Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville, North Carolina

Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville is the perfect destination for anyone who enjoys the beauty, tranquility, and thrill of nature. No matter what your interest may be, Asheville is waiting and ready for you. Asheville has a vibrant downtown, great cultural offerings, professional sports, unique shopping and a host of attractions and sites, both in town and close by.

Always a favorite for its scenic beauty, in the fall Ashville explodes into an array of colors. As the mild summer days turn into cooler, crisp days and nights, visitors to the nearby mountains begin an annual guessing game of where to catch the best glimpse of Mother Nature’s beautiful work. Because of the differences in elevation, there is no single “peak” week or day for fall color. Unlike other destinations, the mountains near

Asheville enjoys an extended five-week fall color season. The peak location actually changes week-to-week, depending on the elevation. Brilliant yellows, reds and oranges begin to appear at the higher elevations even in late September, along with a profusion of wildflowers. The autumn hues intensify and creep down the mountain slopes throughout October. Some coves and gorges will continue show off their fall finery through early November.

Conveniently located at the intersections of Interstate I-26, Interstate I-40 and Interstate I-240, it is easy to experience the wonders of the surrounding areas as well. The famous Blue Ridge Parkway, Grandfather Mountain, the Pisgah View National Forest, and the historic town of Hendersonville are all within a short drive. If you are more inclined to stay in town, the downtown area provides a unique experience. Dotted with specialty shops and brightly lit for the Christmas season, it’s the perfect place for a stroll, a bike ride, or a shopping adventure, followed by a wonderful meal at one of the city’s fine restaurants.

If the arts are of interest, plan to spend many days in this wonderful city. No matter what your artistic taste, Asheville offers something for you. Whether you choose to go to the Asheville Art Museum, the Asheville Bravo Concerts, the Asheville Community Theater, the Lyric Opera, the Fold Art Center, or listen to the wonderful sounds of the Asheville Symphony Orchestra, Asheville has a venue year round.

Asheville is known as a city for all seasons. It has an ideal climate with four unique, yet mild seasons. The average July temperature is a most pleasant 83 degrees, while the January lows tend to average a mild 27. Even during the coldest months, Asheville receives an average of only 16 inches of snow, yet the surrounding areas have much for the outdoor winter sports enthusiast. Due to its elevation (2150 feet), it is in the enviable position of not having to endure the summer temperatures that stifle much of the south. Additionally, with the surrounding mountains as a barrier, the city experiences comparatively mild winters, making Asheville a perfect year round destination.

Bringing the kids along? No need to worry about them enjoying both the city of Asheville and the surrounding areas. Take in a ball game, enjoy an amusement park, ride the trolley, visit the historic Biltmore estate, go rafting on the French Broad River, or experience the thrill of sliding down “Slippery Rock” into 50 degree water!

Let Asheville lift your spirit to the mountains. It’s a place where the Great Smokies and the Blue Ridge meet. A place unlike any other; unique in its own right. A place with a special gift from Mother Nature of spectacular natural beauty; a place with an endless variety of interesting things to do and to see.

ATTRACTIONS

Asheville Altitude Professional Basketball
87 Haywood Street
Asheville, NC 28801
Phone: 828-782-1000
Admission Charged
2003-2004 National Basketball Development League-champion Asheville Altitude take to the court October -May at the Asheville Civic Center. Come see the future of the NBA.

Asheville Historic Trolley Tours
601 W. State St., Suite #9
Black Mountain, NC 28711
Phone: 828-669-8046
Admission Charged
75-minute fully narrated trolley tour of the greater Asheville area (for older, attentive children). Asheville’s major points of interest are included in this informative, fun-filled sightseeing tour. Ride the vintage touring trolleys and sightsee Asheville in style.

