Three Simple Steps for Travelling from Raleigh to Asheville (2024)

Seeking a way to get from Raleigh, North Carolina, to Asheville, North Carolina, without having to waste time or get lost? These are two of the most visited cities in North Carolina, drawing large numbers of visitors each month! Since Caleb and I have visited both regions and have lived in North Carolina for a considerable amount of time, we are well-versed in getting to our two favorite cities!

Whether your goals are to explore Western North Carolina, see the Biltmore Estate, indulge in Asheville’s delectable cuisine, trek the Pisgah Forest waterfalls, or just spend time in each city, you’ll need to know the easiest routes between them!

Hi there! available to you! Compared to the tiny car cruising around on Google Maps, we can offer a more relatable view! There are three ways to get from Raleigh to Asheville and the other way around. You can take the bus, drive or rent a car, or fly.

The purpose of this guide was to illustrate the costs, schedules, and logistics associated with each of these options. By the time it’s all through, you’ll be able to get from Raleigh to Asheville conveniently and affordably!

Three Simple Steps for Travelling from Raleigh to Asheville (2024)

Also Read: What is the legal drinking age in Spain?

Three Options for Getting From Raleigh to Asheville

Here’s a quick rundown of all three options, complete with a comparison chart, to save you time:

  • The most costly option is flying, which also takes longer than driving. For those who would prefer to watch a movie on an airplane while eating peanuts, this is the best option, though, as they dislike driving. If they still give these to you at all.


  • From Raleigh to Asheville, renting or driving a car is the most practical option. Although it is not the least expensive option, you can drive as fast or slowly as you like and see more.


  • The longest but least expensive alternative is to take the bus, which is an excellent choice for anybody traveling to North Carolina on a small budget.

Distance Between Raleigh and Asheville

Depending on traffic, the roughly 245-mile trip from Raleigh to Asheville, North Carolina, will take you four to five hours. The trip by bus will take about seven hours.

Option 1: Fly from Raleigh to Asheville.

Flying isn’t always the most practical way to get from one place to another when on vacation, especially when going from Raleigh to Asheville. All flights originate from Raleigh Durham International Airport (RDU); none are direct.

What Is the Cost of a Flight from Raleigh to Asheville?

For such a short flight, the Raleigh to Asheville airfare is fairly pricey. The cost for one-way travel was between $150 and $250 as of September 2023. You could end up paying more than $500 one-way if you make your reservation a week or less in advance! The price of a checked bag, which normally varies from $30 to $50, is not included in this.

How Long Does It Take To Fly From Raleigh To Asheville?

The actual flight time from Raleigh to Asheville is about two hours, depending on where you stop. Layovers are one disadvantage of flying, though. Since there are no direct flights, you’ll probably have to make a stop in Atlanta or Charlotte. These stops typically last one to three hours, adding another three to six hours to your overall travel time.

Flying isn’t the best option for this trip when you consider that you’ll need to get to the airport an hour before takeoff.

What Airlines Operate Flights From Raleigh To Asheville?

The main carrier of Raleigh-Asheville flights is American Airlines, with multiple daily departures. There might be some flights from United or Delta, but they leave much less frequently and have terrible layovers.

Option 2: Drive from Raleigh to Asheville

Like traveling from Charlotte to Asheville, it lets you stop along the way and makes moving about the city easier once you’re there. It spares you the hassle of deciphering bus timetables, navigating delayed buses, and shelling out $10 for a cup of coffee at the airport.

You are aware that this is not fiction. I might give growing coffee a try, considering how quickly the cost of coffee is increasing. (I won’t go into details, but you get the idea.)

How Long Does It Take To Get From Raleigh To Asheville?

If you drive straight through, the trip from Raleigh to Asheville will take about 4 to 5 hours, depending on traffic and whether you need to stop for gas, lavatory breaks, and other necessities.

Expert advice: To avoid traffic, depart Raleigh in the late morning or early afternoon. We traveled for over an hour longer than we had planned because of the dreaded stop-and-go traffic.

Is Driving in North Carolina Difficult?

We’ve driven on the other side of the road in many places throughout the world, such as Rome, Turkey, and Ireland, but I can honestly say that driving in North Carolina was the most unsettling. Not to be dramatic, but it appears that nobody follows the rules around here. Individuals appear to be anti-turn signals, run red lights after at least two seconds, and drive at high speeds.

It may sound strange, but when driving, always keep your senses about you.

The Most Direct Route Between Raleigh and Asheville

Taking I-40 West is the best route to drive from Raleigh to Asheville. You can get to Asheville by doing this. We advise taking this route the entire time you are on your road trip since it is the shortest and most direct. To kill time, make sure you have some prepared questions for your companion!

Best Places to Visit Between Raleigh and Asheville

Of course, you could take the direct route to Asheville if you’d like to arrive there as soon as possible. Unfortunately, you would miss out on some of North Carolina’s best cities.

Stop 1: Chapel Hill, 33 miles/35 minutes from Raleigh (depending on traffic).

Activities in Chapel Hill include:

  • Discover Franklin Avenue, the main thoroughfare in the downtown area that is home to many of the top shops, eateries, and bars. We suggest stopping by the Crunkleton for some fantastic drinks if you plan to stay the night. Franklin Street is where it’s situated.
  • Take a passionate walk through the North Carolina Botanical Garden with your significant other.


