So how do I make memories in the mountains (but still relax)?
Picture a movie filmed in the lush WNC forests (think Hunger Games)—that’s how the Asheville area looks in June. June brings in the largest crowds of brides and graduates...and the friends and family joining the festivities. Whether you’re one of those visitors, or just individuals lucky enough not to have a trip agenda, welcome to Asheville’s early summer!
It’s time to chill out—especially if you’re needing a break from an event. So what’s there to do in Asheville in June? And what’s there to do that’s free, and maybe kid-friendly? And where do you even start with checking out the state parks near Asheville?
Here’s five activities to make nostalgic memories during your Asheville stay:
Visit a Site Filmed for a Movie
The breathtaking and accessible scenery has made NC a prime spot for filmmakers. Several Western North Carolina small towns have fit many filmmakers’ bill for that small-town feel.
Recreate a dance scene at Lake Lure, where some exterior and much of the interior scenes were shot for Dirty Dancing (1987).
Run (carefully!) in Grandfather Mountain along the road Forrest Gump (1994) ran during his cross-country run. The stretch is commemorated with a “Forrest Gump Curve” sign.
While not in Ebbing, Missouri, you can visit the titular billboards featured in the movie Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri in Black Mountian (2017). Most of the movie was filmed in another Western North Carolina area, the town of Sylva.
Immerse yourself in the Hunger Games (2012) area by hiking the Dupont State Forest. You may recognize Triple Falls and Bridal Veil Falls from several key scenes.
Several films were shot at the Biltmore House and/or Estate. Most notable are The Swan (1956), Hannibal (2001), and Richie Rich (1994).
Get Professional Photos Taken
Take advantage of the gorgeous scenery with photography fit for the walls of your home. And maybe some Christmas cards! Plus, if you’ve come to Asheville for an event, and you're all together dressed up anyway; there is no better time.
There's no shortage of fabulous, close places to have a photo shoot. These range from a wooded scenery, to impressive on-the-mountain views, to lush fields, to funky Asheville backdrops.
Some great free options include:
An overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway (you can stand just by the parking pull-offs, or hike in a little)
In front of a historical building or a large painted mural downtown
Anywhere around Pisgah National Forest
A professional photographer will help you look your best. And Asheville is full of professional and up-and-coming (i.e., easier on the wallet) local photographers. Google search and Facebook search are the best way to find the photographer you’re looking for. Be sure to include “Asheville photographer” so your search gets local results. A local photographer can also recommend excellent places and times of day for photoshoots.
Hike to a Waterfall
Think about what kind of hike you’re in the mood for. Do you only want to see the waterfall, and could skip the long hike? Or is the journey just as important as the destination?
Keep in mind, most of the impressive falls are often at least 2 miles round trip and can have varying terrain and inclines. The hikes to these gorgeous waterfalls, however, are extremely rewarding. The longer hikes also helps prevent these falls from being an overrun tourist attraction.
Don't forget to wear good sneakers or hiking shoes, bug spray, sunscreen, and maybe a swimsuit. Bring some water, and have a blast! Remember, always take the signs seriously. Heed signs that forbid going down certain waterfalls. Sliding down a waterfall can be very dangerous, and if you're thinking of trying it, somebody else probably already has. That’s how the sign got put up, after all.
Looking to browse options? Check out:
Looking Glass Falls
Graveyard Fields Waterfall
Have Dinner/Drinks by a Fire Pit
Wind down from your day with the quintessential summer evening activity: hanging out by an intimate fire pit. Preferably with your favorite company and drink!
Is there any better catalyst for lighthearted or deep conversation?
Strolling around downtown is a great way to browse outdoor firepit options. Places that offer drinks, particularly breweries, frequently have a fire pit. For some direction, here are a few places to check out:
Wicked Weed (downtown brewery & restaurant)
Sierra Nevada Brewing (brewery & restaurant: multiple firepits)
131 Main (restaurant with outdoor seating)
Hemingway's Cuba Restaurant & Bar (downtown rooftop bar & restaurant)
Crave Dessert Bar (downtown desserts & drinks)
Go Wine Tasting
Here’s the best opportunity to try wines without committing to the whole bottle. And you can dress the activity up or down, depending on your occasion. Enjoy it by yourself or with your significant other. Or bring the whole gang of friends for an adult field trip! Consider wine tasting if you’re planning an event for a bachelorette party, relaxed reunion, or a post-wedding afterparty. And remember to have a Lyft or Uber on speed dial for when you're finished with the night!
Some places to sip:
There’s No June Gloom in the Mountains
It’s wonderfully warm. It’s refreshingly mild. And the piercing smell of fresh greenery permeates the area. We’re glad you could come on down to Asheville this June!
But what about when the day’s events are all done? Still looking for where to stay in Asheville, NC? Put the cherry on top of your stay by nestling down into a top-notch Asheville cottage. It’s basically giving yourself that nostalgia for summer camp in the mountains. The coziness. The adventure. But without the crunchy mattresses and sweaty 5th graders. We’ll trade those out for you—how about a luxurious King-sized bed, a widescreen, and plenty of peace and quiet instead?
Pour yourself some sweet tea and stay awhile!