Asheville, located in the Western North Carolina Mountains, is a great destination for outdoor recreation and adventure. Visitors can enjoy hiking, biking, whitewater rafting, zip-lining, rock climbing, horseback riding, fishing, and golfing. Downtown Asheville is known for its vibrant energy, unique architecture, art galleries, coffee shops, breweries, live music, fine cuisine, and boutique shopping. Asheville’s seasons offer a variety of experiences, from scenic drives and hikes in spring to winter sports and holiday festivities. Start planning your next Asheville getaway today.
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Forest Bathing in the Botanical Gardens
The practice of forest bathing encourages you to slow down, relax and reconnect with nature by quieting the mind and awakening the senses. Join a certified forest therapy guide from Asheville Wellness Tours in the nearby Asheville Botanical Gardens for a relaxing 2.5-hour stroll. Through a series of invitations, you’ll have the opportunity to be present in the moment, deepening your connection with nature and community, and enjoying the many gifts nature has to offer. The walk culminates in a tea ceremony with snacks. Regular price is $260 for groups of 1-4.
Yoga On Site
Invite relaxation, movement, and balance into your Asheville adventure with a private yoga class from Asheville Wellness Tours right here at the B&B. Forget trying to rush out of the house on time…we’ll come to you! Practice can take place in the comfort of your room, beside the crackling fireplace in the parlor, or outdoors in the garden (weather permitting). Classes are appropriate for all levels of experience and can be customized to you! Regular price is $150 for groups of 1-4.
Join Adoratherapy in the Grove Arcade for a sensory experience that combines Aromatherapy and Auratherapy. An aura photo and personalized reading can allow Adoratherapy to help you balance and boost your chakras and unlock your personal path to wellness. Guests of Pinecrest can receive 10% off an aura reading plus a free small pocket room spray!
Hike Bike Kayak Asheville
Looking for the best outdoor adventure fun? Try a guided experience on land or water led by a certified Blue Ridge Parkway and WNC Naturalist. It’s as easy at 1,2,3: Choose half or full day, tell HBK what you want to see like wildflowers, waterfalls, long range views, serene paddle, or a combination! Your customized day awaits including all transportation, water and snacks.
Guests of Pinecrest receive $10 off any guided tour with Hike Bike Kayak Asheville.
Asheville, home to 38 craft breweries and counting, has been dubbed Beer City USA. Get behind the scenes access to Asheville’s best local breweries by reserving a tour with BREW-ed.
Owner Cliff Mori is the first certified Cicerone (like a beer sommelier) in Western North Carolina and brings a real passion for beer to his tours.
Led by expert guides, BREW-ed tours allow you to sample several award winning beers and get a glimpse of Asheville history during their Downtown Asheville Brewery Tours on Saturday or Sunday afternoons. Guests of Pinecrest receive a 10% discount.
Asheville Rooftop Bar Tours
Top of the City! Top of your list of things to do in Asheville. Curious about our city and what that “Asheville vibe” is all about? Spend an afternoon with Asheville Rooftop Bar Tours. Catch a glimpse into the foodie and craft beverage scene, the history of Asheville, see the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains and appreciate Asheville’s rich architectural history that all come together in one fascinating tour!
Tours meet in the city center then transportation is provided to 3 or 4 rooftop bars. Sip and see all that is Asheville from a bird’s eye view. Pinecrest guests can save 10% with code.
Food & Drink
With an abundance of delicious culinary options in the area, finding the perfect restaurant to satisfy your cravings can be a daunting task. We’ve compiled a list of our favorite local restaurants in and around Asheville to create a curated guide that will delight your taste buds and leave you wanting more. So, be sure to check out our carefully selected recommendations and discover the very best of the Asheville dining scene.
Shopping & Spas
Day at the Spa
Located in the heart of downtown Asheville, Spatheology is an urban oasis dedicated to creating your ultimate spa experience. With locally inspired treatment offerings, Spatheology brings the spirit of wellness through the healing and therapeutic touch of our talented therapists.
An outdoor Japanese style hot tub retreat, nestled in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Shoji Retreat is just 8-10 minutes east of downtown.
