Published: October 2009Best Adventure Towns
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.
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 (nps.gov/grsm
). White water raft the French Broad River and tackle the turbulent Class IV rapids ($62 for a full day; blueheronwhitewater.com
). 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 (zambratapas.com
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;