3 Reasons to Try Summer Camping in Asheville, NC

Summer camping in Asheville is the perfect way to spend time with your family!

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On North Carolina’s list of wonderful places, Asheville is among the top contenders!

Nestled in the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains, this quirky mountain town boasts tons of fun things to do and unbelievable views.

Last fall, we took our first-ever fall camping trip there and LOVED it. We knew that we had to return in the summer to truly appreciate everything Asheville offers.

There’s so much to do that there was no way to do it all in one weekend. I loved our trip, but we only got around to a fraction of the things that I was excited about.

Here are all of the reasons you should take that summer camping trip!

Summer camping in Asheville along the Swannanoa River.
(The Swannanoa River runs right through the campground!)

Why Camping?

It’s Affordable

Asheville is notoriously expensive. Its population has exploded and tourism has increased exponentially over the past couple of years. So, when I started looking around for hotels, I was floored by how much they cost!

For mid-range hotels (Best Western, Holiday Inn, Wyndham, etc.) we were looking at $240+ per night on the weekend. Which I just wasn’t willing to spend. Luckily, we don’t mind camping, in fact, we looked forward to it!

And camping is a MUCH cheaper alternative to the pricey hotels!

I found an amazing campground just east of the city that is perfect for summer camping in Asheville. Seriously, there is so much to do at this little campground and it is so beautiful that you don’t even need to leave it to enjoy your mountain getaway.

Mountain sunset over the lake at KOA East Campground.
(Sunset view over the lake at the campground.)

Mild Weather

The weather is perfect for summer camping in Asheville. Seriously, we couldn’t have asked for better temperatures. We were there the last weekend of June and the highs were around 85 degrees, with lows in the mid-60s.

It was warm enough to swim, but not sweltering hot. It was also cool enough at night to sit comfortably around the fire. I recommend bringing shorts, t-shirts, and a light jacket or sweater for the evening.

Summer camping in Asheville is the perfect way to spend time with your family!
(We stayed in one of the little cabins during this trip and loved it!)

It’s Good For You

There are a multitude of studies that have been done on the benefits of camping. These studies suggest that camping isn’t just good for our mental health and well-being, but can also improve family bonds and relationships (Source: Wilderness Redefined)

Some of my best memories from childhood were made during family camping trips. And I hope that my kids have those same good memories!

(Alternately feeding and running away from the ducks!)

Things to Do While Summer Camping in Asheville

Chasing Waterfalls

If you didn’t see a waterfall, did you even visit Asheville?

There are dozens of beautiful waterfalls in the mountains surrounding the city. Some of them require long hikes, but there are a few roadside waterfalls accessible to everyone.

We have stopped by Looking Glass Falls on both trips and it is spectacular! There are so many more waterfalls in the area that I want to visit, some of the more popular ones are:

  • Bridal Veil Falls
  • Dry Falls
  • Catawba Falls
  • Rainbow Falls
  • Hickory Nut Falls
Looking Glass Falls in Brevard.
(Looking Glass Falls on our summer camping trip.)

Unique Swimming Holes

One of the things that the kids were most excited about for summer camping in Asheville was the unique swimming opportunities.

While we were there, we slid down a waterfall into a crystal clear (& cold!) mountain stream. Our visit to Sliding Rock was one that we’ll never forget!

Aside from Sliding Rock, there are several other special swimming holes in the area, such as:

  • Lake Lure (where the iconic Dirty Dancing scenes were filmed)
  • Skinny Dip Falls (swim under the serene waterfall)
  • Azalea Park (located in Asheville city limits)
  • Jump Off Rock (jump off the rock into the river)
  • Bust Your Butt Falls (another waterfall to slide down)
One of many trips down Sliding Rock in the Pisgah National Forest of North Carolina.
(Lainey going down Sliding Rock for the 8765464th time!)

Our experience summer camping in Asheville was so amazing that I am already planning another trip as soon as school’s out! I can’t wait to go back!

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