Free Things to Do in Asheville

A group of hikers walking along a mountain trail.

Asheville, North Carolina, is known for its beautiful scenery and fresh mountain air. Yet, while the historic Biltmore Estate brings people to Asheville from around the country, there are plenty of family activities that don’t cost a dime. Here are five free things to do in Asheville that the whole family will love.

Hike, fish, camp or hunt at Pisgah National Forest. Do you love being active and being outdoors? There are so many free activities in Pisgah National Forest! Don’t miss your opportunity to check out Mother Nature—Asheville is certainly known for it!

See the Botanical Gardens of Asheville. These gardens are only 2 miles from downtown Asheville and include over 600 different plant species. Admission is entirely free, and you can take the whole family to enjoy a walk on the grounds from April to December.

Explore downtown Asheville. More specifically, visit Asheville’s old-fashioned market place called The Grove Arcade. The vendors sell boutique items and you can browse and browse while not spending a dime. This is perfect for anyone who loves to shop.

Visit Asheville’s famous film locations. Are you a fan of The Hunger Games, Forrest Gump, The Swan, or many more famous movies filmed in Asheville? You can visit these spots located in DuPont National Forest or the Henry River Mill Village for free. Take the whole family on an adventure as you attempt to place yourself back in the spot of your favorite movie character.

Get a view at Fryingpan Mountain Lookout Tower. When you head to a new city, one of the best activities you can do is seeking a view. Well, it doesn’t get much better than this. The United States Forest Service built the Fryingpan Mountain Lookout Tower in 1941. Now, it’s on the National Register of Historic Places. Make sure you put on your hiking shoes before you head up because you’ll need to do a quick hike to access it, but after that you’ll be treated to an awesome view. Enjoy!

Whether you’re seeking nature in the surrounding area or staying downtown, there are plenty of fun attractions and family activities in Asheville to do for free. Take advantage of them and you won’t be sorry!