Credit

Courtesy of Fine Art Images by Rob Travis Photography/Getty Images

Why Go To Asheville, NC

Quaint mountain town. Hipster haven. Beer City USA. Outdoorsman's retreat. College town. Bluegrass home. Culinary destination. Try as you might, it's impossible to give Asheville just one label. Located in western North Carolina just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, the city is an unexpected gem, where a vibrant arts scene intertwines with Southern traditions and beautiful scenery. It's safe to say, no matter what your interests, Asheville has something to offer you.

While history buffs get lost on the grounds of the Biltmore Estate, epicureans can sample from a culinary smorgasbord and test their taste buds at one of the city's many breweries. Culture hounds can wander through the River Arts District while adventure seekers go full-throttle hiking, biking, zip lining or whitewater rafting in one of the numerous parks and forests. Asheville meshes together these personalities to make something uniquely its own, with an identity that is always changing, but somehow stays true to its roots. 

READ MORE 

Find Flight and Hotel Deals

FLIGHTS
HOTELS

Press the down arrow key to interact with the calendar and select a date. Press the question mark key to get the keyboard shortcuts for changing dates.

Press the down arrow key to interact with the calendar and select a date. Press the question mark key to get the keyboard shortcuts for changing dates.

Rankings

The U.S. News & World Report travel rankings are based on analysis of expert and user opinions. Read more about how we rank vacation destinations.

Best of Asheville, NC

Asheville, NC Travel Tips

Best Months to Visit

The best times to visit Asheville are from March to May and September to early November, when temperatures hover between the upper 50s and the mid-70s – ideal weather for exploring the blooms in spring and the foliage in the fall. During the summer months (June to August), even an elevation of 2,216 feet can't shield the mountain city from the increased humidity. Luckily, it's not as intense as other parts of the Southeast, making the summer a popular time for travelers to escape the heat of nearby cities. Winter brings colder temperatures, but Asheville doesn't see much snowfall, although surrounding mountains could be snowcapped. 

Weather in Asheville, NC

Switch to Celsius/MM
Average Temperature (°F)
47
28
50
31
58
37
67
45
75
53
82
61
85
65
84
64
77
57
68
49
58
38
49
30
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Average Precipitation (in)
0.11
0.13
0.13
0.12
0.13
0.13
0.13
0.14
0.13
0.08
0.11
0.11
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
See details for When to Visit Asheville, NC

Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center

What You Need to Know

  • Pack layers Temperatures tend to drop as elevation rises. Pack a jacket if you're heading up to the mountains.
  • Appoint a DD All those beer flights will leave you unable to drive. Either select a designated driver in your group or call a cab or Uber.
  • Say hello Residents are known for their Southern hospitality, so don't be afraid to ask for directions or recommendations.

How to Save Money in Asheville, NC

  • Stop by the visitor center Located in the downtown area, the Asheville Visitor Center offers coupons year-round for popular attractions.
  • Consider a short-term rental Properties are popping up all over Asheville for about half the price of hotels. Find one close to downtown and you've hit the jackpot.
  • Skip Biltmore If you've never seen the historic estate, it's worth the money. But don't cough up extra to go again.

Culture & Customs

The quaint city is known for its laid-back culture that mixes Southern hospitality with an artistic spirit. People come to visit (and many never leave) for a breath of fresh air – both literally and figuratively. Mom and pop shops mingle with fine dining restaurants, and most residents know their neighbors. The area offers cultural diversity with the Cherokee Indian Reservation nearby and many transplants moving from other areas of the country to experience what makes Asheville exceptionally unique. A friendly hello and engaging in small talk will get you a long way with locals who want to share their city. Tipping practices are fairly standard, with 15 percent or more expected depending on the level of service. 

READ MORE 

What to Eat

Asheville has emerged as a one of the Best Foodie Destinations in the USA. Chefs are flocking from all over the country (and the world) to stake their claim in the mountain town. While you'll still find Southern staples like Carolina-style barbecue at places like Buxton Hall, the culinary inspiration in a city with more than 100 independent restaurants spreads far and wide. Whether it's Spanish tapas at Cúrate, Italian at Cucina 24 or Asian-inspired noodle dishes at Gan Shan Station, you'll likely find locally sourced ingredients and menus that frequently change. If you're looking for more budget-friendly (but no less delicious) eats, check out places like Pack's Tavern, Ben's Tune Up (which brews its own sake) or one of two 12 Bones Smokehouse locations (the Obamas have eaten here!).

While there's no shortage of gastronomic offerings, Asheville is first and foremost a beer lover's paradise. Asheville is proud of its Beer City USA reputation, which is fairly new. Highland Brewing Company became the first city brewery to open its doors back in 1994. Since then, the number of local microbreweries has skyrocketed, and even attracted some big name brands like Sierra Nevada. Most recently, New Belgium opened its East Coast brewing headquarters across the river from the River Arts District in southeast Asheville. Now, many people come to the area just to experience the breweries

READ MORE 
Explore restaurants

Getting Around Asheville, NC

The best way to get around Asheville is by car. While the downtown area is compact enough for exploring on foot, you'll want your own set of wheels to reach the many nature trails and attractions outside of the city. Asheville also offers an affordable bus system, but its coverage is fairly limited. If you're not in the mood to drive, you can always call a taxi or Uber.

The city is served by the Asheville Regional Airport (AVL), with a few major carriers like American Airlines and United Airlines offering nonstop flights. The closest major airports are Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) to the east and McGhee Tyson Airport (TYS) in Knoxville, Tennessee, to the west (both about 125 miles away). 

Photos

Asheville, NC1 of 18
Asheville, NC2 of 18

Many agree that the best part of Asheville is the great outdoors. 

Rob Travis Photography/Getty Images

Explore More of Asheville, NC

When purchasing from our site, we may earn commissions. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.

Recommended

America's 15 Coolest Ghost Towns to Visit

From Kentucky to California, the U.S. is filled with eerie abandoned cities.

Lyn MettlerAugust 22, 2019

The 7 Best New Orleans Plantation Tours

Learn about the Big Easy's history through one of these daytrips.

Holly JohnsonAugust 21, 2019

22 Top Sonoma Wineries to Visit

Sip world-class wines while enjoying vineyard and mountain views.

Gwen PratesiAugust 19, 2019

30 Beautiful Caribbean Islands to Visit

It's time to plan your next tropical getaway.

Holly JohnsonAugust 8, 2019

The Best Travel Rewards Programs for 2019-20

See which airline and hotel loyalty programs come out on top.

Erin ShieldsAugust 6, 2019

20 Surprising Ways to Earn Loyalty Program Points or Miles

Branch out beyond hotel stays and flights to maximize your earnings.

Christine SmithAugust 6, 2019

The 12 Best Cancun Tours

These excursions will show you what lies beyond the city's bright beaches.

Lyn MettlerJuly 26, 2019

Traveling With Toddlers: 16 Tips to Make Your Vacation Go Smoothly

These expert travel hacks guarantee a happy trip for the whole family.

Kyle McCarthyJuly 25, 2019

The 11 Best New Orleans Ghost Tours

Hear chilling tales of the city's paranormal activity on one of these guided tours.

Kim Foley MacKinnonJuly 25, 2019

The 10 Best Seattle Boat Tours

Take in the Emerald City's top sights from the water.

Kim Foley MacKinnonJuly 24, 2019