Asheville in February is a transitional time between the winter and the spring. Hence, the weather can be very unpredictable. We have frigid days (some of the coldest days of the year can happen during February) and some days when nature teases us about the beautiful spring yet to come.
The daffodils, snow crocus, and winter aconite on the ground make it even more confusing (and pretty!). I love seeing the first splashes of color and the brighter shades of green.
February is the month of Valentine’s Day, a celebration that’s thankfully turning into a day to celebrate love in all forms: friendships between humans, friendships between pets and humans, and love for the planet and the world.
There are a lot of things to do on Valentine’s Day in Asheville, from spa treatments, fine dining at romantic restaurants, and a picnic with a view on the Blue Ridge Parkway to smashing cars with your besties as the first step to healing your broken heart.
Does your best friend have four legs and a furry coat? There is stuff for you too to do together on February 14th, too!
Asheville in the winter is less busy than in other seasons. You’ll love having more space on the hiking trails and walking around the quieter streets of downtown, the River Arts District, and the Biltmore Village. The restaurants will also feel roomier.
February is also the month of Mardi Gras, and there is a fun Asheville parade on the afternoon of Mardi Gras. It’s small but very representative of our culture and an excellent chance to people-watch.
Holidays aside, there’s plenty to keep you entertained all month long. I’ve compiled a list of things to do in Asheville in February. Some are outdoors, and some are more sheltered, but they all include food – no worries!
Don’t forget to check out our web story: The 14 Best Things to do in Asheville in February
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The 14 Best Things to do in Asheville in February
1. Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a Luxury Picnic at Your Favorite Asheville Location
Do you want to have an ultra-special yet intimate, outdoorsy Valentine’s Day in Asheville? Asheville Luxury Picnics will make your most beautiful ideas to celebrate love come true. They do everything for you – just show up and enjoy!
Pick your favorite place: a Blue Ridge Parkway overlook, your special neck of the woods, your living room, or your backyard (they’ll even provide a fire pit!). Then, Asheville Luxury Picnics will customize your experience, from lights, candles, flowers, decor, and comfy cushions to festive food.
They offer packages for up to 20 people, including a Pop-Up Proposal package and a Kid’s Tea Party package that sounds like the perfect way to celebrate Valentine’s or a February birthday party with your little ones.
All the packages include seasonal charcuterie from the Urban Graze Company, and you can add on your own choices. Plus, you can bring your own food and drinks. Pets are allowed, too, so there is no need to leave a beloved family member out of the party!
A pop-up picnic is always a fun thing to do on Valentine’s Day (or any day!) for couples, friends celebrating Galentine’s, and families looking for a special way to celebrate.
2. Smash a Car at Hi-Wire Brewing’s ‘Cupid Is Stupid’
Hi-Wire Brewing‘s annual “Cupid Is Stupid” car-smashing event is a thing! While I don’t advocate blaming anyone for your own (sometimes not very smart) choices, Cupid is so cool and forgiving he wouldn’t mind if you are a little upset at him for a while.
We all know that the first step in healing a broken heart is to let all your feelings out. So, go to the brewery’s parking lot, grab your smashing tools, put on the protective gear (it’ll be provided), and start your healing journey!
There’s also the “Hex Your Ex” bonfire, where attendees can get a hex for a couple of dollars to throw into the fire. The proceeds benefit a local nonprofit.
So, smash a car in February, do a ritual around the fire, enjoy some beer and good food, cry a little bit in March, and have your heart sweeter, softer, and ready to love again by April! (Please, this time, don’t blame Cupid!).
3. Warm Up Over a Meal of Authentic French Food at Bouchon
Downtown Asheville is charming, with plenty of opportunities for walking around and discovering little shops, bookstores, parks, and public art pieces. Some of the best Asheville restaurants are downtown, and the offers include Spanish, Indian, Middle Eastern, Mexican, Thai, and Southern food (of course!). So, take some time to research tomorrow night’s restaurant before your reservation, and then get cozy at Bouchon.
