There is something special about Asheville, North Carolina, and the world is just beginning to find out! This prosperous mountain town offers an eccentric and eclectic downtown, hundreds of studios and galleries, a culinary culture, world famous craft beer, a lively and thriving music scene, and of course, the majestic landscape of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The natural beauty of the area is amazing!  Starting from the beautiful mountain backdrop, the grandeur of the Biltmore Hotel Estate, and all the wonderful quaint shops and delectable restaurants, the ambience of this quaint mountain destination is one that is a mixture of mountain charm bursting with flavor and energy.

Ashville is lined with sidewalk cafes (with one restaurant chain), several independent coffee shops, and dozens of art theaters, boutique shopping, and parks. This preferred tourist destination is located just forty minutes from Maggie Valley, NC.  This city promises not to disappoint you! Here are some of the popular things to see and do in Asheville.

Explore The North Carolina Arboretum

Spanning 434 acres, the North Carolina Arboretum is located within the Bent Creek Experimental Forest, southwest of Asheville, and is an arboretum and botanical garden. Admission is free, but parking is limited. The arboretum is still in development and offers hiking trails and bike paths, and a collection of a river garden and a sacred garden.

Some of those views present in the arboretum gardens include the Blue Ridge Quilt Garden that offers patchworks of the Blue Ridge Mountains, The Cliff Dickinson Holly Garden, (featuring native and foreign collections) and the Heritage Garden, (which is a craft demonstration garden).

Play at the Sliding Rock Waterfall

Sliding Rock Waterfall on Looking Glass Creek, aptly named because the main aspect of this waterfall is the natural water slide where you can slide over the rocks to the basin below. This is a beautiful natural phenomenon, unique to the area. The gentle slope is about 20 meters long and leads into a basin of 2 meters deep.

This waterfall is a popular place for visitors looking for adventure and also looking to cool down in the hot summer by taking a dip in its’ ice cold water.  It also provides two viewing platforms, parking at the top of the falls, stairs leading to pools and ramps to help the climb. Changing rooms and toilets are provided, and a lifeguard is present sometimes (especially on summer weekends). Otherwise, the natural slide is used at your own risk, and young children should slide on the lap of an adult for safety reasons.

Visit the Folk Art Center

The Folk Art Center is located outside of Asheville on the Blue Ridge Parkway and is a museum with art and crafts from local vendors. It houses the offices of the Southern Highland Craft Guild, the National Park Service, and the Eastern National. The museum is managed cooperatively by these factions is the most popular attraction of the circuit.

The center of the museum contains three art galleries, a library, an auditorium, and an information center. The Allan stand Craft Shop is one of the main attractions of the center, which offers over 3,500 artifacts from the early 20th century.

The Biltmore Estate

You can experience the wonder of Biltmore Estate, which houses a priceless collection of antiques and arts original to the Vanderbilt home. It is touted as the biggest privately maintained mansion in America. You can enjoy the spectacular views of the woodlands and gardens, which make a perfect place for leisurely strolls. The most theatrical view of Biltmore House can be enjoyed with a drive to the winery from the house.

The nearby Antler Hill Village offers a relaxing environment learning, shopping, and dining opportunities. You can stay at the village hotel and the Inn at Biltmore Estate for a day or two while exploring the outdoors, which includes the greenway and several great hiking trails.

Have fun at Splashville

Splashville is one of the latest free attractions of Asheville, offering a fun, family place to cool off in summer. Located in Pack Square Park in downtown Asheville, Splashville is an ideal interactive water park for all ages.

Splashville has random water spray arches that rise and are specially designed to soak and cool off in the summer heat. Given its location, you can enjoy the fountains and then relax on the green lawns to dry and warm up in the sun.

Enjoy the World Coffee Cafe

The World Coffee Cafe is located at the corner of Battery Park and Wall Street in the heart of downtown Asheville. The sky bar of the World Coffee Cafe is located at the top of the building and offers balconies with breathtaking views of the city.

While admiring the landscape, you can enjoy your choice of drinks, appetizers and delectable desserts! The Flatiron Building, which houses the café, also houses 60 additional shops, including a spa, attorney’s office, a church and all kinds of healers and therapists. A feast for the senses awaits you at World Coffee Cafe, a stop not to be missed in the city of Asheville.

Explore the Asheville Urban Trail

The Asheville Urban Trail is a walk of 2.8 km long through the center of the city. It includes 30 stops along the way with public sculptures that mark these stops. The ride was built by volunteers with donations from several businesses and private sources to promote public art and support the improvement of the quality of city life.

Visit the Basilica of Saint Lawrence

The minor Basilica of the Roman Catholic Church of St. Lawrence was built in 1905. It received the status of a minor basilica by Pope John Paul II in 1993. It includes the largest freestanding dome d Amerique North, which measures 17 m by 25 m.

The interior of the basilica is decorated with statues of St. Lawrence, St. Cecilia, St. Rose of Lima, St. Patrick and St. Peter Apostle. It also contains a marble altar with a painting in a fresco of the Last Supper highlighted. The basilica is known for its many elaborate stained glasses with significant biblical events and characters.

Take in a Show or Concert

The Asheville passion for the arts does not stop at handicrafts. Dynamic Asheville residents and visitors can enjoy concerts and plays thanks to the presence of several theater companies in town. Asheville is full of concerts and theaters. It covers all kinds of genres.

The Brevard Music Center is located 45 minutes from downtown Asheville and hosts the Brevard Music Festival, offering an abundance of musicians. The Asheville Community Theater, one of many companies located in Asheville, offers a plethora of plays. This is one of the oldest theaters in the country and the oldest in the city, which offer shows for more than 60 years.

Climb Mount Mitchell

The most remarkable structure of North Carolina’s Appalachian Mountains and the highest peak, Mount Mitchell, dominates with a height of 2037 meters. Located about 50 km northeast of Asheville, this is an adventure that awaits you.

There is a road of 7.4 km long starting from the Blue Ridge Parkway and a 300-meter trail to climb the mountain. At the top, you will discover the tomb of Dr. Mitchell and an observation platform to admire the breathtaking scenery. Wildflowers, blackberries, and blueberries are a food source for the birds of the area and make this place a true natural paradise to visit.

Asheville, which has been called the “Paris of the South”, is a truly unique urban oasis in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains!  Don’t miss this gem of a city during your visit to North Carolina! Add this on your list of to-dos when planning your visit to Maggie Valley.  Remember, Asheville is just a short 40-minute drive from Maggie Valley – perfect for a day trip!  Call today and make your reservation at Creekside Lodge in Maggie Valley! You can reach us at (800) 621-1260 where our friendly staff will be happy to secure your dates for a wonderful mountain get-away!  We look forward to welcoming you to Creekside Lodge and making your trip a wonderful memory!