Pritchard Park Drum Circle
If youre looking for things to do in downtown Asheville on a Friday night, you cant go wrong with the awesome Pritchard Park Drum Circle.
This group of drummers gathers every week without fail except in the winter in Pritchard Park.
While there, together, they perform an impressive set of impromptu jams that fill the park and the areas near it with joyful music.
A mix of all sorts of drum players come to this gathering.
They bring dunduns, djembes, congas, shekeres, and other percussion instruments to create catchy beats and flowing rhythms.
Usually, a crowd of interested audience members and excited dancers will slowly gather to join in on the fun and entertainment.
The Pritchard Park Drum Circle is said to congregate in order to keep Asheville, North Carolina weird, which is quite a lovely thought.
The tradition began with just 10 drummers in 2001 and has since grown to showcase cultural diversity, teach classes, and entertain the public.
There are no leaders and everyone goes where the music takes them, so join in and have some fun!
Address: 67 Patton Ave, Asheville, NC 28801, United States
Drink Beer At Avls Famous Breweries
You cannot come to Asheville without trying as much of the local craft beer as possible. As locals, what are our favorite breweries in AVL?
We love Asheville Brewing, Zillicoah, Wedge at Foundation, Eurisko, Hillman Beer, Green Man, and Twin Leaf. If basements are your jam, One World Brewing downtown is a lesser-frequented AVL brewery.
South Slope guards our favorite breweries like Hi-Wire and Catawba, and dont miss the infamous places like Sierra Nevada, New Belgium, Wicked Weed, and Burial.
For ginger beer gluten-free and Keto you have to try Gingers Revenge. For something different, Bhramari and Funkatorium are sure to impress or weird you out.
Dont miss our Ultimate Asheville Brewery Guide.
French Broad Chocolate Lounge
Skip dinner and go straight for dessert at the French Broad Chocolate Lounge. The celestial blue building, on the corner of Pack Square in Downtown Asheville, houses every chocoholics idea of heaven.
In the Lounges bare brick and polished wood interior, indulge in handmade truffles, ice creams, cookies or any other of the multitude of sweet confections or chocolate orientated drinks.
All the desserts are created from chocolate made in the French Broad Chocolate Factory which, although outside of the Downtown district, is also well worth a visit
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Play At The Asheville Pinball Museum
Growing up as a child of the 80s, I was an avid video game junkie . So this excellent Asheville attraction brought back loads of nostalgic arcade memories.
Located across from the Grove Arcade in Downtown Asheville, the Asheville Pinball Museum offers an extensive collection of 70+ vintage pinball machines and classic video games you can play.
And since theres a set price , you can stay as long as you want and not need to buy more tokens.
Several of their machines date way back to the 50s, 60s, and 70s, but most of them are from the Golden Age of Video Games in the 80s-90s.
So youll find Star Trek, Evel Knievel, The Black Hole, and Creature From the Black Lagoon pinball machines, as well as classic video games such as Frogger, 1942, Q-Bert, etc.
They also offer adult beverages such as beer , as well as snacks and sodas.
See North Carolina Red Wolves
The Red Wolf is one of the most critically endangered canid species in the world. But thanks to captive breeding programs at various zoos and wildlife refuges, theyve slowly begun to recover. There are now around 130 in the wild, and 250 others in captivity.
One of our favorite things to do in Asheville is visit the 42-acre Western North Carolina Nature Center, which connects people with the native plants and animals of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Their animal exhibits include Black Bears, Cougars, Coyotes, Red and Gray Foxes, Raccoons, River Otters, and many more. But the WNC Nature Centers most unique offering is the chance to see around a dozen Red Wolves in North Carolina.
The Nature Centers breeding program is helping to save this beautiful species, which is endemic to North Carolina. Their beloved wolves have been known to howl in unison when the mood strikes.
If youre looking for fun things to do in Asheville, NC for kids, check out their Junior Wild Walk: A Behind the Scenes tour, or consider hosting a birthday party at the center.
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Ride Coasters At Dollywood
Justin over at Snapshots Made Yesterday introduced us to Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, TN. A little over 1.5-hours from Asheville, if you are Dolly-obsessed this theme park is for YOU.
Find rides, southern cuisine, live shows, and everything DOLLY. Plus, Pigeon Forge itself makes for a great day trip with its waterparks, Parrot Mountain and Gardens, the Titanic Museum, breweries, wineries, and zip-lining.
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Nearby Places to Visit: This area of North Carolina is a treasure trove of quaint mountains towns and scenic drives. Other highlights in this region are the beautiful waterfalls. These are easily visited on day trips from Asheville. You can also work in some hiking if you have enough time. If you’re visiting in winter, some of North Carolina’s best ski resorts are not that far away and can make a nice side trip.
