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Museum Guide for Asheville

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Asheville has a fantastic museum scene, ranging from historic homes to sleek art galleries. Whatever your interests, chances are that there is a perfect Asheville adventure just waiting to begin.

Good for
  • History Buff
  • Thrill Seeker
  • Shopping Fanatic
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Nature Lover
  • Foodie
  • Peace and Quiet Seeker
  • Luxury Traveller
  • Thrifty Traveller
  • Trendsetter
  • Like a Local

10 Places

3 City Tips

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Map

10 Places

Biltmore Estate

Historic Sites

Asheville Art Museum

Art Museums

Asheville Pinball Museum

Speciality Museums

Asheville Museum of Science

Speciality Museums

aSHEville Museum

Gift & Speciality Shops, Speciality Museums

Smith-McDowell House Museum

History Museums

Southern Highland Craft Guild Folk Art Center

Educational sites, Speciality Museums

Basilica of Saint Lawrence

Churches & Cathedrals

Black Mountain College Museum and Arts Center

Art Museums

Thomas Wolfe Memorial

Historic Sites, Monuments & Statues, Points of Interest & Landmarks

Angela A's City Tips

  • In between museums, be sure to take advantage of Asheville's bustling food and beer scene.
  • Asheville offers a wide variety of natural activities, so be sure to squeeze in a few!
  • Asheville is easy to navigate, with public transportation, taxis, and a "hop on and off" trolley.
  • Save
    Biltmore Estate
    Historic Sites
    See more photos
    Angela A Says:

    Built in 1895 for shipping and railroad mogul George Vanderbilt, the Biltmore Estate is the largest private house in the U.S. With 250 rooms, 65 fireplaces, 43 bathrooms, and a private bowling alley, the French-Renaissance-style château is furnished in stunning antiques and features several important works from the Vanderbilts' vast art collection. It sits on 8,000 astonishingly beautiful acres.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Self-guided tours are included with admission, but I suggest springing for the audio or guided tours to get more out of your visit. The rooftop and behind-the-scenes tours offer extra special experiences.
    • If you are traveling with children, there is a special audio tour just for them!
    • Save money by purchasing your tickets online in advance.
    • The estate also offers an impressive concert series and magical Candlelight Christmas evenings.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 194 things to do in Asheville
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Anniversary! 21/09/2017
    • Hard to imagine living here! 21/09/2017
    • Biltmore Estate
    Address:
    1 Lodge Street
    Asheville, NC 28803-2662
    Phone:
    +1 828-225-1333
    Other:
  • Save
    Asheville Art Museum
    Art Museums
    See more photos
    Angela A Says:

    The Asheville Art Museum features an impressive collection of 20th and 21st American art, including works by George Inness, Jasper Johns, and Robert Rauschenberg. Featuring many artists associated with the region and modern artists who taught or studied at Black Mountain College, the permanent collection provides a unique look at local culture. There is also an excellent array of handmade objects that were created in the area, from Cherokee artifacts to folk pottery.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • The museum is closed on Mondays, and opens at 1pm on Sundays (on all other days, it opens at 10am).
    • The museum offers free admission from 3-5pm on the first Wednesday of every month.
    • On the first Friday of every month from April through December, the museum stays open late (from 5-8pm,) with pay-as-you-wish admission, as part of the Downtown Asheville Art District Art Walk.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #82 of 194 things to do in Asheville
    • Temporary facility "On the Slope" while the permanent space is being remodeled 22/08/2017
    • boring 27/04/2017
    • Asheville Art Museum
    Address:
    2 S Pack Sq
    Asheville, NC 28801-3521
    Phone:
    +1 828-253-3227
    Hours:
    Sun
    13:00 - 17:00
    Tue - Sat
    10:00 - 17:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Asheville Pinball Museum
    Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Angela A Says:

    Part museum, part arcade, the Asheville Pinball Museum is a quirky attraction that allows guests to not only view a number of beloved pinball machines, but also to play them. The ticket price includes 'free play' on the pinball machines, classic arcade games, and novelty games.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • The museum is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
    • Machines are also for sale, in case you wish to take the fun home with you.
    • The museum is open in afternoons and evenings only, and times vary by day. Check the website before you visit.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #7 of 194 things to do in Asheville
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Quirky place to visit 21/09/2017
    • So much fun 21/09/2017
    • Asheville Pinball Museum
    Address:
    1 Battle Sq Ste 1A
    Asheville, NC 28801-2731
    Phone:
    +1 828-776-5671
    Other:
  • Save
    Asheville Museum of Science
    Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Angela A Says:

    Gems, minerals, fossils, and more are all on display at the Colburn Earth Science Center. In addition to gems from around the world, the museum offers interactive exhibits that focus on North Carolina's mining history, as well as climate change, plate tectonics, and other issues.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Each month the gift shop features a gemstone on sale.
    • If you're visiting with kids, don't miss the Lego Station.
    • Admission is free from 3-5pm on the first Wednesday of each month.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #71 of 194 things to do in Asheville
    • Small but nice 16/09/2017
    • Great, inexpensive musem 08/09/2017
    • Asheville Museum of Science
    Address:
    43 Patton Avenue
    Asheville, NC 28801-3314
    Phone:
    +1 828-254-7162
    Hours:
    Sun
    13:00 - 17:00
    Mon - Sat
    10:00 - 17:00
    Other:
  • Save
    aSHEville Museum
    Gift & Speciality Shops, Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Angela A Says:

