One of Asheville’s main draws is its existence as both an almost idyllic mountainous retreat, while being a vibrant, hip city. Here’s a small guide showing the dynamic nature of Asheville, along with the popular, exciting things to do.
Blue Ridge Mountains
The Blue Ridge Mountains give a breath-taking view everywhere you turn in the city of Asheville (and outside of it, too!). If you’re into hiking, you’ll have no trouble finding everything from easygoing hikes to intense treks with tremendous payoffs. For an introductory hike, you could consider the 3-mile DuPont State Forest Triple Falls Loop that’s great for families, with three gorgeous waterfalls along the way. For something a bit more intense, you may be interested in the John Rock Loop, which starts out climbing up the Cat Gap Loop Trail, and ends with a panoramic view upon the top of John Rock. For one of the most difficult journeys in North Carolina, you may be interested in the 3-4 day Art Loeb trail hike, which spans over 30 miles, from ridgeline to summit to back again… but the view is, as always, worth the 6,500 feet of climbing and 7,700 feet of descent! One of the best parts? Your furry friend can come along on any of these hikes!
Biltmore Estate and Village
The Biltmore Estate is one of the most popular and extravagant tourist attractions in the country, located conveniently in the heart of Asheville. As the largest private residence in the country, and with over 175,000 square-feet and 4 indoor acres, 250 rooms, and 65 fireplaces, the Biltmore Estate draws over a million visitors every year.
The gardens and walking trails around the Biltmore are perhaps just as exciting as the mansion itself. Biltmore Village, which sits across from the entrance to the Estate, hosts over 40 shops and 10 restaurants, cafes, and breweries.
Asheville is an art lover’s slice of heaven, with lots of different forms of art to soak in. The River Arts District hosts nearly 200 working artists with studios open on a regular basis. You can watch painters, potters, glass blowers, jewelry makers, and many more types of artists right in their element. There are many coffee shops spread among them, too, for that mid-day pick-me-up. Some of Asheville’s finest communities, like Kenilworth, even host their own studio tours, such as that at the Kenilworth Art Studio.
Architecture is one of the more prideful points for Asheville, so you’ll definitely get your fix if you’re an aficionado. In addition to the aforementioned Biltmore Estate, there’s the Basilica of St. Lawrence, the Grove Arcade Public Market, and Urban Trail. The Minor Basilica of St. Lawrence, built over 110 years ago, can be found in the Downtown Historic District. Allowing you to enjoy some coffee or a glass of wine while shopping, The Grove Arcade is a glass-topped indoor marketplace with restaurants, shopping, spas, and more. Perfect for tourists and residents alike, Asheville’s Urban Trail is a 1.7-mile tour that takes you both physically throughout downtown Asheville and through its history. There are 30 stops that each feature a unique public sculpture, created through volunteer work and donations that wanted to mark their legacy on their home.
Performing Arts are also a staple of Asheville, and perhaps some of the best (sometimes) free entertainment you can get. Music is always in the air as street performers of all genres flock downtown, being a highly popular stop for musicians. There are also a number of professional theatres, such as the NC Stage or the Flat Rock Playhouse.
Asheville offers a dynamic and diverse shopping scene, from malls to outlets to small-town shops, being great for family outings and romantic days alike. The aforementioned Biltmore Village and Grove City Arcade are two of the most popular tourist shopping points. Biltmore Park is great for national chain store shopping and eateries. West Asheville is quirky and funky, featuring small local businesses packing a lot to offer, such as seemingly endless bookstores, along with many one-of-a-kind restaurants.
Once you visit Asheville, you’ll never want to turn back. Fall in love with our city today, and whenever you decide to make the move to your new home, we’ll be here to help make that dream a reality.