The funky, craft beer mecca and oh-so-beautiful North Carolina town of Asheville is calling. And let us guess, you answered? Good choice. A weekend in Asheville is a perfect getaway for couples, families, or a weekend with friends. And the best part, this Asheville itinerary is packed with outdoor fun, amazing eats, and some seriously fun things to do in the city itself. So whether you have 2 or 3 days, a few days in Asheville is a few days well spent.
Weekend In Asheville Itinerary
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Best Time To Visit Asheville
Spring and fall are the best times to visit Asheville. The temperatures are mild and if visiting in the fall, you’ll get to see the leaves change colors! Summer is also a great time to visit Asheville, but the summer months are among the most popular times to visit Asheville. And don’t let that elevation fool you, if you visit during the summer, it still can get hot and humid!
How To Get Asheville And Around Asheville
Getting to Asheville is easy, especially if you are flying. Book your tickets for Asheville Regional Airport, located just 15 minutes south of downtown Asheville. If you are needing a larger airport Charlotte Douglas International Airport in Charlotte, NC is 125.2 miles away from Asheville, but an option for those if it’s needed.
Regardless of where you fly into, you’ll need to rent a car to get you around Asheville and drive the Blue Ridge Parkway.
When looking to stay in Asheville, you can’t beat staying downtown. Downtown Asheville is centrally located to must-see sights and attractions as well as near some of the best restaurants in the city. Downtown Asheville is a great place to book accommodation for you to use as your home base for your Asheville itinerary.
Elevation Lofts Hotel and Aloft Asheville Downtown offer modern, spacious floor plans with city views in a can’t-beat central location. And specifically, Aloft Asheville Downtown has an onsite swimming pool and bar.
For places like Haywood Park Hotel and Foundry Hotel, you can expect complimentary breakfasts, fitness centers, and a bar. Not to mention Haywood Park Hotel offers free champagne to guests upon arrival and the Historic Trolley departs and returns to the front of the hotel.
To see the latest availability and pricing, check out additional accommodation options right here!
Day 1: Explore Downtown Asheville
Alrighty! Day one of your weekend in Asheville itinerary and what better way to start your day than grabbing some breakfast at Tupelo Honey Southern Kitchen or Sunny Point Cafe? Tupelo Honey as well as Sunny Point Cafe are Asheville staples as far as breakfast and brunch go. With elevated Southern comfort food, it’s no wonder why there seemingly is always a wait at each eatery.
With full bellies, let’s get to exploring the city of Asheville, shall we?! How does a walking tour sound?
Take A Asheville City Walking Tour
We love a walking tour. It’s a great way to experience a city and learn a little bit about its past and present. Asheville Insider Guided Walking Tour takes its participants to some of the must-see sights in downtown Asheville like Pack Square, Grove Arcade, and Pritchard Park. The tour starts at 10:00 am and lasts a little under 2 hours, leaving you plenty of time in the afternoon to continue exploring Asheville.
Alternatively, if walking for 1 hour and 45 minutes sounds like a little too much, you can cruise through town on the hop-on-hop-off trolley tour. This can be an all-day tour if you opt to visit all the stops, so you may need to rearrange some of the things we suggest seeing and doing on day 1 and day 3 of this Asheville itinerary.
Tip: Since your Walking Tour will end near Asheville Pinball Museum, you could add this as one more stop before you head to lunch! The Pinball Museum is a place where you can play antique pinball machines. This is an excellent option if the weather is a little lousy one day too!
Wander Around The River Arts District (RAD)
After your walking tour has ended, plan to head to River Arts District (RAD) for lunch and to check out the more artistic side of Asheville. The River Arts District is situated along the French Broad River. Former warehouses turned into glass-blowing studios, pottery studios, and art galleries are scattered throughout this eclectic neighborhood.
Sample The Many Breweries In South Slope
In case you didn’t know, Ashville is the city with the most breweries per capita in America and home to some of the best breweries in the country. Within the city limits of Asheville, there are around 30 breweries to try. Yes, 30. So how do you know the best breweries in Asheville to sample? Easy. Head to South Slope.
South Slope is the neighborhood in Asheville that is home to LOADS of Asheville Breweries, and most are all within walking distance from each other. Some of our favorite Asheville Breweries you should definitely add to your list to try are Wicked Weed, Twin Leaf Brewery, Burial Brewery, The Funkatorium, DSSOLVR, and Hi-Wire Brewing.
You can spend your night sampling different brews and enjoying your night walking from brewery to brewery! Alternatively, you can book a spot on the Electric Bike Brewery Crawl where you’ll cycle to five of Asheville’s most popular microbreweries!
TIP: Another option how to spend your Friday night in Asheville is at the Drum Circle! Every Friday night in Asheville at the rounded outdoor amphitheater of Pritchard Park there is a Drum Circle. The Drum Circle is a free concert event where local drummers come together and play in harmony.
Day 2: Blue Ridge Parkway and Pisgah National Forest
Ready for day 2 of your Asheville itinerary? After a whirlwind day exploring downtown Asheville, it’s time to get out of the city and into some of the most scenic sections of North Carolina. It’s time to road trip a portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Blue Ridge Parkway is America’s longest linear park running for 469.1 miles from Virginia through North Carolina.
Now, you won’t be able to drive the whole thing on this trip, but you’ll definitely see some of the highlights!
Check out our Three-Day Blue Ridge Parkway Itinerary right here!
Tip: For this day, it’s best to pack a lunch, snacks, and things to drink. There is not a whole lot of food options along this section of Blue Ridge Parkway, so please come prepared!
Chase Waterfalls at Linville Falls and Crabtree Falls
Two of the best waterfalls along the Blue Ridge Parkway are Linville Falls and Crabtree Falls. Both are located North East of Asheville, a few hours’ drive away.
