RTX Day Trip: Asheville, NC

Located just a short drive south of Banner Elk, Asheville is the perfect day trip. Known as “The Paris of the South” for its open minded and eclectic vibe, the city is passionate about food, art, music and also enjoys a thriving craft beer scene. Whether you plan on shopping or enjoying the great outdoors Asheville has something for everyone.



Located just 75 miles south of Banner Elk, Asheville is less than a two hour drive. The quickest way (1.5 hours) is to take US 221 South to Marion and then I-40 West to Asheville. For an unforgettable scenic drive access the Blue Ridge Parkway from US 221 at the Grandfather Mountain exit (milepost 305) and travel south for two hours. Asheville is at milepost 382.6.


Start your day in Asheville with a visit to world-famous Biltmore Estate. The largest privately owned house in America, the chateau-style mansion consists of 250 elegant rooms to explore. A massive garden and winery are also found on property along with plenty of parks perfect for a picnic. Head downtown to discover the city’s lively vibe and explore the many boutiques and local restaurants including the popular French Broad Chocolate Lounge. For an entertaining history lesson purchase a ticket with LaZoom Tours and cruise around town on a purple bus while the costumed staff weaves creative tales from the past.


The craft beer craze has taken the nation by storm and Asheville is no exception. Winner of the Examiner’s Beer City USA poll from 2009-11, Asheville has more breweries per capita than any other U.S. city. On any given day the 11 local breweries offer up to 50 different beers on tap. Learn the nuances of different beer styles and the process of brewing from fermentation to the bottle while tasting 14-16 different beers with the Asheville Brews Cruise. Lasting nearly four hours, the tour includes at least three stops at different breweries like local favorites such as Highland Brewing Company, Pisgah Brewing Company, Green Man Brewery or French Broad Brewing Company. If you prefer to explore the beer scene on your own stop by one of Asheville’s newest hot spots, Wicked Weed Brewing. Located on Biltmore Avenue downtown, Wicked Weed brews a variety of unique Belgian style ales and cask aged ales such as their Black Angel Cherry Sour and Dark Aged Bourbon Stout.


Just west of downtown this unique neighborhood along the French Broad River is home to more than 165 artists with working studios located in 22 former industrial buildings. An amazing range of art from cutting edge sculpture and paintings to traditional raku fired pottery and everything in between can be found in the studios. After browsing through the galleries head over to 12 Bones Smokehouse for the city’s best ribs, pulled pork and smoked turkey.



Start the day with a hearty breakfast at The Moose Cafe. Located next to the Western North Carolina Farmers Market, this farm to table restaurant uses only the freshest meats, vegetables and cheeses all acquired from next door. For lunch head to North Asheville and grab a bite to eat at Dough. A chef owned market and bakery, Dough also serves amazing fresh pizzas, sandwiches and salads all made from scratch daily. Reserve a table for dinner at West Asheville’s funky and eclectic food star, The Admiral. Opened in 2007, this unassuming dive bar has garnered a national reputation as a destination restaurant. An evolving seasonal menu can include anything from duck leg confit, veal sweetbreads and lamb meatballs to pork belly and curry fried chicken.


For more information on what to do and see contact the Asheville Visitor Center.
(828) 258-6129





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