Make the most of your Asheville vacation with this itinerary! Here’s how to spend 4 amazing days in Asheville, North Carolina with the top things to do, where to eat and drinks, and best places to stay.
Asheville is known for its amazing mountain views, beautiful hiking trails, craft beer scene, and of course, the impressive Biltmore Estate.
With 4 days in the city, there’s plenty of time to hit all the highlights. This itinerary shows you how to make the most of your trip to Asheville!
4 Days in Asheville, North Carolina Itinerary
For our 4-day Asheville trip, we took a long weekend from Saturday to Tuesday. We mostly planned it this way because the Biltmore had cheaper tickets for weekdays when we visited, so we could do the Biltmore on a Monday. Keep this in mind when planning your own Asheville itinerary, as you may need to rearrange the order that you do things depending on what days you visit!
Day 1 in Asheville: Drinks & Ghosts
We arrived in Asheville on Saturday afternoon as our hotel check-in was at 3 pm. That left us plenty of time to get to know the city as we looked for a place to eat for dinner. Later that night, we had a ghost tour scheduled.
Omni Grove Park Inn
Omni Grove Park Inn is a historic resort set atop Sunset Mountain that has played host to many famous guests like F. Scott Fitzgerald and 10 U.S. presidents from Taft to Obama.
You don’t have to stay here in order to explore the property. Parking at the hotel is free for the first 3 hours, so you can feel free to explore their beautiful lobby, restaurants, bars, shops, and history exhibits. The Sunset Cocktail Terrace is a great place to grab a drink and enjoy the views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The S&W Market
The S&W Market is a food hall located in a beautiful art deco building in Downtown Asheville. The building was opened in 1929 to house the S&W Cafeteria chain, which served locally sourced food in a quick yet upscale environment.
The market today sticks to its roots, with counter service for fast and casual local food vendors like Buxton Chicken Palace, Bun Intended, Peace Love Tacos, Farm Dogs, The Hop Ice Cream, and Highland Brewing.
Top of the Monk
If you’re looking for a great place to drink, head to the Top of the Monk, the rooftop bar on the upper level of Thirsty Monk Brewery.
If you’re like me and don’t really like beer, don’t worry, Top of the Monk serves handcrafted classic and modern cocktails. I particularly liked the Tandoori Green Apple Soda, which was kind of a cinnamon green apple creation.
LaZoom Ghost Tour
LaZoom Comedy Tours are a great way to explore the city, and I love learning about a city’s haunted history, so for me their Ghosted: Comedy Bus Tour was the way to go!
Climb aboard the big purple bus for some raunchy Asheville after dark comedy and ghost stories. You’ll see real live ghosts (because they’re actors, get it?), hear the chilling tales of Asheville’s scandals and murder, and laugh your head off.
The after dark ghost tour is for ages 17+ only. You can drink wine and beer on the bus, but it must be purchased from the LaZoom Room bar, which you can also hang out in before and after your tour.
Related tour: Asheville Ghost Tour and Haunted Pub Crawl
Day 2 in Asheville: Blue Ridge Parkway Scenery & More Drinks
On our second day in Asheville, we took to the Blue Ridge Parkway for a scenic drive and a few hikes. After our drive, we headed back into town to sample some of Asheville’s cideries since we aren’t big beer drinkers.
Western North Carolina Nature Center
I can’t pass up an opportunity to see bears, so you know I had to visit the black bears at the Western North Carolina Nature Center. And since it’s not far from the Blue Ridge Parkway, it only made sense to stop here before our scenic drive.
The WNC Nature Center is an AZA-accredited zoo with over 60 species of animals like black bears, red pandas, wolves, foxes, cougars, and more. Many of their animals has been permanently injured or would not be able to survive in the wild. At this zoo, you can learn more about the animals that call the Southern Appalachian Mountains home.
Tanbark Ridge Overlook
As you drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway, you’ll want to stop off at the various overlooks and hiking spots along the way.
The Tanbark Ridge Overlook is a popular spot with a 180° view east overlooking High Swan, High Knob, and Lane Pinnacle mountains.
