It is clear that Asheville, NC is filled with so many sights and sounds that there’s virtually no way to effectively experience it all in a mere two days, so we’ve taken our picks for the best of the best.
Whether you’re just visiting for the weekend or a long-time Ashevillian trying see the city from a new perspective, here’s a comprehensive itinerary of things you should try in Asheville.
Day 1: History and Southern Eats
Start with an early morning pick-up at the Early Girl Eatery, a cafe offering made-from-scratch southern entrees with breakfast served all day. Pick from eggs and grits, biscuits and gravy, or egg biscuits for a more traditional palate.
For the more adventurous, venture out of the comfort zone with a vegan tofu scramble made with local veggies or a Porky Breakfast Bowl with BBQ pork, home fries, and eggs smothered in hearty bacon gravy.
Historic Homes Tour
Continue the morning with some good old fashioned history. George Vanderbilt’s 250-room house, the Biltmore House, presents an eye popping look at America’s Gilded Age. Experience the Smith-McDowell House and soak in the history of the oldest house in Asheville, plucked from the destruction of the Union during the Civil War.
Hit up 12 Bones Smokehouse for authentic North Caroline BBQ. Juicy baby back ribs, unbelievably tender pulled pork, and smoky beef brisket are sure to get the juices flowing.
To work off that lunch, head outside town, pull into Adventure America Zipline Canopy Tours, and experience a 2.5-3 hour tour over a 22-acre expanse that includes 11 zip line sections and five sky bridges. Get a bird’s eye view of the South’s infamous magnolia trees and white oaks.
Time to rejuvenate! Try Cedric’s Tavern overlooking the village green at Antler Hill Village. The atmosphere tips its hat to Irish and British neighborhood pubs and the menu is filled with traditional pub fare such as smoked trout dip, evening roast, and of course, fish and chips.
Visit Homegrown for a truly local experience. The staff prides itself on local food and local staff and emphasizes their love of “slow food”: clean local food. Fried chicken biscuits or a veggie bowl with kale, quinoa, and sriracha saffron aioli, diners are sure to leave with full stomachs and a spring in their step.
Biltmore Park Town Square is a reimagining of the main streets of the old days of Asheville, designed to be green and aid in reduced driving for residents. Big box stores meld seamlessly with locally owned boutiques and cafes.
Snag a quick lunch at Posana Cafe with fried chicken or breakfast tacos chased with a house made bloody Mary or chilly mimosa.
Indulge in the Asheville Salt Cave and Spa and experience pure luxury in a 68-70 degree climate with 50% humidity. Spend 45 minutes breathing in warm air and listening to waterfalls and gentle music.
Dinner and Wine (or Beer!) on a Bike
The ever entertaining Pub cycle tours offer a tour through Asheville on a 13-person Trolley Pub: 10 pedaling seats and 3 non-pedaling seats. Tours start at 6pm and run through midnight and follow a lighthearted BYOB (bring your own beer or wine) rule. Ten to fifteen minute stops at local pubs for snacks and beer give pub cyclers a chance to re-hydrate and bond with their fellow riders.