Originally constructed as housing for the employees of George Vanderbilt and his estate, the Biltmore Village recreates the old-fashioned atmosphere of a Victorian-era mountain community. Declared a historical site in 1979, today the Biltmore Village is home to over 30 unique shops, exquisite galleries and many fine, independent and locally owned restaurants. Most businesses are housed in historic cottages that are outlined with brick sidewalks and tree-lined streets, giving the Biltmore Village a charming ambiance. Slightly more upscale, and with a similar uniqueness to downtown Asheville, this is a delightful area to stroll through and explore.
Built by E.W. Grove, the visionary and creator of the Grove Park Inn, the Grove Arcade opened in 1929 and thrived until World War II as one of the country’s leading public markets. The historically renovated Grove Arcade has once again returned as a premier Asheville destination featuring the best this region has to offer from delicious dining, to one-of-a-kind art and an outdoor market where local merchants and artisans peddle their wares.
Galleries, Theater & Music
Whether you call them “art walks”, “gallery hops” or “studio strolls”, it all means one thing, lots of great Asheville art and an opportunity to connect with artists and other local art lovers. If this atmosphere sounds like your cup of tea, then you should check out the First Friday Art Walks that take place April through December between 5-8pm. Pick up a map at any of the 23 participating galleries or at the Chamber of Commerce and stroll, crawl, hop, or just walk your way through many fine galleries in Downtown Asheville.
The River Arts District consists of a vast array of artists and working studios in 22 former industrial and historical buildings spread out along a one mile stretch of the French Broad River. This eclectic area is an exciting exploration of arts, food and exercise. Plan on spending a day or more visiting artists working in their studios, grabbing a bite of local cuisine or a brew and taking time to find art that’s perfect for your world.
More than 200 artists work in paint, pencil, pottery, metal, fiber, glass, wax, paper and more. As unique and individual as their art, so too are their schedules. There are no official “Open Hours” for the River Arts District, but at any given time throughout the year, you will find a plethora of open studios and galleries. If you are coming to see someone in particular, your best bet is to check in with them before your visit. Look for “Studio Strolls” twice a year: the third weekend in May and second weekend in November.
Nestled among the pines and dogwoods of the Blue Ridge Parkway., yet only a few miles from Asheville, the Folk Art Center is the Southern Highland Craft Guild’s flagship facility. The Center showcases the finest in traditional and contemporary craft of the Southern Appalachians. It houses the Guild’s century-old Allanstand Craft Shop, exhibitions in three galleries, a library and an auditorium.
Established in 1992, Grovewood Gallery is a nationally recognized gallery dedicated to fine American-made art and craft. We offer a large selection of handcrafted jewelry, pottery, fiber art, metalwork, and more, by over 400 artists and craftspeople from across the United States. The gallery also presents rotating exhibitions and features an impressive second-floor studio furniture collection and outdoor sculpture gardens. Visitors can enjoy craft demonstrations by local artists on the first Friday of every month during April – December.
In the heart of the Pack Square Cultural District is the city’s finest theatre, the Diana Wortham Theatre, an intimate 500 seat theatre inside the Pack Place complex, with convenient off-street parking and numerous restaurants within one block of the theatre. The theatre offers live performances of music, theatre and dance throughout the year by nationally touring artists (the Mainstage Series) as well as a wide array of performances by professional and avocational regional arts groups.
In the 70th season, they offer classic and contemporary comedies, musicals and dramas in both the 399 seat Heston Mainstage Auditorium and the 49 seat black box theatre, 35below.
Are commercial hyped big budget studio films not your cup of tea? Are you a fan of first-run independent films or foreign films? Well if you answered yes for either, then kick back and enjoy something different at the Fine Arts Theater in downtown Asheville. A dazzling array of art and independent films keep Asheville in the loop of being one of the few places in Western North Carolina where patrons who love the art of filmmaking can truly be fulfilled.
Asheville’s music scene is born of age old traditions, nurtured by a spirit of independence and the muse of the mountain landscape. Here you’ll find our rhythm is proudly rooted in old time mountain music, but it’s our full spectrum of innovative musicians who truly define our sound. Asheville offers a lively, and perhaps unexpected, experience for the musically-minded traveler. Listen for yourself and discover the toe-tapping sounds and soulful melodies propelling the Asheville songbook to the forefront of national attention.
