The 17 Best Things to do in Asheville in April
All of nature is waking up in and around Asheville in April: flowers are blooming, the river surges with lots of spring rain, and the wildlife that was a little more sparse during the winter is back out and about (people start talking about bear sightings again!).
April still gets its fair share of showers, but in general, activities that are seasonally open tend to come back to life after the winter, and you’ll find that the streets of downtown Asheville become much more lively and full of visitors.
Visiting Asheville in April offers a wonderful chance to take advantage of the temperate spring weather before the high season of summer and fall tourism starts, all while getting plenty of exciting activities in – there are lots of things to do in Asheville in April for locals and visitors alike! While everyone has a different opinion of the “best time to visit Asheville,” I say you can’t go wrong with a visit to Asheville in spring.
Visitors who come to Asheville in April will find that there are tons of things to do, but it’s also not quite as bustling as it will be later in the year. Reservations are easier to get, but you get all the beauty of the plants and animals waking up to spring.
If you’re focused on outdoor pursuits, check the weather ahead of time and pack plenty of outer gear. We can still get very cool days, especially if you leave Asheville proper and head for the higher elevations in the nearby mountains.
Here are just a few of the great ways to take advantage of a trip to Asheville in April!
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What to do in Asheville in April: 17 Fun Ideas
1. Enjoy an Easter Egg Hunt
Many local community organizations and churches will hold a fun Easter egg hunt during this time of year, celebrating the arrival of spring and giving little kids a good way to get some energy out (and then replenish that energy with plenty of jelly beans).
For instance, if you’re heading to the Biltmore Estate anyway for this trip, you might be able to spy one of the extra-large Easter eggs, which are hidden all over the property as part of a scavenger hunt. Just see how much fun you can have!
Wherever you’re staying on Easter weekend, a quick search of local churches and community centers is likely to yield an open-to-the-public Easter egg hunt that you can attend as a guest. Little ones will enjoy scrambling and searching and having a reason to dress up in their Easter best.
2. Take Advantage of Amazing Brunch Menus
While dinner is often the main event at local restaurants of all kinds, Easter weekend tends to revolve around a sumptuous brunch spread. Find brunch specials and buffets all over Asheville, and check to see whether your favorite spot has a brunch plan for Easter morning.
Reservations do fill up fast, so get yours in early, whether you opt to visit Isa’s French Bistro, Hemingway’s Cuba, or even the Blue Ridge Dining Room at the Omni Grove Park Inn, which pairs amazing views with some of the most delicious breakfast food I’ve ever had.
Many other restaurants offer brunch every weekend, so whether you prefer a fried green tomato eggs benedict from Mayfel’s or the yam scramble from Early Girl Eatery, you’re sure to find an amazing dish to satisfy that weekend mid-morning craving. If you’re unsure where to go, check out our guide to the 17 best brunch spots in Asheville!
3. Shop in Grovewood Village
If you haven’t stayed at the Omni Grove Park Inn, you might not know about a hidden gem of shopping and sightseeing that is perfect for a visit to Asheville in April: Grovewood Village. This shopping and arts destination holds periodic “Sip and Shop” events that encourage you to have a taste of a nice local wine while you peruse the artisanal offerings of the various stores.
Located in the Biltmore Industry woodworking and weaving buildings of yesteryear, the historic spot is beautiful and features working artist studios in addition to galleries with handcrafted items available for purchase. You’ll be amazed at what locals produce, and you may leave with some truly one-of-a-kind gifts. If you’re planning a visit, check out our complete guide to visiting the Omni Grove Park Inn.
4. See a Local Theater Production
As the warmer seasons kick off, many local theater companies begin their main season for stage productions, and seeing a local play is a great way to feel tuned in and connected to a community you’re visiting.
Whether you visit a production at The Magnetic Theatre, Asheville Community Theatre, Warren Wilson College, or UNC Asheville, there are plenty of stage shows, large and small, to fill your weekend evenings and make for a great night out. Add dinner at a local restaurant, and you’ve got the recipe for a great night!
Keep an eye out for kid-friendly showings as well. Many years, local theater companies will create shows specifically for young children, which can be a great way to start a love of theater early in their lives, with nice features like very short shows or room for children to move a bit while watching the show.
5. Take the Kids to See Truck City at the Outlets
If you’ve got kids in tow and you’re visiting Asheville in April, you’ve simply got to check and see if your visit coincides with Truck City at the Asheville Outlets. For one morning, trucks like firetrucks, EMS vehicles, construction equipment, and more are parked in the big parking lot and available for children to touch and explore.
My own kid was entranced by the garbage truck, seen only from afar before this event! Get to know the public servants who operate the trucks too, and help kids get a glimpse of a new possible career, all while steps away from great shopping and plenty of food options at the Asheville Outlets.
