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In recent years, the trend of destination bachelorette parties has surged as brides-to-be seek more memorable and unique ways to celebrate their big day. These once modest gatherings have transformed into elaborate getaways, a shift that reflects a broader trend to celebrate significant life events with experiences as opposed to tangible gifts. 

The rise of social media has also played a pivotal role in highlighting these celebrations, inspiring brides and their squads to raise the bar for their own parties. Picturesque backdrops and curated experiences not only serve as enviable photo ops, but also as a canvas for personal expression and storytelling.

Now – let’s dive into the details. Planning such events needs to take into account things like budget, logistics, and tastes for all those involved. That’s why it’s important to choose a location that has something for everyone. Of course, we may be a bit biased, but Asheville, NC is our top pick! And, we’re not the only ones. Top wedding planning websites such as The Knot and Wedding Wire, agree. There are just so many fun things to do in Asheville. 

📷: David Jon Photography

Asheville Bachelorette Party Itinerary

Here, we’ve curated a few days of bachelorette fun. Pick and choose, mix and match, but most importantly – have fun because there are so many things to do in Asheville. 

Friday Night 

So, your group has just arrived from all parts – near and far. They’re looking for some fun things to do to kick the weekend off right, but also may be a bit weary from the travel. How about scheduling some mobile massage therapists to come to your place? Get the knots out so you’ll be in ideal shape for a weekend of partying and adventure. Once rejuvenated, flex those wine tasting muscles. Pleb Urban Winery in the River Arts District is a fun place to begin your journey. And there are also several spots in that area to enjoy a quick bite before bed – from the Golden Hour inside the nearby boutique hotel – the Radical – to an artisan pizza at All Souls

Saturday 

After a good night’s sleep at your Asheville rental, enjoy a piping hot cup of coffee or tea. This mountain city is home to several amazing coffee shops. Have a beignet at Bebette’s in the Grove Arcade or hit the Liberty House Coffee and Café in North Asheville where you’ll find abundant outdoor seating for a crowd. Next, head out for a day of exploration.

Get Artsy!

Asheville Urban Art Tours offers 1.5-hour tours that showcase some of the city’s top art murals, while taking photos of your group along the way. These camera-ready locales are a social media maven’s dream. Insta-worthy? Oh yeah. Vibe Portraits is also a top choice. They blend elements of fantasy and fashion to create unique images and lasting memories. After the photo shoot, take a candle making class where you’ll create a scent just for you or channel your inner designer and make cool jewelry at Ignite Jewelry Studios. After all this activity, you’re sure to have worked up an appetite. Head to a local park or other outdoor space for a luxurious picnic like you’ve never had before. DreamScape’s package, “Bachelorette Babes,” includes everything from linens and flatware to bubbly, charcuterie, games and more. 

bachelorette party, bride

Book a tour with Asheville Rooftop Bar Tours!

Saturday night is a great time to get out onto one of the city’s rooftops. Explore on your own or book a private tour with Asheville Rooftop Bar Tours. They’re perfect for groups of 8 to 20.  And, once you’ve had your fill of views and fancy cocktails, it’s time to eat! While there are many wonderful places to eat in Asheville, how about trying something a little different that allows you to enjoy your Asheville rental? Hire a private chef to come to you. Chef G and the Fuegos Grill team will create a memorable Asado (Argentinian BBQ) for the whole group. There are other menus from which to choose too. Or how about a cooking class? You can cook a little or cook a lot with one of the menus from Cottage Cooking. This husband-and-wife duo will bring everything you need for a night of interactive culinary fun!

Book a cooking class with Cottage Cooking of Asheville!

Sunday 

Nothing says Sunday like a lingering brunch. Gather the group up before heading home. Chestnut in downtown Asheville offers up creative concoctions such as ricotta donuts and pimento cheese tater tots. And the Bloody Mary with candied bacon is … well… just try it for yourself. And, if you’re looking for something on the wilder side – check out the Life’s a Drag Brunch at the AVL Beauty Academy. Here you’ll get your brunch with a side of drag show and your choice of Bloody Mary or Mimosa. If there’s still time after brunch, head to the Asheville Salt Cave or Sauna House. It’s is a great way to end an Asheville bachelorette weekend. 

Girls in a sauna

Book a hot/cold session with Sauna House!

Places to Stay in Asheville

Once you’ve gotten the places to go for a bachelorette party weekend sorted, make sure you book a place to stay in or near Asheville. 

For larger groups: 

Misty Mountain: This is mountain living at its finest. The house sleeps up to 12 and is truly the epitome of Appalachian luxury. 

Asheville rental property in the blue ridge mountains

Rabbit’s Ridge Overlook: You’ll never have to leave this mountain retreat. It’s fully equipped with games, a ping pong table and even a Peloton bike. 

For smaller groups: 

Adoring Asheville: With a luxury hot tub, firepit and everything close by, this is a top choice for a cozier group of 4. 

Peaceful Pines Retreat: Located in nearby Black Mountain, this spot sleeps 4 and is about a 20-minute drive to Asheville. So, kick back, relax and sip some wine on your front porch rocking chair.  

 

All in all, Asheville makes an ideal choice for a memorable bachelorette weekend that brings joy, delivers adventure and fosters connections. Book your Asheville Bachelorette rental today. 

