38 Best & Fun Things To Do Asheville (North Carolina)

Things To Do Asheville
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Asheville is a small but vibrant city, known for its art, culture, and beer.

It’s packed with tourist attractions that range from eateries to museums and from parks to galleries.

With all these options for activities and things to see, what should you do in the city?

Here are 38 best and fun things to do in Asheville, North Carolina.

Things To Do In Asheville, NC

1. Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway
Jon Bilous / Shutterstock

The Blue Ridge Parkway is a very wide-reaching 469-mile stretch that spans from the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina all the way to Virginia.

But did you know that it is headquartered in Asheville?

That’s right – milepost 384 is where the main visitor center of the Blue Ridge Parkway rests.

The parkway allows for a 45 mph speed maximum.

It offers many great stops along the road in the form of pull-offs that encourage drivers to witness the glory of the scenery surrounding them.

Hiking and biking trails are also littered throughout, making for easy places to stretch your legs and get some exercise in during this long drive.

Small towns are also great rustic stops for a meal or some exploration.

You don’t actually have to drive far to get some of the best that the parkway has on display, though!

Keeping your adventure to or within the vicinity of Asheville gets you to the Craggy Gardens, Mount Mitchell, and the Folk Art Center – and two of these are such good city tourism staples that they’re discussed further in this list!

The Blue Ridge Parkway is busiest in the fall months thanks to the beautiful leaves as they turn orange in the fall.

Mid-summer is also a good time to try visiting if you want a less crowded but still enriching experience.

Even better, mid-summer is when a lot of blooming flowers can be seen dotting the parkway, such as azaleas, rhododendrons, and laurels.

Address: 195 Hemphill Knob Rd, Asheville, NC 28803, United States

2. River Arts District

River Arts District
apasciuto / flickr

A trip to the River Arts District is a must-do for artists and art enthusiasts.

True to the free-spirited nature of Asheville, the River Arts District is made up of 22 buildings of historical or previous industrial purpose.

A cotton mill, a tannery, and all sorts of other fascinating spaces by the French Broad River fill the district with an old-fashioned atmosphere, offset by the modernity of the art found.

Walking through the River Arts District will let you feast your eyes on works created by over 200 different artists, ranging from paintings to ceramics and from photography to textiles.

Even hand-crafted jewelry and more lovely souvenirs can be found here, and you might get to meet some of the artists behind them!

Local artists enjoy talking about their work but take note of studio operating hours if you want to meet them.

If you’re in Asheville at the right time, check out Studio Strolls, which happens twice annually.

Studio Strolls is an exciting event where a free trolley service takes guests across multiple different studios, all open for the special occasion!

Address: 3 River Arts Pl, Asheville, NC 28801, United States

3. Biltmore Estate

Biltmore Estate
Thomas Kreulen / Shutterstock

Looking for one of the best places to go on vacation?

No trip to Asheville is complete without a stop at Biltmore Estate.

The huge private estate was once the home of George Washington Vanderbilt.

It is cited as the biggest privately owned house not just in North Carolina, but in all of the country.

It’s a great representation of the Gilded Age and its prominence makes a visit here one of the best things to do in Asheville.

At its largest, the estate covered 125,000 acres of land, though Vanderbilt’s passing led to 87,000 acres being sold in 1914.

The sold land would, later, become the Pisgah National Forest.

Even later, the National Gallery of Art would use the estate to store its prized pieces during World War II.

The home eventually expanded its uses, with a winery being built in the 1970s and hotels being set up in the 2000s.

The home of the Biltmore Estate itself is nothing short of grand.

Finished in 1895, it boasts an opulent French Renaissance design and a whopping 250 rooms, including 35 bedrooms and 43 bathrooms.

The house – and its rather shocking 65 fireplaces – took six years to build.

Many secret passages hidden behind trick doors are scattered about the home, some of which are available to tour.

Meanwhile, the outside consists of 8,000 acres of garden, with 2.5 miles of paths to walk through, designed by Central Park architect Frederick Law Olmsted.

If you’re a little tight for cash, the Biltmore Estate isn’t the kind of attraction you can just pop into tomorrow thanks to its relatively high entrance fees.

Still, if you do cough up the $60 admission (or $50, if you buy in advance), you’ll likely find it to be very much worth it.

Tours explain the Biltmore Estate’s history, architecture, and exhibits.

Each season hosts different events, ranging from regal Christmas displays to beautiful spring blooms.

Address: 1 Lodge St, Asheville, NC 28803, United States

4. North Carolina Arboretum

North Carolina Arboretum
Jill Lang / Shutterstock

The North Carolina Arboretum is a part of the Pisgah National Forest, which is also on this list.

The arboretum is a public garden encompassing 434 acres of space, perfect for sightseeing as you walk around, and it’s easily one of the most loved attractions in Asheville.

