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Fun Things To Do In Western North Carolina

+ Wonderful Places To Visit In Western North Carolina

Road trip to Cherokee – Things to do in Western North Carolina – Asheville, Dandridge, Pigeon Forge.

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If you plan to visit Western NC, please check beforehand to see if the area is safe following the recent flooding. Officials have closed some sections of Pisgah National Forest to keep visitors out of danger. Please respect signage and local guidance.

The most wonderful places to visit in Western North Carolina start with our mountains. They dominate the conversation, whether youre in the High Country, driving along the iconic Blue Ridge Parkway , searching for gorgeous waterfalls, or exploring the many other wonders that make this area so popular!

This area holds some of our favorite things to do in North Carolina, which can also be found inside our book! For now, though, this guide will help you pinpoint the very best things to do and places to go in Western NC!

Read More: Blue Ridge Parkway Hikes

Devour A Healthy Lunch

Personally, two of the most fun places to get lunch if you are visiting Asheville are at Biltmore Estate. You will need a Biltmore ticket or annual to enter them.

Stable Cafe has the best sandwiches and cocktails in the wildest setting: The former Vanderbilt horse stables. The cafe is also one of Ashevilles coolest kid-friendly restaurants.

Then, as an ode to their beloved Saint Bernard, Cedrics Tavern in Antler Hill Village offers seasonal cocktails, delicious southern and American contemporary cuisine, and pickles. Ask for some Lusty Monk mustard.

For more local lunch around Asheville, if you love pizza and burgers, there is Farm Burger, Asheville Pizza & Brewing, and Gypsy Queen Cuisine . GQC has both vegan and gluten-free options.

We frequent Edison at the Grove Park Inn in North Asheville, and we crave Red Ginger Dimsum and Tapas like its our job.

The Madness AVL is one of the best sushi restaurants in Asheville, and Thai Pearl makes fantastic Thai food.

Whether or not you are a vegan or vegetarian, Laughing Seed Cafe is another gem, and we crave grinders at Apollo Flame Bistro, especially after a BRP parkway hike.

White Duck Taco, Early Girl Eatery, and Tupelo, of course, are also popular lunch spots.

If you love beer and tacos, dont miss all of the best taco places in Asheville including West Ashevilles Zia Taqueria. Stop next door at The Whale for the largest local, national, and international beer selection in AVL.

Uncover The Hunger Games Falls

Did you even visit Asheville, if you didnt make the 40-minute drive to DuPont Forest located in Cedar Mountain?

One of our top recommended things to do in Asheville is enjoying the three waterfalls at DuPont.

Did you know that they filmed scenes from The Last Of The Mohicans and The Hunger Games at DuPont State Recreational Forest? Triple Falls and Bridal Veil Falls are famous.

We suggest parking in the Hooker Falls Access Area. Head to Hooker Falls first the easiest waterfall hike and then loop back up to Triple Falls and High Falls.

If you still have energy, walk under the covered wooden bridge to Bridal Veil Falls, which adds 4 more miles to your hike.

If you need lunch afterward, drive 20-minutes to nearby Hendersonville another one of our favorite towns. Well share more about things to do in Hendersonville below.

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Historic Ghost Walk Elizabeth City

Join the Elizabeth City Historic Ghost Walk and youll visit seven historic homes whose previous residents might still be with us today.

Local actors provide the entertainment at each stop, sharing the lives of the person theyre playing and in between, you can walk around Elizabeth City or hop on a complimentary trolley.

Wake Foot Sanctuary & Spa

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Wake Foot Sanctuary

The Wake Foot Sanctuary & Spa is situated in an Asheville, North Carolina location already discussed: the Grove Shopping Arcade.

The fact that its one of the best ways to relax as you jump between attractions on your list of what to do in Asheville means it deserves its own number on this list.

The Wake Foot Sanctuary & Spa focuses on providing its customers with luxurious and indulgent levels of pampering.

Massages, foot soaks, and other relaxing services are provided to help you enjoy peace and serenity during the more hectic periods of your holiday.

Furniture in the form of plush chairs and sofas let you lounge while treatments are provided in rustic but equally opulent bowls of copper, handmade.

Water is perfumed with delightfully calming fragrances that engage the senses without overwhelming them.

For further indulgence, youll be served sweet tidbits, coffee, and tea as you enjoy a foot soak.

If you feel like it, you can even stop by Wakes own store, which sells handmade candles, artisanal products, and apothecary items.

Address: 1 Page Ave #115, Asheville, NC 28801, United States

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Monster Truck Throwdown Benson

The Monster Truck Throwdown at GALOT Motorsports Park in Benson promises to be the biggest thing to do in North Carolina in October, with two days of massive fun planned.

