ASHEVILLE, NC (June 5, 2023) – The unofficial start of the summer is here, but it’s not too late for the 85% of Americans who say they intend to travel this season. The average traveler is booking just three weeks out. For a spontaneous road trip or nonstop flight from 26 unique destinations, including just-added routes from Denver and Phoenix, Asheville, NC, meets the season with several new, non-traditional hotel options and exciting events – all bound to help travelers disconnect and unwind in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Hot New Music Festivals & Sizzling Shows
Asheville shines as a music destination for being the home of luminaries – like Nina Simone, Bill Monroe and Robert Moog – a trove of storied venues, and an abundance of music and record shops. This summer is poised to go down in Asheville music history, as the inaugural AVL Fest kicks off on Aug. 3. The three-day music festival features local and national acts, performing at more than 20 venues across town. Other hot tickets this season include Big Freedia at The Grey Eagle (July 20), Stephen Marley at Salvage Station (Aug. 4), and Jai Wolf at the Orange Peel (Aug. 23). Record collectors and hi-fi enthusiasts can browse more than 10,000 square feet of new and used records at the annual Asheville FM Vinyl Fair (Aug. 26).
Outdoor Events Connect Local Craft and Culture
Warmer temperatures mean weekly open-air craft fairs and neighborhood block parties. Every Friday, artists and craftspeople set up shop downtown at the Pack Square Artisan Market. Another local favorite, The Big Crafty, puts on its annual, two-day craft fair at Harrah’s Cherokee Center July 8-9. Festivals celebrating the area’s Black history and heritage also stand out this season, including the City of Asheville’s annual Juneteenth Celebration (June 12-18), East End/Valley St. Community Heritage Festival (Aug. 26), Goombay Festival (Sept. 1-3) and the 63rd annual Skyview Golf Tournament (July 11-13), the nation’s longest running Black golf tournament.
Activities to Cool Off & Unwind
Families can beat the heat at one of many swimming holes or waterfalls in the national and state parks surrounding Asheville. Kids of all ages love Sliding Rock – a 60-foot natural waterslide in Pisgah National Forest. When the sun goes down, Asheville Wellness Tours offers guided, full moon forest bathing walks during the summer months. Yogis shouldn’t miss Love Shine Play, a three-day yoga festival with an accessible range of offerings for all. Free yoga classes are also offered weekly at Rabbit Rabbit and Carrier Park all summer. Skate Night (Aug. 4) at Carrier Park transforms the free, outdoor skating rink into a roller-skating party, complete with retro drinks and nostalgic snacks.
Drinking and Dining, For Every Taste
New arrivals to Asheville’s food and beverage scene are taking classics to new heights – from Canadian poutine pizza at The Local Pizza Joint to croque glace – brown butter ice cream sandwiched between thick slices of artisan brioche – at Mother South Slope Café. Acclaimed chef Elliott Moss this month unveiled his latest venture, Regina’s, a powder pink, vintage-inspired restaurant specializing in down-home “comfort classics” like turkey club sandwiches and tomato glazed meatloaf. In the River Arts District, The RAD Brewing Co. is the latest brewery to join Asheville’s craft beer scene. The taproom pours German-style lagers and features a beer garden with rotating food trucks on site. During July in the South Slope neighborhood, Hi-Wire-Brewing will open the secret entrance to their new adjoining speakeasy, Tiki Easy Bar. The retro island oasis will offer a rotating tiki cocktail menu and one of the largest rum selections in the state.
New Accommodations & Special Offers
Just opened in May, The Restoration Asheville offers luxury accommodations in the heart of downtown. Visitors can dine at its mountain-to-table restaurant The Exchange and take in sweeping mountain views at The Observatory rooftop bar. Both overlook Pritchard Park, where the Friday Night Drum Circle gathers during the summer. In June, Blind Tiger Asheville will begin taking reservations for stays at its historic 14-room guesthouse, newly renovated with modern amenities and design flourishes. For a riverside retreat that is also pet-friendly, vintage airstreams and cabins await guests at Asheville River Cabins just south of Asheville.
Last-minute travelers can access exclusive perks with a variety of summer promotions. Biltmore, America’s Largest Home, offers several summer packages, including a July 4th Celebration package with festive dinner and fireworks. Under the iconic, red clay tile roof, the Omni Grove Park Inn celebrates Gingerbread in July for the launch of their famous National Gingerbread House Competition. From July 1-12, daily activities include fireworks, a kids’ putt-putt tournament, and the resort’s 110th birthday celebration. Guests at the Haywood Park Hotel can experience the Summer of Love offer, including champagne, local artisanal chocolates, and a discounted stay at this boutique downtown hotel that was once a 1920s department store. At the Cambria Downtown Asheville, music-lovers will enjoy the AVL Fest Pass Holder special, which includes a Wicked Weed Check-in Experience and complimentary valet parking. The Grand Bohemian Hotel is offering the Asheville Hiking Package that includes in-room breakfast, house-made energy bars, a post-hike shower steamer or bath bomb for recovery, and two custom-crafted cocktails. Summer travelers can beat the heat at the Aloft Asheville Downtown which offers downtown Asheville’s only outdoor pool and mountain views. Wrong Way River Lodge & Cabins, an urban campground, is offering a Run, Sup, Relax package every Thursday where guests can paddle alongside Asheville locals.
For more travel ideas and seasonal events, visit ExploreAsheville.com.
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Luisa, Sha’Linda, Mickey & Cass
Explore Asheville Public Relations Team
Explore Asheville | Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority
27 College Place | Suite 200 | Asheville, NC 28801
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Asheville is where unrivaled natural beauty and bold creative expression meet. The colorful Blue Ridge Mountain city is steps away from the world’s most biodiverse forests and the tallest peaks in the East. For generations, Asheville has nurtured and inspired a compassionate community that’s deeply rooted and ever evolving – just like the ancient French Broad River that runs through it. It's an anchor destination for two of the most visited National Park Service units in the United States – the Blue Ridge Parkway and Great Smoky Mountains National Park. For the most up-to-date happenings and travel ideas, visit ExploreAsheville.com.