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.
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.
- Bent Creek: Just 15 minutes from downtown Asheville, you’ll feel like you are miles and miles away. The trails vary from easy to more advanced. Mountain bikers are welcome on many of the trails too.
- Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary: This lovely lake provides an ideal habitat for resting, feeding and nesting. And if you want to get a few more steps in, you can walk around the lake – it’s about a 2-mile loop.
- Wilma Dykeman Greenway: A local fave, this delightful greenway runs along the French Broad River. Walkers, bikers and rollerbladers can pop into a host of breweries, wineries, or galleries along the way.
- Riverside Cemetery: This historic cemetery is located in the Montford neighborhood. There are even walking tours that you can sign up for.
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:
- Kick off the holiday season at the popular North Carolina Arboretum. Its open-air winter lights show is dazzling fun for the whole family.
- Have a hot cider at the Great Hall Bar at the Grove Park Inn.
- Bundle up and head to Antidote’s Rooftop bar. There’s an outdoor fireplace and lots of heat lamps to keep you warm.
- Buy Your Christmas Tree: Obviously, this one is for those of you who are driving. Visit a “choose and cut” tree farm. Many farms offer hayrides and other activities too.
- Visit Biltmore Estate: We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention this iconic estate. Located on nearly 8,000 acres, this is a top-notch fall destination that includes a magnificent house, art exhibition, award-winning winery and copious dining and shopping venues. There are also 20+ miles of nature trails to explore.
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.
Asheville is a city filled with multiple talents and personalities. It loves to show off its culinary savvy, musical competencies, artistic prowess and access to the great outdoors. It’s also very proud of all the shopping opportunities that pop up just about everywhere you turn. From historic Biltmore Village to downtown and West Asheville, this colorful city is a shopping mecca for fine art lovers, local craft enthusiasts, vintage junkies, outdoor adventurers, antique seekers and more.
So, let us help you plan your next Asheville shopping journey here. We’ve broken it down into three very walkable shopping destinations with some must-shop stops, and we’re sure that you’ll find many more in between.
Downtown Asheville Shopping
Downtown Asheville is a very walkable area and it’s easy to go from shop to shop, collecting treasures along the way. The places we mention here in downtown Asheville are shopping collectives where people have access to an array of creations all under one roof.
This is truly a unique Asheville shopping experience. Located inside a historic Woolworth building – there’s even an old-fashioned soda fountain that serves comfort food favorites such as tuna melts, banana splits, fried bologna and some of the “world’s best malts.” The space itself features more than 170 local artists who showcase items ranging from art and jewelry to crafts and home furnishings.
Asheville’s Kress Emporium showcases the work of over 80 regional artists and craftspeople along with a wide selection of fine antiques and collectibles. Built in 1928, the historic Kress Building is an outstanding architectural landmark with its rich ceramic tile and neoclassic motifs. The downstairs part of this shopping destination is home to K2 Studio which houses a unique inventory of locally and internationally sourced furnishings. You’ll be hard-pressed to walk out of here empty-handed.
This 1920s Gothic Revival building is home to more than 20 local businesses. It covers an entire city block in Downtown Asheville and shoppers can find everything from fashion boutiques and jewelry stores to art galleries and craft shops. Stop into Bebette’s, a New Orleans-style coffee house, for some of the best beignets around. And, the southern end of Grove Arcade houses the outdoor Makers Market, where you can find dozens of stalls selling handmade clothes, jewelry, paintings, musical instruments and farm products.
West Asheville Shopping
The West Asheville shopping experience is one with a vibe all its own. Want to add some vinyl to your record collection? Do add Harvest Records. Looking for that rare rock-n-roll t-shirt? Try your luck at Fleetwood’s. And, if you’re in the mood to make a last-minute marriage proposal, there’s a wedding chapel there too. Want a rhinestone broach? Of course – who doesn’t? You’re likely to land one at Twice Round, a funky thrift and vintage shop. There’s also the Handmade on Haywood, a collective of local artists, most of who make their for-sale goods right out of their homes. And, if you’d like to shop for items that range from nostalgic to new, Provisions Mercantile is a modern-day mercantile that’s easy to get lost in. There’s also a fun place for the kids (and adults too) – Sparky’s Toys and Gifts. It’s West Asheville’s locally-owned toy shop and offers everything from the classics to the latest trends. Finally, if you’re looking for a gift for a plant lover friend or just looking to green up your space a bit, Flora strives to cultivate new interests in botanical living within its botanical boutique and cafe.