Mount Mitchell State Park
Mount Mitchell is the highest point east of the Mississippi and a must-stop point for a drive along this portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Hike to the summit observation platform through Mount Mitchell State Park‘s paved 0.15 mile one-way Summit Trail. Though the trail is short, it is quite steep. The climate is a lot colder at 6,684 feet, so come prepared with a jacket even in summer. At the observation platform, you’ll get 360° views of the surrounding mountains.
There is also a small museum at the summit parking lot that explores the mountains cultural and natural history and the discovery of this highest point.
View Glassmine Falls Overlook
If you’re lucky, the View Glassmine Falls Overlook gives you a look across the valley to the tall, skinny Glassmine Falls waterfall. But that’s only if the weather has been wet. If you’re stopping during a dry period, there may only be a trickle or no falls at all.
Unfortunately, we visited on a dry day where all you could see was a rocky outcropping amidst the trees where the falls would have been.
Craggy Pinnacle Hike
For more incredible 360° views, the Craggy Pinnacle Hike is another short but steep option. You can access the trail past the Craggy Gardens Visitor Center at the Craggy Dome Overlook parking lot.
This 0.6 mile one-way, unpaved trail takes you through patches of rhododendron and mountain laurel to a rock wall summit overlook. You’ll be able to see Mount Mitchell to the north, Tennessee to the west, the Blue Ridge Parkway as it continues to the south, and Asheville’s North Fork water reservoir to the east.
Related tour: Scenic Blue Ridge Parkway Self-Guided Driving Audio Tour
Noble Cider & Mead Downtown
After our scenic drive, we spent the rest of the afternoon checking out Asheville’s cideries and cocktail bars. Our first stop was Noble Cider & Mead in Downtown Asheville.
This was a cute taproom where you can get a flight of ciders and mead, play board games, and enjoy some fresh air on the patio. We liked their seasonal spring Blue Bard as well as their limited release Caramel Apple ciders.
Bold Rock Downtown Asheville
Bold Rock is the largest independently-owned cider company in the U.S. Their downtown cidery and taproom serves cider flights, pours, and delicious food. They even have a small batch cider production system on site.
I love how flavorful their different fruit ciders are. We enjoyed their Blackberry cider from their core collection and the Watermelon cider from their seasonal collection.
Botanist & Barrel Tasting Bar + Bottle Shop
Botanist & Barrel crafts all natural ciders and wines with no additives like sulfites or extra sugar. Their Downtown Asheville tasting room has over 50 of their own offerings as well as guest offerings of natural wines, ciders, beers, and mead.
Since their wines and ciders have no added sugar, they tend to be on the dryer side. So we chose to go with a mimosa flight and a couple samplings of the bartender’s recommended ciders.
Antidote at Chemist Spirits
Antidote at Chemist Spirits has a fun apothecary aesthetic and an old-fashioned craft cocktail selection. It’s a speakeasy feel without the exclusivity of a speakeasy. They have a patio, two stories of indoor space, and a partially covered rooftop.
Their rooftop wasn’t open when we went, so Kevin and I found a cozy nook upstairs with a chess set and settled in to play while sipping on a fruity gin cocktail.
The Crow & Quill
The Crow & Quill was recommended to us by the bartender at Botanist & Barrel. This speakeasy-like cocktail bar is hidden behind a faintly marked door (the name above the door blends in with the paint). Inside is filled with antiques and a Victorian-Gothic vibe. They typically have jazz musicians playing at night.
To get in, you’ll have to pay a small one-time membership fee and then they’ll give you a membership card. They also require proof of vaccination right now. They have a long list of spirits and a curated seasonal cocktail list. I had a Gin & Tonic that was very well made.
Day 3 in Asheville: Biltmore
You’ll want a full day to explore the Biltmore Estate. There’s so much to do! The home itself is a marvel, the Gardens are gorgeous, and winery is a must-try, and they host special exhibitions throughout the year.
Biltmore House Tour
I like starting out the day with a house tour, that way you get all the background and history you need for exploring the rest of the Biltmore Estate.
Biltmore House was officially opened in 1895 as a family home for George Vanderbilt, his wife Edith, and their daughter Cornelia. The house is billed as America’s Largest Home, and a house tour offers you a look at the ornate rooms and furnishings made for entertaining as well as a look behind the scenes of running the household in the servants’ quarters.
My favorite rooms in the house are the Library with its collection of 10,000 books, secret door, and giant fireplace; and the Banquet Hall with its 70-foot ceiling and long dining table set for an elegant dinner.