 

Asheville, NC is a picturesque and enchanting destination for couples dreaming of a magical wedding and memorable stay. This vibrant city combines its natural beauty, rich history, and a thriving arts scene, making it an idyllic backdrop for tying the knot. And, it’s got some of the coolest and most accommodating lodging options around – from group stays to cabins and cottages

So, whether you’re a wedding planner who’s just starting their research or you’ve already decided on this mountain city destination, we’re here to tell you that Asheville is one of the top wedding spots in the country and here’s why. 

Natural Beauty and Stunning Venues

Asheville’s natural landscape is nothing short of majestic, with the surrounding mountains offering a serene and romantic setting. Venues range from historic estates and rustic barns to stunning gardens – each providing a unique atmosphere that caters to a variety of wedding themes and sizes. The Biltmore Estate, America’s largest home, offers opulent options for a fairytale wedding, while the botanical gardens provide a more intimate natural setting. Get a roundup of many of the top Asheville wedding venues here

A Vibrant Culinary Scene

Food is a centerpiece of any wedding, and Asheville’s culinary scene will delight your taste buds. Known for its farm-to-table dining, the city boasts an array of restaurants and caterers that offer fresh, locally-sourced dishes. From gourmet cuisine to traditional Southern comfort food, there’s something to satisfy every palate. The Asheville Independent Restaurant Association, affectionately known as AIR, is a good place to familiarize yourself with some of the city’s favorites. So, before or after the big event, guests will not fall short on fabulous places to eat.   

Brews and Views

For those beer enthusiasts on your guest list, Asheville is surely a sudsy paradise. The city is a four-time winner of the annual Beer City USA poll and its well-established craft beer scene offers couples and their guests the chance to enjoy a diverse selection of local brews. Many breweries also serve as unique venues for wedding events, providing a casual and fun atmosphere that’s perfect for rehearsal dinners or post-wedding gatherings. Many breweries offer up river and rooftop views too. There’s even one where you can hop on board an old train car – the Whistle Hop – and it all started with a rusty caboose. 

Cheering beer

Outdoor Adventures

Couples and guests who love the outdoors will be hard-pressed to stay inside. Asheville is an absolute utopia of year-round outdoor activities. From hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains to mountain biking, rafting, ziplining and more, there’s no shortage of fun things to do. These activities not only offer pre- or post-wedding day fun, but also present stunning photo opportunities for the happy couple and their guests for years to come. 

Arts and Culture

Asheville pulses with a rich arts scene and is home to numerous galleries, live music venues, and theaters. The River Arts District (RAD) showcases local artists and craftspeople, making it a perfect spot for wedding guests to explore. This cultural vibrancy just further contributes to the alluring atmosphere that makes Asheville a unique wedding destination all year long. 

Accommodations for All

From cozy cabins in the woods to luxurious downtown hotels, Asheville offers a wide range of accommodations, ensuring that guests can find a comfortable place to stay that fits their preferences and budget.

Inspired Getaway has several accommodation options from which to choose. Are you looking for a village-like setting or a beautiful home with plenty of space for groups and families to stay together? We’ve got you covered. Here are some top Asheville lodging choices: 

Cedar Cliff Village: This 3-acre community is located 10 minutes outside of downtown Asheville. There are several short-term vacation rentals that are clustered together so groups visiting the area can stay within walking distance of each other. This is a great feature for family and friends attending an Asheville wedding. There’s even a community pavilion and fire pit and grills for pre-and post-celebrating. 

Right outside of Cedar Cliff Village, these four amazing properties are among the best places to stay in Asheville and offer everything from hot tubs and fabulous decks to gourmet kitchens and cozy fireplaces. 

So, as you can see, Asheville is the perfect place for a wedding and a memorable stay. It’s a place where wedding dreams come alive against a backdrop of mountain splendor and where every moment becomes a cherished memory for couples and their guests alike.

Order a free wedding planning guide to help plan an Asheville wedding – start to finish – and then book one or more group stays here

 

Are you ready to get out and enjoy the spring? We “Ashevillians” certainly are. Asheville is just bursting with new color and life and spring is one of the best times to enjoy this vibrant city. Whether you’re a seasoned horticulturist or a casual nature enthusiast, Asheville’s gardens offer an escape into serene beauty. From grandiose gardens to immersive plant experiences and native blooms – nature is calling. So, grab your camera and let us help you plot a flower-filled route that will make your soul sing this spring. 

3 Popular Gardens in Asheville

 

A statue of Frederick Olmstead in the flower garden at the NC Arboretum in Asheville, NC

Beautiful photo via NC Arboretum Facebook

The North Carolina Arboretum

With nearly 450 acres, the North Carolina Arboretum serves as a gateway to the region’s natural beauty. Its mission is to cultivate connections between people, plants and places. It’s located within the Bent Creek Experimental Forest – a popular hiking and mountain biking destination.  

The Arboretum itself features 65 acres of cultivated gardens, including the peaceful Stream Garden and the impressive Quilt Garden, which showcases native plants in a design inspired by the Appalachian tradition of quilt-making.

The Arboretum is a hotbed of activity in spring, not only for its blooming flora but also for its program of events. Seasonal exhibits often grace the gardens, adding an artistic touch, while the Bonsai Exhibition Garden provides a serene space for contemplation. The Arboretum hosts workshops, plant sales, and guided walks that offer a deeper understanding of the natural environment. And, the Western North Carolina Orchid Society hosts the Asheville Orchid Festival here from April 12-14. Guests can purchase orchids, view beautiful displays and attend classes and lectures.

