Some of Our “Picks” for Things to Do In and Around Asheville
An Asheville vacation offers it all, from the historic Biltmore Estate and winery, to music, art and crafts at every turn. The Blue Ridge Parkway, Chimney Rock, and several National and State parks, arboretums and nature preserves are here to inspire you with awe in every season. Enjoy the flowering Rhododendrons and Dogwoods, the lush forests and spectacular waterfalls. Hike, fish, take in the glorious fall foliage or even take a zip-line tour of the forest canopy.
Nestled in all the natural beauty of the mountains is the city of Asheville, often called the “Paris of the South”. Vibrant, culturally rich and eclectic, Asheville is filled to the brim with working artists and craftspeople, musicians, and live theater. Its many outstanding independent restaurants feature an abundance of locally produced food, wines and beer. Countless fine local microbreweries have gained national attention. The nighttime comes alive in Asheville’s music venues, with jazz, Celtic, country, rock and everything in between, not to mention our symphony orchestra! Unique shops, antiques and interesting architecture from the Victorian, Arts & Crafts and Art Nouveau traditions abound.
There’s something for everyone, and A Bed of Roses is ideally located to help you enjoy it all. We’re just 5 and a half blocks from downtown and a short 10 minute drive to the Biltmore estate and the shops and restaurants of Biltmore Village.
Visit exploreasheville.com for extensive info on things to do in Asheville!
Built by George Vanderbilt in the 1890s, The Biltmore Estate and gardens is a National Historic Landmark that is a must see on your visit. The estate includes the Biltmore Winery and Antler Hill Village. Take advantage of our Biltmore Package and get two tickets for two consecutive days. You’ll need both days to take in America’s largest privately owned home, modeled after the chateaux of the French Renaissance with grounds designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the father of American landscape architecture.
Don’t forget to visit Biltmore Village, a community at the entrance to the Vanderbilt’s Estate planned to house the Estate workers and currently known for it’s shopping and restaurants in a quaint historic setting.
One of America’s most scenic drives and a National Park in it’s own right, The Blue Ridge Parkway is 469 miles long and stretches from Waynesboro Virginia to Cherokee NC through lush National forests and stunning mountains. Some of its most lovely sections are minutes from Asheville and access to the Parkway from Asheville is easy. Traveling north on the Parkway, take in Craggy Gardens and on to Mount Mitchell, the tallest peak east of the Mississippi! Stunning overlooks line the route. The Folk Art Center at milepost 382 on the Blue Ridge Parkway is a short 20 minute drive from A Bed of Roses and houses the Southern Highland Craft Guild’s Craft Shop as well as galleries, a library and auditorium. South on the Parkway from Asheville you will climb Pisgah Mountain and travel through the Pisgah National Forest.
Visit the Arboretum for its carefully manicured gardens, woodland trails, special exhibits and educational programs. With 65 acres of cultivated gardens and 10 miles of hiking and biking trails, the arboretum is located on 434 beautiful acres and includes one of the finest, most unique bonsai collections in the United States. The Arboretum was founded in 1986, nearly a century after Frederick Law Olmsted, the ‘Father of American Landscape Architecture’, first envisioned such an institution near Asheville as part of his legacy to the Biltmore Estate.
The Omni Grove Park Inn
This Historic Inn was completed in 1913 by Edwin Wiley Grove. Many past Presidents and luminaries have stayed at the Grove Park Inn, adding to it’s lore, including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. Built from Granite boulders taken from Sunset Mountain, where the hotel is located, the Great Hall is a sight to behold. The original building offers a stunning example of Arts and Crafts Architecture, but with a world class golf course and a luxurious spa. Be sure to catch the view from the Sunset Terrace. Insider tip: don’t miss Grovewood Village adjacent to the hotel. It houses The Grovewood Gallery and outdoor sculpture garden as well as artists studios and even an antique auto museum!
Home to over 200 working artists, The River Arts District has been converted from former industrial buildings and warehouses along the French Broad River into a thriving arts community. Studios and lofts occupy 22 buildings and visitors can watch artists at work and purchase one-of-a-kind pieces of art in every medium you can imagine. Twice a year Studio Stroll Events draw crowds to see the artist’s demonstrations. The River Arts District is located minutes from downtown Asheville along the French Broad River.
