While so many come to Asheville and the mountains to explore the great outdoors, what are some options for things to do on a rainy day? Here are some ideas:
Biltmore: Explore America's largest home with self-guided and guided tours. Also, visit gift shops, tour the winery and enjoy a variety of restaurants. You can easily spend the entire day here. See our Biltmore Guide.
Food & Drink: Enjoy a leisurely meal (a rare treat for many of us!) at one of our favorite restaurants. Sample local brews with a create-your-own brewery tour. Plus, visit wineries and distilleries/cideries.
Downtown Asheville: Dash in and out of more than 200 shops and 30 art galleries with breaks at a coffee shop. Ride the big purple bus with LaZoom Tours for a zany city tour that will brighten your day. Don't miss the Grove Arcade. See our Downtown Asheville Guide.
Small Towns: What a perfect time to discover many surprises you'll find in our towns tucked away in the valleys in the 15 counties of western North Carolina that we cover. See our favorite mountain small towns and a full guide for each!
Biltmore Village: Located across from the entrance to Biltmore Estate, the Village is home to more than 40 unique shops and 10 cafes and restaurants. Tree-lined streets, brick sidewalks and period architecture make it a delight to stroll through and explore. See our Biltmore Village Guide.
Spa Pampering: What a great excuse to head to a spa! And since we are a mecca for holistic and alternative health, you can try something new. Find a spa!
Art: Asheville is an epicenter of art, so this is the place to find one-of-a-kind gifts and watch artists at work. In addition to the galleries downtown and Biltmore Village, head to the Folk Art Center and the River Arts District. See our Gallery Guide.
Outdoors: Don't let a little rain deter your outdoor adventures. Drive through and above the clouds on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Or, put on your raincoat and waterproof shoes for a misty hike with all the fresh scents of the lush forest. You can even enjoy waterfalls without getting wet with roadside beauties like Looking Glass Falls or Dry Falls.
Antiques: The best area in Asheville to find antiques is the Biltmore Antiques District with a dozen stores within a mile and a half of the Biltmore Estate. Included is the local long-time favorite, the Antique Tobacco Barn. See our Antique Shopping Guide.
Museums & More: Tour the fascinating Thomas Wolfe Home downtown. The Estes-Winn Antique Car Museum near Grove Park Inn is free. Also, check out the Asheville Art Museum. See more indoor attractions and museums, including children's museums and hands-on learning centers for kids.
Casino: Try you luck at the impressive Harrah's Cherokee Casino with 3,800+ slots and 100+ live action gaming tables. Plus, find a big variety of great restaurants, shops, spa and more! See our Harrah's Casino Guide.
Movies: Our favorite place to watch a movie is the Fine Arts Theatre in downtown Asheville, showing mostly art and independent flicks. See what's playing on their Website.
Live Music, Theatre, etc: We always have many choices for live music and theatre. See many options in our Performing Arts Guide. Enjoy live music at the Orange Peel and other clubs in Asheville.
Snuggle Day: Do nothing! Snuggle up in your cozy room at one of the elegant bed and breakfast inns. Bring a book or movie. Many places offer board games. Or, simply enjoy the sound of raindrops on the roof while you cozy up in front of a fire in romantic cabin or cottage.
Blue Ridge Parkway Rainy Day Tips
Since the Blue Ridge Parkway follows the lofty ridges of the mountains, it's often in the clouds during wet weather. While the fog often makes driving more difficult, it can also create some enchanting and mystical views. Sometimes you'll ride above the clouds for that "on top of the world" feeling. If you encounter a long stretch of fog, you can often exit onto an intersecting highway and quickly escape the fog as the road descends the ridge. Also, you can explore another of one of our 15 Mountain Scenic Drives that keep you at a lower elevation below the clouds.