The city of Asheville is a liberal, artsy community nestled between the Blue Ridge Mountains and Great Smoky Mountains in Western North Carolina. A popular tourist destination, this "Paris of the South," has one of the most impressive, comprehensive collections of Art Deco architecture in the United States. In 2011 Asheville was picked as one of the “10 Most Beautiful Places in America” by Good Morning America.
Asheville is the county seat of Buncombe County, and is the largest city in Western North Carolina with a population of approximately 93,000 (2019) and a metro population of 425,000 (2018). Asheville was named after the ninth governor of North Carolina, Samuel Ashe.
It is the principal city in the four-county Asheville metropolitan area, with a population of about 425,000 in 2010.
It has been described variously as the "San Francisco of the East," "New Age Mecca," and "Land of the Sky." It's a city that Rolling Stone magazine dubbed "America’s New Freak Capital." Self magazine proclaimed Asheville as America’s "Happiest City."
Before the arrival of the Europeans, the area belonged to the Cherokee Nation. In 1540, Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto came to the area known as Guaxule,bringing the first European visitors along with European diseases, which seriously depleted the native population. The area was used as an open hunting ground until the middle of the 19th century.
In 1784, Colonel Samuel Davidson and his family settled in the Swannanoa Valley. Soon after, Davidson was lured into the woods by a band of Cherokee hunters and killed. Davidson's twin brother Major William Davidson formed an expedition to retrieve Samuel Davidson's body and avenge his murder. Months later, Major Davidson and other members of his extended family returned to the area and settled at the mouth of Bee Tree Creek.
The American Civil War "Battle of Asheville" was fought in early April 1865 at the present-day site of the University of North Carolina at Asheville, with Union forces withdrawing to Tennessee after encountering resistance from a small group of Confederate soldiers in prepared trench lines across the Buncombe Turnpike. In late April 1865, North Carolina Union troops captured Asheville. After a negotiated departure, the troops nevertheless returned and plundered and burned a number of Confederate supporters' homes in Asheville.
In 1880, the Western North Carolina Railroad completed its line from Salisbury to Asheville, the first rail line to reach the city. Asheville experienced a slow but steady growth as industrial plants increased in number and size, and new residents built homes. Textile mills were established and plants were set up for the manufacture of wood and mica products, foodstuffs, and other commodities.
In 1900, Asheville was the third largest city in the state, behind Wilmington and Charlotte. Asheville prospered in the decades of the 1910s and 1920s. During these years, Rutherford P. Hayes, son of President Rutherford B. Hayes, bought land to create the African-American Burton Street Community.
The Great Depression, the period of Asheville's history made famous by the novel Look Homeward, Angel, hit Asheville quite hard: eight local banks failed. Because of the explosive growth of the previous decades, the per capita debt owed by the city (through municipal bonds) was the highest in the nation. From the start of the Depression through the 1980s, economic growth in Asheville was slow. During this time of financial stagnation, most of the buildings in the downtown district remained unaltered. Therefore, Asheville has one of the most impressive, comprehensive collections of Art Deco architecture in the United States.
From the 1950s to the 1970s, urban renewal displaced much of Asheville's African-American population. Asheville's neighborhoods of Montford and Kenilworth, now mostly white, used to consist of majority-black home owners.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
Asheville has four distinct seasons: spring, summer, fall, and winter. Year-round, the average relative humidity in the morning is 90% and in the afternoon is 58%. Summers are mild and afternoon thunderstorms are common. In the fall (peaking in October), the area is very popular with "leaf lookers", people who visit Asheville and the surrounding mountains to see the area's splendid foliage. Winters are generally mild and major snow storms are rare. However, snow is common with the area averaging an inch or two of snow at a time, normally melting off in a day or two.
- 1 Asheville Regional Airport (AVL IATA). Western North Carolina's largest airport. It offers jet and commuter service on United, American, and Delta. Asheville has non-stop service from Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, New York City, Newark, Orlando and Tampa. It is 15 miles (25 km) south of downtown Asheville near the town of Fletcher. Ground transportation and major rental car companies are available at the airport terminal.
