I’m finally compiling all of my Asheville, North Carolina recommendations into one blog post! We’ve visited Asheville five or six times now since moving to Nashville and it’s by far our favorite drivable destination. It’s such a beautiful part of the country and there’s SO much to do! I’ve been sharing Asheville favorites over on Instagram for years, but it’s time for a detailed blog post.
Things to Do:
- Tour The Biltmore Estate – more on this below! 🏰
- Visit the North Carolina Arboretum, Bullington Gardens, Asheville Botanical Gardens, and/or WNC Nature Center 🪴🌿
- Go rafting down the French Broad River – we did this without kids via Zen Tubing 🛶
- Drive the Blue Ridge Parkway – you can stop to hike or just pull over to admire the view! ⛰️
- Brewery hopping! 🍻
- Enjoy parks and playgrounds – French Broad River Park in Asheville, Lake Tomahawk Park in Black Mountain and my very favorite playground and park ever is Robert Lake Park in Montreat. There are several playground structures wrapped around a cute creek and walking trails. We spent hours there both times we visited! 🌿
- Explore Asheville neighborhoods – downtown, River Arts District, and West Asheville are all super cute! 🚶🏻♀️
- Explore smaller towns outside of Asheville:
- Black Mountain: I LOVE this small town about 20 minutes west of Asheville. This is an absolute must-visit, in my opinion! We’ve stayed here twice now and visit every time we go. A few Black Mountain favorites are Dripolator for coffee ☕️ , Lake Louise for breakfast or brunch 🍳🍓, Lake Tomahawk Park for a pretty half-mile lake loop + playground, and Sassafras is an epic bookstore with an AMAZING kids toy and book selection.
- Hendersonville: This is a small town about 30 minutes south of Asheville. There were so many cute and quaint little stores and shops to visit, and the girls loved the Hands On! Children’s Museum downtown
- Bat Cave, Lake Lure, Chimney Rock: All of these small towns are right next to each other, and about 45 minutes southwest of downtown Asheville. Super cute shops, little restaurants and great places to bop around.
Candidly I’m not usually a museum/history kind of gal, but The Bilmore truly is something special! There’s also way more to do there than I realized – the gorgeous gardens/conservatory to explore, multiple restaurants, wine tasting, a small playground for kids and a barn with animals, tons of walking + hiking trails, shopping, and of course, the house to tour. It was really fascinating and super cool to learn about! Kids under 9 are free admission, FYI. I brought the girls in the morning to explore the gardens and playground and then came back in the afternoon to do the main house tour without them. Here’s some kid-friendly things to do at The Biltmore.
This is a super sweet garden about 30 minutes outside of Asheville. There’s a really special ‘fairy trail’ for kids (and adults) that is just magical!View this post on Instagram
There are SO many great places to hike in the Asheville area!
In Pisgah National Forest, Sliding Rock (a literal rock that you can slide down) and Looking Glass Falls are both great and easy hikes/walks with kids.
Another great area to hike and explore is Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park. You have to pay admission for this park, but the views are well worth it!
Catawba Falls is another hike we did years ago outside of Asheville!
Here are a few other hiking places in the Asheville area: Little Bradley Falls, Moores Cove, Pearson Falls and Craggy Gardens
Some of my very favorite breweries are based in Asheville! Even if you don’t like beer, many of these breweries are awesome to visit for live music, food, and just a general great hang. Here are a few favorites!
Highland — their main taproom has a huge field with live music, food trucks on weekends, games, etc. There’s also a taproom downtown.
Sierra Nevada Mills River Taproom — absolutely worth a visit just to see the gorgeous property and eat lunch or dinner! The food is so good, and the grounds are just lovely. There are outdoor games, gardens, live music many nights, and more. My parents don’t drink, but loved coming here for dinner and to hang out!
New Belgium — another great spot with tons of room for kids to wiggle and just a great environment. There’s usually food truck(s) here and it’s right on the river!
Whistle Hop — this is a little bit outside of Asheville, but there’s SO much to do here! The brewery is based out of an old train car – it’s so cute! There are also tons of games for kids and adults alike including mini golf, bocce ball, slides, climbing wall, etc.
Wicked Weed – there are a few locations, but we always go to the downtown location. Their food is also excellent!
Burial / Burial Forrestry Camp – love their beer! There are three Burial locations in Asheville. The downtown one is always busy, but a fun vibe and a lot of outdoor seating. We really love the Forrestry Camp location – the food there is also great!
A few other breweries in Asheville we love and have visited over the years: Hi-Fi, Wedge, Lookout (in Black Mountain), and Asheville Pizza + Brewing.
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