Gossip At The Thomas Wolfe Memorial
One of our personal favorite things to do in Asheville involves visiting The Thomas Wolfe Memorial and taking a house tour.
You might remember Wolfe from his novel Look Homeward, Angel. The story is a loose retelling of Wolfes life growing up in Asheville, NC.
Most notably, Wolfe barely changed the names and spellings of his Asheville community members. This was scandalous and ill-received gossip, at the time.
Visitors take a guided tour of Julia Elizabeth Westall Wolfe, Wolfes mothers, boarding house on Market Street. Wolfes childhood home is no longer standing, but he spent most of his childhood in this business home.
Quite the character, Julias story is both inspirational and a tad frustrating. She was quite the entrepreneur of her time. You can also watch a short video and tour the museum.
Stay Overnight At Mountain Springs Cabins
Escape the city bustle and enjoy your vacation in the heart of the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains. Mountain Springs Cabins is located 20 minutes away from Asheville.
It offers 13 cozy, fully-equipped cabins with fireplaces, porch swings, and a mountain stream overview. Kitchens are completely equipped with modern conveniences.
Enjoy air-conditioned accommodations with free WiFi, LCD TVs with expanded cable, DVD players, and a childrens playground. Seven of the cabins are pet-friendly.
Visitors can go fishing in the surrounding areas, too. Mountain Springs Cabins also boasts five yurts and two cozy homes, where guests can dive into the tranquil atmosphere of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
This is a great place for a family vacation, a group event, or a romantic getaway during the winter season.
Find Snow At The Cataloochee Ski Area
Enjoy an unforgettable skiing adventure at 50 acres of skiable terrain with elevations up to 5,400 feet. Cataloochee Ski Area is situated 40 miles away from Asheville and boasts one of the most advanced snowmaking systems, covering 18 slopes and trails.
The slopes are designed for people at expert, intermediate, and beginner levels and have lights for night use. The lift network covers three aerial lifts and two moving carpet lifts.
Their rental department provides over 4,000 sets of ski and snowboard equipment as well as a boot drying system. Cataloochee is also an excellent place for learning how to ski and snowboard and is one of the top places for skiing in North Carolina.
Their instructors organize fun learning programs for all ages and ability levels. Visitors may join a group or take private lessons. The skiing season starts in early November and lasts through late March.
The operating hours are from 9 AM 4:30 PM on weekdays and 8:30 AM 4:30 PM on weekends. The ticket prices vary depending on the dates and duration of your activity.
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Wine Tastings At The Asheville Wine Market
Tours happen on Friday and Saturday nights at 5 and 6 oclock and typically last about 20 to 30 minutes. After learning about the history and the process of the distillery, youll be treated to a sampling of their products. Not a bad way to kick off the weekend, eh?
Chimney Rock State Park
Twenty-five miles southeast of Asheville, Chimney Rock State Park features its landmark namesake: a 315-foot solid granite spire that rises over 2,280 feet. Don’t worry, you don’t need to climb to the top, visitors of all physical abilities can reach the top thanks to a 26-story elevator built inside the mountain.
Families will enjoy a variety of kid-friendly activities, including the educational Great Woodland Adventure Trail, the Animal Discovery Den, a kids’ climbing tower, and scavenger hunts.
Another popular sightseeing spot in the park is reached via the Hickory Nut Falls Trail. The moderate, mostly level trail leads to the base of the 404-foot Hickory Nut Falls. For boaters, Lake Lure is the destination of choice.
Address: 431 Main Street, Chimney Rock, North Carolina
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Hike At The Carl Sandburg Home
Deemed the Poet of the People, Carl Sandburg lived in Connemara, NC , outside of Hendersonville. In his lifetime, Sandburg won three Pulitzer Prizes and was a Civil Rights activist.
Born in Illinois, Sandburg and his wife moved to Connemara in 1945.
The Carl Sandburg Home along with The Hunger Games waterfalls and downtown Hendersonville makes for a great Asheville day trip.
Visitors of the home can take a guided tour, walk the park, hike the grounds, or visit the bookstore.
Dinner With A View At Pisgah Inn
After hiking up Mt. Pisgah, youre sure to work up an appetite. While you can certainly bring a picnic lunch to have on the Parkway, my vote goes to enjoying a meal at the nearby Pisgah Inn.