The arboretum first opened its metaphorical doors in 1986.

If you visit, you’ll be able to wander through the gardens themselves, which span 65 acres and see different themed gardens.

A Heritage Garden pays homage to the horticulture of the Southern Appalachia, a Bonsai Exhibition Garden provides one of America’s most famous bonsai collections, and the National Native Azalea Collection is a wonder for flower-lovers everywhere.

There are also gardens for hollies, gardens by streams, and more!

If you opt for a guided tour of this delightful Asheville location, botanists will talk to you about the region’s fauna and flora, taking you through diverse species of flowers.

You’ll get to walk along 10 miles of walking and biking trails, some easier than others, and there are youth events for kids.

Don’t forget to stop by the education center to learn more or buy some refreshments from the Savory Thyme Café.

Address: 100 Frederick Law Olmsted Way, Asheville, NC 28806, United States

5. Folk Art Center

Southern Highland Craft Guild, Folk Art Center
Southern Highland Craft Guild, Folk Art Center

The Folk Art Center can be found along the Blue Ridge Parkway, right at milepost 382 in Asheville, North Carolina.

It’s one of the most delightful and culturally valuable points of interest in the city.

Essentially, the Folk Art Center is an eclectic exhibit of all sorts of arts and crafts made locally, not just from Asheville but across the Appalachian region.

It is the Southern Highland Craft Guild headquarters.

If you’re not familiar with the guild, it’s a group made up of 900 artists, juried, from nine different Southeastern states.

It was created during the Great Depression in 1930 in order to help create a market for artists and their work across the area – though it does have roots all the way back to the 1800s.

The goal of the Folk Art Center is to promote handmade works that combine traditional and contemporary elements, some dating all the way back to the 19tch century.

Three galleries showcase all sorts of handicrafts, ranging from sculptures to woodworking, from paintings to glass, and from quilts to jewelry.

There are also demonstrations of crafts that have almost been forgotten since they were brought down from mountain tribes, such as broom-making, cabinetry, and weaving.

Don’t forget to visit the oldest craft store by the Guild, called the Allanstand Craft Shop, for fun souvenirs.

Address: 382 Blue Ridge Pkwy, Asheville, NC 28805, United States

6. Western North Carolina Nature Center

WNC Nature Center
WNC Nature Center

The Western North Carolina Nature Center is one of the top 10 Asheville attractions, especially for animal fanatics.

The facility covers 42 acres and is dedicated to an educational mission: to teach the public about the habitats, diversity, and variation of the everyday life of mammals in Asheville and beyond.

The indoor exhibits of the nature center include small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and the very interesting World Underground exhibit that discusses what exists beneath the ground.

The outdoor exhibits, on the other hand, are dedicated to local species, like foxes, turtles, raccoons, otter, and even endangered farm animals.

There is also a special area, the nature center’s biggest, called the Appalachian Predators habitat.

Here, grey wolves, bobcats, coyotes, and the rare and endangered red wolf live and thrive.

There are more than 60 different animal species at the Western North Carolina Nature Center.

Black bears, cougars, and more are waiting to be seen.

Events are hosted every now and then throughout the year, and a hiking trail spans the grounds of the center so you can take a nice hike and enjoy the natural atmosphere.

Address: 75 Gashes Creek Rd, Asheville, NC 28805, United States

7. Thomas Wolfe Memorial

Thomas Wolfe Memorial
Nolichuckyjake / Shutterstock

From how famous novelist Thomas Wolfe described the home he grew up in, you likely wouldn’t think much of the Thomas Wolfe Memorial, known also as Dixieland or the Old Kentucky Home.

Wolfe spoke of the home unflatteringly: a cheaply-made house, as he called it, with dirt yellow paint and a broken-down look.

It’s hard to believe that it’s now one of the best among Asheville tourist hotspots.

The home was purchased by Wolfe’s mother in the year 1906 when Wolfe was just six years old.

It was converted into a boarding house and became the site of many traumatic events in Wolfe’s life.

This led to the inspiration for his novel “Look Homeward, Angel”, which was controversial for the way it described the location and people of Asheville.

This may have contributed to the fact that Wolfe left the city and didn’t return for almost a decade after the book’s publication.

The Thomas Wolfe Memorial, housed in that former boarding house, is amazing for fans of the novel because of the accuracy with which he described each room.

Located in downtown Asheville, there’s no doubt that the memorial house is where to go if you’re a history buff.

Don’t forget to check out the visitor’s center, which has a recreation of an apartment Wolfe would live in later in life.

Address: 52 N Market St, Asheville, NC 28801, United States

8. Grove Arcade

Grove Arcade
jadimages / Shutterstock

The Grove Arcade was one of the first indoor shopping malls in all of the country, which makes it a unique mix of historical and fun on this list of places to go in the city of Asheville.

