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2-Day Weekend Itinerary for Asheville, North Carolina

Updated: Feb 21

Are you looking to escape for a weekend getaway? Consider Asheville, NC, a vibrant city in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is conveniently situated near major cities like Charlotte, Atlanta, and Charleston, making it a perfect place for a weekend trip.

This guide is packed with a curated weekend itinerary covering Asheville's highlights, from savoring delicious cuisine to exploring the Biltmore Estates and immersing yourself in nature and art. Get ready for an unforgettable adventure in this picturesque mountain region of Western North Carolina!

Mountain range in Asheville, North Carolina

Day 1: Downtown Asheville and Nature's Beauty


Morning:


Biscuit Head 

Address: 417 Biltmore Ave #4f, Asheville, NC 28801

Begin your day with a delightful breakfast at Biscuit Head in Downtown Asheville. Savor the ultimate Southern breakfast at Biscuit Head, known for its mouthwatering biscuits topped with creative ingredients. Biscuit Head serves comfort food, small plates, and hard liquor throughout the day. Do not miss their light and fluffy biscuits, accompanied by a tempting jam bar for added flavor. These delicious biscuits are the perfect way to fuel up for a day of exploration.

Downtown Asheville

Address: Downtown, Asheville, NC 28801


Following a satisfying breakfast, embark on a leisurely stroll through the bustling streets of Downtown Asheville, a vibrant commercial hub brimming with artistic energy. With its eclectic mix of over 200 local shops, including boutiques, antique stores, and clothing boutiques, there is no shortage of treasures waiting to be discovered.

As you wander, immerse yourself in the city's dynamic arts scene, dotted with galleries showcasing the works of local artists. From charming coffee shops to lively bars and breweries, the downtown area offers a plethora of culinary delights and libations to indulge in. With an array of attractions and activities to explore, from historic landmarks to contemporary art spaces, Downtown Asheville beckons visitors to experience the pulse of this lively city center firsthand.

Late Morning:


North Carolina Arboretum

Address: 100 Frederick Law Olmsted Way, Asheville, NC 28806

Trees along the Blue Ridge Parkway in Asheville during fall

Nestled within the Pisgah National Forest's Bent Creek Experimental Forest and conveniently situated near the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, the North Carolina Arboretum spans 434 acres of botanical wonders. Away from the bustling city, it offers a serene escape into nature, boasting meticulously maintained gardens bursting with vibrant hues of native and non-native plants.

Visitors can explore highlights such as a charming gift shop teeming with plant treasures, a captivating bonsai exhibit and garden, and family-friendly trails perfect for little adventurers. It is a great place to spend your time hiking along the scenic trails, admiring the colorful botanical gardens, and learning about the native flora of Western North Carolina.

Afternoon:


Tupelo Honey 

Address: 12 College St, Asheville, NC 28801

Southern food - fried chicken, fries, and thick-cut pickles

For a delectable lunch experience in Downtown Asheville, look no further than Tupelo Honey Southern Kitchen & Bar. This North Carolina-based chain restaurant offers a modern twist on Southern cuisine, with a commitment to using responsibly sourced, scratch-made ingredients.

Renowned for its mouthwatering biscuits and elevated Southern dishes, Tupelo Honey promises a farm-to-table dining experience that celebrates the flavors of the region. Whether you are craving classic Southern fare or innovative dishes, this eatery provides a perfect blend of comfort and culinary excellence.

Folk Art Center

Address: 382 Blue Rdg Pkwy, Asheville, NC 28805

Arts & Crafts

Just a short drive from downtown Asheville along the picturesque Blue Ridge Parkway lies the Folk Art Center, a captivating museum dedicated to preserving and celebrating the rich heritage of Appalachian crafts. Situated at milepost 382, this cultural gem showcases a diverse array of traditional and contemporary craftwork from the Southern Appalachians, providing visitors with a glimpse into the region's vibrant artisanal traditions.

Beyond its impressive collection, the Folk Art Center also hosts engaging events such as the Basketry Workshop: Two-Pie Basket and the Craft Making & Thinking: Craft Studies Conference, offering opportunities for hands-on learning and exploration. It is a must-visit destination for those seeking to support local artisans and immerse themselves in the rich cultural tapestry of Western North Carolina.

Evening:


River Arts District

Address: River Arts District, Asheville, NC

River Arts District in Asheville, North Carolina

As the evening sets in, venture into the vibrant River Arts District (RAD), an artistic enclave nestled along the picturesque French Broad River. Former warehouses and mills, adorned with captivating exterior murals, now house a plethora of artisan studios showcasing glassblowing, pottery, and other unique crafts.

