Asheville is one of the most populated and also the largest city in Western North Carolina. Most of the city’s gems are situated in the great outdoors.
Travelers get to experience their first treasure at the luxurious Biltmore before heading down the open roads to Blue Ridge Parkway. Hiking on the Appalachian Trail is a great way to enjoy the fresh air or soak up in the Pisgah National Forest swimming hole during the summer.
For visitors who love the thrills, Asheville is popular for its whitewater rafting tours, wine tasting tours, visit the River Art District and explore art galleries, breweries, boutiques, and so much more.
Biltmore is a colossal French Renaissance-themed estate owned by George Vanderbilt back in the 18th century. It is America’s largest home by a private entity with 250 rooms, the estate has 35 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms, and 65 fireplaces.
The entire estate took about 6 years to build and was designed by Fredrick Law Olmsted who also designed Central Park.
The gardens sit on 8,000 acres with walking paths that run more than a mile.
Travellers will never be bored exploring this marvel as it houses antiques stored during WWII from the National Gallery of Art, a winery opened in the 70s, and in the Y2Ks inns and hotels were added on the property. There are so many things to see and experience here.
Western North Carolina Nature Centre
The Western North Carolina Nature Center also known as WNC is a marvel for travellers who love nature. The place connects visitors with wildlife and encourages the conservation of the rich biodiversity in the region.
There are loads of activities for kids and adults alike, with educational development and understanding of the habitats and natural wildlife in the area.
WNC opens daily from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and admits its last visitors at 3:30 p.m.
It is a great opportunity to see over 60 species of wild and domestic animals, and hundreds of plant species, which all represent the uniqueness of the Southern Appalachian region.
The North Carolina Arboretum
The North Carolina Arboretum is the largest of the botanical gardens in Asheville with over 434 acres located in the Pisgah National Forest.
The Arboretum is dedicated to research, education, garden demonstrations and conservation. It offers tourists and students various activities including tours, events, and educational programs.
The NC Arboretum has 7 main gardens that offer over 10 miles of biking and hiking trails for travelers to take part at different difficulty levels.
Southern Highland Craft Guild, Folk Art Centre
Located 11 miles from Downtown Asheville, the Southern Highland Craft Guild is at milepost 382 just off Blue Ridge Parkway.
The place represents craftsmanship and artists of Appalachian origin which dates back to the 1930s and the second craft organization in America.
The Folk Art Center opened in 1980, including 3 galleries, a library, the famed Allanstand Craft Shop and an auditorium. Tourists will be wowed seeing the stunning woven baskets, quilts, furniture, stained glass and so much more.
The Grovewood Gallery launched in 1992 and is recognized all over the US as a dedicated place for American craft and arts.
With over 9,000 pieces of hand-made pieces of jewelry by artisans, pottery, textiles, glass and so much more, the gallery prides itself on works from more than 400 artists and craftsmen across the country.
Travellers can explore the sculpture garden with a clear view of the valley to the Blue Ridge Mountains, see handcrafted furniture, relax and dine in Eldr restaurant, visit the Estes-Winn Antique Car Museum and so much more.
Basilica of Saint Lawrence, Deacon, and Martyr
The Basilica of St. Lawrence, Deacon & Martyr is the only Roman Catholic minor basilica in Western North Carolina and it is located in Ashville with great architectural design.
It is a major highlight when travellers visit the city centre.
The basilica was designed and built by the renowned Spanish architect Rafael Guastavino and the lead architect of the Biltmore Estate Richard Sharp.
It is also registered as a historic place on the National Register of Historic Places. Visit this edifice to see the largest free-standing dome in North America at 52 X 82 feet.
Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Centre
The Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center is located just 7 miles away from downtown Asheville. Travelers get to experience the best on a road trip with tips from park rangers.
The visitor centre is located at Blue Ridge Parkway milepost 384 with attractions such as exhibits themed at the Blue Ridge flora and fauna, traditional Appalachian culture, Cherokee history, and so much more.
The parkway construction started from 1935 to 1987.
It features a 22-foot, digital map of the parkway which is also interactive and also a 24-minute award-winning historical film about the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Thomas Wolfe Memorial Visitor Centre Asheville
The Thomas Wolfe House also known as Thomas Wolfe Memorial is a childhood home of the renowned author. It was declared a National Historic Landmark back in the year 1971.