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Wine Taste At The Hipster Wineries
If beer isnt your thing, there are plenty of wineries in and around Asheville. Directly in Asheville, check out pleb urban winery in the River Arts District.
Of course, Biltmore has a famous winery, and wine tasing is included with your ticket. Biltmore also offers a Behind-The-Scenes winery tour and a Chocolate And Red Wine Tasting Tour.
If you head out of Asheville, our personal favorite wineries are in Hendersonville, including Sawyer Springs, St. Paul Mountain Vineyards, Stone Ashe Vineyards, and Point Lookout.
Free Things To Do In Asheville Nc
Life is a juggling act, isnt it? If youre anything like us, we love to get out and about but we also try to keep a watch on our wallets . We decided to put ourselves to the test to see if we could find activities that dont cost a thing. The answer? Yes!
Note: Please follow all local health guidelines should you choose to travel. Also, its always a good idea to double-check for closures or changes in operating hours since they are constantly changing.
This post may contain affiliate links, where we receive a small commission on sales of the products that are linked at no additional cost to you. All opinions are always our own. Read our full disclosure for more info. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Local Adventurer possible.
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Omni Grove Park Inn Spa
The Omni Grove Park Inn
The Omni Grove Park Inn Spa is considered one of the places to visit for relaxation in Asheville, thanks to being famous not just in North Carolina but all across the nation for being one of the most highly-rated spas of its kind.
The Omni Grove Park Inn Spa has steam rooms packed with relaxing scents, contract pools to relax in, and lounges by fireplaces, all provided for on a huge service menu.
The design of the spa is pretty impeccable and fun, with a 6,500-star ceiling made with fiber optics, music that plays underground, and two waterfalls.
The Omni Grove Park Inn Spa was also once a relocation facility during the Cold War, owned and operated by the Supreme Court of America.
This history gives the spa some added meaning, especially when you catch little bits and pieces of that old history within.
Address: 290 Macon Ave, Asheville, NC 28804, United States
Get Cultured At The Folk Art Center
Located at Blue Ridge Parkway milepost 382, just 11 miles from Downtown Asheville, the Folk Art Center is arguably the finest collection of Appalachian arts and crafts in the USA.
The most popular attraction on the BRP , the Center traces its roots back to 1890, when Yale grad Frances Goodrich came to Asheville to do missionary work. In an effort to help Appalachian women who wove traditional quilts and coverlets, she founded the Allanstand Craft Shop around the turn of the century.
The Southern Highland Craft Guild collective was founded in 1930, making it the second oldest craft organization in the US. They opened the Folk Art Center to the public at its current location in 1980, with three galleries, a library, an auditorium, and the historic Allanstand Craft Shop.
With over 1000 artists and craftspeople representing 9 southeastern state, the Guilds permanent collection of 3,500+ pieces dating back to the dawn of the 20th century is second to none.
From stunning quilts, woven baskets, and pottery to turned wood, furniture, and stained glass, its an extraordinary testament to the creativity of the Blue Ridge region.
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Luigis Italian Chophouse And Bar
Luigis Italian Chophouse and Bar
There are many great places to visit in Fayetteville for Italian food, but Luigis Italian Chophouse and Bar is particularly beloved.
For more than 40 years, theyve served up some of the best meals in the city.
Eat here at night for a sensational Fayetteville dinner.
This restaurants story actually starts in the 1950s, when a Greek immigrant and World War II veteran named Peter Parrous founded a spaghetti house called Luigis.
However, he had to close it down in the 1960s.
He kept opening restaurants and eventually decided to restart Luigis, and it became a hit.
Tragically, he and his wife were killed at the restaurant by a gunman in 1993.
While the restaurant closed for a few months, his children kept the restaurant going.
Today, people know that eating here is what to do for an exemplary Italian meal.
Should you eat at Luigis Italian Chophouse and Bar tonight, youll be in for an amazing time, from the great food to the warm service.
Its bittersweet when you think of what happened, but Peter and his wife would hopefully be proud of how much people still love their restaurant.
There arent many places to visit that offer food and emotion quite like Luigis.
Address: 528 N McPherson Church Rd, Fayetteville, NC 28303, United States
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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Best Things To Do In Asheville Nc Top Activities & Places To Go
- Emily Appelbaum
When it comes to art and history, Asheville is one of the best places to visit.
This city in North Carolina is filled with galleries and museums that offer locals and visitors tons of stuff to do.
But arts and history arent the only attractions to see in Asheville.
This city will surely keep you busy, from sampling delectable dishes to hiking up the Blue Ridge Mountains.
So what are you waiting for? Heres a list of the best things to do in Asheville, NC.
