Still searching for the perfect destination for your end-of-summer getaway? Nestled into the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville is a hidden gem in North Carolina. Here are our tops reasons to rest and relax in this beautiful mountainside city.
The Art Scene
Stroll down the streets of Asheville admiring the colorful murals and urban street art on your way to the Rivers Arts District (RAD). This mile-long district is full of galleries and workshops for art and theater lovers to bask in the creative energy of Asheville. Check out theater performances, art classes, workshops, and more. On the second Saturday of each month, you can stop in for live music, wine tastings, food, and demonstrations!
Beer City U.S.A
Beer lovers grab your growler, Asheville is home to more than 25 different craft breweries with another 60 just around the corner. You can find all the usual lagers and ales as well as uniquely local flavor combinations, leading Asheville to be referred to as “The Napa Valley of Beer” on NPR. We hope you’re thirsty!
The French Broad River
The beautiful French Broad River which flows through the city is a great location for watersports. Take it easy and paddle along the riverside in a kayak to enjoy the local landmarks, or spend a lazy afternoon floating down the river on a tube trip. If you’re looking for a little more excitement, head upstream for a white water rafting excursion. And for something entirely different, hire an experienced guide to show you the ins and outs of fly fishing along the peaceful riverbank.
Outdoor enthusiasts and food lovers will unite on the one-of-a-kind Asheville foraging tour from No Taste Like Home. The tour will take you through the rugged North Carolina countryside as your local guide helps you to find the freshest edible mushrooms, berries, and leafy greens. Then, return to town to enjoy an appetizer made from your foraged treasure at one of the city’s best restaurants. If you just can’t get enough of the fresh produce and hearty country food; take a food tour to sample all of the farm-to-table and nose-to-tail cuisines that the city has to offer.
Asheville is alive with the sound of buskers on street corners playing music to get you moving. Be on the lookout for live music events and festivals happening all year round. The notorious Orange Peel music venue almost always has something groovy going on. If you happen to be in town on a Friday night, don’t miss the drum circle for your chance to jam and enjoy the free live music.
The Blue Ridge Mountains
The backdrop of the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains will get you going. Take a scenic cruise along the infamous Blue Ridge Parkway for an unforgettable view of the mountains. Trek along the 300 miles of breath-taking hiking trails along the mountainside, and pack a picnic lunch to enjoy under a scenic waterfall. For the best sunset and sunrise views, hike up the Max Patch Trail – the North Carolina section of the Appalachian Trail – to get a gorgeous 360-degree view of the area surrounded by picturesque wildflowers.
The Biltmore Estate
The historic Biltmore Estate, constructed by George and Edith Vanderbilt more than a century ago, is by far the city’s most popular tourist destination. The immense property is a local landmark, known for its glorious gardens, perfect for walking, hiking, kayaking, and bird watching. Explore the enormous estate from the glass-ceilinged Conservatory to the winery where you can take part in Complimentary wine-tasting of the local wares. Check out the special events happening on the property all year long including art installations, live music, and more!
In an area of the country known for its history of Native American spirituality and bloodshed in the civil war; it’s no surprise that there are rumors of supernatural and paranormal activity. The city host numerous tours of supposedly haunted buildings and artifacts, come to find out for yourself on the Haunted Asheville ghost tour. While you’re at it. stay a night at the luxurious Grove Park Inn to catch a glimpse of the infamous “pink lady”.
Holistic Health Spas
Asheville has been known as a center for relaxation and rejuvenation for years. Enjoy the peaceful atmosphere in the Asheville Salt Cave as you bask in the good vibes surrounded by pink Himalayan salt, steam yourself in the Turkish bath, and indulge in a therapeutic massage. Then stretch your legs on a guided tour with Namaste in Nature. Enjoy the hike through the wild North Carolina countryside and experience yoga and meditation among the gurgling streams, trickling waterfalls, and serene hilltops.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com