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March in Asheville—A Local’s Perspective

Spring’s coming on fast in the Paris of the South, as the weather can attest. Some morning its a bone chilling thirty five but up to seventy by noon. Some weeks, you won’t know whether to expect rain, wind, or sun until you step outside. 


Some may find these climatic vagaries disorienting. But I think it's fun. Exciting even. As much as the weather dictates my monthly schedule of sightseeing and amusements, a mixed bag (meteorologically speaking) makes for what I like to call a “charcuterie board” of Asheville’s best things to do. You get a rainy day, you get a cloudy day, you get a few sunny days. Variety puts some pepper in your step, as the old saying goes. 


So in these uncertain times, I invite you to read on and discover five of the best things to do in March in Asheville. 


March in Asheville - sunny forest
Image from Wix

I say hiking’s best suited for the end of the month, once the Ides pass on and the weather gets its act together. But, with the likely possibility that you’ll find one or more fair-skied days during your March visit to Asheville, I’d always be ready to go up the mountains at the drop of a hat. 


Now at higher elevation you may lose some of those hard-won degrees fahrenheit, so dress in layers. I’ve seen snow up there in March. Light snow, manageable snow, nothing to swing your icepick over, but that precipitation was definitely frozen. 


Be that as it may, during March in Asheville I especially like to hike at Dupont State forest, taking a tour of their numerous waterfalls. The thick foliage screens you from those notorious March winds, but there’s still a crispness in the air. You may not mind a cup of hot cocoa upon your return to civilization.


March in Asheville - clovers
Image from Wix

Around about the middle of the month, the whole of Asheville wakes up and realizes: we’ve been Irish all along. Maybe Scotch-Irish to be precise, but it still counts.


Think about it. In February we have the Celtic Festival, we have businesses like Highland Brewing, and Jack of the Wood, and just look at all the street signs in Gaelic; how could we we have missed this?


To celebrate our newfound roots, locals and visitors alike enjoy nothing better than a fresh pint at one of Asheville’s famous breweries. This St. Patrick’s Day, that means an exclusive dinner and whiskey tasting at downtown’s Jack of the Wood, giveaways and Gaelic ales at Highland Brewing in the S&W food hall, and live music plus corned beef and cabbage at Daddy Mac’s Home Down Dive.


Visit their websites to sort out just how you will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this March in Asheville.


March in Asheville - rain
Image from Unsplash

Like I said, it's not all sunshine and rainbows with this here March weather. In fact, by some estimates, March is regularly my hometown’s rainiest month. Will I be citing my source? Yes; experience.


Anyways, in the immortal lyrics of Andy Grammer, “Only rainbows after rain." When you do encounter some of our famous local precipitation, well, you’re in luck. A rainy day in Asheville is the perfect excuse to check out some of our coziest indoor attractions. 


An afternoon of board games and hors d'oeuvres at Well Played is always at the top of my list, followed by catching a flick at an indie theater, and a visit to the Asheville Art Museum. 


Or, if you just want to sit at the window and soak in that petrichor aroma, you couldn’t find a better place for it than one of Asheville Cottages’ cabins. I mean, you got your very own hot tub there. Under cover. You see where I’m going with this. A little wine and presto: that’s the way to enjoy the rain. 


March in Asheville - flower path
Image from Unsplash

The end of this month marks the beginning of the Biltmore Estate’s flower season, when the whole of the historic property slowly unfolds into a tapestry of brilliant petals. 


Yet again, this activity is contingent on the vagaries of the weather, but the Estate’s website has great, up-to-date information on what you can expect on the day of your visit. They even got a bloom report from their Director of Horticulture. I wish I had a Director of Horticulture.


After a tour of the Estate’s rolling grounds, head on up to Antler Village for a hot meal, or cold ice cream, as the weather permits, plus your complimentary wine tasting. It's all part of the plan, see; what better place to source your designated hot-tub wine than the Biltmore Estate’s own winery?


March in Asheville - bird on branch
Image from Unsplash

Somehow I’ve only found this little hidden gem in the past couple years. The Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary lies tucked away just minutes north of downtown, but I’ll tell you, a few steps down those boardwalks and things start feeling pretty darn remote.


It's a stunning natural oasis, and in March, once the weather starts warming up, here you’ll catch the very first forays of birdsong and blooms in the new year. 


I didn’t include Beaver Lake in the hiking section because it's really more of a stroll. And its close enough to the city’s center that it doesn’t require a whole day’s commitment. In fact, I say a stroll through Beaver Lake makes a perfect prelude to a visit to one of downtown’s finest cafes or restaurants


Be sure to linger by the lakeside in order to spot Asheville's largest free-range tortoise. I don’t know if we have a name for him, but I intend to find out.


Businesses Mentioned

DuPont State Forest

(828)-877-6527

Staton Rd, Cedar Mountain, NC 28718

Jack of the Wood

(828)-252-5445

95 Patton Ave, Asheville, NC 28801

Highland Brewing Downtown

(828)-243-6925

56 Patton Ave Suite 200, Asheville, NC 28801

Daddy Mac's Home Down Dive

(828)-505-2988

161 Biltmore Ave, Asheville, NC 28801

Well Played Board Game Café

(828)-412-5788

162 Coxe Ave #101, Asheville, NC 28801

The Biltmore Estate

(800)-411-3812

1 Approach Rd, Asheville, NC 28803

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