The 15 Best Things to do in Asheville in June
I have to say, while there may not be one best time to visit Asheville, I could make the case that the month of June is one of the most fun and exciting times to see this city. Not only are the spring flowers hitting peak beauty and the gardens growing up full of vegetables and greenery, but the days are getting warm, making running through a sprinkler or going for a swim outdoors more appealing.
At the same time, Asheville enjoys the beautiful mountain climate that brings a dip in temperatures at night, meaning that if you visit Asheville in summer, you can enjoy outdoor bonfires, stargazing, and other evening outings without breaking a sweat. You’ll find no end of fun when looking for what to do in Asheville in June!
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What to do in Asheville in June: 15 Fun Ideas
Many people choose to plan a trip to Asheville in June well in advance, making sure they get their pick of vacation rentals or hotel rooms. However, it’s entirely possible to find a spot to stay or stay with friends on short notice, and June is a great month to do so because even without advance planning, there’s always something to do.
Particularly if your goal is prime hiking weather, you can often catch a great week or weekend here during June, with warm days (shaded by forests while hiking) and cool nights perfect for a little outdoor fire pit time or stargazing on the Parkway.
1. Laugh Your Heart Out at an Improv Show
Have you ever had the pleasure of seeing an improv show? A group of comedic actors challenge themselves to put together a funny scene or whole play just from a few audience suggestions or by playing a silly game that gets them creative in front of an audience.
Asheville is full of creative types, and at various venues like Asheville Pizza and Brewing and Story Parlor, you can see their creativity play out in a bunch of fun sketches. These shows are one-of-a-kind, and even the same “game” will yield wildly different improv sketches, adding to the fun.
And if you’re a little shy, don’t worry: while audience suggestions are often solicited, you aren’t likely to be pulled on stage or asked to act anything out – just enjoy and laugh along with the experience of the improv artists. If you really want to get to know the improv world in Asheville, check out Asheville Community Theatre for improv classes you can take if you’ll be in town for a few weeks at a time.
2. Join the Southern Highlands Conservatory’s June Jamboree
In Western North Carolina, various entities work to keep public and protected lands safe, clean, and well-stewarded, and the Southern Highlands Conservatory does this for over 80,000 acres of land. If you are new to a love of botany and wildlife preservation, a great way to go deep on knowledge quickly is to take a guided hike, and the guides from the Southern Highlands Conservatory often know quite a lot.
They invite locals and visitors alike to participate in their June Jamboree event each year, a day of free guided outings in the beautiful Highlands of Roan area. Everything is free but limited, so pre-registration is encouraged, and each hike that is offered varies between simple strolls and intense hikes.
Along the way, the conservationists who guide the hike will show you some of the unique flora and fauna that make this part of the country so special and worthy of being protected from invasive species, pollution, or overuse.
3. Run By the River at the River Arts District Half Marathon & 10K
While road races are popular all over, few are as scenic as the newly-inaugurated River Arts District Half Marathon & 10K. The riverfront route starts in downtown and winds its way down to the riverfront, where a large section of the run takes place on greenway paths themselves.
People who have had to deal with a lot of ups and downs in mountain-town races will be thrilled with the loss of elevation overall and the very minimal climbs throughout the course. At the end of the race, you’ll get a complimentary beer (what would you expect from Beer City?), a finisher medal, live music, and even a shuttle ride back to the start, where you most likely parked your car.
For a wonderful race at a beautiful time of year to see the city and the riverfront, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anything more scenic. Is cheering more your style? Join one of the “cheer zones,” or just stake out your own spot to hold a fun sign and encourage those who are running!
4. Zip Through Incredible Views at Navitat Canopy Adventures
I will never forget my first-ever ziplining adventure that happened at Navitat Canopy Adventures. I am not a thrill-seeker by any stretch, but taking the Mountaintop Tour was such a cool combination of an adrenaline rush and simply breathtaking views of the mountains that would be hard to replicate any other way.
Ziplining, if you haven’t done it before, involves a strong cable supported between two points that are similar in elevation with a valley of some kind in between, and the Great Smoky Mountains offer great points to safely get some serious air.
Zipliners clip in and slide down the length of the zipline, achieving high speeds and then stopping with an effective braking system at the end. Navitat offers the option to stay on the ground and see the sites along the ziplining course in an RTV, as well as a treetop tour that includes bridges and ziplines between trees.
This tour will be the highlight of the trip, especially if you bring along a couple of cautious folks like me who discover the fun despite some hesitation!
