Memorial Weekend is the unofficial summer kick-off weekend. From camping to music and everything else in between, here are some family-friendly ideas to start your summer celebrations in Asheville.

asheville memorial weekend

Take a hike.

With miles of trails around Western North Carolina, there are many opportunities to be outdoors. Some easy to moderate ideas close to Asheville for the kids include-

Catawba Falls – Trailhead address: 3074 Catawba River Rd, Old Fort, NC 28762

Bent Creek – Trailhead address: 2-1298 491, Asheville, NC 28806

UNC Botanical Gardens – Trailhead address:151 W .T. Weaver Blvd, Asheville, NC 28804

Richmond Hill Park – Trailhead address: 280 Richmond Hill Dr, Asheville, NC 28806

Laurel River Trail – Trailhead address: 5150 US-25, Marshall, NC 28753 (Laurel River Store)

Graveyard Fields – Trailhead address: Graveyard Fields, Canton, NC 28716

Take in a festival.

Visit Pack Square in downtown Asheville to attend the Memorial Weekend Art Festival with an array of artists specializing in hand-made works of art. The event is Saturday, May 25 and Sunday, May 26.

Drive to Hendersonville for the Garden Jubilee Festival on Main Street. There will be a variety of vendors and plants to take home. The event is Saturday, May 25 and Sunday, May 26.

Attend the Lake Lure Spring Arts Festival for art, entertainment, food, the lake, and more. The event is Saturday, May 25 through Monday, May 27.

Escape to the lake or river.

Camp or take a day trip to Lake Junaluska.

Take a rafting trip in Bryson City.

Tube down the French Broad and quench your thirst at the Salvage Station after.

Rent a boat or paddleboard on Lake Glenville just above Cashiers.

Enjoy a picnic.

Make a picnic and take a hike to Max Patch or one of the many hiking options available.

Enjoy a craft beer.

Asheville beer week happens to kick off May 24 and runs through June 1. Local breweries will be hosting a variety of events, including a Crawfish Boil with Sierra Nevada at the Grey Eagle, Ben’s Sake Fest, Thirsty Thursday at Asheville Tourists May 24th game, and the White Zombie 5k Run presented by Catawba Brewing.

Kick-off your Asheville memorial weekend with some fun in the sun and head into Summer 2019 remembering that the moments are really what life is all about.