Asheville is a relatively small town in the Western part of North Carolina situated between the Great Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Mountains. The city was chosen as the top destination for a couple of years. It has numerous attractions in the city, great outdoor activities around the city, and unique hipster, craft-beer, and artisan vibes, unlike other southern towns.

Visitors from abroad need to fulfill the ESTA form to get the travel authorization. It’s a simple online procedure for tourists from countries in the Visa Waiver program. After filling an online form with a detailed set of questions, you’ll have to wait around three days for the administration to process the application. 

Family stuff to do in Asheville

Asheville Museum of Science has an extensive collection of minerals, and it organizes scavenger hunt. Museum has an interactive STEM lab and panorama screen. Kids might like the Teratphoneus dinosaur skeleton.

Asheville is also home to the Pinball Museum that hosts 45 large pinball machines and classic video games. With an entrance fee, you can play the arcades without tokens.

If you visit the picturesque North Carolina city with smaller children, you can take them to Mountain Play Lodge indoor play center. A huge Castle, Pirate ship, and a couple of thematic 1000 square feet playing rooms will keep kids occupied for a few hours.

Biltmore Estate is a massive estate with an enormous private mansion in the country. Built for Vanderbilt magnate, the villa has lush and well-kept gardens and an impressive 250 room mansion. You can explore the farm, go for a hike or horseback riding.

Asheville outdoor activities

With Swannanoa and French Broad River, and two Mountain ranges close by, Asheville is a perfect hub for summer outdoor activities.  The city hosts the Adventure Center of Asheville with a zip line designed especially for kids under 10. The center also has a treetop adventure course.

Ride a Craggy Mountain Line, a short 7 miles historic train ride with incredible views of mountains and rivers. It is an open-air ride, and it lasts around an hour and 15 minutes.

Far from the Major League Baseball stadiums and glamour, you can experience the authentic American baseball game on small McCormick Field, where the local Asheville Tourist team competes in the South Atlantic League. A small 4,000 seat stadium, home atmosphere, and traditional snacks and beverages make this a real baseball event.

Asheville Free stuff

With scenic mountains close to town, going on the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway is a great way to spend a couple of hours looking at the mountains’ stunning views. The road stretches for more than 460 miles from Cherokee to Afton, and from Ashville, you can explore sights in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

There is no entrance fee for the Botanical Gardens of Asheville. This 10-acre non-profit garden promotes native plants of the Southern Appalachians. You can see moss & lichen love, and Southern Magnolia, among other species.

Places to walk in Asheville NC 

Follow the Asheville’s Urban Trail, and take a picture of all 30 bronze sculptures erected in the downtown area.

Carrier Park is the largest public park in the city. A sizeable 32-acre park located along the French Broad River. There are numerous trails in the park and picnic spots, sports fields, and volleyball courts.

An excellent place for walking and sightseeing is Reed Creek Greenway, situated between Montford’s historic neighborhood and the University of North Carolina. The Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary is only two miles from downtown Asheville. You can walk around the lake. There is a half mile of boardwalk and a few viewpoints and benches.

How far is Asheville from Charlotte NC

You can take a couple of paths from the largest metropolitan area in North Carolina, Charlotte, to Asheville. Both roads through Gastonia and Hendersonville, and northern through Hickory and Salem are around 126 miles and a little over two-hour drive. Charlotte has the closest airport to Asheville, but Atlanta is another hour of driving further to the south, and it has one of the biggest world airports and much better connections with Europe.

Before you book the flight, you should check esta application. Most requests are positively resolved, but it is better to side on caution and wait until the approval to make your reservations. You will have plenty of time because ESTA documents are valid for two years, and you can explore the US for up to 90 days.

Bottom line

Asheville is among the most popular small city destinations in the US. If you’re coming alone, or as a couple, the hipster feel of the city with hundreds of restaurants and more than 30 small craft breweries will make your visit fun. The town is excellent for family vacations, outdoor fun, and numerous indoor activities for kids and parents. 

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