Flights into Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP IATA) in Greenville, South Carolina, Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT IATA) in Charlotte, North Carolina, or McGhee Tyson Airport (TYS IATA) in Knoxville, Tennessee, are sometimes cheaper than flying directly to Asheville. Greenville is about a 1½-hour drive, Charlotte and Knoxville are both about 2-hour drives.
Asheville is located at the junction of Interstate 26 and Interstate 40, with an I-240 connector that passes through downtown. Mountainous, curvy, and scenic sections of highway are found along the interstates in all four directions while traveling into Asheville. The Asheville area is also served by 10 US and state highways. The Blue Ridge Parkway has four primary accesses in Asheville at US 25, US 70, US 74A & NC 191. Maps are recommended as highways may have listed directions but may travel in different directions - for example, a road signed "east" may travel north/south for a significant amount of time.
- Greyhound Bus, 2 Tunnel Rd, ☏ . Daily 8AM-9PM.
A car is definitely your best bet. Street parking is metered Monday through Saturday, 8AM–6PM at $1 per hour. Street parking is free on Sundays, evenings after 6pm and official city holidays (New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas). In addition to street and garage parking, there are several surface lots throughout downtown.
There are three parking decks: Civic Center Garage, Rankin Avenue Garage, and Wall Street Garage. All are accessible 24 hours a day and are free for the first hour then $0.75 per hour thereafter. Attendants are on duty M-F 10AM–7PM.
Within the City of Asheville, fares are as follows: For the initiation (drop) of the meter - $2.50; For each one-tenth mile after initiation - $0.25; For each passenger in excess of two - $2; For each two minutes of waiting time or fraction thereof after the first two minutes - $0.40. Uber and Lyft are also available.
- Airport Limousine & Taxi Service, ☏ .
- Beaver Lake Cab Co, ☏ .
- Checker Cab, ☏ . Pick-ups in 10 minutes on average. Econo-line vans available for up to 10 passengers.
- Jolly Taxi, ☏ .
- Metro Cab, ☏ .
- New Blue Bird Taxi Co, ☏ .
- Red Cab Co, ☏ .
- Yellow Cab Co, ☏ .
- Your Cab, ☏ .
Self-guided tour routes, maps and guidebooks are available for bicycle rides on the area forest lands, on the Blue Ridge Parkway and around downtown Asheville. Tour Asheville by pedal assist electric bike with guided bike tours by Electro Bike Tours.
All buses in the Asheville Transit System are equipped with bike racks.
- Asheville Redefines Transit (ART), 49 Coxe Avenue in downtown Asheville (next to the U.S. Post Office), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M-F 6:30AM - 10PM, Sa 8AM - 10PM, closed some holidays. A city-wide transit service called ART (Asheville Redefines Transit) provides bus service throughout the City of Asheville and to the Town of Black Mountain with 18 bus routes. Service runs early morning to late evening, Monday through Saturday. Service is regular but infrequent outside of downtown; inside downtown walking is almost always faster. Routes originate from the ART Station at 49 Coxe Avenue in downtown Asheville (next to the U.S. Post Office). The ART Station provides clean restrooms, indoor and outdoor seating and an on-duty information assistant until 10PM. The assistant and website can provide you with the latest maps and schedules; help you with monthly or annual pass purchases; and answer questions that you may have. Adults $1, seniors & children/students age 6-9 $0.50, under 5 free with adult (cash only).
Asheville is nationally renowned for its unique architecture, especially downtown and around the Biltmore Estate. The city suffered greatly during the Great Depression, and consequently little development happened during the time. This actually had a positive effect, as the city's famous Art Deco Architecture of the Roaring 20s was saved from destruction. Therefore, today, Asheville boasts the nations most complete collection of Art Deco structures. Other architectural styles, of course, are present in abundance throughout the city; from the Neo-Gothic Jackson Building "Skyscraper" to the modern BB&T Tower.
