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Guide to Asheville for Families

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Asheville, North Carolina is a dazzling and intricate blend of class and culture. Predominantly unharmed by the Civil War, it offers historic estates and gardens along with a vibrant modern scene of boutiques and restaurants. Best of all, the warmth of its people remains unrivaled. This is a wonderful spot for some family fun, and here are some of the best places to create memories.

Good for
  • Family
  • History Buff
  • Thrill Seeker
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Nature Lover
  • Peace and Quiet Seeker
  • Luxury Traveller
  • Thrifty Traveller

8 Places

3 City Tips

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Map

8 Places

Biltmore Estate

Historic Sites

Asheville's Fun Depot

Theme Parks

The North Carolina Arboretum

Gardens, National Parks

Beaver Lake

Bodies of Water

Asheville Pinball Museum

Speciality Museums

Asheville Museum of Science

Speciality Museums

Sliding Rock

Geologic Formations, Waterfalls

Pack Square

Points of Interest & Landmarks

Melanie F's City Tips

  • Autumn foliage lovers: A trip to Asheville in the fall is quite lovely.
  • Bring comfortable walking shoes — whether you're touring estates or hiking, you'll want to be comfortable getting around.
  • If you're flying, Asheville Regional Airport is only 10 miles from downtown Asheville.
  • Save
    Biltmore Estate
    Historic Sites
    See more photos
    Melanie F Says:

    Any visit to Asheville absolutely must include a day at the Biltmore Estate. Not only is this America's largest home, but it's also one of the most beautiful you'll ever see. The kids will be fascinated touring the mansion (with its 250 rooms, 65 fireplaces, 43 bathrooms, and a private bowling alley!), and the whole family can have fun exploring the beautiful grounds. What's more, there is a special audio tour just for kids!

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Comfortable walking shoes are a must!
    • Visit the website to learn about special packages.
    • The estate also offers an impressive concert series and magical "Candlelight Christmas" evenings.
    Plan to stay:/
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 195 things to do in Asheville
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Astounding historic beauty 15/12/2017
    • Christmas at the Biltmore 14/12/2017
    • Biltmore Estate
    Address:
    1 Lodge Street
    Asheville, NC 28803-2662
    Phone:
    +1 828-225-1333
    Other:
  • Save
    Asheville's Fun Depot
    Theme Parks
    See more photos
    Melanie F Says:

    During any kind of vacation, it's always nice when the kids can be kids for awhile, and Asheville's Fun Depot is a perfect place for just that. With indoor go-karts and bumper cars, mini-golf, mini-bowling, an arcade, a climbing wall, and more, the entire family can let loose and share some laughs.

    Good for
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Family
    • Like a Local
    Tips
    • Check the website for special packages.
    • Have lunch at the Sports Cafe, then go back and have more fun.
    • There's a special exhibition offered each month; check the website for details.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #57 of 195 things to do in Asheville
    • FUN DEPOT-AWESOME 06/12/2017
    • Go Carts Were Not Working Well--Dispute w/Manufacturer 07/11/2017
    • Asheville's Fun Depot
    Address:
    7 Roberts Rd
    Exit 51 off I-40
    Asheville, NC 28803-8613
    Phone:
    +1 866-303-4386
    Hours:
    Sun
    13:00 - 20:00
    Mon - Thu
    10:00 - 21:00
    Fri
    10:00 - 22:00
    Sat
    10:00 - 23:00
    Other:
  • Save
    The North Carolina Arboretum
    Gardens, National Parks
    See more photos
    Melanie F Says:

    The North Carolina Arboretum is beautiful (and educational) all year round. Its 400 acres have hiking and biking trails, bonsai plants, a stunning 'Quilt Garden,' and so much more. There are also often family-friendly programs on offer.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • The arboretum is set up for geocaching, a fun way for the kids to go on a "treasure hunt" in the gardens.
    • Insect repellent is always a good idea when outdoors.
    Plan to stay:/
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 195 things to do in Asheville
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Asheville Visit 13/12/2017
    • Beautiful Christmas lights 06/12/2017
    • The North Carolina Arboretum
    Address:
    100 Frederick Law Olmsted Way
    Asheville, NC 28806-9315
    Phone:
    +1 828-665-2492
    Price range:
    US$14 - US$14
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    08:00 - 17:00
    18:00 - 22:00
    Other:
  • Save
    Beaver Lake
    Bodies of Water
    See more photos
    Melanie F Says:

    Beaver Lake is a perfect place to enjoy the day in Asheville with the family. You can do some hiking, fishing, boating, and nature watching against this stunning backdrop — all sure to create unforgettable memories of your stay in Asheville.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Check website for lake fees and permit information.
    • Fishing is catch and release only.
    • Bring sunblock and insect repellent.
    • Bring binoculars for bird watching.
    Plan to stay:/
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #70 of 195 things to do in Asheville
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Beautiful place to see the Autumn colors in late October 13/11/2017
    • beautiful little lake 14/09/2017
    • Beaver Lake
    Other:
  • Save
    Asheville Pinball Museum
    Speciality Museums
    See more photos
    Melanie F Says:

    Video games may be the current hot trend for kids, but everyone loves pinball! Visit the Asheville Pinball Museum to reminisce about your own glory days as pinball wizards, and to introduce the kids to a more interactive way to have fun with a game. All games are set up for free play, so you can enjoy 30 pinball machines made between the 1960s and 2003.

    Good for
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
    • The museum is open in the afternoons and evenings only, and times vary by day. Check the website before you visit.
    • Shopping for a pinball machine? Most machines at the museum are also for sale.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #8 of 195 things to do in Asheville
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great if you like one stop pinball fun 06/12/2017
    • Fun Arcade 01/12/2017
    • 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
    Melanie F Says:

    Located in downtown Asheville, Colburn Earth Science Center is a great place to learn, explore, and play. The interactive exhibits cover everything from climate change to the mining history of North Carolina, and there are a number of gems, minerals, fossils, and more to examine.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Don't miss the Lego Station — kids will love it!
    • Admission is free from 3pm to 5pm on the first Wednesday of each month.
    • Don't forget to stop in the gift shop to take some amazing items home with you.
    Plan to stay:/
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #71 of 195 things to do in Asheville
    • Nice small science museum 02/12/2017
    • Short and sweet 14/11/2017
    • 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
    Sliding Rock
    Geologic Formations, Waterfalls
    See more photos
    Melanie F Says:

    What's better than taking in the majesty of a waterfall? Actually 'falling' with it, of course! Think of Sliding Rock as a sort of natural slip-and-slide: You can slide down the waterfall and into its pool at the bottom. It's great fun for the entire family and created entirely by Mother Nature herself!

    Good for
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Kids six years or younger must slide with an adult.
    • Water shoes are suggested.
    • For smaller crowds, visit during the week, or on weekend mornings.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #3 of 24 things to do in Pisgah Forest
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Beautiful Falls 12/11/2017
    • Great Waterfalls 07/11/2017
    • Sliding Rock
    Phone:
    +1 828-877-3265
    Other:
  • Save
    Pack Square
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Melanie F Says:

    A 6.5-acre park right in the heart of Asheville, Pack Square is a place to play and learn a little about history all at once. The public square, which has been an Asheville focal point since the town's 1797 inception, was named after George W. Pack, who donated the land and helped fund the Vance Monument that towers over the area. The park has undergone many changes through the years, so it is both quaint and fascinating today, home to a wide range of buildings from Neo-Gothic to Art Deco, with trees and a fun fountain for the kids to play in.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Wear comfortable walking shoes to explore Pack Square and beyond.
    • Pack a lunch and bring the dog for a full afternoon at the square.
    • Pack Square also sometimes hosts concerts and other events.
    Plan to stay:/
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #42 of 195 things to do in Asheville
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Nothing Out of the Ordinary 30/11/2017
    • Looks like the place to be 19/11/2017
    • Pack Square
    Address:
    Bordered by Broadway, Market and College Streets
    Asheville, NC 28801
    Phone:
    +1 828-232-4500
    Other:
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