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Fun things to do in Asheville NC : Asheville Courthouse and City Hall Asheville NC.
City of Asheville

The city of Asheville was established in 1797 as the trading center for Buncombe County. Asheville continued to grow through the 19th century as the economic and government center of western North Carolina. After the arrival of the railroad in 1880, Asheville became a cosmopolitan and a tourist destination known for its beautiful setting and its first class resorts and health facilities.

The commercial buildings in downtown Asheville date from the end of the 19th century to the 1940s. The downtown buildings range from one-story buildings to modest skyscrapers, with examples of popular architectural styles such as Romanesque Revival, late Victorian, Neo-Gothic, Neo-Georgian, Classical Revival and Art Deco.

The Downtown Asheville Historic District encompasses the finest collection of late 19th- and early 20th-century urban architecture in North Carolina.

Asheville is a unique city, surrounded by beautiful mountains, and has many attractions. The Biltmore Estate, the largest home in the United States with 250 rooms and 178,900 square feet in living space, is very popular with visitors. Once 125,000 acres, there is 75 acres remaining that include a formal gardens, a conservatory, a winery, and a 213 room hotel. Hiking trails, biking trails, a lake, horseback riding, and several restaurants provide other attractions.

Another popular attraction in Asheville is the Grove Park Inn and Spa.

Asheville provides multiple accesses to the Blue Ridge Parkway.

  1. Town Country Road near the center of town goes from Tunnel Road to the Blue Ridge Parkway. This road is very curvy.
  2. The Blue Ridge Parkway intersects with Hwy. 70 (Tunnel Road) 5.5 East of the center of town and about 0.5 mile pass the VA Hospital. You will find the VA Hospital on the left side of Hwy. 70.

There are a lot of "Fun things to do" and plenty to explore in Asheville and Buncomb County. So leave the motel room behind and get out and explore.

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1. Biltmore Estates

Fun things to do in Asheville NC : Biltmore House in Asheville NC.

1 Lodge Street
Asheville, NC 28803
(800) 411-3812

Biltmore Estates is a private estate owned by the Vanderbilt family. The mansion is a four-story French Renaissance manor was built between 1889 and 1895 by George Washington Vanderbilt. It is currently the largest privately owned house in the United States.

The estate consist of 8,000 acres and the Biltmore House covers about 4 acres. The house has 178,926 square feet of floor space and 135,280 square feet of living area. The exterior walls are Indiana limestone. The steeply pitched roof has a copper roof-line with Vanderbilt's initials repeatedly inscribed along the crest. Stroll through the manicured gardens and visit the conservatory adjacent to the house.

Tours are offered for the house and the winery or take a rooftop tour which offers unbelievable views of the estate. There are several restaurants,hotels and gift shops on the grounds.

Time to spend: Full day

Hours: Daily 9:00a - 5:00p

For more information

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2. Gray Line Trolley Tours

Gray Line Trolley Tours

Gray Line Trolley Tours

Gray Line Trolley Tours

36 Montford Avenue

Asheville, NC
(828) 258-6101
Departure Location: Visitor Center or any tour stop
Duration time: 1.5 hours to 1.75 hours

Take a hop-on-hop-off trolley tour to lean about Asheville, NC. The trolley departs every 30 minutes from the Visitor Center and various stops around the city. You can learn abou the history, heritage and architecture of Asheville.

Also take one of the Ghost Tours with will take you through the haunted history of Asheville.

For more information

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3. Asheville Urban Trail

Fun things to do in Asheville NC : Pack Square in Asheville, NC.

The 1.7-mile-long Asheville Urban Trail walks visitors through the cultural and architectural history of the city. This self-guided tour covers 30 stops and each is marked with a public sculpture that captures an important person or moment in the area's history. The tour is divided into five time periods -- from the Guilded age to the present Age of Diversity. The feather represents the Gilded Age, the horseshoe represents the Frontier Period, an angel for the Times of Thomas Wolfe, the courthouse for the Era of Civic Pride and an eagle for the Age of Diversity. These symbols are carved into pink granite blocks placed in the sidewalk along the way.

Time to spend: 1 to 2 hours

For more information

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4. Grove Park Inn

Fun things to do in Asheville NC : Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC.
290 Macon Avenue
AshevilleNC  28804

(828) 252-2711

The Grove Park Inn opened on July 1, 1913 after being completed in 11 months and 27 days. The Inn was built in five sections that join end-to-end and step terrace-like along the mountain ridge. The construction was native uncut granite boulders quarried from Sunset Mountain that form the wall surfaces and chimneys of the inn. The hotel's expansive lobby is noted for its enormous granite fireplaces and grand porch with a beautiful view.

The Grove Park Inn has 55,000 square feet which can be used for any kind of event, banquet, convention and meeting space. This includes an 18,000-square-foot Grand Ballroom and an 8,800-square-foot Heritage Ballroom. The inn has 510 guest rooms plus, 42 meeting rooms and suites as well as outdoor terraces, patios and balconies.

