Asheville, North Carolina, is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. With moderate temperatures year-round and stunning natural scenery, it’s the perfect place to get active and enjoy some fresh air. Hence, here are 20 of our favorite outdoor activities near Asheville, NC.
Visit Asheville Treetops Adventure Park To Climb, Swing, And Rappel
Zip through the red oak canopy or rappel from the treetops at Asheville’s Treetops Adventure Park. This adrenaline-fueled attraction chiefly features over 70 unique aerial trails and courses, perfect for experienced climbers and families alike!
Visit Craggy Gardens and Pinnacle
Embark on a remarkable nature escape at Craggy Gardens and Craggy Pinnacle, just north of Asheville, NC. The trek to Craggy Pinnacle immerses you in a twisted tree forest. It ends with awe-inspiring panoramic vistas of the Blue Ridge Mountains at its peak. Bask in serenity as you marvel at the breathtaking, 360-degree view. When it comes to overlooks, this is probably the best view in our list of outdoor activities in Asheville NC.
Take A Drive To Sliding Rock And Cool Off
Who needs a water park when you can race down a natural water slide in Pisgah National Forest? Nothing compares to the thrill of rushing down smooth river stone into a crisp 8-foot-deep pool below! This would be among the most fun and exhilarating outdoor activities Asheville NC has to offer.
Go Tubing On The French Broad River
Grab an inner tube and lounge on a lazy river ride with the French Broad River Outfitters. Experience comfort and safety while enjoying outdoor activities in Asheville, NC. Moreover, our tubes feature headrests, cup holders, and cooler floats for refreshing summertime floats.
Get Your Tickets For The Mountaintop Tour At Navitat Canopy Adventures
If you are looking for fun things to do in Asheville NC, touring the Appalachians in the treetops should be certainly near the top! Navitat offers a 100% tree-based zipline tour of Rich Cove, where you and your family can reach speeds of 40 mph! Or for those who prefer a lower and slower experience, Navitat also offers guided RTV tours.
Stop By The NC Arboretum
Discover the Wonders of The North Carolina Arboretum. A visit to Asheville’s arboretum offers an unforgettable experience of nature’s artistry in a variety of stunning gardens to explore. In addition, from the bonsai collection to the vibrant quilt garden, each garden presents a unique experience that immerses visitors in the beauty of flora.
Explore The Bonsai Garden
The Bonsai Exhibition Garden at the arboretum showcases a remarkable collection of bonsai trees that are miniature masterpieces of the ancient art form of bonsai. Delight in the artistry and craftsmanship that goes into shaping these sculptures of nature. Also, learn about the techniques used to create and maintain these living marvels and gain an appreciation for a time-honored art form.
Hike Or Bike At The NC Arboretum
Take a hike or a bike ride: The arboretum is home to over 10 miles of scenic trails that are perfect for hiking or biking enthusiasts looking to lose themselves in the peace and serenity of lush forests, an unspoiled landscape rich in natural beauty. Furthermore, the trails cater to different skill levels, ensuring there’s something for everyone to enjoy in the great outdoors.
Visit The Education Center
The arboretum’s Education Center is dedicated to enriching the visitor experience for people of all ages. Explore interactive exhibits that highlight the importance of plants and their significance to our ecological world. Engage in hands-on activities, learn about sustainable gardening practices, and gain a deeper understanding of the natural world.
Attend Unique and Exciting Special Events and Exhibitions
Every season, the North Carolina Arboretum hosts a variety of special events and exhibitions, from flower shows to art installations and workshops. There’s always something new and exciting to discover, so be sure to check their calendar for upcoming events catering to different interests. Experience a unique side of nature through the arboretum’s grounds.
See Two Beautiful Waterfalls At Graveyard Fields
Nestled along the Blue Ridge Parkway, Graveyard Fields is a natural paradise with not one, but two captivating waterfalls. Each waterfall offers a unique experience worth savoring. The Lower Falls cascades gracefully over ancient rock formation. Visitors can unwind, and wade in the inviting pools surrounding the waterfall’s base. As one hikes upstream, the Upper Falls eventually unveils itself in all its majestic grandeur.
Black Balsam Knob And The Art Loeb Trail
Experience the natural beauty of Pisgah National Forest by trekking along the Black Balsam Knob and Art Loeb Trail. This wondrous trail, situated near Asheville, North Carolina, features breathtaking panoramas and high altitude splendor. Hikers can traverse through verdant meadows and black balsam forests all while basking in stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
Try Gem Mining With Asheville Gem Mine Or Elijah Mountain Gem Mine
If you’re hoping to prospect outdoors, visit the water flumes at the Elijah Mountain Gem Mine. On days when it rains and you need an indoor alternative, hunt for hidden treasure in the heart of Asheville at the Asheville Gem Mine.