The Biltmore offers different types of house tours. The self-guided tour with an audio guide is the standard tour. This lasts about 50 minutes, but it really depends on your pace. They also offer expert-guided small group tours, a Backstairs Tour, and a Rooftop Tour where you’ll get a more in-depth look at the home.
Complimentary Tasting at the Biltmore Winery
The Biltmore Winery offers complimentary tastings (for those 21+, of course) at their tasting room in Antler Hill Village.
An expert will guide you through a list of the Biltmore’s own award-winning reds, whites, and rosés. You get to pick 6 different wines to taste. Even though we aren’t big fans of red wine usually, we were pleasantly surprised by how much we enjoyed the Biltmore’s reds.
Reservations are required for the wine tasting, and they must be made on the day of your visit. Spots fill up quickly, so make sure to reserve when you arrive. You can do so at one of the information booths or by scanning a bar code on the back of pamphlets you can find at the info booths (that way you don’t have to wait in line to book).
Amherst at Deerpark: Monet & Friends Alive – Life, Light & Color Immersive Experience
Amherst at Deerpark is the Biltmore’s exhibition space where they host different events.
Right now, the Biltmore is hosting a series of immersive experiences, called Legends of Art & Innovation. This series features three different multi-sensory immersive experiences created by Grande Experiences that run from November 2021 through February 2023. The experiences highlight the lives and works of Van Gogh, Monet, and Da Vinci.
We went to see the Monet & Friends Alive – Life, Light & Color immersive experience, running through July 10, 2022. This homage to Claude Monet and the Impressionist painters of the mid-19th century brings their works to life like never before.
Day 4 in Asheville: Literary History
Our 4th and final day in Asheville was a short one as we had to drive home. We made a quick stop at the Thomas Wolfe Memorial to learn a little more about Asheville’s literary history.
Thomas Wolfe Memorial
The Thomas Wolfe Memorial is a historic house museum dedicated to the 20th-century writer Thomas Wolfe who immortalized his childhood home of Asheville in his autobiographical novel Look Homeward Angel. The novel caused quite a scandal when it was published as Wolfe barely changed the names of his fellow Ashevillians and didn’t always have the most flattering descriptions of them.
This state historic site includes a museum detailing Wolfe’s life and literary accomplishments as well as a guided tour of the Old Kentucky Home boardinghouse that his mother ran. He spent much of his childhood at this home.
Where to Eat in Asheville
Plan out your lunches and dinners with these great places to eat in Asheville! Make sure to add these top Asheville restaurants to your itinerary.
- Bun Intended at The S&W Market — Thai-inspired street food like steamed buns, bao, fried rice, and curry bowls
- Mamacita’s Taqueria — Casual cantina for burritos and tacos.
- The Kitchen Café at the Biltmore — Quick-serve option for paninis, salads, and baked goods.
- Miyako House — Japanese staples like sushi, bento boxes, and hibachi dinners.
Where to Stay for 4 Days in Asheville, North Carolina
We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Asheville Downtown. This hotel is located just a few minutes away from all the downtown attractions you’ll want to see and has quick access to the Blue Ridge Parkway. We loved that it also had an indoor/outdoor pool and a hot tub.
If you’re looking for a luxury Asheville stay, you can’t go wrong with the historic Omni Grove Park Inn or a stay on the Biltmore Estate with their options of the Village Hotel, The Inn, and Cottages.
Where to Stay in Asheville
Find the perfect place to rest your head on your visit to Asheville, from the top rated accommodations to unique stays you can’t get anywhere else.
- Where We Stayed: Holiday Inn Express & Suites Asheville Downtown
- Top Hotel: Princess Anne Hotel
- Great Value: Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Asheville Downtown Tunnel Road
- Unique Stay: The Inn on Biltmore Estate
Ready to visit Asheville, North Carolina? Plan your trip with these tips.
- Book Your Flight: Find the cheapest flights using Skyscanner, my favorite flight search engine.
- Find Accommodation: You can find top hotels in Asheville using Booking.com.
- Start Packing: Make sure you’ve packed everything you need with my packing list resources.
Did you find this 4-day itinerary for Asheville, North Carolina helpful? What would you add to your Asheville itinerary? Let me know in the comments!