Asheville NC Travel Guide

Asheville NC is one the coolest cities in the United States, and in particular on the East Coast.    Asheville is literally a city in the mountains and surrounded by tons of beautiful scenery, things to do, and things to do see.  The city provides a unique mix of trendy and artsy vibe combined with the spirit of adventure and the outdoors.  There are some amazing, unique and fun things to do in Asheville!

Updated: 3/16/2022

Cover Photo by: Making Memories Photography

Where is Asheville NC?

Asheville NC is located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina, right off of I-40.  The city is literally surrounded by mountain peaks exceeding 5,000 feet in elevation.  The Blue Ridge Parkway literally runs through Asheville, and some amazing sights along the Parkway can be seen just a few minutes from the heart of Asheville.

What's in Asheville NC?

Biltmore Estate

Asheville is full of unique coffee shops, shopping venues, award winning restaurants, outdoor activities, and of course breweries.  Did you know that Asheville has more breweries per capita, than any other US City.   At the time this guide was written, Asheville has more than 26 breweries in the city alone, with more than 60 in the Asheville area!

Asheville also has numerous unique hotels, bed and breakfasts and mountain side cabins for you to stay in while exploring the city.

Of course when thinking of Asheville, you can't forgot that it's home to Biltmore Estate, the largest and most visited private home in the United States.   Biltmore Estate is not only a historic home that you can tour, but acres of hiking trails, gardens, horse back riding, shopping and fine dining.   Biltmore even has two highly acclaimed hotels you can stay at.

The bottom line? You won't run out of things to do and see when visiting Asheville!

Asheville NC Videos

Here are our videos of Asheville and surrounding areas:

We visit the most haunted location in Asheville NC, the famous Helen's Bridge.  Helen was not what we expected!

Hike on the Appalachian Trail to a 360 degree view mountain top bald.

Visit Crabtree Falls with us, just north of Asheville NC on the Blue Ridge Parkway

We visit the most popular Holiday light display in Asheville.

Hike to the top of this popular and iconic stop on the Blue Ridge Parkway for incredible views.

Visit the amazing and beautiful Biltmore Blooms event with as Biltmore Estate

What to do in Asheville NC

Here are just some of the great things to do in Asheville NC when visiting!

Where to Stay in Asheville NC

Asheville is full of unique hotels, Bed & Breakfasts, Airbnbs and cabins for you to stay in when visiting.    We've stayed overnight a few times during our weekend visits, and can highly recommend the Omni Grove Park Inn, A Moment In Time Bed & Breakfast, and The 1899 Wright Inn & Carriage House.

Best Hotels and Bed & Breakfasts In Asheville NC

Best Cabins In Asheville NC

Asheville is full of beautiful rental cabins for you to enjoy while visiting Asheville and the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains.  Here are our top picks for the best cabins in Asheville NC: 

Where to Eat In Asheville NC - Best Restaurants in Asheville

One of the main reasons we visit Asheville NC is for the restaurants.  Asheville has the most variety of restaurant options in Western NC, and is full of options and unique restaurants.  

Our favorite places to eat in Asheville NC:

Vinnie's Italian

Vinnie's is our favorite place to eat when visiting Asheville as a family (with our kids).   They have something for everyone, fantastic Italian food, and a super friendly vibe that is just contagious.  We just never tire of hearing the staff yell "Welcome to Vinnie's!".   Many others must agree with us, as there is always a line when they open, and they seem to stay busy right up to closing time, daily.

Vinnie's now as two locations, but we still prefer the original on Merrimon Avenue and love sitting outside on the patio during the summer.   All of the dishes are fantastic and they serve both traditional Italian meals and their own unique dishes, and pizza as well.

So if you're looking for a family friendly place, with fantastic food, at reasonable prices that the whole family will enjoy, Vinnie's Italian is the place for you!

Wild Ginger Noodle Bar

Near the Parkway entrance and not far from Biltmore, this small, but excellent Noodle Bar has wonderful food, and specializes in Pho.    If you've never tried Pho (it's Pho-nominal ... ok, I'll stop), think of it as a noodle soup, with lots of proteins and veggies.   Pho is one of our favorite asian dishes, and Wild Ginger knows how to make it and offers up a number of different styles and flavors.

They also have a number of other fantastic Thai dishes as well.   Wild Ginger is always busy, but we've never had to wait "too long", and have found the food and staff to be well worth the wait.    Be sure to get the steamed dumplings too ... delicious!

Sunset Terrace, Omni Grove Park Inn

We've only eaten here a handful of times, and honestly, the Sunset Terrace a bit out of our price range to eat at often, but if you're looking for that luxurious high-end dinner, this is the place.  The food, service, and view are second to none and just outstanding.  One of the best dining experiences we've ever had.

If you can, book your reservations well in advance, and at sunset, because the Sunset terrace gets its name for a very good reason ... outstanding sunset views of Asheville and the surrounding mountains.

Juicy Lucy's Burgers

Another great place for family dining is Juicy Lucy's in Asheville NC.   They have a little bit of everything, but their speciality is a "Juicy Lucy" cheeseburger, where the cheese is inside the burger.  They have a very large selection of burgers, and other items, including a long list of locally crafted beers as well.

Juicy Lucy's is a casual restaurant, with both indoor and outdoor seating.  Service and food are always top notch, and we enjoy eating here after a busy day in Asheville, hiking the surrounding area, or visiting Biltmore.

If you want to try something that is fantastic, but a bit unexpected, go with their Lamb Gyro, which are fantastic, especially with a side of greek salad!

Mela Indian Food

We absolutely love Indian food, and really enjoy heading into downtown Asheville for a visit to Mela Indian Food, especially for lunch when they have their huge lunch buffet.    There are a few Indian restaurants in Asheville, and they are all very good, but the ambience, downtown setting, and quality of food at Mela brings us back every time.

Mela provides all the essential Indian dishes, but also has a few specialities that are unique to their restaurant.   We've tried many of the different dishes, and have loved them all.  Their Tikka Masala and Saag Paneer are outstanding, and be sure to get a side of Garlic Naan as well, made fresh in house. 

White Duck Tacos

Looking for some of the most unique and best tasting tacos you've ever had?   White Duck in Asheville has you covered.   I mean where else can you get tacos like: Crispy Chicken BLT, Spicy Buffalo Chicken, Bangkok Shrimp, Korean Beef Bulgogi, Lamb Gyro, Thai Peanut Chicken, and much much more, including speciality tacos that rotate ?

I know, sounds "different" right?  Well they are, but in a fabulously good way.   We've tried all the tacos, and have liked them all, but of course we have our favorites, namely the Duck and Gyro tacos.    Be sure to try their Queso and chips, and their freshly made Margaritas as well.

At the Asheville location, they have outdoor riverside seating, that is dog friendly.  You might even  see a few real white ducks too!

Best Bars near Asheville NC

Being a larger city, not only do you get a wonderful variety of dining options, but there are also some really outstanding bars as well.  Here are our top picks for the Best Bars near Asheville NC:

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