Spring in Asheville is glorious. From chasing full waterfalls and spotting wildflowers to festivals, farmer’s markets, and endless opportunities for outdoor adventures, you’ll be busy as a bee in Asheville in the spring!
Although the weather can bring a little bit of everything, from gorgeous sunny days to rain and even snowflakes, it’s a beautiful time of the year to visit. Dressing in layers and having a good attitude is crucial to having a wonderful spring vacation in Asheville.
The temperatures vary and can change fast, but it’s safe to say that the later you come in the spring, the warmer the climate you’ll get. We all know that rain is a necessary part of spring, but fortunately, there are many things to do in Asheville in the rain.
Are you planning on spending some time in Asheville this spring and wondering what to do? To help you out, I’ve listed some of the most popular and fun spring activities in Asheville for you!
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The 31 Best Things to Do in Asheville in the Spring
1. Spot Wildflowers on the Blue Ridge Parkway
The Blue Ridge Parkway is Asheville’s iconic scenic drive and one of the country’s favorites. It has miles of hiking trails leading to spectacular scenery, an outstanding collection of photogenic bridges, and lookouts where you can park, lay down a picnic blanket, and watch the sunset over the mountains.
Those are all perfect things to do all year round, but imagine adding spring weather and wildflowers to the mix! These mountains have some of the most incredible biodiversity in North America – they’re home to over 4,000 species of plants, 2,000 species of fungi, and 500 species of mosses and lichens.
From red Indian paintbrushes and irises to flowering dogwood trees, pink and orange azaleas, mountain laurels, and tunnels of pink rhododendrons, you’ll find dreamy landscapes from April to May and beyond. Be sure to check out the BRP blooming calendar.
2. Take a Side Trip to ‘Wildflower National Park’
If you want more scenic drives and wildflowers, head out to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park – aka “Wildflower National Park.” This place is home to over 1,500 kinds of flowering plants, more than any other national park in the country. Plan to attend the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage, a week-long festival of activities and wildflower-guided walks and hikes.
3. Visit the Flower-Studded Biltmore Estate
Visiting the Vanderbilt’s home is part of every Asheville bucket list year-round, but the grounds and gardens of Biltmore Estate are breathtaking in the spring. From manicured gardens to flowering bushes and trees to a giant Easter eggs hunt, visiting America’s largest home is one of the best things to do in Asheville in spring.
Spring at Biltmore is a two-month festival showcasing Biltmore’s blooms and the magnificent Biltmore gardens, which were designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the landscape architect behind Central Park. You and your Instagram account will love the orchids in the conservatory, the thousands of tulips and roses, as well as all the rhododendrons and mountain laurels!
If you’re staying in one of Biltmore’s hotels or have a daytime ticket to visit on Easter morning, you can participate in the annual egg hunt, which includes finding gigantic eggs and bags of goodies for children nine and younger.
4. Do Yoga with Goats
Imagine a typical outdoor Vinyasa yoga class, but with the fun addition of Nigerian dwarf goats roaming around and occasionally climbing on your back while you are doing child pose. That’s exactly what Kidding Around Asheville offers!
If you’re looking for fun things to do in Asheville in spring, goat yoga is a fun, family-friendly activity (kids 5 and up are welcome). Plus, once you are done with your yoga session, you can mix and mingle over a complimentary beer or wine.
5. Go to the North Carolina Arboretum
The North Carolina Arboretum is a wonderful place to visit year-round. It has easy, well-kept hiking trails that are perfect for the entire family, and there are events, programs for kids, garden exhibits, and even a holiday light display in the winter. We truly love the NC Arboretum.
Spending a day exploring this garden is one of the best things to do in Asheville in spring. You’ll love the wildflowers of all colors that grace the arboretum from early spring to fall, the National Native Azalea Collection in spring and early summer, and the Orchid Festival in April.
The entrance to the arboretum is free, but there is a small parking fee per vehicle.