Throwdown superstars Avenger and Crushstation will join their friends and you also cant miss the Freestyle Motocross and FREE Pit Party, where you can meet the drivers.

Back In Time To The Heyday Of Pinball

The Asheville Pinball Museum is a true treasure for 80s pinball/arcade culture fans. This nostalgic arcade is located in downtown Asheville and almost always super busy. Not a surprise really as this place is pretty awesome. With dozens of retro pinball machines from yesterday, nostalgic 80s decor, classic NES and Sega gaming systems, and even a room dedicated to stand up arcade machines, this is the place to go if you love classic video gaming. Leave your phone at home and enjoy a few hours of old-fashioned fun!

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Riverbend Farm Pumpkin Patch Midland

Riverbend Farm grows acres of pumpkins each year and is only open from October 1-31, so dont miss out! Take a wagon ride to the pumpkin field and take one home.

Their playgrounds collection of massive slides and play structures is the most impressive of all. If you need a new pumpkin patch to explore and live within driving distance of Cabarrus County, please head out to this one.

Read More: Pumpkin Patches in North Carolina

Fun Things To Do In North Carolina: Museum Of Life And Science

Road Trip to Cherokee – Things to do in Western North Carolina – Local Attractions

Located on an 84-acre property, the Museum of Life and Science is a natural science museum primarily aimed at children. The museum’s main building is home to two stories of interactive displays, including a well-known aerospace exhibit.

The museum is home to more than 60 species of live animals, and it also contains one of the largest butterfly conservatories on the East Coast. Other highlights include an outdoor dinosaur exhibit, a small train visitors can ride around the museum grounds, and a treehouse village. There is an admission fee, but members can enter the museum free of charge.

433 W Murray Ave, Durham, NC 27704, Phone: 919-220-5429

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Drive The Scenic Blue Ridge Parkway

One of Ashevilles biggest natural attractions is the Blue Ridge Parkway. The BRP runs from Virginias Shenandoah National Park to Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina.

Hop on this 45 mph, two-lane road and explore all of the waterfalls, hikes, and scenic overlooks. You can read all about our favorite NC Blue Ridge Parkway hikes here.

Drive through the mountains via tunnels, and know that this area turns into a mural of vibrant eye candy in the fall.

In fact, wed dare say that driving the Blue Ridge Parkway is the absolute best thing to do in Asheville in fall, hands down.

In the spring and summer, the Parkway fills in with gorgeous wildflowers and rhododendrons. The BRP is a dream for bikers and motorcyclists.

Find romantic fog, artists and birdwatchers pulled over at designated spots, and happy wildlife. Keep in mind, though, that many parts of the BRP close in the winter for ice.

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Ready To Explore These Places To Visit In Western North Carolina

We cant express how beautiful Western North Carolina is weve been through the area more than a few times, exploring its small towns and outdoor gems.

In case you know this area, wed love to hear about your experiences here and any particular places you love, too. If theres a place you strongly feel belongs here thats missing, please kindly let us know via email.

If youve never been before, were eager to know which spots you plan to visit first. Regardless, we hope youll enjoy our collection of guides that will make your visit to Western North Carolina the best it possibly can!

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Float Down The French Broad River

Full disclosure on this bad boy, but we love *watching* other people float down the French Broad River in the summer.

Imagine walking along the Riverwalk in the River Arts District and suddenly spying a gaggle of floating and cackling unicorns

Where can you get your tubing on? French Broad Outfitters, Zen Tubing, and Sky Tubing are just a few.

Things To See Near Me: Moores Creek National Battlefield

Things to do in Western NC this Summer

The Moores Creek National Battlefield commemorates the Patriot’s victory in the 1776 Battle of Moore’s Creek Bridge. At the Visitor Center, visitors can learn about the battle through a number of exhibits and an audio-visual program.

The park also features a picnic area, a campsite that visitors can use at no charge, and a short but pleasant colonial forest walk. Special events held at the battlefield include candlelight tours, a weekend-long anniversary celebration, and regular living history programs. Hours vary according to the season, so visitors are advised to check the website before planning a visit. There is no admission fee.

40 Patriots Hall Dr., Currie, NC 28435, Phone: 910-283-5591

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Wheels Through Time Museum

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The Wheels Through Time Museum is one of North Carolinas key tourist spots for automobile enthusiasts.

The museum takes up 40,000 square feet of space and is home to what may be the greatest unique and rare vehicle collection on the planet.

Over 350 different cars and motorbikes call the Wheels Through Time Museum their home, arranged neatly in vague chronological order for easy perusal.

Memorabilia, artwork, and artifacts related to these automobiles are also on display.

