Asheville is a beautiful destination in North Carolina. There are numerous reasons why you will want to take a family vacation in Asheville. However, the main reasons are the fact that you can spend time in a small city-like atmosphere, while also being able to get out and explore nature. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that there are so many things to do in Asheville. Today, I am going to share the best things to do in Asheville, NC. This way, you can get an idea of what is possible when you choose to vacation there with your family. I can then use your feedback of what you love as I am personalizing an itinerary for your family vacation in Asheville.
One of the best things to do in Asheville is walk around the downtown area. The streets in downtown are filled with shops, breweries, and restaurants. You can spend a couple hours in downtown Asheville or a few days. It is completely up to you and your family.
The Biltmore Estate was constructed back in 1895. And yet this one hundred twenty-five-thousand-acre estate is still just as popular today as it was then.
Inside the estate, there are two hundred fifty rooms. You can see many of them during one of the tours. Your family can choose from a self-guided tour, audio tour, or a tour geared towards the kids. Don’t skip past the tours of the gardens, rooftop, and winery when you are finished inside the house.
Oh, and plan on staying all day at Biltmore Estate. There are plenty of outdoor activities to choose from during your visit. Your family will love going kayaking, hiking, horseback riding, and so much more.
The Western North Carolina Nature Center is one of the best places to see some of Asheville’s native wildlife. This nature center takes care of animals that can no longer live in the wild. They also have fantastic breeding programs for animals that are endangered.
During your visit, your family can see river otters, coyotes, cougars, and black bears. However, the most popular animal here is the red wolf. This animal is endangered all around the world. Yet, this nature center has a wonderful breeding program that is allowing the red wolf population to grow.
If you are lucky, you may get to hear these wolves howl in unison during your visit.
The French Broad River goes right through the middle of Asheville. One of the best things to do in Asheville is white water rafting on this river. There are a few different white water rafting adventures to choose from.
The half-day tours are best for beginners. The full-day tours will take you to the Class IV rapids. I can arrange for a tour that will meet the needs of your family during your vacation in Asheville.
If you happen to visit Asheville outside of white-water rafting season, you can always go kayaking on this river.
Another heart racing activity your kids might love is rappelling in Green River Gorge. Anyone who has never rappelled before will want to tackle the Little Bradley Waterfall. It is only seventy feet tall and is perfect for beginners.
Big Bradley Falls is two hundred feet. That waterfall is best left to those who are ready for a thrilling adventure.
Sliding Rock is the local watering hole in Asheville, NC. It is where all the locals go during the summer to cool down with a swim.
You will find Sliding Rock inside Pisgah National Forest. The natural pool is eight feet deep. And there is a sixty-foot natural rock slide you can use to enter the pool.
Just be aware that the water at Sliding Rock is usually always cold. I’m talking fifty-five to sixty degrees cold. Even during the hottest summer days.
There are quite a few breweries in Asheville. Take a tour of one of them to learn how beer is made. Then sample some new to you brews to find a new favorite to drink during your family vacation.
The Cataloochee Valley inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the best place to see elk. The Cataloochee elk were endangered at one time. However, there are now at least one hundred fifty of them inside this park.
Most of the time, the elk can be seen within the valley. If you can’t find the elk during your visit, ask one of the park employees. They usually know where they were seen grazing last.
One of the best things to do near Asheville is rock climbing at Chimney Rock. Yes, you will need to drive approximately twenty-five miles from Asheville to go on this family adventure. But it is worth the drive and the time.
I recommend going on a guided trip for rock climbing inside Chimney Rock State Park. This will ensure you receive rock climbing instructions, as well as assistance during your climb. This is important, especially if this is your very first time rock climbing.
Once in a while, everyone needs to simply sit back, relax, and enjoy the beauty all around them. You can do exactly that when you take a drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
This parkway is four hundred sixty-nine miles long. There are numerous overlooks along the way. You should stop at many of them to enjoy the gorgeous views.
Don’t skip past the landmarks either. You won’t want to miss seeing the Linn Cove Viaduct, Mount Mitchell, and the Linville Gorge Wilderness.