Historic Biltmore Village Shopping
This area is home to the iconic Biltmore Estate, but if you find you don’t have time for a visit, you can still visit their shop right outside the gates to pick up a little souvenir. The historic Biltmore Village boasts a premier shopping district among cobble-stoned streets. It’s filled with elegant boutiques, sprawling antique shops and popular clothing stores.
There are also several antique shops right near Biltmore Village. They include the Antique Tobacco Barn which has 77,000 square feet of those somewhat needful things just waiting to be found. The Screen Door has a good deal of garden stuff and Oddfellows is the perfect place to find handpicked European imports. And while it’s a little off the beaten path, it’s still near Biltmore – the Regeneration Station and it’s got a super collection of mid-century, vintage and repurposed collectibles.
So, make a weekend of it. A shopping trip to Asheville is a great way to see the different parts of the city and pick up some items that you’ll cherish for years to come. And, stay with Inspired Getaway – we’ve got great spaces for you to rest your tired feet after your shopping extravaganza.
For a complete list of Asheville shopping spots, visit: Explore Asheville Shopping.
Asheville’s culinary landscape offers a kaleidoscope of flavors that range from the weird and wonderful to the trendy and obscure. Its choices of places to eat and drink are impressive and most visitors will need to return again and again to discover all that this funky “Foodtopia” has to offer.
Places to Eat in Asheville
It’s difficult to pick just a few, but here are some that top our list:
Tastee Diner: This restaurant’s tagline is “Comfort food for the curious and adventurous.” Are your tastebuds ready to get turned inside out? Chef Steve Goff and his crew will get the job done.
Cucina 24: The chef here works diligently to meld the traditional philosophies of Italian cooking with ingredients sourced from the mountains. Four-course family meals are a fun way to sample a few different things.
The Bull and Beggar: Sure, you can get a fabulous double patty burger and fries here, but you may want to reserve that order for their sister locale – Baby Bull. The Bull and Beggar serve some top-end steaks, seafood towers and oysters to die for – though we’re pretty sure you’ll want to live to eat some more.
Vivian: You’ll find the perfect balance of European flavors and Southern heritage when you book a table here. The chef was primarily influenced by his grandmother who threw lavish Julia Child-like dinner parties when he was growing up.
Neng Jr’s: A relative newcomer to Asheville’s food scene, this 17-seat café brings a taste of the Philippines to Asheville. Getting a reservation may be a challenge, but it’s well worth the wait.
Curate: James Beard award-winning chef, Chef Katie Button, has been welcoming people through her restaurant doors since 2011. Spanish tapas is served in a warm and lively atmosphere. And, her nearby La Bodega is a smaller Spanish-style restaurant, bakery and market.
Table: This “New American” gem is the brainchild of chef Jacob Sessoms, a two-time James Beard award nominee. He offers many American classics with a Southern twist.
Wineries, Cideries, Breweries – oh my!
One thing’s for sure, you’ll never go thirsty when you visit Asheville.
Beer time: While spots like Wicked Weed and Highland Brewing often top tourists’ lists, there are more than 40 breweries where you can wet your whistle. And speaking of whistles, the Whistle Hop Brewing Company has a train-themed taproom and outdoor playground for all ages.
Wine not? If beer’s not your bag, Asheville is home to some top wine spots too. Bottle Riot has an extensive wine list, imports beers, spirits and small bites. Pleb is another wine lover’s destination and offers flight experiences in a relaxed environment. You can also visit their winery and learn about their sustainable growing practices or have a tasting at the Aventine –across from the Grove Arcade.
