Are you looking for the perfect picnic areas in Asheville, NC? As locals, these are the best Asheville picnic spots, the Blue Ridge Parkway included.
The picnic spots in Asheville are gorgeous, plentiful, and serene.
Imagine grazing with the cows on top of a mountain with 360-degree views or eating grapes while watching the birds from the edge of a cliff.
How about those romantic picnic spots in Asheville including sitting on a rock with your sweetheart at a cascading waterfall while having lunch at one of the filming locations for The Last Of The Mohicans?
Or, picture having a picnic at a winery, in botanical gardens, or at America’s largest home.
There is nothing that we love more than going on a gorgeous walk or hiking around the Blue Ridge Mountains and then stopping to picnic in Asheville.
Below, encounter top Blue Ridge Parkway picnic areas along with endless hiking trails, parks, gardens, and waterfalls perfect for picnicking with family, friends, and loved ones.
Explore the best picnic spots in Asheville – from locals – along with top picnic areas near Asheville, including day trip options like the Great Smoky Mountains and small mountain towns across Western North Carolina.
It’s time to plan that Asheville picnic. Let’s get started!
Don’t forget to check out our Ultimate Guide Of Things To Do In Asheville, NC.
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Best Picnic Areas In Asheville, NC
1. Beaver Lake
As locals, one of our favorite picnic areas in Asheville includes Beaver Lake. Although privately owned, Beaver Lake is open to the public.
This is also one of the most romantic picnic spots in Asheville — especially if you find the cozy picnic table hiding behind the Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary.
Beaver Lake and its bird sanctuary are donation-based (find slots in the parking lot and at trail access points) along with a 2-mile perimeter trail.
While you will need a permit for your dogs, residents spread out along the lake with books and friends. There’s even a Free Little Library along the lake.
Find reprieve from the heat in the shade of a tree or sit on a bench. Catch a gorgeous sunset over the lake.
Beaver Lake is located at 1056 Merrimon Ave. Asheville, NC 28804. Find multiple parking lots at the Bird Sanctuary and around the lake. There are no restrooms here.
Check out even more Asheville lakes that are perfect for a picnic, including nearby Lake Louise.
Picnic Tip: Grab lunch to-go from one of North Asheville’s delicious restaurants like Green Sage Cafe, HomeGrown, or Cecilia’s Kitchen. Devour ice cream from The Hop Ice Cream Cafe for dessert – vegan ice cream included.
Read more about all of the best lunch spots in Asheville here.
2. Botanical Gardens At Asheville
Located close to Beaver Lake in North Asheville at the UNC – Asheville campus, the Botanical Gardens At Asheville is literally designed for picnicking.
Visit for The Secret Garden vibes and explore a property covered with nature trails, wildflowers, quaint bridges, and a plethora of open space to spread out your picnic blanket.
If you are looking for quiet and romantic things to do in Asheville, this is it. The Asheville Botanical Gardens has a Visitor Center with restrooms.
Address: 151 W T. Weaver Boulevard, Asheville, NC 28804. Check their hours and ground rules here.
3. French Broad River Park
For more local Asheville picnic spots, head to the French Broad River Park or Carrier Park. Both of these Asheville parks connect to each other via walking trails.
French Broad River Park follows the French Broad River in West Asheville.
Enjoy picnic tables, benches, river observation decks, public restrooms, and a gazebo. In the summer, watch as giddy tubers float down the river.
French Broad River Park is located at 508 Riverview Dr, Asheville, NC 28806 with parking lots here and at Carrier Park.
4. Biltmore Estate
If you are looking to picnic in Asheville at one of its most iconic homes, head to Biltmore Estate.
You will need a ticket, annual pass, or Biltmore accommodation reservation to enter the grounds, and please just keep in mind that Biltmore has designated picnic areas.
We recommend picnicking around the beautiful Lagoon with the ducks and Biltmore House in the background.
For Asheville picnics, Bass Pond — with its gazebo and bridge — is also gorgeous. Next to Bass Pond, don’t miss Biltmore’s “waterfall.”
