Tours

Asheville Brewery Tours. Asheville Brewery Tours' guides are knowledgeable about beer and the booming Asheville craft brewery scene. You hop aboard a van and head out to three or four breweries and brewpubs, with flights of several beers served at each. You'll meet the brewmasters or owners. Dog-friendly walking tours of the South Slope brewery section of town are also offered. Tours are available daily year-round, except Mondays, but there are more tours on weekends and from late spring through the fall. 2 Wall St., Suite 110, Downtown, Asheville, North Carolina, 28801. 828/233–5006; www.ashevillebrewerytours.com. $49–$69.

Asheville Food Tours. Asheville Food Tours was the first and still is one of the best of the city's half-dozen walking food tours. You visit six or seven of the better downtown restaurants, usually meeting the chef or owner, and sample the restaurants' food and drink specialties. Around 15 to 20 restaurants and bars participate, with different spots visited on different days. Also offered is a West Asheville food tour. Downtown tours last about three hours and tickets must be purchased in advance. Tours operate year-round, and off-season may require a minimum number of participants. Tour hours and dates vary by month. Grove Arcade, 1 Page Ave., Downtown, Asheville, North Carolina, 28801. 828/243–7401 ; www.ashevillefoodtours.com. $55–$65.

Asheville Urban Trail. This 1.7-mile walk developed by the City of Asheville has 30 "stations" in five areas of downtown, each with a work of art and plaques marking places of historical or architectural interest. The free self-guided tour begins at Pack Square and takes about two hours to complete. Pick up free maps at the Asheville Visitor Center (36 Montford Avenue), the satellite visitor pavilion (121 College Street) in Pack Square Park, and at various shops in downtown Asheville. You can also download the map and brochure from the Asheville Visitor Center website. Pack Square Park, 121 College St., Asheville Visitor Center Satellite Pavilion, Downtown, Asheville, North Carolina, 28801. 828/258–6101; www.exploreasheville.com. Free.

Brew-Ed Asheville Brewery and History Walking Tours . This tour company offers in-depth tours of two or three breweries and brewpubs on the South Slope of downtown Asheville. The owner and chief guide is a Certified Advanced Cicerone. Tours operate Thursday to Sunday and usually begin at Hi-Wire Brewing. Hi-Wire Brewing, 197 Hilliard Ave., Downtown, Asheville, North Carolina, 28801. 828/278--9255; www.brew-ed.com. $37--$50.

Eating Asheville. Eating Asheville made its rep with its classic 2½-hour walking food tour of downtown Asheville, which visits about six restaurants and food shops to sample food and drinks and meet with chefs or owners. Now a High Roller Tour visits higher-end restaurants for food and beverage pairings. The restaurants and sections of town visited vary, but Eating Asheville has relationships with about 30 Asheville eateries. Tours operate year-round, although the number and frequency of tours increase in the summer and fall. Most tours start and finish at the Grove Arcade. Grove Arcade, 1 Page Ave., Downtown, Asheville, North Carolina, 28801. 828/489–3266; www.eatingasheville.com. $55--$74.

The Flying Bike Electric Bike Tours. The Flying Bike offers electric-assisted bike tours of Asheville. You have to pedal some, but the electric power helps you get up Asheville's hills. Two to seven riders go with a guide. Tours last about 2½ hours and cover 9 miles, usually visiting the downtown, Montford, South Slope, and Grove Park areas. Participants must be at least 16 years old and weigh less than 350 pounds. Tours are at 9, 1, and 4 daily mid-February to mid-December but are weather dependent. The Flying Bike also rents electric bicycles. 225 Coxe Ave., Downtown, Asheville, North Carolina. 828/450--8686; www.flyingbiketours.com. $62.

Gray Line Historic Asheville Trolley Tours. Gray Line offers hop-on, hop-off, tours in and around downtown Asheville in red motorized trolleys. Guided tours leave daily March through December, usually every 30 minutes from 10 to 3:30 from the Asheville Visitor Center, but you can get on or off and buy tickets at any of nine other stops, including the Omni Grove Park Inn, Biltmore Village, Pack Square, and the River Arts District. In January and February the tours operate with less frequency and on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays only. The entire tour takes less than two hours, and tickets are good for two consecutive days. A tour without hop-on, hop-off, privileges is cheaper. A 75-minute ghost tour from April to mid-November leaves at 7 pm daily except Sunday, from Pack's Tavern at 20 Spruce Street. Asheville Visitor Center, 36 Montford Ave., Downtown, Asheville, North Carolina, 28801. 828/251–8687; www.graylineasheville.com. $25–$31 .

LaZoom Comedy Tours. On this popular and unusual tour, you ride in a big, open-air purple bus while you are entertained by actors who do comedy skits and over-the-top routines about the wacky side of Asheville. If you're over 21, you can bring your own wine or beer (no hard liquor) on the bus. In peak periods such as summer and fall weekends, LaZoom has three or four tours a day, including 90-minute City Comedy Tours, 60-minute Haunted Comedy Tours, 60-minute Kids' Comedy Tours (family-friendly tours directed to kids 4–12), and three-hour Band and Beer Tours with live music and visits to three craft breweries. See website for tour schedules. Due to the slightly risqué routines, riders must be at least 13 on the Comedy Tours, 17 on Haunted Tours, and 21 on Band and Beer tours. Many tours sell out, so it's best to reserve in advance; if seats are available you can buy when boarding. LaZoom Room, 76 Biltmore Ave., Downtown, Asheville, North Carolina, 28801. 828/225–6932; www.lazoomtours.com. $17–$34.

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