Day Trips! Plan a Day Trip Adventure in Western North Carolina

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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!

NC Arboretum Greenhouse

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.

This article includes:
Day Trip Ideas in Asheville, NC
Day Trip Ideas in Brevard, NC
Day Trip Ideas in Hendersvonville, NC
North Carolina Parks

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.

Biltmore Estate

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
Admission: Free
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.
Admission: Free
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

Downtown Brevard

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
Admission: Free
Website: Looking Glass Falls

Sliding Rock

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.

Carl Sandburg Home
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.
Admission: free
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

Holmes Educational State Forest

Hours: March through October
Tuesday-Friday 9 am – 5 pm
Saturday & Sunday 11 am – 6 pm

November through February
Tuesday-Friday 9 am – 5 pm
Saturday & Sunday Closed

Admission: Free admission
Website: Holmes Educational State Forest KAG Review

Downtown Hendersonville

Downtown Hendersonville is known for its historic streets, unique shopping, and fantastic dining options.

Kidsenses Museum

Hours: Tuesday – Saturday: 9 am – 5 pm
Admission: Adults/Children: $8
Website: Kidsenses Museum

North Carolina State and National Parks

Chimney Rock

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

Whitewater Falls

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!

About the Author
Katherine is a mom of two, local music teacher, and fresh bread enthusiast. You can usually find her reading with her kids, cooking, or playing games with her husband. She also strives after the elusive Clean House, but is frequently thwarted by small minions.

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[…] you can just take that membership or your Zoo membership and also plan a visit to the Western NC Nature Center in November too. It always seems like this is the time of year that my family ends up there and […]

[…] Chimney Rock State Park […]