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Asheville, NC Travel Guide

If you're looking for a trip to The Land of the Sky, but don't know where to start, let us help.
Last Updated
February 17, 2024
Editorial Staff
Asheville skyline at night
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Asheville may seem about as hip as your aunt’s cat sweatshirt collection at first glance. But don’t roll your eyes just yet! This sleepy mountain town packs a vibrant punch that can awaken even the most skeptical of travelers. How does a beer city with more breweries per capita than Portland sound? Or an arts scene lively enough to spark inspiration in even stick-in-the-mud artists? Yeah, Asheville isn’t messing around.

Nestled between the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains, A-ville (as the cool kids call it) beckons adventurers with its trails and waterfalls galore for hiking, biking, and white-knuckling it across ziplines. The only thing that gives the city some chill is the locals, who skip around smiling so much you’d think there’s something in the water. Oh wait, there is. It’s craft beer, my friend.

And the food! From Appalachian style to Latin fusion, Asheville boasts so many scrumptious farm-to-table eats that even picky eaters morph into self-proclaimed food critics after a few bites. Careful, though – the food coma is real. Be sure to balance out the gluttony with a stroll through downtown’s quirky galleries and Art Deco buildings. Yeah, this place has style AND substance.

So pack your bags, friends! In A-ville, small-city excitement meets backwoods charm for one unexpectedly hip getaway. Just don’t forget to slip those cat sweatshirts your aunt gifted you into the donation pile before you go.

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About Asheville

Drone Aerial of Downtown Asheville North Carolina NC Skyline
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Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina, Asheville is a vibrant arts town. Its iconic architecture and historic sites are sure to delight your senses. The city’s 19th-century Biltmore estate features paintings by Renoir and other masters. You can also find a lively arts scene in the River Arts District and Downtown Art District.

Aside from its breathtaking mountain views, Asheville is also home to an active LGBTQ community. Many residents here support the local arts and agriculture. The city has a strong job market. Many residents work in the education and healthcare sectors. If you are looking for a career in a place where you can enjoy a laid-back lifestyle, Asheville is a great place to work.

The area is also home to some of the most iconic buildings in America. The Chateau Asheville is one of the most famous homes in the United States, and it is surrounded by beautiful gardens designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. The town is also home to the final resting places of famous writers Thomas Wolfe and O. Henry. A large number of retirees also flock to Asheville to escape the harsh winter months.

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Why Go to Asheville

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There are a lot of reasons to visit Asheville NC. You can enjoy its burgeoning culinary scene and the area’s many outdoor activities. The French Broad River winds through the city and is a great place to go fly fishing. In addition, Asheville has a great museum scene. There’s the traditional Asheville Art Museum and Asheville Museum of Science, as well as the quirky Asheville Pinball Museum. You can also visit the Asheville Mystery Museum to learn about paranormal phenomena.

The city’s architecture is beautiful, and it is home to numerous historical buildings. The center of the city, Pack Square, is a charming area filled with art deco buildings. The Biltmore Avenue district is home to some of Asheville’s best shops, from indie bookstores to fashionable clothing boutiques. The city’s historic Biltmore Estate is also an impressive landmark.

The climate is ideal for hiking and biking in the fall, and the temperatures remain mild even during the hottest months. The city is also home to beautiful wildflowers, including trillium, mountain laurel, and evening primrose. The area also has a vibrant music scene. It is considered one of the country’s top ten music cities. During this season, you’ll find a line outside the most popular venues.

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Best Time to Go

Clock on historic building in Asheville, North Carolina
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The city of Asheville is nestled in the southern Appalachians and is famous for its funky arts culture. It is one of the most popular places to visit in North Carolina. Visitors can explore its breweries and museums. The city also has numerous state parks and hiking trails.

Visitors can visit Asheville in late winter or early spring. However, the best time to see the fall colors in Asheville is during early October. The temperatures are pleasant during this time of the year. In addition, early October is the driest month of the year with only 9.7 days of rain.

For a taste of the city’s culture, head to the River Arts District, also known as “The San Francisco of the East.” Here, you can enjoy street performances, local breweries, and live music. In addition, you can take a walk through the Grove Arcade and check out its local craft shops.

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How to Get Around

Asheville, North Carolina, USA map
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Asheville is one of the southeast’s most popular travel destinations. This city is nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains and draws visitors from around the world. Before the COVID-19 restrictions were put into place, approximately eleven million people came to the area every year. The city has a compact regional footprint, which makes it easy to walk around the downtown core. However, if you want to visit the area’s other attractions, you’ll need a car.

