Tours of Asheville
There are numerous tours of Asheville available for all levels of mobility. Downtown Asheville offers historic walking tours, trolley tours, beer tours, food tours, and even comedy bus tours. Gray Line Trolley tours offers a wide range of options for visitors and locals who want to experience Asheville’s favorite spots and hidden gems. When you purchase a Gray Line Trolley tour ticket, you have the option to ride a complete route, which takes you along the highlights of Asheville. You can also opt for a more personalized experience where you can actually hop on and off the trolley around the city. This lets you use the trolley as your personal tour guide, then get off and explore the places that interest you the most.
Eating and brewery tours are a wonderful way to take in the tastes and sips of Asheville. You will eat and drink your way through local favorites and get a wonderful overview of the fine dining and craft beer served around Asheville. The Lazoom Comedy Bus Tour is a funkier approach, with a stand-up comedian host and a groovy loop around downtown Asheville. No matter your mood or your preference for walking versus riding, there is an Asheville tour for you.
Tucked into the mountains of Western North Carolina, the Asheville area is teeming with historic sites and points of interest. The Biltmore Estate is the most famous and most frequented historic site. The estate offers endless experiences that can be customized to your needs and preferences. You can tour the grand home, stroll through the gardens, or take a segway tour along the pristine paved trails.
In addition to The Biltmore, Asheville is home to the Thomas Wolfe House, a historic Victorian home close to downtown where the author spent his childhood. His epic autobiographical novel Look Homeward, Angel forever immortalized the home and his hometown, “Altamont.” The nearby Smith-McDowell home is Asheville’s oldest mansion, which offers a rich and vibrant perspective on local history.
Paved Walking Trails
If you love being outdoors, then Asheville is heaven. There are a plethora of paved paths around town that can accommodate all levels of accessibility. The North Carolina Arboretum boasts 65 acres of cultivated gardens and seasonal landscape exhibits. There are 10 miles of wooded walking trails and a variety of paved paths throughout the grounds. Don’t miss the Bonsai Exhibit!
If you are looking to get away from town, the Blue Ridge Parkway is a scenic highway running north and south through Asheville. Along the Parkway, you can pull over at scenic overlooks for epic mountain views, no hiking poles required. Mount Mitchell offers epic panoramic views along the Parkway. Park your car and take the 1/4-mile paved accessible trail to the observation deck for 360-degree views.
Museums, Galleries, and Cultural Centers
Asheville has no shortage of arts and cultural destinations. The Asheville Art Museumis located downtown and has a permanent collection and rotating special exhibits. Check their website for current events and special announcements.The YMI Cultural Center promotes preservation of cultural identity and interculturalism through diverse programming. At any given moment, they offer workshops, art exhibits, and performing art shows. The Folk Art Center is a part of the Southern Highland Craft Guild, located just 5 minutes from downtown Asheville. You can see live craft demonstrations and explore the various exhibit spaces. The art and cultural spots in Asheville extend far beyond these three examples. This will, however, give you a small taste of what you can see and enjoy around town.
Education and Senior Programs
The OLLI Institute at University of North Carolina Asheville offers a line-up of continuing education programs and a welcoming senior community. The Buncombe County Council on Aging offers programs and assistance to help seniors with everything from home repairs and taxes to dining and social events.
As you can see, Asheville offers a wide range of activities for seniors. There is something for every age, interest, and activity level. I encourage you to search based on your personal interests and see what you find!