Asheville, North Carolina is a popular tourist destination known for its natural beauty, vibrant arts and culture scene, and delicious food and drink.
However, as the city’s popularity continues to grow, many of the most well-known tourist spots and attractions can become overcrowded and over-commercialized.
To truly experience all that Asheville has to offer, it’s worth exploring beyond the usual tourist hotspots and seeking out fun and uncommon activities that are off the beaten path.
This blog post will guide readers through some of the lesser-known outdoor activities, cultural and arts experiences, and food and drink options that are available in Asheville, providing tips and recommendations for planning a successful and unique trip to the city.
Asheville is a town that lives up to its name. The word “Asheville” means “a place of peace and tranquility,” and this North Carolina city lives up to its name in every way. Asheville, North Carolina is a city that has a lot of fun and unusual things to do. With its many mountains, lakes, rivers, and waterfalls it is a great place for adventure. If you are looking for something more relaxing Asheville has many restaurants with amazing food and friendly service. There are also plenty of art galleries, museums, and shops to explore.
Fun & unusual things to do in Asheville, North Carolina
Linville Gorge & Falls
If you’re looking for something a little different, Asheville is the place to be. One of the city’s most popular attractions is Linville Gorge & Falls, a “natural amphitheater” formed by the Linville River and its tributaries. The gorge is made up of sheer rock walls and waterfalls that are higher than Niagara Falls.
The area is also home to rare and endangered species like the red wolf and bald eagle. It’s one of the few places in North Carolina where you can see these animals in their natural habitat.
French Broad River
The French Broad River is a great place to go for a relaxing afternoon. You can rent a canoe or kayak and paddle along the peaceful water, or you can grab a tube and float downstream. The river runs for about 70 miles through Western North Carolina, and it’s lined with mountains on either side. There are also some beautiful swimming holes along the way.
Craggy Gardens is a beautiful park in Asheville, North Carolina, with trails and gardens that are perfect for strollers and wheelchairs. You’ll find many different kinds of flowers and trees, from flowering dogwoods to azaleas and rhododendrons.
This park is also home to the Craggy Pinnacle picnic area, which offers breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. If you’re lucky enough to visit during autumn, you might even see some of the fall color peaking through! There’s also a small lake here where you can fish or go boating (bring your own boat).
This is a great place to spend time with family or friends if you’re visiting Asheville.
Asheville Pinball Museum
If you’re looking for something a little different that’s still fun and unusual, the Asheville Pinball Museum is the place to go. It’s a collection of more than 150 pinball machines from all eras and styles, collecting some of the most famous machines in history and many rare machines as well. The museum also has a library of pinball-related books and videos, plus they have special events like tournaments and exhibitions.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The Great Smoky Mountains are a sight to behold. The park covers over 800 square miles, making it one of the largest protected areas in the United States. It’s also the most visited national park in the country, so if you’re planning to visit, make sure to get your tickets ahead of time.
There are hundreds of miles of trails and roads to explore in this beautiful place, as well as dozens of waterfalls and historical sites to check out. You can also go horseback riding or canoeing along many of the rivers that run through the park.
Blue Ridge Parkway
The Blue Ridge Parkway is a scenic road that runs through the southern Appalachian Mountains. It’s one of the most popular drives in the state, and it’s usually open year-round.
The parkway was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s as an attempt to bring jobs to the area during the Great Depression. It runs 469 miles from Shenandoah National Park in Virginia all the way up to Cherokee, North Carolina.
While you’re driving along, you’ll see wildflowers blooming in springtime, fall foliage changing in autumn, and even snow sometimes in winter! If you’re looking for something fun and unusual to do on your next trip to Asheville, North Carolina, consider taking this beautiful drive through nature’s beauty.
Read Also: Secret Hidden Uncrowded Beaches of the U.S.
River Arts District
If you’re looking for something fun and unusual to do in Asheville, North Carolina, the River Arts District is the place to be. This neighborhood is located in the South Slope area of downtown Asheville, and it features art galleries, antique shops, restaurants, bars, and more. It’s an eclectic mix of people who are all there because they love their city and want to make it better.
You’ll find everything from old-fashioned soda fountains to modern art galleries to hipster hangouts that serve up craft cocktails and locally sourced beer on tap. The neighborhood has a laid-back vibe that makes it easy to relax while exploring what’s around each corner.
Pisgah National Forest
Pisgah National Forest is a great place to spend your day. Hike through the woods, or go on a hike with an expert who knows all the best spots.
