Looking for a relaxing day in nature near Asheville, NC? You will certainly find it at Zen Tubing just south of Asheville! Load up the kids and cooler for a tubing adventure. With two tubing options, you can choose to cruise the river through the River Arts District, or through a more natural setting. We have all the info you need the make the day tubing the French Broad River perfect!
Interested in other things to do in Asheville during your trip? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Things to do in Asheville to plan a wonderful day in “The Land of the Sky”!
Zen Tubing is about an hour from Greenville, an easy drive up HWY 25. They have two locations to “drop in” your tubes for an easy-going float down the French Broad River. Zen Tubing is for adults and kids age 4 and up. I highly recommend looking over the website to pre-plan your trip. Be aware that reservations are required at both locations to secure your spot. As you will notice they have not only general information but also an up-to-date weather forecast, which is a key aspect of the trip. You can go to the Midtown Asheville location or the South Asheville location depending on the day you plan to go.
Zen Tubing Locations
The Midtown location has guests tubing through the River Arts District of Downtown Asheville. Tubing here is only open Fridays- Mondays beginning at 9 am from June 11, 2022, through August 14, 2022. The time it takes to float down this portion of the river is 3 to 3.5 hours long. You should also note that the last shuttle pickup is 2 pm from the Midtown location
The South Asheville location is the nature tubing experience, with places to swim, picnic, and enjoy the outdoors on the banks of the French Broad River during your float. This location is open at 9:30 am 7 days a week from May 21, 2022, through September 11, 2022. It takes around 2 to 2.5 hours to float this portion of the river. The last shuttle pick from the South Asheville location is 3 pm, so it’s best to launch off early if you want to ride the shuttle back to your car.
For both locations, you want to be sure to return back to the outpost by 6:30 pm. You are able to stay on the water as long as you would like, but Zen Tubing does ask tubers to not leave the water to visit the breweries that can be found along the riverside during the Midtown tubing adventure. You can also bring coolers, and alcohol is allowed, but you can not bring glass bottles or distilled spirits. Be kind and please keep the waterways clean from trash and leftover drink cans and cups.
Arriving at Zen Tubing
Upon arrival, we were asked to sign waivers and were given information as to what to do in the event of inclement weather. The total trip time varies based on the water level but it’s typically around 2-3 hours total.
You will also want to make you have sunscreen, hats, rash guards, and water shoes. Don’t be fooled by a cloudy day, we learned that the hard way with a touch of too much sun after our trek. After we paid and signed our waivers, the kids under 13 were suited up in life vests as we waited to board our shuttle to the drop-off point. Your ticket includes a deluxe tube, life jacket, free parking, and shuttle ride. The shuttle was about 10 minutes and a bit bumpy so make sure you and the kiddos have eaten a solid meal.
As for your furry friends, they are not allowed to participate in the tubing adventure at Zen tubing.
On The French Broad River With Zen Tubing
Once we were brought down to the entry point of the river, we gave the folks at Zen our tubes to blow up. Then we were able to select our cooler tube and get ready for launch. After some safety tips, it was time to get in the water. We had a fairly large group of 8. We roped all of our tubes together so we could begin our journey down the river together.
The water was cold but not too cold and the current was slow and relaxing. The water is also very shallow. If you need to get out of your tube, you would be able to walk if necessary.
- $30 per person (age 4+) with a tube
- $25 per person (age 4+) if you bring your own tube
- For coolers, you can rent a float for $5 and bring all your snacks, lunch, and adult beverages (as long as they are in cans).
Are you ready for an adventure with Zen Tubing?