Zip Raft Asheville!
August 2, 2016 7:41 PM   Subscribe

Very last minute trip to Asheville, NC and wondering what to do for four days! Can anyone recommend zip line tours? Hikes are a plus but concerned it might be touristy? Should probably check out the Biltmore? Sorry, just internet overwhelmed and its coming down to the wire. Details are me, partner and three teenage girls that are up for anything. Beers a plus for the adults!
posted by repoman to Travel & Transportation around Asheville, NC (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I'm currently on my third day in Asheville and I'd recommend driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway up to Craggy Gardens and walking the trails. From there you can hike up to Craggy Pinnacle which will give you an amazing unobstructed view of the surrounding mountains. This is, really, not to be missed. I also liked Pisgah national forest, about 1/2 hour north of the city. There you'll see a beautiful waterfall called Looking Glass falls. Bring a bathing suit! I'm also hoping to check out Chimney Rock which looks awesome and has 1/2 day guided rock climbing. After 3 days here I have to say I've been very impressed.
posted by trigger at 8:44 PM on August 2, 2016 [2 favorites]

Is there anything useful in recent previouslies?

If you do go to Biltmore, see if the place where you're staying has a discount offer, because standard pricing is $60 per adult and any teenagers over 16.

The best hiking places are going to be busyish -- the blueberries will be coming in at Graveyard Fields -- and possibly uncomfortable during the middle of the day in current weather, which is warm and humid with a good chance of afternoon storms that sneak up on you quickly. As a rule, the higher you get, the more likely you are to get above the storm clouds and watch them sweep in below you.
posted by holgate at 8:51 PM on August 2, 2016

45 minutes outside Asheville, by the Pisgah Forest, there's a hot springs resort that's pretty cool to stop at for a couple hours and relax.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:03 PM on August 2, 2016 [1 favorite]

My Mitchell is the highest in the Eastern US. You can get most of the way by car, I believe. (Never been there myself.)
posted by SemiSalt at 4:18 AM on August 3, 2016

If you have money to spend, I would highly recommend Navitat (a zipline tour place) for all of you. It's thrilling in a fun way, and you'll feel well taken care of. BONUS it is right near Hot Springs, so that could be a fun day trip from Asheville proper (although it's only like 30 minutes from downtown).

Also if you have money to spend, Biltmore really is worth it. Especially in the middle of the week--weekends get crowded and it's nasty this time of year, because the historic house museum is not air-conditioned. In addition to the house itself, the gardens are at full peak right now and it's spectacular. A friend who works there says you can smell the walled gardens just walking by them. The flowers are really bright and fragrant and I think they spend a lot of $$ to maintain them (which is why the ticket is so expensive). Also there is the winery, which isn't going to blow your mind but is still pleasant, and farm stuff and animals all around and great views.

And you're probably hearing a lot about Wicked Weed and Curate and other specific spots downtown. They're OKAY. But not great. Just the places that are currently being hyped. I personally like Trade & Lore and High Five for coffee; Corner Kitchen for borderline-fancy food in a historic structure; and Ultimate Ice Cream on Charlotte Street. OH or Gan Shan Station. I hope the rest of your trip is fantastic!!
posted by witchen at 5:50 AM on August 3, 2016

I also recommend Navitat... I've been on a few zipline tours and this was a pretty good one...

There are also tons of brewpubs in Asheville... I especially liked Asheville Brewing Company...
posted by starbuck43 at 6:34 AM on August 3, 2016

I just got back from Asheville last week, we tubed the Broad river with Zen Tubing and it was great. I'd recommend taking a cooler with drinks (beer is allowed) and plenty of sunscreen and relaxing on the river. They have a float that holds rectangular coolers so you can strap it to the adults tubes and let the girls float on their own and paddle over for for drinks and snacks if they don't want to float with the grown ups.
posted by julie_of_the_jungle at 7:30 AM on August 3, 2016

Take care when using Pisgah National Forest as an absolute location when giving directions, as it is in pretty much all directions from Asheville. (Looking Glass Falls is SW of town)

You can drive to within about 300 yards of the summit of Mt. Mitchell. The path to the top is paved and relatively easy. You'll go by Craggy on the way there so that could be a 2-fer. Be prepared for chill wind in both spots. It's amazing how the flora changes between Craggy and Mitchell due to the altitude.

You could make a long day of just visiting waterfalls, especially going SW (Looking Glass, Dupont Forest , ...) There are good trails around the fish hatchery near Looking Glass falls; I'd recommend the Cat Gap Loop / John Rock combination for the views.

Ziplines are popping up all over, Navitat is possibly the oldest and maybe best, although I haven't been out there since early on. There's a tamer complex right in town that combines ziplines with a "treetops adventure course" (think obstacle course up in the trees).
posted by achrise at 11:12 AM on August 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

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