Grab a drink and head out to their observation deck while you wait for a table. They have plenty of rocking chairs where you can kick back and soak in the amazing views.
Having eaten here several times, Ill give my recommendations for the fried green tomatoes and the walnut-crusted mountain trout.
Theyre open from 11:30-4 for lunch and then again from 5-9 for dinner. You can get directions and find the Pisgah Inn on the map here.
If youd rather be up in the mountains than down in town, you might want to look into booking a room here. Its pretty awesome when you can wake up and have the Blue Ridge Mountains right outside your window!
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Noble Cider The Green House
This is a hidden tropical paradise in the mountains. Industrial chic exposed beams meets Florida greenhouse with a bubble gum twist. Noble doesnt disappoint with their selection of fun and fruity ciders get a few flights to share with the table. Hungry? You wont be disappointed by the culinary creations from Michelin star trained chef Gavin Baker.
Ride Coasters At Dollywood
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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Dinner And A Brewery Downtown
After getting settled, head to downtown Asheville for dinner, followed by a trip to one of the citys many breweries. The city has emerged as a great culinary spot, with everything from typical Southern fare to gourmet French cuisine. There are tons of stellar options, but we recommend Cúrate for Spanish tapas inside a former 1927 bus depot Cucina 24 for fresh pasta and specialty cocktails and Red Stag Grill, which has a menu of steakhouse eats. If you forget to make a reservation, put your name down somewhere and walk around or grab a drink nearby until your table is ready.
Be sure to save a little room for post-dinner drinks at one of the area breweries many of which are family- and dog-friendly. The two-floor Thirsty Monk has indoor and outdoor seating, and a variety of its own brews and Belgian beers. For those seeking a little more entertainment, head to Twin Leaf Brewery for beer, ping-pong, and other games. Travelers wanting to sample a sour beer should head to Wicked Weeds Funkatorium.
Visit Asheville Art Museum
Open 11 to 6 every day, the Asheville Art Museum is the areas premier contemporary art space, exhibiting major artworks from the 20th and 21st centuries. Their collections include work by artists like Andy Warhol, as well as major sculptural pieces that experiment with material and form.
With support from the National Endowment for the Arts, they somewhat recently underwent a major renovation that added a new glass wing that is impressive on architectural merit, alone.
Outside the museums downtown facade sits an alluring blue ball glass sculpture, Henry Richardsons Reflections on Unity, which is now one of the most Instagrammed spots in Asheville.
After youve made your way through the museum, enjoy some refreshments. The on-site Perspective Cafe has nice mountain views and a signature beer collaboration with locally-owned Burial Brewery . The museum is also located right next to French Broad Chocolate, so thats a bonus!
Art Thats Off The Beaten Path
Asheville is a haven for artists, both in the River Arts District and across a smattering of galleries downtown.
For example, Tracey Morgan Gallery has amazing paintings and museum-quality photography on display. They also showcase work by local artists like textile queen Erin Castellan as well as photographer James Henkel.
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Best Things To Do In Asheville North Carolina
Asheville, North Carolina is a beautiful mountain town surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains, where you will find unique art, great food, breweries, pretty gardens and world-famous historic attractions such as Biltmore Estate and the Thomas Wolfe Memorial. Top things to do in Asheville, NC with kids include the Western North Carolina Nature Center which houses rare animals, a historic trolley tour and dining at family-friendly restaurants. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Some restaurants are currently offering pickup only. Hours/availability may have changed.
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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Have A Pie Flight At Baked Pie Company
Baked Pie Company in Woodfin is a must-visit for dessert-lovers. This bakery on the border of Asheville has homey Southern staples like shoofly pie, as well as a buckeye pie thats insanely great for peanut butter lovers.
They also have oatmeal pie and wonderful classics like Honey Pecan Pie and Banana Cream Pie. Basically, its a pie lovers dream!
Specifically, their signature pie flight is so, so cute. It features 3 thin sample slices of pie and a scoop of ice cream. This way, you wont have to compromise when choosing between flavors.
Come for the pie flights, stay for the cozy vibes. The shop itself is charming and homey, with exposed brick, vintage woodwork, and a patinaed range. Dig in, dessert lovers!
Botanical Gardens At Asheville
Gingo Scott / Shutterstock
Gardens are vibrant, delightfully scented, and truly relaxing and unique.