Our First Meal In Asheville
Starving after our flight and drive in from Charlotte we hit a restaurant called Salsas, which was adorable and quaint, fun and funky, and served up my husbands boiling dinner in a LAVA bowl. Yes, you heard that right, a lava bowl. Next to the outdoor table we sat at, patrons with dogs were seated with a water bowl under the table to keep the dogs cool and happy. We sat next to someone with 2 dogs, one of them a Pomeranian-Chihuahua mix, and ended up seeing this lady and the dogs again the next day at the Biltmore Estate, how is that for a coincidence?
Our food here was delicious , and as we ate in this restaurants alley-type setting we spied a brewery tucked away in what looked like a dead-end area. I love secret little finds, this one turned out to be really cool.
We ventured in after dinner for a refreshing beverage, hubby did the brewery flight to test out the Asheville beer scene.
One World Brewerys beers were legit crisp, refreshing, not bitter and the secret basement location heightened the taste of the beer with its dank charm. Add it to the list of positives in this alluring city I was captivated by Asheville and its uniqueness already. The night had been a perfect combination of sensory stimulus for us in this dewy, warm, romantic city with the scent of flowers hanging in the air.
It was on to dessert next.
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Peruse The Art Galleries At Black Mountain College Museum & Arts Center
One of the free things to do in Asheville, the Black Mountain College Museum offers contemporary and historic exhibitions, events, and research opportunities for the community.
We dropped in one afternoon and toured the current art exhibitions. Small but worth a quick visit, you can budget about 30-minutes here. Please consider leaving a small donation. The museum is free to enter.
Enjoy Fresh Air In The Dupont State Forest
DuPont State Forest is located about 40 miles away from downtown Asheville. Explore the 10,473 acres of land full of hiking trails, waterfalls, and wildlife.
DuPont State Forest is perfect for recreational activities and is accessible year-round. The areas most popular winter activity is hiking. Check out the 7-mile cleared pathways known as the waterfall trails.
This moderately easy hike includes visiting Hooker Falls, Triple Falls, High Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls in one day. You dont have to be a skillful hiker to tackle these trails.
Here, you will also come across beautiful picnic areas, rivers, and streams. The park also boasts great opportunities for horseback riding, mountain biking, and picnicking.
Its free to access and park at the State Forest. Try to get there early in the morning, since the parking lots may fill up. Many of the parking places have restrooms and water fountains.
Weekends are more crowded than weekdays. The park is open from 5 AM to 10 PM every day. Pets are allowed on a leash.
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Visit Animals At The Wnc Nature Center
Looking for things to do in Asheville where you can meet the furry locals in a safe environment ?
Head to the WNC Nature Center, home to black bears, owls, red wolves, otters, and red pandas.
They have snakes, turtles, hawks, goats, and donkeys, too. Like The North Carolina Arboretum, there is a small entrance fee.
Asheville Tourists Minor League Goodwill Nights
The Asheville Tourists are a minor league baseball team that plays in the Class A South Atlantic League. Its professional sports at its best: a small stadium, a family-oriented environment, and a pretty decent team . You get free admission if you bring three clothing items.
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Top Asheville Things To Do For Boozy Folks
While the best things to do in Asheville, NC to us are all outdoors, our next go-to are those breweries.
Asheville has no shortage of beer. In fact, we think Asheville even translates to beer
However, we get that beer isnt for everyone. Below, find the best Asheville things to do that involve all of the booze: wineries, distillers, cideries, wine bars, and rooftop bars. This section is for the boozy folks.
Asheville Community Steps Up To Help Afghan Refugees
ASHEVILLE, N.C. â As hundreds of Afghan refugees arrive in the Tar Heel state, volunteers are stepping up to help them adjust to their new life in America.
What You Need To Know
Organizations in North Carolina are working to resettle nearly 1,200 Afghan refugees
Catholic Charitiesâ western region in Asheville is helping connect about 45 refugees to housing, jobs, transportation and other resources
Organizations in North Carolina are working to resettle nearly 1,200 refugees who evacuated Afghanistan during the Taliban takeover in August. In Asheville, Catholic Charitiesâ western region office is helping connect about 45 refugees to housing, jobs and transportation and other resources.
âMy inconvenience is minuscule compared to how they have had to uproot in their lives,â Capon said.
His involvement with the resettlement process continued to grow from there.
âHaving been here for as long as I have and having this retail business â¦ I figured that I could funnel my resources into Catholic Charities and take a little bit off their plate,â Capon said.
Capon started a GoFundMe page for the organizationâs Afghan resettlement program. He said he raised tens of thousands of dollars in a matter of weeks.
âIt went pretty quickly,â Capon said. âI think the first goal of $20,000 only took a few days.â
âJust people in the community that say âhey I didnât know what to do, but Iâm glad that I saw that I could bring stuff here,’â Capon said.
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