Private Wine “Sips with a Somm!” Looking for that extra special experience to top off the vacation? Melissa Ward is our top local wine sommelier offering private wine tastings. With Melissa’s skilled guidance and fabulous personality — you’ll want to pack her up and take her back home with you. Contact Melissa here.
Cocktails anyone? Cultivated Cocktails takes you from the distillation process through the cocktail creation. And, Antidote’s setting is reminiscent of an old apothecary and claims to be “the cure for the common cocktail.” Its gin distillery, Chemist Spirits, is right next door.
Cider and mead, please. As the first cider producer in Asheville, Noble Cider is a fun place to sample craft cider, wine, hard cider spritzers, and mead. And, the Botanist and Barrel offer up an extensive menu and eclectic flights.
Take a Farm or Food Tour
Asheville Food Tours is the original walking food tour of downtown Asheville and they offer a variety of choices. For cheese lovers, the WNC cheese trail is the perfect pick. Visit a few or try them all. Or, maybe you’re more into mushrooms – the edible kind that is. Alan Muskat is the creator of “No Taste Like Home” and has been teaching people how to forage for food, specifically mushrooms, for more than 20 years.
Have Fun at a Food Festival
Chow Chow was founded in 2019 by some of Asheville’s most renowned chefs. It’s designed to be an immersive four-day experience of tastings and workshops in the heart of downtown Asheville. And, Eating Asheville hosts an elaborate wine and food festival – one of the largest of its kind. Both are ideal places to discover local chefs and sample some of the region’s best food and drink.
Learn to Cook Something New
A cooking class is also a fun way to enjoy the Asheville food scene and Cottage Cooking is not your average cooking school. They focus on small format classes of up to six and all classes are held in the hosts’ home. They have more than 20 menus and most classes include an appetizer, entrée and dessert.
Indulge in Chocolate
For a comprehensive list of places to eat and drink, food tours and food festivals, visit https://www.exploreasheville.com/things-to-do/tours/culinary/ to get the full scoop on the fabulous Asheville food scene and make sure to book your Inspired Getaway.
It’s no secret that Asheville is a top-notch vacation destination, but there’s more to a visit to Appalachia’s sweetheart than meets the eye. An easy 15-45 minute drive in any direction – north, south, east or west, will land you in an artsy and walkable downtown with a small-town vibe.
Weaverville – it’s life at a slower pace. This inviting mountain town is only about 10 miles north of Asheville, but it has a whole different energy. It’s a bit like taking a step back in time. It’s not unusual to see folks stopping each other on the sidewalk to exchange neighborhood stories, while sipping a hot coffee or tea from its beloved Well-Bred Bakery. Locals and visitors, alike, can be found strolling its picturesque Main Street while exploring its impressive selection of high-end art galleries such as Magnum Pottery and Miya Gallery. Nature lovers can also enjoy the Main Street Nature Park right in the heart of town or visit Lake Louise Park. Chances are they’ll get a glimpse of some ducklings splashing around by the small waterfall and big red waterwheel.
Photo credit: Weaverville Business Association
For many years, Hendersonville – about a 30-minute drive from downtown Asheville – was overshadowed by its northern sister, but as it’s been discovered by retirees and tourists, it’s really started to shine on its own. There are many reasons to visit this western NC region. A big one is that it’s an apple lover’s dream. It’s home to nearly 20 apple orchards – many where you can pick your own – as well as its annual Apple Festival, held over Labor Day weekend. People can meet the growers, sample different varieties, listen to some of the regions’ top-notch entertainment and a whole lot more. Now, if apples ain’t your thing, there’s wine too – and a lot of it. There are at least seven vineyards that we know of and each has a personality all its own. Burntshirt Vineyards is one of the oldest family-run vineyards and Stone Ashe is one of the newest. If you play your cards right you can do a little of both – pick and sip.
