9 Dec 2019
The ultimate Asheville tourist checklist should include The Biltmore Estate and Blue Ridge Parkway. They’re at the top of Asheville lists for a reason and definitely worth the trip for first time visitors to Asheville. However, Asheville has so much more to offer beyond these iconic landmarks. Asheville has unique tours, quirky museums, indoor fun parks, and unending list of breweries and restaurants to explore. For you next trip, stay a spell and step off the typical tourist path to explore all Asheville has to offer.
Asheville museums are fun, educational, and interactive experiences for adults and kids alike. While you’re in town, you’ll want to check out the Asheville Art Museum, offering a wide variety of exhibitions featuring 20th and 21st century American art. They also offer classes and workshops for children and adults, as well as guided group tours, concerts and performances, film screenings, special events, and more. Admission is $15 for general admission (discounts available for seniors, WNC residents, and students) and children under 6 get in free.
Asheville’s premier exploratory science experience can be found at the Asheville Museum of Science (AMOS). AMOS offers a variety of educational programs and exhibits to explore like the Southern Appalachian Forest, Dinosaur and Paleontology, Panorama Screen for Planetary Exploration, and STEM Laboratory. Adult admission is $8, and $7 for children and seniors. Children under 2 get in for free.
One of the most unique museums is the Asheville Pinball Museum. Open Wednesday through Sunday, admission is $15 for adults ($12 for children 10 and under) and covers the cost of playing over 80 pinball and video games. Seriously, play all day long without having to cash out for tokens or quarters.
Asheville has a tour for just about everything: food, beer, history, ghosts, art...the list is endless. Asheville’s reputation as a food and beer destination means there is no shortage of culinary tours to choose from. Asheville’s original brewery tour is the Asheville Brews Cruise. Sample handcrafted beers while you learn about the history, science, and artistry behind some of Asheville’s best brewers. Tickets are $60 and include transportation, brewery tours, and 12 4 oz. samples during the tour.
Explore Asheville Amazing Race style with Asheville Detours- a scavenger hunt tour for groups of 4 or more (up to 150). You experience Asheville like a local with your personalized hunt through downtown Asheville. Solve clues, unscramble letters, taste delicious food and craft beverages, all while working to receive your next clue to your next destination. Each scavenger hunt lasts 3-3.5 hours with 5-6 stops and surprises throughout. Prices range from $65-$75 per adult depending on the tour you choose. Each tour comes with unique tastings, gifts, excursions, and admission various activities in Asheville.
Combine comedy, music, beer and good friends or family and hop on a Lazoom bus! The purple Lazoom bus is always easy to spot in downtown Asheville, and you can be sure that a nun on a tall bike isn't far away from the tour bus. Lazoom specializes in adult only comedy tours, a band and beer tour, a kids comedy tour and also has some seasonal specialities like a haunted comedy tour. Bring your own beer or wine or purchase beer from one of the brewery stops.
If you spend anytime downtown (and why wouldn’t you?), you’ll notice the red trolleys rolling by. Gray Line Hop Off- Hop On Trolley Tour is Asheville’s most popular sightseeing tour. Learn about the history of Asheville with stops throughout downtown Asheville, the Montford Historic District, The Grove Park Inn, River Arts District, and Biltmore Village. Tickets are $30 and valid for 2 consecutive days. The full loop usually lasts 90-100 minutes.
Have your beer and drink it too with this boozy workout combo tour. Amazing Pubcycle is a “BYOB pedal powered (motor assisted) tour like no other”. Pedal as you cruise (and booze) your way around downtown Asheville on this 1.5 hour pub tour. There are 2 brewery/pub breaks during the tour so you can stretch and hydrate. Tours a $25 per adult for the 1.5 hour tour.
Indoor Fun Parks
Some days call for staying indoors, and while that can sound less exciting than Asheville’s incredible outdoor activities, it’s actually an opportunity to have a lot of fun. Asheville’s Fun Depot is where kids and adults go to play. There’s something for everyone and for $50 you can play all day. Enjoy the rock climbing wall, anti-gravity ropes course, go-karts, bumper cars, laser tag, mini-golf, and all the arcade games you can handle. If your time is limited, there are additional packages available.
Sky Zone Trampoline Park is a great spot to burn off some much needed energy in a relatively short amount of time. Whether you’re a toddler tumbling around in the Toddler Zone or ninja in training in the Ninja Warrior Course, you’ve got plenty to jump around and be excited about. Prices start at $11 for half an hour in the Freestyle Jump Zone.
Asheville’s in an adult playground, but sometimes kids need to let off a little steam while in town. Mountain Play Lodge is an indoor oasis for all seasons. Their play equipment includes a giant 3 part jungle gym with 6 different slides, as well as a kiddie Asheville (Baby Biltmore included). Play floors are padded and soft so kids can climb, slide, tumble and enjoy. The jungle gyms are also adult accessible so you can join in on all the fun! Children 0-2 are $8 and children 2+ are $12.
Challenge your group at Conundrum Asheville Escape Room and Speakeasy with one of their immersive and fun escape room puzzles. Starting at $25 per adult, you’ll spend the next 60 minutes solving clues surrounding a murder mystery, a spooky haunting, treasures left by an eccentric brewer, or the mystery of Dracula’s vault. Will you escape to explore the secret speakeasy and try out one of their Prohibition-era cocktails?
Breakout Games is Asheville’s number 1 escape room. You have 6 different escape room options, ranging from a runaway train to a hijacked airplane. Your group will have your own private room so you won’t be sharing with strangers. Rooms can accommodate up to 8 and the more in your group, the cheaper the rate ($19.99-$39.99 per adult).
Some days, there’s nothing better than checking out the latest movie at the theater. Asheville has your standard theaters, but we also have some that are uniquely Asheville. The Grail Moviehouse is Asheville’s Alternative Cinema. Located in downtown, it’s a locally owned theater, dedicated to screening first-run, art and independent films, and documentaries. They also feature seasonal screenings. Ticket prices range from $7-$10.
An Asheville staple and local favorite is the Asheville Brew and View. Asheville Pizza & Brewing’s $3 theater features late run movies and seasonal favorites. Kick back and enjoy the movie, while you also chow down on some delicious pizza and craft beer from their micro brewery.
The Fine Arts Theatre in downtown is a haven for those tired of the big budget, over-hyped Hollywood films flooding your news feeds and TV screens. Asheville’s Home for Art and Independent Films is perfect for those who love the art of filmmaking and storytelling. Matinee and evening showings are available and prices range from $7.50-$10.00 (Tuesdays are discounted to $5.00 for regular showings).
So much to do and so little time. We are here for you! Despite living in Asheville, we can sympathize with visitors trying to plan their perfect Asheville vacation because there’s always something new to do and/or explore. Our solution: visit Asheville today and visit often!
Greybeard Rentals offers several discounts for activities to guests staying at our rentals. Check out our Guest Services page to view available discounted tickets and packages.