Outdoors

A couple watches the sun setting behind the western mountains from atop Craggy Gardens.

The Best Blue Ridge Parkway Hikes in Asheville, NC

The Blue Ridge Parkway is more than a scenic drive. You could call the Parkway the country’s greatest hiking trail head. The Blue Ridge Parkway offers easy access to all kinds of hiking adventures, from short walks to day-long treks. Find your perfect Asheville hiking trail! Use our Asheville Hike Finder to easily filter by distance from downtown, trail length and difficulty level. In the

Graveyard Fields in Fall

Best Fall Hikes Near Asheville, N.C.

Imagine hearing the leaves crunch under your feet as you feast your eyes on the golds, oranges and reds of autumn that surround you. The iconic trails of the Asheville area can be explored during any season but many of these trails in the Blue Ridge Mountains offer a truly special experience in the fall. There are few better ways to soak in the colors of fall foliage than with a hike. Find your

Sliding Rock

Sliding Rock Natural Waterslide

Feel the rush of sliding down a 60-foot all-natural water slide in the heart of gorgeous Pisgah National Forest! The appropriately named Sliding Rock is an experience unlike any other and it’s one of the most exciting ways to cool off in the warmer weather months. People of all ages lineup to take the plunge down the sloping rock face waterfall on

Hiking Near Asheville

18 Reasons Asheville Is A Gateway For National Parks Centennial Adventures

Peak-to-Peak Zips, Foraging and other Unforgettable Ways to Celebrate 100 Years of National and NC State Parks. The beauty of Asheville’s mountain scenery is timeless, except for this year when it turns 100 years old. 2016 marks a century since the creation of the National Park Service, NC State Parks and Pisgah National Forest. Cradled in the Blue Ridge and steeped in cultural cool,

GSMNP Sunset

Day Trip: Exploring the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Discover the Smokies by Trail, Train or Tube To walk in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is to follow in the footsteps of the Cherokee Indians; living on this land for more than 14,000 years. Because of the great efforts of many, today the 520,000-acre Great Smoky Mountain National Park (GSMNP) is protected forever. And today all of us can stand atop Clingman’s Dome and see the same

Sunrise over the mountains illuminates a field of wildflowers near Asheville.

Asheville's Wildflower Bloom Schedule

Spring in the Mountains is a Pastel Paradise The landscape of the southern Appalachians, the oldest mountains in the world, is rich in biodiversity, offering you an opportunity to discover flora not found anywhere else in the world. In Asheville, seasonal favorites like trillium, tulips, azaleas and violets herald the arrival of spring with their showy blooms, and as the season progresses, budding

Alan Muskat - No Taste Like Home

Wild Food Foraging Adventures in Asheville

Explore the local “find dining” scene Ask local chefs and mixologists about the inspiration for their signature dishes and drinks, and they will tell stories about searching for patches of chickweed, chanterelles, sassafras, violets and dandelions in the forests and parks. The bounty of wild edibles has led chefs out of the kitchen and into nature to forage for fresh, local

Photo of the Day: Mount Mitchell

Mt. Mitchell

At 6,684, Mount Mitchell is the highest peak east of the Mississippi River. At its summit you'll find a 360° panoramic view of the surrounding Appalachian landscape, filled with mountains and valleys. Experience the gradual change in plant life as you ascend this epic mountain. Mount Mitchell State Park offers several different hiking options, a short loop (less than a mile), a ridgeline

Ski Lesson at Cataloochee Ski Area

12 Family-Friendly Ways to Enjoy Winter in Asheville

There’s plenty to do for the whole crew, indoors or out Avoid the crowds (and prices) that come with fall, spring and summer, and enjoy Asheville with your family at the coolest time of the year. Indoors With more than 30 pinball machines and over a dozen classic video games in the “Arcave,” there’s enough nostalgic button pushing at the Asheville Pinball Museum to

Navitat Zipline

Thrills for Everyone: A Zipline Guide to Asheville

Find Your Perfect Zipline Tour in Asheville Take in the sites of Asheville from a new perspective – by soaring hundreds of feet above the ground. From strictly tree-based courses to courses fit for little ones, here’s a guide to the best zipline experiences in Asheville. Go Far, Go Fast If you’re looking for a heart-pounding thrill, grab a friend and head out on the Blue Ridge

Snowboarding at Cataloochee Ski Area

Winter Sports and Activities in Asheville, N.C.