- 1 Battery Park Hotel, 1 Battle Sq. A 14-story building faced with brick, limestone and terra cotta trim with a Mission Revival style roof, erected in 1924.
- 2 The Biltmore Estate, 1 Approach Rd, toll-free: . A French Renaissance-inspired chateau; with over 250 rooms, it is the largest single family home in the U.S. and the largest privately-owned house in the world, just a few minutes outside the city and should be on any visitor's itinerary. Basic admission includes access to the fabulous gardens, stables, expansive hiking trails, winery and self-guided house tour. Adults $45-60, youth price half-admission, children 9 and under are free.
- 3 Buncombe County Courthouse, 60 Court Sq. M-F 8AM-6PM. Completed in 1928, the outside features complex setbacks, window groupings and overlay of Neo-Classical Revival ornamentation. The Neo-Classical interior lobby contains a sweeping marble staircase, bronze and glass screens, a coffered ceiling with ornate plasterwork and a mosaic tile floor.
- 4 The City Building. Designed by Art Deco architect Douglas Ellington and completed in 1927, the City Building is constructed out of Georgia Pink marble, brick, and terra cotta. The steeped, octagonal shaped roof is the logo of the City of Asheville.
- 5 Drhumor Building. The Drhumor (pronounced "drummer") is a boldly detailed, Romanesque Revival style building constructed in 1895.
- 6 Grove Arcade, 1 Page Ave. M-Sa 10AM-6PM, Su noon-5PM. Commissioned by Dr. E. W. Grove, the Grove Arcade is an elaborate Tudoresque building occupying an entire city block. It is particularly worth noting, as it was, when it was built in 1927 by architect Charles N. Parker, one of the nation's most unique and interesting buildings. On each side of this city landmark, four giant arches allow entrance into the building. On the main side facing the equally impressive Victorian Battery Park Hotel, are two monumental gryphons, guarding the entrance into the expansive interior, which features oak shopfronts, spiral staircases, and opulence around every corner. Today, it serves as an influential public market with several restaurants, vendors, and mountain craft shops.
- 7 Grove Park Inn, 290 Macon Ave. Completed in 1913, this historic resort hotel is an important example of the Arts and Crafts style.
- 8 Jackson Building. Bordered by South Market Street and South Pack Square, completed in 1925. A Neo-Gothic style skyscraper complete with gargoyles and a bell tower.
- 9 Masonic Temple, 80 Broadway St. Features robust brickwork and a tall portico of paired Ionic columns. A three-story, blind arched window is on its Woodfin Street side.
- 10 S & W building, 52-58 Patton Ave. Another Art Deco masterpiece designed by architect Douglas Ellington.
- 11 Thomas Wolfe House, 48 Spruce St, ☏ . Tu-Sa 9AM-noon, Su 1-5PM. A sprawling frame Queen Anne-influenced house immortalized in the epic autobiographical novel Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolfe.
- 12 Vance Monument. Stands about 10 stories high, in the middle of Pack Square, Asheville's version of Times Square, Place de la Concorde and Piccadilly Circus. It is the heart of both downtown and the entire city.
- 13 YMI Building, at the corner of South Market and Eagle St. M-Sa 10AM-5PM. A simplified English Tudor Cottage style with pebble-dashed walls, red brick quoin trim, multi-pane windows and hipped roofs.
Churches: Please note that most churches listed below are working churches. When entering, please be respectful of any activities occurring.
- 14 Basilica of St. Lawrence, 97 Haywood St. Designed and built in 1905, the Basilica is on the National Register of Historic Places and was elevated in status to a Minor Basilica in 1993 by Pope John Paul II. Features the largest freestanding elliptical dome in North America. This place is gorgeous and a must-see.
- 15 Central United Methodist Church, 27 Church St. Erected in 1902, the imposing limestone church presents Romanesque Revival style massing and forms, but the detailing more closely reflects the Gothic Revival style. A five-bay loggia, set between two pinnacled towers, fronts the large, gable-roofed auditorium.