Biltmore Gardens

The Biltmore Estate, a historic icon renowned for its architectural grandeur, also houses some of the most meticulously maintained gardens in the state. The legacy of renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, the Biltmore Gardens are awe-inspiring any time of the year, with spring being an exceptional season. In spring, Biltmore Blooms is a two-month-long celebration of the season, running from March 25 through May 23, and coincides with the Chihuly Exhibit, featuring the artist’s most celebrated works.

Get tickets for Biltmore Blooms!

Overlooking the botanical garden in springtime at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC

Photo by Biltmore Estate via Facebook

The Walled Garden, designed by Olmsted himself, and the Italian Garden are the crown jewels of the estate’s 8,000-acre grounds. Dozens of cultivars of tulips, azaleas, and roses paint the landscape in vibrant hues, mirroring the elegance of the estate. Throughout the spring, garden visitors can enjoy live music, tips from gardening experts and more. 

For an ongoing calendar of events and special ticket deals, visit  Romantic Asheville

Botanical Gardens at Asheville

Tucked away on the edge of the University of North Carolina- Asheville campus, the Botanical Gardens at Asheville offers an immersive experience in the native plant communities of the Southern Appalachian region. With an emphasis on preserving the region’s natural habitats, the gardens provide a tranquil environment for education and appreciation.

Features like the Native Woodland Garden, the Heritage Garden, and the Wetland Garden are at their most vibrant in spring, showcasing the diversity of the local flora. The gardens also host botanical art workshops and guided bird walks, making it an ideal destination for those seeking to deepen their connection with nature.

Each garden in Asheville is a delicate symphony of blooms, with indigenous and exotic flowers, alike, blanketing the landscape. At this time of year, one can expect to see an array of irises, daffodils, tulips, and an explosion of azaleas. The fragrance of the gardens is just as memorable as the sights, with climbers like honeysuckle and wisteria leaving sweet fragrances lingering at every turn.  

And, it’s not just about the flowers. Many of these gardens host several activities to engage visitors of all ages. How about a little yoga or acupuncture while taking in the spring scents? Now – that’s very Asheville. Or, book a photo tour of you and your travel mates having an intimate garden party. Just say – cheese – and maybe a little wine too. 

Think Outside the Garden

Once you’ve explored these Asheville gardens, there’s still plenty more in store. The Flowering Bridge in nearby Lake Lure, NC is something to see. The bridge incorporates more than 2,000 plant species and is managed by volunteers. This delightful destination makes for a great little side trip. It’s only about a 45-minute from downtown Asheville and visitors can also take in sweeping views of the Chimney Rock or take a spring hike with a naturalist at Chimney Rock State Park.

Sunset at the Flowering Bridge in Lake Lure, NC

Photo by Flowering Bridge via Facebook

And, the Cradle of Forestry – the birthplace of forestry and forestry education in America opens on April 13 for the 2024 season – is just getting geared up after a little winter hiatus. This 6,500-acre site sits deep in the heart of the Pisgah National Forest and their goal is to help people connect with nature and to inspire them to  FIND Outdoors. Less than ½ a mile away is one of the best Spring hikes in the area too – Pink Beds. It’s a five-mile loop and is especially appealing to naturalists due to its large pine trees and rare mountain bogs. The rhododendrons and mountain laurels begin to pop in late May through June. 

The front of the Cradle of Forestry building in the Pisgah National Forest

Inspire Your Inner Gardener

For those of you who would like to take a little something home, Asheville is also filled with some amazing nurseries. Just make sure to check your planting zone to ensure what you buy will thrive where you live. For example, Reems Creek Nursery sits North of Asheville and B.B. Barnes is located just to its south. Both spots have consultants on hand as well as special events, workshops and spring sales.  Rose’s Garden Shop, is a smaller locale off Asheville’s Charlotte Street, a charming neighborhood known for its beautiful tree-lined streets. This shop is a great place to find unusual plants and vintage gardening accessories.  

So, are you ready to jump in your car and head to Asheville yet? The gardens are at their peak in late April to early May – the prime time for spring blooms. So, plan ahead and come play with us this spring in one of the most colorful cities in North Carolina. We’ve got lots of places for you to stay. Book your spring vacation today

 

There are many reasons to love Asheville. From easy access to the great outdoors to its award-winning food scene, Asheville delivers on many levels and art is no exception. If you’re an art lover, you’re sure to be dazzled by the number of amazing art galleries and studios that open their doors and welcome you in like friends. And, if you’re interested in trying your hand at making some art of your own, you’re in luck there too. Asheville has numerous classes – from pottery to glass, jewelry making and more. The city’s eclectic vibe is just waiting to surprise and captivate you from the moment you set foot on its streets to the moment you pack up and go.

Artsy things to do in Asheville

Curve art studios asheville

Take an art class

The River Arts District is home to several different types of art classes. Learn how to make a mandala, fuse glass, hammer out a silver stacking ring or create a collage that represents your soul. These are only a few ideas to light your fire. View the complete schedule.

