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Get Out of Town! Favorite Day-Trip Destinations From Asheville

There’s no doubt Asheville, N.C., offers ample in-town activities for both residents and visitors to enjoy, but its central location also affords plenty of opportunities for exciting day trips. When you’re ready to explore the region, here are a few of our favorite day-trip destinations, all under two hours from Asheville.

Asheville NC Day TripsBoone and Blowing Rock, N.C.

These neighboring Western N.C. towns, roughly 90 miles northeast of Asheville, offer plenty of picturesque fun to fill a day. The towns boast a range of renowned attractions, including Grandfather Mountain, Tweetsie Railroad, The Blowing Rock, and the Blue Ridge Parkway. A vibrant art and cultural scene offers everything from historic church frescoes to vibrant galleries to the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum. Appalachian State University’s Performing Arts Series as well as the Appalachian Summer Festival serve up popular performances. The downtown streets are lined with quaint shops, restaurants and boutiques to spend an afternoon enjoying. The Boone/Blowing Rock area is home to a number of ski slopes, as well as popular spots for snow tubing, sledding, snowshoeing and ice skating, making the region an exciting year-round day-trip destination. 

Greenville, S.C.

With its ever-growing, eclectic downtown, Greenville is a popular day trip (63 miles south) from Asheville. Its expansive Main Street is home to everything from unique boutiques to independent eateries and coffee shops to upscale galleries and hotels. Along the way, you can stop in for a show at the performing arts center, or visit the city’s classic minor-league ballpark. Anchoring all of this is Falls Park on the Reedy, a 32-acre park that is home to the pedestrian Liberty Bridge, the only single-sided suspension bridge in the Western Hemisphere. Here, you can enjoy amazing views of the city skyline as well as the rushing falls below. A network of paths connects to nearby Cleveland Park (with picnic, tennis and ball-field facilities, as well as the Greenville Zoo); you will also find the start of the popular Swamp Rabbit Trail, a world-class, 23-mile bike and walking path.  

Day Trips from Asheville NCJohnson City, Tenn.

This burgeoning Tennessee city, an hour north of Asheville, offers plenty of spots to explore and experience. Restaurants, artist galleries and studios, and one-of-a-kind shops and boutiques dot downtown. The ETSU Martin Center for the Arts hosts a range of musical, comedic and Broadway acts throughout the year. Looking to connect with nature? Johnson City is surrounded by stunning natural beauty, with roads winding through breathtaking countryside, foothills and mountains. Buffalo Mountain Park, a 725-acre nature preserve, is home to trails perfect for hiking and picnicking; the park also hosts nature programs in season.  

Pigeon Forge, Tenn.

This mountain town in Eastern Tennessee, 88 miles northwest of Asheville, is the famed home of Dollywood, country star Dolly Parton’s Appalachian-themed amusement park featuring exhilarating rides, a water park, and a museum of Dolly’s costumes and other memorabilia. Other popular experiences in Pigeon Forge include country music revues, dinner theaters, and outlet mall shopping. For those looking to get out in nature, Pigeon Forge offers easy access to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, with miles of hiking trails and breathtaking vistas. For a truly unique experience, stop into Pigeon Forge Snow, an indoor snow facility offering year-round snow tubing and a snow-play area.

Knoxville, Tenn.

This destination, 116 miles northwest of Asheville in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, features a vibrant downtown brimming with unique local shops, scores of restaurants, live music, festivals, and art and cultural events. Knoxville’s growing culinary scene includes a number of distilleries and craft breweries. The city also boats Urban Wilderness, a gorgeous in-town stretch of natural parkland featuring miles of walking, hiking and biking trails that connect to parks, nature centers, recreational amenities, and historic sites. For a unique perspective on the city, visit the Sunsphere, a sister structure to the Eiffel Tower and Seattle’s Space Needle, offering a 360-degree view of Knoxville from its observation deck.

Ready to call Asheville home? To learn more about real estate in Asheville and Western N.C., please contact us at, or call us anytime at 828-707-9556.

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