If you are traveling with the family, be sure to enjoy all of Biltmore’s kid-friendly activities too.
Biltmore Estate is located at 1 Lodge St, Asheville, NC 28803. Purchase tickets on Biltmore’s website.
5. Pack Square
We always get sucked into the Downtown Asheville restaurant scene versus packing a picnic.
However, you may wish to grab food or donuts to-go from a restaurant, cafe, or food truck and head to historic Pack Square.
Pack Square features green spaces, water pads, water fountains, a concert and performance stage, local sculptures, and street art.
Enjoy your picnic in Asheville, and then head to one of the city’s famous breweries like Wicked Weed, Green Man, or Bharmari.
Pack Square is located at 80 Court Plaza, Asheville, NC 28801.
6. Bent Creek Experimental Forest & Lake Powhatan
Situated right before The NC Arboretum, uncover one of the most local picnic places in Asheville: Lake Powhatan.
Lake Powhatan has multiple picnic areas along with recreational facilities.
This lake also has some of the best mountain biking trails. Plus, if you are looking for short and easy hikes, find them around the lake.
We prefer to park at the Hard Times Trailhead and walk to the scenic lake.
Lake Powhatan Recreational Space & Campground is located at 375 Wesley Branch Rd, Asheville, NC 28806.
7. The North Carolina Arboretum
We are annual members of The NC Arboretum. If you love curated gardens and nature trails, this is one of the best picnic areas in Asheville.
You will have to pay to park here if you are not a member, but the price is well worth it.
The North Carolina Arboretum is filled with hiking, biking, and nature trails. Encounter quaint picnic areas and gardens filled with rotating installations.
While the Bistro is perfect for on-site food and beverages, you may also bring your own. If you are visiting Asheville with young children, you’ll find plenty to do here.
The NC Arboretum is located at 100 Frederick Law Olmsted Way Asheville, NC 28806. There are bathroom facilities in the main buildings.
Top Blue Ridge Parkway Picnic Areas Near Asheville
The Blue Ridge Parkway picnic areas in Asheville are incredibly scenic and popular. We cannot possibly begin to name them all, but below, uncover our favorites.
Please know that in late fall through the winter, many parts of the Blue Ridge Parkway will close for weather. We recommend checking BRP closures on the National Park Service website here.
Sometimes, Google maps will catch a gate closure, too.
Read more about the best Blue Ridge Parkway trails in NC here.
8. Craggy Gardens
One of our absolute favorite hiking trails and best picnic spots in Asheville along the Blue Ridge Parkway, head to Craggy Gardens.
Craggy Gardens has a large picnic area with tables, a restroom, and charcoal grills. We’ve brought charcoal and enjoyed an afternoon here.
Just be sure to check the temperamental weather for wind, rain, and clouds. While it may look gorgeous in Downtown Asheville, the higher mountain elevations are much cooler.
If you’d rather picnic in a meadow, hike further into Craggy Gardens and relax in their cleared mountain bald area with stunning views of the mountains and BRP.
Afterward, drive over to Craggy Pinnacle’s hike for those 360-degree views.
You may either park at the Craggy Gardens Picnic Area or hike in from the Craggy Gardens Visitor Center. Milepost 364.4-367.6 will help guide you around this area.
Find restrooms at both Craggy Gardens Visitor Center and the Picnic Area.
9. Mount Pisgah Picnic Area
Another one of the most popular Blue Ridge Parkway picnic areas, especially in the fall, Mount Pisgah Picnic Area sits across the street from the Mount Pisgah Trailhead.
This picnic area is typically open from May through December, weather permitting.
Here, find picnic tables, restrooms, and grills. Having a picnic is an excellent plan before or after you hike the Mount Pisgah Trail.
Typically, we’d also suggest Skinny Dips Falls, one of the most popular family swimming and picnic areas near Asheville.
However, recent floods destroyed Skinny Dip Falls, and we are awaiting updates on its repairs.
Explore all of Asheville’s gorgeous fall hiking trails.
