North Carolina: Asheville’s Land of the Sky
6-Day Hub & Spoke Inn Tour
Nestled in the French Broad River valley and surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville is a mecca of arts and culture, Appalachian tradition, historic architecture and natural splendor, with lots of locally produced beer, food and music to make it even more enticing.
This new hub-and-spoke tour, where you’ll stay at the same hotel all week, will give you a taste of Asheville’s unique neighborhoods and rolling farmlands just outside the city limits. See for yourself why our guide Kimberly refers to her home town as the “Paris of the South.”
The tour still has space. Make your travel arrangements.
Hilly terrain with some longer climbs on paved roads. Advanced cycling level. Moderate level with an e-bike or by taking advantage of shuttling.
5 nights lodging, 5 breakfasts, 3 picnic and sack lunches, 4 dinners, snacks, guided walking tour, van support, detailed cue sheets, maps & GPS files and trained guides.
$195 for Specialized road or hybrid bicycle designed specifically for women. $295 for an electric-assist e-bike.
Fly into and out of the Asheville Regional Airport (AVL). Then take a 20-minute taxi or Uber/Lyft ride to our hotel. At the end of the tour, we'll provide a complimentary shuttle to the airport arriving by 1:00pm. Or drive and park your car at the hotel.
DAY 1: We meet at our downtown Asheville hotel in in the afternoon for a bike fitting and orientation and our first dinner together. If you arrive a day or two early, there is plenty to explore. Visit the historic Biltmore Estate for both architectural and natural splendor. Or tap into the beer scene—Asheville boasts the highest number of breweries per capita in the country. 0 miles.
DAY 2: After breakfast we will hop on our bikes and take a quick jaunt through West Asheville. Before you know it, we’ll be in quiet countryside, savoring farms, hills and that famous “land of the sky.” Near the end of our ride we will enjoy a lunch in Asheville’s thriving River Arts District, an area where painters, sculptors and artists of other media have transformed warehouses and factories into a mecca of creativity. Before dinner, we will take a guided walking tour of downtown Asheville with one of the city’s best tour guides. 37 miles, +2703’/-2695’.
DAY 3: Starting from our hotel, we point our bikes north and pedal through the beautiful rolling hills of Leicester along the Little Ivy River. Lunch is on your own, but you’ll have plenty of charming café options in Marshall, a quaint town that also serves as the county seat. Then we will follow the French Broad River back to town. 51 miles, +3252’/-3251’.
DAY 4: We leave the bikes behind today, pack a lunch and lace up our hiking shoes as we venture into the Dupont State Recreational Forest, a 10,473-acre paradise for hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders. It’s also where The Hunger Games (2012) and The Last of the Mohicans (1992) were filmed. Our hike will take us past three stunning waterfalls.
If you’re not interested in hiking, you can take a hop-on hop-off trolley tour to Biltmore Village and the River Arts District, or stroll the shops along Historic Grove Arcade. Dinner is on your own, though it is tough to make a bad choice in a city that the locals have nicknamed “Foodtopia.” 0 miles.
DAY 5: For some cyclists, the 469-mile Blue Ridge Parkway is their Appalachian Trail: a life-altering experience that builds character and cements memories. We take on a short and sweet portion of the BRP, starting at Craggy Gardens, a rocky or “craggy” forest where rhododendrons and other flowers flourish and the views are spectacular. You can choose to climb the 14 miles (and 1895’ elevation) to the dramatic summit of Mount Mitchell, the highest peak east of the Mississippi River. We’ll celebrate this high point with a picnic lunch, before heading (mostly) downhill back to Asheville. 14, 35 or 49 miles, +4233’/-7510’ for 49-mile ride.
DAY 6: This final bike ride is all Asheville, taking us to the Montford district where we’ll be treated to some fine Arts & Crafts architecture built in the early 20th century. We’ll take a photogenic time-out to savor the Asheville skyline and share a farewell picnic lunch at our guide Kimberly’s home before shuttling to the airport arriving by 1:00pm. Hope to see you back again soon! 9 miles, +1050’/-1052’.