Tours

TRAVEL TIPS

Tours

Asheville Brewery Tours. Asheville Brewery Tours' guides are knowledgeable about beer and the booming Asheville craft brewery scene. You hop aboard a van and head out to three or four breweries and brewpubs, with flights of several beers served at each. You'll meet the brewmasters or owners. Some tours visit local hard cider makers. Dog-friendly walking tours of the South Slope brewery section of town are also offered. Tours are available daily year-round, but there are more tours on weekends and from late spring through the fall. 101 N. Lexington Ave., Downtown, Asheville, North Carolina, 28801. 828/233–5006; www.ashevillebrewerytours.com. $49–$59.

Asheville Food Tours. Asheville Food Tours was the first and arguably still is one of the best of the city's half-dozen walking food tours. You visit six or seven of the better downtown restaurants, usually meeting the chef or owner, and sample the restaurants' food and drink specialties. Around 15 to 20 restaurants and bars participate, with different spots visited on different days. There are two different food tour options and a Saturday brunch tour. The Downtown Food and Brunch tours meet inside the Grove Arcade near the elevators; Food Fan tour meets at WXYZ Bar at Aloft Hotel. Tours last about 3½ hours and tickets must be purchased in advance. Tour hours and dates vary by month. Grove Arcade, 1 Page Ave., Downtown, Asheville, North Carolina, 28801. 828/243–7401 ; www.ashevillefoodtours.com. $50–$60.

Asheville Urban Trail. This 1.7-mile walk developed by the City of Asheville has 30 "stations" in five areas of downtown, each with a work of art and plaques marking places of historical or architectural interest. The free self-guided tour begins at Pack Square and takes about two hours to complete. Pick up free maps at the Asheville Visitor Center (36 Montford Avenue), the satellite visitor pavilion (121 College Street) in Pack Square Park, and at various shops in downtown Asheville. You can also download the map and brochure from the City of Asheville website or from the Asheville Visitor Center website. Pack Square Park, 121 College St., Asheville Visitor Center Satellite Pavilion, Downtown, Asheville, North Carolina, 28801. 828/258–6101; www.ashevillenc.gov/Departments/CommunityEconomicDevelopment/PublicArttheUrbanTrail.aspx. Free.

Eating Asheville. Eating Asheville made its rep with its classic 2½-hour walking food tour of downtown Asheville, which visits about six restaurants and food shops to sample food and drinks and meet with chefs or owners. Now a High Roller Tour (on weekends only) visits seven higher-end restaurants for food and beverage pairings. The restaurants and sections of town visited vary, but Eating Asheville has relationships with about 30 Asheville eateries. Tours operate year-round, although the number and frequency of tours increase in the summer and fall. Most tours start and finish at the Grove Arcade. Grove Arcade, 1 Page Ave., Downtown, Asheville, North Carolina, 28801. 828/489–3266; www.eatingasheville.com. Classic tour $54; High Roller $69.

Gray Line Historic Asheville Trolley Tours. Gray Line offers hop-on, hop-off tours in and around downtown Asheville in red motorized trolleys. Guided tours leave daily March through December, every 30 minutes from 10 to 3:30, from the Asheville Visitor Center, but you can get on or off and buy tickets at any of nine other stops, including the Omni Grove Park Inn, Biltmore Village, Pack Square, and the River Arts District. In January and February tours operate on a two-hour departure frequency and only on Monday, Friday, and Saturday. The entire tour takes less than two hours, and tickets are good for two consecutive days. A tour without hop-on, hop-off privileges is cheaper. A 75-minute ghost tour from April to mid-November leaves at 7 pm Monday and Thursday through Saturday from Pack's Tavern at 20 Spruce Street. Asheville Visitor Center, 36 Montford Ave., Downtown, Asheville, North Carolina, 28801. 828/251–8687; 866/592–8687; www.graylineasheville.com. $23–$28 .

LaZoom Comedy Tours. On this very popular and unusual tour, you ride in a big, open-air purple bus while you are entertained by actors who do comedy skits and over-the-top routines about the wacky side of Asheville. If you're over 21, you can bring your own wine or beer (no hard liquor) on the bus. In peak periods such as summer and fall weekends, LaZoom has three or four tours a day, including 90-minute City Comedy Tours, 60-minute Haunted Comedy Tours, 60-minute Kids' Comedy Tours (directed to kids 5–12), and three-hour Band & Beer Tours with live music and visits to three craft breweries. Due to the slightly risqué routines, riders must be at least 13 on the Comedy Tours, 17 on Ghost Tours, and 21 on Band & Beer tours. Many tours sell out, so it's best to reserve in advance by phone, online, or at the LaZoom office; if seats are available you can buy when boarding. City Comedy and Kids' Tours leave from French Broad Co-Op (90 Biltmore Avenue); Haunted Tours leave from behind the Thirsty Monk pub (92 Patton Avenue); Band & Beer Tours leave from Tasty Beverage (162 Coxe Avenue). 14 Battery Park Ave., Downtown, Asheville, North Carolina. 828/225–6932; www.lazoomtours.com. $16–$29.

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