The end of Summer is one of the best times of the year in Asheville. With so many outdoor activities to choose from, you can spend every day out on the trails, up in the mountains, or cooling off by the river. Outdoor recreation is one of the best ways to appreciate sustainable living in the natural beauty of Asheville’s mountain landscape.

If you’re not ready for the season to end, get outside and soak up the last of the warm weather! Here are some of our favorite end-of-summer activities to do around Asheville NC before the cooler weather sets in! 

Explore Asheville NC’s Apple Alley

The rolling hills along US Highway 64 are full of orchards, earning this area the nickname of Apple Alley. In fact, Henderson county is known as the best place in the state to get fresh apples, as it’s the highest producing region in North Carolina and 7th in the country. Visiting an orchard near Asheville NC is an activity the whole family will enjoy. 

Sky Top Orchard near Flat Rock is a longstanding favorite spot for families, locals, and tourists. Whether you’re bringing your kids or just entertaining your inner child, you can spend an afternoon playing in the orchards, meeting some adorable barnyard animals, treating yourself to some apple cider donuts, and taking a hayride with beautiful mountain views. Don’t forget to pick some apples to take home! At Sky Top Orchards, you can choose from 22 different apple varieties.

Hendersonville NC Apple Festival

Asheville NC’s neighbor, Hendersonville, throws its own party to celebrate the apple harvest each Labor Day weekend! Next month, the city invites you to take self-guided tours through orchards around the area, and stop in Hendersonville to explore around town. Although this year won’t feature the typical parade, street fair, and live music, events will instead be spread along the tour, with tastings, crafts, and activities taking place at each stop. Be sure to add the Apple Festival to your end-of-summer list this September 4-7.

Drive Along the Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway is a 469-mile route that traverses much of Virginia and North Carolina. Its winding curves, steep sections, and sweeping views showcase a raw and breathtaking Appalachia. The National Parkway draws road-trippers from across the country looking for adventure. It passes just south of Asheville NC, making the city a perfect pit stop along the way, or a great starting point for day trips. For access to hiking trails, birdwatching, or simply to watch the view slip by your window, take the Blue Ridge Parkway out of Asheville and enjoy the ride.

Craft Your Adventure in Asheville NC

Once you’ve gotten in your miles for the day, end your drive at a craft brewery in town or pick a winery to visit in the countryside with a great view. Green Man Brewery and Sierra Nevada Taproom both have plenty of patio seating for you to soak up the summer weather while tasting some of Asheville NC’s best brews. If you’re interested in wine tasting, head to Point Lookout Vineyards between Hendersonville and Chimney Rock. Situated high up in the mountains, this tucked-away spot has a great selection of wines to sip while you take in the stunning scenery. Burntshirt Vineyards also enjoys spectacular views — you can even see Hickory Nut Falls from their tasting room patio.

Take a Hike in the Blue Ridge Mountains

A great way to enjoy sustainable living in WNC and exercise while seeing some of the amazing sights around Asheville is to go hiking. Late summer is one of the best times of year to hike. As the days stay warm but the nights get colder, the colors of the forests start to shift. Asheville NC is close to amazing hiking opportunities no matter your skill or fitness level. Some of the best hikes in the area find hidden waterfalls or reach incredible viewpoints. 

There are many waterfall hikes that make an easy day trip from Asheville NC, but two of the most popular are Linville Falls along the Blue Ridge Parkway and High Falls in DuPont State Forest. On the clearest days, opt for a view hike. Mt. Pisgah, which is visible from the city, is a strenuous but rewarding hike and has excellent views of the surrounding mountains. The hike to Devil’s Courthouse is a short climb to the top of a rock outcropping to the southwest of Asheville NC. Once you make it to the top, you are surrounded by trees and hills in a perfect panorama. You should definitely plan on coming back to these hikes in the fall when colors start to peak in mid to late October.

Relax on the Water in Asheville NC

The French Broad River, which shaped the valley where Asheville NC sits, is where countless summer memories are made each year. Running from south to north, with sections varying in width and speed, the river is perfect for fishing, kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding. In the Arts District of Asheville, you can rent tubes and float through the cultural quarter of the city. For those seeking a quicker pace, there are faster sections of the river close to Asheville perfect for rafting or kayaking through the rapids. Alternatively, if you’d rather stay on shore, there are beautiful biking trails that follow the river in and out of town.

Fishing opportunities are also abundant on the French Broad River. There’s no better expression of sustainable living than catching your own dinner. Whether you’re looking for a secluded spot or a guided fishing expedition, the waters around Asheville NC are perfect for reeling in trout and smallmouth bass.

Asheville NC Biking Trails

Mountain biking is a popular pastime around Asheville NC. The Blue Ridge Mountains create the perfect terrain and scenery for many types of cyclists. Pisgah National Forest is a particularly lively spot for bikers, and is full of diverse trails for all experience levels. Bent Creek Experimental Forest is home to faster trails for more advanced riders. You can bring your own or rent bikes in town to take to the woods or to tour around attractions like the Biltmore Mansion and other local landmarks.

If you value sustainable living and time spent outdoors, you’ll love life at Couch Mountain. Here, we value sustainability and environmentally conscious building practices. To learn more about our community, reach out to us on the web.

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