Rare and renowned cars include the 1915 Locomobile, the 1949 Veritas, and the 1932 Packard and Lincoln.

Address: 62 Vintage Ln, Maggie Valley, NC 28751, United States

Montford Area Historic District

This beautiful neighborhood is located just north of downtown and has more than 600 historic buildings. Many of these were built between 1890 and 1920 and you can see an interesting combination of Victorian, Queen Anne, and Arts and Crafts design styles alongside many Neoclassical, and colonial homes. A drive or walk through Montfordd gives an intriguing look at how life was at the beginning of the 20th century. There are sometimes neighborhood-wide events and festivals as well as a walking tour that includes some of the areas private homes so make sure to keep an eye on the schedule of events happening so you dont miss anything while you are in town!

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Activities Near Me: Eating Asheville Tours

Eating Asheville Tours celebrate the delicious local culinary scene throughout Western North Carolina, taking small groups to some of Asheville’s most vibrant dining destinations. The company, which was founded in 2011 by Stephen Steidle, has partnered with 30 of Asheville’s best restaurants for private dining experiences and meet-and-greets with restaurant owners and chefs. Diners can enjoy specially-crafted dishes at top area restaurants like Chai Pani, Rhubarb, Table, and the French Broad Chocolate Lounge, sampling elegant dishes such as pulled pork platters with hand-cut chips and locally-produced chocolate bars and truffles. Tasting experiences typically last three hours and are limited to no more than six or seven participants, ensuring personalized attention and one-on-one conversation time. Phone: 489-3266

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The Biltmore Estate In Asheville

Asheville (North Carolina) á? Things to do | Best Places to Visit | Top Tourist Attractions âï¸?

One of North Carolina’s must-see attractions is the Biltmore Estate, one of the top attractions in Asheville. At the center of an 8,000-acre compound, the Vanderbilt Mansion is the largest private home in the United States. The mansion has 250 rooms with impressive artwork, antiques, and architecture, as well as collections of vintage clothing and accessories.

The estate’s gardens are expansive, including the Italian Garden, with its ornate pools and sculpture, and the Rose Garden, which features more than 250 varieties. The grounds also include the first managed forest in the country, a deer park, and miles of level paths and walking trails throughout. There are many dining options throughout the estate and shopping and entertainment in Antler Hill Village.

After you’ve toured the Biltmore Estate head to downtown Asheville. Over the past number of years, this small city has completely revitalized its downtown core and brought its historical buildings back to life. Take a wander around, and you’ll find funky restaurants, eclectic shops, and a large number of restaurants, some with sunny patios.

Address: 1 Lodge Street, Asheville, North Carolina

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Take A Stroll Through Downtown Hendersonville

The charming town of Hendersonville is just a short drive from Asheville. Like Asheville, this town is also known for its booming downtown district which includes an abundance of local dining and shopping options. Theres a lot to see and do here including the Appalachian Pinball Museum, Pisgah Forest Gem Mine, and The Center for Arts. Also, be on the lookout for the 20 adorable bears that adorn Main St. Heres a handy bear map guide.

In terms of dining, there plenty of eclectic restaurants to choose amongst. Craving some tasty pub fare? Check out Hannah Flanagans Pub. Craving something sweet? Why not treat yourself to some dessert at CAs cheesecake? Prefer to go the simple quick route? Check out Mountain Deli, offering fresh homemade soups and sandwiches.

Asheville Museum Of Science

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The Asheville Museum Of Science is a small and humble but very fun location.

Packed with must-see interactive exhibits that can be exciting for the whole family.

The most loved parts of this museum are very varied, providing lots of different experiences in one.

A French Broad River Water table display lets you make rain.

A Hurricane Simulator lets you experience the worst forcefulness of a storm.

A Tyrannosaurus Rex exhibit lets you get close to and interact with a T-rex skeleton.

The Colburn Hall of Minerals is packed with geological displays that reflect North Carolina.

All in all, theres so much to see!

Address: 43 Patton Ave, Asheville, NC 28801, United States

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Western South Carolina Small Town Road Trip

It’s been the subject of best-selling novels, blockbuster movies and countless country songs. The Southern small town has long charmed city dwellers with its folksy hospitality and sleepy pace of life.

There’s no better place to experience this geographic icon than along South Carolina’s western lake coast. Towns like Abbeville, McCormick and Calhoun Falls offer visitors a slice of small-town culture with plenty of shopping, dining and recreational options for a fun family vacation.

A drive on the Savannah River National Scenic Byway will take you through these small Southern towns, on back roads lined with century-old clapboard houses and historic churches, past rolling farmland and scenic lakes. Along the way you’ll have the chance to swim, kayak, camp and bike or just kick back and enjoy life in the slow lane.

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