Photo credit: Visit Hendersonville
EXPLORE THE EAST
In recent years, Trip Advisor readers have named Black Mountain, “The prettiest small town in America.” Snuggled in the heart of the Blue Ridge mountains, it’s about a 20-minute drive from Asheville and it’s a wonderful place to spend the day. Visitors can sip on an organic brew at Pisgah Brewing and then put their singing to the test at open mic night at the White Horse. If shopping is your bag, there’s no shortage of eclectic shops to explore in its very walkable downtown. And, nearby Montreat is home to Ten Thousand Villages, a retailer that sells fair-trade crafts and housewares from Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. This area also gives hikers easy access to some of the most beautiful hikes around. The Graybeard Trail is an 8-mile challenge but pays off with incredible views.
Photo credit: Visit Black Mountain
WANDER TOWARDS THE WEST
Located in Haywood County, Waynesville is the furthest destination from Asheville – about a 45-minute drive. It’s one of the region’s top agritourism destinations and boasts a healthy selection of farm-to-table restaurants, U-pick Farms (i.e., flowers, vegetables) and farmer’s markets. Its historic farmer’s market is a great place to pick up some local treats. And while Waynesville is very proud of its Appalachian heritage, it embraces many cultures in one community each year at its Folk Moot Festival. There are live storytellers, music, artist workshops and so much more. The Haywood Arts Regional Theatre is also a cool spot to take in a live play or performance.
Photo credit: Nina Bauer (@hiking.nina) and Visit NC Smokies
And all of these vibrant towns are just minutes away from the splendor of the Blue Ridge Parkway – America’s favorite drive. An interactive map makes planning this mountain escape fun and easy. There’s just so much to explore.
Your goosebumps may begin the minute you drive through the historic entry gate and continue on the drive up the winding, wooded driveway to the magnificent Biltmore House. Every year, teams of local elves spread their holiday magic across the 8,000 acres of the sweeping Biltmore Estate grounds. Visitors come from far and wide to see America’s largest private home transformed with miles of glittering grandeur.
Christmas at Biltmore — surrounded by the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains in Asheville, North Carolina — is their most popular time of year. Timed-entry tickets sell out quickly. Your team at Inspired Getaway ensures you get tickets and an entry time for this event when you stay at a participating vacation property. Christmas at Biltmore runs from early through the first week in January.
What Is Christmas at the Biltmore Estate All About?
The landmark Biltmore House is the centerpiece of any visit. Built for famed magnate George Vanderbilt and his family, the estate comes alive at Christmastime. During your visit, you’ll experience:
- 250 rooms that offer a step back in time
- Dozens of hand-decorated trees
- A hundred kissing balls
- Thousands of poinsettias
- Strolling musicians
- Choirs and Christmas concerts
The Vanderbilt family Christmas, a tradition that began in 1895, lives on today. You may amble at your own pace through the expansive house, with a complementary audio guide explaining the history of each room. Decorating at Biltmore is different every year. It takes an entire year to plan and execute.
What Can I Expect When I Visit Americas Largest Private Home?
A hallmark of any holiday visit is the immense Christmas tree installed in the grand Banquet Hall. The raising of the tree is the most anticipated event of the season — in 2022, the team purchased a 35-foot Fraser fir, brought from a mountaintop in nearby Avery County.
Dedicated crews pull out all the stops to give you an unforgettable experience. Biltmore House offers two different experiences:
- The Daytime Tour provides stunning mountain views from every window in the house and an optional stroll through the nearby Conservatory and gardens.
- The Candlelight Tour boasts glowing fireplaces and live music.
What Else Can I Do at the Biltmore Estate?
In addition to the grand Biltmore House, your entry ticket to the grounds entitles you to participate in other activities around the Estate, such as:
- Antler Hill Village, to explore the shops and eateries
- Cedric’s Tavern, named after the beloved family St. Bernard
- The award-winning winery culminates in complimentary wine tasting
- A scenic drive through the expansive grounds, which treats you to views of a bass pond, a turtle-filled lagoon, and charming stone bridges
If you’re looking for more to do at Biltmore, packages include lodging, specialty tours, events and spa services. Traveling exhibits occasionally come to the Biltmore House too, such as the Downton Abbey collection in 2020 and the Leonardo da Vinci immersive, multi-sensory exhibit in 2022.
How Much Does It Cost to Visit Biltmore at Christmas?
