When planning an itinerary of things to do in Asheville, the challenge isn’t finding an adventure to suit your style, it’s how to fit it all in. Whether you’re here with the family or traveling solo, here in the heat of summer or child of winter, or looking for outings mild or wild, you’ll find no shortage of activities in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Asheville Hiking, Biking and Golf
Asheville’s mild climate means you can participate in most outdoor pursuits year-round. There are countless miles of hiking and biking trails in and around Asheville, including at Bent Creek Experimental Forest, Mount Mitchell State Park and Chimney Rock State Park. Right in town, you can take an art walk through downtown on the Urban Trail or explore the paths that connect Hominy Creek Park, Carrier Park and French Broad River Park in West Asheville. The new 2-mile-long Wilma Dykeman Greenway extends this multi-use trail for an additional 2 miles along the French Broad River, connecting it with the famed River Arts District.
The rolling topography also makes for some beautiful, yet challenging, golf outings plotted by some of the top names in the game. Check out greens designed by Donald Ross (Asheville Municipal Golf Course and The Omni Grove Park Inn), Karl Litten (Broadmoor Golf Links), Tom Fazio (Champion Hills) and Hawtree & Sons (Reems Creek Golf Course), among others.
Western North Carolina Fishing and Skiing
The French Broad, Tuckasegee, Davidson, Nantahala, Ocoee, Chattooga, Pigeon, Watauga and South Holston rivers all run through Western North Carolina or nearby, providing thrills including fly fishing, tubing and canoeing, as well as class II, III and IV rapids for rafting and kayaking.
When the weather turns colder, hit the slopes for skiing and tubing among the majestic peaks of the Blue Ridge. Nearby resorts include Beech Mountain Resort (the highest slopes in the eastern United States), Cataloochee Ski Area and Wolf Ridge Ski Resort.
Blue Ridge Mountain History
The mountains around Asheville are rich with the stories of the people who made the region the thriving community it is today. Uncover these histories at attractions such as Biltmore (the largest privately owned home in the country), Thomas Wolfe Memorial (childhood home of one of Asheville’s most famous residents), the Smith-McDowell House Museum and Carl Sandburg Home. In Cherokee, you’ll discover the story of the Indigenous Americans who have called this area home for centuries, with museums, performances, craftspeople and more.
For a close-up look at the area’s natural history, stop by WNC Nature Center (a 42-acre zoological park), the North Carolina Arboretum (with 65 acres of cultivated gardens, indoor and outdoor exhibits, hiking and biking trails, and more) or the Botanical Gardens at Asheville (a serene 10-acre site adjacent to the University of North Carolina – Asheville).
With a thrilling array of diversions right here in town or a short drive away, it’s no wonder people return to the area time and time again. So put on your adventure shoes, prepare yourself for fun, and get out there and start exploring