Published: October 2009
Asheville, North Carolina
Plan a long weekend getaway with our Asheville adventure guide, featuring great outdoor escapes, where to stay, and where to eat. Then chime in with your picks.

Pop. 72,231
GPS: 35°34'N 82°32'W

Asheville’s outdoor enthusiasts come together for the festivals, markets, and bohemian art and music scenes in this Blue Ridge Mountains hot spot.

Your Turn: Tell us about your favorite Asheville adventures, restaurants, and hotels in the comments section below.

Trek the Big Fork Ridge Loop in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The 9.3-mile circuit is notorious for its rough terrain and renowned for its old-growth forest ( White water raft the French Broad River and tackle the turbulent Class IV rapids ($62 for a full day; Or take a trip down the 60-foot-long Sliding Rock, a natural water slide where Looking Glass Creek pours down a slippery boulder in Pisgah National Forest.

Some of the best restaurants in this eclectic city serve European fusion bites. Zambra Wine & Tapas has an evolving menu that features Carolina seafood with Spanish and North African flair, like seared scallops with oranges, capers, and Spanish honey (

If you want to feel like royalty, sign up for a night at the Inn on Biltmore Estate. You won't be sleeping in the actual 250-room Vanderbilt county home (the largest privately owned house in the U.S.), but you will be able to enjoy mountain views atop the estate's 8,000 acres of land (doubles from $199;