- 16 First Baptist Church, 5 Oak St. In Art Deco/Romantic style, Douglas Ellington's first big commission in Asheville. A beautiful distinctive dome with a copper cupola cap.
- First Presbyterian Church, 40 Church St. Commissioned in 1884, the Gothic Revival style brick nave and tower feature deep-corbelled cornices, hood-molded windows and blind arcading at the eaves.
- Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 47 Eagle St. A redbrick late Victorian Gothic church featuring a tin-shingled roof where three towers are topped by ornamental sheet-metal finials. A large number of Art Glass windows ornament the towers and walls. Built in 1919.
- 17 St. Matthias Episcopal Church, 1 Dundee St. A Gothic-style building with a gable roof nave. The brick walls are laid with a darker shade of headers presenting a horizontal texture to the building's surface on every face. The interior contains a rich display of well maintained dark woodwork fashioned in various Gothic motifs. The pulpit, lectern, altar and other furnishings are all original to the church and are decorated with trefoil arch panels, quatrefoil incisions and other Gothic elements.
- Trinity Episcopal Church, 60 Church St. Designed in 1912, the Tudor Gothic Revival style brick building with granite trim features a simple, gable-roofed sanctuary with transepts and a short corner tower.
- 16 Patton, 16 Patton Ave, ☏ . Tu-Sa 11AM-6PM, Su (May–October) 1-6PM. Original contemporary fine art by southeastern artists including paintings, sculpture, glass, ceramics and fine craft.
- American Folk Art & Framing, 64 Biltmore Ave, ☏ . M-Sa 10AM-6PM, Su noon-5PM. Contemporary Southern folk art, NC wood-fired pottery, and custom picture frames.
- Appalachian Craft Center, 10 N Spruce St, ☏ . M-Sa 10AM-5PM. Authentic mountain handicrafts including pottery, face jugs, quilts, mountain-made toys and handmade rugs.
- Ariel Gallery, 19 Biltmore Ave, ☏ . Daily 11AM-6PM. A contemporary craft cooperative featuring handmade work of local artists. Original works in clay, fiber, furniture, glass, metal, jewelry and book arts.
- Asheville Area Front Gallery, 11 Biltmore Ave, ☏ . Tu-F 10AM-5PM, Sa 11AM-3PM. Owned and operated by the Asheville Area Arts Council, provides exhibition space for established and emerging local artists.
- Asheville Gallery of Art, 16 College St, ☏ . M-Sa 10AM-5PM. A partnership of 29 professional, regional artists offering original two-dimensional works from representational to abstract.
- Asheville Glass Center and Gallery, 140 C Roberts St (River Arts District), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M-Sa 10AM-5PM. A glassblowing school and gallery with daily demonstrations and workshops.
- Bella Vista Art Gallery, 14 Lodge St (in Biltmore Village), ☏ . M-Sa 10AM-5PM. Representing local, national, and international emerging artists. Contemporary fine art.
- The Bender Gallery, 57 Haywood St, ☏ . M-Sa 10:30AM-6PM, Su noon-5PM. Premier studio glass gallery featuring a variety of glass disciplines by regional and national artists.
- 18 Black Mountain College Museum & Art Center, 56 Broadway St, ☏ . W-Sa noon-4PM. Explores the history and legacy of Black Mountain College.
- Blue Spiral 1, 38 Biltmore Ave, ☏ . M-Sa 10AM-6PM, Su (April–October) noon-5PM. Presents contemporary Southeastern fine art and crafts.
- Fine Arts League of the Carolinas, 362 Depot St, ☏ . M-F 10AM-5PM. Featuring art school students work.
- Flood Gallery, 109 Roberts St (on the second floor of the Phil Mechanic Studios building). Seeks out art that is provocative, challenging, daring, relevant, and important.
