Tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville may come across as just another quiet mountain community. But, the truth is that it’s a lively spot for artists, foodies, craft beer enthusiasts, and anyone seeking wonderfully weird things to do. Boasting architecture that’s a mix of Art Deco and Beaux Arts structures, Asheville pays homage to its rich history with a generous dose of laid-back. So, are you ready to visit one of America’s most unique cities? Then pack your zest for the fun and funky and fill up your itinerary with these unusual things to do in Asheville, NC.

Play the Part of a Pinball Wizard at the Pinball Museum

Unusual things to do in Asheville NC: Abstract pinball background

Set in downtown Asheville, you can be a kid in a candy store, or rather pinball store, with a visit to the Pinball Museum. Occupying the old Battery Park Hotel, this museum offers over 80 pinball and classic video games to play for the price of admission. Best of all, you don’t need quarters with each round! Some of the pinball machines date back to the 1940s. To keep things rolling, the museum only allows 80 players at a time. On rainy days in Asheville, expect to join a wait-list to enter as it’s a favorite activity on dreary days.

March to the Beat of Asheville’s Drums at the Drum Circle

Held on Friday nights in the spring, summer, and fall, Asheville’s Drum Circle is certainly one of the city’s more unique attractions. What began in 2001 with just 10 drummers now draws hundreds to play, dance, or just watch in Pritchard Park in a circular amphitheater. All are encouraged to bring their drums and join in. Most of the drummers begin arriving at 5 p.m. with the drum jam coming to a close at 10 p.m.

Bask in the Creativity of Asheville’s Buskers

Unusual things to do in Asheville NC: Wash Tub and Banjo Playing Buskers

Travelers over the decades have found it worth booking flight deals to North Carolina to visit Asheville, just to enjoy its famous buskers. Most days, you can find all kinds of musicians and performers in Asheville, usually around the Flat Iron statute on Battery Park Avenue, the Grove Arcade, Pack Square, and along Haywood Street. Thanks to the city’s welcoming attitude and regulations, buskers have become an Asheville tradition, first appearing in the 1980s. But don’t forget: if you stop to hear a show, it’s customary to leave behind a tip!

Shop, Grab a Drink, Listen to Live Music or Get Married at Fleetwood’s

Settled into West Asheville, Fleetwood’s is one of city’s more unusual stops. Proudly lauded as a wedding chapel, vintage shop, bar, and music venue rolled into one, Fleetwood’s embodies Asheville’s spirit for embracing the weird. Not only can you catch live music or a comedy show here, but you can also grab a drink at the bar, shop for vintage finds, or even convince your nearest and dearest to get married here.

Sip on Champagne and Page Through Used Books at the Battery Park Book Exchange

Located in Asheville’s Grove Arcade, the Battery Park Book Exchange is not your average used book store. As you peruse thousands of titles, many of which specializing in North Carolina, U.S. history, and the Civil War, you can order up a glass of wine or champagne and sip as you snoop through the books. Thanks to its constantly changing selection, you can always find something different at the book store. And, if hunger presents, you can sample some small bites too.

If you’ve ever visited, what were some of the unique things to do in Asheville, NC? Share your experiences with us in the comments below.

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About The Author

Suzy Guese

Suzy Guese is a travel writer from Denver, Colorado. She caught the travel bug after taking her very first flight at just three months old—she was headed for Disney World—and has been a total travel junkie ever since. From family car trips across North America to stints abroad in Europe, Suzy travels the globe with her redheaded temperament in search of sarcasm, stories, and travel tips to share with anyone willing to listen. She blogs about her travels at http://suzyguese.com.