Are you going to spend a weekend in Asheville, NC? Located close to many large cities such as Charlotte and Atlanta, Asheville is a great destination for a weekend trip.
During the weekend, you can see the highlights of Asheville, enjoy great food, see nature, visit art galleries, and do much more.
In this guide, you’ll find an Asheville weekend itinerary for 2 days and tips on what to do if you have a third day in the city. Besides that, this guide covers where to stay, how to get to the city, where to have food, and much more!
How To Get To Asheville
Asheville is a city that is located in Western North Carolina in a beautiful mountain region.
It is very easy to get to the city by airplane, car, or bus.
First of all, there is an airport in the city: Asheville Regional Airport.
Many major airlines offer direct flights to this airport from destinations all across the USA.
Furthermore, Asheville is only a short drive by car from many major cities.
Also, there is a Greyhound bus station in Asheville, which makes it possible to get to Asheville in an easy way by bus.
Asheville Weekend Itinerary
- Explore downtown Asheville
- See the Basilica of Saint Lawrence
- See art at the Asheville Art Museum
- Have fun at the Asheville Pinball Museum
- See a movie at the Fine Arts Theatre
- Check out the art galleries of the River Arts District
- Visit the Asheville Museum of History
- Visit Biltmore
- See a Performance at the Wortham Center for the Performing Arts
If you have 3 days:
- See Beautiful Nature at The North Carolina Arboretum
- Visit The Folk Art Center
- Shop at the Grove Arcade
- Go to the Asheville Museum of Science
Weekend in Asheville: Day 1
Discover Downtown Asheville
There’s a lot to do during this weekend in Asheville. Let’s start by exploring Downtown Asheville.
The city has a lovely city center where you can do and see a lot of different things.
For example, there are many art galleries and museums in this part of the city where you can see great art. For example, you can check out Lexington Glassworks to see amazing works of glass art.
Also, the city center of Asheville is home to lots of different restaurants and local stores, and a great place for shopping in Downtown Asheville is the Grove Arcade. This is a historic indoor shopping arcade with lots of stores, restaurants, and places where you can enjoy lifestyle services.
Going for a walk in Downtown Asheville is a great way to get to know the city.
Check Out the Basilica of Saint Lawrence
While you are exploring Downtown Asheville, I recommend checking out the Basilica of St. Lawrence.
This is a basilica that was created in the year 1905 and it has a Spanish Renaissance architectural style that can be great to see.
This is the only basilica that can be found in Western North Carolina.
The interior of the basilica is great to see as well. There are beautiful statues and there are other types of art.
Also, what’s interesting is that you can do a tour of the basilica. It is possible to do a free self-guided tour with a brochure through which you can get information about the basilica.
Address: 97 Haywood St, Asheville, NC 28801
Go to the Asheville Art Museum and See Art
After seeing the basilica, you can go to the Asheville Art Museum to see a beautiful collection of American art.
The art that you can see here is from the 20th and 21st centuries. And what’s great is that you can learn about the art scene of Western North Carolina when you go to this museum.
Besides an interesting permanent collection of art, you can also see wonderful temporary exhibitions and attend a variety of events here.
For example, you can go to the museum and see film screenings, learn new things by seeing lectures, or you can acquire new skills through a workshop!
Address: 2 S Pack Square, Asheville, NC 28801
Visit the Asheville Pinball Museum and Have a Fun Time
The Asheville Pinball Museum is another fun museum to check out on this first day of the Asheville weekend itinerary.
The Asheville Pinball Museum is a space where you can find 35 pinball machines and 35 classic arcade games as well.
What’s great is that you can play the machines as often as you like for a fixed fee.
If you want to have fun during your trip to Asheville visiting this museum is a worthwhile experience for sure.
Also, what’s great is that the atmosphere of this place is very nostalgic.
Keep in mind that this is a very popular place in Asheville, and there can be a waiting list.
Address: 1 Battle Square Ste 1b, Asheville, NC 28801
See an Independent or Art Movie at the Fine Arts Theatre
End your first day by going to the Fine Arts Theatre.
This is an independent theater that is located at 36 Biltmore Avenue
At this theater, you can see great art and independent film.
Besides that, there are some film-related events that take place at the theater throughout the year. So I recommend checking out the schedule of the movie theater to see if there’s an event when you are visiting.
What’s nice about this theater as well is that it has a very cozy and intimate atmosphere. Also, the snacks and drinks at the Fine Arts Theater are very good. The popcorn is very delicious.
Address: 36 Biltmore Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
Weekend in Asheville: Day 2
See the Art Galleries of the River Arts District
A great way to start your second day in Asheville is by going to the River Arts District.
This is a district where you can find many art galleries and studios of hundreds of artists.
You can find this area of Asheville about 2.5 miles from the city center of Asheville.
What’s special about the district is that this used to be an area with industrial buildings, such as factories. Nowadays, you can find art galleries inside these industrial buildings.
The district is a great place to see contemporary art, and this type of art is great to see in such an atmosphere with industrial buildings.
There are also interesting museums in the district that you can check out.