Location: 800 Brevard Road, Asheville
6. Join the Running of the Goats 5K for the WNC Nature Center
The Western North Carolina Nature Center is a treasure, a spot to learn about local flora and fauna while enjoying a natural walking path past owls, red pandas, wolves, bears, and foxes. Children have spots to play throughout the park-like center, and it’s no wonder that there’s a great reason to help out with their annual benefit 5K.
The Running of the Goats is a fun and relaxed atmosphere, whether you opt to competitively run the 5K to aim for a goat trophy, take a walking route through the park, or do the whole race virtually. No matter where you end up, all proceeds benefit the nature center, and the festive atmosphere is fun for the whole family – the goats are even there to cheer you on!
7. Celebrate World Qigong and Tai Chi Day
At the end of April, International Qigong and Tai Chi Day draws a crowd to Carrier Park, where representatives of many different styles of these movement martial arts will teach classes all day long.
Whether you’ve rarely practiced in the past or you are a seasoned Qigong practitioner, you’ll find strength and serenity in practicing with a group and celebrating the role these arts play in the lives of so many around the world. There’s even a pavilion in case of rain, and you can learn more about taking Qigong or Tai Chi classes at Dragon Phoenix and other locations around Asheville.
8. Test Your Skills at a Trivia Night
Many local breweries and bars offer some kind of trivia night to draw people in on a non-weekend night, and trivia is a wonderful way to get your group together and have a great night out in Asheville.
Some events are themed, like music trivia or sports trivia, but some of the best fun can be had when you and your team choose to go head-to-head with others in a general competition where everyone has the chance to be surprisingly knowledgeable about a new category.
Whether you laughably miss every question or emerge triumphant, you’ll make memories, enjoy local craft beverages, and may even be able to order grub from on-site kitchens or delivery spots.
9. Shop Spring Produce at a Farmer’s Market
Eating out in Asheville is quite fun, but I find that one of the simplest and truly affordable pleasures of Asheville is to shop at a local farmer’s market starting in April and use the ingredients you find to make an artisanal meal in your rental’s kitchen.
At markets like the RAD Wednesday afternoon market or the UNCA North Asheville Market on Saturday mornings, you’ll find everything you need: from vegetables to freshly baked bread, local soups, pastas, farm-raised meats, and so much more.
You don’t have to be a top-notch chef to toast up some bread, stir fry some veggies at their peak freshness, and serve a great bottle of wine bought at a local wine shop. You’ve got everything you need for a truly farm-to-table experience!
Just the act of shopping at the farmer’s market is a pleasure, with coffee vendors on hand to keep you perked up while you evaluate spring greens and local hummus flavors.
10. Spend an April Showers Day at the Grail Moviehouse
While the greenery and misty mornings are some of the best parts of visiting Asheville in April, we still get our fair share of cold or wet days in April. If your plans for outdoor exploring get rained out, find a showing at the Grail Moviehouse in the River Arts District to lift your spirits.
This arthouse movie theater has a couple of different films showing at any given time, with special events occasionally like viewing parties for awards nights or local film festivals like AsheFemme Films and the Asheville Fringe Arts Festival Short Film Night.
While you watch, enjoy a local snack like Poppy popcorn or a craft beverage from one of the many breweries in the area. Whether you end up watching a rollicking comedy or a quiet artsy drama, you’ll be glad you found your way to the Grail!
Location: 17 Foundy Street, Asheville
11. Hike Craggy Gardens for Excellent Views
If you get a temperate weekend and dry weather during a trip to Asheville in April, consider heading a bit out of downtown for a hike. One incredible hike option is to head out to the Craggy Gardens Visitors Center and take a 20-minute walk up to the summit via the Craggy Pinnacle Trail.
This park is also home to the Douglas Falls Trails, accessible via a section of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. You’ll be able to see Graybeard Mountain from a beautiful overlook, and there’s a Craggy Mountain Picnic Area where you can reward your work with a wonderful lunch.
There’s also a rugged, 8-mile option with the Snowball Mountain Trail, though be prepared for the challenge of it and make sure you stay hydrated and wear enough layers for an abrupt change in weather.
12. Take a Guided Segway Tour of Asheville
While there are also bus tours around town, one of the best ways to enjoy the full life of the streets in downtown Asheville is from atop a Segway with Moving Sidewalk Tours. These fascinating machines have you standing upright and, through simple controls, help you electrically move forward on two wheels – you’ll look like a futuristic driver as you zoom along the sidewalks of downtown!
Your knowledgeable guide gives you two hours of details about the city, with quick jaunts between spots. You’ll learn a bit about history, architecture, the foodie culture, and even more that makes Asheville such a unique spot.
One tactic for a great visit to Asheville is to take a Segway tour early in your trip so that you can take advantage of learning about monuments, landmarks, restaurants, and more that you’ll want to see as you explore further. It’s a good overview that can help you get your bearings.