Like many spots in this North Carolina city, it has existed for almost a century.

Better yet, it has something for everyone.

The shopping complex was opened as a celebration of Asheville by E. W. Grove in the year 1929.

The architecture is pretty interesting and there’s a good mix of stores inside, with eclectic options ranging from galleries to restaurants and from bars to bookshops.

Here’s a fun fact: the Grove Arcade was used by the American Government during World War II and was only leased back to Asheville in the year 1997!

If you get to visit it, you’ll be glad that it’s open to the public as a marketplace once more.

Address: 1 Page Ave, Asheville, NC 28801, United States

9. Gray Line Trolley

Gray Line Trolley
Nolichuckyjake / Shutterstock

The Gray Line Trolley is an amazing way to see all the tourist attractions and activities that the city has to offer.

Guides are amusing and enthusiastic as they talk about the city’s history and its many fascinating locations.

The tour is a hop-on, hop-off kind, and multiple different kinds of tours are available.

Whether you want a kid-friendly retelling of the city’s background, a gritty look into the realities of the society, or an eerie attempt at ghost hunting, there’s something here you’re sure to like.

Call in advance to secure a spot!

Address: 36 Montford Ave, Asheville, NC 28801, United States

10. Grovewood Gallery

Grovewood Gallery
Grovewood Gallery

Grovewood Gallery is housed in a building that was once the woodworking and weaving factory for Biltmore Industries – a name you likely remember from another one of the places to visit in the city of Asheville, Biltmore Estate.

Now, Grovewood Gallery is home to crafts of all kinds from contemporary artists, both local to North Carolina and from all across the country.

More than 500 creators have their work on display here, and there are sculpture gardens outside that promote a peaceful and calming environment.

The gallery on the whole has a vibe that mixes fun with Old World atmosphere.

It has become an Asheville staple for art-enthusiasts and is now known as one of the United States’ most respected craft retailers.

Address: 111 Grovewood Rd, Asheville, NC 28804, United States

11. Pritchard Park Drum Circle

Pritchard Park Drum Circle
Jeffrey Davis / flickr

If you’re looking for things to do in downtown Asheville on a Friday night, you can’t go wrong with the awesome Pritchard Park Drum Circle.

This group of drummers gathers every week without fail – except in the winter – in Pritchard Park.

While there, together, they perform an impressive set of impromptu jams that fill the park and the areas near it with joyful music.

A mix of all sorts of drum players come to this gathering.

They bring dunduns, djembes, congas, shekeres, and other percussion instruments to create catchy beats and flowing rhythms.

Usually, a crowd of interested audience members and excited dancers will slowly gather to join in on the fun and entertainment.

The Pritchard Park Drum Circle is said to congregate in order to keep Asheville, North Carolina weird, which is quite a lovely thought.

The tradition began with just 10 drummers in 2001 and has since grown to showcase cultural diversity, teach classes, and entertain the public.

There are no leaders and everyone goes where the music takes them, so join in and have some fun!

Address: 67 Patton Ave, Asheville, NC 28801, United States

12. Asheville Museum Of Science

Asheville Museum Of Science
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The Asheville Museum Of Science is a small and humble but very fun location.

Packed with must-see interactive exhibits that can be exciting for the whole family.

The most loved parts of this museum are very varied, providing lots of different experiences in one.

A French Broad River Water table display lets you make rain.

A Hurricane Simulator lets you experience the worst forcefulness of a storm.

A Tyrannosaurus Rex exhibit lets you get close to and interact with a T-rex skeleton.

The Colburn Hall of Minerals is packed with geological displays that reflect North Carolina.

All in all, there’s so much to see!

Address: 43 Patton Ave, Asheville, NC 28801, United States

13. Botanical Gardens at Asheville

Botanical Gardens at Asheville
Gingo Scott / Shutterstock

Termed as one of the most beautiful places in the USA, the Botanical Gardens at Asheville are a delightful mix of habitats for different species of flora.

Gardens are vibrant, delightfully scented, and truly relaxing and unique.

Horticultural displays range from trees to flowers, including many local varieties of plants for a more personal and tailor experience.

These gardens are a part of a non-profit organization, owned independently.

It’s completely free to enter, which makes it one of the best things to do in Asheville if you have some extra free time today.

It’s one of the coolest things to do in the city!

Address: 151 W T. Weaver Boulevard, Asheville, NC 28804, United States

14. Pisgah National Forest

Pisgah National Forest
Kwok Min Hui / Shutterstock

Pisgah National Forest was one of the country’s first national forests to be officially designated.

