‘Only In Asheville’ Things To Do
Your guide to unique things to do in Asheville, from the Friday night drum circle to fun tours, hidden gems and more.
Beyond the usual tourist attractions, Asheville offers a treasure trove of quirky and unexpected experiences that will leave you with memories that linger long after your visit. This guide to ‘only in Asheville’ adventures shares our top picks of things you can only do in Asheville.
What You’ll Find In This Article
- Sierra Nevada Tour
- Jeep Tour
- Drum Circle
- Moog Factory
- Shakespeare In The Park
- French Broad Chocolate Factory
- Citizen Vinyl Record Press
- Omni Grove Park Spa
- Drag Brunch
- Pinball Museum
- NC Arboretum Bonsai Trees
- Brewpub + Movie Theater
- Rooftop Tour of The Biltmore House
- LaZoom Comedy Bus Tour
- Trolley Tour
Unique Things To Do In Asheville
Here are our top recommendations for unique things to do in Asheville. This list of ‘only in Asheville’ fun includes interesting tours, outdoor fun and even a Friday night drum circle.
Tour A World-Class Brewery
Don’t miss Sierra Nevada’s amazing campus in Mills River near the AVL airport. You’ll find awesome beer, excellent food, trails, occasional live music + events and tons of outdoor seating.
Not only is it a fun place to hang out, but they also offer tours for the beer enthusiasts. Three tours, in fact! See below for details and booking.
- Brewhouse Tour ($9): 45 minutes
- Beyond The Pale Tour ($25): This more in-depth tour minute The longer tour includes a tour of their production facility and includes nine beer samples.
- Beer Geek Tour ($75): An intimate, 3-hour tour that offers a behind-the-scenes look and taste of the impressive facility.
Take A Jeep Tour Along The Blue Ridge Parkway
Hit the Blue Ridge Parkway in style! Asheville Jeep Tours will take you on a 2.5 hour guided tour of the parkway in an awesome ride.
Stop at overlooks and landmarks and have a local guide share about the history of Pisgah National Forest. Such a fun way to see it all!
Attend A Drum Circle
The famous Asheville drum circle is held on Friday nights in Pritchard Park downtown. It’s a fun and free event in Asheville that attracts such a diverse group of people.
Drummers spread out and pop in and out throughout the evening. Anyone can participate and it is free of charge. It’s a regular event in the summers through fall.
The drum circle is located just across from S&W Market food hall, which would be a perfect place for dinner before or after!
Tour The Moog Factory
Discover the artistry and engineering behind the unique Moog sound with an up close look. They offer free in-store presentations in downtown Asheville twice daily (10:30 and 3:30.)
Plan to spend 45 minutes in the session, which includes history of the company and demonstrations of the instruments. You can also visit their showroom Monday through Friday from 10am to 5pm.
Catch A Performance By The Montford Park Players
Watch a live performance of a Shakespeare play at Montford Park in one of Asheville’s most charming neighborhoods. Bring a chair, a blanket and some snack to ensure an enjoyable evening. Well-behaved kids and dogs are invited.
Shows are on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in the summer at 7:30pm. The shows are free to the public with a suggested donation of $10-15 per person.
Tour A Chocolate Factory
See the chocolate-making process (and have a few samples!)
Get a behind-the-scenes glimpse at chocolate-making magic at the French Broad Chocolate Factory tour, and treat yourself to some delicious handcrafted goodies.
French Broad’s Chocolate factory tour includes education about the chocolate-making process, tour of the factory and a tasting experience. Best of all, it’s free for kids under 6 and the admission price for children ages 7-12 is $8. Adult tickets are $12 each.
Tour A Recording Studio + Vinyl Record Factory
Take a free tour of Citizen Vinyl, Asheville’s very own recording studio and record press. This one is great for audiophiles and music lovers.
While there, make sure you check out Session Cafe and Bar. It’s the in-house spot for lunch, coffee, dinner and drinks and was recently named one of America’s “Best Bars” by Esquire Magazine.
Visit An Underground Spa
Perhaps the most indulgent place in all of Asheville! The Spa at Omni Grove is like no other.
It’s nestled underground and has rock walls, arches and tunnels. It’s over 40,000 square feet and includes two waterfall pools, twenty water features and even a lap pool with 6,500 fiber-optic stars and underwater music.
Access to The Spa at Omni Grove is available only to guests of the Inn over 18 years old. Guests should plan to book services well in advance to ensure availability.
Go To A Drag Brunch
Asheville’s very own weekly drag brunch is the perfect destination if you are looking for a side of fun and happiness while you enjoy a brunch buffet. Tickets are $45 and include your choice of Mimosa or Bloody Mary.
You’ll definitely want to book in advance to secure a seat. Doors open at 12, with the brunch starting at 12:30 and the show at 1:00. Tickets for the show only are available on the day of for $10 if room allows.
Stroll Around A Bonsai Garden
While we love everything about the North Carolina Arboretum, we felt like their bonsai trees deserved their own mention on this list of unique things to do. They have an impressive collection of up to 50 bonsai specimens at a time.
It’s an especially interesting sight during fall when the leaves of the tiny trees are turning. You can view them outside mid-May to November. The exhibit is indoors at the Baker Visitor Center Greenhouse from November to April.
Visit A Pinball Museum (ok, not really, it’s an arcade)
If you are looking to do something extra fun in downtown Asheville, head to the Pinball Museum! It’s near the Grove Arcade and offers all you can play for $15 per person.
As the name suggests, they have a ton of pinball. They also have 35 classic video games.
Visit A Movie Theater + Brewpub
Movie theater brewpub in North Asheville
If you want to kick back and watch a movie, whether it’s a cult classic like The Goonies or perhaps a new release, head to Asheville Pizza’s movie theater brewpub.
They play movies throughout the day, including kid movies. It’s super laidback and casual– and the perfect rainy day activity in Asheville.
Take A Rooftop Tour Of the Biltmore
A rooftop tour at the Biltmore House is such a fun thing to do on the Biltmore Estate! Enjoy exclusive views on a guided tour of areas not included in a regular house visit. You’ll learn more about the design and construction of the house and get a look at the view from the rooftop and balconies.
The cost for a guided rooftop tour is $40 and is only available for guests with daytime tickets, an annual pass or an overnight reservation.
Hop On A Comedy Bus
Hop on a purple bus and get to know the city in the most entertaining way possible. The LaZoom’s signature Hey Asheville tour is a 90-minute guided comedy tour of historical Asheville. It’s $39 and includes a 15 minute break at Green Man Brewing in South Slope.
Explore Town On A Trolley
If a trolley is more your style, then you’ll love the hop-on/hop-off trolley tour in Asheville. It makes ten stops on the route, from as the Omni Grove Park Inn to the River Arts District. There are a few stops downtown, including one just in front of the locally-loved French Broad Chocolate Lounge.
Trolley tickets are valid for 2 consecutive days and you can hop on and off as you wish. The drivers also provide fun facts and history lessons along the way. It’s a very enjoyable way to see the city (especially when it’s nice out and the windows are open!)