healing getaway for the mind, body, and soul, there is no doubt Asheville is calling your name!