With over 500,000 acres of land, it’s full of sights that make it many nature-appreciating tourists’ go-to in Asheville, North Carolina.

It is noted for its many beautiful spots and the glory of the nature that it preserves.

The land of this forest was once a part of the Biltmore Estate.

It is, now, the home of America’s first school of forestry, the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute.

Three different ranger districts make up the forest, divided for visitor convenience.

Waterfall-lovers will enjoy the Pisgah Ranger District, experienced hikers may love the Grandfather Ranger District, and horseback riders will enjoy the Appalachian District, which is further out and away from the city.

Geological landmarks of note at the Pisgah National Forest include the Chimneys, Linville Gorge, Table Rock, and even the Forest Discovery Center.

In your exploration of this natural Asheville location, you can go on guided hikes or participate in programs that change seasonally.

There are swimming holes, waterfalls, and unique vistas that are a true sight for sore eyes.

Day-use areas are scattered throughout the forest, with amenities and options to keep the whole family busy.

Trails, swimming spots, boat ramps, showers, and camping areas are all available to use and try out.

You can try horseback riding, cycling, rock climbing, hiking, and fishing.

All in all, there is plenty to do – but do note that you need a camping permit if you want to set up camp here!

Address: 1600 Pisgah Hwy, Pisgah Forest, NC 28768, United States

15. Asheville Food Tours

Asheville Food Tours
Asheville Food Tours

Are you a foodie in this North Carolina city?

What better way to get a taste – pun intended – of this town than through Asheville Food Tours?

It’s the best way to visit all the food-related points of interest that are a testament to the Southern charm and flavors of the city.

You will visit seven different locations, each one wisely selected, from normal eateries to food stores and to fancy restaurants.

Whether you’re trying appetizers, wine, full meals, or desserts, the food tours will show you how to enjoy the very best of local cuisine and local businesses.

Gourmet food awaits you throughout!

16. No Taste Like Home

No Taste Like Home
No Taste Like Home

Have you ever wanted to forage for your own food, but have been too anxious to start because of hygiene or safety?

No Taste Like Home can give you the perfect opportunity for such activities.

At No Taste Like Home, expert guides bring you through a forest area that is truly quintessential Asheville.

You’ll be able to pick your own food from the forest, then return to the facility to try cooking with what you collected.

Different experiences might offer presentations or different adventures, so try them out if you’re interested.

As far as Asheville attractions go, No Taste Like Home is not very typical, but you can probably see the great appeal to it!

17. LaZoom Comedy Bus Tours

LaZoom Comedy Bus Tours
Nolichuckyjake / Shutterstock

LaZoom Comedy Bus Tours offer a fun way to get around Asheville, North Carolina.

Wacky hijinks ensue throughout the ride as the bus shows you what to see in the downtown portion of Asheville – edutainment at its finest!

Expect silly slapstick comedy, ridiculous costumes, and jokes throughout each ninety-minute bus ride.

The big purple bus is here to make an impression and it will certainly do just that while managing to teach you about history, too!

Address: 76 Biltmore Ave, Asheville, NC 28801, United States

18. Craggy Gardens

Craggy Gardens
Dave Allen Photography / Shutterstock

The Craggy Gardens are a delightful spot that offers the best things to see for plant-lovers and nature enthusiasts in general, especially those who love rare plants.

More than 20 threatened or endangered flora types are grown and displayed here in these amazing Asheville, North Carolina gardens.

Trees, bent by the wind, are scattered throughout the Craggy Gardens.

The trees are quite unique thanks to the high winds faced in this part of Asheville, which means they only have vegetation growing on one side of them and they never get very tall.

It’s definitely a fascinating experience worth checking out!

The Craggy Gardens are located on Hemphill Knob Road.

They’re dog-friendly and well outfitted with amenities, including a picnic area!

Address: 364 Blue Ridge Pkwy, Black Mountain, NC 28711, United States

19. The Moog Factory

The Moog Factory
David Hilowitz / flickr

The Moog Factory is home to the Moog synthesizer, a big brand that left a large imprint on the world of entertainment and music composition when it emerged in the 1960s.

This factory offers a unique glimpse into the process of creating such an instrument.

It’s no surprise, then, that this is one of the most interesting tourist attractions in Asheville for music-lovers!

On a guided tour of The Moog Factory, you’ll learn about Moog assembly, how the creators make sure the sound is perfect, and even what it feels like to hold and try one of these synths out.

It’s surprising to think how such an important aspect of musical culture began its life in Asheville!

Address: 160 Broadway St, Asheville, NC 28801, United States

If you have more time and you’re looking for more thrill, check out some of the best things to do in Charlotte!

20. Omni Grove Park Inn Spa

The Omni Grove Park Inn
The Omni Grove Park Inn

The Omni Grove Park Inn Spa is considered one of the places to visit for relaxation in Asheville, thanks to being famous not just in North Carolina but all across the nation for being one of the most highly-rated spas of its kind.

