Need a new adventure or challenge? Among the Blue Ridge Mountains and its stunning outdoor views, adventure awaits in Asheville, N.C. From taking a hot air balloon ride to a stand up paddle tour on the French Broad River, there is an experience for every thrill seeker.
The oldest hot air balloon company in West North Carolina, this venue offers scenic rides from anywhere between 500 to 2,000 feet above the city. Sky-high views start at one-hour flights seven days a week, depending on the weather, at sunrise. You can share a flight with your significant other, which includes a complimentary bottle of champagne, or ride with a group of poeple. Riders meet at Westridge Shopping Center, and the entire process can be expected to take under three hours. $235 per person; $600 per couple. Asheville Hot Air Balloons. 909 Smoky Park Highway, Asheville. 828-667-9943, ashevillehotairballoons.com.
If zipping through trees with the wind brushing past your face and flying by trees like a bird sounds like fun, Naviat makes a fine choice. Tree-based adventures are their speciality, with three tours to choose from for zip lining — the Moody Cove Adventure, the Blue Ridge Experience and the Ultimate. Each tour has different components: varied speeds, lengths of time and a range of hiking distances to get to the zip lining mounts. Tours start at three hours long with the Moody Cove Adventure, and the Ultimate lasts up to seven hours with an included lunch break. $99 or $169 per person, per tour. Navitat Asheville. 242 Poverty Branch Road, Asheville. 828-626-3700, navitat.com.
French Broad River is the third oldest river in the world and the site of stand up paddling — or SUP — in Asheville. Wai Mauna leads four tours each day — dawn patrol early in the morning, midmorning from 9:30 a.m. to noon, midafternoon from 1:30 to 4 p.m. and a sunset session from 4:30 to 7 p.m. All sessions follow a four-mile route. Basic equipment is provided for each person: board, paddle, leash and pair of rubber booties. Tours for the summer months begin on May 21. $40 per person for self-guided tour; $75 for guided tour. Wai Mauna Asheville SUP Tour. 159 Riverside Drive, Asheville. 808-264-3005, waimaunaashevillesuptours.com.
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