Asheville’s walkability makes it a great place to explore on your own but lots of great tours can add a deeper dimension to any vacation. Whether you’re looking for a deep dive into Asheville’s craft beer or culinary scenes or for something completely different, like a foraging tour, these are 10 of the best tours to take in Asheville.
La Zoom tours are in a class of their own. As Asheville’s loudest tour in terms of the giant purple bus and rowdy patrons that can BYOB, these tours employ some of the best comedians and performers in town. Choose from their city comedy tour, haunted comedy tour or band and beer tour – the latter features an actual band at the front of the bus. A separate kids’ comedy tour option can also be booked and has become a popular option for birthday parties and field trips.
Those who want to do more than taste Asheville’s famed craft beer scene should consider booking a brewery tour at Sierra Nevada or New Belgium or join one of the regularly scheduled tours at a number of other Asheville breweries. But craft beer geeks should consider joining a certified Cicerone-led Brew-Ed tour, which National Geographic has dubbed one of the best tasting tours in the world.
Several rental outlets dot the French Broad River providing adventurers with kayaks, tubes and SUP boards to enjoy the massive river away from its banks. Wai Mauna Asheville leads highly rated SUP, or stand-up paddleboards, tours that take guests through the Biltmore Estate or Asheville’s River Arts District.
No Taste Like Home has the corner on wild foraging tours in Asheville, led by foraging expert and author Alan Muskat who spent decades supplying prestigious restaurants and resorts like the Grove Park Inn with bushels of mushrooms. Now, he offers tours that put guests in his shoes, sharing his expertise and breaking bread over the group’s findings as tours included a cooking demo and tasting, restaurant-made appetizer with your finds and an optional cooking class.
If you’d rather eat cuisine prepared by some of Asheville’s amazing chefs instead, consider one of Asheville’s top-rated food tours, which many visitors have remarked as the highlight of their trip. Choose between Asheville Food Tours or Eating Asheville, both ranked in the top 15 of tours overall.
The Amazing Pubcycle caters to the barhopping crowd as a way to get from place to place a bit quicker and with a plastic cup in hand aboard a 13-passenger megacycle. Bachelorette and bachelor parties love these power-pedal experience that will ride your group from bar to bar or just for a spin around town.
Waterfall hunting is an active sport in Asheville since the area has literally hundreds of waterfalls of all shapes and sizes to discover. Some visitors opt to go on a self-guided waterfall hunt, but for a richer experience, interested folks can book a hiking tour of Blue Ridge Parkway waterfalls through Tumblestone Tours and Transportation, ranked as the #1 tour in Asheville on TripAdvisor.
Speaking of the Blue Ridge, another way to experience this iconic mountain range is through the Blue Ridge Hiking Co. Founded by Appalachian Trail expert and author Jennifer Pharr Davis, her company offers day and overnight trips as well as scheduled hikes and workshops.
For another amazing way to experience the Blue Ridge Mountains, visitors may want to consider a magical hot air balloon tour. Many tour-goers have called their balloon-riding in Asheville bucket-list-worthy, and these tours become especially popular during the area’s extremely colorful falls.
Whenever a city has maintained some of its original structures – and Asheville has many centuries-old haunts – then ghost stories often follow. Combine Asheville’s location among America’s oldest mountains with its historical landmarks and it’s no surprise that Asheville has several highly rated haunted tours, including one by the infamous La Zoom “big purple bus” haunted tour and the hearse tour operated by Dark Ride Tours.
Lastly, this self-guided walking tour won’t cost you a thing except for time. Start at Pack Square’s visitor center to grab a map and visit plaque #1, then follow the 1.7-mile trail as it weaves through downtown and showcases Asheville’s history, culture and a few iconic figures through bronze statues and plaques.