The Omni Grove Park Inn Spa has steam rooms packed with relaxing scents, contract pools to relax in, and lounges by fireplaces, all provided for on a huge service menu.

The design of the spa is pretty impeccable and fun, with a 6,500-star ceiling made with fiber optics, music that plays underground, and two waterfalls.

The Omni Grove Park Inn Spa was also once a relocation facility during the Cold War, owned and operated by the Supreme Court of America.

This history gives the spa some added meaning, especially when you catch little bits and pieces of that old history within.

Address: 290 Macon Ave, Asheville, NC 28804, United States

21. Wake Foot Sanctuary & Spa

Wake Foot Sanctuary
Wake Foot Sanctuary

The Wake Foot Sanctuary & Spa is situated in an Asheville, North Carolina location already discussed: the Grove Shopping Arcade.

The fact that it’s one of the best ways to relax as you jump between attractions on your list of what to do in Asheville means it deserves its own number on this list.

The Wake Foot Sanctuary & Spa focuses on providing its customers with luxurious and indulgent levels of pampering.

Massages, foot soaks, and other relaxing services are provided to help you enjoy peace and serenity during the more hectic periods of your holiday.

Furniture in the form of plush chairs and sofas let you lounge while treatments are provided in rustic but equally opulent bowls of copper, handmade.

Water is perfumed with delightfully calming fragrances that engage the senses without overwhelming them.

For further indulgence, you’ll be served sweet tidbits, coffee, and tea as you enjoy a foot soak.

If you feel like it, you can even stop by Wake’s own store, which sells handmade candles, artisanal products, and apothecary items.

Address: 1 Page Ave #115, Asheville, NC 28801, United States

22. Visit A Brewery

Visit A Brewery
Nolichuckyjake / Shutterstock

Asheville is called Beer City for a reason, and given that reputation, it goes without saying that visiting breweries is a must-do while you’re in Asheville, North Carolina.

Despite having only a population of 90,000, it has multiple beer breweries and factories that provided unique, expertly crafted drinks special to the local area.

One brewery to stop by is Wicked Weed, which has a delightful Funktorium taproom praised for its industrial-chic charm.

It specializes in sour beers and has a gift shop where you can purchase beers by their pH level and barrel type.

It’s a good spot for beer enthusiasts who like the little details.

Another place you have to check out is Highland Brewing.

After Prohibition, it became the first legal brewery, though it only was established in 1994.

It is, now, the southeast’s biggest independently-owned brewery.

Its founder is commonly considered the godfather of craft brewing in the region, Oscar Wong.

Other breweries you should visit are The Wedge, Twin Leaf, One World, Green Man, Bhramari, and Burial.

Each one has something unique to offer to guests, so don’t be afraid to – responsibly – try them all!

Address (Wicked Weed): 91 Biltmore Ave, Asheville, NC 28801, United States

23. Diana Wortham Theatre

Diana Wortham Theatre
Jeffery Edwards / Shutterstock

Looking for some of the top things to do in Asheville while you’re in the city this weekend?

Head down to the Pack Square Cultural District, which is where all the art of Asheville comes together.

Here, you’ll find the Diana Wortham Theatre, a premier performance space that caters to many different acts.

Some of the Diana Wortham Theatre’s hosted acts include the Terpsicorps Theatre of Dance, the Asheville Puppetry Alliance, and the Asheville Lyric opera.

The intimate setting of the 500-seat establishment and the wide variety of performances make this a wonderful place to catch something exciting that everyone will enjoy!

Address: 18 Biltmore Ave, Asheville, NC 28801, United States

24. Asheville Urban Trail

Asheville Urban Trail
Bradley Griffin / flickr

The Asheville Urban Trail spans 1.7 miles and is a wonderful way to get some sightseeing in while you’re at this historical North Carolina city.

The trail has 30 fun stops, each one decorated with a sculpture that educates you on an important part of the city’s architectural or cultural background.

The tour is self-guided and takes you through five different eras in time, ranging from the very beginning of the Gilded Age to the current age, called the Age of Diversity.

Beginning at Park Square, the trail winds through the city’s downtown portion.

It takes about two hours to complete the self-guided tour, which feels a little like a scavenger hunt in many ways.

The one sculpture you must make a point to find your way to with the tour travel guide is the Flat Iron Sculpture, named after the Flatiron building, by local artist Reed Todd.

The piece is made from cast iron and looks like, well, a clothing iron.

It was set up in 1997 as a bit of a joking nod to the flatiron buildings popping up in the early 1900s.

This sculpture is a part of the Asheville Public Art Collection and is known in North Carolina for its unorthodox, tongue-in-cheek nature!

