There is so much to love about Western North Carolina!
It’s no secret that we’re big fans of this region we call home. But we’d venture to say that even lifetime residents would be pressed to see all that WNC has to offer, or learn all there is to know about local history and culture.
Whether you’re visiting for the day or you’ve lived here all your life, we encourage you to take a closer look at the town you’re in. From food and beer tours to history on foot or wheels, local haunts (literally), and everything in between, our area offers many local tours year round.
But with 75+ different tour companies available to choose from, how would even the most knowledgeable local know where to begin? Luckily, our agents are experts in city and specialty tours anyone new to the area can’t miss.
We asked them: What are the best tours of WNC for locals and visitors alike?
The Gray Line “Hop On, Hop Off” or “Overview” tours are the very best way to see Asheville and learn about our rich local history. You can ride, learn, and hop off to visit 10 sites, or shop throughout Asheville then hop back onto the next one. It begins at the visitor’s center (with free parking!) AND your ticket is good for two days. It’s the best bargain in town.
Hood Huggers is a local tour started by DeWayne Barton, a longtime resident of Asheville and one of the founders of the Burton Street Community Peace Gardens. He offers tours to further understand the history of African Americans and their longtime contribution to the Appalachian communities of this area.
I took a literary tour of Downtown Asheville and found it incredibly informative! Although I knew our town is popular among all creatives, I did not realize the extent of writers who got inspiration from little old Asheville. I highly recommend checking out AVL Lit Tours whether you are a local or tourist.
There is so much to see and do in WNC. Leap Frog Tours offer exciting opportunities to explore—whether you want to enjoy the beautiful scenery, visit the many art galleries, get your adrenaline pumping with an adventure excursion, taste great craft beer paired with delicious food, or simply need transportation. They take care of the details so you can enjoy your time in our wonderful part of the world!
When I have guests in town, Sierra Nevada’s brewery tour is a must stop. I have found even those without interest in the brewing industry are blown away by the complexity of their facility and by witnessing the process from brewing to packaging. Don’t forget, if the guided tours are booked up, they offer a free self-guided tour down a corridor that looks over each of the phases of brewing and packaging.
Touring Carl Sandburg’s home, Connemara, is a must for all residents as much as visitors. It’s presented as if he and Lillian had just stepped out for a walk to the barn to watch the baby goats. There’s hiking trails, a lake to picnic at, and the goat barnyard is open for hands-on petting of goats and barn cats.