If you’re on a budget and you want to do something, you will love the free things to do in Asheville, NC.
Asheville is a city with great activities and sights. Exploring the city can be a fun experience and that’s also for those who don’t want to spend anything. The number of activities that are completely free will surprise you.
From nature to art to learning something new, there’s a lot to choose from. I included many kinds of activities in this Asheville free things to do guide so you can have fun in the city without spending a dime!
Free Things To Do in Asheville
Check Out the Estes-Winn Antique Car Museum
The Estes-Winn Antique Car Museum is a very unique museum that you can go to when you are in Asheville.
This museum doesn’t have an admission fee, but there is a suggested donation of 5 dollars.
The Etses-Winn Antique Car Museum is a museum that was founded in the year 1966 by Harry D. Blomberg.
At this museum, you can see the collection of Harry D. Blomberg, and this collection includes many antique and vintage cars.
This includes very rare ones, such as a 1922 American LaFrance fire truck, and the oldest car in the collection is a Ford Model T from the year 1913.
Checking out the many different cars can be a very fun activity, and this is also one of the best things to do with kids in Asheville!
Address: 111 Grovewood Rd, Asheville, NC 28804
Do a Free Tour of New Belgium Brewing
New Belgium Brewing is a brewery with several locations in the country. The main locations are located in Fort Collins, CO, and Asheville, NC.
The brewery was established in the year 1988 after a bike trip through Belgium inspired the founders to bring centuries-old brewing traditions from Belgium to Fort Collins.
It is possible to do a free tour of 45 minutes of the Brewhouse, during which you can learn about the facility.
Also, those over 21 can sample free beer during the tour.
Address: 21 Craven St, Asheville, NC 28806
See Art at the Asheville Art Museum During Certain Days of the Year
Like art and do you want to see it for free in Asheville? Then, you can check out the Asheville Art Museum during certain days of the year.
This is one of the best museums in Asheville. It’s a museum with a wonderful collection of 20th and 21st-century American art.
There are interesting art exhibitions at the museum that are very diverse.
Besides that, there are all sorts of activities at the museum. For example, there are tours, concerts, film screenings, lectures, and many other activities.
Sometimes, it’s also possible to visit the museum in the evening, which is one of the best things to do at night in Asheville.
Address: 2 S Pack Square, Asheville, NC 28801
Visit the Asheville Radio Museum
Visiting the Asheville Radio Museum is also one of the best free activities in Asheville.
This is a lovely specialty museum with free admission for everyone.
The museum has an interesting collection of radio equipment and all kinds of other objects that relate to radios. For example, you can see objects that are about Morse code here.
Because the objects at the museum vary a lot, I’m sure you’ll find the museum interesting even if you don’t have a specific interest in radios.
Also, you can learn a lot about radio when you go here, including the history of radio in Western North Carolina.
You can also see very old objects that date back to the 1920s.
Going to the Asheville Radio Museum is also one of the best rainy day activities in Asheville.
Address: 340 Victoria Rd Room 315, Asheville, NC 28801
Visit the North Carolina Arboretum
Like nature? Then, the North Carolina Arboretum is a wonderful place to check out.
This is a public garden in Western North Carolina that consists of many different areas that all have a specific focus on specific types of plants and trees.
For example, there is a demonstration garden with plants that are used for traditional Western North Carolina crafts. For example, you can see plants here that were used for the making of dye.
Also, you can find a garden here with many different species of azalea.
The bonsai collection of the arboretum is very interesting to see as well.
What’s great is that there is no admission fee for visiting the arboretum.
Address: 100 Frederick Law Olmsted Way, Asheville, NC 28806
Go to the Asheville Visitor Center
Want to get information about the city of Asheville? Then, you can go to the Asheville Visitor Center.
At this place, you can speak with volunteers who can give you insider information about the city.
Also, you can go here to get help with planning your trip.
Address: 36 Montford Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
Visit Grovewood Village
Going to Grovewood Village is one of the most fun free things to do in Asheville if you like arts and crafts.
This is a lovely place with a collection of buildings that is located a bit more than 2 miles from downtown Asheville.
You can find several great museums in Grovewood Village, there are art galleries, there are restaurants, and there is much more.
Grovewood Village itself can be visited for free, and there are various attractions here that don’t have an admission fee as well.
For example, you can go to the Biltmore Industries Homespun Museum and learn about history.
Address: 111 Grovewood Rd, Asheville, NC 28804
Go to the Center for Craft
The Center for Craft, located on 67 Broadway Street in downtown Asheville, is a great place to check out if you like art.
This is a non-profit that completely focuses on the craft movement. It focuses on the understanding of the arts and its promotion.
At the center, you can see great works by emerging craft artists, and there are very different temporary exhibitions through which you can see these objects.
For example, there was an exhibition at the center that focused on denim makers.