Address: 11 Biltmore Ave, Asheville, NC 28801, United States

25. Basilica of Saint Lawrence

Basilica of Saint Lawrence
David Hilowitz / flickr

Whether or not you’re religious, few can deny the appeal of the Basilica of Saint Lawrence as one of the points of interest that speaks of a wealthier time in Asheville, North Carolina.

Designed by Rafael Guastavino, a Spanish architect who worked on the Biltmore Estate, in 1905, it is a mark of the 20th-century prosperity that the city and its wealthiest residents enjoyed.

Guastavino worked with fellow Biltmore architect Richard Sharp Smith to create what he felt the city needed: an opulent and grand Catholic church.

Funds were raised from local Catholics and now, we get to enjoy what is the state’s only basilica!

Religious artifacts live inside, from German stained glass windows to Italian statues and even a marble frescoed high altar.

The Basilica of Saint Lawrence is very much made in a Spanish Renaissance Revival design, with one of the country’s biggest elliptical domes that is freestanding right on top.

It was built from masonry items, like tile, stone, mortar, and brick.

There is absolutely no steel or wood used in the foundation of the basilica.

Address: 97 Haywood St, Asheville, NC 28801, United States

26. Pink Dog Creative

Pink Dog Creative
fabulousfabs / flickr

Created by Hedy Fisher and Randy Shull, Pink Dog Creative stands in the River Arts District in what was once a textile warehouse.

It is a large complex that has 27 artist studio spaces, with the entire area being shared by some of this North Carolina city’s best businesses.

The reason Pink Dog Creative is one of the best artistic Asheville attractions is that artists here open their studios for two days every week.

You’ll get an inside look into the world of these artists, their thought processes, and how they work, live, and create.

It can be quite an incredible experience, especially if you’re an artist yourself!

Address: 348 Depot St #342, Asheville, NC 28801, United States

27. Moogseum

Moogseum
Moogseum

We’re already talked about Moog synthesizers and the Mood Factory – so now, consider the Moogseum!

It is an interactive location that is one of the most fun things to do in Asheville, North Carolina.

It showcases artifacts and information regarding the life and times of Bob Moog, or Robert Arthur Moog, who had a huge impact on the electronic music scene with his synthesizers.

Before Moog’s synthesizers entered the market, existing synthesizers were large, heavy, and very expensive.

Moog’s work modernized the synth, making it more portable and revolutionizing it for repeated use throughout the world.

He would, eventually, go on to make more of the first Moog Music synthesizers’ near siblings, coming up with new ways to make them more accessible to everyone.

He would also invent concepts for the synth, like envelope generation, voltage control, pitch wheel, and modularity – all key fundamentals now!

Moog began working on his synthesizer back in 1964 and it quickly skyrocketed to popularity – especially in 1968, when it was used in a Grammy-winning album.

Moog passed away in 2005 and, a year later, his family established the Bob Moog Foundation to retain and pass on his legacy.

The Moogseum, run by the Bob Moog Foundation, opened on his 85th “birthday” in 2019.

It spans 1,400 square feet and tells tales of the work that Moog did and his life.

Exhibits are interactive and involve multiple senses, with visualization showcases, playable exhibits, and educational info about how electricity can make sound.

Address: 56 Broadway Street, Front, Asheville, NC 28801, United States

28. Asheville Mystery Museum

Asheville Mystery Museum
Spiritwolf-Photography / Shutterstock

For unique activities and unorthodox stuff to do, check out the Asheville Mystery Museum.

It is made from a collection of curiosities set up by Joshua P. Warren, a paranormal investigator whose name you may recognize from his fictional counterpart in The Conjuring series of horror movies.

This museum in North Carolina shows off photographs of alleged paranormal activity, exhibited items and memorabilia that tell the tales of said paranormal activity, and plenty of interesting creepy artifacts.

You’ll find the museum in the Asheville Mason Lodge basement, aptly in an eerie location with an entrance that requires you to walk through an alleyway and down a set of twisted, narrow stairs.

Do note that the museum isn’t open to the public unless you’re a part of a Haunted Asheville ghost tour, so you’ll have to sign up for one of them in order to visit it.

The tours are well-reviewed and run by Warren himself!

Address: 80 Broadway St, Asheville, NC 28801, United States

29. Helen’s Bridge

Helen's Bridge
Kathy Kelley / Shutterstock

Helen’s Bridge earned a reputation for being haunted thanks to an old legend.

The bridge, built in 1909 to connect land to the Zealandia Mansion, is made from quarried stone.

It is said that a woman named Helen once lived either at the mansion or close to it with her daughter, who she loved dearly.

A fire then supposedly took that daughter’s life, driving Helen to hang herself at the bridge.