If pottery and ceramics are more your thing, Odyssey ClayWorks is a large ceramics school, gallery and studio that has a variety of classes for adults and kids, alike. They even offer a summer camp. And finally, how about a marbling class at Majik Studios? You’ll learn how to create a marbled work on fabric or paper and it’s guaranteed to help you relax and de-stress. Sounds pretty good to us!  

Front of The Refinery and Majik Studios art gallery on the South Slope of downtown Asheville

Take an Asheville art tour

While you’re more than welcome to grab a map and explore the River Arts District on your own, some folks prefer to leave the planning to others with an intimate art tour focused on specific art interests. You may even get some cool behind-the-scenes intel that you may have missed otherwise. However, most working artists are happy to answer your questions as you stroll the studios and take in all the wonderful art that just seems to be – everywhere!

Picture of the red trolley bus Greyline Tours, hop on, hop off art tours

Self-guided art tours for the Downtown Asheville Art District (DAAD) are also a fun way to navigate the city streets. Download a map. It highlights more than 21 galleries and museums within a half-mile radius. You’re sure to work up an appetite and thirst while navigating your way around so make sure to stop into one of Asheville’s enticing eateries or cool cocktail lounges for something to eat or drink – or both! 

Visit Asheville art museums

The Asheville Art Museum is located right in the center of downtown Asheville. Its collection provides an overview of significant movements and trends in American art of the 20th and 21st centuries and art of significance to the Southeast. Special exhibitions are always an added plus. The Center for Crafts, also in downtown Asheville, offers free exhibitions, hands on learning for all ages and indoor and outdoor art installations by national craft icons and top emerging Asheville artists. 

Visit art galleries in downtown Asheville

Many will agree that several of Asheville’s downtown art galleries are almost like visiting a museum. According to online reviews, art lovers and visitors say the following spots top their list. Blue Spiral 1 showcases three glorious floors of art from more than 100 artists. Momentum Gallery offers a contemporary and modern program with an emphasis on emerging and mid-career artists. The spacious, two-level gallery occupies 15,000 square feet. Ariel Craft Gallery is Asheville’s premier art gallery and focuses on fine craft. It’s co-owned and operated by the artists. Lexington Glassworks displays a dizzying array of glass works and lighting pieces. Enjoy a glass-blowing demo while you’re there too. For a complete listing of Asheville art galleries and studios, visit: Explore Asheville.

Get folksy

The Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway is a must-stop destination for art lovers. It’s located at milepost 382 – about 8 miles from downtown Asheville. Most months, the center showcases daily craft demos and there’s even a short hike adjacent to the center to stretch your legs before heading back into town. American Folk is another fun place to explore. This downtown Asheville art gallery represents more than 30 makers with one goal in mind: To expose the world to the creative powers and originality of its artists.

Pottery display at folk art center. Southern Highland Craft Guild in the Historic Biltmore Village

Take to the streets

The South Slope Mural Trail is a great way to get a little exercise while taking in some living, breathing public art. If you walk the whole route, expect to do about two miles. These outdoor works are meant to engage, inspire, provoke and enliven.

Wall full of artists paintings

Photo: Wedge Studios in the River Arts District

The River Arts District also showcases the works of talented graffiti artists, outdoor sculpture gardens, recycled fences and facades and there’s even a giant dinosaur that sits atop Wedge Studios. As luck would have it, Wedge Brewing is right next door where you’ll find locals drinking some of Asheville’s best. If you prefer a glass of wine after all of your art intake, Bottle Riot sits on the other side of Wedge Studios and boasts the “best wine list in town.”  

So, if you love art and discovering new places, make sure to visit Asheville. It’s truly an art lover’s dream. You never know what you’ll find around the next bend.  

Bottles of wine in front of a painting

Photo: Bottle Riot

Maximize Your Vacation with our Seasonal Promotions

Do you have extra time in your vacation itinerary? Explore our seasonal partnerships to enhance your experience with food and drink tours, cooking classes, local provisions, and more.

 

Romantic scenery in Asheville

It’s February and our romantic friend cupid is at it again. This mythical god of attraction and affection is shooting arrows left and right and many are landing right here in Asheville. Why? It’s because Asheville is an ideal spot for a romantic couple’s getaway. It’s a city filled with beautiful spas, romantic dining spots, and gorgeous scenery. And there’s no shortage of romantic places to stay to create an unforgettable weekend with your loved one. So, are you ready to put romance back on your priority list? We’ve got some ideas to help you plan the perfect romantic Asheville, North Carolina vacation. 

Tranquil Spa Treatments

Asheville is home to many outstanding spas that offer several unique experiences. After all – it is Asheville – and we’d expect nothing less. At  Still Point Wellness, couples can enjoy an Esalen massage (a technique created at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, CA) which is designed to deliver a deep sense of relaxation and integration of body, mind, and spirit. There’s also a saltwater float tank experience for those interested in reaching deep states of relaxation. 

Asheville Massage and Bodywork offers an array of different spa services. If you book an appointment onsite, you can enjoy their private sauna and foot bath services too. Or, you can choose their mobile massage service, where they’ll come to you for an amazing couple’s massage. 

If you’re looking for a spa experience with a view, the Shoji Spa and Retreat offers private outdoor salt tubs in a Japanese-like setting. Tea service is provided by Dobra Tea and soakers can book a massage or enjoy a sauna before or after. 