- The Haen Gallery, 52 Biltmore Ave, ☏ . M-F10AM-6PM, Sa 11AM-6PM, Su noon-5PM.
- Jewels That Dance, 63 Haywood St, ☏ . M-Sa 10:30AM-6PM and Su in December 1-5PM. Premier jewelry gallery and working studio. Featuring contemporary and classic fine jewelry.
- Kress Emporium, 19 Patton Ave, ☏ . M-Th 11AM-6PM, F Sa 11AM-7PM, and Su in season noon-5PM. Featuring more than 100 distinguished artists and craftspeople, all showcased in the historic Kress Building.
- K2 Studio, 59 College St, ☏ . M-Sa 11AM-6PM, Su noon-5PM. The Kress Emporium's sister gallery.
- Merrimon Galleries, 365 Merrimon Ave, ☏ . Classic and contemporary oils, photography and sculpture.
- Mountain Made, 1 Page Ave (in the Grove Arcade, Suite 123), ☏ . M-Sa 10AM-6PM, Su noon-5PM. Featuring the work of over 80 Western North Carolina artisans.
- Odyssey Gallery, 238 Clingman Ave, ☏ . F 10AM-4PM. Functional and sculptural work by national ceramic artists.
- Overstrom Studio, 35 Wall St, ☏ . Tu-Sa 10AM-6PM, Su noon-4PM. The working studio, gallery, and loft of internationally recognized jewelry designers Michael Overstrom and Susan Overstrom.
- [dead link] Pura Vida, 39 Biltmore Ave, ☏ . Offers a strong blend of local and regional artists.
- Red Square Gallery of Russian Art & Culture, 7 Rankin Ave, ☏ . Tu-Sa 11AM-7PM. Work by Russian artists.
- [dead link] Satellite Gallery, 55 Broadway St, ☏ . Tu-Su 11AM-6PM. Contemporary artists with roots in urban and pop counter cultures.
- Studio Chavarria, 84 Walnut St, ☏ . Tu-Sa 9AM-6PM. An exclusive members-only salon and fine art gallery.
- Vadim Bora Gallery & Studio, 30 1/2 Battery Park Ave, ☏ . Tu-Sa 11AM-6PM. European salon style gallery features works from international artists hand-picked by painter, sculptor, and owner Vadim Bora.
- Woolworth Walk, 25 Haywood St, ☏ . M-Th 11AM–6PM, F Sa 11AM-8PM, Su 11AM–5PM. More than 150 exhibiting artists and artisans selling and making jewelry, fine art, decorative art and crafts in nearly 20,000 square feet of air-conditioned, quality display and studio space.
- [dead link] YMI Cultural Center, 39 S Market St, ☏ . Tu-F 10AM-5PM. Houses numerous exhibits, many dealing with the history of African Americans in Western North Carolina.
- 19 Asheville Art Museum, 2 S Pack Sq, ☏ . Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su 1-5PM. A collection of the very best of 20th and 21st century American art. Adults $8, students/seniors $7, Children under 5 are free.
- 20 The Smith-McDowell House Museum, 283 Victoria Rd, ☏ . Th-Sa 10AM-4PM, Su noon-4PM. Asheville’s first mansion and oldest surviving structure. Adult $7, child $3, children under 5 are free.
- 21 WNC Nature Center, 75 Gashes Creek Rd, ☏ . Daily 10AM-5PM. A living museum exhibiting plants and animals that are native to the Southern Appalachians. Adults $10.95, seniors $9.95, youth $6.95.
- Asheville Glass Center, 140 C Roberts St. (River Arts District), ☏ . M-Sa 10AM-5PM and by appointment. A glassblowing school, working glass studio, and glass gallery with demos and workshops daily.
- Asheville Brews Cruise, ☏ . A personalized tour and VIP treatment at three of Asheville's finest local microbreweries -- Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company, French Broad Brewing Company, and Highland Brewing Company. $40 per person.