Outdoor Adventures Convenient to Downtown Asheville Asheville might not be the first place you think of when planning your ski vacation, but the Western North Carolina mountain town happens to cozy up to the highest peaks in the eastern United States. Whether you’re a beginning snowboarder or the next Sierra Quitquit, there’s plenty of downhill action to be had just minutes from the

Convertible on Parkway

Scenic Drives for Any Season

There’s Always Something Around the Bend in Asheville You don’t have to travel far from Asheville to become immersed in natural beauty. The topography of the Blue Ridge Mountains lends itself to some of the best scenic drives and awe-inspiring panoramic views you’ll find in the southeast. Within minutes, find yourself surrounded by the same forests, waterfalls and vistas that

Couple Hiking

Asheville Hiking Guide: The Trail Starts Here

Choose Your Own Hiking Adventure in Asheville, N.C. Thousands of miles of trails twist, meander, dip and climb through the peaks and valleys around Asheville. In this world-class hiking destination, you can take your pick from peaceful hikes along mountain streams and technical scrambles up steep terrain; hikes that are short and sweet and multi-day adventures. Some hikes give you a view into the

NC Arboretum

Best Gardens to Visit in Asheville

Asheville is a Garden-Lovers Paradise Asheville, North Carolina's scenic natural landscape is a mecca for greenery, flowers and blooms. The Asheville area has a favorable climate for lush gardens, and the locals have a long history of being instilled with a passion and respect for protecting and showcasing the land. In the late 19th century, George W. Vanderbilt hired Frederick Law Olmsted,

Storyteller Cherokee Man

Over the Blue Ridge to Cherokee Territory

Asheville’s Ancient Connections Beyond the stunning Art Deco architecture, the sounds of drums in Pritchard Park on a Friday night and the smell of Mexico as you pass White Duck Taco - stop and ponder this…you are in the shadows of a sacred and ancient civilization dating back 11,000 years; the Cherokee. And their home is one of the oldest places on Earth, the Appalachian Mountains,

Bear Cubs in Tree

The Bear Necessities

Has there ever been a creature so fearsome yet so adorable? If you spend enough time hiking or picnicking in the mountains near Asheville, then odds are it's only a matter of time before your next bear encounter—and 2015 may be a particularly great year for sightings. Abundant natural foods like acorns and berries this past fall mean more bear cubs. An average black bear litter is two

Children with Goats

Not So Wild-life

Western North Carolina is covered with miles of rolling farmland, and home to a variety of "wildlife." Asheville offers a variety of ways to interact with the more domestic creatures of the animal kingdom. Here are a few ways to go hand on with these barnyard adventures, perfect for a family outing. Baby Goats Who doesn't love baby animals? Take your kids to see the "kids"

Otters

Otters

Meet Obi-Wan and Olive, two adorable North American river otters that call the WNC Nature Center home. These playful creatures are found in a wide variety of aquatic habitats and can tolerate a great range of temperature and elevations. A river otter's main requirements are a steady food supply and easy access to a body of water. Facts You Otter Know Life expectancy in zoos: 16 years Life

Monarch - Hop 'n Blueberry Farm

Where to See the Monarch Butterfly Migration in Asheville

Shortly before fall in Asheville and the Great Smoky Mountains, thousands of Monarch butterflies pass through the Asheville area as they migrate south to Mexico. The butterflies travel more than 2,000 miles on their journey, and we're fortunate that Western North Carolina is right along their route! When to see Monarch butterflies in Asheville, NC From the middle of September and continuing

Lake Balloon Picture Big

See Beautiful Aerial Views of Asheville’s Fall Colors

See Splendid Fall Views From The Air With glowing reds and brilliant yellows sprayed across the mountains, fall in Asheville is a season to behold. But for those with just a little bit more adventurous spirit, here’s a suggestion: How about getting the most unique view of the fall leaves of all from the air? Whether you’re looking for a peaceful float or a heart-pounding freefall,