People believe that Helen continues to haunt the bridge even now.

Some say her depressed figure appears when her name is called and others find that their cars won’t start if they stop in this area to find her.

But it’s not all scary on this bridge.

Thomas Wolfe actually included the bridge in his famous novel, Look Homeward, Angel, because he walked under it so often in his youth.

And, of course, there’s no way to know if the creepy lore is true, to begin with.

But if you find spooky investigations fun, then Helen’s Bridge should be among your places to visit.

Address: 201 Beaucatcher Rd, Asheville, NC 28805, United States

30. Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center

Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center
Nolichuckyjake / Shutterstock

The Black Mountain College was once a central artists’ hub in Asheville, where thinkers and creatives – many of them famous – would go to learn, experiment, and make.

It was created thanks to John Andrew Rice, who had been dismissed from his Florida teaching spot in an allegedly unjust manner.

This drove him to want to create his own school.

At this time, the Nazi Party antagonism led to intellectuals fleeing Europe as the Great Depression swung harder than ever.

Rice and some European artists found themselves with a similar goal, and they holed up in this little wooded area of Asheville.

This was the beginning of black Mountain College.

It wasn’t long before artists were attracted and considered it among their places to visit in search of inspiration and a safe place.

The college began to operate a farm, collaborate on art, and build structures.

They would, eventually, begin racial integration before much of the country.

Debts caused the college to shut down in 1957, but that didn’t stop its legacy.

Mary Holden Thompson, an advocate for the arts, opened the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center in 1993 to tell the college’s story.

Since then, it has relocated and grown to encompass 6,500 square feet, with two floors, a library, and a bookstore.

Exhibitions showcase all sorts of historical, meaningful works and rotating events are often fun and unique.

Address: 120 College St, Asheville, NC 28801, United States

31. Asheville Pinball Museum

Asheville Pinball Museum
Asheville Pinball Museum

The Asheville Pinball Museum is located in downtown Asheville and is a fantastic way to spend your time in North Carolina this weekend, especially if you’re a vintage game freak.

The museum is housed in an old hotel that is actually on the National Register of Historic Places.

It is home to over 20 classic arcade video games, 30 vintage pinball tables, and it charges only one fee for you to enter and play many of them!

Some of the collections of the Asheville Pinball Museum can be traced to the 1940s.

Machines from the 1960s and beyond are operating and ready to play.

Each and every single machine has a plaque that contains product information and stories about its impact on the world of gaming.

Don’t forget to check out the original working Golden Age cabinets you can find in the back.

If you’re a collector, some of the machines showcased in the museum are available to purchase, too.

Address: 1 Battle Square Ste 1b, Asheville, NC 28801, United States

If you’re looking for some more excitement, we’ve got you covered! Check out some of the coolest things to do in Raleigh!

32. Buxton Hall Barbecue

Buxton Hall Barbecue
Buxton Hall Barbecue

Fans of barbecue meals will love Buxton Hall Barbecue in Asheville, North Carolina.

It is the result of Elliot Moss and Meherwan Irani, two chefs who have been nominated for the James Beard Award.

The goal is to provide Carolina-style barbecue authentically in Asheville in a modern and more fun manner.

Buxton Hall Barbecue opened its doors in 2015 in a building that was once a Standard Paper Sales Company structure.

It focuses on smoked wood-cooked whole-hog barbecue, including chicken, pork, ribs, and even catfish.

All sorts of side dishes from the south accompany the mouth-watering meat that gives you the lovely taste of Asheville and its surroundings.

Address: 32 Banks Ave, Asheville, NC 28801, United States

33. Biltmore Industries Homespun Museum

Biltmore Industries Homespun Museum
Biltmore Industries Homespun Museum

Biltmore Industries has a storied past, as evidenced by the fact that so many things connected to it are among the best things to do in Asheville.

The company produced some of the finest wool not just in North Carolina, but in the world, and it was extremely renowned internationally.

The company first began with the goal of teaching children weaving and woodworking before growing from an education center to a production business.

The Biltmore Industries Homespun Museum celebrates this legacy in an educational way full of activities.

It showcases wool, original machines and equipment, suits, fabrics, and more that belonged to this prestigious company.

It’s a bit of a hidden gem in the city, but it’s one well worth a visit to immerse yourself in its past.

Address: 111 Grovewood Rd, Asheville, NC 28804, United States

34. Burton Street Community Peace Gardens

Burton Street Community Peace Gardens
Burton Street Community Peace Gardens

The Burton Street Community Peace Gardens were established in 2003 by volunteers from the community of West Asheville’s Burton Street.

The community had been fighting against development in order to preserve their neighborhood for years, and this garden was meant to be a peaceful response to the troubles they and other neighborhoods near to them faced.

