Waterfalls and Hikes
Located near Brevard, the cost for Sliding Rock’s entrance into the (area?) is only $1. Then anyone who’s brave enough to slide down the slick 60 foot rock formation into a chilly eight foot pool can spend the whole day at Asheville’s most popular swimming hole! The area is also outfitted with showers and bathrooms, for those not wanting to rough it for too long.
The 4 mile roundtrip Graveyard Fields hike off of Mile Post 418.8 of the Blue Ridge Highway offers you unique scenery and spectacular views of two waterfalls. Though the area is named after the petrified trees broken in a massive storm, which are said to resemble gravestones in a graveyard, the walk isn’t spooky. The changing of the leaves is one of the best in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The two water falls, Second Falls, a popular summer swimming hole, and the Upper Falls, a stunningly steep waterfall, make up for the name.
If you look out at the mountains from Asheville, Mt. Pisgah is quite recognizable. On its peak, it hosts the WLOS-TV channel 13 transmission tower. But after the 3 mile hike to the top of Mount Pisgah, the view of the Blue Ridge Mountains surrounding you and Asheville spread below you from the observation deck will be much more memorable. Take the Blue Ridge Parkway to the Mount Pisgah parking area on the left at milepost 407.6.
An excellent spot for a picnic, Craggy Gardens is an easy 1.4 mile hike with beautiful rhododendrons, mountain laurel, and wild azaleas burst into bloom during late June. In the late summer, there’s a harvest of fresh mountain blueberries! Just start from the visitor’s area at milepost 364.6 on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Bent Creek is a convenient location, with updated trails, a lake open for swimmers and fishers, a camping area and a family recreation area. Taking your bike here, you’ll find many trails that range in difficulty and ways to connect to other parts of the Pisgah National Forest. Recently more trails have been made and trails have been regraded to make them less rough for riders. For directions check out the Asheville Parks website.
Black Bear Adventure Tours can take the uncertainty out of doing a bike tour or mountain biking excursion in Asheville. For a small amount, they’ll take you on a bike tour of the Blue Ridge parkway and for an extra $15, include a mountain biking portion. Check it out at www.blackbearadventures.com
One of the best spots for fly fishing is the Davidson River, located near Brevard, about a half an hour outside of Asheville NC. With Catch and Release fly fishing regulations, the river boasts some of the largest catches due to its clear, slow moving river that makes rainbow trout easy to spot.
The River Arts district, located in North West Asheville is slowly being remade from old warehouses, into vibrant art galleries, unique shops and interesting restaurants. You can go to one of the weekend art crawls, or just stop into a few galleries in between meals at White Duck Taco Shop and 12 Bones Smokehouse, President Obama’s favorite Asheville hangout.
Downtown, a walk around a few blocks can take you into a number of diverse shops. No matter if you’re jamming out in Lexington Avenue’s funky Static Age Records or strolling through the chic Grove arcade, Asheville’s downtown is bolstered by the locally owned, creative stores.
The Asheville Mall, located off of exit 7 of the 240 East Expressway, also has many stores to suit any want or need. For an open air shopping experience, with boutiques, dining and the Regal Grande Movie Theater, head to the Biltmore Park Town Square, located off of exit 37 on Interstate 26 East.
Asheville has become well known for its culinary fare, thanks to its many different restaurants supporting farm to table practices, with fresh, local food coming out of their kitchens.
Tupelo Honey Café is one of the most famous Asheville eateries. With a modern take on southern cuisine, THC’s original downtown location and now another in South Asheville are the places to go to experience a true Ashevillian meal: good ol’ comfort cooking, but farm fresh with an eclectic spark you can’t find anywhere but ‘the Paris of the South’.
Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company has three American classics: movies, pizza, and beer. But because we’re in Ashevegas, none of these things are exactly how you imagine. The ABC house beers are the definition of a local microbrew, the pizzas, sandwiches, salads and snacks are all creatively named after movies and just as uniquely made with fresh ingredients, and the movies are relatively new, for only $3. A great place for dinner and a date or to take the kids, Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company is a local classic.
For a unique experience in the beautiful Montford neighborhood of Asheville, check out Caribbean restaurant Nine Mile. With authentic pasta and vegetarian optional dishes and a cozy atmosphere, as well as reasonable prices, it’s perfect for an intimate evening.
If you’ve come to Asheville to check out the breweries… You may run out of time! With more breweries per capita (one per 8,000 people) than any other city in the US, Asheville brewing is now being recognized on a national level.
Asheville’s most famous brewery is Highland Brewing Company, the largest microbrewery in the South East. With the tasting room open after four every day, and tours going out Monday through Saturday, as well as concerts throughout the summer, it’s easy to stop by highland, have a cold one, and learn about Asheville’s biggest and most sustainable brewery.
Wicked Weed is Asheville’s newest brewery that’s making waves, with its downstairs tasting room and upstairs restaurant. Open all week, with guided tours from Asheville Brews Crews and Asheville Brewery Tours, Wicked Weed serves up hoppy West Coast and Belgian inspired creations along with delicious food.
Want to check the most out, along with your own DD and tour guide? Take the Brews Cruise! Offering a ton of options for tours, including walking, buses, and soon a shuttle to go to multiple breweries, the Asheville Brews Cruise provides a tour guide to tell you information, as well as samplings at the breweries and tours once you’re inside. Learn more at ashevillebrewscruise.com
Asheville is home to some of the most eclectic and diverse people in Western North Carolina, and has become a center for music and arts in the mountains. There’s some things so unique to Asheville, they don’t really fit anywhere else.
Downtown on Friday night? You can head to the drum circle in Pritchard Park for free. Family friendly and fun, bring your drum and play along or dance in the crowd!
The Orange Peel plays host to some great musicians, and makes a very cool venue with a central location to boot. Check out the online show schedule to see who’s playing when you’re here in Asheville. Past performers to visit the Orange Peel include Bob Dylan, The Black Keys, Ice Cube, and many more.
Make sure to check out the event schedules at the Civic Center, Thomas Wolfe Arena, and UNC Asheville’s Lipinski Auditorium and Kimmel Arena for other performances and speakers.