All tickets to Christmas at Biltmore include complimentary parking, the audio guide, access to the grounds and wine tasting. The prices vary, depending on the date you book and what’s included in the package. Ticket prices begin at $99.
If you’re looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, consider a day or a weekend that includes Christmas at Biltmore. Contact Inspired Getaway to recommend the best times to visit and secure tickets to one of America’s time-honored traditions.
The Blue Ridge Mountains draw tourists every year because they’re glorious all year round. Asheville, the population hub of Western North Carolina (WNC), is nestled in the heart of these mountains. The Blue Ridge Parkway rolls through blue-grey peaks and green valleys. Wondrous views greet you around each bend in the road. But the region also offers an opportunity to explore local vineyards and delve into your favorite finds.
The mountains of WNC provide an idyllic climate for growing grapes. The rich, cool night air, coupled with the humidity needed for a vineyard to thrive, provides the perfect storm for great wine. While the Biltmore Estate in Asheville is the most toured winery in North and South America, you can discover other local vineyards throughout the Blue Ridge Mountains.
There are 60 wineries within a short driving distance of Asheville, so you’re sure to find one — or more — to make your personal favorites. Whether you live in one of the glorious mountain homes around Asheville or just like to visit the area wine country, you can end almost every day sipping wine at a different vineyard.
What Are the Exceptional Vineyards and Wineries Near Asheville?
You can find many vineyards in and near Asheville that produce excellent vintages, as Western North Carolina produces many award-winning wines. A few of the vineyards and wineries worth mentioning include:
Burntshirt Vineyards. Their Tasting Room and Bistro near Chimney Rock Village boasts magnificent views of Chimney Rock and Hickory Nut Falls. The actual vineyards and winery are in Hendersonville, where they have another tasting room. Burntshirt offers tours and tastings within an hour’s drive from Asheville.
Marked Tree Vineyard. This vineyard is in Flat Rock, which is also less than an hour’s drive from Asheville. They have a satellite sipping space in Asheville called The Grape.
St. Paul Mountain Vineyards. Located in Hendersonville, this farm is a working vineyard and orchard. They offer award-winning wines and hard cider for your pleasure.
Grandfather Vineyard & Winery. A family-operated winery near Boone, it sits at the base of the unforgettable Grandfather Mountain in Banner Elk, NC. A visit may require a day trip, as Banner Elk is about a two-hour drive from Asheville.
Silver Fork Vineyard & Winery. Huddled among the mountains, this Morganton winery is an event destination, so it offers a beautiful backdrop for enjoying the full flavor of its wines. Morganton is a bit over an hour’s drive from Asheville.
Mountain Brooks Vineyards. This award-winning winery is situated in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Tryon. It’s not even an hour’s drive away and it’s well worth the trip.
Parker-Binns Vineyard. Also in Tryon, NC near the Tryon Equestrian Center Resort, Parker-Binns is a lovely vineyard that is now over 30 years old and is a family-run winery. You’ll be impressed with the green rolling hills, rocking chairs and delicious wine produced right there on the property.
Biltmore Estate Winery. This famous winery is located in the heart of Asheville on the park-like grounds of the Biltmore Estate. Against the backdrop of the mountains, it’s one place you don’t want to miss.
Why Is Asheville and Its Vicinity a Great Vacation Spot?
The Blue Ridge Mountains attract every kind of traveler to its nooks and crannies. From whitewater rafting and extreme hiking enthusiasts to art and wine lovers, there’s something for everyone. Exceptional vineyards and wineries are abundant throughout WNC. So if you’re a local wine lover or you’ve traveled a far distance, welcome to your heaven.
Explore and discover it all if you’re so inclined. Sip and taste the fermented grapes as you enjoy a sunset from your front porch. Enjoy that bottle of wine you bought at your favorite winery after a long day of shopping. Plan a picnic at one of the many waterfalls that grace these mountains. Or sip some wine while basking in the hot tub at your vacation condo. Anyway, if you enjoy the vineyards near Asheville, you’ll be glad you came.
