Best Things To Do In Candler, North Carolina

things to do in candler north carolina
Contributing Writer
| 4 min read

Located halfway in between the towns of Asheville and Canton, Candler is a small mountain community, nestled within North Carolina’s Great Craggy Mountains. It’s a quiet place to explore, reflect, and rejuvenate.

1. Tour the Biltmore Estate

No matter the season, a visit to Biltmore allows guests to experience the beauty of our 8,000-acre estate.

Posted by Biltmore on Friday, 2 December 2016

The Biltmore Estate - America’s largest home - offers the opportunity to view architecture and art from the Gilded Age. Best described as an American castle, the home is so large that a full tour takes around two hours. If you’d like, you can choose from a variety of different tours, including a rooftop tour, a “behind the scenes” tour, a private tour, and even a Segway tour.

The Biltmore Estate also offers a wine and cheese hour where you can sample fine wines while learning about the Vanderbilts and their estate. The grounds include a winery, gardens, ponds, and even a hiking trail. If you look closely, you might see deer, turkeys, and groundhogs wandering through the property. The tour takes two hours but be sure to set aside some extra time to walk the trails around the property and view the winery and gardens.

To tour the historic Biltmore Estate, you’ll need to take a twenty-minute drive from Candler to Asheville via I-240 E. A guided group tour costs 19 USD per person, a rooftop tour costs 19 USD per person, and a private guided tour costs 150 USD per adult and 75 per child. For a more budget-friendly option, consider opting for the audio tour - you’ll listen to a pre-recorded guide of information about the Biltmore Estate while walking through the mansion at your own pace. There are both adult and children’s audio tours for 10.98 USD per person.

Biltmore Estate

Address: 1 Lodge St, Asheville, NC 28803

Website: Biltmore Estate

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2. Take a walk through historic downtown Asheville

The Asheville Swiss Chalets are just 5 minutes from Downtown Asheville! Nestled on Beaucatcher Mountain in the middle of Asheville.

Posted by Asheville Swiss Chalets on Friday, 20 January 2017

Just a twenty-minute drive from Candler, Asheville offers a beautiful historic district. You’ll be able to take a walk down Asheville’s Urban Trail, which has been called “a museum without walls.” Along the 1.5 mile (2.4 kilometer) trail, you’ll walk through the central business district and institutional areas of Asheville, featuring buildings constructed from the end of the 19th century to the 1940s. The trail features 30 “stops” along the way.

Beautiful church steeples and modest skyscrapers dot the downtown skyline. The architectural styles include Romanesque Revival, late Victorian, Neo-Gothic, Neo-Georgian, Classical Revival and Art Deco. You’ll pass by the oldest surviving building in the downtown area - Ravenscroft School - which was built in 1840 as a home and later transformed into a school. You’ll also notice City Hall and the S&W Cafeteria.

If you stop in at the Asheville visitor center, you can get a map of the area and some guidance of where to drink, eat, and shop. You can even take a self-guided “scavenger hunt” to collect all the sights.

Historic Downtown Asheville

Address: Asheville, NC, 288801

Website: Downtown Asheville

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3. Drive down the Blue Ridge Parkway

Why wait for the clouds to clear for the "perfect shot" when you can capture them and add so much more to your photos?...

Posted by Blue Ridge Parkway on Monday, 10 April 2017

The Blue Ridge Parkway is a 469 mile (755 kilometer) stretch of highway, that loops through North Carolina’s beautiful mountain scenery. Near Candler, you’ll be able to take a hike on the Rattlesnake Lodge Hiking Trail, visit the Vance Birthplace Historic Site, hike on the Mountains to Sea trail near Asheville, stop at the Folk Art Center, or catch incredible views at Chimney Rock Park. The possibilities on the Blue Ridge Parkway are endless - it just depends whether you want to spend a few hours exploring or take a roadtrip detour.

Along the parkway, the speed limit ranges from 35-45 mph (56-72 kph), so that you can slow down and take in the views. There are a variety of overlooks clearly marked along the road - perfect locations for a picnic. The parkway also leads to many waterfalls and hiking trails. If you’d like a full list of attractions along the Blue Ridge Parkway, stop by the Blue Ridge Parkway visitor center, in Asheville to get a map and directions. The visitor center also offers historical information on the area and a 1.5 mile (2.4 kilometer) trail that joins the Mountains to Sea trail.

The Folk Art Center is a favorite stop for art lovers, featuring all different sorts of handmade arts and crafts, while you can view one of North Carolina’s highest waterfalls at Chimney Rock Park.

Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center

Address: 195 Hemphill Knob Rd, Asheville, NC 28803

Website: Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center

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4. Don't miss the Great Smokey Mountain National Park

Posted by Great Smoky Mountains National Park on Friday, 30 September 2016

The Great Smokey Mountain National Park encompasses the border between North Carolina and Tennessee. From Candler, the North Carolina side of the park is about a forty-five-minute drive, but it’s well worth the sights you’ll see along the way. Filled with incredible wildlife from black bears to deer and turkeys, you’ll be able to view mountain tops, waterfalls, and unique varieties of wildflowers, as you explore the park.

What’s there to do in the park? Hike, camp, fish, geocache, go on a waterfall hunt, or view historic Cade’s Cove! Cade’s Cove is made up of historic buildings, including log houses, barns, churches, and a working mill. You can choose to drive, walk, or bike your way on an 11-mile (18-kilometer) loop, through the valley, while viewing the historic sites. However, if you choose to drive through Cade’s Cove, be aware that traffic is often heavy and the drive may take up to two hours.

Campgrounds, from RV sites to primitive tent camping spots, are located throughout the park. You’ll need to make reservations in order to camp, and the Cade’s Cove campground is open year-round.

Great Smokey Mountains National Park

Address: Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cataloochee Entrance Rd, Waynesville, NC 28785

Website: Great Smokey Mountains National Park

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5. Fly away with Asheville Hot Air Balloons

The blue skies are back. We had a great flight this morning. Jackie Evans flew this morning and sent us this beautiful photo.

Posted by Asheville Hot Air Balloons on Saturday, 6 June 2015

Established in 1981, in Candler, Asheville Hot Air Balloons has been providing hot air balloon trips to the community for many years. During your flight, you’ll rise from 500 to 2,000 feet (152 to 610 meters) above the earth and be offered an incredible view of the forest and mountains, below. If you choose to fly with a group instead of a private flight, your hot air balloon might hold up to 10 people. Asheville Hot Air Balloons is highly rated for their safety practices and excellent staff.

Prices range from 235 USD per person for a group flight to a private flight, starting at 600 USD per couple. Although the hot air balloon flight can be pricey, check Groupon for periodic coupons and deals. You might also choose a sunrise balloon ride if you’re planning a surprise for a romantic event, such as a proposal or an anniversary.

Keep in mind that hot air balloons can only fly in proper weather conditions, but you’ll be offered a full refund and the opportunity to reschedule if your trip needs to be canceled.

Asheville Hot Air Balloons

Address: P O Box 2319 - Candler, NC

Website: Asheville Hot Air Balloons

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Fly away to Candler and experience nature

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Aytasatirev used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Candler is surrounded by mountains, waterfalls, and winding hiking trails. With the Great Smokey National Park nearby, it’s built on nature’s playground. Don’t miss the opportunity to see it all from the sky in a hot air balloon!

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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A storyteller first and foremost, Hannah has a bachelor's degree in English Creative Writing and a fascination with the written word. Over the past several years, she's gained experience as a...Read more

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