5. See Shakespeare in the Park with the Montford Park Players
Once the weather in Asheville in June is good, one of the most fun and unique experiences is to go to a showing by the Montford Park Players at the outdoor Hazel Robinson Amphitheatre. Part of what makes this organization so incredible is that they keep all their shows donation-based and allow you to bring a picnic with you to enjoy while watching the show from the grassy, sloping lawn.
The acting is spot-on, the costumes and scenery are engaging, and the whole experience really is one of the most fun and affordable options in town. If you can manage it, do make a donation when the hat is passed to keep this tradition alive for many years to come.
These players say, “the show must go on!” in a light drizzle, but if there’s a thunderstorm or downpour, the show will be delayed or canceled, so keep that in mind and keep an eye on the weather.
Location: 92 Gay Street, Asheville
6. View the Mountains from Looking Glass Rock
If your hope is to find great hiking in the mountains around Asheville, June is a great time to visit. A quick 30 minutes outside of Asheville is Pisgah National Forest, a large and beautiful area of protected land that includes many hiking trails.
One of the popular hikes is the moderately challenging 6.2-mile out-and-back trip to Looking Glass Rock, where you’ll get incredible views and a great workout. There are many other local trails nearby, but we personally think this is a great addition to any trip to Asheville in June.
Just be aware that conditions here, like most hiking trails, do get muddy on the days after a hard rain. Taking the drive out on the Parkway to get to this hike, you’ll also pass other opportunities to stop to see scenic overlooks and to go hiking, so don’t feel like you have to stop at this one hike – it’s just a great example of all there is to explore in Asheville when the weather is nice!
7. People-Power Your Fun With a Pubcycle Tour
If you’re coming to Asheville in June for a party, a family reunion, or another large gathering, one of the most unique and fun ways to party it up while seeing the city is to go on an Amazing Pubcycle tour.
A pubcycle is a feat of engineering, a self-powered vehicle where more than a dozen people seat themselves and individually pedal to power up their slow-and-steady vehicle through the streets of Asheville. Each pubcycle allows you to bring your own alcoholic drinks and involves various different options for tour topics, lengths of time, and destinations along the way.
The tour guides are fun and outgoing, making sure that your group has a great time as they people-power their way through town. Be sure to wave since many of the pedestrians will crack a smile when they see you all on this contraption as you pedal your way through town.
8. Try Your Hand at Fly Fishing
Experienced anglers can bring their tackle boxes and boats to local rivers and enjoy the scenic views as well as the thrill of fishing for prize-winning trout. If you’ve not done fly fishing before, Asheville Fly Fishing Company and other local groups offer guided tours that will handle the logistics of when and where to fish, bring you the gear you need, and teach you how to land the fish.
There are also floating trips for musky and other fish, as well as a whitewater trip where you navigate rapids and then fish between the whitewater sections – thrills and fishing in the same trip!
Another expedition company, Brown Trout Fly Fishing, also offers classes, excursions, and more on the Watauga River, the South Holston River, and the Tuckasegee River. Make sure you contact the companies as early as possible to ensure you have the appropriate fishing license and that they have availability for your trip at the time when you’d like to go.
Learn all that you need to know about fly fishing and see if it might just become a lifelong passion for you!
9. Shop Art in the Park for Unique Gifts
Asheville’s Pack Square provides a wonderful location for the Saturday art market called Art in the Park. If you’re visiting on the lucky weekend, you’ll find that you can buy all the gifts you need as well as decor items for your home and practical items to make everyday living beautiful.
This well-established market allows you to meet the artisans themselves, learn about the process of making various crafts and fine art pieces, and purchase in a way that sends the most possible money directly into the artist’s pocket.
Even people who thought they weren’t interested in art leave this market with a new appreciation for the work that artists do and a recognition that they too have favorite types and styles of art. It’s a great place for a first date or way to start a good conversation with a friend!
Make it a whole day in downtown, with many local restaurants and additional art galleries within a few blocks of Pack Square to keep you engaged and thinking about art all day long.
10. Enjoy the Outdoor Beauty of the UNCA Campus
UNC Asheville’s campus is tucked into North Asheville near Merrimon Avenue, but it’s so much more than just a few academic buildings and dormitories. It sits alongside the Botanical Gardens at Asheville and the extensive Reed Creek and Glenn’s Creek Greenways, meaning that you’ve got both forests and meadows to explore, as well as paved paths through the city that you can use for walking, stroller pushing, and biking.
Many find that this campus is a great place for a walk, especially after picking up some local produce and other artisanal goods at the North Asheville Tailgate Market on Saturday mornings. In addition to outdoor fun, UNC Asheville holds various lectures and performing arts events throughout the year that are open to the public, both ticketed and free. Take advantage of being part of this college’s community and discover a little forest oasis in the middle of the city.