“Bouchon” is the French word used to define “your neighborhood bistro,” and this is what this Asheville restaurant is, a French comfort food place that never disappoints. Everything tastes homemade and authentic (the owner and founder is French), and their produce is sourced from local farms. You’ll love the intimate ambiance.
Of course, you must try the Moules Frites steamed in a savory sauce, served with amazing Pommes Frites. Their Gratinée a L’Oignon (French onion soup) is so good and perfect for a cold February evening in Asheville. The fantastic Boeuf Bourguignon is another excellent option for cooler weather.
There are fantastic desserts, too. Try the Crème Brûlée Classique made with an original recipe from the 1691 cookbook. Make reservations because this place is popular.
4. Book a Ceramic Class at Odyssey Clayworks
The River Arts District is home to 200 art studios that are open year-round and where you can see artists of all mediums at work. This is another great neighborhood to explore in the brisk winter months. There are so many shops, art galleries, cafes, breweries, and restaurants that you’ll never be cold (or bored!).
Odyssey Clayworks is an educational pottery studio and art gallery that offers fun classes for kids and adults. This is another great option for celebrating Valentine’s Day in Asheville – they say great couples learn together, right?
You can join a regular class or book a private class. In any case, all the materials (clay, materials, firing and glaze, etc.) will be provided. After a few weeks, you’ll have a food-safe, ready-to-use pottery piece! Make sure you save time to walk around the 5,000-square-foot art gallery to see the displays of ceramic pieces to get some inspiration.
5. Warm Up at the French Broad Chocolate Lounge
Eating and drinking chocolate is always a good idea, but is anything more comforting than sipping hot chocolate on a gray winter afternoon? I don’t think so! French Broad Chocolate is Asheville’s most beloved chocolate brand and a must-visit for anyone with a sweet tooth.
Plus, it has a chocolate factory and a wonderful chocolate shop and lounge in downtown Asheville. This is hands down one of the best dessert places in Asheville and the perfect destination if you’re looking to warm up on a cold winter’s day.
The French Broad Chocolate Lounge has excellent sipping chocolates and dessert options. It also sells chocolate bars, bonbons, housemade ice cream, and truffles. I love the chocolate creme brulee and the Mayan chocolate. The outdoor seating is perfect for people-watching since it is right in Pack Square!
Next door to the chocolate shop is a boutique where you can get packed snacks and fun gifts for your chocolate needs. You can also book a chocolate factory tour to discover how a cacao bean becomes a luxurious dessert and learn more about cacao farming. The tour includes tasting chocolate in all forms, from the fruit to the bars.
French Broad Chocolate hosts exceptional experiences and tastings all year round and offers a special wine and chocolate tasting for Valentine’s Day.
6. Learn More About the History of Downtown by Taking This Asheville Coffee Tour
There are many tours to help you get to know Asheville better, from tip-based walking and music tours to trolley, e-bike, ghost, and comedy tours. Taking an Asheville Coffee Tour is an excellent thing to do in Asheville in February because you’ll be walking around downtown and stopping off at some of the best coffee shops to get warm!
Tours occur on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and last for three hours. The tours start at 10:00 am and feature six of Asheville’s best coffee shops, a tea shop, and a local honey tasting. It also includes short stops at some of Asheville’s historical landmarks.
You’ll meet your charismatic tour guide at Citizen Vinyl, a very cool vinyl pressing plant home to the awarded Sessions Cafe and Bar, one of the best coffee shops in Asheville. Sessions opens at 9:00 am, and the tour starts at 10:00 am, so plan to have breakfast there – it’s a very unique space.
7. Celebrate National Random Acts of Kindness Week at Rosetta’s Kitchen
The week of February 17 is National Random Acts of Kindness Week. While it’s more fun to be kind every day of the year, February is the month to bring awareness of how an act of kindness, no matter how big or small, can have a ripple effect on others and the world.
