Our 1 million readers in 2012 have spoken! Here are YOUR Top 20 Things to See & Do in 2013, based on readership in 2012. So start planning your romantic getaways to Asheville and the western North Carolina mountains today at www.RomanticAsheville.com:
1.Biltmore: See America’s largest castle and most-visited winery, along with grand gardens. It’s the perfect spot to experience the “Downton Abbey” lifestyle.
2.Blue Ridge Parkway: Travel one of the most scenic drives in the country with breathtaking mountain views, hiking, museums, camping and picnic spots.
3.Waterfalls: Explore our Top 25 waterfalls near Asheville, and most are located in state and federal parks with no admission fee.
4.Hikes: Take one of our Top 50 hikes, ranging from long treks on the Appalachian Trail to short strolls in Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests.
5.Downtown Asheville: Browse a big variety of local stores, boutiques and art galleries, while enjoying the street performers and Friday night drum circle.
6.Accommodations: Stay in an elegant bed and breakfast, hip hotel or secluded log cabin, the perfect romantic getaway with options for all tastes and budgets.
7.Fall Color: Soak in the spectacular leaf color show in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the most popular time of the year for visits to Asheville.
8.Restaurants: Savor a culinary scene with many farm-to-table restaurants with local food and world-class chefs.
9.DuPont State Forest: Ride your mountain bike, take a hike and see waterfalls in these beautiful sanctuary.
10.Sliding Rock: Cool off in the summer on this natural waterslide in Pisgah National Forest near Brevard. Nearby is Looking Glass Falls.
11.Events: Attend street festivals, concerts, plays, art tours and other events in western North Carolina, and most are free.
12.Mt. Mitchell: Climb the highest mountain in eastern America easily in your car with a museum and panoramic views from the observation deck.
13.Great Smoky Mountains: Discover an International Biosphere Reserve with rugged mountains, historic buildings, and 100,000 different types of plants and animals.
14.The Hunger Games: Find the film locations for the blockbuster movie that include a ghost town, forests and waterfalls.
15.Graveyard Fields: Hike this mile-high meadow on the Blue Ridge Parkway with mountain views and waterfalls.
16.Beer: Toast our “Beer City USA” title at with 20 craft breweries in western North Carolina, with 10 in Asheville.
17.Zip Lines: Zip through the mountain forests, over rivers and across valleys on guided canopy tours, with no experience needed.
18.Chimney Rock Park: Enjoy the expansive mountain views from the famous rock formation in Hickory Nut Gorge overlooking Lake Lure.
19.Art: Meet artists and learn about their craft at the many galleries and artist studios, including many art festivals, shows and tours. We are definitely the Santa Fe of the east.
20.Linville Falls: Snap the most photographed waterfall in North Carolina as it cascades into Linville Gorge. Hike from the visitor center on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
For comprehensive guides on all of these, go to our 600-page online Asheville vacation guide.