Asheville Tourists Baseball Club
30 Buchanan Field
Asheville, NC 28801
Phone: 828-258-0428
Admission Charged
The Asheville Tourists are a major league baseball team that competes in the 16-team South Atlantic League. The Tourists are currently affiliated with the Colorado Rockies.
Season: April – September

Asheville’s Fun Depot
7 Roberts Road
Asheville, NC 28803
Phone: 828-277-2386
Admission Charged
Asheville’s new 36,000 square feet family entertainment facility, featuring mini golf, batting cages, climbing wall, soft play area, pitching tunnel and soccer cages.
Hours: Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m.-10 p.m.

Pack Place Education, Arts & Science Center
2 S. Pack Sq.
Asheville, NC 28801
Phone: 828-257-4500
Admission charge varies per museum/event.
This vibrant centerpiece of downtown Asheville houses the Asheville Art Museum, Colburn Gem and Mineral Museum, Diana Wortham Threatre and The Health Adventure. The YMI Cultural Center is just a few steps away.

Appalachian National Scenic Trail
Appalachian Trail Conference Regional Office
160-A Zillicoa St.
Asheville, NC 28801
Phone: 828-254-3708
Admission Free
The Appalachian Trail is a primitive hiking trail that runs from Maine to Georgia. Approximately 300 miles of the Appalachian Trail run through North Carolina. The Appalachian Trail was voted America’s favorite National Park for 2003!

Biltmore Estate
One Approach Road
Asheville, NC 28803
Phone: 828-225-1333
Admission Charged
Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, this 8,000-acre estate includes America’s largest home, acres of gardens, an award-winning winery, restaurants, and shops. Biltmore Estate is located just north of I-40 on US Highway 25.

Bio Wheels
76 Biltmore Ave.
Asheville, NC 28801
Phone: 828-236-2453
Admission Charged
Bicycle tours in Pisgah National Forest and DuPont State Forest for mountain bikes as well as road bike tours on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Season: Year Round

Blue Ridge Parkway
Folk Art Center
Asheville, NC 28801
Phone: 828-298-0398
Admission Free
The 469-mile parkway intersects Asheville at US 25, 70 and 74, and NC 191. Craggy Gardens (MP 364, 25 miles north of Asheville) is an area with hiking trails, picnic sites and a visitor’s center. The Linn Cove Viaduct (MP 304) is an engineering marvel that wraps around Grandfather Mountain.
The Parkway intersects Asheville at US 25, US 70, US 74 & NC 191. The Parkway’s Folk Art Center is located five miles east of downtown Asheville at milepost 382.

French Broad Rafting Expeditions
7525 U.S. Hwy. 25/70
Marshall, NC 28753
Phone: 828-649-0486
Admission Charged
Experience the thrill of whitewater rafting on Asheville’s own French Broad River. Located 30 minutes from Asheville. Provides a guide in every raft – guaranteed! Five-mile, nine-mile calm water trips available. See you on the river!

Great Smoky Mountains Railroad
119 Front St.
Dillsboro, NC
Phone: 828-586-8811
Admission Charged
Travel through river gorges, across fertile valleys and through mountain tunnels. The railroad offers 4- to 7-hour round-trip excursions in the beautiful Western North Carolina mountains. Depots: Dillsboro, Bryson City and Andrews.

Linville Caverns Inc.
Hwy. 221
Marion (55 miles from Asheville), NC
Phone: 828-756-4171
Admission charged
These natural limestone caverns feature stalactite and stalagmite formations and an underground stream. Home to blind rainbow trout and eastern pipistrelle bats. Facilities include a gift shop.
The caverns are on US 221 between the towns of Linville and Marion, four miles South of the Blue Ridge Parkway. If you are traveling on the Parkway, take the exit marked Linville Falls Village, then head South on US 221 to Linville Caverns.
Hours: Open 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Nov.-Mar.; 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Apr.-May, Sept.-Oct.; 9 a.m.-6 p.m. June 1-Labor Day. Weekends only Dec.-Feb.