The original Rosetta’s Kitchen upstairs café opened 20 years ago, and it’s one of Asheville’s staples, serving vegan soul food in a very casual, DIY style. The food is excellent, the ambiance is cozy, and there is a balcony where you can sit and watch the action on Lexington Avenue.
I’m suggesting Rosetta’s because they’ve done “pay it forward” and sliding-scale meals for years. As they put it, “Here at Rosetta’s, we recognize food and water as human rights, and we do our part to make sure everyone eats!”
In addition, there is another space downstairs, Rosetta’s Kitchen Buchi Bar, with a full bar and a full-service dining room serving the local kombucha Buchi. Don’t miss the Kombucha cocktails and mocktails.
8. Picnic With a Sunset View on Bearwallow Mountain Trail
Just because it’s February, it doesn’t mean the outdoors can’t be part of your travel plans. The winter in Asheville is mild, with many sunny, even warm days, and the leafless trees allow for greater visibility. Plus, the trails are never crowded.
Bearwallow Mountain Trail is one of the local families’ favorite trails and one of the best kid-friendly hikes in Asheville. The reason? It’s easy and short, offers 360-degree long-range views, and sometimes cows hang out at the grassy, bald summit. It’s the perfect picnic spot too!
The trail is one mile each way, and it’s at 4,232 feet above sea level. It’s rocky, steep at times, and muddy after the rain, but it’s an overall easy hike, perfect for beginners. Once you’re done, a gravel fire road will take you back to the parking area.
This trail is on private property and is maintained by a nonprofit. There are no trash cans, so make sure you pack yours.
9. Spend a Couple of Hours in a Pink Salt Cave and see What Happens
Asheville is very health-oriented, offering every healing, holistic therapy under the sun, including many unique spa and wellness experiences.
Asheville Salt Cave features 30 tons of pure pink salt from Poland, the Dead Sea, the Himalayans, and the Celtic Sea. It’s like being in a salt mine where the air is anti-bacterial, uncontaminated by dirt, and free of toxins and pollutants. I don’t think I’d ever breathed air like that before!
The negative ions and trace elements and minerals released by the salt rock crystals have incredible benefits for the body, including alleviating respiratory conditions and allergies and improving skin conditions.
The cave is public (the max is 10 people), but you can book private sessions for your group. They also offer Yoga Nidra, Sound Healing experiences, and quiet play sessions for kids on Sundays.
If you are looking for things to do in Asheville on Valentine’s Day with your partner, the Nurturing Partnership workshop is for you! It takes place in the salt cave and uses many tools and techniques to support you in deepening your connection.
There are also couples massage therapies and a hammam (a traditional Turkish bath) for private sessions.
10. Hike the Blue Ridge Parkway When it’s Closed to Vehicles
It’s no secret that taking a scenic drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the best things to do in Asheville. It features many hiking trails, lookouts, tunnels, and chances for picnics, views, adventures, and photos.
The parkway is not salted or plowed during the winter, so stretches may close when the temperature drops below freezing overnight. However, while the road is unsafe for vehicles, it’s still open to pedestrians, cyclists (be aware of some icy patches), and even snow sports enthusiasts during a (rare) snowfall. Just park your car without blocking a gate, ensure your vehicle is off the road, and start walking!
You can check for closures on this map. Wear layers and have all your winter gear, hot drinks, and energy-packed snacks. This is a different way to experience the Blue Ridge Parkway that is only available in Asheville in the winter, so enjoy it to the fullest!
11. Warm Up By One of the Gigantic Fireplaces of the Omni Grove Park Inn
The historic Omni Grove Park Inn, founded by Edwin W. Grove or “the Father of Modern Asheville,” is one of the best hotels in Western North Carolina. It’s in North Asheville, just 10 minutes from downtown, in a beautiful setting that offers panoramic vistas of Asheville and the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The resort features three buildings, many fantastic restaurants, a spa (available only for guests), a golf course, great shops, some of the best Asheville sunset views, and a lobby with two 36-foot-wide fireplaces (the elevators are concealed within them!).
