Planning a day trip in Western North Carolina? Here is our list of popular year-round day-trip destinations in Hendersonville, Asheville, and Brevard for families. This list includes everything from museums for kids, outdoor activities and much more!
This guide is intended as a reference. While we will update it as necessary, the prices and hours listed here should always be verified by checking the official websites listed.
Day Trip Ideas in Asheville, NC
For more fabulous things to do and places to eat in Asheville, NC, don’t miss our Guide to Asheville, NC. Use it to plan a whole day of family fun and amazing food.
Hours: Vary by attraction.
Shop, dining, and other location and activity hours vary. // Holiday hours will be listed on the website.
Admission: Admission to the Biltmore House, along with audio tour Adults (16 and up): start at $89 // Youth (10-16): $52 // Child (under 9): $15
Note: Discounts are available on the Biltmore website for advance purchase tickets.
Website: Biltmore Estate
Read our Travel Review on Biltmore.
Asheville Botanical Gardens
Hours: Garden: Open dawn to dusk, 365 days a year // Visitor Center: Open most afternoons (varies by month; see website for details)
Admission: Free (donations encouraged)
Website: Botanical Gardens
Asheville Museum of Science
Hours: Sunday: 1 – 5 pm // Monday, Wednesday – Saturday: 10 – 5 pm // Tuesday: CLOSED
Admission: $10 // Children 2 & under Free
Website: Asheville Museum of Science
Folk Art Center
Hours: Open daily: 10 – 5 pm
Website: Folk Art Center
Grove Park Inn
Visit Asheville’s historic inn for overnight accommodations, dining, special events, or just to tour. One of Grove Park Inn’s most recognized events is the National Gingerbread House Competition.
Website: Grove Park Inn
North Carolina Arboretum
Beautiful gardens, with many water features and paths to roam. Kids will love the working model train outdoor display (April – October only).
Hours: 8 am – 9 pm | Building and special exhibit hours vary
Admission: Free (parking costs $16 per personal vehicle)
Website: North Carolina Arboretum
Splasheville in Pack Square Park
Pack Square Park is a 6.5-acre public park in downtown Asheville. It houses Splasheville, a play place of water fountains that is exciting for kids of all ages.
Hours: Fountain: 10 am – 8:30 pm during warm weather.
Facebook: Asheville Parks & Recreation
Western North Carolina Nature Center
Hours: 10 am – 3:30 pm daily | Closed New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day
Admission: Adults: $13.95 // Youth (13-15): $13.95 // Children (3-12): $9.95 // 2 and Under: Free
Free admission with Greenville Zoo membership (subject to reciprocal membership agreements which can change at any time).
Website: Western North Carolina Nature Center
See our Family Guide for more information on the WNC Nature Center.
Day Trip Ideas in Brevard, NC
Visit downtown Brevard for a pleasurable scene of art, dining, and shopping. Both Main Street and Broad Street house historic buildings and shops.
Looking Glass Falls
Hours: Daylight hours, daily
Website: Looking Glass Falls
Hours: Memorial Day – Labor Day: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm // Open 365 days a year for viewing
Admission: $5 per person
Website: Sliding Rock
Day Trip Ideas in Hendersonville, NC
Visit Our Apple Picking Guide for our report about apple picking in the Hendersonville area, including popular destinations such as Sky Top Orchard.
Carl Sandburg Home and Goat Farm
Hours: See alerts for latest hours. Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day
Admission: Free to visit grounds, trails, and barns
Guided house tours: Tours are not currently offered.
Website: Carl Sandburg Home and Goat Farm
Read our travel review of the Carl Sandburg home.
Jump Off Rock
This scenic overlook is easy to access and has an interesting legend that has been passed down for around 300 years. Hiking and picnic spots are also nearby.
Note: Some of the hiking is a little steep for young children but the overlook itself is easily accessible.
Website: Jump Off Rock
Hands On! Children’s Museum
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 9 am – 5 pm
Admission: Adults & Children $10 + tax // Children under 1 Free
Website: Hands On! Children’s Museum
Downtown Hendersonville is known for its historic streets, unique shopping, and fantastic dining options.
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday: 9 am – 5 pm
Admission: Adults/Children: $8
Website: Kidsenses Museum
North Carolina State and National Parks
Hours: Vary by season (see website)
Admission: Adults (over 15): $17 | Children (5-15): $8 | Under 5: Free
Website: Chimney Rock
DuPont State Forest
DuPont State Forest includes Triple Falls, High Falls, Hooker Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, Wintergreen Falls, and Grassy Creek Falls
Lake Lure Beach and Water Works
Check website for updates on 2022 hours of admission
Hours: 10 am– 5 pm in the summer (weather permitting)
Admission: Adults (over 12): $10 | Children (4-12): $8 | Under 4: Free
Website: Lake Lure Beach and Water Works
Nantahala National Forest
Enjoy camping, hunting, fishing, swimming, boating, hiking, horse-back riding, picnicking, and more in the 531,000-acre Nantahala National Forest.
Pisgah National Forest
Pisgah National Forest is over 500,000 acres, which includes trails, waterfalls, picnic areas, camping, scenic drives, and the Davidson River (a great place for tubing).
Cradle of Forestry: Historic Site and Discovery Center
Hours: Wednesday through Monday, 10 am to 5 pm
Website: Cradle of Forestry
Highest waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains
Hours: Dawn until dusk, daily
Admission: $3 per vehicle with less than seven passengers or $1 per person for more than seven passengers
Website: Whitewater Falls
What day trip destinations in Western North Carolina would you add to our list?
Also, don’t miss Kidding Around Greenville’s List of Day Trip Destinations in SC!