6. Walk the Urban Trail
The Urban Trail is a free self-guided audio tour that follows 30 bronze sculptures and plaques around downtown. In about two hours, it will take you to all the local landmarks, where you’ll learn about people and events relevant to Asheville’s history.
The trail starts at Pack Square, home to many flowering trees in the spring, and it has exciting stops and many changes to take breaks to relax, eat, and shop. One of them is the historic Basilica of Saint Lawrence, where you’ll see some of the best roses downtown.
Make sure you cross the street from the Basilica to meet the folks at the Elder and Sage Community Garden, where they grow flowers, organic veggies, and herbs and cultivate friendship.
7. Have Lunch at the Art Museum
The Asheville Art Museum‘s permanent collection showcases the movements and trends in American and Southwest art of the 20th and 21st centuries. The museum is small but very active, and you can see exhibitions or join events, classes, and workshops for kids and adults.
The rooftop Perspective Café is a sweet little place for lunch, coffee, and snacks. You’ll love sitting on the sculpture terrace on a spring day to enjoy the panoramic city skyline and mountain views. Accessing the café is free with your entry ticket.
Make sure you check out the gift shop before you leave. Also, if you like Thomas Wolfe’s “Look Homeward, Angel,” there is a replica of the angel from the book outside the museum.
8. Dine Alfresco at Chai Pani
Named one of America’s Favorite Restaurants by “The New York Times” and awarded the James Beard Award for Outstanding Restaurant in 2022, Chai Pani is an Asheville staple and one of the best restaurants in town.
It serves Indian street food and snacks that taste delicious. You’ll love the joyful, laid-back ambiance. Plus, sitting outdoors at Chai Pani is so pleasant in the spring.
You’ll love the breeze, the sunshine, the opportunities to people-watch, and the food. It’s an excellent spot for couples and families and one of the best for solo diners.
9. Enjoy These Two Street Festivals
The Drum Circle takes place every Friday night at Pritchard Park, a small but vibrant little park where you’ll find street performances and artisan markets. This is a simple party: people bring their drums and dance. It’s a great place to mingle with locals.
Downtown After Five occurs on Lexington Ave every third Friday of the month from April to September. It has free concerts and many street vendors offering local goodies, including beer on tap. This is another place to people-watch and hang out with locals.
10. Sip Champagne at Battery Park Book Exchange
Battery Park Book Exchange & Champagne Bar in the Grove Arcade is one of the most unique places in Downtown Asheville. It mixes thousands of used books of all genres, antique decor, cozy corners, and a menu featuring 80 selections of wine and champagne.
This is the perfect spot to spend a few hours reading outdoors and enjoying the gentle spring sunshine while sipping champagne or wine and savoring excellent cheese boards.
Bibliophiles will adore it. Plus, this is one of the many dog-friendly places to eat in Asheville, so bring your furry friend with you – they’ll enjoy the downtown action!
11. Treat Your Pup to Twisted Laurel’s Dog Menu
Twisted Laurel serves excellent Italian-American comfort food and fantastic pizza. Dogs are welcome on their patio across the street from Pack Square, which is perfect on a mild spring day.
They can order a choice of protein, a side dish, and ice cream or a snack from the dog menu. Grilled Trout, Sweet Potato, and refreshing Doggie Ice Cream is one combination for a full 3-course meal!
12. Take the Gray Line Asheville Trolley
The Gray Line Asheville Trolley hop-on, hop-off tour is perfect for the warmer months. You can listen to the guide’s stories about the city and get off the bus at the 10 stops of the 15-mile route to explore, drink beer, or people-watch. The best part? Tickets are valid for two consecutive days.
13. Sip Rooftop Drinks at The Montford
Located on the 8th floor of the DoubleTree by Hilton Downtown, The Montford offers some of the best mountain views in Asheville. It features a seasonally driven menu of craft cocktails and small bites. You’ll love savoring a spritz and a charcuterie table while enjoying the beautiful spring weather in Asheville.