10. Little Butt Trail
If you are looking for a hardcore hike to enjoy a private picnic in Asheville, Little Butt promises to kick your butt.
Imagine lunch on a rock filled with stunning and peaceful views of the Black Mountain range.
This difficult hiking trail is about 5.1 miles round trip, and at one point, the endless stairs might make you question this Asheville picnic suggestion, especially when you cross “Point Misery.”
Little Butt Trailhead is labeled but the rock/actual spot is not.
Little Butt Trailhead starts at Mile Marker 359.8 on the Blue Ridge Parkway past the Craggy area. Find extremely limited parking in the horseshoe shaped-lot.
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Gorgeous Places To Picnic Near Asheville, NC
11. Bridal Veil Falls At DuPont State Forest
One of our absolute favorite hiking areas, DuPont State Forest is home to The Hunger Games waterfalls, Triple Falls.
The 3-waterfall hike to Hooker, Triple, and High Falls is a must for any Asheville weekend itinerary. Enjoy picnic areas along this trek.
However, if you are looking for the perfect waterfall picnic spot near Asheville, don’t miss Bridal Veil Falls. (This is Bridal Veil Falls at DuPont and not Highlands.)
Hike 2.5-miles down an easy gravel road to a gorgeous waterfall. Pull over on a rock near the base of the falls and lunch in heaven.
You might recognize the area since they filmed scenes for The Last Of The Mohicans here. The Bridal Veil Falls hike is an out-and-back.
If you are visiting just Bridal Veil Falls at DuPont, park at the Visitor Center, which also has restrooms. The Visitor Center address is 89 Buck Forest Rd, Cedar Mountain, NC 28718.
Chase even more waterfalls with our top Asheville waterfall hikes.
12. Bearwallow Mountain
Did you know that you can have lunch or dinner with the cows? Bearwallow Mountain is a 2-mile total out-and-back hike near Asheville.
Walk the easy and wide gravel access road or trek up the more moderate forest trail to a beautiful scenic meadow filled with – you guessed it – cows.
Bearwallow Mountain peaks at 4,232 feet, and spy Mt. Mitchell, the Black Mountains, Mt. Pisgah, and the Great Smoky Mountains from the top.
Bearwallow Mountain is an easy hike for families and is perfect for romantic Asheville picnics and sunsets. This is also a good fall and winter hike, especially since it’s not on the BRP.
Bearwallow Mountain is located at 4854 Bearwallow Mountain Rd, Hendersonville, NC 28792. Park on a steep road. There are no facilities here.
13. Trombatore Trail At Blue Ridge Pastures
Across the street from Bearwallow Mountain, if you are looking for a more vigorous 5-mile hike that ends in a quieter pasture, you’ll love having a picnic at Trombatore Trail.
Trombatore Trail follows along the Eastern Continental Divide with a 1,200-foot elevation gain and is managed by Conserving Carolina.
At the top, find views of Mount Mitchell, Bearwallow Mountain, and the Hickory Nut Gorge.
Like Bearwallow Mountain, Trombatore is located at 4854 Bearwallow Mountain Rd, Hendersonville, NC 28792.
You can also use this address: Trombatore Trailhead Bear Wallow Rd, Fairview, NC 28730. Park on the road. There are no facilities here.
14. Little Bearwallow Falls
One of the best-kept Asheville picnic spots secrets, we love Little Bearwallow Falls — and this Conserving Carolina trail also connects to Bearwallow Mountain.
For a short and slightly moderate one-mile hike, park near the Wildcat Rock Trailhead along the Gerton Highway and Upper Hickory Nut Gorge Trailhead.
In the winter, outdoor enthusiasts will ice and rock climb here. We prefer a picnic basket.
The address for the Wildcat Rock Trail is 3823 Gerton Hwy, Gerton, NC 28735. There are no facilities here.
15. Chimney Rock State Park
Another popular picnic spot near Asheville past Wildcat Rock, Chimney Rock is where all of the tourists go – for good reason. You will have to pay to enter the grounds.
