Photo by Štěpán Vraný on Unsplash.com
In recent times this beautiful city tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina has made regular appearances on lists of cities you "MUST visit" when in the United States. Asheville is known as a city full of brilliant architecture with a vibrant touch of artsy culture. It is also full of beautiful natural features as a result of its location. So, without further introduction, whether you are a first-time visitor or an Asheville native, allow this to be your guide of all the best things you can do in this vibrant city.
Take in Nature
The Blue Ridge Mountains have been beckoning travelers looking for a fresh breath of air for decades now; no trip to Asheville would be complete without taking in the natural beauty it has to offer. Asheville is home to some of the United States' most treasured national forests, such as Pisgah and Nantahala, respectively.
You may choose to drive or, even better (if you are an avid cyclist), bike the world-famous Blue Ridge Parkway, a scenic gateway to nature situated in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The parkway is one of the best drives you can go on in the entirety of the world, let alone the United States, and it passes right through beautiful Asheville on its 469-mile stretch.
Nature is a huge aspect of why Asheville is one of the most incredible hidden gems in the world; between the waterfalls carved out in the sides of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the nature trails in the Botanical Gardens of Asheville, there is something for everyone here in Asheville. Whenever you venture out into the expansive outdoors, be sure to keep an eye out for the multitude of native and migratory birds the area has to offer and any opportunities for a guided fly fishing expedition. Concerning water-based activities, the site is famous for white-water rapids and features a natural 60-foot waterslide. Suppose you'd prefer to keep your activities minimal in travel. In that case, the French Broad River offers stand-up paddleboarding opportunities (more challenging than it looks, but also more fun than you could imagine), tubing, and boating with the whole family.
It's Food Time!
Perhaps the hardest decision you will have to make while here is which delectable food option you will undertake. This culinary mecca entices chefs and diners alike. The chefs and artisans source their ingredients from the farmlands which surround the city.
You may choose to participate in a food tour, which will allow you to sample many culinary delights the city of Asheville has to offer. You can also take the opportunity to visit one of many local farms where you can buy fresh animal products such as cheeses and meats, as well as freshly grown vegetables. Local tour guides frequently run foraging tours in the mountainous regions to learn about native ingredients if they would like to combine a love of nature and food.
This area of Western North Carolina is also known for its cheeses and wine. The Western North Carolina (WNC) cheese trail covers this entire area and presents cheese lovers with an opportunity to sample artisan cheeses and connect with the cheesemakers. As for the wines, wine lovers are in for a treat. The most visited winery in the whole United States, the Biltmore Winery, is located in Asheville. The areas' natural resources and plentiful rainfall are cited as factors in the impressive wines that originate in this area. Don't worry, though, beer lovers; Asheville is a hub for craft beers. The secret ingredient is the mountain water, responsible for the filtering process, which creates notable ales and stouts in the area. With more breweries per capita than any other city, you'll have an abundance of options to consider. There is also a "Brews Cruise," which offers walking or driven tours to Asheville's most famous breweries as a bonus.
Explore the City
As you explore the streets of this vibrant, beautiful city, you will notice many independent stores, buskers, and art galleries, of course. You can shop for wearable art, local designs, and trinkets; you can choose to pursue a love of reading and venture into the many independent bookstores situated in Asheville, or you can choose to venture into the Grove Arcade shopping center.
Asheville also has a darker side, which is explorable through tours such as "Haunted Asheville," which takes you around some of Asheville's spookiest sites for a night of supernatural and historical experiences.
From the rooftop bars to the artsy low-key galleries to the drummers lining the streets - the city of Asheville will not disappoint anyone.