When you enter Grove Park Inn you will be entering the Great Hall, which measures 120 feet across and features 24-foot ceilings and two 14-foot stone fireplaces plus the resort’s grand lobby. The elevators for transporting guest to their rooms is hidden in the chimneys of the fireplaces.

In 2001 The Grove Park Inn built a modern 40,000-square-foot modern subterranean spa for $44 million.

Time to spend: 2 hours

For more information

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Grovewood Gallery
Grovewood Gallery

Grovewood Gallery

111 Grovewood Road
AshevilleNC  28804

As you enter the rustic iron gate at Grovewood you will discover the art, craft, history, and Old World charm.This historic site once housed the weaving and woodworking operations of Biltmore Industries. It is on 11-acres and now houses artists studios, sculpture garden, the Biltmore Industries Homespun Museum and Asheville's only antique car museum.

Leisurely walk and enjoy the beautifully landscaped sculpture gardens. Visit a working artist's studio and discover a collection of rare automobiles from years past.

Time to spend: 2 hours

Hours:
January - March
Monday - Saturday: 10:00a - 5:00p
Sunday: 11:00a - 5:00p              

For more information                  

April - December
Monday - Saturday: 10:00a - 6:00p
Sunday: 11:00a - 5:00p

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6. Lexington Glassworks

Fun things to do in Asheville NC : Lexington Glassworks in Asheville, NC.

81 South Lexington Avenue
Asheville, NC 28801

(828) 348-8427

Located in downtown Asheville, NC, Lexington Glassworks has in-house demonstrations of glassblowing and pottery creations. Each piece is skillfully crafted with century old techniques.

The owners of Lexington Glassworks invite you to view the glassblowing process from start to finish by watching the artists at work. There are many items for sale and each one is unique. This makes great gifts or lovely additions to your home.

Time to spend: 1 - 2 hours

Hours:
Monday 10:00a - 6:00p
Tuesday 2:00p - 6:00p
Wednesday - Saturday 10:00a - 6:00p
Sunday 11:00a - 6:00p

For more information

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7. Basilica Of Saint Lawrence


Basilica Of Saint Lawrence
97 Haywood Street
Asheville, NC 28801
(828) 252-6042

The Basilica of St. Lawrence is Spanish Renaissance architecture. The basilica was designed and built in 1905 by Spanish architect. The foundation is made of massive stone and the solid brick structure was built to endure generations. The structure has no beams of wood or steel in the entire structure. All the walls, floors, ceilings and pillars are made from tile and masonry material. The roof is made of tile with a copper covering.

From the main aisle inside the church, you can see the beauty of the ellipse and the beauty of the dome. The dome is built entirely of tiles and is self-supporting. The dome has a clear span of 58x82 feet and is believed to be the largest unsupported dome in North America. The statues came from Italy and the high alter is made from marble found in Tennessee. The basilica is known for its many elaborate stained glass windows, many which were made in Munich, Germany.

For more information

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8. North Carolina Arboretum

North Carolina Arboretum
North Carolina Arboretum

North Carolina Arboretum

100 Frederick Law Olmsted Way
AshevilleNC  28805


The North Carolina Arboretum is a 434-acre public garden located in the Bent Creek Experimental Forest in the Pisgah National Park. The arboretum is located about 10 miles from downtown Asheville. Visitors can stroll through 65 acres of gardens which include the National Native Azalea Collection, the Bonsai Exhibition Garden, a Heritage Garden that celebrates Southern Appalachian horticulture, a holly garden and a stream garden. Its tree collection includes a set of Metasequoias planted in 1950, and now said to be the tallest in the south (over 100 feet in height). The arboretum also includes many hiking and bicycling trails and 10 different gardens.

The arboretum offers free guided tours on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday.

There is no admission fee, but there is a parking fee ($16.00 per vehicle as of March, 2020).

Time to spend: Half day

Hours:
April - October

Monday - Sunday 8:00a - 9:00p (entrance gate closes at 8 p.m.)

November - March
Monday - Sunday 8:00a - 7:00p (entrance gate closes at 6 p.m.)

For more information

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9. Brewery Tours

Fun things to do in Asheville NC : Sierra Nevada Brewery in Asheville, NC.
Asheville is the place for local craft beers and breweries. With more breweries per capita than anywhere else in the United States and about 100 local beers to try, Asheville has emerged as the beer capital of the southeast. You can take a self-guided walking tour from the Appalachian Ale Trail, pedal your way around with Amazing Pubcycle or let someone else do the driving all together with Asheville Brewery Tours.

Take a tour of several of the many local breweries and sample the local craft beers. One of the most popular is Sierra Nevada which is located at 100 Sierra Nevada Way, Mills River, NC which is about 18 miles south of Asheville. The tour is about 45 minutes and you can learn about the history and processing of making different beers. The tour guides are experienced and knowledgeable.

For more information

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10. Dupont State Forest

Fun things to do in Asheville NC : Dupont State Forest in Brevard NC.
Staton Road
Cedar Mountain, NC 28718

Parts of the movies "The Hunger Games" and the "Last of the Mohicans" were shot in Dupont Forest.