  • At the Dean E. Smith Centre, basketball games are available for viewing. A romantic steak dinner and a bottle of wine are served at Bin 54 Steak & Cellar.

The Carolina Inn is a great choice if you intend to stay overnight because of its proximity to Franklin Street.

Stop 2: Greensboro, which is around 50 miles/50 minutes from Chapel Hill and approximately 77 miles/1 hour from Raleigh, depending on traffic.

Greensboro Attractions:

  • Discover the 11-acre Gateway Gardens and the 17-acre Greensboro Arboretum. For roses and all that romantic stuff.
  • You can enjoy a beer at Pig Pounder Brewery while taking in the artwork.


  • For handcrafted beverages and Italian-style tapas, GIA is a great place to take a date.

We advise staying at the Hampton Inn & Suites Downtown if you must spend the night. It’s an affordable choice that’s close to everything in the downtown area without going over budget!

Stop 3: Winston Salem, which is around 29 miles/30 minutes from Greensboro and approximately 100 miles/2 hours from Raleigh, depending on traffic.

Things to do in Winston Salem include:

  • For the couple who enjoy beer, a trip to Foothills Brewing is a must. It’s a brewery spanning 48,000 square feet!


  • We suggest winery hopping (our personal favorite) for the wine-loving couple, as there are many excellent wineries within 20 minutes of Winston-Salem. Two of our favorites are Old Homeplace Vineyard and RayLen Vineyards. Just remember to confirm the hours before you leave, and avoid driving after drinking.


  • Go on a food tour: Taste of Carolina offers fantastic tours of Winston-Salem’s culinary scene (we went on one during our three days in Charlotte). If you have the chance, we highly suggest that you spend the afternoon there.

Select the Hampton Inn & Suites Winston-Salem Downtown if you must spend the night. For instance, Greensboro offers affordable suburban living near downtown without sacrificing convenience! There is also breakfast available.

From Raleigh to Asheville, there are rest stops.

There are always gas stations nearby, but on I-40 Westbound, there are three primary “official” rest stops. The rest areas in McDowell, Catawba, and Davie County are all nearby. Raleigh to the Davie County Rest Area takes about two hours, depending on traffic. Depending on traffic, the Catawba Rest Area can be reached from Raleigh in about 2.5 hours. It takes three to twelve hours to get to the McDowell Rest Area, depending on traffic.

How Much Does a Car Rental From Raleigh To Asheville Cost?

You may hire a car there for $40–60 a day, depending on the season, to go to Asheville. You can rent the car for a longer period if the price is cheaper. We consistently advise using Discover Vehicles to book rental cars due to their superior customer service and competitive cost.

Option 3: Bus from Raleigh to Asheville

The shortest and most expensive way to get from Raleigh to Asheville is via Greyhound bus. It is the best choice if you want to cut costs. The Bus Station is where Greyhound buses from Raleigh leave, and there are daily multiple daily direct trips. It’s important to carefully check the Greyhound website because schedules sometimes change.

How Much Does A Bus Ride From Raleigh To Asheville Cost?

Bus tickets to Asheville from Raleigh range in price from $30 to $50, depending on the time of day and season.

Bus Schedule From Raleigh To Asheville

Year-round, twice a day at 10:50 a.m. and 3:35 p.m., buses leave from the Raleigh Bus Station. But remember, things might change, so make sure you double-check!

How Long Does the Bus Ride From Raleigh To Asheville Take?

Depending on whether you take the morning or afternoon bus, the trip from Raleigh to Asheville takes six to seven hours, according to the bus timetable. This is only an estimate, so if you happen to be caught in rush hour, it could take longer.

Asheville vs. Raleigh

Despite being two of North Carolina’s largest cities, Raleigh and Asheville are very unlike from one another! These are two cities that we adore and believe you should put on your “must-see” list.

Even though they both have a “city” vibe, this one is less charmingly historic and more businesslike with higher structures. It has a tonne of fantastic eateries and pubs, and you can stroll to the downtown area. It also boasts a tonne of amazing coffee shops!

Asheville, on the other hand, is a trendy, historic mountain town known for its craft beer and laid-back vibe. It’s a charming historic town with excellent food and drink. Consider Raleigh as an example.

How Long Do You Need in Raleigh?

Together with surrounding communities like Chapel Hill, Cary, and Durham, there’s a sizable city with enough to see, do, and eat. To get the most out of your trip, we advise spending three to four days there. This allows you a couple of days to see the surrounding region and two days to explore the city.

How Long Do You Need in Asheville?

Even though Asheville appears smaller, there is still a lot to do, particularly if you enjoy being outside. Adjacent to the Pisgah National Forest are stunning lakes and hiking trails. We advise coming for at least two days. One day in the outdoors of North Carolina, after two days in Asheville.

Three Simple Steps for Travelling from Raleigh to Asheville (2024)



It’s easy to go from Raleigh to Asheville, and both cities are fantastic with romantic sights, delectable food and drink, and a wide variety of cultures! To spend as much time as possible seeing the area rather than sitting in airport lines, we highly recommend renting a car or going by bus instead of flying!

We hope that this clarifies any queries you may have regarding your journey across North Carolina!

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