14. Roam the Streets of Montford
Montford is a historic neighborhood within walking distance from downtown. Its ample streets are walkable and full of flowers and flowering trees in the spring. From magnolia trees to dogwood trees and ornamental cherry trees, you’ll love the displays of life and color.
Don’t miss Montford Ave and Cumberland Ave. Also, Montford Park is worth a visit in the spring. Once you work up an appetite, stop at All Day Darling for lunch and a seasonal drink or have dinner at the wonderful Caribbean food fusion restaurant Nine Mile.
If you are visiting in May, catch a performance of the Montford Park Players, a local company that offers free theater performances in an outdoor amphitheater. Pack a picnic or get local snacks, wine, or beer at the stands.
15. Stroll the Asheville Botanical Gardens
The Asheville Botanical Gardens in North Asheville is one of the city’s best urban parks in which to spend a spring day. It’s very close to Montford and downtown and perfect for kids. You’ll love playing by the creek, taking photos on the bridge, and walking the easy trails full of flowers. Be sure to check their peak bloom calendar.
16. Explore Asheville’s Greenways
Asheville has a system of greenways that connect public parks, with chances to stop at cafés, restaurants, and shops in the middle. The Asheville Botanical Gardens, for instance, are connected to two greenways with tons of flowers in the spring.
You can walk (the greenways are wheelchair and stroller-friendly), rent an electric bike, rollerblade, or ride your skateboard.
17. Sip Seasonal Brews in South Slope
The South Slope is the southern part of downtown, also known as the Asheville Brewery District. It has some of the best breweries in town, as well as an impressive collection of street art.
Walking the South Slope Mural Trail will lead you so you can enjoy the murals and pop into a few breweries to see what seasonal brews they have on tap!
18. Try More Local Beer During Asheville Beer Week
Asheville Beer Week is a celebration of beer that occurs in May at the peak of the spring blooming season. There will be tastings, classes, workshops, special offers, and the best beer of Asheville (aka Beer City USA).
19. Marvel at Blue Ghost Fireflies
This magical event only happens for a couple of weeks a year in May and June, and one of the coolest things to do in Asheville in the spring! The Blue Ghost Fireflies (Phausis reticulata) are very particular because their light never goes off. They can be spotted in the valleys near Asheville.
The best way to see them is by joining a tour. Asheville Hiking Tours offers their fantastic Blue Ghost Firefly Tour with Night Hike that guarantees firefly viewings. This tour is available for 11 nights only, so be sure to snag your tickets in advance.
20. See Synchronous Fireflies
The Great Smoky Mountains is one of the few places in the world to see synchronous fireflies in late May or early June, depending on the weather. You’ll have to enter a lottery to win a pass, but we highly recommend doing it – it’s totally worth it!
21. See Wildflowers and Waterfalls at Graveyard Fields
Graveyard Fields off the Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the most family-friendly hikes near Asheville. It’s beautiful year-round but has stunning flowering rhododendrons and mountain laurels in the spring, along with many creeks and two big waterfalls with endless opportunities to play by the water.
Spending a day hiking this trail with your family is easily one of the best things to do in Asheville in the spring for nature lovers.
22. Chase Waterfalls in Transylvania County
The “Land of Waterfalls” offers 250 magnificent cascades. Some of them, like the beautiful Looking Glass Falls, are accessible and visible from the car.
23. Go On a Zip-Line Adventure
This is the perfect springtime activity, especially for adrenaline junkies. Let Navitat of Asheville guide you to some of the most exciting zip-line tours in the area. These tours are fun for the whole family!
24. Have a Seasonal Brunch at Sunny Point Café
This 20-year Asheville institution is one of the best brunch spots in town. Located in West Asheville, on the iconic Haywood Road, you’ll love the super fresh food, the friendly service, and the garden.
Sunny Point‘s menu changes seasonally, and I have yet to find something I don’t like. I love the Huevos Rancheros with chorizo and feta and the sausage and cheese-filled Stuffed French – and their biscuits and maple black-pepper bacon are the best!