It is a two-story house in yellow colors that served famously as the setting for his classic novel, Look Homeward, Angel. The house was built in the 18th century and purchased by Julia Wolfe in 1906.
It is known in the book as “Dixieland” but its actual name is “Old Kentucky Home”. It is a memorial to the author’s late mother and has been open to tourists since 1949.
New Belgium Brewing Company
The New Belgium Brewing Company is a nationally recognized brewery in the United States of America.
The brewery was founded by Kim Jordan and Jeff Lebesch in Fort Collins, Colorado in 1991 and 2016 it expanded to Asheville, North Carolina. They brew some of the finest La Folie Sour Brown Ale, Fat Tire Amber Ale, Mural Agua Fresca Cerveza, Voodoo Ranger IPA and other varieties of beer.
Travelers on a tour will enjoy great beer tasting, story-telling about the place, art-gazing, and much more. The brewery is open to all ages and admission is only by reservation for small groups of 20 people.
Asheville Museum of Science
One of the premier exploratory science experiences visitors and students will ever have, is a tour of the Asheville Museum of Science in North Carolina.
The museum is equipped with interactive exhibits and educational programs. It is a must-visit for families, friends, tourists, students and so on.
There are lots of activities such as the Terra Box exhibit which allows for real-time manipulation of topography, digging fossils, seeing the Teratophoneus dinosaur skeleton, and so much more.
LaZoom Comedy Tour Bus
Exploring Asheville on the LaZoom Comedy Tour Bus is insanely awesome. It is the only rolling comedy tour bus in the city with a tour guide who narrates all of Asheville’s top attractions and neighborhoods.
It is a must-try for both first-time visitors and long-time residents alike.
It is a big purple bus packed with loads of corny jokes, a witty tour guide, with a blend of facts and fiction and fun with breath-taking surprises on the way.
Asheville Graffiti/ River arts district
The River Arts District or RAD as it is also called, is located close to downtown Asheville and the Biltmore Estate.
It is an amazing way to explore the city with so much fun either with friends, family, colleagues and so on. Tourists get to meet a lot of artists and also see their art creation process in real-time.
Visitors get to listen to stories about every art and graffiti and get souvenirs to add to their art collections.
Botanical Gardens at Asheville
The Botanical Gardens of Asheville is situated just off the edge of the University of North Carolina.
The Garden is about 10 minutes away from downtown Asheville and offers tourists and other visitors a wide range of plant species beautifully tended for perfect relaxation.
There are hiking trails for visitors to explore on a leisurely walk down its astonishing paths.
The garden features different a collection of over 600 species of plants famous in the Southern Appalachian Mountains such as vines, herbs, grasses, trees, sedges, shrubs, ferns, aquatic plants, mosses and lichens, and so much more.
Asheville Pinball Museum
For adults who grew up playing video games back in the 80s such as the Atari 2600, a visit to the Asheville Pinball Museum is a must.
This top Asheville attraction will bring back nostalgic memories. The museum is located in downtown Asheville across from Grove Arcade.
It offers an amazing collection of over 70 vintage pinball machines with classic games travellers can re-live the good old young days.
Many of their video gaming machines are from the ‘50s, ‘60s, and ‘70s down to the ‘80s and ‘90s (the Golden Age of Video Games).
Sliding Rock in Pisgah National Forest
Most people think Asheville is merely a mountain town, but its weather gets extremely hot during the summer.
Visiting the Sliding Rock in Pisgah National Forest is one way to get the chills during the heat period. It is one of the best outdoor activities for travellers to engage in to cool down the hot temperatures of the summer.
A visit to one of the city’s most exciting activities, the Sliding Rock offers tourists and visitors a 60-foot natural waterfall that goes into a deep pool of about 8ft for a perfect swimming experience.
It is a very popular spot for families on a getaway during the summer and great for kids too.
Asheville North Carolina is an amazing place to visit in the United States. Packed with loads of places to visit and learn, it gives travellers the whole package of learning and having fun.
From visiting the Biltmore Estate to learning about wildlife in the Western North Carolina Nature centre, playing classic retro video games at the Asheville Pinball Museum, seeing amazing graffitis at the Asheville Graffiti in River arts district, and cooling off swimming in the 8ft deep pool at the Sliding Rock in Pisgah National Forest.
Don’t miss out on the experience of a lifetime with family and friends.