Take the elevator up or hike Chimney Rock for incredible views, and explore a variety of hikes with fun for the entire family.
We suggest grabbing a picnic table along the Hickory Nut Falls Trail. You can either purchase food on-site or bring your own.
Chimney Rock is a destination and will have restrooms, cafes, and a gift shop. Chimney Rock is located at 431 Main St, Chimney Rock, NC 28720.
While in Chimney Rock, you may also enjoy Lake Lure.
16. Sawyer Springs Vineyard
If you wish to picnic with delicious wine, don’t miss any of the wineries near Asheville. The Hendersonville wineries are our personal favorites.
Find sprawling vineyard views, delicious steel and barrel-fermented wine, local bites, and sleek wine bars.
Be sure to check each winery’s website to see if you are allowed to bring outside food and beverages, though.
Some serve their own food with strict rules or allow outside food only if you sit outdoors.
We love picnicking at Sawyer Springs Vineyard in Hendersonville, NC. This tends to be a quieter family-run winery, and you cannot beat the outdoor picnic tables. The owner, Paul, is a fantastic conversationalist.
On select weeknights and weekends, Sawyer Springs features rotating food trucks.
When there isn’t a food truck, we order GrubHub delivery or takeout from Joey’s NY Bagels. Sawyer Springs is located at 124 Sandy Hill Ln, Hendersonville, NC 28792.
While you are out this way, explore all that you can do around Hendersonville, including the city’s top breweries, museums, and apple orchards.
17. Lover’s Leap Trail In Hot Springs
One of the prettiest but also scariest picnic spots near Asheville, look to the sky at Lover’s Leap.
Here, you’ll get a bird’s eye view of the Pisgah National Forest while chilling on a part of the Appalachian Trail.
The hike up is a bit strenuous, and you will dangle close to the edge of the cliffs. This hike isn’t for those faint of heart or scared of hikes.
Once you get closer to the top, find at least three large rocks and overlooks perfect for a quick picnic. Just don’t get too close to the edge.
Lover’s Leap is located in Hot Springs, NC with multiple parking areas and a cute town. Read more about all of Asheville’s worthy day trips.
18. Rainbow & Turtleback Falls In Gorges State Park & Pisgah National Forest
Rainbow Falls is a popular waterfall hike and picnic area near Asheville, NC located partly in Gorges State Park and the Pisgah National Forest.
Picnic around the 150-foot waterfall, Rainbow Falls, head over to Turtleback Falls, or even trek to Hidden Falls for quieter spots.
If you hike all the way to Turtleback Falls for your picnic, you will trek about 4.1 miles total on a moderate out-and-back trail.
Of course, please respect all posted signs as certain areas are dangerous and off-limits. People have died around the falls.
Gorges State Park Visitor Center and the parking lots also have picnic tables.
If you are interested in hiking and relaxing at Rainbow and Turtleback Falls, don’t miss our complete hiking guide here.
19. Pink Beds Loop Trail & Picnic Area
For nature lovers and chill hikers, we just love Pink Beds Trail and Picnic Area. This is one of the quietest and off-the-beaten-path Blue Ridge Parkway hikes.
Located in the Pisgah Forest just a few miles off of the Blue Ridge Parkway, surround yourself with blooms and butterflies.
Start with a 5.5-mile loop hike that is mostly flat and easy. Cross bridges over serene streams and find a boardwalk over a mountain bog.
Be forewarned: The trail can grow pretty mucky.
At Pink Beds, have access to a paved lot connecting you to the trailhead and a picnic area with facilities.
Be sure to check out Daniel Ridge Falls & Moore Cove Falls too.
20. Stone Ashe Vineyards
A newer 2020 Hendersonville winery, Stone Ashe Vineyards makes for a gorgeous picnic near Asheville.
While you cannot bring outside food into their tasting room, you are more than welcome to bring your own food for their outdoor seating areas.
They also sell delicious snack boxes and charcuterie.
We appreciate Stone Ashe Vineyards’ reds like the Petit Verdot and Cab Franc. Start with an indoor wine tasting.
