Top 10 tours in Asheville-A local's perspective
Asheville is the quintessential mountain community packed with things to do and places to go. Whether it’s a walking tour, bus tour, bicycle tour, or something totally different, tours in Asheville are a good way to learn about the area while having a whole lot of fun.
If you want to see the sights sitting down, check out one of Asheville’s bus or trolley tours, such as Lazoom, which offers comedic bus rides through downtown Asheville and the surrounding neighborhoods. Explore local breweries on Lazoom’s version of the Asheville beer tour with their Band and Beer Tour. Hear ghostly tales told after dark on the Haunted Comedy Tour, or try their standard City Comedy Tour which runs during the day. They also have a Kids’ Comedy Tour for younger audiences, as the rest of their tours have varying age requirements of at least 13 and upwards. As a warning, be aware that a lot of the humor on these tours is loud, in your face, and sometimes raunchy, so don’t choose Lazoom if any of that sounds like it’s not your thing. You can always get a fun tour experience more suited to your tastes elsewhere.
Another option is Gray Line Trolley Tours. Gray Line is the most popular Asheville trolley that gives a general overview of Asheville and some of its highlights. This Asheville Trolley is great for newcomers to the city because of their Hop-On/Hop-Off service. This tour allows riders to get off at stops and take the next trolley after a little exploring and sightseeing at places like The Omni Grove Park Inn, The Grove Arcade, The River Arts District, Biltmore Village, and more. Or, riders can stay on the trolley and hear historic tidbits and tips about the nearby things to do. In addition to the standard tours, Gray Line also offers the seasonal Holly Jolly Christmas Trolley Tour, as well as the nighttime Ghost Tour.
A quick note—if you’re into the scary stuff, there are other Asheville ghost tours for you to try out, such as Haunted Asheville Ghost Tours. They have two walking tours to choose from, both of which include creepy storytelling of Asheville’s darkest secrets.
Are you more of the outdoorsy type? Asheville has enjoyable outdoor activity tours too. Wai Mauna Asheville SUP Tours are an awesome option if you want to try something new. SUP stands for stand up paddle boarding, which can sound like an intimidating sport if you’ve never done it, but believe me it is definitely worth trying. Book a tour with one of their knowledgeable guides, and it’ll be a great experience even for beginners. You’ll get to see lovely views of the area along the way, including The River Arts District and even Biltmore Estate property, depending on the tour you book.
For a different kind of active tour, check out The Flying Bike, an electric bike adventure through Asheville. Their informative and friendly guides give recommendations of places to visit during your time in Asheville, with a little bit of history sprinkled in. The cool thing about electric bikes (like the ones used at The Flying Bike), is they are fairly simple to use, and make it easy for everyone in the group to keep pace, regardless of your experience or stamina. The pedal assists can take over the work of pedaling and do it for you, which makes pedaling uphill easier and not at all strenuous.
There are several choices of walking and hiking tours in Asheville, such as walking food tours (which I will briefly cover below), waterfall tours, and hiking through the Blue Ridge Mountains. Tumblestone Tours does a Blue Ridge Hiking Waterfall Tour, where you will drive past some gorgeous mountain views, and hike on easy to moderately difficult trails that total about 3 miles to arrive at three different waterfalls. Asheville Hiking Tours does waterfall tours as well, in addition to wildlife tours like their Smoky Mountain Elk Tour, a tour that guarantees elk viewings, and possibly more wildlife sightings too. Or, they do private tours for parties of 2 if you want a personalized experience for you and your loved one. The Asheville Hiking Tour guides know their stuff—they’ll give you an education on the outdoors in the area, and a good time along with it!
I can’t forget to mention Blue Ridge Hiking Company for hiking tours. They’ve been around for 10 years and are a great place to go if you want to hike while you’re in town, but don’t know where to start. They can help you pick the routes and distances, and you can decide if you want a full day or half day hike, or if you’re feeling adventurous, they also offer overnight, guided backpacking trips. Another great thing about Blue Ridge Hiking Company—they will gladly make accommodations for special needs hikers to ensure that everyone gets to hike.
For food and drink tours, try Asheville Food Tours, an Asheville walking tour which involves lots of food and drink tasting, while exploring the area. It doesn’t get much better than that! All the food you receive as part of your tour will end up being the equivalent of a meal for most, although keep in mind portions will be small, because you are just getting a taste at most stops. At Asheville Food Tours, you can choose from The Downtown Tour, the Asheville Burger Challenge Tour (where you will be awarded a free tour if you can clean your plate at each stop), and more tour options on the weekend.
If you want to be a part of one of several Asheville brewery tours, check out BREW-ed. They have Thursday, Friday, and weekend tours that are educational and fun. You will stop at two to three breweries, depending on the tour, and sample beers along the way. Just don’t forget to have your ID with you! Not a drinker? You can still book a tour to get a lesson on the different beers and how they’re made, and at a lower cost.
Don’t forget Asheville’s and the surrounding areas thrilling zipline tours, to see the mountain scenery while gliding through the air, plus tours of the famous Biltmore Estate, art tours in The River Arts District, and many, many more! There is an endless amount to explore and discover, and tours in Asheville are a fantastic beginning.