Also, there was an exhibition that focused on synthetic rock specimens.
Address: 67 Broadway St, Asheville, NC 28801
Do a Self-Guided Tour of Asheville
One of the easiest things that you can do for free in Asheville is a self-guided tour. This is a type of tour that you do completely by yourself or together with someone else.
You can download an app, use a route on a website, or get a printout of a route.
Then, with this route, you can go for a walk in the city, and the tour will lead you to interesting places in the city.
For example, you could do a self-guided tour during which you can see historic sights in Asheville. Or you can do a tour through which you can get to know the highlights of the city.
See Contemporary Art at Blue Spiral 1
There are many art galleries in Asheville that can be great to check out for free.
One of the best ones that you can go to is Blue Spiral 1.
This is a contemporary art gallery in Downtown Asheville.
At the art gallery, you can see the art of more than 100 contemporary, which can be very interesting!
You can see a large variety of art at the gallery, including ceramics, paintings, and other types of art.
Furthermore, the exhibitions at the art gallery often change. So you can often visit the art gallery and see something new.
Address: 38 Biltmore Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
Go to the New Morning Gallery
Another great gallery to check out for free is the New Morning Gallery.
This art gallery, which is located at 7 Boston Way Asheville, is dedicated to historic art and craft. And the gallery has a lovely collection of decorative and functional crafts.
The works that you can see at the gallery are very unique and are all handmade by American artists.
The objects can be great to see for free, and if you see something that you like you can buy it!
Address: 7 Boston Way, Asheville, NC 28803
Check Out the Botanical Gardens at Asheville
The Botanical Gardens at Asheville can be great to check out if you like nature.
This is a botanical garden that is completely focused on habitats and native plants of the Southern Appalachians. The garden is a part of the University of North Carolina at Asheville.
There are more than 600 different species of plants in the garden and these can be very interesting to see.
There are walking paths, so this place is perfect for a relaxing walk. And what’s great is that there is no admission fee.
Address: 151 WT Weaver Blvd, Asheville, NC 28804
Explore the River Arts District
The River Arts District of Asheville is a lovely area in the city that is located next to the French Broad River.
This area is home to many art galleries and artists’ studios.
What’s great is that there are many old industrial buildings here in which you can now see contemporary art.
There are so many different styles of art that you can see in the district and there are many paintings.
You can see the art for free and discover the local art scene of Asheville, which is awesome!
Go to the Grovewood Gallery
The Grovewood Gallery is a lovely art gallery that was founded in the year 1992 and it makes for an amazing free activity in Asheville.
It is a large space where you can find great art and craft. For example, you can see beautiful pottery, jewelry, glass objects, and more here. In total, there are works by more than 400 artists from all around the USA at the gallery.
Also, there is a showroom at the gallery where you can see beautiful furniture. And there is a sculpture garden with beautiful sculptures and a panoramic view that is perfect for a relaxing stroll.
You can find this gallery in Grovewood Village.
Address: 111 Grovewood Rd Ste 2, Asheville, NC 28804
Go to the Folk Art Center
The Folk Art Center is another great free place to check out. Especially if you like art, going there is one of the best things to do in Asheville.
You can see great traditional and contemporary works of craft here. And the objects that you can see here are local items from the Southern Appalachians.
The center can be visited every day of the week, and what’s great is that there are special events during the year as well.
For example, there is a craft fair during which you can see a large variety of works of craft.
Address: 382 Blue Rdg Pkwy, Asheville, NC 28805
Go to the Asheville Gallery of Art
The Asheville Gallery of Art is a fine arts gallery that is located in Downtown Asheville. You can find the gallery on 82 Patton Avenue.
At the Asheville Gallery of Art, you can see fine art from more than 30 local artists.
In total, there are more than 500 works of fine art at the gallery and these are very diverse in terms of style and media.
Because of this large variety, there’s likely something that you’ll like.
The gallery is a wonderful way to get to know the local art scene and I’d definitely recommend checking it out when looking for Asheville free activities.
Address: 82 Patton Ave #2803, Asheville, NC 28801
Stroll the Western North Carolina Farmers Market
The Western North Carolina Farmers Market is a lovely farmers market
The market can be visited every day of the year, except for a few days.
At the farmers market, which is located close to Downtown Asheville, you can find many different vendors that sell many different types of objects.
For example, there are fruits and vegetables, crafts, and there’s much more.
Furthermore, there is a greenhouse where you can see plants.
Address: 570 Brevard Rd, Asheville, NC 28806
Check Out the Bender Gallery
Do you like contemporary art? Then, you’ll definitely like going to the Bender Gallery.
This is a fine arts gallery that you can find in Downtown Asheville. The gallery is focused on abstract and figurative contemporary works of art from all over the world and the United States in particular.
You can see great temporary art exhibitions at the gallery that are at the gallery for a limited time only.