Mountain Biking/Cycling
Asheville, NC
Phone: 828-258-6103
Admission Charged
Whether you want to quietly pedal along the lanes of one of our small towns or take your mountain bike over a challenging trail through the Pisgah Mountains, Asheville’s varied terrain makes it an excellent place to bicycle. Several trails in and around town have varied hours and access times.

Museum of the Cherokee Indian
Cherokee, NC
Phone: 828-497-3481
Admission Charged
Totally renovated in 1998, the Museum of the Cherokee Indian tells the story of the Cherokee people using high-tech wizardry along with an extensive artifact collection.
The museum is located at Highway 441 and Drama Road in Cherokee, North Carolina, home of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, a federally recognized tribe.
Hours: Opens daily at 9 a.m. except on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Sliding Rock – A Natural Water Slide
Pisgah National Forest, NC
Phone: 828-877-3265
Admission Charged to enter Park
The king of swimming holes in the mountains near Asheville, this 60 foot natural water slide down a well-worn slab of rock was providing summertime entertainment long before water slides became standard fare.
Located along US 276, about 7.5 miles south of the Blue Ridge Parkway (or a little over 7 miles north off of US 280 in Brevard).

Waterfall Country
Western North Carolina, NC
Admission Free
The Davidson and French Broad Rivers and their tributaries fuel more than 250 breathtaking waterfalls and 200 miles of cool, clear mountain streams in Transylvania County. To experience some of the many breathtaking views, follow the Blue Ridge Parkway south from Asheville to N.C. 215. Take 215 south to U.S. 64 and continue west through Lake Toxaway, Sapphire, Cashiers and Highlands. Follow 64 through the colorful Cullasaja Gorge where numerous waterfalls, including Bridal Veil Falls, Dry Falls and majestic Cullasaja Falls, cascade close to the highway. In Franklin, turn north on U.S. Highway 441 and head to Dillsboro. From there, hop on U.S. Highway 23 and drive straight back to Asheville.

Colburn Earth Science Museum
2 South Pack Square
Asheville, NC 28801
Phone: 828-254-7162
Admission Charged
The Colburn Earth Science Museum fosters an appreciation of the Earth and its mineral resources through exhibits, educational programming and the collection and care of specimens. Come explore Asheville’s hidden treasure where you will be dazzled by exhibits from around the world.
The Colburn Gem & Mineral Museum is in Pack Place Education, Arts & Science Center on historic Pack Square in downtown Asheville.

Mast General Store
15 Biltmore Ave
Asheville, NC 28801
Phone: 828-232-1883
Admission Free
Restored to its 1940s heyday, this grand emporium features vintage house wares, over 500 old-time candy favorites, quality outdoor gear, comfortable clothing and custom-fit footwear for all mountain seasons. Mast General Store, an Appalachian Mountain tradition since 1883.
Hours: Open Mon.-Thur. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Fri. and Sat. 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Sun. 12p.m.-5 p.m.

Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands
Asheville Civic Center
87 Haywood St.
Asheville, NC 28801
Phone: 828-298-7928
Admission Charged
The Fair combines a half century of tradition with contemporary innovations for the premiere craft event in the Southeast. Continuous craft demonstrations and regional entertainment.

EVENTS

Late January

Annual Big Band/Swing Dance Weekend
828-252-2711
Bring your dancing shoes to The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa and hit the dance floor with two nights of great music, morning dance instruction, an afternoon tea dance and enough Big Band melodies to satisfy any enthusiast.
Usually late January, call for exact dates

Late February

Annual Arts & Crafts Antique Show and Conference
Phone: 828-252-2711
Crafts Antique Show featuring dealers from across the country displaying furniture, pottery and metal ware.
Usually late February, call for exact dates

March – April

Annual Heritage Ballroom Dance Sport Championships
Phone: 828-252-2711
Dance competition organized by Australian dance champions.
Usually in March; call for exact dates

