Asheville Travel Guide Picks Top 10 Free Things to Do in the NC Mountains
Asheville, North Carolina (PRWEB) January 26, 2012
Fun and memorable mountain vacations and romantic adventures dont have to cost a lot. In fact, some of the best things to do near Asheville are free, according to the readers of http://www.RomanticAsheville.com Travel Guide. Based on analysis of one million visits during 2011 to the 500-page online guide, here are the Top 10 free outings to the North Carolina mountains:
1. Fall Color: The lush Blue Ridge Mountains have one of the longest-running fall color shows in the country, starting in the highest peaks in early October and finishing in the lower elevations, including Chimney Rock and Lake Lure, in early November.
2. Festivals: Free outdoor festivals and events abound. The most popular outdoor event of the year is the Drum Circle on every Friday evening in downtown Asheville. Shindig on the Green, held on many Saturday nights during the summer, is a genuine glimpse into the local music and dance traditions. The biggest street festival in the South is Bele Chere, held each July. Other street festivals honor apples, international dancing, woolly worms and white squirrels. Even the outdoor Shakespeare Festival is free.
3. Hike: Explore the natural splendor of the Blue Ridge Mountains by foot. There are hiking trails for all fitness levels, ranging from short woodland walks to strenuous hikes up mountain peaks. Many of the most popular trails are in Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests.
4. Waterfalls: Welcome to the Land of the Waterfalls. Most are free to visit, including favorites Linville Falls, Looking Glass Falls and the waterfalls in DuPont State Forest.
5. Blue Ridge Parkway: Drive one of the top scenic roads in the country with breathtaking views, picnic spots, exhibits, museums and other free attractions along the way.
6. Downtown Asheville: Browse hundreds of locally-owned shops, enjoy street entertainers, follow the Urban Trail with many art stations, appreciate the art deco architecture or relax in a park.
7. Mt. Mitchell: Drive to the top of the highest peak east of the Rockies and see panoramic views from the observation deck.
8. Art: See a huge variety of fine art without paying a museum admission price at more than 30 galleries in downtown Asheville and Biltmore Village. Tour the fascinating artist studios in the River Arts District. The Folk Art Center has free demonstrations and exhibits. Plan a trip around one of the many free art tours, including Center City Art Walks, Art in the Park, Village Art and Craft Fair, Weaverville Art Safari and River District Artist Stroll.
9. Small towns: Unwind with the slower pace of small mountain towns. Walk through their charming downtowns and neighborhoods. Chat with the locals. The most popular small towns to explore are Hendersonville, Waynesville and Brevard.
10. Great Smokies: Watch elk graze in the Cataloochee Valley of the Great Smoky Mountains, the most visited national park in the country! There are three entrances to the park within 50 miles of Asheville with many free historic sites, scenic views and more.
For more information on these and other money-saving tips for visiting Asheville and the North Carolina mountains, go to http://www.romanticasheville.com.
# # #