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.
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.
Springtime in Asheville bursts forth with more than vibrant flowers and fresh leaves. Lots of unforgettable experiences await you around the city, leading you to fun times that entice you to return.
Inspired Getaway makes your spring visit to Asheville unforgettable by partnering with our city’s top experience-based businesses. When you stay at a vacation rental that uses Inspired Getaway, the best of Asheville is available to you.
What Does Asheville Picnic Company Offer?
Asheville Picnic Company delivers woven baskets filled with local delights to your vacation rental or one of Asheville’s most beautiful, including:
- Botanical Gardens of Asheville, which holds 10 acres of meadows and streams
- Asheville Downtown Pack Square, an urban park with a peaceful greenspace
- French Broad River Park and Carrier Park, two parks connected by a greenway with river views and a 2.8-mile walking/biking path
- The North Carolina Arboretum features groomed hiking and biking trails
- The Biltmore Estate, with thousands of acres to explore around the USA’s largest private home
Asheville Picnic Company offers traditional or luxury picnic baskets to suit your tastes. These baskets come with everything you need for a picnic in Asheville.
What’s the Most Efficient Way to See Asheville?
Asheville has so much to see. The most efficient way to get to it all is on the seat of an electric bicycle from the Flying Bike Electric Bike Tours. Their all-ages tour stops at Asheville’s noteworthy points of interest, including:
- The Basilica of St. Lawrence, an architectural masterpiece by Rafael Gustavino
- Historic Montford neighborhood, where Asheville’s most beautiful historic homes line quiet streets
- Grove Park Inn, featuring a magnificent view from the Sunset Terrace
- Pack Square, a park in downtown Asheville’s urban center
- South Slope neighborhood, for a rejuvenated section of Asheville
The Flying Bike Tour is a great group activity. You ride a Pedego Boomerang Plus e-bike, which is comfortable and easy to use. You can choose the level of electric assistance to get a workout or to relax.
How Can I Best Enjoy the Adult Beverages of Asheville?
Asheville Wine Tours lets you experience North Carolina’s best vineyards and wineries in luxurious comfort. The wine regions you visit with Asheville Wine Tours include:
- Hendersonville, where you can find five wineries 45 minutes south of Asheville
- Tryon, a little past Hendersonville, where you visit a group of four wineries with a viticultural history, dating back over a century
- Lake James, where there are two wineries 50 minutes east of Asheville
- Asheville, including the Biltmore Estate and Plēb Urban Winery, both offer unique tasting experiences within the city limits
- Van in Black luxury transportation for large, small or combined groups.
For something stronger, indulge in a Cultivated Cocktails + H&H Distillery Experience. You can taste locally crafted spirits at Cultivated Cocktail’s cozy downtown Asheville location. To learn more about the making of H&H spirits, join them for a tour of the distillery.
Can I Have A Wellness-Forward Experience In Asheville?
If you want to experience relaxation and self-care on your visit, Asheville Wellness Tours is your one-stop shop. You can tour everything a wellness-minded visitor needs, including:
- Fun hiking/yoga tours
- Stand up paddleboard (SUP) yoga classes
- Guided forest bathing
- Baby goat yoga
- Guided meditations
- Group tarot readings
- Cooking classes
Asheville Wellness Tours connects you with nature, yourself, and others. All of Inspired Getaway’s seasonal business partnerships do the same to enhance your stay in Asheville. Contact us today to ensure your visit to Asheville is the best it can be.
When you arrange a short-term vacation rental near Asheville, NC, you open up a world of possibility, especially if you love to get outdoors. You don’t need to be an avid hiker, endurance athlete or motorcycle enthusiast. All you have to do is step out your front door or drive a little way. That’s why more and more people are choosing to live and vacation in Western North Carolina.
That’s the value Inspired Getaway brings to your vacation. They partner with properties such as Cedar Cliff Village near Asheville to manage rental houses in desirable locations. And in the summertime, one of the best places to be remains, the Blue Ridge Mountains that surround Asheville, where a day trip can lower the temperature by five degrees or more while raising your spirits.
What Peaks Are Near Asheville?
Mt. Mitchell, the highest peak east of the Mississippi River, is less than an hour away, near Burnsville. With a 360-degree view and pleasant amenities, Mt. Mitchell State Park is a great outing for the whole family … and cooler than back in Asheville. Most people drive to the top, except for the final ramp to the summit.
A little further away squats Grandfather Mountain, a nonprofit enterprise. It’s famous for its mile-high swinging bridge, which has delighted kids and scared moms for decades. But there’s more to do there while you’re cooling off, including hiking trails, wildlife habitats and a nature museum.
What about the Blue Ridge Parkway?
Driving up or down the Blue Ridge Parkway, which runs near Asheville, you’ll immediately feel the cooler temperatures. You’re surrounded by lush green forest way up in the mountains. If you’re interested in sightseeing, there are sights worth seeing around almost every bend in the road, such as:
- Moses Cone Park and Julian Price Park, both around milepost 295 near Blowing Rock, offer hiking and other activities.
- Linville Falls, at milepost 316, has easy hikes to waterfalls and picnic areas.
- Both Grandfather Mountain (milepost 305) and Mt. Mitchell (Milepost 355) are accessible from the Blue Ridge Parkway.
- Craggy Pinnacle, near Craggy Gardens at milepost 364 just north of Asheville, offers a short hike to a 360-degree view.
- The Mills River Valley Overlook, south of Asheville near milepost 404, is a terrific spot to watch the sunrise.
- Mt. Pisgah, near milepost 407, is visible from Asheville, but a more impressive close-up.
- Graveyard Fields, at milepost 419, offers hikes to waterfalls and resplendent autumn leaf-peeping.
- Nearby, at milepost 422, lies Devil’s Courthouse, which you can visit if you’re bold. After a tough half-mile hike, you’re rewarded with breathtaking views.
- Waterrock Knob, near milepost 451, is equally great for watching sunsets.
All along the Blue Ridge Parkway are trailheads to hiking trails that lead deeper into the surrounding forest, where you’ll find it much cooler than being in the city. You can find waterfalls and even ruins along the Mountains-to-Sea trail or on parts of the Appalachian Trail. You can even drive from near Asheville to near Boone, a quaint mountain city higher up in the hills. Boone, like Asheville, is worth a visit.
So look for Inspired Getaway the next time you begin planning a vacation to the mountains. They take care of everything so you can get out and see the sights. Inspired Getaways manages properties all around Asheville.