Things to do in Asheville
Many of the best things to do in Ashville are outside: hiking, whitewater rafting, bicycling or fly-fishing. But Ashville has many man-made treasures, too. Start planning things to do in Asheville now.
Ogle the Biltmore Estate, the 250-room manse built by George Vanderbilt in 1895. It’s modeled after a Loire Valley chateau and is filled with treasures from Renoir and Tiffany lamps to Napoleon's chess set. Don't miss the estate's winery, a few miles from the big house. Asheville was once the home of author Thomas Wolfe, and his house has been preserved, down to his typewriter and best writing table. HIs home even served as the setting for his novel Look Homeward, Angel. You can also walk part of the Appalachian Trail. A great place to start on this stretch of the legendary trail is the 4,600-foot-tall Max Patch Mountain. You’ll get excellent views of the Great Smoky Mountains and Mt. Mitchell. The 469-mile-long Blue Ridge Parkway is famous for its scenery, but savvy locals know that the best stretch is the 121-mile section from Waynesboro to Roanoke, filled with rolling farmland and lined with towering oaks. Pull over at mile marker 86 for great leaf peeping at the Peaks of Otter area (so named for its three summits). What to do in Asheville with kids? One great stop is Chimney Rock State Park, home of Devil's Head balancing rock and the 404-foot Hickory Nut Falls waterfall.
Summer sessions up to a month long are offered at Warren Wilson College’s archaeology field school, where adults and kids as young as 14 are put on sites to dig and excavate history while uncovering a 16th-century Native American town and an early Spanish settlement.
The 1895 George Vanderbilt estate features 75 acres of gardens, which are bursting with hundreds of chrysanthemums through September.