Explore indie art galleries and immerse yourself in the creativity of local artists, perhaps stumbling upon the perfect piece to adorn your home as a cherished souvenir of your visit. Afterward, soak up the district's buzzing dining and nightlife scene, with options ranging from hip cafes to BBQ joints and craft breweries.

Complete your evening with a visit to a cozy, chilled-out music venue like the iconic Grey Eagle, where you can unwind to the sounds of talented performers against the backdrop of Asheville's artistic spirit.

White Duck Taco Shop

Address: 12 Biltmore Avenue, Asheville, NC 28803

Tacos

Indulge in a culinary adventure at White Duck Taco Shop for dinner, where you will discover an array of innovative and flavorful taco creations crafted from fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

Renowned for its creative combinations, the menu features tantalizing options such as fish, shrimp, and tofu tacos, alongside mouthwatering dishes like BBQ carnitas and Korean beef bulgogi.

Pair your meal with refreshing watermelon sangria and savor the freshness of the house-made salsa trio served with crispy chips. While dining, enjoy the scenic views and outdoor seating available by the river, adding an extra layer of ambiance to your culinary experience in Asheville's lively dining scene.

Asheville Pinball Museum

Address: 1 Battle Square Ste 1b, Asheville, NC 28801

People playing on pinball machines

Cap off your evening with a visit to the Asheville Pinball Museum, where nostalgia meets entertainment. With a collection boasting 35 vintage pinball machines and 35 classic video games, this museum offers endless fun for visitors of all ages.

Step back in time as you play your favorite games from the past, all for a set price that ensures unlimited enjoyment. Whether you are a pinball wizard or simply seeking a dose of retro charm, the Asheville Pinball Museum promises a delightful experience that is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth for arcade fun.

Day 2: Biltmore Estate and Culinary Delights


Early Morning:


The Well-Bred Bakery & Café in Biltmore Village

Address: 6 Boston Way, Asheville, NC 28803

Pastries in a bakery including au chocolat croissants

Situated in Asheville's historic Biltmore Village, The Well-Bred Bakery & Café invites patrons to savor a delightful array of breakfast, lunch, and pastry options. Locals and visitors alike highly recommend the savory curry chicken salad, decadent mountain éclair, and irresistible chocolate orange cookie.

Praised as a top breakfast spot in Asheville, it offers a delicious start to the day. Brunch enthusiasts can indulge in dishes like the egg and cheese croissant alongside a flavorful garbanzo bean salad side. With its inviting ambiance and a tempting selection of coffee and treats, The Well-Bred Bakery & Café is a beloved destination in Biltmore Village.

Morning and Afternoon:


Historic Biltmore Estate

Address: 1 Lodge St, Asheville, NC 28803

Embark on an enchanting journey through history as you visit the historic Biltmore Estate, a National Historic Landmark nestled in Asheville, North Carolina - you could spend an entire day in this beautiful place with everything there is to explore.

The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina

Marvel at the grandeur of the 175,000 square-foot French Renaissance chateau, designed by renowned architect Richard Morris Hunt, which serves as the centerpiece of the sprawling 8,000-acre estate. Explore the opulent interiors of America's largest home, boasting an impressive 250 rooms, 35 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms, and 65 fireplaces.

Beyond the mansion, discover the beauty of the Italian Garden, with its picturesque statuary, reflecting pools filled with tropical water plants, and breathtaking views of Biltmore House's South Terrace. With tickets granting access to the house tour, grounds, and gardens, as well as a wine tasting experience, the Biltmore Estate offers a captivating glimpse into the lavish lifestyle of the Vanderbilt family during the Gilded Age.

Lunch at the Biltmore Estate


For a truly memorable lunch experience, look no further than the Biltmore Estate, where an array of dining options awaits amidst the picturesque surroundings of this historic landmark. With an impressive selection of restaurants catering to diverse tastes and preferences, there is something to satisfy every palate.

Indoor winter garden and conservatory in the main Biltmore residence, Ashville, NC

- Cedric’s® Tavern: Experience classic English pub fare with hearty favorites like fish & chips, shepherd’s pie, and Biltmore® Grown beef and pork burgers, alongside delicious soups, salads, and small plates.
- Stable Café: Delight in Appalachian comfort food in a historic setting once used as the estate’s horse stable. Satisfy your appetite with house-smoked meats, Carolina barbeque, grilled burgers, and other Southern favorites.
- The Smokehouse Food Truck: Grab tasty grab-and-go options from a vintage truck featuring estate-raised pulled pork, pulled chicken, and smoked beef brisket plates, sandwiches, and sides, along with ice-cold soft drinks, craft beer, and Biltmore wine.
- Village Social: Gather and relax with loved ones while enjoying inspired takes on regional favorites prepared with fresh, estate-raised ingredients. From burgers and steaks to seafood and salads, complement your meal with a unique selection of craft cocktails in a casual setting.
- The Courtyard Market: Located in the Stable Courtyard area next to Biltmore House, indulge in gourmet hot dogs, fresh salads, snacks, draft beer, wine, and other cold beverages. Relax on the outdoor patio for a quick, delicious bite amidst the estate's beauty.

