While Ashville, North Carolina is famous for the Biltmore Estate and plenty of downtown art galleries, there are also other unique destinations that are worth a visit.

On your next trip to the city, make sure you take some time to explore these one-of-a-kind places.

Pisgah National Forest

Image via Flickr by Curt Fleenor Photography

In an area with such an abundance of state and national parks, it’s difficult to decide the best one to visit. However, the over 500,000 acres of the Pisgah National Forest hold some of the most breathtaking waterfalls and scenery in the area. The forest has hundreds of miles of hiking trails that go by ancient hardwood trees, white water rivers, and stunning waterfalls. Check with Hipmunk.com to find the best hotels close to Pisgah National Forest.

Ashville Zip Line Canopy Adventures

Zip lining isn’t exclusive to the rainforest anymore. The 124-acres of this adventure park is right beside the Crowne Plaza Resort Ashville. There are 11 different zip line courses for all skill levels, including KidZip. KidZip is the first course in the country specifically designed for children under 10. Since the park is just five minutes outside of downtown Ashville, you get to enjoy views of both the city skyline and the beautiful surrounding mountains.

French Broad Chocolate Factory & Tasting Room

If your sweet tooth needs a little attention, there’s no better place to turn than the French Broad Chocolate Factory & Tasting Room. Every Saturday, guests can buy tickets to tour the chocolate factory and see just what goes into making the delicious French Broad Chocolates. Guests may also sample some of the company’s most famous chocolates. Additionally, this unique Ashville destination even offers self-guided tours every afternoon.

Ashville Pinball Museum

The Ashville Pinball Museum is the perfect place to let your inner child free. Here, you pay $10 and then play any of the 35 pinball machines as much as you want! Plaques by each machine give players a detailed history of the age of the machine, and other interesting facts about it. Many of the machines have Plexiglas backs so you can watch the inner workings as you play.

Best of all, the machines are for sale, so if you find a machine you love and can’t live without, you don’t have to part with it. The Ashville Pinball Museum is in downtown Ashville, and there are plenty of cheap hotels nearby for visitors to enjoy.

Colburn Earth Science Museum

No list of hidden gems around Ashville is complete without some real gems. The Colburn Earth Science Museum has over 4,500 rock and mineral specimens from around the world. Those include more than 1,000 cut gemstones, 500 prehistoric fossils, and examples of the 350 different types of minerals found in North Carolina. There’s also an exhibit on the history of mining in the state that stretches from Native Americans to 20th-century miners.

For an extraordinary visit to Ashville that you can’t wait to tell your friends about, be sure to include these unique destinations on your itinerary.