Meet your new favorite music hall. The best part of catching a show at The Orange Peel is the intimacy of the performance space. No matter where you stand you’ll feel like you’re up close and personal with the band.
This laid-back performance space offers the chance to get up close and personal with your favorite emerging and established artists. Be sure to check out the full menu of local brew and bites at the in-house Taqueria.
For most large-arena shows, the floor of the US Cellular Center is open to cut loose and dance, whereas Thomas Wolfe is perfect to catch a seated performance. Each space offers concessions ranging from family-friendly options to local brew and spirits.
The 500 seat opera-style theater and its massive stage hosts chamber orchestras, Asheville Lyric Opera and various touring theater companies and dance troupes.
Perfect for date night, Isis combines their passion for food with music. Dinner shows are offered on a regular basis, but for those who only want to dance, the dining hall is often changed over to accommodate standing room shows as well.
Mountains to Sea (Parkway North MP 380)
The Mountains to Sea Trail parallels the Blue Ridge Parkway on the edge of Asheville, offering trail runners easy access to extensive forest runs. From the Folk Art Center, head north for a steady climb up to the Haw Creek Overlook, or head south for an easier out and back over rolling terrain.
Max Patch (Hot Springs)
This short, one mile hike on the Appalachian Trail takes you across the 4,600-foot grassy knob of Max Patch, which offers 360-degree views of the surrounding peaks.
Graveyard Fields Trail (Parkway South MP 410)
A moderate 3.2-mile out and back hike through a high alpine valley with two picturesque waterfalls. Start the hike at the lower end of the parking area. Be sure to stop at the first viewing platform to catch a glimpse of the first waterfall.
Transylvania County, known as “Land of Waterfalls” is located to the southwest of Buncombe County and shares a large border with South Carolina. The rock mountain terrain and high rainfall totals, Transylvania is the wettest county in the state, make this county the best in Western North Carolina for waterfalls. In fact, Transylvania County is home to over 250 waterfalls, including some of the most popular in the entire state.
Looking Glass Falls
Looking Glass Falls, definitely one of the most magnificent falls in NC, is located within the Pisgah National Forest. The parking area for Looking Glass Falls is just off of U.S. 276 (between U.S. 64 and the Blue Ridge Parkway). Trail Length: Falls can be viewed from the roadside, and there is a very short trail of well-maintained stairs that leads to the base of the falls. Trail Difficulty: No sweat! The roadside view is handicapped accessible, and the trail of stairs to the base is very safe and easy for the average hiker to use.
Moore Cove Falls
The parking area for Moore Cove Falls is located one mile north of Looking Glass Falls on U.S. 276 on the right side of the road. Park, cross the bridge on foot, and begin the trail on the right at the Moore Cove sign. Trail Length: 0.7 miles. Trail Difficulty: Moderate
Sliding Rock is also located within the Pisgah National Forest, not far from Looking Glass Falls. The paved parking area is just off of U.S. 276 (between U.S. 64 and the Blue Ridge Parkway). Sliding Rock is a 60 foot natural waterslide that dumps its riders into an 8 foot pool. Only a short walk is required, and the man-made boardwalk trail is handicapped accessible.
Selected Waterfalls of DuPont State Forest
Visit three waterfalls in one trip, just one hour south of Asheville. Hooker, Triple and High Falls can all be accessed from one parking lot. Check out our recommendations at our blog See Three Waterfalls in One Hike!
Constructed in the 1930’s as a way to create work for the thousands of locals unemployed by the Great Depression, the Blue Ridge Parkway, “America’s Favorite Drive,” winds some 469 miles through mountain cuts and past ostensibly endless vistas. Split-rail fences, old farmsteads, lush greenery, mountains, and valleys are some of the many attractions the parkway incorporates.
