Asheville North Carolina Travel Guide: Wellness Edition

If you’re into a mountain-town oasis and positive vibes, Asheville, North Carolina should be on your travel bucket list. Asheville is nestled in the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains and sits upon NC’s largest deposit of white quartz, a stone known for its master healing properties. Asheville is praised as a health and wellness mecca, with people visiting from all over the world to indulge in its unique self-care experiences. I’ve visited three times, and each time was even more magical than the last. My most recent Asheville adventure was centered around self-care. My best friend Phenesse and I took a weekend road trip to Asheville on a mission to relax and recharge.

Here’s my Asheville travel guide with a focus on the top wellness experiences in the city:

Best Time to Visit Asheville, NC

We traveled to Asheville in mid-April, and it rained 80% of our stay. The majority of my planned activities were outdoors and were impacted by the rain. However, March to May is recognized as one of the best times to visit Asheville because of its mild weather and the popular Biltmore Blooms event. September to early November is also another ideal time to visit, because it has temperatures similar to spring and you get to see Asheville’s iconic fall foliage.

How to Get To Asheville

Asheville is easily accessible in a variety of ways:

Drive

We drove from Atlanta which was a 3.5 hour drive. Asheville is a 2 hour or less drive away from several major cities like Charlotte, NC, Knoxville, TN, and Greenville, SC. No matter what direction you’re coming from, you will at some point drive through the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains.

Fly

The city’s hometown airport, Asheville Regional Airport, is about 25 minutes from downtown Asheville. There are non-stop flights available from some of the country’s biggest transportation hubs like Atlanta, Newark, Chicago, Baltimore/D.C., and NYC. However, because it’s a smaller airport, flights may be more expensive. Most people fly into Charlotte (CLT), the closest international airport, and drive 1.5 hours to Asheville.

Bus/ Train

Greyhound has a bus station five minutes from downtown Asheville. Greyhound has tickets to Asheville from many cities throughout the U.S. Asheville doesn’t have its own Amtrak Station; however, there are stations in Charlotte, NC, Greenville, SC, and Spartanburg, SC which are all a short drive to the city.

Best Area to Stay in Asheville

Downtown is the best area to stay in Asheville, because most of the main attractions are there and it’s minutes away from many outdoorsy activities. We stood at the Hyatt and enjoyed our stay. The beds were comfortable, the complimentary hot breakfast bar was delicious, and it shares a building with the Montford Rooftop Bar which has a beautiful view of the city.

What to Pack — Clothing & Supplies Tips

Asheville is a very casual destination, so plan to dress comfortably. There are more upscale establishments where you can dress up, but even there it’s not required. Bring seasonal/activity-appropriate clothing, and —most importantly— layers! Our trip leaned heavily on the outdoor adventure side, and I thought I packed appropriately, but it turned out to be colder and rainier than I expected.

What I packed…

  • Rain jacket

  • Jean jacket

  • Leather jacket

  • Windbreaker

  • Dressy jumpsuit (I didn’t end up wearing this)

  • Water-resistant pants

  • Heat thermal leggings

  • Regular leggings

  • Jeans

  • Pants

  • Heat thermal long sleeve shirt

  • (3) tops

  • Fanny pack

  • Swimwear

  • Flip-flops

  • Sneakers (athletic and stylish)

  • Heels (I didn’t end up wearing this)

What I wished I packed…

  • Hat

  • Gloves

  • Handwarmers

  • Wool socks

  • Hiking boots

  • Water-proof phone case

Full transparency, I tend to run cooler than most, and I’m known as the “always cold” friend in my inner circles. Although I brought the majority of what I needed, my hands and feet were very cold. Luckily, during our outdoor excursions, both instructors graciously had extra supplies to keep us warm.

