Two Totally Outrageous Ways to See Asheville

"Keep Asheville Weird" is a slogan you'll often see on bumper stickers and t-shirts in the progressive counter-culture mountain city of Asheville. Contributing to what keeps Asheville weird are these two outrageous ways to get an up close and personal look at what the town has to offer.

1. Get on the LaZoom Bus.

Skip the ordinary bus or trolley tour and opt for the big purple bus known as LaZoom. You'll be in for a 90-minute overview of the city unlike any other. Actually, it's more of a comedy show on wheels. As the bus careens through city streets, wacky characters host the wild ride and merrily lead you in shout-outs to startled passersby. There are plenty of surprises along the way (like a hairy-legged nun on a bicycle). Yeah, you'll get a little historical background and see the sights on your untraditional tour, but you'll never forget the uniquely outrageous and hilarious LaZoom experience. Feel free to bring along beer or wine (not the hard stuff) to consume on the bus – it's even more fun with a buzz on. (But leave anyone under 13 at home.)

In addition to their city tours, LaZoom offers evening Haunted comedy tours (17 years and older), Band & Beer tours (local bands and a tour of some Asheville breweries; 21 years and older) and the Kids' tour (especially for the 5 to 12-year old set).

2. Pile on the Pubcycle.

So here's the deal: Imagine you're at a bar, pounding down a cold one, and suddenly the bar starts to move. No, you haven't had one too many, you're on the Amazing Pubcycle! The Pubcycle is literally a moving bar – only you help make it move by pedaling (not alone, with your buddies... or with people who are sure to become your buddies after the evening is over). This people-powered trolley (with motor-assist for hilly sections) seats one know-it-all tour guide driver and thirteen partygoers and even has a canopy to protect you from infrequent rain. What's better than drinking and exercise, all in one?

Bring your own beer or wine and some snacks (if you must) and partake of the craziest form of transportation the city has to offer. The 90-minute tour travels the downtown area and makes a few short stops to booze up, while the 45-minute tour completes the cycle without a potty break. Either way, it's a blast – as you can tell from the happy revelers who make their presence known to amazed onlookers who are often heard to exclaim, "What IS that thing?"

Both the LaZoom bus and the Pubcycle require reservations for specific times and days to be made in advance via their websites. Whether you take the LaZoom bus or hop on the Amazing Pubcycle, your tour of Asheville will be weird enough to remember long after you leave the land of the sky.

Author's bio: Barry Silverstein is a freelance writer who lives in Asheville, NC.
The Amazing Pubcycle tours Asheville