The Asheville Salt Cave is also home to one of the most unique massages around. When you book a private couple’s massage here, you’ll be surrounded by 30 tons of pure pink salt from Poland, the Dead Sea, the Himalayas, and the Celtic Sea. And if you want to indulge, book a private session in their hamman – and experience a traditional Turkish bath. 

Romantic Dinner Spots

After you’ve rejuvenated your mind and body with a spa experience, now it’s time to invigorate your appetite at one of Asheville’s many romantic restaurants. At Bouchon, couples can enjoy a taste of Paris in one of the city’s favorite bistros. The menu is filled with French comfort food ranging from mussels and steak frites to cordon bleu and salmon Dijonnaise. Try to book a table upstairs for some extra romantic ambiance. They also have a second location that’s a bit more off the beaten track – Rendezvous

Zambra is Asheville’s original tapas restaurant and wine bar. Its amber-muted lighting and stone floors just beckon couples to cozy up in a corner with a great glass of bubbly and some shared plates for two. 

The Sunset Terrace at the Omni Grove Park Inn offers the quintessential romantic setting. The view is one of the best in Asheville and the food features some of the top ingredients from western North Carolina farmers. 

If you’re wanting to get away from the hustle and bustle of downtown, North Asheville is home to Bone and Broth. It’s southern-inspired menu features premium dry-aged steaks from its butcher neighbor – the Chop Shop. This local butcher is also a good place to shop for top-notch ingredients if you prefer to stay in and cook a romantic meal for two.  

Hand-holding Hikes

Hikes in Asheville

An ideal way to end your romantic weekend couples retreat is with a scenic, hand-holding hike.  Lover’s Leap in nearby Hot Springs is a nearly 2-mile loop that follows the Appalachian Trail along the French Broad River. It then turns up a ridge via switchbacks to reveal panoramic views of the river and Pisgah National Forest. Bearwallow Mountain is a short hike that ends up at a beautiful bald with 360-degree views. Hikers can also make a stop at the nearby Hickory Gap Nut Farm retail shop and grab a little edible treat to take home. 

Romantic Places to Stay

We’ve compiled a few places for you to stay during your romantic Asheville getaway. They all have hot tubs to melt those everyday stresses away. They include: 

So, what are you waiting for? Book your romantic Asheville getaway today. 

 

Asheville in December is like stepping into a magical wonderland. You’ll find twinkling lights at nearly every turn and a palpable excitement in the air. Shop owners are ready to welcome you in and chefs are winterizing their menus to create comforting meals to warm hearts and souls.  This delightful city offers cozy indoor activities and thrilling outdoor adventures too. Despite the crisp air, the warmth of the local community is ready to embrace you. 

Holiday Getaway Festivities  

Christmas at Biltmore: Experience this iconic estate by day or night. This time of year, it’s dressed to the hilt and absolutely glowing with about 45,000 lights and 250 candles. The banquet hall tree is its largest at about 35 feet, but there are 66 others scattered throughout its many elegant rooms. 

A candlelight stroll in Weaverville: This year marks this event’s 19th year and it all kicks off with the lighting of the tree. There’s storytelling, shopping, and caroling and Santa even makes an early appearance to find out if you’ve been naughty or nice.  

A visit to the Grove Park Inn: This is one of the best spots in Asheville to drink some holiday cheer. From the gingerbread house display and roaring lobby fireplaces to the lavish holiday buffets, the holiday ambiance abounds. 

NC Arboretum Winter Lights: It’s called the brightest holiday tradition in Asheville. Since 2014, this pedestrian-friendly outdoor light show has been delighting visitors and boasts one million LED lights throughout. From its 50-foot lighted tree to magical mushrooms and brilliant butterflies, you never know what’s going to cross these garden paths. A hot cocoa shack only adds to the warmth of the season. 

Can’t Miss New Year’s Eve (and Day) Events in Asheville

If a New Year’s getaway is what you’re after, there are many ways to ring in the new year. Here are just a few: 

Soul and R&B at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium: The Asheville Symphony  joins melodic forces with Capethia Jenkins to bring you the legendary voices of Whitney Houston, Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Adele, Gladys Night and more. It’s going to be sensational! 

Step back in time at the Grove Arcade: This roaring 20s fete takes place in one of Asheville’s most iconic buildings. It will be a bash to remember with live entertainment, a full bar and more. Play in the past, but prep for the future. 

Resolution Run at Pack Square Park: Start the year off right with a race around Asheville. This 10th annual 5K & 10K is a fun route through downtown and North Asheville. All ages are welcome. 

Outdoor Winter Activities in Asheville

And let’s not forget Asheville’s easy access to the great outdoors. There’s something for everyone who’s looking to get out and feel some of that cool, fresh mountain air. 

Ski, snowboard or tube: The Blue Ridge mountains are an ideal winter destination. Asheville is close to two ski and snowboard areas – Cataloochee, a local favorite; and Hatley Pointe Ski Resort (formerly Wolf Ridge), a boutique mountain getaway.  Tubing is available at both spots too. 

Tackle an ice climb: Perfect for thrill seekers! While it’s tricky to get perfect conditions for this winter activity, when the situation is right – look out! The crew at Fox Mountain Guides will show you the best way to navigate the ice in a safe and fun environment. 

Take a winter hike: There are many amazing trails to explore. So, lace up those hiking boots and bundle up. Romantic Asheville is a good resource for some great winter hikes with fabulous views. And, maybe grab a picnic from a local restaurant so you’re sure not to run out of steam. The Rhu and HomeGrown are both good bets.  