Explore the Asheville Museum of History
After exploring the art galleries of the River Arts District, you can go to the Asheville Museum of History. You can find this museum in the Smith-McDowell House
This is a museum where you can learn about the history of Western North Carolina.
At the museum, you find both permanent and temporary exhibits that are very interesting.
It is also possible to join guided tours of the museum and learn about the city and the region from a docent guide.
Furthermore, the museum offers a variety of interesting programs. For example, you can see interesting lectures and do tours.
Address: 283 Victoria Rd, Asheville, NC 28801
One cannot do a weekend trip to Asheville without seeing the Biltmore Estate.
Biltmore is a 250-room chateau that was created in the year 1985 by Goerge Vanderbilt
This is a beautiful place that has a beautiful architectural style and interior. You can do a self-guided tour of the Biltmore House and learn about the Vanderbilt family.
You can see beautiful old clothing, art, furniture, and much more.
Also, you could do a guided tour of the Biltmore House and see even more places that you cannot see by yourself during a self-guided tour. For example, you can do a tour during which you explore the rooftops and balconies of the house.
Address: 1 Lodge St, Asheville, NC 28803
See a Show at the Wortham Center for the Performing Arts
End your day by going to the Wortham Center for the Performing Arts.
This is a performing arts complex that is located in the Pack Square Cultural District of Asheville.
At the complex, you can see a large variety of performances. For example, there are dance performances, live theater shows, and concerts. What you can see here on day 2 depends on when you do this Asheville weekend trip.
Address: 18 Biltmore Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
If You’re in Asheville For 3 Days
Staying more than 2 days in Asheville? Then, there are some other fun things that you can do on the third day.
Check Out the Amazing Nature of the North Carolina Arboretum
The North Carolina Arboretum is a beautiful arboretum and botanical garden that you can find very close to Asheville.
If you like nature, this is a beautiful place to check out when you are in Asheville.
The North Carolina Arboretum is open every day of the year, except for Christmas Day.
There are many different types of gardens at the arboretum that all focus on a specific type of flora.
For example, there is a garden where you can see hollies. Also, the Blue Ridge Quilt Garden can be great to check out because of its beautiful landscape design.
There are many walking paths in the garden, so this place is perfect for a relaxing walk.
Address: 100 Frederick Law Olmsted Way, Asheville, NC 28806
Go to the Folk Art Center
The Folk Art Center is another lovely place to check out during your weekend.
This is a place that is open every day of the week.
At the center, you can see all kinds of works of craft. For example, you can see textiles, pottery, artisan jewelry, and much more here. In total, you can see works by more than 400 artists from the Southern Appalachia here.
What’s great is that this is a shop as well. So if you want to buy the works that you see because you like them a lot, you can do so!
Furthermore, there are often temporary exhibitions at the Folk Art Center and there are events too. For example, you can see craft demonstrations that are very interesting.
Address: 382 Blue Rdg Pkwy, Asheville, NC 28805
Go to the Grove Arcade and Shop
The Grove Arcade, located in Downtown Asheville, is a wonderful place for shopping.
It is a beautiful historic shopping arcade where you can have a great indoor shopping experience.
If you are more than 2 days in the city, you can spend some more time there.
There are many boutique shops here that sell interesting goods.
Besides that, the Grove Arcade is also home to several restaurants. So if you want to have food while shopping, that’s possible here.
Address: 1 Page Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
Learn New Things at the Asheville Museum of Science
The Asheville Museum of Science is an interesting small science museum where many interactive exhibits can be seen.
The museum is perfect for the whole family and children will love learning about science here.
The exhibits vary a lot. For example, there are exhibits through which you can learn about astronomy, dinosaurs, engineering, and much more.
Also, there are interesting programs.
Address: 43 Patton Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
Where To Stay in Asheville
There are many great areas in Asheville where you can stay.
If you want to make the most out of your weekend in the city, I recommend staying in Downtown Asheville. This is the area that closest to most of the city’s highlights.
Also, you can find many restaurants and hotels in the area.
How To Get Around Asheville
Many places on this itinerary can be reached on foot, but there are other ways to get around Asheville.
The bus service of Asheville is very good and you can use it to get anywhere quickly.
Also, you can get around by your own car and by taxi.
Where to Eat in Asheville
Whether you want to have Italian food, comfort food, or other delicious food, you’ll find restaurants in the city that serve it.
There are many good restaurants in Asheville that serve incredible dishes.
You can find many good restaurants in Downtown Asheville. Some of the best in this area are Cucina 24, Curate, and Benne on Eagle.
More Asheville Articles
Asheville Weekend Tips
When you are doing an Asheville weekend trip, I recommend taking good walking shoes with you. The city is very walkable and there are many activities for which you’ll likely walk a lot, so good footwear is essential.
Besides that, I recommend checking out if there is a festival that takes place in Asheville when you are visiting. If that’s the case, you can make slight adjustments to this itinerary to see a festival you like.
Weekend in Asheville Map
Thanks for reading my itinerary for a weekend in Asheville, NC. I hope I helped you plan your trip to the city!