Top 10 Alternative, Cool & Affordable Things To Do in Asheville
Asheville is well-known for its New Age, Hippie-ish, Alternative culture. I’ve personally loved participating in each of these experiences myself and want to spread the word so others can try and enjoy new things too! Plus, we love supporting other local businesses.
Whether you’re a local or just visiting, make sure you put these fun, quirky things on your Asheville bucket list.
Namaste & Have A Great Day!
1. Yoga Hike in the Mountains
Location: Multiple trails near Asheville
A yoga hike is the perfect way to relax and appreciate the natural beauty of Western North Carolina. Enjoy yoga and meditation along with a refreshing hike to a waterfall or mountain view. We welcome all kinds of individuals, couples, groups and even beginners! Learn more or book a yoga hike with one of our local yoga guides today!
2. Downtown Drum Circle
Location: Pritchard Park • 67 Patton Ave, Asheville, NC 28801, USA
The weekly drum circle happens every Friday night (weather permitting) April - October in Pritchard Park. Drummers show up around 5 or 6 PM and the circle ends around 10 PM. This event is family and pet friendly event and has been all about good vibes since 2001.
3. Sound Healing Session
Location: 4 Eagle St, Asheville, NC • (828) 768-2826
Sound healing sessions are held at Skinny Beats Drum Shop on Saturdays at 11 AM and Sundays at 12 PM for 30-40 minutes each. Shop owner Billy Zanski uses crystal bowls, gongs, harps, and several other instruments to create a peaceful atmospheric soundscape to assist in relaxation and healing. You can find lots of instruments for sale and take drumming lessons on Wednesdays! Learn more on their website.
4. Asheville Salt Cave
Location: 12 Eagle St, Asheville, NC 28801
The Asheville Salt Cave located downtown has an enriched microclimate, which allows the body and mind to gain relaxation, balance, & healing. Sit and meditate or have a massage immersed in the salty, soft pink glow. You can also find special events in the cave like sound healing, handpan concerts and yoga nidra. Visit their website to learn more.
5. Energy Healing Session
Location: Blomkraft Aesthetics • 12 1/2 Wall Street, Suite F, Asheville, NC 28801
Relax and release some negative energy during a healing session with Binah Love. She practices a variety of techniques including Jin Shin Juytsu, BANA Reiki and Soul Centered Healing. JSJ is an ancient form of hands on healing that combines the polarity of the hands with an intricate mapping of the energy channels in the body (meridians). Reiki involves the channeling of energy by means of hands on touch to activate the natural healing processes of the receiver's body restoring physical & emotional well-being. SCH sessions work with the energy centers in the body (chakras) to release blockages and may include the use of sound medicine & mantra as well as flower essences & gemstones.
6. Live Music / Street Performers
Cost: Free (Tips Appreciated)
Location: All over downtown Asheville
Asheville has a variety of quirky and creative street performers, also sometimes called buskers. Wander around downtown (especially near Pack Square) and you may hear all kinds of music, have a poem written for you on the spot via typewriter, see juggling, magic, acrobatics and perhaps even someone riding a yellow submarine bicycle!
7. La Zoom Comedy Tour
Location: Ticket Booth 14 Battery Park Avenue Asheville, NC 28801 • 828.225.6932
You’ll laugh and learn lots about the history of Asheville via your charismatic tour guide and live skits full of crazy characters while riding one of their big, purple busses. Choose from the City Comedy Tour, Haunted Comedy Tour, Band & Beer Tour or Kid’s Comedy Tour.
8. See Synchronous & Blue Ghost Fireflies
Cost: $20 - $76
Location: Multiple locations in TN & NC
These rare insects appear each year from late May - early June in North Carolina & Tennessee. You can try your luck in the lotteries for the Great Smoky Mountains or book a seasonal firefly tour with our friends at Asheville Hiking Tours.
Synchronous fireflies (Photinus carolinus) are one of at least 19 species of fireflies that live in NC and TN and the only species in America who can synchronize their flashing light patterns.
Fireflies (aka lightning bugs) take 1-2 years to mature from the larvae stage and only live as adults for approximately 21 days. The bioluminescent light patterns we see are part of their mating ritual.
Unlike other fireflies that flash quickly, blue ghosts glow for up to a minute at a time. The males fly through the forest emitting bluish-white light while the flightless females glow amidst leaf litter on the forest floor. They also appear around the same as the synchronous fireflies.
9. Buchi Kombucha Bar
Cost: $2.50 - $9
Location: Rosetta’s Kitchen 116 N. Lexington Ave, Asheville, NC 28801
The first Buchi Bar on the east coast began here in Asheville in collaboration with Rosetta’s Kitchen, which serves amazing Vegan/Vegetarian Soul Food. Buchi Kombucha is a living probiotic beverage made by fermenting black tea. Enjoy 6+ flavors of Kombucha including cocktails and tasting flights. The bar also serves local beer, ciders, mead, premium spirits, local herb & mushroom extractions, elixirs and more. Learn more on this website.
10. Contra Dancing
Locations: (Mondays) 1 School Road, Asheville, NC 28806
(Thursdays) 701 Warren Wilson Road, Swannanoa, NC
Contra Dancing is a folk style similar to square dancing where you have live music, a caller and dance in pairs, groups and lines.
MONDAY NIGHT CONTRA DANCE is held every Monday at 1 School Road, Asheville, NC 28806 (the Center for Art and Spirit at St George’s in Malvern Hills just off Patton Avenue). The Dance is 7:30-9:45 PM with a 7:30 orientation for newcomers. Flexible admission starting at $7 but please pay more if you are able.
THURSDAY NIGHT CONTRA DANCE Warren Wilson College Bryson Gym, 701 Warren Wilson Road, Swannanoa, NC, 8-11 PM $7/person but please pay more if you are able. Beginner lesson starts at 7:30 PM and is highly encouraged for new dancers.
More Contra Dancing Q&A, Tips & Etiquette on Romantic Asheville.