    Get your girl power on at the aSHEville Museum, which celebrates women and their many contributions to society. With a mission focused on giving women a voice and creating a 'just and equitable world,' the cultural center features an array of art, as well as exhibits centered around issues such as hysteria and sexism in advertising.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • The museum is located downtown, where lots and paid metered parking are available.
    • Admission is by suggested donation rather than a fixed ticket price.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #8 of 47 Museums in Asheville
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Both inspiring and informative! 14/08/2017
    • Fascinating perspective of Asheville 08/08/2017
    • aSHEville Museum
    Address:
    35 Wall St
    Asheville, NC 28801-2709
    Phone:
    +1 828-785-5722
    Price range:
    US$5 - US$5
    Hours:
    Sun - Wed
    10:00 - 20:00
    Thu - Sat
    10:00 - 21:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Smith-McDowell House Museum
    History Museums
    See more photos
    Angela A Says:

    Built in 1840, the Smith-McDowell House Museum is Asheville's oldest surviving house and the city's very first mansion. A tour of the house will allow you to view beautiful artifacts and period furnishings.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • The house is located on the campus of Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College.
    • The house is rumored to be haunted by two little girls.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #75 of 194 things to do in Asheville
    • Helpful staff and period furnishings tastefully represented. 08/09/2017
    • Good history 13/08/2017
    • Smith-McDowell House Museum
    Address:
    283 Victoria Rd
    Asheville, NC 28801-4817
    Phone:
    +1 828-253-9231
    Hours:
    Sun
    12:00 - 16:00
    Wed - Sat
    10:00 - 16:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Southern Highland Craft Guild Folk Art Center
    Educational sites, Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Angela A Says:

    Appalachian natives have a long history of creating beautiful handmade crafts, and the Southern Highland Craft Guild has a long history of representing their interests and protecting their art. Chartered in 1930 the Guild today represents more than 900 craftspeople in 293 counties of nine southeastern states. Its Folk Art Center showcases both traditional and modern works — from art to furnishings to crafts — by Southern Appalachian artists. It also offers an up-close-and-personal experience with crafts, through daily live demonstrations and discussions.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Trendsetter
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Craft demonstrations occur daily from March through December, and there are also many other special events. Check the calendar to see what's on.
    • The gift shop is a wonderful place to find unique gifts and souvenirs.
    • There is a research library.
    • Bring along your hiking clothes, because the parking area provides access to the Mountains-to-Sea Trail.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #8 of 194 things to do in Asheville
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Fun informative stop along the Blue Ridge Parkway 20/09/2017
    • A Must Visit on the Parkway 15/09/2017
    • Southern Highland Craft Guild Folk Art Center
    Address:
    Milepost 382, Blue Ridge Parkway
    Asheville, NC 28805
    Phone:
    +1 828-298-7928
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    09:00 - 18:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Basilica of Saint Lawrence
    Churches & Cathedrals
    See more photos
    Angela A Says:

    The Basilica of Saint Lawrence offers itself as a stunning museum of architecture. From the Renaissance exterior to the ornate chapel, this church will amaze anyone with a passing interest in historical architecture.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Guided tours may be scheduled in advance.
    • Self guided tours follow a tour sheet located in the back of the church.
    • Do remember that this is a working place of worship. Maintain the appropriate level of quiet and respect.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #4 of 194 things to do in Asheville
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Breathtaking Church! 20/09/2017
    • Beautiful respite 18/09/2017
    • Basilica of Saint Lawrence
    Address:
    97 Haywood St
    Asheville, NC 28801-2852
    Phone:
    +1 828-252-6042
    Other:
  • Save
    Black Mountain College Museum and Arts Center
    Art Museums
    See more photos
    Angela A Says:

    Located in downtown Asheville, the Black Mountain College Museum and Arts Center showcases art from local students, including rotating exhibits, a video archive, and research materials.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • The facility is closed on Sunday and Monday.
    • Admission is free, but donations are accepted.
    • Check the calendar for special events.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #100 of 194 things to do in Asheville
    • Attention all writers, poets, authors! 19/07/2017
    • Great Art Exhibition 17/03/2017
    • Black Mountain College Museum and Arts Center
    Address:
    56 Broadway St
    Asheville, NC 28801-2916
    Phone:
    +1 828-350-8484
    Other:
  • Save
    Thomas Wolfe Memorial
    Historic Sites, Monuments & Statues, Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Angela A Says:

    The great American novelist Thomas Wolfe grew up in this Victorian home, which he immortalized as 'Dixieland' in his 1929 autobiographical novel, 'Look Homeward, Angel.' After Wolfe entered the University of North Carolina in 1916, his mother expanded the home and ran it as a boarding house, and today it is the Thomas Wolfe Memorial, a tribute to the author that has been preserved nearly intact, featuring original furnishings.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • The museum is closed on Sunday and Monday.
    • House tours are available on the half hour.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #13 of 194 things to do in Asheville
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Really Interesting Place 19/09/2017
    • Very interesting ! 06/09/2017
    • Thomas Wolfe Memorial
    Address:
    52 N Market St
    Asheville, NC 28801-8105
    Phone:
    +1 828-253-8304
    Price range:
    US$5 - US$5
    Hours:
    Tue - Sat
    09:00 - 17:00
    Other:
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