I love walking around the gardens while I wait for my table. They grow organic herbs, edible flowers, and veggies that attract so many pollinators. The best part is they use ingredients grown in their own garden in their seasonal specials.
If you’re in town in May, this is a great place to celebrate Mother’s Day in Asheville. They have recently added Rabbit Hole Bakery, where you can order Jasmine’s fabulous cakes for Easter, too!
25. Play with Cats at House of Black Cat Magic
After leaving Sunny Point, take a short walk to the House of Black Cat Magic, also on Haywood Road, a street well worth walking. This is a cat lounge, cat shelter, and magic supply store where you’ll get to hang out with the loveliest black panthers in town. All kitties are available for adoption.
The outdoor space is perfect for spending a beautiful spring day in Asheville. You’ll love the outdoor picnic tables and the magic markets featuring local vendors, yummy food, tarot readers, and other mystical activities that will be perfect for kicking off spring with an “energy cleansing.”
26. Take a Guided Foraging Tour
The Asheville area boasts over 300 wild edibles – from fruits, nuts, and greens to various mushrooms. If you’re looking for fun spring activities in Asheville, No Taste Like Home has been offering foraging tours since 1995, and it’s been named TripAdvisor’s No.1 Foraging Activity in the US.
Some of the edibles you’ll find in Asheville in the spring are black morel, wild ginger, wild mustard, oyster mushrooms, onion grass, wisteria flowers, milkweed asparagus, reishi mushrooms, pine pollen, strawberries, blackberries, elderflower, honeysuckle, and other beautiful (and yummy!) flowers.
The experience includes a cooking lesson, a food tasting, and the opportunity to have your foraging finds cooked at one of the best local restaurants for dinner!
27. Ride the Free Trolley to the RAD
The River Arts District (RAD) by the French Broad River is a super fun area to explore. Over 200 art studios and galleries are distributed in several buildings, plus many shops, restaurants, cafés, parks, and greenways.
ArtsAVL Connect Trolley connects downtown and the RAD with two overlapping loops every second Saturday of the month from 12 to 8 pm. This hop-on, hop-off ride is one of the best activities for art lovers in Asheville in the spring.
28. Relax in the Garden at Curve Studios
I love Curve Studios in the spring because of its secret garden. It’s so peaceful there. You’ll love the flowers and the arch made with chairs. It’s free and open from dawn to dusk, and you’ll love checking out the excellent work of the 11 Curve artists.
29. Snag an Outdoor Table at 12 Bones
12 Bones Smokehouse opened in a squat building in the River Arts District in 2005, when the now thriving arts district was a somber area of abandoned warehouses.
A lot has changed since then, but 12 Bones remains excellent. You’ll love their creative barbecue: “Let the purists be the purists, fire up the grill, and enjoy some Southern ‘cue, 12 Bones style!”
The Obamas have eaten here three times. Like everyone else, they loved the ribs with blueberry chipotle sauce, cornbread, smoked potato salad, and pies.
30. Shop at the RAD Farmers’ Market
Asheville is all about local, organic food, and the farm-to-table concept is a central aspect of our culture. The area is home to many fantastic farmers’ markets where you can shop local produce and flowers, crafts, food, and, most importantly, meet some locals who make Asheville the great community it is.
The RAD Farmers’ Market is open year-round and happens every Wednesday afternoon. It’s by the river and close to restaurants, greenways, and parks, and you can pair your stop here with a visit to some of the district’s 200 art galleries and shops.
In the spring, you can expect live music, food vendors, fresh strawberries and snap peas, and tons of freshly picked flowers. Follow their Instagram page to get ideas for some market-based RAD meals.
31. Check Out a Food-Centric Festival
The WNC Farmers Market Festival in April features local farmers, growers, and makers, and it’s a great spot to get freshly harvested strawberries. Held in May, the 40-year-old Asheville Herb Festival is the largest herb festival in the United States and Canada. This is a must for folks who love gardening, landscaping, and growing food.