Are you looking for the best Asheville attractions and activities? Discover top things to do in Asheville, NC from locals, including hiking, Biltmore, and seasonal activities. Experience Asheville like a local — from locals.
Ultimate List Of Asheville Attractions & Activities
Explore the best things to in Asheville with these posts.
What hiking trails are famous for their 365-degree views, cascading waterfalls, pastel sunsets, breathtaking fall foliage, chill swimming holes, and vibrant blooms? We’ll share the best Asheville hiking trails by level of difficulty.
Along with hiking, Asheville has scenic mountain biking trails. From easy to difficult, we are sharing the best bike trails around AVL for families, outdoor enthusiasts, and those looking to get explore the great outdoors.
Get outside with the best Blue Ridge Parkway hikes in North Carolina around the Blue Ridge Mountains. Explore Blue Ridge Parkway trails near Asheville for fall leaves, picnics, waterfalls, blooms, and views.
If you are looking for a more strenuous hike where you can picnic, try Trombatore Trail to Blue Ridge Pastures. A 5-mile out and back, stunning mountain views, and a giant pasture perfect for picnicking and relaxing await you.
Across the street from Trombatore, you can also take the easier hike to Bearwallow Mountain. Bearwallow offers two trails — under 2-miles round trip — and ends at the pastures of a working farm with grazing cows.
For hikes with stellar views, don’t skip Lover’s Leap Loop in Hot Springs, NC. This 1.8-mile loop follows along the French Broad River and Appalachian Trail. If you don't love heights, though, this trek might not be for you.
Nature Lovers: Head to the Pisgah Forest for blooms and butterflies. This flat 5.5-mile loop is sure to make your heart sing. Don't forget to pack a picnic for their large picnic area, too! We are also sharing where to head next.
If you are heading into Great Smoky Mountains National Park and looking for elk and wildflowers, we have just the spot for you. Find a beautiful and easy nature walk along the scenic Oconaluftee River Trail.
For one gorgeous view and a more difficult hike, head north of Asheville along the Blue Ridge Parkway to Little and Big Butt Trails. A 5-mile out and back, pack a picnic and encounter a much quieter part of the BRP.
If you love hiking and waterfalls, don’t miss the best waterfalls near Asheville, NC perfect for picnics, hiking, or a quick and refreshing dip. We are sharing waterfall hikes that are under 2 hours driving distance from Asheville.
Home to The Hunger Games and The Last of The Mohicans waterfalls, you can see over 4 waterfalls in a 7+-mile hike at DuPont. Read more about Hooker Falls, Triple Falls, High Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls.
If you are looking for a waterfall hike that is both easy and stunning, head over to Douglas Falls. You’ll enjoy this 70-foot waterfall that you can walk under. Plus, this hike is incredibly short, and you'll pass another waterfall on your drive up the mountain.
It’s no secret that we live at least 4 hours away from the shoreline in Asheville. So, where can you swim in Western North Carolina? Head to Skinny Dip Falls along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Kiss the Dragon Tree on its snout and spend an afternoon wading in the shallow waterfall pools.
If you are hoping to catch a rainbow at a waterfall, take your chances at Moore Cove Falls near Brevard in the Pisgah National Forest. This 1.4-mile out-and-back hike is easy and perfect for families. A 50-foot waterfall awaits you.
A gorgeous and massive waterfall with a rainbow, head over to Rainbow Falls in Gorges State Park and the Pisgah National Forest. About 55 miles from Asheville, this 3-mile waterfall hike is sure to wow you with its stunning 150-foot falls.
Located in the Pisgah National Forest in Brevard, we just love Daniel Ridge Falls and Loop. Choose between two different trails -- one short and easy & one long and moderate -- to beautiful Daniel Ridge Falls.
Located near the entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Cherokee, explore one of Southern Appalachia's tallest waterfalls. An extremely short but moderate hike, these waterfalls are just gorgeous.
Head over to our Asheville Food & Drink section to learn about where to eat along with boozy spots like breweries and wineries.
Asheville Parks, Gardens & Nature Walks
If you want to get outside but are not an avid hiker, we have a list of places just for you. Don't miss Asheville's beautiful parks and gardens.
Below, find free public parks along with Asheville attractions like The NC Arboretum. Find spots to birdwatch or picnic, too.
One of our favorite ways to spend our free time involves hiking and packing a picnic. Don’t miss the prettiest picnic areas in and around Asheville, NC. We are sharing picnic locations with waterfalls, 360-degree mountain views, and cows. Picnic in parks, gardens, and along Asheville’s beautiful trails.
Don’t miss some of the best gardens and parks in Asheville. We’ll share local public parks along with Asheville gardens including The NC Arboretum, Biltmore Gardens, and Botanical Gardens at Asheville. Uncover quick mentions of the most popular State and National parks near Asheville, too.
Did you enjoy too much local Asheville, NC food and beer? Need to walk it off? Head to the Beaver Lake Trail and Bird Sanctuary for a gorgeous 2-mile loop around the lake or a .5-mile boardwalk nature hike through the sanctuary. Beaver Lake is perfect for picnics, too.
Although technically a cemetery, Riverside is managed by Asheville Parks and Recreation. See where famous local author Thomas Wolfe and his family are buried and pay tribute to O. Henry. Located in the beautiful Montford District, you'll love the serene 3.5 miles of paved roads.
Visiting Biltmore Estate
Did you even visit Asheville if you skipped Biltmore?
As annual passholders, we’ll share why the Biltmore ticket price is worth it and make sure you get your money’s worth.
We spend so much time at Biltmore, I’m surprised we don’t have a room…yet…
Does the Biltmore sound too stuffy for families and kids? We asked one of our favorite mom bloggers if she recommends bringing kids to Biltmore. Her answer: YES! Discover kid-friendly activities at Biltmore here.
Along with food and booze, Asheville is filled with art, science, and history museums. See which museums we recommend as AVL locals. From spooky houses and cemeteries to modern art and dinosaur bones, this post has something for everyone.
Don’t miss these gorgeous Asheville murals. Learn more about AVL’s famous artists and the meaning behind the street art. Say hi to Dolly Parton as a 10-foot rooster towers over you. See fairy doors and listen to a ghost story, too.
Did you know that Hendersonville is known as “Apple Alley.” If you are visiting Asheville in the fall, you cannot skip the Hendersonville apple orchards. See where to find the best cider donuts, get lost in a corn maze, and apple pick.
Hiking in Asheville is gorgeous all year round. However, the fall is especially magical here in the mountains. What are our favorite fall Asheville hikes that are worth the drive? Your eyes won’t be disappointed.
Learn how to have the best Christmas in Asheville, NC. Find Christmas tree farms, holiday lights, shopping, snow sports, and the best Christmas events including Christmas At Biltmore and The Omni Grove Park Inn's Gingerbread House Competition.
One of Asheville's best holiday light displays, don't miss Winter Lights at The North Carolina Arboretum. See how much it costs to attend and what to expect. Sip hot chocolate in the gardens. You won't want to miss this event.