If you don’t want to spend an entire day driving, you could go hiking on one of the trails right off the parkway. Many of those trails lead to fabulous waterfalls. Crabtree Falls, Soco Falls, and Looking Glass Falls are the favorites.
The NC Arboretum is located within the Pisgah National Forest. It is the largest of all the botanical gardens in Asheville. Take the time to see each of the seven main gardens. Those gardens include Blue Ridge Court, Stream Garden, Heritage Garden, Quilt Garden, and the Holly Garden.
I highly recommend visiting this botanical garden in Asheville during the holidays. Millions of twinkling lights are added to the gardens. They are all turned on at night to transform the gardens into a magical destination.
Thomas Wolfe was a legendary author. You can visit his childhood home when you are in downtown Asheville. Take a guided tour to see the house that was used as the setting in his novel, Look Homeward Angel.
Okay, so the Appalachian Trail goes all the way from Georgia to Maine. However, you can hike part of the trail when you are on a family vacation in Asheville.
There are just over three hundred miles of this trail in North Carolina. So, if your kids are up for an adventure, add the Appalachian Trail to your list of things to do in Asheville.
This pinball museum is full of old school arcade games, as well as pinball machines. Your family will love playing some of the games during your visit. This is one of the best things to do in Asheville on a rainy day.
A visit to French Broad Chocolate is a must if you have chocolate lovers in your family. You can take a tour of the facilities at one of their Asheville locations. Or you can simply head to the shop that sells chocolate. They sell all sorts of chocolatey treats. I do recommend purchasing a few extras, because everything will be eaten quickly!
If you happen to vacation in Asheville during baseball season, your family can watch a local game. The Asheville Tourists are an affiliate of the Houston Astros. This is a great way to watch baseball and hang out with the locals at the same time.
The Asheville Museum of Science is a great place to let kids learn about science and play. The exhibits include a dinosaur, gem collection, outer space, and a water splash zone. The most popular area though is the climbing structure at the indoor playground. The kids may be happy to hang out there for a couple hours during your visit.
The Asheville Trolley is a hop on hop off trolley that travels through the city. This trolley makes ten stops, and you can get on and off as many times as you wish.
Okay, so all the Woolworth stores are closed. But that doesn’t mean you still can’t sit at an official soda fountain counter. Go back in time and order your favorite ice cream from the soda fountain at Woolworth Walk. This gallery, and the soda fountain, is located inside a fully restored Woolworth building in Asheville.
Ghost tours will be best for older kids, so keep that in mind while on vacation in Asheville. The favorite ghost tour is held on one of the trolleys.
During your tour, you will learn more about many of the ghosts who reside in Asheville. Those ghosts include Montford’s Zelda Fitzgerald and the Grove Park Inn’s Pink Lady. You will also find out that it is best to keep an eye out for the ghost of a nun walking down Church Street. Oh, and the reason why you should never turn your car off when you are at Helen’s Bridge is another thing that is very important to know.
One of the last best things to do in Asheville is grabbing a cup of coffee. Asheville has some of the best coffee shops in the world and they all serve amazing cups of coffee. Summit’s coffee is strong. Double D’s offers Instagram-worthy coffee. And Bebette’s will transport you to New Orleans with their beignets.
So, grab a cup of coffee from a few different places in Asheville to see which one is your favorite. Then keep going back to get more so you stay fueled for your family vacation!
These are the best things to do in Asheville, NC. You will find others, as you explore the area and make memories with your family. I can even add other adventures to some of these, as I am personalizing your itinerary for your Asheville family vacation.
If you said yes, I would like to invite you to click here to schedule a personalized family vacation planning session with me. When you click the link, you will be taken to my digital calendar to schedule a time that is convenient for you.
Not ready for a personalized family vacation planning session yet? Sign up for my newsletter and continue to receive all the travel information I share.
COPYRIGHT © ELITE TRAVEL JOURNEYS 2023
TERMS And CONDITIONS
IN THE MEDIA
Elite Travel Journeys, Inc. is registered with the state of California as a Seller of Travel - Registration #: 2143950-40
Elite Travel Journeys, Inc. is registered with the state of Florida as a Seller of Travel. Registration No. ST43207