Things to do on Memorial Day > Ashville

10 Exciting Things to do in Ashville on Memorial Day

Memorial Day Weekend in Asheville

Home of exciting Explore the River Arts District, the Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina Arboretum and lots of things to do on Memorial day in Ashville. We've compiled some of the best things to do in Ashville on this Memorial Day holiday.

Memorial Day Weekend in Asheville

Memorial Day Explore the River Arts District

River Arts District near Asheville and Biltmore was once an industrial zone with dilapidated warehouses.

Growing out of necessity to have an open space for artists, the territory was reconstructed into a unique platform for art, creativity, and entertainment.

The industrial district has neat sidewalks, free parking, and over 200 artists happy to share experiences with visitors who can then buy the works.

Located along the French Broad River, RAD is home to galleries, studios, restaurants, and the Wedge Brewing Company, a favorite hangout spot for residents. Grab a map with 25 buildings and art studios to quickly navigate the district during Memorial Day.

Road Trip on the Blue Ridge Parkway

The trip on the Blue Ridge Parkway, stretching from Northern Virginia to the south of Shenandoah Valley, is one of the most attractive places abundant with beautiful views on Memorial Day.

The 469 miles long Parkway runs along the Blue Ridge Mountains spine, part of the Appalachian Mountain range with popular towns and campgrounds of the region.

The standard parkway map includes mile markers, attractions, and visitor centers for safe drive because there are areas along the way with no cell service.

The Blue Ridge Parkway trip may last up to seven days, depending on your stops. The Parkway is visited all year round, presenting different experiences and natural beauty any time you see it. Nevertheless, the busiest season is summer, and Peak Week is fall.

Parkway basics:

North Carolina Arboretum on Memorial Day

The North Carolina Arboretum, located in the Southern Appalachian Mountains, off the Blue Ridge Parkway and minutes from downtown Asheville features 434 acres of beautiful gardens and neat trails with some of the most spectacular and diverse plants in the region.

On Memorial Day, the public garden displays Bonsai Exhibition Garden, 10-miles of hiking and biking trails in the forest, seven garden areas, Rocky Cove railroad tour, art and cultural history exhibits, gift shop, and cafe.

Special events and exhibitions are organized throughout the year.

Daytime admission is free and a $16 parking fee applies for personal vehicles.

Asheville Night-Time Walking Ghost Tour

Looking for something extraordinary in Asheville on Memorial Day? Welcome to the dark side of haunted Asheville, where ghosts are your guests.

The ghost walking tour through the streets of downtown Asheville will take you to the mystical places of the town filled with tragedy and pain.

The tour will tell you stories about the woman haunting the Omni Grove Park Inn, the body entombed in the St. Lawrence Basilica wall, and more details about Asheville’s past that will give you goosebumps.

The tour lasts about 75 minutes, starting at Pack’s Tavern in Downtown Asheville and includes eight spooky historical sights.

Check Out the Biltmore Estate

America’s largest and the most grandiose Biltmore home resembles the French Renaissance architecture in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Built-in 1890 as a summer home for George W. Vanderbilt, one of the wealthiest families in the United States, the estate features an authentic castle with 250 rooms, including 43 bathrooms, 65 fireplaces, 34 bedrooms, an indoor pool, 10,000-volume library, and more.

The entire territory occupies about 8000 acres with 75 acres of majestic gardens, the most-visited winery, four-star hotels, restaurants, and hiking trails.

On Memorial Day, start the tour of the Biltmore Estate with the Biltmore House to witness the luxury of the largest privately owned mansion that has an invaluable collection of antiques and art.

Get an audio companion tour to explore all the exciting stories about the house. Next, enjoy a walk about the thematic gardens of Biltmore with ponds.

Each of them is a true paradise with lush green plants and flowers. A longer stroll will take you to the Bass Pond, a secluded romantic place with wildflowers and azaleas.