11. Tap Your Toe to Music on Main in Weaverville
Weaverville, just a few miles north of Asheville, is a bit of small-town America come to life in full charm. It’s got a bustling and lively Main Street, but it still seems like everyone is neighbors and feels well-connected.
Their big event in June is Music on Main, a combination concert and street fair. This charming small town has a fun downtown along Main Street, and Music on Main combines vendors, food, and drink with a three-band showcase concert on a stage in front of Town Hall.
There’s a kids’ activity zone that will thrill young families, and the nearby Weaverville Nature Park will offer a nice nature stroll for those who want a break from the excitement. Supporting local businesses like the coffee shops, restaurants, and art galleries along Main Street is just part of the fun.
12. Head to Waynesville for Blue Ridge Heritage Weekend
Western NC is a hub for all things practical arts, from pottery vessels for cooking and table setting to beautifully quilted blankets that become family heirlooms. No matter what kind of Blue Ridge Mountain artistry thrills you most, visiting the Blue Ridge Heritage Weekend Arts and Crafts Festival will give you new insight into the creativity and skill needed for these beautiful and practical works of art.
Hosted by the Historic Shelton House Museum of North Carolina Handicrafts in Waynesville, this festival brings artisans for a two-day festival of arts and crafts but also authentic Appalachian music. Visitors are invited to pull up a lawn chair or blanket and bask in the beautiful music while sampling tasty treats from the food vendors on-site.
It’s a great way to get away from Asheville itself as part of your trip and journey even deeper into the NC mountains.
Asheville in June for Locals
For locals or long-term visitors to Asheville, June marks the beginning of summer and a time when downtown Asheville becomes a bustling hub again. Don’t let the traffic or parking be a reason not to be fully involved in your local community. Here are some ways to keep both kids and adults engaged and interested in their town as they learn and join in with others who may just become lifelong friends.
13. Hit the Splash Pad in Pack Square for an Afternoon of Glee
In downtown Asheville, Pack Square offers a wide variety of appealing features for kids and their families: there are bronze statues of animals, a beautiful water fountain feature that is mesmerizing to watch, and often lots of people-watching and terraced-step climbing options for busy little ones.
One of the most popular features, however, is down by the amphitheater, the water fountain feature known as “Splashville.” During the hot season, these fountains spurt into the air and soak anything and anyone who comes across them, sending children into fits of glee while keeping everyone cool and having a great time.
The timing of the fountains shifts and changes, making it an interactive experience to try to figure out where and how much water will leap out next. Dancing around in the fountains has become a great part of a trip downtown with kiddos, and as you walk back to your car, the heat can dry you off.
Be aware that the splash pad does occasionally shut down for maintenance, so it’s always worth checking with the Asheville Parks and Recreation website to make sure it is currently on before planning a trip and donning your swim trunks.
14. Participate in the Many Summer Camp Offerings Around Town
I’ll be the first to admit that a decent amount of summer camps fill up before June in Asheville, but if you’re looking ahead to how to entertain a crew of kiddos, you may be in luck. Not only do many local churches, schools, and preschools offer summer camp options, organizations all over town work to offer fun, themed camps.
Asheville Museum of Science offers STEM-themed camps, and Asheville Junior Theater offers musical theater camps, for instance. Push skate shop offers summer camps, as does the YMCA, and gyms like Asheville Community Movement, OSEGA gym, and We Rock the Spectrum offer camps focused on movement and keeping kids active during the summer.
Find an interest your child specifically has or offer them the chance to socialize and make new friends at a more general camp – no matter what, they’ll walk away knowing something new. Less-publicized camps tend to have a few spots even at the beginning of summer, so keep your eyes peeled and see if there’s something new that would appeal to your family.
15. Get Involved With Nature Conservation Efforts to Get Outside More
If you’re anything like me, you find it hard to take time to find a good hiking trip to take, plan the logistics, get the whole family ready, and get out there – especially if, after all that planning, you end up getting rained out!
A great way for locals to fulfill their resolution to spend more time in the natural beauty all around this area is to join a nature conservation effort. Organizations like MountainTrue host river and trail cleanups and help passionate wildlife protection enthusiasts meet each other. It’s only natural to start spending more time in the places that you’re working to protect!
Gather a few friends or family members and attend an open event, or just make it a goal to walk a popular trail together and pick up any pieces of trash you find, helping the whole community commit to the Leave No Trace philosophy of spending time in nature.