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The Best Things to Do in Asheville, NC | Ultimate Travel Guide

by Caitlin

Asheville is a small little town hidden in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. It’s also home to America’s highest number of breweries per person (28 per 100,00 residents)! There are 30+ breweries in city limits alone. 

Since the town is so small, it’s highly-walkable. You can stay in town, or rent a car and explore some of the breweries nestled into the nearby mountains.

Asheville was my first ‘beercation’. I went back in 2015-ish, years before I was involved in craft beer like I am now. And then I roadtripped there in 2020 during Covid. I went in the Fall, which is hands-down the best time to visit.

Keep reading to learn more about how to plan the best trip to Asheville, North Carolina!

Fun Things to do in Asheville

The City, the Breweries, and What to Do

First, the awesome things. Of course, the craft beer is awesome. The mountains are awesome. The people are awesome. (And overall, the vibe and the atmosphere is awesome.)

The food, drinks, and breweries are super awesome. The whole world knows Asheville is awesome for craft beer, but here are some facts about Asheville in general.

Weather in Asheville

In the mountains, summer feels like summer, and winter feels like winter. The temperature drops drastically at night, especially on colder nights, so come prepared!

Getting to Asheville

There are several airports that you can fly into in and out of Asheville, (such as Charlotte, which is only two hours away) but one of the coolest things is flying into the much smaller Asheville Regional Airport (AVL). It’s a general aviation airport located in the middle of nowhere. There are no check-ins.

It is an actual private airstrip, and you drive into the airfield. It’s pretty much all downtown. Get a hotel downtown, and you’ll find that most of what you want to do (including all the amazing breweries) is right within walking distance.

The Roots of Asheville Beer

While the town began brewing beer in 1885, the modern craft beer movement didn’t really begin in Asheville until the late 90s, when people started the Asheville Beer Festival in 1994. Local homebrewers Robert Speck and Mike Brown started the festival to promote their beers, and to get more people to try their beers. And from there, things continued to grow.

Dog-Friendly Asheville

So Asheville is quite dog-friendly! If a restaurant has a patio, they’re most of the times dog friendly. I also found that many of the breweries in Asheville were also dog-friendly, both inside and out! We stayed at a dog-friendly hotel and I even think the nice chilly mountain weather is dog-friendly! If your dog loves nature, they are going to love Asheville. I rank this city very, very high on its dog-friendliness!

Travel Tip

Visit in Fall! The trees in the Blue Ridge Mountains, where Asheville is located, are famous for their fall colors. There are websites to visit which you give you the most accurate forecast with recommendations on when to visit Asheville to see fall leaves. You can visit those websites here and here.

Where to Stay in Asheville 

Hotels in Asheville

Kimpton Hotel Arras

You walk right in, and it’s the epitome of a walkable, hipster, craft beer town. But with an amazingly luxurious hotel to experience the city from. The Kimpton Arras is my top recommendation for staying in Asheville. It is centrally located downtown and is a gorgeous hotel that delivers on all stops.

The Kimpton Arras is a boutique hotel in downtown Asheville. The hotel offers stunning views of downtown and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Contemporary rooms and suites are decorated in soft hues, local art and boast stunning views. There’s even a fancy cocktail bar and Mediterranean fare served in the downstairs restaurant. This is for sure one of the chicest places to stay in Asheville. Book your room now by using the button below!

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Top Things To Do When Visiting Asheville, NC (Besides Drinking Craft Beer!)

Things to do in Ashville

You don’t have to be into beer to appreciate the awesomeness of Asheville. There are plenty of hikes, little museums, art galleries, shopping, and quirky restaurants. Don’t forget, Asheville has coffee shops and a farm to market. What’s missing?

Keeping reading to learn about some of the top attractions in Asheville, NC!