- Autorickshaw Tours, 235 Montford Ave, ☏ . Tours last approximately one hour and run 10:30AM-4PM by reservation on weekends. A historic/architectural tour of Montford including Riverside Cemetery. The autorickshaw holds two per tour. $35 for two people.
- Eating Asheville Tours, 1 Page Avenue, #101, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Eating Asheville’s walking food tour leads you through an orchestration of the finest and most delicious sights and tastes that the city has to offer. Join us for a tour of the city’s unique food culture. Inquire about our walking brewery tours of downtown Asheville! $47 per person.
- Electro Bike Tours, 24 College Street, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Pedal with ease to the Basilica of St. Lawrence, Botanical Gardens, Grove Park Inn, Pack Square, and more on this guided two hour electric bike tour of Asheville. Also, check out the Bike n Brew Ride! $45 per person.
- Ghost Hunters of Asheville, ☏ . Ghost Hunters of Asheville offer three separate 90-minute ghost tours covering different aspects of historical, haunted Asheville. Guests enjoy free use of ghost-hunting tools and paranormal photographs are guaranteed. Adults $17, children age 8-14 $9, under age 8 free.
- Herstory Asheville: A Tour that Tells the Rest of the Story, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Come hear tales of the famous, the infamous, and the unsung heroes of the female persuasion in engaging detail. This 90-minute walking tour covers the history of downtown while spotlighting the women who helped shape Asheville. Tours leave daily from The Old Kentucky Home, Julia Wolfe's former boarding house at Thomas Wolfe Memorial. Reservations required. Adults $18, children $10.
- Historic Trolley Tours, toll-free: . Sightsee Asheville aboard a vintage Trolley. Fully narrated, covers all major points of interest in Asheville including: the Grove Park Inn, Biltmore Village, the Grove Arcade, the Montford Historic District, the downtown shopping and restaurants district, the Thomas Wolfe Memorial, the Asheville Museum and Art Gallery district, the Asheville Chamber and Visitors Center. Adults $19, children $12, special group rates available.
- LaZoom Comedy Tours, 90 Biltmore Ave (departs from the French Broad food Co-op across the street from the Orange Peel), ☏ . LaZoom Comedy Tours is "A Tour with a Twist!" You'll get all of the facts plus loads of fun. Your costumed tour guide will take you and your family on a 90 minute adventure covering all of the points of interest. This isn't your grandma's tour (but she can still come). Adults $25, seniors $21, young adults $15, children $12.
- Urban Trail. A self-guided walking tour in downtown Asheville, tracing the footsteps of Asheville’s historic past. Twenty-seven "stations" are highlighted in this continuous 1.6-mile loop, from churches and buildings to streets and landmarks. Guided tours are available April through November on Saturdays at 3PM. Tours leave from the front desk inside Pack Place. Headsets and maps are available for self-guided tours. $5.
- Montford Holiday Tour of Homes. A yearly tour of holiday decorated homes in Asheville's oldest historic neighborhood on the second Saturday of December. Enjoy Shakespearean actors and homemade baked goods during the tour. Located down the street from Asheville Visitors Center. $20.
- Lake Eden Arts Festival (LEAF). Twice each year, multicultural music and arts non-profit event held at scenic Camp Rockmont, in nearby Black Mountain.
- Asheville FringeArts Festival. Held annually at the end of January.
- [dead link] Asheville Herb Festival, WNC Farmer's Market. The largest herb festival in Southeast, offering herb plants, herbs, books, soaps, herbal crafts, vinegars, medicinal herbs, lotions, tinctures, teas, dried flowers, herbal baked goods, and herbal gifts. Held each May. Free.
- Mountain Sports Festival. Pro and amateur athletes compete in mountain sports. Live music, food, and demos. Held each May.
- Downtown After Five, North Lexington Ave at I-240 and Hiawassee. 5PM-9PM. Held the third Friday of each month from May through September, featuring free outdoor local music and plenty of shopping and eating opportunities. Free.
