Asheville, North Carolina: Through the River to the Castle and Beyond
Whether you’re soaking up the sunset views on top of the Blue Ridge Mountains after a hike, paddle boarding across the French Broad River or relaxing on the lawn of the Biltmore Estate, there is so much to see and do here.
French Broad River
Asheville lies in a valley of the tremendous Appalachian Mountains, and the French Broad River slices through the city. Naturally, taking to the water is a favorite local and visitor pastime, and a warm summer day is the perfect time for a water adventure. Grab a kayak and get ready for some fun at the French Broad River. No matter your skill level, here you can enjoy various activities, from canoeing to kayaking to paddle boarding; there’s something for everyone. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, you can also embark on a river excursion that passes through Biltmore Estate.
Blue Ridge Parkway
If you’re seeking more adventure and want to immerse yourself in the great outdoors and beautiful surroundings, look no further than Blue Ridge Parkway. Each 1.5 kilometers you drive on the parkway, you’ll find something new to discover and explore. If you’re seeking out epic panoramic views, make your way up to Beacon Heights, a short 1.6-kilometer, round-trip hike just off the Blue Ridge Parkway. The flat rock landscape at the top also makes for a dreamy picnic location! Another must-see spot is the Orchard at Altapass. Here you can enjoy music, pick apples and even take a hayride through the orchard.
The Biltmore Estate
Summertime is meant for new experiences, and the Biltmore is the perfect place for discovering hidden gems. The impressive Biltmore Estate adds a Gatsby-esque decadence to the gorgeous mountain region. There is so much this place has to offer, from outdoor adventure to delicious restaurants to even wine tastings. Having a hard time deciding what to do? We’d recommend starting off in the stunning garden, which is ranked one of the top botanical gardens of the World by Travel + Leisure. Here you can experience the gorgeous surroundings, relax and enjoy the cool morning air. If you’re looking for some action, the afternoon is an excellent time to stop by the Outdoor Adventure Center. Here you can choose to explore the estate's 32-square-kilometer backyard via kayak, bike, horse and even Segway! And what better way to end the day than a wine and cheese tasting? Swing by the Winery in Antler Hill Village and mingle around for a happy hour hosted by impressive wine aficionados.
When you go on vacation you want to eat, and eat well. The restaurant scene in Asheville has quality food that will surely delight your taste buds. Restaurants across Asheville are passionate about farm-to-table cooking, and The Bull and Beggar is one in particular worth visiting. This restaurant sources all of their ingredients from organic local farms. The atmosphere here feels very authentic as well. There’s no large sign pointing you to the restaurant making this spot truly feel like a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. Definitely add this one to your must-eat food list! And if you’re in the mood for barbecue, look no farther than 12 Bones Smokehouse. The menu includes old family favorites, as well as new and original options. Whatever you order, you can’t go wrong!
“If You Go” Hit List
- AC Hotel by Marriott Asheville Downtown
- Grand Bohemian Hotel Asheville, Autograph Collection
- Aloft Asheville Downtown
- Wander through the majestic gardens at the Biltmore Estate, and end the day at the winery.
- Soak up the fresh air while paddle boarding on the French Broad River.
- Drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway, and make sure to stop for a hike, bike or picture along the way.
Eat & Drink