You can also go on a bike ride or horseback riding. The forest has both trails and roads you can use to explore on your own or with friends.
For a fun, unusual experience, try mountain biking in Pisgah National Forest. This activity is great for people of all ages who want to get some exercise while enjoying nature at its finest.
Biltmore House & Estate
If you’re looking for a fun and unusual thing to do in Asheville, North Carolina, look no further than the Biltmore House & Estate.
The Biltmore House was built by George W. Vanderbilt as his private country estate. It’s now open to the public as one of America’s largest homes, with 250 rooms and over 175 acres of grounds. You can experience everything from the opulent ballroom to the formal gardens and conservatories. There are also trails through the forested grounds that are great for walking or biking.
You’ll want to plan your trip around seasonal events at the estate: In spring, there’s a tulip festival; in summer, there are concerts by the Biltmore Concert Series; and in fall/winter, there are holiday events like Christmas at Biltmore.
LaZoom Comedy Bus Tours
Asheville is a great place to explore. If you’re looking for fun things to do, there are plenty of options. One of our favorite ways to see Asheville is on LaZoom Comedy Bus Tours. The tour guides are hilarious and make the trip a lot of fun. You’ll get to see all kinds of interesting things as you travel around Asheville, but it’s the tour guide that really makes this tour stand out from others.
If you’re traveling with kids, LaZoom Comedy Bus Tours also has kid-friendly tours that are sure to keep everyone entertained while they learn about Asheville’s history and culture.
Cultural & Arts Activities
- Asheville is known for its thriving arts and culture scene and there are many opportunities for visitors to experience the city’s unique blend of music, theater, and visual arts. However, some of the more popular cultural institutions can become crowded and over-commercialized.
- Instead, consider visiting some of the lesser-known museums, galleries, and performance spaces in the area. For example, the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center is dedicated to preserving the legacy of the influential Black Mountain College that operated in the area from 1933 to 1957 and features rotating exhibitions of art, craft, and design.
- Another option is to visit the Center for Craft, Creativity & Design, which provides support, resources, and opportunities to craft makers, designers, and educators, and hosts regular exhibitions and events.
- Visitors can also experience the city’s rich tradition of live music by attending a performance at one of the many smaller, independent music venues in the area such as The Grey Eagle or The Mothlight.
- To make the most of your cultural and arts experience, be sure to check the schedules of the institutions you plan to visit and purchase tickets in advance if necessary and be respectful of the artists and their work by following the rules of the venue.
Food and Drink
- Asheville is known for its delicious and diverse food and drink options, from traditional Southern cuisine to farm-to-table dining and craft beers. However, some of the more popular restaurants and breweries can become crowded and overpriced.
- Instead, consider visiting some of the lesser-known and off-beat food and drink options in the area. For example, the All Day Darling serves a delicious brunch menu and coffee, it’s a cozy and small place that offers a unique and intimate experience.
- Another option is to visit one of the city’s many food trucks, such as The Lowdown, which serves up delicious sandwiches and sides, or Gypsy Queen Cuisine, which specializes in Mediterranean street food.
- Visitors can also experience the city’s booming craft beer scene by visiting one of the many smaller, independent breweries in the area such as Zillicoah Beer Company or Bhramari Brewing Company, which offers a wide range of unique and delicious beers.
- To make the most of your food and drink experience, be sure to research the options that best suit your taste and budget, and be respectful of the staff and other customers by following the rules of the establishment.
- This blog post has highlighted some of the unique and lesser-known activities, cultural experiences, and food and drink options that can be found in Asheville, North Carolina beyond the usual tourist hotspots. From exploring the beautiful natural surroundings, and visiting lesser-known museums, galleries, and performance spaces, to indulging in delicious and diverse food and drink options, there is truly something for everyone in this vibrant city.
- However, as with any popular tourist destination, it’s important to plan ahead and be prepared in order to make the most of your trip. By researching and planning your activities, cultural experiences, and food and drink options in advance, you can avoid the crowds and overpriced tourist traps, and truly experience all that Asheville has to offer.
- The city offers a unique blend of natural beauty, arts, culture, and delicious food and drink, and by exploring lesser-known activities and institutions, visitors can have a truly unique and memorable trip.
- To sum up, we encourage readers to take the time to explore the city’s lesser-known activities and institutions to discover the real Asheville and not only the one that is marketed to tourists.