The Meeting Planner’s Guide to Unique Venues in Asheville
From grand estates to outdoor escapes, Asheville has no shortage of incredible venues for conference and meeting planners looking to create an exceptional off-site event. Whether you’re a planner who has visited many times, or you’re considering Asheville for your next meeting, this is your inside scoop to some of our city’s best and most memorable venues.
Need some assistance choosing the best venue for your group? The sales team at Explore Asheville is your best resource for the latest news on new hotels and event venues and your first point of contact when researching options for your meeting. Our local insiders will assist in submitting your meeting’s RFP to hotels that fit your criteria, coordinating your site visits and identifying unique Asheville experiences for your meeting. Any meeting planner who submits an RFP to Explore Asheville is also eligible for exclusive services.
Distinctive Downtown Venues
In the heart of Asheville, a vibrant downtown welcomes you to explore streets lined with independent boutiques, buzz-worthy restaurants, and notable craft breweries. Enjoy the city soundtrack of street-corner musicians and performers as you immerse your guests in Asheville’s free-spirited vibe.
Overlooking Pack Square Park in the center of town, choose from The Century Room’s beautiful wood and exposed brick ballroom (180 ppl seated; 250 ppl reception) or the chic and versatile private loft at Daphne Room at Twisted Laurel (85 ppl seated; 125 ppl reception). Nearby, The Venue boasts three levels of meeting space and accommodates groups ranging from 200 to 750 attendees.
For open-air gatherings, book the patio at District 42 (40 ppl seated; 60 ppl reception), one of the restaurants of the Kimpton Hotel Arras. Or check out Rabbit Rabbit, one of Asheville’s hottest new downtown venues — it accommodates up to 600 guests in its outdoor beer garden.
Take over the iconic Orange Peel concert venue (250 ppl seated; 1,000+ ppl reception), or host your event at The Asheville Masonic Temple, a 100-year-old landmark featuring a unique theatre (350 ppl) and a wide-open dining room (200 ppl). And brand new on the scene, Circa 29 (150 ppl) on the lower level of The S&W Market Food Hall, a classic art deco building, lends events a distinct speakeasy vibe.
Sky High Scenes
To really elevate the experience of your offsite event, look to one of downtown Asheville’s excellent rooftop venues.
The Montford (75 ppl), perched atop the Doubletree by Hilton Asheville Downtown, is a classy spot for raising a toast with a craft cocktail or local brew while watching the sunset over the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Capital Club of Asheville (120 ppl seated; 200 ppl reception) features panoramic views from indoors and out, with a large terrace area perfect for hosting happy hour after a day of seminars and workshops.
Large groups (up to 300 ppl) will love the mountain breeze and Cuban rhythms at Hemingway’s Cuba (at Cambria Hotel), where 4,000 square feet of rooftop terrace beckon with fire pits, flexible seating, and the flavors of Havana.
Wide Open Spaces
Just outside of Asheville’s city limits you’ll find mountain views and pastoral landscapes where you can breathe in the natural beauty that lures visitors to Asheville year after year.
To the west of downtown, the Event Center at The Farm offers a beautiful indoor/outdoor space for up to 300 guests, plus private cooking classes for small groups of up to 12 and a unique Chef’s Table in-kitchen dining experience for up to 40 guests. Be sure to check out the breathtaking views and flexible spaces at venues like Claxton Farm, Franny’s Farm, and Taylor Ranch.
Hickory Nut Gap Farm is a fifth-generation farm in picturesque Fairview, about 20 minutes from downtown. The Big Barn (up to 225 ppl) is a 60-year-old dairy barn perfect for dinners, receptions, and concerts.
For a uniquely vintage experience, take a look at JuneBug Retro Resort, an outdoor venue located about 20 minutes north of downtown. Customize your event (up to 200 ppl) with a 1960’s Airstream-turned-bar or a 1953 Ford farm truck that doubles as a performance stage.
One of Asheville’s most exceptional and iconic settings for a group event is Biltmore, which offers picturesque beauty, multiple venue locations, and exclusive programs for groups of all sizes.
