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.
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.