Biltmore Estate ticket cost is $60-85, depending on the day of the week and time of the year. Entrance for kids 9 and under is free.

Memorial Day Visit the Folk Art Center

The Folk Art Center, located on the Blue Ridge Parkway, presents the Southern Highland Craft Guild, the crafts of artists from Southern Appalachia.

Displaying the works of over 300 artists, the Folk Art Center follows a consequential mission of cultivating craftsmanship of the Southern Highlands and helping generations value traditional crafts.

The Following Art Center hosts the Southern Highland Craft Guild’s Allanstand Craft Shop operating over a century, three galleries with exhibitions, an auditorium, a library, and a bookstore.

The guests are welcomed to observe daily craft demonstrations, watch a series of educational events, shop souvenirs and original hand-crafted items from southern Appalachian crafters, and more.

The Folk Art Center is ADA compliant.

Learn at the Thomas Wolfe Memorial

Thomas Wolfe Memorial, also named “Old Kentucky Home,” is the boardinghouse where famous novelist Thomas Wolfe spent his childhood.

During those days, health seekers patronized the house, who later inspired the novelist and became the characters in Look, Homeward, Angel.

The tour about “Old Kentucky Home” will give a close look at the life of Asheville in the early 20th century and the rise of the town as a resort. The rambling Victorian structure is now a museum attracting visitors worldwide.

You will have a short film about Wolfe’s life at the visitors center and then take a self-guided tour of the house with original furnishing.

Working hours:

  • Tuesday – Saturday 9 am – 5 pm
  • Sunday & Monday: CLOSED
  • Closed State Holidays


  • Adult – $5.00
  • Student (ages 7-17) – $2.00
  • Adult Group (10+) – $2.50 each
  • Student Group – $2.00 each
  • 6 and under – Free

Get Caffeinated at the Coffee Shops in Asheville

Are you a fan of coffee? Don’t miss these top five best coffee shops in Asheville during Memorial Day visit, where you will experience the local coffee flavor.

PennyCup Coffee Co

Combine your tour of the River Arts District with the aroma of PennyCup coffee, one of the best in Asheville. It has four locations across the town focusing on sustainable and green coffee.

Address: 362 Depot St, Asheville, NC 28801

Double D’s Coffee & Desserts

A Double-decker red bus in the heart of downtown Asheville immediately captures attention, but when you feel the smell of fresh coffee, you can’t miss it. Small tip: Double D’s accepts cash only.

High Five Coffee

High Five Coffee is a classy coffee shop with multiple locations across Asheville, serving local Counter Culture Coffee.

Odd’s Cafe

The best place in West Asheville, Odd’s Cafe in an old-garage style, welcomes guests with a friendly atmosphere, good coffee, and affordable prices.

Shop at Grove Arcade

Grove Arcade architectural landmark is located on Battery Hill, the center of Downtown Asheville. Planned and created by Edwin Wiley Grove, the Arcade was meant to become the city’s heart, and it did.

Since 1929, Grove Arcade has been considered one of the most elegant buildings in North Carolina.

Today, Grove Arcade features dozens of galleries, restaurants, specialty shops of local art, fine gifts, and antiques. In Portico Market, farmers sell their homemade goods and local crafts.

Local restaurants have cozy sidewalk dining. The Grove Arcade transforms into a winter wonderland with holiday decorations and shops from November to January.

Relax at the Wake Foot Sanctuary & Spa

Wake Foot Sanctuary is a wonderful place to relax and enjoy the foot soak and massage services.

The interior and colors immediately create the mood of tranquility while comfortably fitting in soft, deep chairs and enjoying foot massage in natural soap and salt foot soaks.

You can also choose to get a massage on the head, neck, shoulders, hands, and arms.

Wake Foot Sanctuary welcomes all guests with a cup of revitalizing hot tea or a cool sparkling beverage with cookies and chocolate to make your stay even more unforgettable on Memorial Day.

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