The Perfect Asheville Travel Itinerary, According to a Local Hotelier

Enjoy river adventures, mountaintops, and art walks in one of the cities that pioneered farm-to-fork dining with this four-day guide by Foundry Hotel General Manager Larry Crosby.

The brick exterior and lawn of the Foundry Hotel in Asheville, North Carolina

The Foundry Hotel

Photo by Tim Robison

With its famously mellow vibe and location in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville, North Carolina is ideal for a rejuvenating trip filled with cultural experiences and delectable eats, all while moving at your own pace. For the perfect trip to the destination, we tapped Larry Crosby, general manager since 2020 of The Foundry Hotel in the historic neighborhood known as The Block. Crosby brings nearly two decades of experience in hospitality to this flawlessly planned itinerary, drawing on his expertise to help you recharge and enjoy the region’s natural beauty alongside the city’s welcoming spirit. (Pro tip: Visit mid-week for an even more peaceful and accessible vacation.)

Women relaxing in the Sauna House in Asheville, North Carolina

Trip Highlight

Sauna House

Remain energized during your trip with a visit to Sauna House, a modern take on traditional saunas. With sustainability and holistic healing at the forefront, this tech-free environment features public and private Hot-Cold-Relax rooms and infrared sauna cabins.
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Trip Designer

Explore Asheville

With so much to see and do in this eclectic city and the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains, Explore Asheville has you covered with in-depth information for every interest and angle. Whether you’re drawn to the city’s architecture, thriving restaurant scene, lively art galleries, or serene natural beauty, this welcoming destination offers all the elements of a rewarding getaway.
A room at the Foundry Hotel

A room at the Foundry Hotel

Photo by Tim Robison

Day 1:A Comedy Tour of Asheville

Arriving in Asheville gives you a chance to see the vast landscape and mesmerizing views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Drop your bags at The Foundry Hotel. With its exposed brick walls and industrial-chic vibe, it pays homage to the site’s roots and holds a special place in the area’s evolution as the former foundry that forged the steel for Biltmore.

Next, get acquainted with the city on an award-winning tour featuring hilarious scripts by LaZoom Comedy Tours, where you’ll encounter off-the-wall characters (including nuns galore). This nationally recognized tour operator leads guests through Asheville’s distinctive neighborhoods like Montford, one of Crosby’s favorite areas that he describes as “beautifully historic,” with a side of wit delivered by incredible local actors. Options for this sketch show on wheels also include the spooky side of Asheville, all while enjoying beer or wine from LaZoom’s bar.

Once you’ve worked up an appetite from all the laughs, it’s time to dine at The Market Place. Located along the charming cobblestones of Wall Street in the heart of downtown, this restaurant has been focusing on seasonal, fresh ingredients sourced from local farms since opening in 1979, showcasing what Crosby calls “the bountiful accessibility of Appalachia’s foodways.” Before you retire, end the night with live music or a local DJ at Eulogy, one of Asheville’s newest clubs in the South Slope neighborhood.
Women talking in the spacious, open lounge area at Sauna House in Asheville, North Carolina

The serene scene at Sauna House

Photo by Tim Robison

Day 2:Tubing on the French Broad River

It’s a short distance across The Foundry’s courtyard to Benne on Eagle, where you can have breakfast inspired by the flavors of Appalachia. You’ll need the energy afterward because you’ll hit the French Broad River for a water adventure. The third oldest river in the world, there are many ways to enjoy it, like tubing or kayaking.

After returning to the city, hit the River Arts District to explore galleries and admire the works of nearly 300 of the city’s finest artists. While on your self-guided art walk, stop for a Citrus IPA or AOB Stout from local brewery The Wedge.

Follow your tour with some R&R at Sauna House before a tapas-style dinner at La Bodega in the heart of downtown. Finish the night with craft cocktails inspired by the medicinal elixirs of early Appalachian settlers at Sovereign Remedies.
A team of two blowing glass at Lexington Glassworks in Asheville, North Carolina

Watch glass blowing and shop for glass art at Lexington Glassworks.

Photo by Tim Robison

Day 3:Hiking Before a Night Out in South Slope

Pack snacks and lace up your hiking shoes early to watch an astounding mountain sunrise on the Craggy Pinnacle trail in Craggy Gardens. About a 40-minute drive from downtown, the hike is a favorite for sunrise and takes about 20 minutes to reach sweeping vistas of the Blue Ridge Mountains. (With temperatures often cooler at higher elevations than in Asheville’s valley, remember to check the weather before leaving.) Plus, the trip there and back is a wonderful way to enjoy what’s considered “America’s favorite drive” along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

On returning to the city, have brunch at Corner Kitchen in a charming century-old home in Biltmore Village that’s the parent restaurant of downtown Asheville’s Chestnut. Next, take a trip to Highland Brewery to enjoy a beer at Asheville’s first legal brewery since prohibition before going back downtown to Lexington Glassworks to witness expert makers fully immersed in their craft, browse their gallery, and walk away with a one-of-a-kind, handcrafted gift. Then meander through the heart of downtown to enjoy botanical-inspired cocktails and soak in the sunset over the city from the rooftop bar at The Restoration Hotel.

You’ll cap off your day with dinner at Jettie Rae’s Oyster House, a restaurant that Crosby loves and notes for its impeccable service. Known for its coastal-inspired menu relying on fresh seafood delivered daily, it was voted Asheville’s top spot for seafood by the local paper Mountain Xpress. Finally, make your way through South Slope’s brewery district, starting at a brewery that specializes in sours and IPAs and is one of Crosby’s favorites, Burial, before heading to Hi-Wire and ending at Ben’s Tune-Up.
A baby goat and four women on matts doing goat yoga in Asheville, North Carolina

Goat Yoga is one of the many distinctive experiences you can enjoy in Asheville.

Photo by Reggie Tidwell

Day 4:Goat Yoga on an Asheville Farm

After an early morning on the trails and late-night bar-hopping yesterday, stretch your muscles at goat yoga with Asheville Wellness Tours. Classes take place on local valley farms and offer you a chance to soak in the fresh mountain air during the spring and summer or practice inside a barn by a wood-burning stove in the colder months.

Follow that with a from-scratch-made classic breakfast at The Med. Before departing, stroll the shops downtown along Merrimon Avenue or in the Grove Arcade to find a keepsake that will remind you of your time in Asheville for years to come.

Start planning your trip to Asheville by visiting and downloading the Explore Asheville App.
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