Places to Visit in Asheville NC

Places to Visit in Asheville NC
When most people think of Asheville North Carolina, they automatically think of Biltmore Estate and there is no doubt that Biltmore Estate is the top attraction in Asheville. However, you’ll be glad to know that there are more things to do and interesting places to visit in Asheville NC besides this stunning old American estate.

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you can enjoy recreational activities at the nearby Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Pisgah National Forest.

There are also many cultural attractions like museums and historic districts that you can explore either on foot or on a trolley ride. Whether you're visiting Asheville on a day trip, or summer vacation, you'll enjoy everything that Asheville has to offer:

Asheville Visitor Center

If you’re traveling to Ashville for the first time, or visiting Asheville on a short trip, you’ll want to make the Asheville Visitor Center your first stop.

At the  visitor's center, you’ll be able to find out more about Asheville attractions, pick up discount coupons, and also book Segway and Trolley tours of Asheville.

Asheville Visitor Center is located in the downtown area, right next door to Ashville chamber of Commerce.

Montford Area Historic District

Exploring the rich architectural heritage of Asheville is definitely one of the top things to do, and what better place to do this than on Montford Area historic District, just off Montford Avenue.

This area alone boasts many beautiful 19th-20th century Victorian and Colonial Revival buildings that you can marvel at as you walk past..

Historic Biltmore Village

Historic Biltmore Village is a charming little community located at the entrance to Biltmore Estate, and another of the top places to visit in Asheville NC.

Biltmore Village was actually built by George Vanderbilt to recreate life of a typical 20th century English village. Today, Biltmore Village still retains a relaxed and enjoyable village life with beautiful side walks, charming shops, historic houses and side walk restaurants.

YMI Cultural Center

The YMI Cultural Center is located a short walk from the Fine Arts Center, and it’s one of the top cultural attractions in the city not to be missed, especially if you’re interested in history. You’ll be able to see interesting exhibits such as paintings and photographs celebrating African American culture.

Biltmore Estate

I mentioned earlier that Biltmore Estate (pictured) wasn't the only top attraction in the city. Having said this, a visit to Asheville wouldn’t be complete without visiting Biltmore Estate.

Biltmore Estate is located near the Biltmore Forest Country Club and it’s perhaps one of the best examples of old American estates in the country.

Besides learning about the Vanderbilt’s family and touring parts of the house, you'll also get to explore the stunning grounds and soak in the breathtaking scenery.

Blue Ridge Parkway

If you’re planning on using car rental while in Asheville NC, you can’t miss exploring the beautiful scenery surrounding Asheville.

One of the best ways to do this is driving along the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, which you can take either north or south of Asheville. Along the way, you’ll be able to stop at the different overlooks and picnic areas to  enjoy a meal and soak in the views.

Botanical Garden at Asheville

The Botanical Garden at Asheville is located at the campus of the University of North Carolina at Asheville, and it’s one of the few places to visit in Ashville NC for free.

The gardens offer a quick getaway from downtown Ashville to escape the crowds, and you’ll be able to enjoy nice relaxing walks while checking a nice variety of native plants and flowering trees.

North Carolina Arboretum

The North Carolina Arboretum is another popular out of town attraction, although it’s only a short 20 minute drive south of Asheville city center, so it isn't that far.

If you’re looking to enjoy various activities in one place, the North Carolina Arboretum is definitely one of the best places near Asheville to do this.

At the North Carolina Arboretum, you’ll be able to learn about a wide variety of plants and marvel at beautiful flower gardens; check out interesting bonsai exhibits and Cherokee artifacts; and enjoy fun outdoor activities such as hiking and biking.

Smith-McDowell House Museum

The Smith-McDowell House is not only Asheville’s oldest antebellum house but also one of the best places to visit in Asheville NC where you can learn about the history and founding of Asheville.

During the guided tour of the house, you’ll learn more about the families that lived there and get a glimpse of life in the 19th century.

Smith-McDowell House Museum is located on the campus of Asheville Community College.

Sliding Rock

If you’re visiting Asheville during the summer months, one of the most popular places to visit near Asheville NC is Sliding Rock, which is an amazingly fun 50-foot natural water slide.

Besides sliding on the 50-foot water slide, you’ll be able to enjoy hikes around the area and check out breathtaking waterfalls.

Sliding Rock is located near the Davidson River Recreational Area in the Pisgah National Forest, which is around 50 minutes drive south of Asheville.

Colburn Earth Science Museum

The Colburn Earth Science Museum is another attraction where the whole family can enjoy a nice day out. If you’re looking for educational attractions in Asheville, this museum has cool science exhibits and programs where kids can learn about the wonders of earth.

The Colburn Earth Science Museum is located on the first floor of the Pack Place Education Center on Pack Square.

City of Asheville: Nature Center

If you’re looking for more places where you can take the family out for a nice day out, Asheville’s Nature Center is such a place!

The nature center/ zoo is located behind Asheville Municipal Golf Course and it’s a great place, not far from downtown Asheville, where you can take the kids and be able to see wildlife up-close such as black bears, deer, wolves, river otters and more.

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