Book A Winter Getaway at an Asheville Oasis

Now that you know about some of the top things happening in and around Asheville in December, are you ready to head our way? We thought so. Now you just need to book a cool place to stay.  

This Asheville luxury retreat is a mere 15 minutes from downtown Asheville, but you’ll feel like you’re miles and miles away. Soak in the stunning mountain views while soaking in the outdoor hot tub or indoor luxury bathtub.  With modern mountain décor, this tranquil mountain oasis is one of the best spots to book to enjoy a memory-filled December getaway. 

If you’ve got a few days off or just want to get away, a Thanksgiving vacation in Asheville makes for a perfect fall, holiday escape. Whether you choose to visit on your own, with a loved one, a friend, or the whole family, Asheville offers so many things to do. Fly or drive and find a cozy place to rent that will only enhance your stay. 

Dine in or out for your Thanksgiving vacation in Asheville

Since you’re on a fall getaway, cooking is probably not top of mind. And we respect that! That’s why we’ve come up with a few ideas that will keep you out of the kitchen and give you more time to soak in the season. If you choose to dine in at your rental place, there are several places in Asheville where you can order a sumptuous turkey dinner to go. They include:  

Moose Cafe: This farm-to-fork restaurant is an Asheville classic.

Black Bear BBQ: Get something smoked from this soulful kitchen that delivers dishes for those culinary adventurers. 

Post 25 Kitchen and Lounge. They offer a variety of platters that are sure to make you smile. 

Or – To help you plan, see more up-to-date information about local restaurants that are open on Thanksgiving, go to the Asheville Independent Restaurants website or social media.

Many Asheville supermarkets such as Whole Foods, Fresh Market and Ingles also offer Thanksgiving orders to go. And since this is Asheville, vegans and vegetarians will find plenty of options they can enjoy too. And, if you’re interested in grabbing a few Thanksgiving pies from local bakeries, consider placing an order at City Bakery or The Baked Pie Company. 

If you prefer to dine out, we’ve got you covered there too: 

Bargello: Located in the Kimpton Hotel Arras, this stunning restaurant offers a family prix fixe menu. 

Isa’s Bistro: Locally sourced and inspired, this Asheville restaurant is a local and tourist destination too. 

Pack’s Tavern: A local family-owned restaurant located in a renovated historic building. It’s warm and friendly service keeps people coming back time and time again. 

Red Stag Grill: Enjoy European flavors with a Carolina twist. 

The Blackbird Restaurant: Vibrant cuisine in a lively atmosphere. 

Keep in mind, this is not an exhaustive list. Explore Asheville is a good resource for updates on where to dine in or out in Asheville on Thanksgiving Day. 

Take a Thanksgiving Day Walk Around Asheville 

After you’ve filled up on turkey, stuffing and pie, what better way to work off those Thanksgiving holiday calories than taking to the great outdoors? Fall is an amazing time to be in Asheville’s mountains and there are so many great places to get out and walk without having to go too far off the beaten track.  

If you’re looking for something a bit more robust, head to the Blue Ridge Parkway (but check the map for possible weather closings first). There’s a multitude of hikes to do from Frying Pan Mountain and Mt. Pisgah to Crabtree Falls and Graveyard Fields. Dupont State Forest is also home to the magnificent Triple Falls. 

Activities to do Thanksgiving Weekend in Asheville

You can choose to do a lot or a little. It’s up to you. Here are some holiday-inspired activities to get you started:

So, are you ready to ditch the apron and grocery list? Treat yourself to an Asheville fall getaway. Cedar Cliff Village is a good place to check out if you’re looking to rent a place for your stay. It’s minutes from downtown and the Blue Ridge Parkway and it offers a variety of choices when it comes to booking group stays. 

 

Music lovers will be hard-pressed to figure out which Asheville music venues to choose from, so it’s probably best to plan to visit again and again. From rock and indie to blues, classic and bluegrass, the Asheville music scene is certain to strike a chord. The Asheville music culture is one that’s been written about – coast to coast – because it really marches to the beat of its own drummer.  

Photo credit: Jason Keefer

In 2019, “Rolling Stone Magazine” stated that “Asheville is “the new must-see music city.” It hails its musical spontaneity and close-knit camaraderie. Lonely Planet, a travel guide publisher, agrees and likens it to the early days of Nashville and Austin in the article – Why Asheville is America’s Next Major Music City.  And, the city’s melodic allure only continues to shine.   

Asheville Music Venues

Asheville has a mountain of music venues, but these are a few that locals love: 

The Orange Peel – In the heart of downtown Asheville, many locals affectionately refer to this place as simply – “The Peel.” It’s a top southeast musical destination and features state-of-the-art sound and lighting. Its musical roots run deep. Over the years it hosted musical greats such as Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, The Indigo Girls, The Smashing Pumpkins, Joan Jett, Ice Cube, Luke Combs and countless others. 

Grey EagleA family-friendly music venue in Asheville’s River Arts District, the Grey Eagle spotlights local talent and puts together a schedule of diverse musical genres that appeal to local interests. 

Photo credit: Tom Farr Photography via Facebook

Rabbit Rabbit – In Asheville’s South Slope, this outdoor live music venue also hosts movies and other special events. 

