Whether you are contemplating your first trip to Asheville or you’ve lived here for decades, there is always more to learn about the rich history, beautiful architecture, and unique culture of this fair city. But with nearly 70 different tour companies operating across town, how would even the most knowledgeable Ashevillian know where to begin?
These 10 tours of downtown Asheville offer you a fun and informative sample of the city today and throughout history.
WALKING TOURS OF ASHEVILLE
Asheville by Foot Walking Tours
The Asheville by Foot Walking Tour is an exciting expedition of downtown Asheville. Learn about the 200-year history and architecture of the city, and walk by places not accessible from mobile tours. Plus, get the scoop on the best the city has to offer today from one of Asheville’s insiders.
90 minutes (1.9 miles, mostly flat) with bathroom break, ashevillebyfoottours.com
Historic Montford Walking Tour
The [email protected] walking tour series takes you to key sites around the “Paris of the South.” Among the tours available is the historic Montford tour, which covers over 600 structures in one of the state’s largest historic districts. Or choose the Riverside Cemetery Tour, final resting place of many notable Asheville figures, including Thomas Wolfe and O. Henry.
60 minutes, history-at-hand.com
Urban Trail Walking Tour
Asheville’s urban walking trail tells the history of the city through 30 stops with public statues that serve as landmarks along the way. The markers represent five eras of Asheville, from its earliest days through the most recent Age of Diversity. Whether you’re a local who loves learning more or a history buff new to the city, this tour helps you see Asheville from a new perspective.
Self-guided (1.7 miles), guides available at Pack Place and the Asheville Visitors Center
MOBILE TOURS OF ASHEVILLE
Bike Taxi Tours
These private pedicab tours are great for couples. Choose from the downtown Asheville, self-guided brewery, or historic Montford tour. The downtown discovery tour takes you by many of the city’s popular attractions, pointing out the best food, drink, shopping, and architecture that Asheville has to offer. The relaxing Montford tour is a ride through one of Asheville’s most colorful and historic neighborhoods.
45 minutes–3 hours, ashevillebiketaxi.com
Grey Line Historic Asheville Trolley Tours
Hop aboard the red trolley for a fully narrated tour of Asheville, including the Montford Historic District, Grove Park Inn, downtown, River Arts District, and Historic Biltmore Village. Trolleys depart every 30 minutes (in season), and ticket-holders have unlimited hop-on and hop-off privileges at each of the 10 stops.
1.5–1.75 hours round trip, graylineasheville.com
LaZoom City Comedy Bus Tours
More than a tour, the LaZoom bus promises riders a show. And, boy, do they deliver! The iconic purple bus offers tours that are both historical and hysterical. Adding to the fun, riders are welcome to BYOB for the tour. We know you’ve seen them around town. If you haven’t yet, get on the big purple bus!
90 minutes with a 10 break, ages 13+ OR the Kids Comedy Tour: 60 minutes, ages 4+, lazoomtours.com
Moving Sidewalk Tours
Downtown Asheville awaits as you glide along on your very own Segway PT. Wes, the tour leader, teaches first-time riders the secrets of the Segway, then guides you through downtown in style. With his help, even the most uncoordinated get the hang of the devices quickly (trust us – we know!).
2–2 1/2 hours (including 20–30 minutes of training), ages 14+, movingsidewalktours.com
MORE ECLECTIC TOURS OF ASHEVILLE
One half guided tour of town, one half BYO beer night, and one half pedaling machine, the Amazing Pubcycle will make you forget how fractions work. The 13-person pedal/solar powered (motor assisted) vehicle lets you hang out at your favorite pub while you get a fun and memorable tour of downtown.
40-minute or 90-minute options, ages 21+ to drink, amazingpubcycle.com
Vampire and Occult Walking Tour of Asheville
Presented by Asheville’s own ghost-hunting celeb, Joshua P. Warren, this tour covers the parts of Asheville you don’t always see in the day. Learn about the city’s haunted past and present as co-creator Tadd McDivitt guides you through the ghosts, witches, vampires, and goblins that have called Asheville home.
2 hours (some hills), hauntedasheville.com
Grab your water bottle and walking shoes, and take a deep breath. Now exhale. Asheville Yoga Tours allow travelers to wind, walk, stretch, and breathe their way around downtown’s historic architecture. The Art Deco architecture will energize even yoga lovers of all skill levels in this tour that offers a unique experience of Asheville.
120 minutes (bathroom break at beginning), beginner safe, yogatours.net