Top Wellness Experiences in and Around Asheville

Private Hammam Bathhouse at the Asheville Salt Cave

The Asheville Salt Cave is a unique place. Not only is it Asheville’s only salt cave, but it is also the first to bring hammam, a traditional Turkish and Moroccan bathing tradition to the area. During our hammam, we steamed, exfoliated our skin, and purified! Upon entering the steam room, we were provided with water shoes (to prevent from slipping), an exfoliating mitt, all-natural soap, and a cleansing bowl. The session is 45-minutes long, but we stepped out occasionally to take water breaks to help avoid getting overheated.

Pro-Tip: Before your session, set an intention on what you want to release and prepare to feel revitalized when you’re done.

Integrative Massage at Fusion Day Spa

Integrative massages incorporate several modalities into a single session like sound therapy, ayurvedic warming oil, and head massage. My first time experiencing an integrative massage was at Fusion Day Spa, and it did not disappoint. The spa offers 60, 75 or 90-minute customizable massages and a variety of facial services.

Private Outdoor Salt Tub at Shoji Spa and Lodge

Beyond being one of the most Instagrammable spots near Asheville, the Shoji Spa & Lodge is what self-care dreams are made of. The stunning grounds immediately transport you to Japan. Their private outdoor salt tubs overlook the serene Pisgah National Forest. We were in our tub for 60 minutes, but I recommend going for longer. You have the option of 60, 90, or 120 minutes of relaxation in the hot tub. Take your experience to the next level with tub-side tea served with Japanese tea crackers. Afterward, indulge in a wet cedar sauna session and/or take an invigorating rinse in the open-air cold shower.

Forest Bathing with Asheville Wellness Adventures

This trip was filled with a lot of first-time experiences for me, and forest bathing was one of them. Asheville Wellness Tours’ Forest Bathing experience is a mindful walk through nature. Kelly, our certified forest therapy guide led us through a gentle forest trail in the Pisgah National Forest with a series of invitations that allowed us to connect deeper with the landscape.

I’m usually not a huge rain of the rain — especially being outside in the rain. But I decided to lean into the experience rather than being annoyed by something outside of my control. Kelly was amazing and went above and beyond to make us comfortable. She gave us hand warmers, ponchos, umbrellas, and even let Phenesse borrow a pair of her boots. We ended the experience with some fresh pine tea! And most importantly, my mind was renewed and the rain suddenly didn’t bother me as much.

Waterfalls

Asheville is known as Land of the Waterfalls because it has over 100 of them. You can find them along hiking trails or roadside. We made a pit stop at the Looking Glass Falls after our forest bath.

Vortex Hike with Namaste in Nature

Vortex Hike with Namaste in Nature was another inaugural experience for me. This was my first time doing yoga on a mountain, let alone in an energy vortex! Energy vortexes are special because they are swirling centers of energy that help with healing, meditation, and self-exploration. There are only three energy vortexes in the United States, and Asheville is one of them. The lovely Miranda, owner of Namaste in Nature, led our experience. It was another rainy and cold day, but we made the best of it. Miranda lent me her gloves, which were a lifesaver. We began with a meditation, took a short hike to a covered sheltered area where we practiced yoga, and ended with a much deserved hot cup of tea.

Biltmore House & Gardens

The Biltmore is one of the most popular attractions in Asheville. This Vanderbilt estate is America’s largest private home. Its spring blooms are an instant mood booster. After touring the Vanderbilt house and pretending I was in an episode of Bridgerton, we took a slow nature walk through its acres of beautiful gardens. You can also enjoy a walk, jog, or bike through 20+ miles of trails on the estate grounds. Wine tasting is also included in the admission ticket, but the tasting room is by in-person reservation only.

We legit endured all the elements during this weekend, but rain or shine, a trip to Asheville is worthwhile!

Have you been to Asheville before? What was your favorite experience there? Let me know in the comments box below.

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Disclaimer: I was hosted by Explore Asheville, but all opinions are my own.

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Jewels Rhode

Frequent Flyer. Chief Enjoyment Officer. Helping you make your travel dreams a reality!