Late Afternoon and Early Evening:


Antler Hill Village

Address: 225 Winery Rd, Asheville, NC 28803

Biltmore Estate at night with star lights and other porch lights

Located just two miles from the main house of the Biltmore Estate, Antler Hill Village is a bustling enclave in Asheville, North Carolina, offering a plethora of activities to enhance your Biltmore experience. From dining and shopping to live demonstrations by craftspeople and turn-of-the-century games for kids, the village is a vibrant hub of activity.

Explore the farm animals at the Farmyard and petting zoo, enjoy live music, and indulge in wine tastings at the Winery. With exhibits, a playground, and year-round learning opportunities, Antler Hill Village promises entertainment for visitors of all ages, making it an essential stop during your Biltmore adventure.

Evening:


Dinner at the Biltmore Estate


Fine Dining Experience

Choose between two exceptional venues for an unforgettable dinner experience at the Biltmore Estate. At The Dining Room, indulge in four-star dining characterized by expertly prepared cuisine highlighting estate-raised and local ingredients. Impeccable service reminiscent of the Vanderbilts' era complements the elegant ambiance - complete with white linen tablecloths and fine china, offering stunning views of the estate.

Alternatively, opt for a more casual yet equally delightful dinner at the Bistro. Here, savor dishes crafted from estate-raised and regionally sourced ingredients in a vibrant European-inspired setting. Situated around an open kitchen, diners can witness the chefs in action while enjoying award-winning Biltmore wines and cocktails.

Dinner at the Bistro showcases the season’s harvest, featuring fresh pasta, hand-cut steaks, and chops, ensuring a culinary experience that perfectly captures the essence of the estate's bountiful offerings. 

Dinner Outside the Biltmore Estate


Barbeque Food - mac n cheese, baked beans, and pulled pork

If you would like to have dinner outside of the Biltmore Estate, explore Asheville's diverse culinary scene with a range of exceptional dining options for dinner, each offering its own unique ambiance and cuisine. Here are some great restaurants to consider:

- Pack's Tavern: Modern tavern in a vintage building with over 35 rotating taps, live music, and eclectic eats.
- Strada Italiano: Upscale Italian restaurant offering a variety of dishes from all regions of Italy, with options for vegetarians, vegans, and gluten-free diners
- Daddy Mac's Down Home Dive: Rustic-chic spot serving smoked meats and mac 'n' cheese skillets, complemented by cocktails and craft beer.
- Luella’s Bar-B-Que: Cozy barbecue joint featuring smoked meats with house-made sauces, paired with local beer and cocktails.
- Cornerstone: Established American restaurant serving burgers, steaks, and seafood in an airy, rustic-chic setting.

More Things To Do in Asheville, North Carolina


Mount Mitchell State Park

Address: 2388 NC-128, Burnsville, NC 28714

View in Mount Mitchell State Park

Discover Mount Mitchell State Park, a sprawling 4,789-acre sanctuary in Yancey County, North Carolina. Established in 1915, this park proudly claims the title of the highest peak east of the Mississippi River, offering unparalleled vistas of the surrounding landscape.

Located just 35 miles northeast of Asheville, visitors can easily access the park via the Blue Ridge Parkway at Milepost 355.4, making it a prime destination for a scenic drive. Nearly reaching the summit by car, adventurers can revel in panoramic views from various lookout points, including an observation deck perched atop the peak. With kid-friendly hikes, serene walking trails, and ample picnic tables, Mount Mitchell State Park offers an idyllic retreat for families and nature enthusiasts alike.

While certain amenities like the museum and restaurant remain closed during the winter months, plan your visit for late spring to fully experience the park's splendor and make the most of your time exploring this beautiful slice of the East Coast.

Craggy Gardens Visitor Center  

Address: 364 Blue Rdg Pkwy, Black Mountain, NC 28711

View from Craggy Gardens Visitor Center

Just 10 miles south of Mount Mitchell State Park lies Craggy Gardens, a unique destination along the Blue Ridge Parkway that transports visitors into a world of enchantment. Gnarled, twisted trees, swirling fog, and brisk mountain winds create an otherworldly atmosphere unlike any other along the Parkway.

