Greetings Foodtopia fans! It’s always wonderful when our foodie downtown is mentioned in national publications, and even better when Eating Asheville is counted amongst the ranks! Asheville is so full of fun choices for everyone from the outdoor enthusiast to the hard core foodie. With that in mind, Choice Hotels has outlined some of the best tours available in Asheville to truly give you a taste of what our mountain town has to offer!
If you’re on the hunt for a city that offers a little something for everyone, look no further than Asheville, North Carolina. There are so many things to do in Asheville that if you’re just passing through, how do you know where to start? To help, we’ve put together some of the top Asheville tours, led by local experts. No matter which one you choose, you’ll walk away from each expedition with loads of local tips plus a feel for the taste, sound and spirit of this one-of-a-kind city.
Hit the town with local historians during a walking tour. Photo credit: Aaron Dahlstrom
Led by former University of North Carolina at Asheville professor Kevan Frazier and his team of historians, Asheville by Foot walking tours will make you feel as if you’re seeing the city alongside a friend who’s lived there his whole life. The 105-minute Downtown Walking Tour gives you a rundown of the city’s history that you would miss touring Asheville solo. You’ll check out some of the city’s off-the-beaten-path neighborhoods, and learn about some of Asheville’s hidden gems, including the Basilica of St. Lawrence and a collection of public artwork.
Easily one of the biggest draws in this western North Carolina community is the booming food scene, which boasts some of the best restaurants in the country and several James Beard Award-nominated and -winning chefs. But to hit them all in one weekend is tough, even for the most ambitious food lover. These guided culinary walking tours allow you to sample dishes (and wine pairings) from some of the city’s most-loved eateries—such as Rhubarb, Buxton Hall Barbecue and White Duck Taco Shop—over the course of two and a half hours.
Raise a glass to Asheville’s craft beer scene on the BREW-ed tour. Photo credit: exploreasheville.com
Cliff Mori was the first certified cicerone—beer’s version of a sommelier—in western North Carolina, and, lucky you, he’s one of the guides on this Asheville brewery tour. Named one of the top 15 food tours in 2016 by National Geographic Traveler, BREW-ed gives you an inside look into Asheville’s wildly popular brewing scene by providing expert insight into not only the flavor and aromas of the beers but how they’re made. Expect to visit two or three breweries in the city’s South Slope beer district, including hot spots like Wicked Weed and Catawba Brewing.
Find your own food during a chef-led foraging adventure with No Taste Like Home. Photo credit: exploreasheville.com
Roll up your sleeves and get dirty on this wild foraging tour, which provides a glimpse into the world of top chefs who scour towns like Asheville for farm-to-table ingredients. You’ll wander the forest and fields just as chefs do to find fresh berries and mushrooms, and even edible flowers. At the end of the three-hour tour, bring your finds to one of six restaurant partners, who will prepare them for you in a gourmet dish.
Meet local makers and watch them work during an artist-led tour of the River Arts District. Photo credit: exploreasheville.com
Asheville has become a gathering place for artists—especially pottery and glass artisans. What better way to see the creative scene than to take a walking tour of the River Arts District? Led by district founder and glass artist John Miguel Almaguer, this expedition provides an up-close look at how artists of all stripes—think: glass blowing, painting and pottery—create their work. Bonus: Along the way, you can even try creating your own masterpiece side-by-side with the pros.
See the city from a different point of view as you paddle the waters of the French Broad River. Photo credit: aimaunaashevillesuptours.com
The North Carolina mountains may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of stand-up paddleboarding, but perhaps they should be. With tours kicking off in early spring and running through the fall, a Wai Mauna Asheville stand-up paddleboarding tour is one of the coolest ways to see the city. Led by pro paddler Kyle Ellison, who moved from Maui to Asheville to open the company, these guided outings offer options such as a four-mile trip through the River Arts District and a seven-mile paddle through the historic Biltmore Estate. Whichever you choose, consider this activity, adventure and sightseeing rolled into one.
Though you may come to Asheville to listen to classic mountain music, you’d be missing out if you didn’t stop by the Moog Music store and factory. Moog synthesizers—used by seminal pop acts like The Doors and Diana Ross & The Supremes—and other electronic musical instruments designed by Bob Moog are all featured at the factory. Take a free tour and learn the science and engineering behind everything Moog makes.
Fully story by Choice Hotels available here.
For more information on our food tours visit our website at www.eatingasheville.com!