Your Opportunity to Unwind!
While in Asheville, take some time to invest in your well-being …
Never been to Asheville? Not only is it beautiful, but there are so many things to see and do while you are there!
Take advantage of your time between conference days or after a session to explore the myriad of offerings this city has in store.
General Visitor Information
In Asheville there’s always a good reason to go exploring. Plan your visit to the Blue Ridge Mountains—find things to do, places to stay, food and drink, music and art—and you may even find a few surprises. The Digital Visitor’s Guide or the Explore Asheville App will make your planning easier.
Asheville is a top travel destination for exploring the outdoors, award-winning cuisine, a vibrant arts scene, and many memorable experiences and places to stay—and this site covers it all.
North Carolina Arboretum
100 Frederick Law Olmsted Way, Asheville, NC 28806 – 13 minutes from the conference hotel
Open from 8am – 9pm daily – $20 entrance fee (for parking)
Located within the wildly-popular and botanically beautiful Southern Appalachian Mountains, The North Carolina Arboretum offers more than 10 miles of hiking trails that connect to many other area attractions such as Lake Powhatan, the Pisgah National Forest and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Visitors of all ages and abilities can enjoy their hiking experience at the Arboretum as trail options include easy, moderate, and difficult challenge levels. All trails are dog-friendly and visitors are asked to adhere to the proper waste disposing procedures for pets.
Asheville Urban Trail
11 Biltmore Ave, Asheville, NC 28801 – 8 minutes from the conference hotel
In a casual two-hour amble about town, a person interested in exploring the city’s quirky and magical past, along with getting to know many of its larger-than-life historical characters, can follow a string of 30 sculptural trail stations directly into Asheville lore.
Culture, History, and Art
1 Lodge St, Asheville, NC 28803 – 10 minutes from the conference hotel
Open daily (hours vary) – Prices vary from $90 – $390 per person (can be purchased online)
George Vanderbilt’s 250-room castle is America’s Largest Home and a top attraction in Asheville. Plan a visit to Biltmore House, explore 8,000 acres of grounds, or book a behind-the-scenes tour. Elegance and grandeur abound at Biltmore, America’s largest home.
382 Blue Ridge Parkway Asheville, NC – 28 minutes from the conference hotel
Open from 10am – 5pm – no charge
With a creative community of juried members spanning over nine states, the Southern Highland Craft Guild fosters opportunities for makers to build, market, and maintain their creative livelihood. Exhibits subject to change but include some live demonstrations of art creation. There also is a market so you can purchase art!
Grovewood Village (Historic Art Gallery and Market)
111 Grovewood Rd Asheville, NC 28804 – 16 minutes from the conference hotel
No admission charge – free parking available on-site
Grovewood Village is a hidden gem rich with art and history. This site once housed the weaving and woodworking operations of Biltmore Industries, a force in American craft and textiles that was co-founded by Edith Vanderbilt. Today, the 11-acre property is home to Grovewood Gallery, working artist studios, the Biltmore Industries Homespun Museum, the Estes-Winn Antique Car Museum, and Eldr restaurant.
River Arts District
Locations vary – see map – about 8 minutes from the conference hotel
The River Arts District consists of a vast array of artists and working studios in 23 former industrial and historical buildings spread out along a one mile stretch of the French Broad River. This eclectic area is an exciting exploration of arts, food and exercise. Visit artists working in their studios, grab a bite of local cuisine or a brew and take time to find art that’s perfect for your world. More than 200 artists work in paint, pencil, pottery, metal, fiber, glass, wax, paper and more. As unique and individual as their art, so too are their schedules. There are no official “Open Hours” for the River Arts District, but at any given time throughout the year, you will find a plethora of open studios and galleries. If you are coming to see someone in particular, your best bet is to check in with them before your visit. Do it online via the search feature, or check the Studio Guide. Be inspired, shop, meet the artists and watch live demonstrations!
Asheville Art Museum
2 S Pack Square, Asheville, NC 28801 – 8 minutes from the conference hotel
Open from 11am – 6 or 9pm (depending on the day), Closed on Tuesdays – $15 general admission
Asheville Museum of History
Smith-McDowell House 283 Victoria Road Asheville, NC 28801 – 6 minutes from the conference hotel
Open Wednesday – Saturday 11:00am – 5:00pm – $5 general admission
The mission of the Asheville Museum of History is to preserve and promote the history and legacy of Western North Carolina through interpretation, education, collection, and collaboration.
Basilica of St. Lawrence
97 Haywood Street Asheville, NC 28801 – 10 minutes from the conference hotel
Hours of operation:
Monday, 11:00am – 12:00pm
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, 11:00am – 1:00pm
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, 3:00pm – 5:00pm
Historic Biltmore Village
Wander the quaint cobblestone streets and discover local boutiques, and stop by your favorite national brands. Shopping as it was meant to be.
Black Mountain Shopping
Various locations – Estimated 15 minutes from conference hotel
Rolling mountains serve as the backdrop to this vibrant mountain neighborhood, boasting a lively downtown filled with craft galleries and quaint bistros.
Downtown Asheville Shopping
Various locations – Estimated 10 minutes from conference hotel
Stroll through a vibrant entertainment hub in the heart of Asheville, brimming with independent shops and a remarkably distinctive mountain vibe.
Events & Tours
Lazoom Comedy Bus Tours
Historical and hysterical, The Hey Asheville tour features outrageously entertaining tour guides, outlandish comedy skits complete with special appearances and loads of Asheville information. You’ll get to see the best of downtown Asheville and the rarely seen but stunningly beautiful Montford neighborhood, not to mention the burgeoning River Arts District! You’ve never had a ride like this. It’s like a vaudeville show on wheels!
Asheville Daily Walking Tours
Options for guided historic/art tours.
Asheville Rooftop Bars Tour
45 South French Broad Avenue, Asheville, NC 28801 – 7 minutes from the conference hotel
Award-winning, year-round tours showcasing the best views, drinks, and history from the rooftops in Asheville. Transportation included!
Food & Drink
Oh, all the Wonderful things you will Eat!
There is a robust food scene in Asheville and they call it “Foodtopia” There is a gratuitous list of restaurants to try. You can search by neighborhood, food preference, and yes, if it is dog-friendly!
If you are a beer aficionado, check out this site for other ways to enjoy your beverage and learn more about its history in Asheville.