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North Carolina itinerary: Wind through Asheville’s charming art and shopping venues

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Groups visiting Asheville can explore the city’s well-known arts district, boutique shops and farm-to-table restaurants, all nestled within the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains.

“Whether seeking adventure or to unwind, the Asheville area offers groups more than just fantastic views of magnificent mountains,” said Beth McKinney, sales manager at the Explore Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau. “The Explore Asheville CVB makes planning easy and provides group tour operators complimentary services including assistance in booking accommodations and creating custom itineraries.”

Explore Asheville CVB provided the following itinerary sure to please any shopping enthusiast. 

Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North CarolinaPhoto: ExploreAsheville.com

Biltmore Estate, Asheville, N.C.

Day One
3 p.m.Arrive and check into the hotel. Explore Asheville CVB can offer assistance with booking group accommodations.

6 p.m. – Enjoy the toe-tapping fun of the Blue Ridge Mountain Opry “Bluegrass and BBQ” show, featuring a live performance of a variety of classic Southern, Appalachian and Old Gospel songs.

Day Two
9 a.m. – Spend the day visiting Biltmore Estate, America’s largest privately owned home. Tour the impressive 250-room chateau and stroll acres of gardens designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. Enjoy lunch at Stable Café before visiting the shops at Antler Hill Village and the award-winning Biltmore Winery.

3 p.m. – Depart Biltmore and head to the charming village just outside its gates, Biltmore Village. Visit George Vanderbilt’s home church, The Cathedral of All Souls, and the quaint shops and galleries housed in the village’s original cottages.

4 p.m. – Next, head into vibrant downtown Asheville. Pick up an informative step-on guide to share Asheville’s rich history or allow the group to walk around, shop at the variety of independent shops and galleries, and snack at their own leisure. Be sure to check out the Basilica of Saint Lawrence, built by renowned architect Rafael Guastavino.

6 p.m. – Gather together for dinner at Pack’s Tavern, a fresh, local take on the classic tavern.

8 p.m. – Polish the evening off with a relaxing night at The Altamont Theatre’s listening room, where local musicians perform in the intimate 120-seat venue. 

Craggy Gardens on Black Mountain in North CarolinaPhoto: ExploreAsheville.com

Craggy Gardens, Black Mountain, N.C.

Day Three
9 a.m. – Enjoy “America’s Favorite Drive” with a ride along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Start with a visit to the Folk Art Center, home to an impressive collection of Appalachian arts and crafts and the oldest continuously operating craft shop in the United States. Next, take in the history and expansiveness of the parkway at the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center. Conclude this true mountaintop experience with a 20-mile ride out to Craggy Gardens, where stunning vistas stretch far into Tennessee.

Noon – Head back into town for a home-style lunch at Moose Cafe.

1:30 p.m. – Visit the River Arts District, home to over 200 artists with working studios set in an urban scene of old factories and historic buildings. Visitors are encouraged to explore studios and watch artists work.

3 p.m. – Experience the work of the potter’s hand at The Village Potters, where groups can create their own pottery pieces.

6 p.m. – Conclude the day with a lively variety act at the Crest Mountain Dinner Show. This mountaintop theater serves up an elegant buffet meal with a side of entertainment that will truly warm the heart. 

ASK
Explore Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau
828-258-6139
exploreasheville.com

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