Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains in western North Carolina, Asheville offers visitors a lively music scene, grand views of the majestic mountain scenery, a rich Southern heritage, and fabulous shopping and dining opportunities year-round. Whichever time of year you choose to visit, an Asheville vacation rental serves as a comfy home away from home perfect for relaxing between outdoor adventures and outings. Take a look at these seasonal tips for exploring Asheville to help you decide when to book your vacation.
Visiting Asheville in the Summer
Asheville’s mountain elevations provide visitors with relief from the worst of the summer heat, and the surrounding wild mountain terrain offers visitors plenty of outdoor activities. Head to nearby Nantahala National Forest for great hiking, including the trails to Upper Whitewater Falls, one of the tallest waterfalls in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Or, bike your way through the trails at DuPont State Forest to see several other spectacular falls. If you’re vacationing with your family, head into downtown on hot days to cool off in Splashville, Asheville’s fantastic interactive water fountain. Take advantage of cool evening breezes with a dinner al fresco at the Sunset Terrace at the Omni Grove Park Inn. Make sure to make your reservations before sunset to enjoy the spectacular view that gives this restaurant its name.
Visiting Asheville in the Fall
Book an Asheville vacation rental from September to early November for a fantastic autumn leaf show that blankets the mountains with beautiful colors. With autumn daytime highs in the upper 70s, it’s easy to spend your days outside enjoying that beauty. Because of its range of elevations, Asheville has a particularly long leaf-watching season, with the peak usually lasting throughout the second half of October into November. Plan your visit for September to attend Asheville’s Goombay Festival, celebrating the African and Caribbean heritage of the region. This is also the best time of year to observe the amazing hawk and monarch butterfly fall migrations. Drive the short distance along the Blue Ridge Parkway to Wagon Road Gap for the best views of the Monarch migration, and then visit the North Carolina Arboretum to learn more about butterfly conservation efforts in the area.
Visiting Asheville in the Winter
Winter comes early to Asheville with temperatures dropping into the 20s overnight as early as mid-November. Tourism to the area also drops in the colder months, so January and February are great times to head to Asheville if you hope to avoid the crowds. If you plan your visit for December, be sure to take the time to tour the historic Biltmore House all dressed up in its holiday finery. Try to attend during the evening for live entertainment, complimentary wine tasting, and magical candlelight illuminations throughout the grounds. Downtown Asheville also offers plenty to keep you entertained throughout the winter. During the day, explore Ashville’s art scene with a walk through the River Arts District, and in the evening, head to one of Asheville’s iconic music venues, such as The Orange Peel or Grey Eagle, for top acts in an intimate, historical setting.
Visiting Asheville in the Spring
Spring is a glorious time in Asheville with mountain meadows full of wildflowers, and mild, variable weather with daily highs between the mid 50s and upper 70s. Be prepared for the occasional rain shower by tucking rain gear into your pack during hiking excursions, even on seemingly sunny days. If you love wine, spring is one of the best times to visit the Biltmore Winery and Antler Hill Village for the Vine to Wine Tour. After your wine tour, take a walk through the estate’s beautiful spring flower gardens and its animal barns, which are sure to have baby goats, bunnies, and lambs during the springtime months. If you love history, hop on a historic trolley downtown for a Gray Line Tour of Asheville. Knowledgeable guides are on board to answer all your questions, and you can access some of the best spring bloom displays in the historical areas of town without a lot of walking.
When is the Best Time to Visit Asheville?
Overall, the best times to visit Asheville are in the spring from March to May, or in the fall in September or October. These months see the most moderate temperatures in the region, making it easier to explore the mountains without the chill of winter or the humidity of summer. Choose spring for the beautiful blooms or fall for the breathtaking foliage. Time your vacation to correspond with one of Asheville’s spectacular festivals. Enjoy the best of the local art scene at the Spring LEAF Festival, or savor the best of the local brews plus live musical entertainment at the Brew City Festival in May. In autumn, the Mountain State Fair turns Asheville into a near perfect family vacation spot with over 50 delicious food vendors, shows, rides, and more. Foodies love the WNC Garlic Fest or Asheville Greek Festival, and Art in Autumn brings together over 100 artists and artisans from across Appalachia, providing a great opportunity to get a head start on holiday shopping.
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