At 6,684 feet, Mt. Mitchell is the tallest mountain east of the Mississippi. On a clear day, the 85-mile view of the Blue Ridge Mountains from the observation tower is breathtaking. Allow time to hike in the tranquil 1,855-acre Mount Mitchell State Park, or enjoy lunch at the picnic area. With temperatures generally 10-15 degrees cooler than downtown Asheville, it’s an ideal place to find relief from the summer heat. In other seasons, bring a jacket. There is no admission fee.
DuPont State Forest is located southeast of Brevard, and is in what the locals call, waterfall country. This region of Western North Carolina is remarkably alluring, and with a little exploration, at any of the 250 waterfalls this area boasts, one can come to appreciate and recognize just why Transylvania County is so spectacular. DuPont is home to approximately 100 miles of trails, unforgettable waterfalls, pristine lakes, and stunning vistas. To visit many of the falls and beautiful scenes one will need to do a minimal to moderate amount of walking or hiking.
The US Department of the Interior says this, “No place this size in a temperate climate can match Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s variety of plant and animal species. Here are more tree species than in northern Europe, 1,500 flowering plants, dozens of native fish, and more than 200 species of birds and 60 of mammals.” The Great Smoky Mountains National Park provides near endless opportunities to view superb mountain scenery, take photographs, picnic, or hike and backpack along the abundant trails, and delight in an almost never-ending showcase that Mother Nature provides. The Park is located due west of Asheville and can be accessed from many locations.
The Pisgah National Forest is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts no matter what their ilk. The National Forest offers a wide range of recreating options. To mention just a few, there’s hiking and back-packing, camping, fishing, biking, horse-back riding, swimming, rock climbing, car tour sightseeing, waterfalls, wildlife, and historical areas. Places of Interest in the Pisgah National Forest include the Pisgah Ranger District, Cradle of Forestry, Looking Glass Rock/Falls, Mount Hardy, Pink Beds, Richland Balsam, Bent Creek, Mills River, Davidson River, Shining Rock Wilderness Area, and the Middle Prong Wilderness Area.
The North Carolina Arboretum centers on education, economic development, research, conservation, and garden demonstration. On 434-acre in West Asheville, the Arboretum is located on one of the most breathtaking natural landscapes in the United States. Asheville’s Mountain peaks surround the property’s visual perimeters and 1.8 miles of the Bent Creek stream run through the center of the Arboretum. The staff and other plant experts teach a wide variety of classes and workshops. Programs are available for all ages and range from bonsai demonstrations to nature walks.
Brilliant scenery and awe-inspiring views are what one can find at Chimney Rock Park, located just south of Lake Lure. However, extraordinary scenery is not the only thing at Chimney Rock Park. A variety of rare and indigenous plants, a 404ft waterfall, astonishing geological formations, and special events are just a few of the many more things one can find to do in the area.
The Biltmore, Historic Places & Museums
Located in Asheville, North Carolina, Biltmore Estate was the vision of George W. Vanderbilt, who first opened his country house to friends and family on Christmas Eve 1895. America’s largest home, the 250-room French Renaissance chateau exhibits the family’s original collection of furnishings, art and antiques. Biltmore Estate encompasses over 8,000 acres including renowned gardens designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the father of American landscape architecture. Also included on the grounds is the award-winning Biltmore Estate Winery, which offers tours and tastings, the four-star Inn on Biltmore Estate, the Equestrian Center and other outdoor activities.
Considered by many to be one of the giants of 20th Century American Literature, Thomas Wolfe immortalized his childhood home in his epic autobiographical novel, Look Homeward, Angel. Wolfe’s colorful portrayal of his family, his hometown of Asheville, North Carolina, and the Old Kentucky Home boarding house earned the historic Victorian home a place as one of American Literature’s most famous landmarks as the Thomas Wolfe Memorial.
The Asheville Art Museum annually presents an exciting, inviting and active schedule of exhibitions and public programs based on its permanent collection of 20th and 21st century American art. Any visit will also include experiences with works of significance to Western North Carolina’s cultural heritage including Studio Craft, Black Mountain College and Cherokee artists. Special exhibitions feature renowned regional and national artists and explore issues of enduring interest. The Museum also offers a wide array of innovative, inspiring and entertaining educational programs for people of all ages.