Explore the Natural Wonders of Western North Carolina:
Hikes, Waterfalls, and More!
Nestled in the breathtaking beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Western North Carolina offers a plethora of outdoor adventures and family-friendly activities that are bound to make your 2023 Summer unforgettable. From invigorating hikes and stunning waterfalls to farm visits, outdoor festivals, and live concerts, this region has it all. Join us as we embark on an exploration of some of the best Asheville-Area Summer excursions you can enjoy in this nature-lover's paradise.
Hiking and Waterfalls
Western North Carolina boasts an array of hiking trails that cater to all skill levels. For an immersive experience, head to the Pisgah National Forest, just a short drive from Asheville. Here, you'll find the iconic Looking Glass Falls, which rewards hikers with breath- taking panoramic views. Looking for the perfect spot for a picnic or refreshing dip? Your go-to destination is Dupont State Forest, famous for its stunning waterfalls like Triple Falls and High Falls. Spend the day at this popular spot and it will top your list every Summer.
Summer Family Excursions
Planning a fun-filled day with the family? Look no further than the Western North Carolina Nature Center. Located in Asheville, this educational facility offers interactive exhibits, wildlife encounters, and nature trails that introduce children to the region's diverse flora and fauna. This Summer, you can catch a glimpse of the frolicking newborn wolf pups! You can also embark on a guided tour of the Biltmore Estate, where kids can explore vast gardens, visit the petting zoo, and indulge in outdoor activities like fishing, horseback riding, and biking. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch a glimpse of a farm demonstration while you’re there! Immerse yourself and your kids in the wonders of nature at the North Carolina Arboretum. Whether it's an educational experience through Eco-Explorer, a fun day of geo-caching, a visit to an exhibit, the garden-scale railroad, a hike along Bent Creek, or a week-long camp, this treasure will bring out the explorer in the whole family.
Immerse yourself in the region's rich agricultural heritage by visiting local farms. Hickory Nut Gap Farm, situated in Fairview, offers guided farm tours where you can learn about sustainable farming practices, interact with farm animals, and even pick your own fresh fruits and vegetables. The farm also hosts seasonal events and workshops, making it an excellent choice for a family outing. Just up the road, you can stop at Flying Cloud Farm’s road-side stand, or even venture out to the field to pick your own flowers!
Experience the vibrant spirit of Western North Carolina by attending one of the many outdoor festivals that take place during the summer months. GRINDfest in Asheville brings people together for 3 full days to celebrate Black freedom. Additionally, the LEAF Festival, held in Black Mountain, showcases a diverse range of art, music, and cultural performances, creating an immersive and enriching experience for visitors of all ages.
When the summer heat kicks in, there's no better way to cool off than by enjoying water activities. Head to Lake Lure, a scenic reservoir located just outside Asheville, and rent a kayak or paddleboard to explore the calm waters. If you're up for some adrenaline-pumping fun, try whitewater rafting in the nearby Nantahala Outdoor Center. For something right in the middle, grab a tube and head down the road to the Green River in Saluda. The refreshing mountain waters and stunning surroundings will leave you with unforgettable memories.
Western North Carolina has a vibrant music scene, and summer is the perfect time to enjoy live concerts in picturesque outdoor venues. The Brevard Music Center hosts a series of classical and contemporary performances set amidst the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Additionally, downtown Asheville comes alive with street musicians and outdoor concerts, allowing you to soak in the local culture while enjoying the summer breeze. Asheville Downtown after 5 and Hendersonville Summer Concert Series both boast family-friendly events, and this summer, Asheville is premiering the AVL FEST, which some speculate to be a new Bele Chere! Rabbit Rabbit venue in the South Slope area has a great outdoor lineup on the books for 2023.
Western North Carolina, with its awe-inspiring landscapes and endless recreational opportunities, beckons outdoor enthusiasts and families alike. From hiking to waterfalls, farm visits to outdoor festivals, water play to live concerts, this region has something for everyone. So, pack your bags, lace up your hiking boots, and get ready for an unforgettable summer adventure in the picturesque surroundings of Western North Carolina.
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