drone footage of downtown - Asheville NC

7 Best Romantic Things to Do in Asheville NC

Whether you’re staying in a Smoky Mountain cabin in East Tennessee or North Carolina is your destination, there are so many romantic things to do in Asheville NC for couples on a weekend getaway or longer vacation.

About Asheville NC

With the arrival of railroad transportation in the late 19th century, Asheville became a major commerce and cultural hub of the South.

You’ll find grand buildings that wouldn’t be out of place in New York, Rome, or London, built by tycoons and enterprising businessmen. Artists of all kinds also have flocked to the area and have established a respected community for fine arts.

Asheville, North Carolina - Asheville, North Carolina - Romantic Asheville
Asheville, North Carolina | photo via @heatstick05

If you’re wondering what to do in Ashville NC for couples, we have a list of a few of our favorite romantic things to do in Asheville to help you plan your next getaway to this Smoky Mountain town!

Best Outdoor Activities to Enjoy in Asheville on a Weekend Getaway

Biltmore Estate and Gardens

Spread over 8,000 acres, the stunning Biltmore House mansion and landscaped grounds of industrialist and philanthropist George Vanderbilt stand as an impressive testament to American upper-class society.

Tours are self-guided, and admission ($60 for adults, $30 for youth ages 10-16, under 10 free) and include access to the gardens, Antler Hill Village, and the Vanderbilt family exhibition.

Adults can also enjoy a free wine tasting after the guided winery tour.

The Windsor Boutique Hotel in nearby Biltmore Village would make a great overnight destination for your romantic Smoky Mountain getaway!

Biltmore Estate and Gardens - Asheville, North Carolina - Romantic Asheville
Biltmore Estate and Gardens | photo via @rob.tiffany.digital

North Carolina Arboretum

The North Carolina Arboretum is one of the few arboretums in the country that offers an extensive network – ten miles’ worth – of designated hiking and biking trails on its grounds.

As a result, you can tour the 65 acres of lush cultivated flower and plant gardens, special exhibits, and the popular Bonsai garden, and get some exercise to boot.

You can either wander around the grounds or can take a guided, season-tailored tour in the early afternoon Tuesday and Saturday, making it one of the best attractions for couples in Asheville.

North Carolina Arboretum - Asheville, North Carolina - Romantic Asheville
North Carolina Arboretum | photo via North Carolina Arboretum

Craggy Gardens

If you drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway, exit at milepost 344.1 or 382.5 to explore Asheville’s Craggy Gardens.

The Craggy Picnic area and hiking trails are at milepost 367.6, and the Craggy Gardens Visitor Center is located at Milepost 364.4. Either way, you’ll have many scenic trails to choose from with refreshing mountain air to invigorate you.

While June is the prime time for viewing the Catawba rhododendrons that are famous in this area, there are many other flowers that bloom throughout the year. Violets, blackberry, May-apple, and Turkscap lily can all be found in the Craggies.

Even though the Smoky Mountain wildflowers and rhododendrons are sparse or gone during the fall and winter months, you can still enjoy seeing the spectacular views from the rocky crags and red berry clusters.

Craggy Gardens - Asheville, North Carolina - Romantic Asheville
Craggy Gardens | photo via BlueRidgeKitties

Best Indoor Things to Do in Asheville on a Romantic Vacation

Basilica of Saint Lawrence

Even if you are not Catholic, you will find this specially designated mortar and tile church worthy of a visit. The Pope designates certain houses of worship as basilicas based on their antiquity, historical significance, and dignity.

Built in 1905, the Minor Basilica of Saint Lawrence the Deacon & Martyr is only one of 89 Catholic basilicas in the US. Raphael Guastavino, a Spanish architect who first worked on the Biltmore Estate, designed this church that resembles any of those found in the great cities of Europe.

Basilica of Saint Lawrence - Asheville, North Carolina - Romantic Asheville
Basilica of Saint Lawrence | photo via Saint Lawrence Basilica

Thomas Wolfe Memorial

The childhood home of American novelist Thomas Wolfe houses this historical center located at 52 North Market Street in downtown Asheville, which served as a boardinghouse and as the setting for his most famous work, “Look Homeward Angel.”

The small two-story home was first a private residence and then became a place for people to stay and was renamed the Old Kentucky Home. You can take a guided tour of the property every half-hour.

Thomas Wolfe Memorial - Asheville, North Carolina - Romantic Asheville
Thomas Wolfe Memorial | photo via Thomas Wolfe Memorial State Historic Site

Asheville Art Galleries

Fine arts are arguably Asheville’s greatest draw for visitors to the area, so there’s no shortage of places to appreciate them. In particular, outstanding visual art exhibits are everywhere.

There are also many fantastic galleries in the River Arts District to explore.

Grovewood Gallery - Asheville, North Carolina - Romantic Asheville
Grovewood Gallery | photo via @kavehko

Food and Beer Tours

Lately, Asheville has become known for its culinary accomplishments as well as a craft brew center. From fine dining and romantic restaurants to wine bars and intimate cafes for sipping a cup of coffee, there are many opportunities to enjoy the best Asheville restaurants.

Several walking tours take visitors through the town to savor some irresistible offerings from both fine dining establishments and shops. The most popular of these is Asheville Food Tours. If you’re just thirsty for some locally made microbrews, check out the Brew-ED of Asheville tour.

Asheville Food Tours - Asheville, North Carolina - Romantic Asheville
Asheville Food Tours | photo via @anabelly_eats

How to Get to Asheville from East Tennessee’s Smoky Mountain Towns

Eastern Tennessee has plenty of things to do for a romantic getaway, even if you visit the Smoky Mountains time and time again.

But if you are looking for somewhere new to explore to make lasting memories, you may want to drive over the Smoky Mountains on the incomparable Blue Ridge Parkway to Asheville, on the North Carolina side.

You can also take US 321 to I–40, for a drive of just under two hours.

Asheville, North Carolina - Asheville, North Carolina - Romantic Asheville
Asheville, North Carolina | photo via @heatstick05

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