Welcome to Asheville, North Carolina, where the Blue Ridge Mountains meet artistic expression, cultural heritage, and the great outdoors. In this three-day student group itinerary, we’ve curated an immersive experience that combines the best of nature and culture, offering a taste of what makes Asheville a unique destination for student tour groups. From floating down the French Broad River and hiking the highest peak in the Eastern US to delving into the city’s rich history and vibrant art scene, this three day tour is your key to unlocking Asheville’s hidden gems and must-visit attractions.

Asheville's outdoor adventures

Scenic vistas await on a student group tour to Asheville. Photo credit: Leslie Restivo

Day 1: Asheville Outdoor Adventures

Morning: As your student group arrives, take in the charming atmosphere of this beautiful mountain destination. Is your group up for some adventure? Embark on a paddling or floating journey on the French Broad River. Outfitters French Broad and Zen Tubing will help you experience the scenic beauty and currents of the river.

Afternoon: Head downtown for lunch at a restaurant offering a variety of culinary delights. Many downtown eateries serve farm-to-table dishes, making it a great opportunity to savor local flavors. For a different kind of nature experience, visit the WNC Nature Center. Here, you can get up close and personal with Southern Appalachian Mountain native wildlife, including red wolves, otters, and black bears.

Evening: Dine at one of Asheville’s downtown restaurants. You can find a wide range of culinary choices, from traditional Southern cuisine to international flavors. After dinner, visit the Asheville Pinball Museum for some retro game action with 35 vintage pinball machines and 35 classic video games.

Asheville's indigenous walls project

Asheville’s indigenous walls project. Photo courtesy of Sarah Hoski

Day 2: Asheville’s Nature and Cultural Attractions

Morning: Enjoy a delicious breakfast at your accommodation to fuel up for an exciting outdoor scavenger hunt to learn about Asheville’s fascinating history. With 30 different stations spread over nearly 2 miles, your group will learn about the city’s most significant cultural events, educational milestones, social events and architectural landmarks. Enroute, stop for photo opportunities at one of the many Indigenous wall project murals.

Afternoon: Visit the 434-acre North Carolina Arboretum, nestled off the Blue Ridge Parkway where you can explore beautiful gardens and scenic trails. This is an opportunity to enjoy the lush greenery and plant collections native to the region. Later, Discover Asheville’s vibrant art scene by visiting the Asheville Art Museum which hosts a robust schedule of 15 to 20 exhibits throughout the year.

Evening: Explore the history of Asheville by touring the opulent Biltmore Estate, America’s largest home. Wander through the historic mansion and gardens with the help of a local tour guide who will explain the legacy of the Vanderbilt’s. For dinner, head to the Biltmore Village area, where you’ll be able to access nearly a dozen restaurants and cafes offering a mix of Southern and international cuisines.

Day 3: Musical and Artistic Heritage in Asheville

Morning: Take a guided tour at Citizen Vinyl to learn about record pressing and visit the historic WWNC radio studio. Alternatively, you can explore the French Broad Chocolate Factory to see the fascinating process of making chocolate “from bean to bar.”

Afternoon: Indulge in a leisurely lunch at a local eatery. Try out some Southern specialties like barbecue, fried chicken, or traditional Appalachian dishes before embracing Asheville’s rich Black history and heritage with a tour provided by Hood Huggers. This immersive experience will give you insights into the city’s diverse culture.

Afterwards, head home with fond memories of your Asheville student group tour.

For more student travel planning ideas, visit ExploreAsheville.com.