Spending the Day in Asheville, North Carolina
By Kimberly Graf. Published on October 8, 2018
The town of Asheville, North Carolina is a tourist haven and cultural center for the entire state of North Carolina. It boasts a multitude of attractions, both indoors and outdoors. From estate tours to hiking, art galleries to museums, this unique region nestled right in the Blue Ridge Mountains has everything you could ever want in a vacation.
But say you only get to spend one day in this wonderful area. How would you spend it? We've put together two separate lists to his effect. One of these features all of the indoor attractions you can explore in the town of Asheville, and the other focuses on the outdoor adventures you can have in this amazing part of the country.
Far and away, the draw that brings people to Asheville is Biltmore Estate. The largest privately-owned home in the United States has over eight acres of floor space. In addition, there is a lavish garden and a winery to explore. You can take a tour of the main house, which includes Gilded Age-style decorations with influences from the world travels of the estate's original owner, George Vanderbilt. The basement of this house includes soma amazing features for the time, including a heated indoor pool, a bowling alley, and a gym.
The house and grounds are included in the entry fee, and it's definitely worth going. It's about a two-hour experience, perhaps more if you like to take your time, so reserve a major chunk of your day to visiting the Biltmore.
Also in Asheville is the Colburn Earth Science Museum. If you're traveling with kids, this is the place to go. It's educational and kid-friendly, with tons of gems and rocks that are native to the area. They even have a cast of an early T-Rex ancestor on display. There's the Southern Appalachian Forest exhibit, where kids can climb up to a 10-foot canopy and explore the forest from the height. When they are ready to come back down, they can slide right down to the "forest floor". It's a wonderful place for families with kids of all ages.
Grovewood Village is the next place you should consider checking out, especially if you are into any sort of art or crafts. This used to be the location of the town's weaving and woodworking operations. Today it serves as a gallery and market for local artists, as well as nationally-renowned ones. But that isn't all that this place offers – there are artists' studios that are operational today, a Homespun Museum about the culture and craft of the area, and an antique car museum! You're going to want to spend some time at the Grovewood when you come to Asheville.
Asheville, North Carolina is located right in the cradle of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The landscape in this part of the state is so beautiful that there are whole roads devoted to just road trips. You won't be able to get through the entirety of the Blue Ridge Parkway in one day, but you can take a small trip along the road to see the scenes. During the spring, there are wildflowers all along the road, as well as beautiful dogwood trees. In the fall, there is so much beautiful foliage on the mountaintops surrounding the drive. It's so dramatic and picturesque that you won't want to miss it! Even just a short drive on this road is more than worth it.
There are certain lakes and rivers in Asheville that provide Stand-Up Paddle boarding. You can rent a paddleboat – it looks like a thick surfboard you stand on and paddle with an oar – and explore the waterways. It's a great activity for families and people that enjoy kayaking and other waterway sports. When you're done with that, you can take a walk through Craggy Gardens.
If you happen to go in the late spring, you will see all of the most beautiful flowers in full bloom. During fall and the beginning of the winter months, the foliage will be in full effect. The trees here change so dramatically that it doesn't get much more beautiful. Craggy Gardens has walking paths and hiking trails, and with both options you can explore the wonderful countryside of North Carolina.
If you're a National Forest enthusiast, check out Pisgah National Forest. It's a short drive from Asheville. There's camping and other amenities available, as well as miles and miles of hiking trails! You can reach all sorts of natural attractions through the trails here, including whitewater rivers and tall, beautifully frothing waterfalls. It's a gorgeous place to get lost on a day hike or a through hike! The Appalachian Trail, a 2,100 mile hike through the eastern United States, passes through this forest near the border of Tennessee. You could even step foot on the trail that draws thousands of hardcore hiking enthusiasts every year!
Asheville, North Carolina is one of the United States' last remaining cultural centers. It draws thousands of tourists each season, and for good reason! Between the outdoor adventures that the area offers and in-town attractions, you'll definitely want to spend more than a day in Asheville!