For larger groups, consider Diana at Biltmore, a picturesque outdoor venue with sweeping views of the Biltmore house and the surrounding mountains. This secluded space accommodates up to 600 attendees. Antler Hill Barn was once the center of all agricultural operations on the estate and has been renovated as an informal event space for groups of up to 400 people.
Smaller groups can meet in one of Biltmore’s most intimate and exceptional spaces. The Champagne Cellar, located at the estate winery, features stone walls and refined décor and is perfect for groups of up to 30 people. For medium-sized groups, Cedric’s Garden offers an open-air event space that can seat up to 70 people and can be combined with indoor meeting space at Cedric’s Loft.
Inquire about Biltmore’s other unique venues — your group could dine amid the lush exotic plants and pointed glass roof of the 1890s Conservatory, mingle beside the tranquil pools of the Italian Garden or have a picnic in the vineyard on the West Side of this historic estate.
Meet With the Muses
Asheville’s creative community provides numerous opportunities for groups to immerse themselves in art and cultural experiences.
Many of the galleries at the newly renovated Asheville Art Museum are available for special events (200 ppl seated; 400 ppl reception). Imagine mingling among masterpieces at a cocktail reception in the glass-walled museum atrium or at the rooftop cafe and terrace overlooking the mountains. Ask about guided tours for groups of up to 20 guests to learn more about the museum’s permanent or rotating exhibits.
Visit Lexington Glassworks in downtown Asheville — the studio and showroom can host up to 110 for a reception while enjoying local beers on tap and watching a live glass-blowing demonstration. Or host a reception at a downtown gallery like the Center for Craft or the Benjamin Walls Gallery.
Beer City Rendezvous
Explore the craft brew scene of Asheville at some of the city’s most notable beer locales, many of which offer meeting space, behind-the-scenes tours, guided tastings, and, of course, heady pints of locally brewed beer.
At Highland Brewing Company, Asheville’s oldest craft brewery, book the tri-level industrial-chic event space (300 ppl seated; 400 ppl reception) complete with a rooftop patio featuring 360-degree views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Medium-sized groups (up to 80 ppl) can book the barrel room for a more intimate experience.
On Asheville’s brewery-packed South Slope, Green Man Brewery welcomes groups to its “Green Mansion” location. The third-floor tasting room offers plenty of space for up to 125 guests, plus exclusive access to the covered outdoor patio, which can also be booked separately for up to 40 ppl. For a more casual event, rent out the loading dock (up to 75 ppl) and hire a local food truck! This outdoor space has plenty of picnic tables and room to mingle. Inquire about adding a private tour or beer tasting to your group’s event.
Nearby, Catawba Brewing Company’s South Slope taproom offers two adjoining spaces with an upscale industrial vibe (up to 76 ppl seated; 120 ppl reception). In the River Arts District, the Cloud Room at Wedge at Foundation accommodates up to 130 people (70 ppl seated) with a dedicated bar. And the event space at Hi-Wire Brewing’s Big Top location near historic Biltmore Village groups can rent The Event Space for meetings, dinners or receptions (200 ppl seated; 350 ppl reception) or gather in the open-air bier garden (50 ppl seated; 100+ ppl reception).
With spectacular scenery, a vibrant arts scene, creative culinary options, and inspiring venues of all sizes, Asheville, N.C. is the premier Southeast mountain destination for meeting planners and attendees alike. Asheville has 9,200 hotel rooms, the Asheville Regional Airport with non-stops and easy connections through major US hubs, and a range of conference hotel options. Sending your RFP to Explore Asheville will ensure you receive the best local information and site visit support. Your meeting will also be eligible for our full menu of Exclusive Services.
“We chose Asheville for our conference not only for the beauty of the setting, but for its rich and diverse culture and support of the arts. As a very walkable city, Asheville provided our attendees a background of entertainment, amazing food, and creative drinks while learning about how to make a living in the field of jewelry and metals. The large amount of galleries in the downtown are provided for a rich exhibition crawl filled with unique and varied exhibitions.
Gwynne Rukenbrod Smith
Executive Director Society of North American Goldsmiths