13. Make Your Own Pub Crawl in South Slope
If guided tours aren’t really your style, just pull up Google Maps and explore the options available to you in South Slope: think breweries along Biltmore, Coxe, Hilliard, and Buxton, among other nearby streets.
Breweries of all types are situated around this part of town, so whether you opt for a 3rd-floor view of the city from the rooftop patio at Green Man Brewery or choose to test out truly unusual beer concoctions at the Wicked Weed Funkatorium, you’ll find something fun around every corner.
You can plan a few stops based on when every spot is open and what you like, like breweries with games like shuffleboard or breweries that specialize in IPAs. You can also really just wander this neighborhood. There are literally breweries on every street and plenty of food spots around as well – you can let the wind take you where you want!
For post-beer snacking, though, I’ll definitely put in a word for PIE.ZAA – a simple by-the-slice pizza joint with an addictive parmesan and cherry pepper dipping sauce called Zip Sauce. Their flavors are amazing, and the size of a piece of pizza is big enough to handle any hungry hankerings after sampling all that South Slope has to offer.
14. Sip with a Great Book at a Downtown Asheville Bookstore
It can be tempting to get up and go-go-go when you’re on vacation, but not everyone who comes to Western NC in April is looking for a million things to do. Maybe what you need is a break from the daily grind and a chance to unwind.
If so, you’ll be happy to discover two of the loveliest independent bookstores in Asheville: Malaprop’s and the Battery Park Book Exchange. Malaprop’s offers a wide selection of new books and a coffee bar, as well as literary events that are held both in-person and virtually.
One of my favorite features is their wall of brown-paper-wrapped books called Blind Dates with Books, where you buy a book based only on some hints written on the paper: “cozy mystery,” “edge-of-your-seat thriller,” or “international travel” all might be your clues, and you only find out exactly what book you’ve bought after you buy it.
For another cozy experience, head for Battery Park Book Exchange, a new-and-used bookstore full of nooks and crannies, soft armchairs, and a classy Champagne Bar. Choose your favorite sipping beverage and a light snack while poring over a tome you just purchased and enjoying the regal atmosphere of this Asheville institution. Either way, you’ll find yourself thrilled that you got to have such a literary time while visiting Asheville.
Malaprop’s: 55 Haywood Street, Asheville
Battery Book Exchange: 1 Page Avenue #101, Asheville
15. Watch the Flowering of the Forest on a Blue Ridge Parkway Drive
No matter where you’re staying in Asheville, you’re likely only a few miles from an entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway. This scenic slow-mph drive takes you winding through the mountains and offers some of the best hikes and overlooks in the area.
If you’re not up for getting out on the trails yourself, cruising this road is a great way to get a first-hand look at the beautiful blossoms of rhododendron and other mountain flowers as Asheville comes into full springtime.
One of the best things to do in Asheville in April, driving the Blue Ridge Parkway can give you an appreciation of nature and a space to enjoy chatting with your crew all at the same time. Use this interactive map to find a good stretch for you and an entrance near where you are staying.
What to do in Asheville in April: Ideas for Locals
If you’ve put down some roots and are spending a substantial amount of time in Asheville, there are plenty of fun regular life things that happen during April that will keep you busy and productive.
Getting out of your typical work and play schedule and trying something new is a huge part of making Asheville a great place to live. Here are just a few ways you can make Asheville your community home in April.
16. Get Trained to Volunteer at a Local Non-Profit
Whether you opt to participate in the MANNA food bank, the Local Humane Society, or a religious non-profit related to your own faith, there are many opportunities to turn over a new leaf this spring.
Volunteering in Asheville can be a great way to get to know new people, feel you’re making a meaningful impact, and break out of your typical experiences to make for a more meaningful connection to the town.
Many people find that when they participate in a neighborhood cleanup day or volunteer to spend time mentoring children, they are more optimistic about Asheville as a place to live and enjoy seeing the ongoing positive benefits of their actions.
Getting involved in April is a great way to start the warm months off right, and it’s an especially good time to get involved in conservation or beautification efforts as the weather starts to get better.
17. Join a Co-Working Space
Many of the people who have moved to Asheville since 2020 are those who wanted to live here and brought work with them in the form of a remote job. Working from home is a nice perk, but plenty of people figure out quickly that they’d prefer to have the option of a workspace where they can separate home and office time – especially if you spent the better part of winter hibernating with your laptop at home.
Local co-working spaces like Hatch, Mojo, and Focal Point all offer a variety of options, from private offices to the option to “hot desk,” using whatever desk is available when you come in. These spaces give you a little work-away-from-home space that also fosters networking connections with other remote workers in Asheville.
For small business owners, it can be nice to use a co-working space as a hub, paying for a small office 24/7 while getting the option to use conference rooms on a limited basis as needed.