If you’re looking for an unforgettable mountain escape in the Blue Ridge Mountains, visit the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC. Sitting atop Sunset Mountain, it faces the city and neighboring peaks and pinnacles. It’s a historic inn built into the side of the mountain that’s designed for relaxing in the fresh mountain air.
Asheville’s mild climate makes it a great travel destination year-round. When you visit the Omni Grove Park Inn, you can count on first-class service, natural beauty and a location that’s been enjoyed over the years by many famous and historical figures.
What Makes the Grove Park Inn Memorable?
The Omni Grove Park Inn is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for good reason. It’s a massive hotel with luxurious rooms and breathtaking views. Other amenities that make the Grove Park Inn memorable include:
- Delicious meals. There’s no reason to leave the property if you’re looking for a great dining experience. Whether you have a taste for a luxurious four-course meal, fine dining on a terrace with a spectacular view or a more casual, comfy café, you can find it at the Inn.
- Cocktail lounges. There are many choices for an evening spent enjoying hand-crafted cocktails or an assortment of fine wines. Relax with friends or have fun dancing at the piano bar.
- World-class spa. You won’t forget the spa at the Grove Park Inn, which includes therapeutic waterfall pools, saunas, inhalation rooms and private men’s and women’s contrast pools. The coed room includes both warm and hot pools. Experienced masseurs await your visit.
- Sports center. Guests at the Grove Park Inn enjoy access to the Sports Center, which includes instructor-led fitness classes, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, a weight room and an indoor swimming pool.
At the Grove Park Inn, you can enjoy a truly magical experience with quiet meditation by a roaring fire or activities such as a ride on a horse-drawn carriage or a rousing game on the legendary 18-hole Donald Ross championship golf course. And don’t forget to spend some time visiting the many unique gift shops at The Marketplace and Grovewood Village.
Which Historical Figures Have Stayed at the Grove Park Inn?
Walk the halls in the footsteps of an array of trailblazers and historical figures. From movie stars and country singers to first ladies and grand dames, the Grove Park Inn has been a constant in the celebrity world for decades. The hotel’s history includes visits by presidents, authors and other luminaries such as:
- Helen Keller
- Henry Ford
- Thomas Edison
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt
- Dwight D. Eisenhower
- Barack Obama
- Billy Graham
Author F. Scott Fitzgerald lived there for about a year while struggling with alcoholism and tuberculosis. His wife Zelda was hospitalized nearby for schizophrenia.
Can I Visit the Grove Park Inn if I’m Not a Guest?
As an Inspired Getaway guest, your visit to the Grove Park Inn can be arranged to suit your schedule with dining reservations at one of the hotel’s exclusive restaurants, or ELDR in the nearby Grovewood Village, golf dates and shopping excursions to fill your free time. Some of the things you can enjoy when you’re not an overnight guest include:
- Free parking for up to three hours
- Cocktails and dinner
- Browsing in shops
- Walking Trails
- Watching the gorgeous sunset from the terrace
Whether you’re looking for stunning views, history, comfort or convenience, you’ll find it at the Omni Grove Park Inn. Contact Inspired Getaway to book your upcoming stay in one of our modern, green-home rentals today, complete with special days and evenings at the Grove Park Inn.
Feature Image photo credit via Facebook: @omnigroveparkinn, The Omni Grove Park Inn
When you come to Asheville, North Carolina, in September, you can look forward to local festivals, touring farms or viewing the first fall colors. While peak leaf-viewing season changes year to year, you’re sure to find activities in Asheville that inspire excitement and yes, even love.
Inspired Getaway Partners with local vacation rentals to make your fall visit to Asheville unforgettable. They partner with the region’s top experience-based businesses. When you stay at a vacation rental that uses Inspired Getaway, the best of Asheville is at your fingertips.
What Asheville Festivals Happen in September?
Festivals are designed to bring people who’re interested in the same thing together. Several fall festivals near Asheville include:
- NC Apple Festival. Labor Day Weekend in Hendersonville, 10:00 am to 10:00 pm. No admission, so expect crowds.
- Flock to the Rock Birding Festival. September 17 to 18 at Chimney Rock, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. Free with park admission, although there’s an additional charge for the Early Bird Walk at 7:30 am.
