Fun Weekend Trips Near Asheville, North Carolina

Dated: June 16 2022

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There is so much to do in Asheville, NC, but even locals want to get away every now and then! Luckily, if you live in Asheville, you don’t have to go far to find fantastic mini-vacations and day trip getaways. From mountain escapes, to strolling the magnificent grounds of Biltmore, to rock climbing, there is so much to explore just outside of Asheville.

Start packing a weekend bag, because you won’t want to miss out on these amazing weekend trips near Asheville, North Carolina.


Weekend Trips from Asheville


Escape to The Great Smoky Mountains

Here’s a bit of trivia, did you know Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited National Park in America? While the NPS welcomes millions of guests annually to well-known parks like The Grand Canyon and Yosemite, still the visitation numbers top out in the Great Smoky Mountains with more than 11 million visitors each year. The park is situated between two states, Tennessee and North Carolina, and spans nearly 521,000 acres. That’s a lot of nature to explore!

The drive from Asheville to the park is just about two hours, give or take traffic congestion. Though Asheville itself is a beautifully wooded area, sometimes you really need to get out into the mountains to feel like you’ve gotten away for a bit. The old growth forests of The Great Smoky Mountains are some of the oldest trees in the country (of course, they have some pretty old Redwood relatives on the opposite coast.)

If you enjoy hiking, there are more than 800 miles of trails within the park to embark upon, some of which a part of the world-famous Appalachian Trail, in which thru-hikers travel by foot over 2,180 miles from Georgia to Maine.

Learn More: What it’s like Buying a House in Asheville


Visit Biltmore

The famed Biltmore Estate could very well be the first destination that comes to mind when you think of “attractions near Asheville, NC” The lavish and awe-inspiring Biltmore House is the largest privately owned home in the United States, but it’s hard to call this mammoth a home…it feels more like a palace. Guests can tour the home and the grounds, as well as the courtyard, observatory, and gardens; the latter of which is an attraction in itself.  Every year, visitors flock to Biltmore to behold Biltmore Blooms, the annual floral extravaganza that takes place in the spring.

Once you have taken in the grounds, take a little detour and explore nearby Antler Hill Village. Here you will find shops, restaurants, the winery, and even a farm where you can meet horses, sheep, and chickens. Wait…let’s not just blow right past that “wine” part. The winery at Biltmore offers a self-guided wine tour, a tasting room, and a chance to sample the incredible estate wines vinted on the property. After you’ve imbibed in all that the tasting room has to offer, don’t drink and drive! Take a carriage ride around the grounds and enjoy Biltmore from your cozy seat while our four-legged friends do the work!


See the leaves change in the fall on a leaf viewing trip

When pumpkins start to pop up on porches and sweaters begin beckoning to you from the top shelf of your closet, you know fall is on the way. Though sweaters and bonfires and pumpkin-flavored- everything all do an excellent job heralding in the season on their own, fall is just not fall without the changing leaves.

The East Coast offers a stunning fall color show, and North Carolina is one of the best places to peep the view and thoroughly enjoy yourself in all the autumn goodness. The mountains and foothills transform into rolling waves of crimson hues, as though the hills themselves were ablaze. Worry not, unlike the west coast, these hills are not threatening fire. Just incredible colors and cool weather.

Traveling anywhere in the Blue Ridge Mountains during the fall is an excellent way to see the leaves. Even if you don’t do an entire overnight getaway, just driving around is both free and offers the same views.  The Blue Ridge Mountains experience one of the longest leaf seasons in the United States.

Thanks to the many deep valleys and mountain peaks, different species turn their leaves at various elevations throughout the area, making the color change last from mid-September sometimes even into early November. Variables like rain, sunshine, and temperature drop can affect how quickly the leaves change and how long they stay that way, so each year is slightly different.

Learn More: 13 Things to know about Living in Asheville, North Carolina


Get away on lake-time at Lake Lure

If you want to escape city life for the weekend, look no further than Lake Lure. Less than thirty miles from Asheville, this pristine lake situated in the foothills of the mountains is the perfect getaway.

While you might know this place for its iconic Chimney Rock, or the Flowering Bridge, you most likely will recognize it as the setting from the films Dirty Dancing, The Last of the Mohicans, and Thunder Road. Lake Lure is so beautiful, it even brought Hollywood all the way from L.A. to capture its iconic American essence. If you can’t make it work for the weekend, Lake Lure is so close to Asheville that you could certainly make a day trip out of the excursion.

The village of Chimney Rock is a great place to stroll around and enjoy a bite to eat while you pop in and out of the shops. The surprisingly sandy beaches of the lake are open during the summer months, and there is even a waterslide that lands right in the lake.

Speaking of the lake, if you don’t have a boat of your own, fear not! Kayak and canoe rentals offer an out-on-the-water experience for even the most novice of sailors. If hiking or biking is more your speed, there are plenty of trails for mountain biking and hiking, and you can find a fit for almost all ability levels.

Get in touch with nature in Brevard, NC:

If, unlike 90’s R&B sensation TLC, you do want to go chasing waterfalls, you won’t have to run far in Brevard. This fairytale forest is full of sparkling waterfalls straight out of a storybook. Brevard is allegedly home to more than 250 waterfalls, some easier to find than others.

If you want to take a look at one of the most looked at waterfalls in the nation, Looking Glass Falls is a must see. Perhaps the most exciting of Brevard’s natural aquatic features is Sliding Rock in the Pisgah National Forest, where those brave enough to take a spin can fly more than 60 feet down the slippery rock to the pool below.

Even with all of its rushing water, there is still more water fun to be found in Brevard, on the French Broad River. Visitors can kayak or tube down the river, or just enjoy it from the banks. If you’re more of a land lover, you can take to the trails by foot, bike, or even…by hand?

Well, you can take to the vertical trails by hand at any of the fantastic local crags. The outdoor climbing in Brevard is hard to beat, but if you aren’t quite ready to tie into the sharp end, Brevard has an indoor climbing gym as well to hone your skills and get ready for some real rock.

Learn More: How Expensive is it to live in Asheville?


Soak it all in in Hot Springs, NC:

Since the dawn of time man has been seeking warm water to cure ailments and sooth the mind, body, and spirit. Some things never change, though luckily for us modern humans, we no longer have to chase down our meals and stab them to death with a sharp rock tied to a stick. But we do still enjoy the benefits of natural hot springs, and you can find that holistic relaxation less than an hour from Asheville in the town of Hot Springs, North Carolina.

The hot springs in the town of Hot Springs are actually the only natural hot springs in the entire state, and for centuries people have been coming from far and wide to soak up their earthy goodness.

The springs have changed over the years, so you won’t likely be able to just walk up to a steaming stream and dip in. These days, guests soak in spring-fed private tubs that are maintained by the resorts and can usually be rented by the hour. Each tub is drained, cleaned, and refilled after every use, so don’t fret, you are getting perfect, clean, hot water each time you set foot in the tub.

If you want the spa experience, you can stay at the resort, but if you want the more organic experience, just across the street from the baths are campgrounds for the more adventurous soaker!


Ready to move to Asheville?

There is so much to do and see in Asheville, NC, and even more to explore close by! If you are ready to call Asheville home, reach out to me at Nesting Doll Realty, I would love to help you find your next home in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina.

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