  • Tour the Biltmore Estate– America’s Largest Private Estate Home >>
  • Drive Along the Rolling Mountains of the Blue Ridge Parkway >>
  • Hike One of Several Trails in the Area >>
  • Stroll Through the Cultivated Gardens North Carolina Arboretum >>
  • Explore the Downtown Area and All of Its Shops, Cafes, and Bakeries >>
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Where to Eat in Asheville

Breakfast is the first meal of the day in Asheville. I love the Tupelo Honey, just a few doors down from my hotel. You’ll get fresh made waffles, fried eggs, and the most amazing biscuits ever. (See above)

In the afternoon, there is the always the delicious Rocky’s Hot Chicken Shack. They have a few beers available, but I’m glad they do because nothing is better than a hot chicken sandwich and an ice cold beer. Here are more of my favorite places to eat in Asheville.

Tupelo Honey (pictured above) is the spot for breakfast in Asheville. I’m sure they have great food all day, but their breakfast… oh man, their breakfast. Tupelo Honey is now a national chain, but you can still visit the original restaurant in downtown Asheville. Their biscuits are soft and fluffy and their chicken is to die for. Also, get their fried potatoes, you won’t regret it!

Farm Burger will ruin all future burgers for you, just a warning. Oh, how I love this joint. Located right above One World Brewing, Farm Burger serves up a delicious menu of grass-fed burgers, along with your typical burger joint fixings such as shakes and house-made fries. Don’t skip this spot either!

Where to Eat in Asheville

Rocky’s Hot Chicken Shack (pictured here) is a great spot to stop for a finger-licking delicious meal, especially if you find yourself outside of Downtown Asheville. Hot chicken, fried chicken, and chicken tenders alongside some of the best southern side foods you’ll find in the area.

Vortex Doughnuts is the doughnut spot in Asheville. This funky, hipster doughnut shop features all sorts of wild doughnut offerings and gourmet coffee to serve alongside them. Vegan doughnuts available too!!

Old Europe Pastries is another cute breakfast spot in downtown Asheville. At this bakery, you’ll find delicious coffee and a whole array of European pastries. It’s in quite a small location, so this is a good spot to swing by for some breakfast to go!

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Must-Visit Breweries in Asheville, North Carolina

Best Breweries in Asheville

Asheville is the original beer mecca. For a tiny mountain town, it’s home to more than 33 craft breweries, plus New Belgium and Sierra Nevada have both opened taprooms in the area!

I have lived on the east coast for about 14 years, so I’m well aware of what great breweries are around. Asheville is definitely one of them.

There is a whole lot of love for beer in Asheville. While this list won’t go into too many details of the breweries, you will learn a bit about the can’t miss spots in Asheville.

For a full guide to the breweries in Asheville, head over here to my beer lover’s guide to the city! In the meantime, here are my top-in-no-particular-order, cannot-miss brewery picks for anyone visiting Asheville NC.

  • Burial Beer (pictured above) is one funky and fun brewery. Their outdoor area is filled with old and vintage cars that double as seating areas. The tap list is one of the best in town, you’ll always find something new and interesting alongside classic styles brewed very well.
  • Highland Brewing is Asheville’s very first brewery. There are currently two taprooms in Asheville: their large production brewery brewery a few miles out from downtown and then Highland Brewing’s new taproom in downtown Asheville.
  • One World Brewing is one of my favorite breweries in Asheville. Located in the basement under Farm Burger, their taproom is like no other. I won’t spoil too much, but here’s my tip: come hungry and order a burger from upstairs– they’ll deliver it to you in the taproom!
  • Twin Leaf Brewing is another one of my personal favorites. I can’t really put my thumb on why, but I love their beers and I love the vibes in their dog-friendly taproom. Take my word for it, you’ll love them too!
  • DSSOLVR (pronounced dissolver) is one of the hottest new breweries in Asheville and definitely worth a visit.
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Time to Plan Your Trip to Asheville!

There’s a range of travel dates to try and book. They’re all pretty busy. You can book a long weekend trip to Asheville, but I think you’ll prefer to just leave in the middle of the week. If you’re coming from a big city, you’ll have more options on dates.

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