Located in the heart of the Smokey Mountains, Asheville, NC is one of those places that simply feels “special”. The scenery, the culture and the plethora of outdoor activities make Asheville one of our favorite places to visit. In this episode, we venture all over the Asheville region and experience the sites and activities that make Asheville an RVer’s bucket list destination.
What to do in Asheville, NC
Roadtrip on the Blue Ridge Parkway
The Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the nation’s most scenic byways and often considered America’s Favorite Drive. Stretching almost 500 miles from North Carolina into Virginia, the parkway is a treasured American attraction. You can simply drive and enjoy the scenery or park and enjoy the culture, nature and tradition of the various regions. No matter the season, a drive on the BRP is a must.
Chimney Rock State Park
If you are looking for unbelievable views of the Smokey Mountains, you can’t do better than Chimney Rock State Park. From atop the massive, 315-foot granite rock tower, you’re treated to sweeping views of the Broad River and the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains. You can hike to the outcropping by taking lots of stairs, which will make the panoramic views even more special. Or, if the stairs aren’t your cup of tea, Chimney Rock features an elevator that can take you to the top. The elevator is built into the mountain and will get you to the top in about 30 seconds. The park is great for hiking (don’t miss Hickory Nut Falls), climbing, or having a picnic in the shade.
Get Outside – Hiking, Fishing, Rock Climbing – Whatever you Like!
The Asheville area is an outdoor lovers paradise. Whether you’re interested in hiking, biking, fishing, camping, rock climbing, kayaking or any other activity, you can find it here. The Pisgah National Forest surrounds Asheville and is one of the most beautiful places to spend time outside.
For this episode, we went rock climbing for the first time. The granite faces of the Smokey Mountains offer tons of great climbing opportunities. If you’re a first timer like we were, fear not! There are several great rock climbing outfitters in the area that will teach you everything you need to know. This article has all the information you need to find the right climb when in Asheville.
Visit the Biltmore Estate
Switch things up and visit one of the area’s most famous attractions, the Biltmore Estate. The Biltmore is America’s largest home and is a can’t miss while in Asheville. You can tour the mansion, learn the fascinating history of the house and the family and explore the gardens. There’s more to the estate than just the historic mansion. The estate features shopping, restaurants, three hotels, a winery and 8,000 acres of preserved outdoor space to enjoy a huge variety of experiences including biking, hiking, fly-fishing, and horseback riding.
Enjoy Local Craft Beer and Wine
If you enjoy local craft beer and wine, Asheville is the place for you. According to a recent study, Asheville ranks 2nd in the nation for breweries per capita. Asheville frequently enjoys the moniker “Beer City USA” and has become the defacto beer capital of the Southern US. From major breweries like Sierra Nevada to smaller ones like Burial Beer Co., there is a beer for everyone in Asheville.
We absolutely love visiting the Sierra Nevada Brewery outside of Ashville. This place is so much more than a brewery. They have an enormous backyard area, complete with an amphitheater, rocking chairs and fire pits, a playground and a place for your dogs. The onsite restaurant looks great, too. We highly recommend visiting Sierra Nevada while in the region.
The area is also home to local vineyards and wineries. We took a relaxing trip to Addison Farms Vineyard. The rolling hills of the Smokey Mountains provide an incredible backdrop to experience and enjoy your favorite varietal.
Experience the Asheville Art Scene
Ashville enjoys a vibrant art scene. It only takes a few minutes in the city to see and feel how “artistic” the place is. We had a wonderful time at the North Carolina Glass Center where we got to make our own blown glass! The instructor was great and we made our very own glass pumpkins. We got to pick the color and take our project from start to finish. It was so much fun.
Where to Camp
The Tom Johnson Campground is one of the nicest campgrounds in the Ashville area. The campground is located 40 minutes east of Ashville on I-40 near Marion, NC. While it’s a bit of a drive to Ashville, we really enjoyed our time at Tom Johnson, primarily because the sites are huge. Many RV parks fit as many spots as possible into the campground which results in very close quarters with your neighbors. Tom Johnson had room to spare. The class C looked almost silly on the huge concrete pad! Our site backed right to a little river which provided that beautiful sound of running water, making our stay very enjoyable.
For this episode, we had the pleasure of using a Freedom Elite 22FE. This class C was perfect as it was a great mix of living space and maneuverability. Driving the narrow, curvy Blue Ridge Parkway was a breeze, and when we parked, we still felt like we had plenty of space. The layout was nice and we felt the space very cozy and comfortable.
Want More Happy Camper Bucket List?
The Happy Camper Bucket List Ep. 1 – America’s Historic Triangle