- Carolina Mountain Cheese Fest. September 25 at the Oak and Grist Distilling Company in nearby Black Mountain, NC. Buy your tickets in advance, as admission and activities at the event fill up fast.
- Smokey Mountain Elk Fest. September 30 to October 1, 10:00 am to 9:00 pm in Maggie Valley. While no elk are expected, this family-friendly festival marks the beginning of elk rutting season. Five dollars per person.
There are always events in and around Asheville during the month. Plan your visit in advance to include one or more of these activities.
Are There Food-Related Events in the Area?
If you’re interested in one particular kind of food, check out a food trail to sample the variety that the area offers, such as:
- ASAP’s Farm Tour. September 17 to 18. Choose to visit four or five of 17 farms that aren’t usually open to visitors. The tour route is free to all, but bring cash to purchase local products.
- WNC Cheese Trail. Experience the handcrafted cheeses of Western North Carolina.
- Apple-Picking Fun. September is the prime apple-picking season in Western North Carolina, and the area has many orchards you can visit, pick apples and taste some cider as well.
- Wine-Tasting Tours. If you enjoy wine, visit the area’s excellent vineyards, open for tastings and sales.
Where Can I See the Fall Colors?
Typically, the fall color season lasts from the end of September to early November, but it changes from year to year. Check ahead of time for the best dates and places, if that’s your goal. The higher reaches of the Blue Ridge Mountains turn color earlier. Color also changes earlier with sun and cooler weather; it lasts longer with rain and warmer weather.
Many overlooks along the Blue Ridge Parkway let you view the glory of autumn in Western North Carolina. If you’re athletically inclined, follow some local hiking trails for fabulous views with or without waterfalls. Several spots worth viewing include:
- Linn Cove Viaduct
- Chetoa View
- Mt. Mitchell
- Mills River Valley Overlook
- Mt. Pisgah
- Pounding Mill Overlook for migrating monarchs
- Waterrock Knob
- Rough Ridge
- Fryingpan Lookout Tower
- Black Balsam Knob Hike
- Devil’s Courthouse
Start making plans to fall in love with Asheville. Book a vacation rental and decide which activities you prefer. Welcome to Asheville, the vibrant mountain hub of Western North Carolina.
Asheville offers some memorable vacation experiences. The mountain scenery and cool summer temperatures are simply icing on the cake because the Western North Carolina region offers so many things to do. Your options include sightseeing, hiking and ziplining.
The North Carolina Arboretum, located just south of Asheville, provides well-groomed trails and beautiful gardens of native species. Educational programs, seasonal events, biking trails, photography, winter lights and garden exhibits make your visit worthwhile as you commune with nature. Other enticements include:
- Art exhibits
- A gift shop
- A Bonsai tree exhibit
- An on-site bistro
What Are Some Specific Features of the Arboretum?
This park sits within the Pisgah National Forest. It features easy hiking paths that include Bent Creek Road, Old Mill Trail and Wolf Branch Road, all of which are shorter than 1.5 miles. The Arboretum also has tougher hiking trails if you’re up for it. You can also find biking trails of various levels of difficulty.
ArborEvenings, a weekly event, includes live music, performances by numerous regional and local artists, and delicious food. It’s free for Arboretum Society members and for visitors who pay the standard parking fee. The parking fee runs from $16 for a passenger car to $100 for a large bus. Except for certain events, there’s no extra entrance fee to visit the Arboretum. Parking discounts include:
- AAA members receive $1 off personal vehicle parking.
- Members of the American Horticultural Society Reciprocal Admissions Program can park for free.
- Buncombe County and Henderson County Library ZOOM pass holders receive free parking.
- Active/retired veterans park for free on Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day.
- On the first Tuesday of every month, the Arboretum offers a 50 percent discount on personal vehicle parking.
What Else Does the NC Arboretum Offer?
The NC Arboretum has 65 acres of maintained gardens to delight your senses. Wildflowers at the Arboretum and Bonsai Exhibition Garden always attract a crowd. The gift shops, educational sessions and guided programs offer something for every nature lover.