Experience Asheville NC wineries and vibrant wine culture through a delightful journey featuring exceptional wineries and vineyards. Marked Tree Vineyard, Stone Ashe Vineyards, and Burntshirt Vineyards are destinations you must visit, each offering unique and enriching experiences.
Marked Tree Vineyard
Nestled amidst scenic landscapes, Marked Tree Vineyard welcomes guests with warm hospitality and a diverse range of grape varietals cultivated with care.
Stone Ashe Vineyard
Stone Ashe Vineyards showcases a blend of Old World charm and modern winemaking techniques, as you savor their exquisite wines that reflect the essence of the Appalachian Mountains.
Meanwhile, Burntshirt Vineyards captivates visitors with stunning mountain views and meticulously maintained vineyards, offering a serene setting to enjoy their acclaimed wines.
Breweries And Patios
Embark on an exciting journey through the lively craft beer scene of Asheville, North Carolina, and discover five exceptional breweries that offer the perfect setting to unwind and savor a pint on a sunny patio.
Begin your brewery tour at Wicked Weed Brewing, renowned for its diverse and innovative beer selection. So, nestled in downtown Asheville, the laid-back ambiance of its patio is the perfect place to sample their award-winning hop-forward ales.
Soak in the breathtaking views while sipping on award-winning brews at Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, which boasts an expansive patio.
For an eclectic array of classic and experimental beer styles, head to Hi-Wire Brewing‘s Big Top location, where the spacious patio promises to entice beer lovers.
Revel in the rustic charm and laid-back vibe at Burial Beer Co. Their outdoor seating area and rotating beer menu, showcasing traditional and quirky brews, make for a certainly rejuvenating experience.
Finally, indulge in the iconic Fat Tire Amber Ale and a range of Belgian-inspired brews, complete with relaxing views on the patio of New Belgium Brewing.
Experience Two Looking Glasses
This is one of our favorite full days of outdoor activities in Asheville NC. You get a waterfall and a mountain peak! Hikers should start their morning early with a drive to Looking Glass Falls, where they can see the beautiful waterfall. Then head to the nearby Looking Glass Rock trailhead for an all day hiking experience that ends with epic panoramic views.
Drive To Cataloochee To See The Elk
If you’re looking for an incredible wildlife experience, visit nearby Cataloochee Valley. Witness herds of NC elk grazing in the fields of this pretty valley during early morning or evening hours. So grab your camera and see if you can capture some photos of these majestic creatures!
Go Glamping With Asheville Glamping
Modern camping meets Mother Nature at Asheville Glamping, where campers are encouraged to disconnect to reconnect with the great outdoors. Although WiFi and electricity are intentionally absent, each dome is equipped with everything you need for a regenerative camping adventure.
Take A Guided Horseback Tour With Biltmore Horseback Trail Rides
Saddle up on an unforgettable trek through the wooded meadows surrounding the Biltmore Estate. New to horseback riding? No worries! Riders will be paired with a horse matching their skill level.
Walk a 2 Mile Loop On the Self-Guided Asheville Urban Trail
Interested in learning more about Asheville’s gilded past? The Asheville Urban Trail guides visitors through a casual 2-mile tour. it follows 30 sculptural trail stations unveiling the legends, landmarks, and leaders of Asheville’s storied history.
Book A Stand Up Paddleboard For The French Broad River
If you’re looking for a new way to experience the French Broad River in Asheville, NC, consider booking a stand-up paddleboard! This is a great way to get out and enjoy the scenery while getting in a workout at the same time. The French Broad River Outfitters offer paddleboard rentals and can give you all the tips you need for a great trip.
Go Canyoneering With Pura Vida Adventures Or Green River Adventures
Ready to repel alongside a waterfall? Pura Vida and Green River Adventures offer excellent opportunities for beginner canyoneering and require no prior climbing or rappelling experience! Prepare to get wet and sweat on this action-packed outdoor adventure.
Head To Biltmore For Their Outdoor Adventure Offerings
There’s plenty to do in the Biltmore Estate’s 8,000 acre backyard. The Biltmore’s Outdoor Adventure Center at Antler Hill Village offers outdoor activities fit for everyone, with options ranging from peaceful horse tours and river float tours, to opportunities to explore falconry and clay shooting.
Grab the Car And Head To Mt. Mitchell To See The Highest Peak in NC
Only a short drive outside Asheville, at 6,684 feet, Mt. Mitchell is the highest point east of the Mississippi River! Easy trails at the summit provide breathtaking mountain vistas, and the national park’s observation deck also offers convenient access to the scenic mountaintop.