Asheville was recently named the “Happiest place

in America,” a claim that you’ll have to investigate

for yourself when you come to visit our quirky city.


Surrounded by the stunning Blue Ridge mountains, filled with delightfully weird people, brimming with excellent food and breweries, and serving as a thriving hub for the arts, you are sure to find your niche in Asheville.

Want to learn more before your visit? You can

find tons of info by going to 


Many folks visit Asheville for the mountains. There are so many ways to enjoy them; the most popular is on foot. There are many trails off of the Blue Ridge Parkway, and as a bonus, you can see the scenery unfold on your ride there. Our festival is in September, a perfect time to catch some of those early fall colors on the higher elevations of the Parkway. Bring your camera and a picnic! 

Some of our favorite hikes:

Triple Falls - Several movies have been shot at this cascading towering waterfall Graveyard Fields - Boasts not one but two waterfalls 

Craggy Gardens - Offers a 360 degree vista at the summit.

Check out more info on these hikes and others at

Explore The Local Arts Scene

Home of artisans, guilds, museums and the River Arts District, Asheville is known for its artistic side. Our favorite way to dive into this is a visit to the River Arts District, a vibrant community of working artists. Take a self guided tour (each studio keeps their own hours, pick up a RADA brochure to find out more or visit, or book an artist led tour to get a more personal feel of the lives of working artists here

If you want to get into ceramics yourself, you can even book a private pottery lesson and make your own work that will

be glazed and fired!

Click each to find out more.

The Village Potters - Create Your Own Workshop  

Odyssey Clayworks - Private Lessons

Create Your Own Workshop

at The Village Potters

Check out the quirky side of Asheville in The River Arts District

If you want to make an afternoon of the River Arts District, our recommendation is to begin with lunch

at 12 Bones BBQ, open Monday - Friday, or Ultra Coffeebar open 7 days a week. Then stroll over to the studios to meet some artists, and schedule a class in one of many different mediums.  Enjoy

coffee at Summit Coffee Co or grab a cold beer

at The Wedge at Foundation. Or both!

Click here for a printable River Arts District Map.

Feed Your Inner Foodie

In Asheville we really like good food. The city has gained quite a reputation as a “Foodtopia.” It’s hard to recommend just a few here, so when you meet a local, ask for a recommendation!

Here are NCCAF Coordinators favorite spots:

Tori: Sunny Point Cafe - The best place for breakfast as well as any time of the day! I love it for their quirky and delicious takes on traditional diner food!

Julie: Little Bee Thai - Incredibly flavorful Thai food that grew from a food truck to a brick & mortar. Open strange hours - check their website. 


Sarah: OWL Bakery- everything there is amazing- coffee, pastries and breakfast and lunch options.

One thing that has come to define Asheville is the local beer scene. With more microbreweries per capita than any other American city, you may just have to try them all to find your favorite. Click here to find out more great drinking and dining options.

Explore Downtown

We are excited to have our festival in Pack Square, a central location downtown! If you want a true taste of the life of the city, plan to spend time here after you visit the festival. You could easily spend a whole day eating, shopping, drinking, listening to live music, and repeating.


Park your car in one of the many parking garages and walk around to explore the area, or consider taking a city tour with LaZoom Tours. You’ll get some laughs and get acquainted with the downtown area.