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Asheville, North Carolina: Small Mountain Town with Big City Appeal
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  • States:
    North Carolina

Nestled between the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains lies Asheville, North Carolina.

The perfect mix of mountain vibes and Southern charm, Asheville is home to award-winning restaurants and craft breweries, locally-owned shops and boutiques and a thriving artisan community of painters, designers and makers. Asheville is also packed with history, as a favorite hideaway for some of the most influential literary figures of the 20th century, like F. Scott Fitzgerald and Edith Wharton. For those who savor the great outdoors, the eclectic area of downtown Asheville is only enhanced by the beauty of the surrounding mountains, making it the perfect destination for nature lovers and culture seekers alike.

Craft Food and Drink

Any trip to Asheville must start with exploring its celebrated food scene. Let the experts choose the eateries for you by grabbing a ticket for a walking tour of downtown with Eating Asheville. The 2.5-hour food tour visits at least six of the most popular restaurants and eateries downtown.

Asheville's farm-to-table methodology extends to cocktails with some bars inspired by seasonal produce and herbs. Asheville has been called the "Napa Valley of beer," claiming to have more breweries per capita than any other U.S. city.

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Get Outdoors

Burn off all the eating and drinking with some physical activity in Asheville's beautiful natural surroundings. Hop on two wheels for a relaxing bike ride on the French Broad River Greenway in West Asheville. The 4.5-kilometer trail extends from French Broad River Park, and follows the river through a wooded area, parks and residential sites.

For adventure in the sky, fly Tarzan-style through 50 unique climbing, zip line and rappelling challenges anchored to over 30 trees at Asheville Treetop Adventure Park. For a more serene experience, take your yoga practice to the water in a SUP (stand up paddle board) class on the French Broad River to strengthen alignment, core awareness and balance.

Artistic Inspiration

Asheville is known as an an artist's haven, with many setting up their galleries and studios in the former factories and historic buildings of the River Arts District. On the second Saturday of the month, many studios stay open late for "A Closer Look," offering live music and theater performances, receptions and special installations. You can find distinctive, handmade items to take home at Kress Emporium, where local artisans set up displays of fine art, hand-poured candles and original photography.

Over the decades, the 250-room, French Renaissance-style Biltmore Estate has served as a source of inspiration and place of lodging for artists in Asheville. You can round out your stay with a self-guided tour of the intricate architecture and artwork of one of the largest private homes in the USA.

Finally, toast to a great trip with a glass of Merlot or Chardonnay from the Biltmore Estate collection during a tasting and tour of the Antler Hill Village and Winery, which is included in the Biltmore House tour ticket.