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Asheville

Known for Live Music, Culture and Mountains

Artists, gourmets and outdoor enthusiasts will all feel right at home in North Carolina’s “Paris of the South.”

How do you get to Asheville?

Nestled in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains and the Great Smoky Mountains, Asheville is renowned for its lively arts scene and spectacular offering of outdoor activities. The city is located between the Pisgah and Nantahala national forests. Trek up Mount Pisgah to enjoy the wilderness and gorgeous views. During the fall, the mountainous landscape explodes into a spectrum of colors; many visitors plan their visit around the changing leaves.

Often referred to as “Paris of the South,” Asheville is, at its core, an artists’ colony. A creative spirit pervades the lively community, offering a ceaseless stream of exhibits, concerts and plays. The town has enough restaurants and cafés to satisfy even the most devout food connoisseurs. It is also well-known for its beer production, offering over a dozen craft breweries within walking distance of the downtown.

Stroll down Asheville’s River Arts District to understand why it is called the “San Francisco of the East.” Outdoor performances are a daily occurrence. Sidewalks are peppered with local artists vending their wares. Settle down at an outdoor café along the French Broad River to enjoy the scene. Spend a rainy afternoon in Grove Arcade to browse regional crafts, dine at local eateries and hear live music.

Drive a few minutes outside the downtown to the historic Biltmore Estate. Built by George Vanderbilt II at the turn of the 20th century, it has 250 rooms and takes the title as the largest privately owned home in the U.S. The estate offers guided tours, a winery and luxurious accommodation. Plan for an entire afternoon to explore the house, gardens and grounds; the visit is well worth it. Pre-book a Christmas tour of the beautifully decorated main building.

Visitors can fly into Asheville Regional Airport, which offers direct flights to destinations throughout the U.S. Located 130 miles (190 kilometers) from Charlotte, Asheville can be accessed by car via Interstates 26 or 40. The drive to and from this western North Carolina town spans the Blue Ridge Parkway and is renowned as being one of the most scenic routes in the U.S.

Things to do in Asheville

Wander through gardens and lush grounds, tour the grand mansion and learn about the history of this opulent estate in Asheville, North Carolina.

Skim down the gentle slope and drop into the mountain swimming hole at western North Carolina’s beautiful natural water slide.

Take a guided trail walk or cycle one of the many paths and admire the botanically diverse flora of this beautiful public garden.

Enjoy the mountain views and explore Chimney Rock State Park, a lovely green space in Lake Lure. While you're in the area, stroll along the lakeside.

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Discover charming Asheville nestled into the Blue Ridge Mountains during an interactive city scavenger hunt. Solve riddles that unlock the southern metropolis' enduring charisma and check popular destinations off your sightseeing bucket list during a self-guided urban adventure.

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Get a lesson in stand-up paddleboarding from a professional paddle instructor, learning the proper stroke and safety techniques to ensure a successful and educational experience. Beautiful Asheville, North Carolina provides a serene and historic backdrop to your aquatic venture.

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Using your smartphone, you'll be given nearly 150 objects to find during your scavenger hunt. You'll then wander throughout the downtown area searching for the items. Once you've found the object, you'll send a photo in to score points.

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Embark on a thrilling rafting ride through the twists and turns of the Pigeon River. This adventure never has a dull moment, boasting a course of 12 Class-III and 3 Class-IV whitewater rapids. In the lower part of the river, enjoy scenes of beautiful sycamore trees in the winding valley.

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Fire up your adrenaline on a thrilling zipline adventure in the Smoky Mountains. Stunning views of flora and fauna can be seen from the tree tops as you zip more than a mile (1.6 km) at exhilarating speeds. Traverse 6 ziplines and 2 sky bridges while basking in the glorious scenery.

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Enjoy leisurely rafting down lower Pigeon River through calm Class-I and Class-II rapids, with 1 Class-III at the end of the journey. Filled with gentle waves, this adventure is perfect for nearly all ages. Navigate over 6 miles with the aid of your personable and knowledgeable guide.

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