- Montford Music And Arts Festival. 10AM-7PM. The largest one-day free music and arts festival in WNC with two stages on Montford and Soco Streets in Historic Montford Neighborhood down from Asheville Visitors Center. On street parking, bicycle corral and Yurt, handicap accessible. Held on the 3rd Saturday of each May. Free.
- Shindig on the Green, Martin Luther King Jr. Park. 7-10PM. Music and dance traditions of Southern Appalachia. Held from the end of June through the beginning of September. Free.
- Mountain Dance and Folk Festival, Diana Wortham Theatre. Mountain fiddlers, banjo pickers, dulcimer sweepers, and dancers. Held the first weekend in August. $20/night adults, $10/night children, 3-night package $54.
- Goombay! Festival. An African-Caribbean style festival. Held each August.
- Organicfest, Battery Park Avenue and Otis Street (by the Grove Arcade). 10AM-6PM. A festive day of live music, organic food and drink, organic and green goods, and fun activities for kids of all ages.
- Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Festival, Lexington Avenue. A unique all local music and arts event held each September.
- Great Smokies Craft Brewers Brewgrass Festival, Martin Luther King Jr ballfield. noon-7PM. Over 30 American breweries showcase more than 100 different beers, along with music from national and regional bluegrass musicians. Held each September. $40.
- Moogfest. Electronic music festival honoring the late innovator Bob Moog, inventor of the Moog synthesizer. Held on Halloween weekend. $150-200.
- Blue Ridge Pride. A forum for building community and to honor the many facets of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender family.
- Asheville Film Festival. Held annually each November.
- Asheville Civic Center, 87 Haywood St, ☏ . The arena has a capacity of 7,654.
- Grey Eagle Tavern & Music Hall, 185 Clingman Ave, ☏ . Has a capacity 550.
- The Orange Peel, 101 Biltmore Ave, ☏ . Box office open W-Sa noon-5:30PM. Standing capacity of 942, shows local and nationally touring acts. In 2008, Rolling Stone magazine named the Peel one of the top five rock clubs in America.
- The Emerald Lounge, 112 N Lexington Ave. A hot spot for live music and dancing.
- Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, 87 Haywood St (at the Civic Center). Has a capacity of 2,431.
- Tressa's Jazz & Blues, 28 Broadway St, ☏ .
- Asheville Community Theatre. A volunteer-driven community theatre.
- Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre. Western North Carolina's first modern dance company. A diverse repertory reflects both traditional and experimental forms of modern dance.
- Asheville Lyric Opera. Productions of opera, operetta, and musicals, performed in the company’s home, the Diana Wortham Theatre.
- Asheville Symphony. Presents seven full orchestra concerts a year at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium in the Asheville Civic Center.
- Diane Wortham Theatre. Located within the Pack Place Education Arts and Science Center on Pack Square, the theatre offers live performances of music, theatre and dance by nationally touring artists and professional regional arts groups.
- Montford Park Players. Free Shakespeare and other classic plays held at the Hazel Robinson Amphitheatre in Montford.
- North Carolina Stage Company, Stage Lane (across from Zambra Restaurant off of Walnut Street), ☏ . Asheville's only professional theatre. Voted Best Local Theatre by readers of Mountain Xpress for four years running. Winner George A. Parides Award for Outstanding Professional Theatre, North Carolina Theatre Conference. NC Stage Company has something either in rehearsal or performance 49 out of 52 weeks.
- Blue Ridge Parkway, ☏ . Some of the most beautiful (and abundant) waterfalls can be reached via the Blue Ridge Parkway. Park your car on any Parkway overlook and there will most likely be a trail nearby. Popular spots include Mount Pisgah (15 miles south on the Parkway), Graveyard Fields (25 miles south on the Parkway), Craggy Gardens (24 miles north on the Parkway), and Mount Mitchell, the eastern United States highest mountain (35 miles/1 hour drive north on the Parkway). The Parkway intersects Asheville at US 25, US 70, US 74A & NC 191.