At first, this wasn’t one of Asheville’s prettier sites – a lot overgrown with weeds and covered in trash.

Now, though, it has two flower gardens, two vegetable gardens, a fire pit, and pizza oven, a stage, a pavilion, a greenhouse, and lots of sculptures and art have turned it into quite a stunning location.

It also functions as a museum, with found objects, art, and works featuring black historical figures educating guests.

The Burton Street Community Peace Gardens prides itself on the value of community.

Volunteers grow as much as they can in order to dole out seed starts and fresh produce to their neighborhood.

It’s a beautiful place with a beautiful mission!

Address: 47 Bryant St, Asheville, NC 28806, United States

35. 12 Bones Smokehouse

12 Bones Smokehouse
12 Bones Smokehouse

The premiere, go-to smokehouse of Asheville, North Carolina, 12 Bones Smokehouse is famous across the city.

Essentially, if you’re a foodie, it’s one of the places to see that you shouldn’t miss.

Opened first by Sabra Kelley and Tom Montgomery, 12 Bones Smokehouse specializes in slow-smoked meats, all cooked on cherry and oak wood.

All its dishes are homemade and the ingredients used throughout the menu are fresh but simple, which adds a homey, fun, and relaxing environment to the Asheville staple.

If you really love their meals, you can buy their cookbooks onsite!

Address: 5 Foundy St Ste 10, Asheville, NC 28801, United States

36. Chai Pani

Chai Pani
Chai Pani

Chai Pani is probably the best place to get Indian food in all of Asheville, North Carolina.

It is run and owned by Meherwan Irani, who has been nominated for the James Beard Award thrice.

Though it only began operations in 2009, Chai Pani has already been featured in multiple publications in different countries.

The menu primarily offers scrumptious takes on Indian chaat street food, including meals like vegan corn bhel, chicken and kale pakoras, kheema pav, and okra fries.

In its own right, Chai Pani can almost be considered among Asheville attractions – but even if you don’t think of it as one, it’s well worth a visit regardless.

Address: 22 Battery Park Ave, Asheville, NC 28801, United States

37. Silver River Center For Chair Caning

Silver River Center For Chair Caning
Silver River Center For Chair Caning

The Silver River Center For Chair Caning is the only place in all of North America that is a museum and learning center for the dying art of chair caning.

This makes it one of the most unique things to do in the state of North Carolina.

Chair caning is the process of applying cane – or a rattan peel – to different parts of chairs, usually the seats and backs.

This art form has been used for millennia upon millennia and is considered a type of basketry.

It’s such an old practice that there are chairs made with this method dating back to 1300 BC, made by ancient Egyptians.

Of course, the current mass production of furniture and products means chair caning is being left in the past.

Still, the ancient art form is celebrated at the Silver River Center For Chair Caning.

The working museum portion of the center is open to people – and pets – of all ages, allowing you and the whole family to easily observe the techniques used in restoring, caning, and creating these chairs.

Workshops and classroom areas are usually open and those teaching are happy to answer guest questions – and you can join a class yourself!

Of course, there are also exhibits in the museum, with the most interesting part being the permanent exhibit’s Chair Wall.

Eight different weaving styles are showcased on that wall, which clues you into intricacies of the art that you may never have thought about.

There is also the Anatomy of a Rush chair exhibit and an education library to peruse.

Plus, the Silver River Center hosts multiple events like the SeatWeavers’ Guild Fathering or The Chair Affair.

Interestingly, the Silver River Center For Chair Caning hosts something of an international icon in its gardens: an eight-foot-tall Chair Arch.

The cathedral art installation attracts people within the industry from all over the world right to this spot in humble Asheville, North Carolina.

Address: 5 River Arts Pl, Asheville, NC 28801, United States

38. Curate Bar de Tapas

Cúrate
Cúrate

Looking for a fun spot for good food?

Head to the downtown portion of Asheville to check out Curate Bar de Tapas.

This fashionable, stylish eatery was built in a bus depot dating back to 1927.

Now, it provides traditional Spanish fare – something not exceedingly common in North Carolina – and a welcoming, relaxing atmosphere.

The menu at Curate Bar de Tapas is varied and changes regularly.

Whether you like the sophisticated flavors of olive oil and olives or the fiery heat of peppers, there’s something for everyone.

Try their croquetas de pollo, patatas bravas,jamón Ibérico, or fine wine and you’ll soon know why this tapas bar is one of the city’s most loved!

Address: 13 Biltmore Ave, Asheville, NC 28801, United States

Start Planning Your Trip To Asheville

Asheville, North Carolina is such an exciting and colorful place with no shortage of must-see locations and activities.

Hopefully, this guide to the best of what Asheville has to offer has given you some great ideas for what to do in the city and add to your bucket list!