Chimney Rock State Park is nestled in Hickory Nut Gorge between the towns of Lake Lure and Bat Cave, just 25 miles southeast of Asheville. The 535-million-year-old monolith, for which the Park is named, is considered one of the most iconic sites in North Carolina. From the top you’ll get a breathtaking 75-mile panoramic view of Lake Lure and the valley below. The trails will take you to a 404 foot waterfall, 12 Great Woodland Adventure discovery stations, Exclamation Point, a 2,480 foot mountain peak, as well to the Opera Box and Devil’s Head. Scenes from “Last of the Mohicans” were filmed in the park.
Known for its beautiful waterfalls, Dupont State Recreational Forest, with 10,473 acres is a popular hiking destination with 86 miles of trails, many of which are highly accessible. Dupont is just 40 miles south of Asheville on the route to Brevard.
Parts of the vast Pisgah National Forest are very close to Dupont State Forest, including the Cradle of Forestry, the first school of Forestry in America and Looking Glass Falls. The Pisgah National Forest has over 500,000 acres of wilderness, waterfalls, mountain peaks and white water rivers to explore. The Pisgah, Grandfather and Appalachian Ranger Districts run along the eastern edge of Western North Carolina’s mountains.
Asheville has become a mecca for foodies and world-class chefs. We call it “Foodtopia”! The variety and quality of the restaurant scene here is unparalleled and ever-changing with a strong emphasis on locally sourced food and creative collaboration. Many of our local chefs have been nominated for James Beard awards over the years. We can only highlight a few of our favorites here, but there are many great sources for up-to-date news on what’s new and what’s hot in the area including Romantic Asheville and Explore Asheville.
Traditional Spanish Tapas by nationally acclaimed chef Katie Buton.
Chef Buton’s sister restaurant with American small plates and craft cocktails.
The Market Place–
Locally sourced cuisine in an elegant setting by award winning chef William Dissen.
Elegant and exceptional French comfort food.
Buxton Hall BBQ–
Serious whole hog Barbecue Eastern Carolina style.
Delicious and inventive Tapas served in a romantic atmosphere.
Authentic Indian Street Food
Creative Vegetarian with an international flair
Local hormone & antibiotic free ingredients, seasonal specialties and gluten-free cuisine.
Tupelo Honey Café–
Scratch made Southern Food with mountain roots
Early Girl Café–
Farm to table Southern Comfort Food- great T-shirts!
“Farmer to Table” with family style Sunday Suppers.
Authentic traditional Mexican cuisine with a modern sensibility
Small, seasonal New American with daily changing menu
The Lobster Trap–
The best seafood in the mountains
Elegant Mediterranean with superb service and a Chef’s Table
The Red Stag Grill–
Contemporary European comfort food in an elegant, grand hunting lodge setting
Small upscale New American/French cuisine
Fresh local ingredients, made from scratch Mexican. Great patio seating.
Farm to Table cuisine served in a 109 yr old house in the heart of Biltmore Village
North Asheville and Montford:
Neighborhood Italian with home made pasta daily
Ambrozia Bar & Bistro–
Award winning American cuisine in an unlikely location. Worth getting off the beaten track.
Local favorite for spicy Caribbean fare in casual bar setting.
Gan Shan Station–
Creative East Asian Cuisine in a casual neighborhood setting.
Inventive Vegan restaurant committed to ethical and compassionate lifestyle.
West Asheville and the River Arts District:
12 Bones Smokehouse BBQ–
Creative hardwood smoked BBQ with a loyal following that is not 100% from any region
Dive bar from the outside- swank with ambitious and creative meals inside
Smoky Park Supper Club–
Innovative Riverside dining in a converted shipping container.
The Craft Beer Scene
There are more breweries per capita in Asheville than any US city. Go to Explore Asheville for the full list of micro and craft breweries and cideries. You’ll find everything here from small breweries like Burial Beer or Wicked Weed to the Grand new Sierra Nevada and the iconic Highland Brewing founded by Oscar Wong in 1994.
The Music Scene
Live music thrives here in Asheville with buskers on every street corner, venues for larger concerts that attract nationally known groups and intimate bars and small performance spaces. You can find a live music calendar at Explore Asheville along with a full listing of venues, large and small, music festivals and bios of local musicians. Many handcrafted instruments are available in Asheville too. Learn to play a mountain dulcimer and join the music!