A Totally "Tube"-ular Time in Asheville
944 words (4 min read)
It’s shaping up to be a very hot summer here in Western North Carolina, and we’re so lucky to have rivers and mountains to chill out in and on. One of Asheville’s most popular summertime activities is tubing on the French Broad River. It’s the perfect pastime for relaxing on vacation, and it’s especially fun for families and groups of friends.
Your whole family will have a "splashing" good time when you stay at The Residences at Biltmore. Our 2- and 3-bedroom suites have room for as many as 8 to sleep comfortably. When you take a break from the river, you can spend time relaxing by our pool. Before you book your room, read on to learn about our favorite tubing companies.
With two locations in Asheville, you get your pick of where to park and enter the French Broad River: From South Asheville or the River Arts District. The South Asheville location offers free parking, with a shuttle that takes you 4 miles to the tubing start point.
The lazy river float is 2 - 3 hours long, and along the way you’ll find islands, swimming areas, a picnic spot, and more. Shoes are required, and they recommend loading up on sunscreen, drinks, sunglasses, and a change of clothes to leave in the car for after the float. Children are welcome, as long as they’re at least 4 years old. Reservations are necessary, and can be made on the website.
French Broad Outfitters
Tube 3 miles on the French Broad River with family and friends, departing from the River Arts District location. Parking is free, and a shuttle will take you to the starting point. Cooler floats are available, and each tube has a cup holder for the 2-3 hour float. Make your reservation on the website, or show up if you hope to get lucky as a walk-up.
They also offer a 6-mile Biltmore Estate kayaking trip, where you can see the house and estate from the perspective of the river. Several other trips through the city by kayak or canoe - such as a 12-mile Asheville Experience trip, are also available.
Lazy Otter Outfitters
If an adventurous float is what you're looking for, this is the place! The Adventure Tubing takes place in a deeper section of the French Broad River, with more obstacles than you might find in a calm water float. The Adventure Tubing trip is four miles and takes about 2 hours. A shuttle takes you from your car to the float starting point, but you'll float yourself back to the parking lot when it's done. A cooler float is included with each trip, and the tubes have cup holders and handles. Paddle trips are also available. Reserve your spot at the website.
Beer City Tubing
Another weekend spot is Beer City Tubing. They rent cooler floats separately, but their floats do have a mesh bottom large enough to bring your cooler with you. They prohibit glass or styrofoam, if you bring drinks and food. Although they don’t have lockers or a changing area, they do sell dry bags to keep all the stuff you don’t want to get wet. Expect a 2-3 hour trip, and bring friends, since they do offer carabiners to hook up groups. Reservations are required, and can be made on the Beer City Tubing website.
Asheville Adventure Co.
Asheville Adventure Co. is another French Broad River tubing company, and offers trips 7 days a week. They provide tubes with cup holders, cooler tubes for an additional fee, and personal floatation devices. You'll float around Carrier Park and the River Arts District for a good 2-3 hours, and a shuttle will take you to your car afterward. Make a reservation at the website.
A great resource to check before you go is the U.S. Geological Survey website. The USGS provides updated information about the quality of the water in the French Broad. For an easier-to-read and quick look at the specific location of your float, check out the Swim Guide website.
More July Fun
Fish For Free
The July 4th holiday marks Free Fishing Day in North Carolina. That means anybody can fish in any public body of water in the entire state without a license. Plus, the daily fishing fee in many locations is waived for the day. With so many choices around the mountains, it’s a good idea to pinpoint your new favorite fishing hole by searching the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission’s Fishing Access Guide. Search either by “Mountains” or refine it to Buncombe (the county Asheville is in), Henderson (the county just to the south), or Jackson (a county to the north of us with abundant fishing areas) counties.
Fourth of July Fireworks
A fun July 4th celebration will take place in downtown Asheville at Pack Square Park. Live music, food and beverage vendors (including food trucks) will be on-site from from 5-9:30 p.m. Fireworks will begin at 9:30, and can be best seen from the park, though they will be visible throughout the city. Don't miss the Ultimate Air Dogs event where dogs will compete for the longest jump at 1, 3, and 5 p.m. Bring your own blanket or chairs to watch the show.
Fireworks are not limited to Asheville, though. There are many displays in surrounding cities and locations this year. A helpful list can be found here.
Take a Dip
Still hot?? Take a dip in our pool! We keep it opened from dawn until dusk, and if you get too chilly, you can always switch to sitting around the outdoor fire pit. Better yet, warm up by the fireplace in your suite.