Beyond the Mountains: The Inside Scoop on Asheville Entertainment

Looking for something to do in Asheville after a day of driving along the Blue Ridge, hiking the waterfalls of DuPont State Forest, or floating down the French Broad River? Asheville is brimming with lots of enriching, entertaining indoor activities to rival even the most invigorating outdoor adventures. Below, a taste of some of the most popular options:

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The Orange Peel

Housed in a historic building in downtown Asheville, the Orange Peel has been recognized by a range of publications as one of the best live music venues in the nation. The club is known for presenting fresh talent as well as legendary performers.

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The Asheville Symphony Orchestra

The Asheville Symphony Orchestra, established in 1960, presents seven full orchestra Masterworks concerts per year in the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium in the U.S. Cellular Center in downtown Asheville.

Blue Ridge Orchestra

The Blue Ridge Orchestra, sponsored by Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty, is a nonprofit, all-volunteer ensemble dedicated to engaging Western N.C.’s music community in opportunities to perform, listen to and learn about great symphonic music.

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The U.S. Cellular Center and Thomas Wolfe Auditorium

The U.S. Cellular Center, located downtown, is the largest event venue in Asheville, with a seating capacity of 7,600. Recent acts include Celtic Woman, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, the Avett Brothers, and Steve Miller Band.


The Center’s Thomas Wolfe Auditorium first opened its doors in 1975 and has a seating capacity of 2,431. The Auditorium is the annual home of the Asheville Symphony Orchestra and has hosted such acts as B.B. King, Willie Nelson and Jerry Seinfeld. h

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Asheville Community Theatre

The oldest continuously operating theater in Asheville and one of the oldest community theaters in the country, ACT presents performances on its main stage as well as at 35below, its intimate black-box performance space.

Diana Wortham Theatre

Located in the heart of the Pack Square Cultural District, Diana Wortham Theatre is an intimate 500-seat theatre offering live performances of music, theater and dance throughout the year by nationally touring artists.

     

 

 

To get a rock climbing adventure in, opt for an indoor climbing wall. Climbmax Climbing has two Asheville locations (downtown and West Asheville), and offers basic belay instruction, climbing basics skills courses, and lead skill courses, among others.

 

Expressive Dance

At Studio Zahiya, a downtown boutique dance and movement space, you can take belly dance, hip hop, and Bhangra – an energetic and joyful dance from Northern India. Drop-in dance classes are available for adults and kids.

 

The Galleries of the River Arts District

This popular destination boasts a vast array of artists and working studios to visit in 22 former industrial and historical buildings spread out along a 1-mile stretch of the French Broad River. Twice a year, the River Arts District holds an artist’s studio stroll, where visitors can see the more than 200 artists showcasing their art in paint, pencil, pottery, metal, fiber, glass, wax, paper and more. 

Stephanie Sharp