You can visit the resort for the day or be a guest. If you are visiting for the day, parking is free for the first three hours (there is a parking fee during the holiday season).
You can make a reservation at one of the fantastic restaurants. For example, the Blue Ridge restaurant at The Omni Grove Park Inn offers an extensive farm-to-table buffet and spectacular views. It’s open for breakfast, dinner, lunch, and Sunday brunch. Or have a cocktail and tapas at Presidents Lounge while enjoying (more!) views.
This is a historic place, and there are plenty of references to past times on the walls of the main building. You can also do a self-guided history tour. Whatever your plan is, make sure to allow some time to walk around the resort!
12. Sip Wine at the Biltmore Winery
No visit to Asheville is complete without exploring “America’s largest home.” The Biltmore Estate is magnificent year-round, but you’ll probably find fewer people in February (and some daffodils!).
Visiting the estate is also one of the best things to do in Asheville for Valentine’s Day or a romantic day on the town. Why? The Winery is perfect for a relaxed, romantic date; you can only access it with a daytime ticket.
So, take your time to explore the house, the grounds, gardens, hiking trails, and the Antler Hill Village. Then, head to the Biltmore Winery for a complimentary wine tasting, charcuterie board, and locally-made truffles.
Do you love flowers? You won’t miss them because you’re in Asheville in February: the Biltmore’s Conservatory features a glass-ceiling greenhouse with exuberant tropical flowers (including orchids in full bloom!).
There are many tours, including bike rides, food and wine tastings, rooftop tours, and tours to visit the house at unusual times or enter spaces generally closed to the public.
13. Try One (or All!) of These Three Ideas to Celebrate Galentine’s Day
One of the most rewarding things in life is friendship. We are happier when we have other women who appreciate us and make our life easier, more fun, and more meaningful. So here are three ideas to honor your lady friends that are perfect for a February gal celebration in Asheville.
Ivory Road Café and Kitchen in Arden serves afternoon tea on the first Tuesday and Saturday of each month and on other special dates. Their tea services include scones, sandwiches, tea from local companies, and real clotted cream. Everything is made from scratch, and the cozy ambiance and the fireplace invite hours of catching up.
Dance Club Asheville offers fun pole dance classes in a very supportive environment. You’ll leave empowered and with a huge smile. Plus, the workout is intense, perfect for warming up on a cold afternoon. There are other classes as well, and they also offer private group sessions.
Finally, James Beard award-winner La Bodega by Cúrate serves fantastic Spanish food and tapas and has an outstanding selection of wines. It’s one of the best restaurants in Asheville. Plus, you and your gals will love the charcuterie tables with many special Spanish touches and the Crema Catalana for dessert.
14. Have a Fun Valentine’s Day with Your Four-Legged Love
Our pets teach us so much about love. It doesn’t matter how badly we act or feel – they are always there for us, expecting nothing in return. If that’s not true love, I don’t know what is. So here is how to have the perfect dog-friendly Valentine’s Day in Asheville, one of the most dog-friendly towns in the country!
The multi-awarded Wag Bar is a playground for doggies and their adults. Their motto? “Wag more, bark less.”
Think about a 25,000-square-foot outdoor dog park that’s also a bar. Plus, dogs can be off-leash and play with each other – it’s one of the happiest sights! They serve some food and snacks and allow outside food.
Asheville Humane Society has been hosting the cutest Valentine’s Day event: Furr-Ever Valentine at Ginger’s Revenge. A professional photographer will take photos of you and your furry friends for a donation-based fee (there is a fee for printed copies).
Of course, all the proceeds will benefit this wonderful organization, making this event one of the best things to do in Asheville on Valentine’s Day. Plus, you’ll love Ginger’s Revenge’s alcoholic ginger beers that are naturally gluten-free and made with 95% organic ingredients.
End the day at The Hop Handcrafted Ice Cream, featuring a full menu of frozen treats for dogs (and cats!). For more ideas check out our list of dog-friendly Asheville restaurants and the best things to do in Asheville with your pup.