In addition, swimming, canoeing, and kayaking are allowed where permitted. There are six scenic waterfalls in Dupont Forest; Triple Falls, High Falls, Hooker Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, Grassy Creek Falls, and Wintergreen Falls. 

Getting to the waterfalls can require a short hike of about 1/4 mile for Hooker Falls and about 2.2 miles for Bridal Veil Falls. Hooker Falls is the most popular because of the easy access. Next would be High Falls and Triple Falls. They require a moderate hike on easy trails. Bridal Falls is beautiful but requires the longest hike; nearly all of it being on gravel roadbeds.

Park in the Hooker Falls parking lot to reach Hooker Falls. Park in the High Falls parking lot to reach High Falls, Triple Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls, .

Take a short drive to the Corn Mills Shoals parking lot to hike to Cedar Rock Mountain for a panoramic view atop hundreds of acres of exposed granite. Cedar Rock Mountain is a popular destination for mountain bikers.

Mountain bikers will find many bike trails ranging from easy forest roads to fast, exciting single tracks. About 10 miles from Dupont Forest, bikers can find many more challenging trails in Pisgah Forest.

Time to spend: Full day

Hours: 5:00a - 10:00p

For more information

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11. Blue Ridge Parkway

Fun things to do in Asheville NC : Blue Ridge Parkway.

AshevilleNC  28801

The Blue Ridge Parkway has been known to be America's Favorite Drive and considered the nation's most scenic highway. It is 469 miles long and connects the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in NC to the Shenandoah National Park in VA. The highway offers drivers numerous opportunities to stop at overlooks, quaint mountain towns and hiking and biking trails.

There are many attractions to visit along the parkway:

Mount Mitchell
The tallest point east of the Mississippi River
MP 355.4
Craggy Gardens
Elevation of 5,640 feet
MP 364.4
Folk Art Center MP 382
Pisgah Mountain MP 408.6
Graveyard Fields MP 418.8
Devil's Courthouse MP 422.4

There are 26 tunnels on the parkway in North Carolina due to the elevation of the mountains. Driving the parkway is a relaxing and enjoyable drive. There are many areas to pull off and enjoy the beautiful mountain vistas. Discover scenic hiking trails, picnic areas, and scenic overlooks. There are also many towns that are a short drive off the Parkway.

The Parkway Visitor's Center is at  Milepost 384 near Asheville, NC.

Hours:
9:00a to 5:00p daily.
Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Admission: Free

Phone: (828) 298-5330

For more information


 

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12. Southern Highland Craft Guild Folk Art Center


Southern Highland Craft Guild Folk Art Center
382 Blue Ridge Parkway (Milepost 382)
Asheville, NC  28805
(828) 298-7928
 

Admission Fee: Free

The Folk Art Center in Asheville features some of the finest comtemporary and traditional arts and crafts of the Southern Appclachians. There is a variety of creations from hundreds of artists and several galleries and exhibits. You can even watch an artist at work.

The Folk Art Center has many craft books and videos.

You can find 250 works from The Guild's Permanent Collection "Craft Traditions" with crafts dating from 1850s when you go upstairs.

The Folk Art Center is the most popular attraction on the Blue Ridge Parkway, welcoming 250,000 visitors each year.

Time to spend: 2 - 4 hours

Hours
Open daily except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.
January-March: 9:00a - 5:00p
April-December: 9:00a -6:00p

For more information

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13. Western North Carolina Nature Center

Fun things to do in Asheville NC : WNC Nature Center in Asheville, NC.
75 Gashes Creek Road
Asheville, NC 28805
(828) 298-5600


WNC Nature Center
  features one of the largest collections of Southern Appalachian animal species in the world. It is home to over 60 species of animals including river otters, black bear, red wolves and cougars housed in a natural setting as they would normally be living if the animals were in the wild. There are also hundreds of species of plants, all representative of this unique bio-region, the Southern Appalachians. The largest area of the park is the Appalachian Predators exhibit, which is home to red and gray wolves, bobcats and coyotes, while Black Bear Ridge features American black bears, white-tailed deer and a variety of birds of prey.

Time to spend: Half day to full Day

Hours: Daily 10:00a - 5:00p

For more information

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14. Zipline Adventure Park

Fun things to do in Asheville NC : Zipline Asheville Skyline in Asheville, NC.

1 Resort Drive
AshevilleNC

(877) 247-5539

If you are looking for adventure and excitement, then visit Asheville Adventure Treetop Adventure Park. This is a fun fulled adventure for both children and adults. There are several zipline tours for your choosing. You will soar above 150 year old majestic white and red oaks, see scenic mountain views and enjoying spectacular views of the Asheville skyline.

Time to spend: Half day to full day

Hours:

Winter Hours
10:00 am to 5:00 pm

Spring Hours
April 1 -28
Daily 10:30a - 5:00p
May 1-May 26
Wednesday - Sunday 9:45a - 5:15p

Summer Hours
Memorial Day through Labor Day 9:00a - 5:00 pmp

Fall Hours - May fluctuate

For more information