Victorian Easter Celebration
Phone: 828-253-9231
Admission Charged
Easter baskets, old-fashioned bunnies and chicks, hand-painted eggs, spring flowers, and period-inspired decorations create the authentic feel of a Victorian Easter celebration throughout the circa 1840 Smith-McDowell House.
Event held annually during Easter season

May

Spring on the Mountain: Wildflowers of Grandfather Mountain
Phone: 828-733-4337
US 221 & Blue Ridge Pkwy.
Linville (75 miles from Asheville), NC
Programs and activities focused on the wildflowers of Grandfather Mountain.
Admission included with admission to Park
Spring, around early May

Heritage Alive! Festival
Phone: 828-253-9231
Honor the past with living history encampments from the French and Indian War to World War I, heritage craft sales and demonstrations, mountain music, special exhibits, and award winning barbeque.
Late May

June

Downtown After Five
Pack Square
Asheville, NC
Phone: 828-251-9973
Admission Free
Called “the best old-fashioned block party you can imagine,” Downtown After Five features live music until 9:30 p.m. and food and beverages sold by local vendors. Events are held in downtown Asheville’s Pack Square the third Friday of each month from June through September.

Annual “Singing on the Mountain” at Grandfather Mountain
Phone: 828-733-2013
US 221 & Blue Ridge Pkwy.
Linville (75 miles from Asheville), NC
Admission Free
Free, all-day gospel sing, church bazaar, and dinner-on-the-grounds held in MacRae Meadows.

July

Bele Chere Festival
Downtown Asheville, NC
Phone: 828-259-5800
Admission Free
The Southeast’s biggest free street festival features nine stages of great music, three food courts, children’s area and a full spectrum of the finest handmade arts and crafts. Usually held in late July in downtown Asheville.

Annual Grandfather Mountain Highland Games & Gathering of the Scottish Clans
Phone: 828-733-1333
US 221 & Blue Ridge Pkwy.
Linville (75 miles from Asheville), NC
Admission Charged
Over 100 Scottish clans and societies sponsor this celebration of Scottish dance, music and athletics.

July – August

Shindig on the Green
City/County Plaza, Downtown Asheville
Asheville, NC 28801
Phone: 828-258-6101
Admission Free
Hours: Open Mon.-Sat. 9:30a.m.-3:30p.m., Sun. 12:30-3:30
Saturday nights at downtown Asheville’s City/County Plaza turn into evenings full of toe-tapping and hand-clapping during this summer-long festival celebrating Western North Carolina’s unique heritage of bluegrass music and mountain dance.
Usually held Early July through late August

November – December

Candlelight Christmas Evenings at Biltmore Estate
Sponsor/Location: Biltmore Estate
Toll Free: 800-543-2961
Admission Charged
Candlelight Christmas Evenings capture the magic of the holidays with candlelight and firelight, tinsel and glass ornaments, and choirs and musicians that fill the house with good cheer.
Early November – Early January

National Gingerbread House Competition
290 Macon Avenue
Asheville, NC 28804
Phone: 828-252-2711
See more than 20 gingerbread works of art from all over the country at The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa. Houses will be on display throughout the holiday season.
From I-26 or I-40, take I-240 into Asheville. Take exit 5B, Charlotte Street. Proceed north on Charlotte Street for approximately 1.3 miles. Turn right on Macon Avenue and continue for .8 mile. The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa entrance will be to your left.

Early November – Early January

Annual “Singing on the Mountain” at Grandfather Mountain
Phone: 828-733-2013
US 221 & Blue Ridge Pkwy.
Linville (75 miles from Asheville), NC
Admission Free
Free, all-day gospel sing, church bazaar, and dinner-on-the-grounds held in MacRae Meadows.

December

Victorian Christmas Celebration
Phone: 828-253-9231
283 Victoria Road
Asheville, NC
Admission Charged
Celebrate Christmas the old-fashioned way. The Smith-McDowell House Museum’s time-line of authentically decorated period rooms showcase the evolution of Christmas celebrations and decorations.