Photo credit: Libby Gamble Photgraphy via Facebook

Asheville Music Hall – This is an intimate, yet mid-sized music venue that, like many other Asheville music venues, has played host to an impressive roster of musical legends such as Ghostface Killah, Del the Funkee Homosapien and Disclosure. 

Photo credit at the AVL Music Fest, Matt Drum

Salvage Station – This place is often rated Asheville’s best live music venue. Why? It has indoor and outdoor stages, river views and several bars. Oh – and it’s all located in a defunct salvage yard where you can even enjoy a beer inside its oversized PBR can. Pretty cool – huh? 

Photo credit at Diane Wortham, Matt Drum

Wortham Center for the Performing Arts – Located in the center of Asheville’s Pack Square, this cultural icon hosts national and international touring artists. Past headliners include Kathy Mattea, Black Violin, Bela Fleck, DIAVOLO and more. 

Photo credit: Pat Cardwell via Facebook

Asheville Guitar Bar: Located in an old cotton mill in the River Arts District, this listening room  just hums with local musicians. Most nights music lovers will find acoustic music ranging from classical guitar and swing, to rock ‘n’ roll blues and more in a laid-back atmosphere with chandeliers, brick walls and leather chairs. 

Save the Date for these Asheville Concerts

While it’s nearly impossible to list them all, here are 15 live shows – of all different genres –

happening in Asheville this October, November and December that you may want to mark your calendar for:  

For a more comprehensive list of live shows in Asheville, visit:  https://www.exploreasheville.com/iconic-asheville/music/live-music-events-calendar/

And for those looking to explore a bit, a quick venture a few miles north of Asheville leads to the mountain town of Weaverville. A free music series – Music on the Knoll – kicks off in October and runs through April. Held in the community center above Lake Louise, these concerts will feature local and regional musicians. Zack Page and Friends is on the calendar for Oct. 22. 

Photo credit: Jason Keefer

Where to Stay While Enjoying Asheville Music Events

Visitors looking for a place to stay while checking out the local music in Asheville might want to consider the Downtown Asheville Modern Retreat in the trendy South Slope brewing district.   This modern retreat is conveniently located near Rabbit Rabbit, the Orange Peel, Asheville Musical Hall, the Salvage Station and the Grey Eagle – all within walking distance. 

So, are you ready to rock? Check your calendars, grab your tickets, and book your stay.

 

Are you ready for fall? We certainly are. It’s been a fun-filled summer, but we’re a little tired of the heat and are ready to welcome autumn. We have an inkling you’re ready to plan an autumn getaway too. That’s why we’ve assembled a list of the top 10 fall festivals in western NC to help you plan that perfect leaf-peeping getaway. From cheese and cider to pumpkin patches and mustache contests, we’re sure you’ll find a festival that’s just right for you. 

September Fests Kick off the Season 

While the first day of fall is not till Sept. 23, Asheville and the surrounding area is so excited for this change of season, that it’s planning fall festivals a little ahead of time. September has numerous choices including:  

CHOW CHOW: Sept. 7-10: This festival showcases Asheville’s creativity and community-mindedness through food, art, storytelling and more. This year’s festival themes focus on collaboration, innovation, preservation and cultivation.  

ASAP Farm Tours: Sept. 23-24. Are you ready for a farm-fantastic adventure? Hop in your car and plan your farm-friendly route with tips from the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP). All farms are located within one hour from Asheville and are arranged in convenient clusters making for an easy-to-plan itinerary. There are more than 20 participating farms offering demos, guided tours, tastings and education.  

ClawtoberFest: Sept. 16: Asheville’s original brewery – Highland Brewing Company – is excited to host ClawtoberFest. Its Oktoberfest-style party will take place in The Meadow filled with German-inspired beers, food, music and games. Try your beer balancing skills during the stein race or enter the moustache contest and show off that dazzling upper lip fuzz.  

Flock to the Rock Fest: Sept. 30: If birdwatching gets your heart all a flutter, this is the fall festival for you! In its 15th year, this event takes place at Chimney Rock State Park during the fall migration of birds and monarch butterflies. There are opportunities to meet raptors and take naturalist-led tours too. 

Go “Flock to the Rock” — Chimney Rock’s Annual Fall Festival. Photo credit: Chimney Rock State Park

Immerse Yourself in October Fall Festivals

Now that autumn is in full swing, take your pick of some of the top fall festival travel destinations this year: 

Carolina Mountain Cheese Festival: Oct. 8: This fall festival is a cheese lover’s dream. It’s hosted in the charming mountain town of Black Mountain at the Oak and Grist Distilling Company. You’ll have an opportunity to sample and purchase an incredible variety of local cheeses and other tasty treats such as pretzels, pickles, coffee and vegan cheese too.  

Art in the Park: Oct. 7, 14 and 21: Now in its second decade, Art in the Park takes places in the center of Asheville, Pack Square, where nationally-known artists exhibit – and they’re all local. Everything from glass and metal to ceramic and wood can be found while strolling the vendors in this impressive outdoor art experience.  

Asheville Vegan Fest: Oct. 8: Held in Asheville’s Pack Square, this year’s event is sponsored by Friendly Fields Farm Sanctuary, a nonprofit animal rescue and sanctuary. Activities will include educational speakers, live music, delicious vegan food, a kids’ fun zone and more. So, if you’d like to learn more about the benefits of a plant-based diet, this is the place to be. This fall festival is free to all, but donations are accepted. 

Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands: Oct. 19-22: Seventy-six years and going strong! This fall festival is truly an autumn travel destination. Hosted in downtown Asheville at Harrah’s Cherokee Center, more than 200 artisans will showcase a variety of crafts ranging from contemporary to traditional in works of clay, wood, metal, glass, fiber, natural materials, paper, leather, mixed media, and jewelry. There will be live music and craft demos too. 

Carolina CiderFest: Oct. 21: There’s nothing like a crisp cider to celebrate that newly-found nip in the air. Sample everything from hard cider and mead to apple wine and seltzers while taking in the historic McCormick Field, the event’s venue, and home to Asheville’s minor league baseball team – the Asheville Tourists. 

Black Mountain Fall Festival: Oct. 14: Black Mountain Home is a supportive home for youth of all ages. This is its signature event. There’s a car show, pumpkin patch, wagon rides and a basket auction that’s developed some notoriety over the years. Come find out how this place has been caring for children, youth, and families since 1904. 

So, once you’ve made up your mind to plan your Autumn getaway, you’ll need a place to stay. Maddie’s Mountain Getaway is an ideal choice. Located in Black Mountain, it’s centrally located for all these fun fall festivals. You can search for more here

Happy fall y’all! 

 

It’s easy to spend a day exploring and getting lost in all the River Arts District has to offer. And, it’s not just about art. This eclectic neighborhood of converted warehouses and other industrial buildings sizzles with wineries, breweries, an indoor/outdoor skateboard park, countless art galleries, funky outdoor murals and some of the best BBQ around. Read on to learn more. 

Photo credit: Pink Dog Creative

Getting Around the River Arts District  

First, start with a map and then figure out whether you’d like to explore on foot, by bike or hop on the trolley. There’s a comprehensive map that’s available online and also in print at the Asheville Visitor’s Center among other spots around town. There’s also a downloadable gallery guide

Take the trolley: Visitors can ride ArtAVL’s new free ArtsAVL Connect Trolley which connects downtown Asheville to the River Arts District. The trolleys circulate on 20-30 minute intervals from 12-8 p.m. on every Second Saturday and riders are welcome to hop on and off anywhere along the trolley routes. There’s also the hop on hop off trolley tour that introduces visitors to more than just the River Arts District. This one runs daily. 

Walk it: Asheville is a very walkable city and the River Arts District beckons visitors to hit the pavement. Its riverfront greenway is10 feet wide and has views of the river as well as the burgeoning businesses along Lyman Street such as 12 Bones Smokehouse, Wedge Brewery, retail shops and art studios. The 2-mile greenway is dotted with swings, benches, bike racks and public art. This year’s Studio Stroll takes place on November 11 and nearly 280 artists open their doors over a two-day period. 

Photo credit: The Wedge Brewing, Foundation

Bike it: E-bikes are all the rage these days and Asheville is no exception. Rent one from a local shop and explore at your own pace.  

Photo credit: The Flying Bike

Galleries are open every day, but schedules can vary, so make sure you check the schedule online if there’s something specific you’d like to see.  

Get Inspired  

Once you’ve got a plan in place, it’s time for some fun! Visit the artists at work (and play) and see them enveloped in their medium – whether paint, pencil, pottery, metal, fiber, glass, wax, paper and more. You’re sure to stumble on some live demonstrations and are invited to ask the artists questions about their work. Most are happy to engage, share their knowledge and inspire you to appreciate art. 

Many studios even offer classes and internships. There’s The Odyssey Center for Ceramic Arts or Village Potters where folks can try their hand at the pottery wheel; Ignite Jewelry Studios where people can make their own stackable rings; or JMK Studio326 where you can take a workshop in drawing, acrylics or traditional oil. You can also visit the studio of Pam Granger Gale for a relaxing marbling class; or pick from a variety of workshops at 310 ART where they believe there’s an artist inside everyone. 

Shop for Pottery

The River Arts District is one of the best places to shop for pottery. Looking for something whimsical, yet functional? Head over to Angelique Tassistro Ceramics. Interested in ramping up your table or kitchenware? The artists at Crazy Green Studios have a passion for food and it shows.  How about something on the delicate side? Michael Hofman of Hofman Studios combines lace with porcelain to create heirloom pieces to cherish for generations to come. Find a complete list of places to shop for pottery and other ceramics here

Explore Other Art Mediums

While Asheville is known for some top-notch pottery, it also boasts numerous other art mediums. Check out some beautiful paintings on silk, artful furnishings from Andy Cooper; luminous still-like photography images that are reminiscent of Rembrandt; fabulous mixed media Ukrainian eggs; handmade art lamps inspired by the artist’s visit to a store in Seoul, Korea; and cast and carved bio-plastic artworks that sustain the soul of this chronically ill artist. 

Photo credit: via @The Marquee Asheville

Book a Stay with Us at Inspired Getaway

So, whether you choose to browse or dive into creating some art of your own, the River Arts District is one of the best places in Asheville to get your art on. Now, you just need a place to stay. Inspired Getaway has many different types of places from which to choose. Some are closer to the River Arts District and others are further away. It just depends on what you’re after – a cool city flat or a private country cabin. Whatever your choice, we’d love to have you stay with us.