Asheville is connected to Interstates 26 and 40. It also has an I-240 connector through the downtown district. In addition, the Blue Ridge Parkway runs through the area. Although the streets of Asheville are not numbered, they have their own names. One street is Patton Avenue, while another is Broadway. Both street names are used for different locations within the city.

If you’re looking for a cheap way to travel throughout the city, a ride-sharing app or a taxi is an excellent choice. In addition to cabs, Asheville offers a historic trolley and regular bus routes. There are also tour buses, Segways, and guided waterfall tours.

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Best Restaurants

Restaurant view of Tupelo Honey Cafe
Tupelo Honey Cafe

The foodie scene in Asheville is diverse and eclectic, and there are over 250 local and independent restaurants to choose from. You can expect to taste the classics of Southern cooking as well as contemporary site-specific trends. You may also want to check out one of the award-winning Spanish tapas restaurants, such as Curate. The chef-owned restaurant lets you enjoy a front-row seat to the action while enjoying his signature tapas.

Downtown Asheville is filled with eclectic eateries, including the Tupelo Honey Cafe, which serves up southern cuisine with a touch of whimsy. While downtown, you can enjoy the famous Asheville Drum Circle, and the River Arts District is home to a vibrant dining scene. In addition to dining in downtown restaurants, you can also check out the White Duck Taco Shop, which offers a unique twist on taco combos and delicious sangria. Or, if you prefer a more sophisticated dining experience, head to the Biltmore Estates and Omni Grove Park Inn, which both offer fine dining experiences.

The Market Place: Another fine dining option in Asheville is the marketplace. With a modern ambiance, the restaurant focuses on local and organic ingredients. The menu features dishes like Lamb Pappardelle and Sunday Gravy. Aside from the main menu, the restaurant also offers a full bar and takes orders for dessert.

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Things to Do

Buncombe County Courthouse and Asheville City Hall, in Asheville, North Carolina , cloudy day
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One of the most popular activities in Asheville is hiking. The town has several trails to choose from, including Mt. Pisgah trail, Catawba Falls, Devil’s Courthouse, and Max Patch. Afterward, you can head to the local hot springs, where you can soak your muscles.

Another popular attraction in Asheville is the Thomas Wolfe memorial, which is a historic home in downtown Asheville. Wolfe spent much of his childhood here and it was the inspiration for his book, “Look Homeward Angel.” You can visit the memorial and learn about Wolfe’s life. It’s not a light read, so be prepared to invest some time in researching his work.

Another popular activity in Asheville is taking a walking tour of the city’s famous landmarks. The city’s historic district is a highlight of this tour. It takes about two hours to walk the full path, stopping at famous spots along the way. This tour is free and self-guided, making it one of the best things to do in Asheville, NC.

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Neighborhoods to Know

Asheville, North Carolina, USA
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There are several neighborhoods in Asheville, NC, each with a unique vibe and appeal. While you’ll find many hip, upscale, and posh areas downtown, you’ll find many more affordable options if you’d like to live near the mountains.

The River Arts District is located near the French Broad River and just east of downtown. This area is home to over 200 artists and is a mix of old and new. Located along Haywood Rd, this neighborhood is full of restaurants and cafes that are both unique and affordable.

West Asheville is another neighborhood to check out. West Asheville is a hip and trendy neighborhood just west of downtown. Although you can’t walk between West Asheville and downtown, you can bike from one neighborhood to the next. The neighborhood is mainly comprised of Haywood Street, with a residential area to the west. It has the second-highest Walk Score in Asheville.

West Asheville is a hip neighborhood that’s home to some of the city’s best bars and cafes. This neighborhood is popular with locals because it has a sense of community. The area is surrounded by beautiful, historic homes and newer housing developments. A great place for dining is the 12-Bone Smokehouse. The former president of the United States has dined here.

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Asheville NC
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The climate in Asheville is influenced by the location and the season. From December to February, the city experiences drier weather. From January to March, the city experiences a milder climate. The average high and low temperatures are comfortable for going out and about. In March and April, the city has a lower chance of precipitation.

Asheville’s temperatures will remain in the high 20s through Thursday. The temperature will rise to the mid-60s by Christmas Day. Asheville will see no rain over the next week. The sun will be out for a majority of the day. The low will be around 33°F.

The month of July is a little bit warmer than June. The average low in July is 62°F, while the high is 84°F. July is the hottest month in Asheville, with a maximum UV index reading of 6. The UV index of this month is high enough to pose a high health risk, so visitors to Asheville should wear sunscreen and take water.





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