90 minutes from our property, Asheville is an easy day trip. Experience the Great Smoky Mountains on the drive to the Baltimore Estates, local arts and crafts stores, and great local restaurants.
Asheville is a tourist's dream: a beautiful and walkable downtown, world-class restaurants, an abundance of award-winning craft breweries, outdoor adventures, local arts and crafts, a vibrant music scene (including street musicians!)...all surrounded by stunning Blue Ridge Mountain views. Whether you have a weekend for a quick visit or plan to stay a week or more, Asheville and the Western Carolina region will fulfill your itinerary. And yes, there is so much more to do than visit the Biltmore. While I do always recommend paying the price to experience the estate, it's not at the top of the list for me. The charm of Asheville comes in the local businesses, people, and landscape. The first time I came for a visit, my then fiance and I only had an overnight. We headed straight downtown to Jack of the Woods pub for some fish tacos, local Green Man Brewery beer, and live music. Then we walked around the historic downtown filled with Art Deco buildings, street music and unique, thriving local businesses. The next morning we grabbed some coffee from Biltmore Roasters before jumping on the Blue Ridge Parkway for a quick hike to Skinny Dip Falls and a scenic drive as we headed out of town. We fell in love. Years later we relocated for work and have not been disappointed. I am certain that you could live in this region for a hundred years and never do the same hike twice. Asheville and surrounding areas are saturated with hiking trails, parks, and activities galore to satisfy outdoor adventurers. A particular favorite is a lazy Saturday floating down the French Broad River via the ultra affordable and convenient Zen Tubing company. Along the way you can park your raft and browse through local artists' studios in the River Arts District or grab a couple pints at breweries situated on the river - Wedge and New Belgium. End the journey with a cookout at the rustic recreation club ($1 membership fee), Bywater, or explore eats in nearby West Asheville. My favorite is the oyster burger at Oyster House Brewery. If you happen to be in town on a first Friday between April and December, you're in for a special treat; downtown galleries and art museums open their doors from the hours of 5-8pm and invite locals and tourists on a "First Friday Art Walk" through downtown. Many serve up wine, beer and snacks that you can enjoy while exploring the local art scene. Afterwards, hit the "South Slope" for the best BBQ in town at Buxton Hall, owned and operated by James Beard award winning chef, Elliot Moss. Cap off the night with beers at Burial, which happens to be my favorite Asheville brewery. While Asheville is small and doesn't have the big city highlights, you can still find enough theatre, music, and thrills to satisfy you for a visit or few. But, don't expect a town filled with culture and diversity. This is where Asheville is desperately lacking and could come as a source of disappointment for many. Nonetheless, it's a town that is meant to be explored.
I love Asheville for the arts, country, food and people. The hotels are great and not too expensive and the restaurants are very eclectic and natural. Take a bike ride and explore the mountainside and then go to grove park inn for dinner by a fireplace
Biltmore State a must see about an hour and 20 minutes from the High Chaparral.