Horticultural displays range from trees to flowers, including many local varieties of plants for a more personal and tailor experience.
These gardens are a part of a non-profit organization, owned independently.
Its completely free to enter, which makes it one of the best things to do in Asheville if you have some extra free time today.
Its one of the coolest things to do in the city!
Address: 151 W T. Weaver Boulevard, Asheville, NC 28804, United States
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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.
Oconaluftee Visitor Center & Museum
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is so vast it has several visitors centers and the Oconaluftee Visitor Center & Museum deserves a separate mention. It has indoor exhibits on mountain life from native Americans and early European settlements to the development of the park. And the Mountain Farm Museum has a collection of log houses and seasonal demonstrations of farm life.
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Best Asheville Nc Things To Do For Foodies
Have we made you hungry yet? You must need something to eat by now to soak up all of that booze. And man, all of those waterfalls and hikes sure do make a gal ravenous.
One of the best things to do in Asheville is eat. Asheville is a foodies dream. The city is even known as Foodtopia.
We always openly share that Tom and I have many food intolerances. Christine has UC and Tom has Celiac Disease. We are both lactose-intolerant, and Tom cant touch gluten.
Asheville is extremely understanding and accommodating for food allergies, intolerances, and preferences.
This entire section is all about the food. If you are having trouble choosing, though, these are Ashevilles most unforgettable restaurants.
Nestled In The Blue Ridge Mountains This Underrated City Has More To Offer Than Meets The Eye
Asheville, in western North Carolina, is the kind of place that bends to fit any taste, whether it be artsy, outdoorsy, high-brow or low-key. And its character is in part down to its storied history.
Once part of the Cherokee Nation, this area of western North Carolina was colonised by European settlers and changed forever by the introduction of the railroad and textile mills.
In the early 1900s, after the Vanderbilt family constructed Biltmore their country home here, interest in the town as a place of health and healing flourished. People came in droves for its climate and peaceful setting in the Blue Ridge Mountains and its identity as a highland retreat was shaped into being.
The Asheville of today is a unique composite of those fragments from the past. This offbeat blend of wilderness and city living makes for a unique weekend getaway.
Here are a few ideas for an eclectic weekend visit to Asheville.
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Take A City Walking Tour
Ashevilles famously creative locals contribute to a lively downtown unlike any other in the United States.
Asheville is a small city, and the downtown area, in particular, is easily walkable, with a charm all its own.
You can experience an intoxicating drum circle, shop at vintage boutiques, sit down to an amazing locally-grown meal, and admire cool street art all in the same day.
History & Architecture Walk
See Asheville with a guide who combines walking and driving. Get an overview of the citys past and future, and hear about its literary legends.
Top Hotels In Downtown Asheville
For those wanting to stay in downtown Asheville, here are my top hotel picks:
- The Windsor Boutique Hotel A boutique downtown option that’s one of the top-rated hotels in all of Asheville.
- Cambria Hotel & Suites Downtown Asheville One of the more affordable downtown options, this hotel is also new.
- Aloft Asheville Downtown I like the trendy Aloft brand, and it’s location is convenient to lots of things downtown.
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Things To Do With One Day In Downtown Asheville
Asheville is perfectly sized for a weekend getaway. The downtown area is small enough to be explored on-foot, and all the other main attractions are within easy driving distance.
And yes, you can see most of the highlights in downtown Asheville in just one day.
With 24 hours in Asheville, here’s how I would spend my day:
Farm Burger Asheville Nc
For pure home-grown burgers, thick cut, crispy fries and dew-fresh salads, Farm Burger is the place to visit. Farm Burger take pride in using fresh, seasonal ingredients and sourced from local farms in the area to create unrivalled farm-to-fork cuisine.
Farm Burgers famous burgers are made from grass-fed beef, humanely raised, fed on natural grass and free from antibiotics or growth hormones, creating a burger patty like no other. Create your own burger with a choice of ingredients available on the menu, and add delectable accompaniments such as crispy sweet potato fries and fried green tomatoes with pimento cheese.
Wash it all down with a range of comfort drinks like bacon brittle shake and Wells Banana Bread Beer.
10 Patton Ave, Asheville, North Carolina 28801, Phone: 828-348-8540
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