Then, bring a picnic blanket or grab one of their Adirondack chairs for outside. With views like this, we are never leaving.
Stone Ashe is a 21+ winery.
Stone Ashe Vineyards is located at 736 Green Mountain Road In Hendersonville, NC 28792.
21. Max Patch Along The Appalachian Trail
One of the most popular day-tripping Asheville picnic spots amongst hikers, Max Patch promises breathtaking mountain views.
Similar to Craggy Gardens, Black Balsam, Bearwallow Mountain, and Trombatore trails, a large hill awaits you.
Cleared in the 19th century for grazing, Max Patch is a gorgeous bald, showcasing 360-degree views of Western North Carolina’s prettiest mountain ranges.
Follow the short 1.5-mile trail along the Max Patch Loop Hike until you hit the Appalachian Trail.
From there, turn up the summit for a picnic overlooking Mount Mitchell and the Great Smoky Mountains.
Full disclosure: the drive up to Max Patch is rough on your vehicle and treacherous when the weather isn’t ideal, but the hike is easy.
Please remember to take all of your trash with you. There are no facilities and stay on the marked trails and in designated areas.
22. The Park At Flat Rock
One of the best picnic areas near Asheville for families, head to Flat Rock, NC.
Flat Rock is a small village outside of Hendersonville – about 40 minutes from Asheville – and one of those must-visit WNC small mountain towns filled with fun things to do.
The Park At Flat Rock is free to enter and has a large parking lot. Find picnic tables, a children’s playground, and flat paved and dirt walking trails.
The park is pet-friendly, and visitors may bike but not skate. Littles might enjoy breaking in their mountain biking skills here.
For Asheville picnic spots, bring a blanket to enjoy the endless green grass with scattered ponds and a river, sit in one of their pavilions, or grab a picnic table at the wooden playground.
The Park At Flat Rock has a welcome center with restrooms and water fountains too. This is a more local park and is a great way to skip the crowds.
Plus, Flat Rock houses a large retiree population, adding to the relaxing vibes.
In the spring and summer, enjoy gorgeous wildflowers, and in the fall, spy the foliage. Birdwatchers might meet some local inhabitants.
Save These Asheville Picnic Spots For Later
Where Can You Stay Near These Asheville Picnic Spots?
Asheville, NC Hotels
Hotels and B&Bs tend to book up fast in Asheville, especially in the fall, spring, and around holidays. Make dinner reservations wherever you can, too. A few hotels to consider that either we, our friends, or others highly recommend include:
The Foundry Hotel
AC Hotel By Marriott Downtown Asheville
Aloft – Downtown Asheville *One of our top picks; they renovated in 2020
Near The Asheville Outlets/Biltmore
Hampton Inn And Suites Asheville Biltmore Area *Our second favorite pick. We stayed here before we moved.
DoubleTree By Hilton Biltmore/Asheville
Grand Bohemian Hotel Asheville
The Omni Grove Park Inn *We frequently stop by the Grove Park Inn for sunsets, drinks, and food.
1900 Inn On Montford
Don’t miss our Top Asheville Hotel, Resort & B&B Picks Here.
What are your favorite picnic spots in Asheville? How about the best Blue Ridge Parkway picnic areas?
Have you had a romantic picnic in Asheville? Where do you love to stop and eat on a hike?
What are your favorite areas to picnic in Asheville? Please let us know in the comments.
Do you love being outdoors? You may also enjoy:
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Macey @ Brine & Books
Saturday 6th of February 2021
These places are all so pretty and very idyllic!! I can't get over how dreamy these views are, and I can imagine the most epic picnic from these spots. It's so hard to pick just one favourite, but I really like the look of the Biltmore Estate, Craggy Gardens, and the Botanical Gardens!
Saturday 13th of February 2021
They really are idyllic picnic spots, Macey, and I cannot wait for the gorgeous spring weather! The mountains here are pretty spectacular, and it's a huge reason why we moved to Asheville in the first place. As a history lover, you'd LOVE Biltmore. The Craggy area is our favorite, too.