After you’ve spent a glorious day walking the trails of the Blue Ridge Parkway or the corridors of the Biltmore House, you may only want to relax in the hot tub of your mountain cabin at the Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds. Even the next day, you may not be in the mood for hiking the hilly sidewalks of downtown Asheville. The good news is that you don’t have to. Instead, book a trip on one of the many family-friendly or adult-oriented tours of downtown Asheville.
While you ride in comfort, they will take you by the art deco buildings, past the famous landmarks and into parts of town you might not otherwise get to see. Tours are narrated to give you a sense of the history and community of our fair city. Please inquire at the Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds office for more details and reservations.
LaZoom Bus Tours Asheville, NC, didn’t get its reputation for being weird by accident, and the LaZoom bus tours have become an integral part of the city’s eccentricity.
LaZoom takes you to all the popular and historic destinations in and around Asheville, but they do it with wit and wacky characters. You must be at least 13 years old for the 90-minute City Comedy Tour that runs every day and on weekend evenings. You need to be 17 to take the 60-minute Haunted Tour that covers the many ghost stories around town.
Gray Line Historic Tours Start the tour from its home base at the Asheville Visitor’s Center in historic Montford, where you can buy tickets. If you’re more impulsive, hop on one of the nostalgic trolley buses at any of their 10 stops. The tour includes the Grove Park Inn, Pack Square and Biltmore Village during the 90-minute narrated tour. It’s your choice. Gray Line tickets are good for two days and provide complete hop-on/hop-off privileges. The tour even includes a 50 percent off admission coupon for the Thomas Wolfe House. Tours leave continuously through the week.
Asheville Bike Tours If you’re feeling more energetic, opt for a bicycle tour. It’s not as arduous as it sounds, as the bicycle gives you a little electric boost to get over the hills and through the headwinds. The two-hour guided tour in the city dubbed “Paris of the South” takes you through bike-friendly neighborhoods and greenways. You’ll get to see landmarks such as Basilica of St. Lawrence, the Grove Park Inn and Pack Square. Starting the second week in April, tours depart at 10 a.m. from Weaver Park on Merrimon Avenue.
BREW-ed The Brewery and History Walking Tours of Asheville takes you on short walks through five of downtown’s popular breweries. Led by a certified cicerone (the beer world’s equivalent of a wine sommelier), the tours run every Friday and Saturday afternoon from 2 to 5 p.m. You’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at how the beer is made at each location and, of course, tastings at every stop. In between, you’ll earn about the local architecture as you stroll past.