Things to Do in Asheville
“Surrounded by mountains sheathed in white, bill-board free and calendar perfect” ~Marjorie Roaires
Wondering what to do in Asheville? The Reynolds Mansion Bed & Breakfast Inn is nestled in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains at the foot of Reynolds Mountain. This makes Reynolds Mansion an ideal base to explore the cultural, historic, scenic and active multi-day pursuits that the Asheville area boasts year round. We can help you create an extensive list of leisure pursuits in the area for you to visit. Here’s a few ideas of what to do in Asheville:
Be inspired by the relaxed elegance of George and Edith Vanderbilt’s 250-room family home and country retreat. Discover original art from masters such as Renoir, magnificent 16th-century tapestries, Napoleon’s chess set, a library with 10,000 volumes, a Banquet Hall with a 70-foot ceiling, 65 fireplaces, an indoor pool, bowling alley, and priceless antiques. Opened to friends on Christmas Eve 1895, this French Renaissance château remains America’s largest privately owned home. When visitors plan a trip to Biltmore, they often think first of Biltmore House with its art and antiques, but there’s so much more to this 8,000 acre estate in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Whether a guest’s interest lies in food and wine, gardening, history, agriculture, family activities or just escaping the everyday, Biltmore has an event or activity to suit. See more about Events in Asheville, NC, below.
- Antler Hill Village
New at Biltmore in Spring 2010 is Antler Hill Village. Located adjacent to the Winery and The Farm on its grounds, the area will be open to guests as part of daily admission to Biltmore. This pedestrian-friendly village will become a center of activity that joins two historically significant and popular attractions at Biltmore. Antler Hill Village expands current guest offerings at the estate and includes a new exhibition space, village green with live entertainment, dining, shopping and a new outdoor adventure center.
- Biltmore Winery
Taste Biltmore’s own wines, produced and bottled on the property in a 90,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility. The winery, which opened in 1985, is housed in a converted dairy barn, originally designed by the firm of Richard Morris Hunt, the architect for Biltmore House. The operation including 94 acres of vineyards is a natural extension of the estate’s ongoing agricultural program including cattle, sheep and an extensive kitchen garden supplying the property’s four restaurants. With approximately one million annual guests from around the world, Biltmore strives to accommodate those who are new to the world of wine and food as well as the connoisseur in search of a distinctive varietal. Biltmore Winery offers guests the opportunity to view fermentation and bottling rooms, stroll through the cellars, enjoy special food and wine events and, of course, taste the finished product. Guests at Biltmore Winery year-round should ask about complimentary behind the scenes tours, cooking demonstrations, seminars and wine tastings.
- Biltmore Gardens
Stroll acres of formal and informal gardens designed by America’s foremost landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted. From the formal beauty of the Italian Garden to America’s first managed forests, Biltmore’s lush landscape is a living tribute to Olmsted’s genius. Our experts continually work to preserve the original vision for the gardens and grounds, including our All America Rose Garden featuring more than 250 varieties of roses. The glass-roofed Conservatory, designed by Biltmore House architect Richard Morris Hunt, provides flowers and plants for Biltmore House and tender bedding plants for the gardens—just as it did in Vanderbilt’s day. Its central room is a Palm House where a large collection of palms, ferns, and other foliage plants thrive year round. Annexes include a cool house, hot house and orchid house.
- Events in Asheville, NC
Looking for more things to do in Asheville? Whatever the time of year, Biltmore offers ever-changing ways to enjoy Vanderbilt’s historic property. Each spring, the estate celebrates with a month-long Festival of Flowers and Easter weekend wouldn’t be complete without the massive egg hunt on the Front Lawn of Biltmore House. Summer is packed with activities including Winery Summerfest Weekends offering great jazz and blues and Summer Evening Concerts bringing nationally known acts to the South Terrace of Biltmore House for fabulous music under the stars. And then there’s Christmas at Biltmore and Candlelight Christmas Evenings when the 250-room chateau is transformed into a fairytale castle with miles of evergreen garland, hundreds of poinsettias, dozens of Christmas trees and a magnificent 35-foot tall live Fraser Fir decked with lights, ornaments and gifts.
Blue Ridge Parkway
One of the most scenic drives in America. The Blue Ridge Parkway is designed as a “drive awhile and stop awhile” experience. See the Blue Ridge Parkway Guide for the Asheville area.
Thomas Wolfe Memorial
Considered by many to be one of the giants of 20th Century American Literature, Thomas Wolfe immortalized his childhood home in his epic autobiographical novel, Look Homeward, Angel. Wolfe’s colorful portrayal of his family, his hometown of Asheville, North Carolina, and the Old Kentucky Home boarding house earned the historic Victorian home a place as one of American Literature’s most famous landmarks. Go to their website for more information.
Built by one of antebellum North Carolina’s most influential citizens, the Smith-McDowell House was once the home of mayors, a Civil War major, and friends of the Vanderbilts. Rescued from destruction, it is now a National Register property and a window into how life was lived here in the 19th century. The 4-story mansion was built on a plantation south of Asheville approximately twenty years before the Civil War. Constructed on a hill’s summit, ringed by picturesque mountains, the manse was constructed by slave labor. During a time when most people lived in log cabins, the imposing structure was composed of rare brick. It is the oldest surviving house in Asheville and the oldest brick house in Buncombe County, Go to their website for more information.
Built in the late 1890’s as a classic planned community at the entrance to George Vanderbilt’s Biltmore Estate, historic Biltmore Village today is truly one of the South’s most unique touring and shopping environments. Because of its history, its range of unique independent, locally owned retailers, and its fine restaurants; Historic Biltmore Village has an international reputation. It’s the way shopping used to be – relaxed and enjoyable with top quality merchandise at realistic prices and wonderful customer service. Enjoy quaint tree-lined streets, brick sidewalks, open air dining, original historic houses from the 1900’s, all combined with amazing collections of one-of-a-kind merchandise of true quality and value.
Asheville Food Tours
Discover the unique flavor of Asheville on our guided walking tours of the city’s culinary treasures, in historic downtown and Biltmore Village. One of the nation’s premiere food destinations, Asheville boasts some of the most exciting and memorable food in the South. The locally roasted coffee alone will have you moaning at the first sip! Asheville Food Tours offers a sumptuous glimpse into this exotic world of local Asheville restaurants, gourmet food shops and microbreweries, featuring artisan cheeses and choice meats from local farms, crusty baked breads snatched from local ovens, rich hand-made chocolates and dynamic beer and wine lists. This two and a half hour relaxing stroll simply offers the best of Asheville, one bite at a time. Go to their website for more information.
Drive to the top of the highest mountain east of the Rockies! Take a very scenic drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway north from Asheville to Mt. Mitchell State Park. Enjoy the panoramic views from the new observation deck, a short walk from the summit parking area. Take a mile-high hike along rolling ridges and fertile valleys. Forested and forever misty, 1,946-acre Mount Mitchell State Park will provide you with some of the most tranquil moments you’ll ever experience. The park is open year-round, weather permitting. Their restaurant is open late May through October. See the Mt. Mitchell Guide.
More Things to Do in Asheville, NC
North Carolina Arboretum
Go to their website for more information.
Asheville Top 20 Waterfall Guide.
Go to their website for more information.
Only minutes from Lake Lure, Chimney Rock offers the best of the mountains in one place – spectacular 75-mile views, hiking trails for all ages, a 404-foot waterfall, a variety of special events and much more. Chimney Rock is located just 25 miles southeast of Asheville. Go to their website for more information.
For more things to do in Asheville, see the Asheville Travel Guide.