Nature enthusiasts and sightseers alike are drawn to this area for its abundant rhododendron blooms and sweeping 360-degree views of the surrounding landscape. Explore the Visitor Center, hit the hiking trails to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the area, or enjoy a peaceful picnic amidst the scenic splendor - Craggy Gardens offers something for every outdoor enthusiast to enjoy.

Asheville Museum of Science

Address: 43 Patton Ave, Asheville, NC 28801

Embark on an immersive journey of scientific discovery at the Asheville Museum of Science (AMOS), the premier destination for experiential learning and exploration in Western North Carolina. With interactive, hands-on exhibits designed to engage science enthusiasts of all ages, AMOS invites visitors to explore, play, and learn in an environment that sparks the imagination and fosters lifelong curiosity.

A ball of energy with electricity beaming all over the place.

From young learners aged 3 to 12 to seasoned science aficionados, AMOS has various programs and exhibits that ignite a passion for discovery and experimentation. Whether you are unraveling the mysteries of the natural world or delving into cutting-edge scientific concepts, AMOS promises an enriching experience that inspires and delights.

Asheville Art Museum

Address: 2 S Pack Square, Asheville, NC 28801

Immerse yourself in the vibrant world of American art at the Asheville Art Museum, housed within the historic walls of a 1925 Italian Renaissance-style building that once served as the Pack Memorial Library.

Delve into the rich tapestry of artistic expression spanning the 20th and 21st centuries, as the museum invites visitors to explore its outstanding collection and discover the unique artistic heritage of Western North Carolina. Beyond its impressive galleries, the museum offers delightful amenities such as a rooftop café with scenic views and a playful kids' area, making it an ideal destination for families and art enthusiasts alike.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park


View in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Discover the natural wonders of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most visited national park in the United States, welcoming over 12 million visitors annually since its establishment in 1934. Nestled on the border of North Carolina and Tennessee, this sprawling park boasts a diverse landscape teeming with lush forests, cascading waterfalls, and meandering streams, inviting adventurers to explore its network of hiking trails. 

Highlights of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park include:

- Clingmans Dome: Experience breathtaking panoramic views from the highest peak in the Smokies, offering a 360-degree vista and serving as a pivotal point along the Appalachian Trail.
- Cades Cove: Explore a picturesque valley adorned with historic buildings and sweeping mountain vistas, offering a glimpse into the region's rich cultural heritage.
- Newfound Gap: Journey to the lowest mountain pass accessible by automobile, providing access to stunning scenery and serving as the gateway to various trails and viewpoints.
- Chimney Tops Trail: Embark on a thrilling hike to one of the park's most scenic spots, known for its dramatic views and challenging terrain.

Enjoy the Craft Beer Scene at the Most Popular Asheville Breweries, like:


Beer you can enjoy in Asheville Breweries

- Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. - Explore Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., one of the largest craft breweries in the U.S., offering family-friendly tours and dining on over 180 acres along the French Broad River in Mills River, near Asheville Airport.
- Wicked Weed Brewing Pub - Discover Wicked Weed Brewing Pub in Downtown Asheville, renowned for its specialty in West Coast style IPAs, open-fermented Belgians, and barrel-aged sours. They prioritize innovation, quality, and community ties in Asheville, North Carolina.
- Bold Rock Mills River Cidery - At Bold Rock Mills River Cidery, savor handcrafted cider and craft beer amidst adventure and bold flavors.
- Highland Brewing Company - Founded in 1994 by Oscar Wong, Highland Brewing Company is Asheville's first legal brewery since prohibition, offering a diverse range of beer styles for every palate.
- Hillman Beer - Discover Hillman Beer, a family-owned brewery in Biltmore Village, Asheville, NC, renowned for its diverse beer selection and larger food menu, embodying western North Carolina's hospitality and community spirit.

Enjoy your adventure in Asheville!


View of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Asheville, NC

I hope you enjoyed this 2-day Asheville itinerary! This city offers the perfect blend of history, nature, and culinary delights, making it an ideal destination for a weekend getaway. Whether you are exploring the city center, marveling at the grandeur of the Biltmore Estate, or savoring delicious food and beer, you are sure to have a fantastic time in this charming city!

Have you been to Asheville, NC? Let me know in the comments below - I would love to know where you visited! Share this article with the person or people you want to go on your next adventure with! Also, be sure to SUBSCRIBE below to learn about other places you should add to your "To Visit" List! Ready? Okay, vamos. Time to have fun!

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