Each exhibition focuses on a theme and a specific artist.
By going to the art exhibitions, you can discover new types of art, which can be very interesting to do!
Address: 29 Biltmore Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
Visit Lexington Glassworks
Here’s another great free activity in Asheville that you can do in downtown Asheville.
You can go to Lexington Glassworks, which is a glassblowing studio and gallery.
At this place, you can see beautiful works of glass art for free. And if you like the art a lot, you can buy a work.
Also, what’s interesting is that you can see the glassblowing process in real life at the studio. This can be very interesting to see and it makes the works of glass art even more special to see.
Address: 81 S Lexington Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
Go to the Gallery of the Mountains
You can find the Gallery of the Mountains in Grovewood Village at The Omni Grove Park Inn.
At this gallery, you can see handmade crafts by regional and local artists. So this is yet another great place to discover the local art scene of Asheville.
The works of craft that you find here are very interesting to see.
Also, if there’s an object that you like a lot, you can buy it. This place is also perfect if you are looking for a great gift.
Address: 290 Macon Ave, Asheville, NC 28804
Visit the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center
The Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center is an interesting place to visit where you can learn about the Blue Ridge Parkway, known for its beautiful scenery.
At the visitor center, you can learn about the Blue Ridge Parkway and you can do this through various things.
First of all, you can see exhibits at the center through which you can learn about the Parkway’s highlights and nature.
Second, it is possible to see the movie “The Blue Ridge Parkway-America’s Favorite Journey” at the center.
Third, there are other ways to get information at the visitor center.
If you want to learn new things about the Blue Ridge Parkway for free, you should definitely check out this place.
Address: 195 Hemphill Knob Rd, Asheville, NC 28803
See the Basilica of Saint Lawrence
The Basilica of Saint Lawrence in downtown Asheville is a beautiful church that was created in the year 1905. The building is the only basilica in Western North Carolina and the basilica is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The architectural style of the basilica is Spanish Renaissance, which looks very beautiful.
Furthermore, the interior of the church features many statues and other religious art.
Address: 97 Haywood St, Asheville, NC 28801
See Art at the Flood Gallery Fine Art Center
The Flood Gallery Fine Art Center is a non-profit that is focused on promoting the arts in the city of Asheville. At the center, you can see great exhibitions of art by both established and emerging artists.
You can find the Flood Gallery Fine Arts Center in the River Arts Center, and you can see works by national and international artists at the center.
You can find the art center inside a building that was created in the 1920s as a warehouse.
Throughout the years, many famous artists have had their works displayed at the art center.
Furthermore, there is a library and there are often film screenings at the art center through which you can discover art.
Address: 850 Blue Ridge Rd, Black Mountain, NC 28711
Go to the Benjamin Walls Gallery
The Benjamin Walls Gallery is a fine arts gallery that you can find in downtown Asheville.
At the gallery, you can see beautiful fine art photography which is one of the best free activities in Asheville. The photography is amazing and I’m sure you’ll like seeing the photos.
Also, if you like the photos a lot and want to hang the art in your home, you can buy them.
Address: 38 Broadway St Suite 3, Asheville, NC 28801
See the Beautiful Grove Arcade
The Grove Arcade is a historical place that you can find in downtown Asheville.
It is a historic building that was built in the 1920s in the Tudor Revival and Late Gothic Revival styles.
It is an indoor arcade where you can find shops, galleries, restaurants, and places where you can enjoy great lifestyle services.
The Grove Arcade is a very beautiful place, which makes a visit to this place a lot of fun. It can be a lot of fun to go here for a relaxing stroll.
Address: 1 Page Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
See Art at The Haen Gallery
This is another great free activity if you like contemporary art. You can go to The Haen Gallery and see beautiful contemporary fine art for free.
The gallery has two locations in Western North Carolina, and one of the locations is in the city of Asheville.
There are great exhibitions at the gallery through which you can learn about the local art scene. Also, if there’s a great piece that you like, you can buy it at the gallery!
Address: 52 Biltmore Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
Go to the Biltmore Industries Homespun Museum
The Biltmore Industries Homespun Museum is an iconic place that you can find in Grovewood Village.
This is a museum with no admission fee that used to be a weaving factory that produced wool fabric.
Nowadays, you can tour the building, see old equipment, see dyeing vats, and learn a lot about the old factory.
Also, when you are here, you can also go to other places in Grovewood Village.
Address: 111 Grovewood Rd, Asheville, NC 28804
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Asheville Free Things To Do Tips
To have an even better time in the city, you can combine the Asheville free things to do on this list with having a drink or food somewhere. Although this isn’t free, there are many places where you have affordable food and drinks. For example, you can go to Tastee Diner.
Free Things To Do in Asheville Map
As you see, there are many free things to do in Asheville, NC. I hope you found some activities you want to do!