The Arboretum sits within the Bent Creek Experimental Forest, also part of the Pisgah National Forest. The nearby Bent Creek area is 6,000 acres of recreational forest that doubles as a research center. Broaden your nature experience in Western North Carolina with a visit to Bent Creek for:
- Hiking, biking and horseback riding are only permitted on established pathways within the forest’s boundaries
- Hunting and fishing, but only with the precautionary and necessary measures
- Camping and swimming in the Lake Powhatan Recreation Area, located in the heart of the Bent Creek Experimental Forest
Why Choose Inspired Getaway in Western North Carolina?
Inspired Getaway has concierge services for short-term vacation rental properties. Bringing together the best quality rental properties into one easy-to-access and easy-to-rent website, Inspired Getaway provides an exclusive experience and discounts for guests. The company includes rentals near Asheville and the Arboretum, making you feel at home with:
- Renter benefits
- Individualized services
- A memorable guest experience
Whatever your reason for visiting Western North Carolina, Inspired Getaway properties suit your budget and taste. They help you find the perfect vacation home, from a rustic cabin to a luxurious downtown condo. For an experience of a lifetime, contact Inspired Getaway.
Escaping the heat and hitting the mountain rivers of Western North Carolina is one of the best ways to beat the heat during the sometimes-sizzling summer months. Starting in June, the water is beginning to warm up just enough, making it a perfect time to make new memories in this mountain area that has something for everyone.
When you escape to Asheville, you’ll enjoy cool summer breezes, breathtaking views and awe-inspiring scenery. It’s the ideal destination for a healthy and active vacation and the knowledgeable team at Inspired Getaway is here to help you get settled in your rental and find your way to your great river adventure.
What Are Some Rafting Rivers in the Asheville Area?
The North Carolina mountains are home to several rafting rivers. Whether you’re looking for a river that’s quiet and peaceful or one that offers exhilarating whitewater rafting, you’ll find what you’re looking for in one of these rivers:
- French Broad River. This wide river is the world’s third oldest river and a popular destination for anyone who enjoys either exciting whitewater rafting or calmer river trips.
- Nantahala River. If you’re looking for cold water to relieve the intensity of hot summer days, this iconic mountain river is a great option for a river adventure.
- Green River. There are plenty of river activity options for all levels along the Green River including tubing, canoeing, kayaking and more.
- North Toe River. This meandering river is a great destination for river enthusiasts who enjoy kayaking, canoeing and tubing.
- Pigeon River. The Pigeon River is about 50 miles from Asheville. The Upper Pigeon is filled with continuous waves for an exciting river experience while the Lower Pigeon is gentler and a better option for kids or those unfamiliar with whitewater rafting.
- Tuckasegee River. The calmer rapids of the Tuckasegee River offer the perfect location for tubing, kayaking, paddling and fishing.
Get in touch with nature on the rivers in the Asheville area. Western North Carolina is known for its beauty, and a river adventure may be just what you need to renew and refresh your spirit, while having a whole lot of fun.
Where Are the Best Outfitters in the Asheville Area?
There are various different outfitters in the Asheville area that can provide tours and supplies to meet your needs. Some options include:
- Asheville Outdoor Center. Select a raft, kayak or canoe, and enjoy a seven-mile trip down the French Broad River floating along with the Biltmore Estates property. This is a calm rafting trip that’s perfect for beginners.
- Wai Mauna Asheville Sup Tours. Standup paddleboarding is a great way to enjoy the river. This company offers self-guided rentals or guided paddleboard tours.
- French Broad River Outfitters. This company provides recreational trips as well as outfitting for rafting and whitewater kayaking. Enjoy slow-flowing tubing, canoeing, standup paddleboarding and more.
- Nantahala Outdoor Center. Experience guided family-friendly whitewater rafting or paddling at your own pace with a raft or ducky rental. Nantahala Outdoor Center offers quality gear and guidance for all ability levels.
Start planning a river adventure you’ll remember for a lifetime and experience all the best life has to offer in the Asheville area. Be sure to check out all the properties on Inspired Getaway and book your upcoming stay today.