TIP: Blue Ridge Parkway can have potential road closures throughout the year due to construction or weather. Prior to road-tripping on the Blue Ridge Parkway, take a look at the latest road closures so you can plan accordingly if needed.
To get to Linville Falls, the further point away on this Asheville itinerary, plan to skip driving the Blue Ridge Parkway there, as you’ll be driving it on the way back! From Asheville, Linville Falls is a little over an hour’s drive (2 hours on the Blue Ridge Parkway).
Once at the Linville Falls Visitor Center, you have two hiking trails to choose from in order to see the famous Falls – 1. Erwin’s View Trail (1.7 miles) or 2. Plunge Basin (1.8 miles). The easier of the two, Erwin’s View Trail, offers 4 viewpoints for you to see Linville Falls, whereas Plunge Basin, offers two. Of the two trails, Plunge Basin was our definitely favorite!
Leaving Linville Falls, take the Blue Ridge Parkway for 21 miles (around 40 minutes), until you reach Crabtree Falls. Once in the parking lot, you’ll need to hike a 2.5-mile loop trail through the woods to reach the gorgeous, cascading 60-ft waterfall. While the loop is 2.5 miles, you’ll only have to hike 0.9 miles to reach Crabtree Falls.
This waterfall is beautiful and unlike Linville Falls, you can get up close and personal with this waterfall!
NAVIGATION TIP: We ran into a snafu when getting to Crabtree Falls. There are apparently two Crabtree Falls on Google Maps. One of which takes you nowhere but the side of the road. The other takes you to Crabtree Falls. Make sure your GPS navigation is taking you to Crabtree Falls by Crabtree Campground.
Stand At The Tallest Point in North Carolina, Mount Mitchell
Once you’ve had your fill of Crabtree Falls, head back on the Blue Ridge Parkway and head 30 minutes to reach the summit of Mount Mitchell. What’s so special about Mount Mitchell? Standing at 6,684 feet, Mount Mitchell is the tallest point not only in North Carolina, but it’s the tallest point east of the Mississippi River! So the panoramic views from the top are spectacular (on a clear day)!
To get to the Summit of Mount Mitchell you should plan to drive to the summit parking lot (it’s free). From here, you’ll walk a short, paved 1/4-mile to reach the summit observation deck.
Also, if you’re feeling up for it, there are two trails you can opt to hike from the parking lot of Mount Mitchell – 1. Deep Gap Trail (8.6 miles, but this is an out-and-back trail so you can stop and turn around whenever you’d like) or 2. Balsam Nature Trail (0.9 miles).
Take a Hike to Craggy Pinnacle
The last stop on your Asheville Itinerary for day two and it’s a good one! At this point of the day, it should be late afternoon or close to sunset, making this last stop perfect, especially if you can catch the sunset here!
From Mount Mitchell, Craggy Pinnacle is about a 15-minute drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Once in the parking lot, you have a short 0.5-mile hike to the summit of Craggy Pinnacle where you’ll be greeted with exceptional views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the areas swooping valleys. It’s absolutely magnificent and a popular spot to watch the sunset near Asheville!
Get our list of the best views and overlooks on the Blue Ridge Parkway!
Grab Dinner in Asheville
After a busy day exploring the scenic side of North Carolina, plan to head back into Asheville for a bit to eat or head back to a brewery you loved or still need to try. Either way, plan to end your night with some good food!
Day 3: Hiking & The Biltmore
Morning Hike at Black Balsam Knob
THIS IS OPTIONAL. You’ve had a busy two days, so if you feel up for a morning hike, Black Balsam Knob is hard to beat. If you’d rather have a slow, relaxed morning, plan to spend it in Asheville grabbing some breakfast and coffee.
For those wanting to hike, Black Balsam Knob trailhead is located a little over an hour south of Asheville. This hike is one of the best hikes in the area, and if you choose to hike it, you’ll soon see why! This 1.5-mile out-and-back trail will start you off hiking through balsam fir trees until you eventually come to a ridgeline where you’ll hike over a grassy-covered 6,000 ft. mountain with 360-degree views.
Explore The Biltmore Estate
The Biltmore Estate, built by George Vanderbilt, is America’s Largest Home. Sitting on 8,000 acres, The Biltmore is still the largest privately owned house in the United States and one of the best examples of a Gilded Age mansion.
To visit The Biltmore, you’ll need to purchase tickets in order to enter the grounds. Once there, you can take a tour of the property, have lunch at Stable Cafe or Cedric’s Tavern, take a stroll through the Biltmore’s gardens and Conservatory, and taste wine at Biltmore Winery or take a Biltmore Winery Tour.
You can easily spend several hours enjoying the property which happened to put Asheville on the map when it opened in 1895.
Drinks and Dinner at Omni Grove Park Inn
Built-in 1913, Omni Grove Park Inn is not only one of (if not thee) more luxurious places to stay in Asheville, but it has also been ranked on a list of the world’s best spas. It’s a beautiful, historic hotel, and outside their renowned spa, Omni Grove has one of the best patios to enjoy sunset drinks and dinner from.
A perfect way to end your Asheville itinerary. Having amazing food and drinks as the sunsets over the Blue Ridge Mountains and Asheville. Just be sure to make reservations well ahead of time!
Best Places To Eat in Asheville
Asheville has some amazing places to eat. Be it lunch or dinner, you’re bound to find an amazing meal. Some of our favorite as well as top-rated Asheville restaurants are listed just below:
- Posana Restaurant
- Avenue M
- Jettie Rae’s Oyster House
- Rosetta’s Kitchen & The Buchi Bar
- Sovereign Remedies
- The Bull And Beggar
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– Lauren & Jesse Stuart (The Stüs)