- Botanical Gardens at Asheville. Open from dawn to dusk. A half-mile loop across streams, through meadows, and over a woodland ridge to a wildflower cove with an authentic log cabin. Just three miles north of downtown beside the University of North Carolina at Asheville. Free.
- North Carolina Arboretum, 100 Frederick Law Olmsted Wy, ☏ . April to October: 8AM-9PM, November to March: 8AM-7PM. A 434-acre facility with a Visitor Education Center, state-of-the-art greenhouses, beautiful gardens, and walking trails. Parking is $8 per personal motor vehicle.
- Pisgah National Forest, ☏ . Much of Western North Carolina is covered by national forest, making it a hiker’s paradise. For maps or information on great places to hike, call the National Forest Service.
- Climbmax, 43 Wall St, ☏ . Tu-F noon-10PM, Sa 10AM-10PM, Su noon-6PM. An indoor rock climbing gym in downtown Asheville. Bouldering $9, rope climbing $12.50, staff belay $19.50.
- Asheville Drifters Fly Fishing Adventures, ☏ . $175-375.
- French Broad Rafting Expeditions, toll-free: . March - October. Adults $30-45, youth $25-39.
- [dead link] Rock 'n' Water Adventure Outpost, ☏ . Offers whitewater rafting, guided “back country” waded fly fishing, mountain biking, hiking, and horseback riding.
- Southern Waterways, ☏ . Adults $30-64, youth $20-44.
- Lake Julian, off of Long Shoals Road in South Asheville, ☏ . Paddleboat and canoe rentals $5/hour, fishing boats $7.50/four hours, kayaking programs $5/half hour, $10/hour, $15/two hours, windsurfing lessons available by appointment only.
- Baird Cove Trail Rides, 300 Baird Cove Rd, ☏ . Daily noon-6PM. Riding and equestrian center. Trail rides & lessons. Call to make an appointment to come ride. Only 10 minutes north of downtown Asheville. $25 for a one hour guided trail ride.
- Biltmore Estate Equestrian Center, ☏ . Lessons, guided trail rides, shows, clinics, and camps. Must pay entrance fee to Biltmore estate.
- Food Lion Skate Park, corner of Flint and Cherry Streets, ☏ . M-F noon-dark, Sa 10AM-dark, Su 1PM-dark. An outdoor skateboarding park in downtown Asheville. Weekdays $2 for city residents, $4 for non-residents. Weekend/Holiday $3 for city residents, $5 for non-residents.
- The Asheville Tourists, 30 Buchanan Pl (McCormick Field). Come support Asheville's own minor league baseball team! The Tourists offer a full season running from May through early September, and every Thursday is 'Thirsty Thursday' where a cup of draft beer is only $1. Adults $7; children, seniors & military $6.
- The Asheville Grizzlies, 30 Buchanan Pl (Memorial Stadium). A professional minor league men's football team.
- The Blue Ridge Rollergirls, 1301 Fanning Bridge Rd (WNC Agriculture Center), ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Women's flat-track roller derby league. $10 before the game, $12 day of. Kids 12 and under are free.
- Asheville Community Yoga, 8 Brookdale Road. All sorts of yoga by various local teachers. Free.
- Asheville Yoga Center, 239 S Liberty St. Offering all styles of Hatha yoga. Drop in rate is $11 for 1 hour classes, $14 for 1.5 hour classes.
- Namaste Yoga Sanctuary, 57 Broadway St. Drop-in rate is $15.
- Inspired Change Yoga, 2 Town Square Blvd, Suite 180. Drop-in rate is $15.
- West Asheville Yoga, 602 Haywood Rd. 1-hour classes are $6-11, 1½-hour classes are $9-14.
Asheville does not necessarily have a specific commercial district but rather it resembles a long line, curving through the mountains. Beginning directly north of downtown, Merrimon Avenue has many low density restaurants and small shopping strip malls. It is the typical American shopping street and many locals consider it “The Strip.” As you move south towards the city-center, Merrimon Avenue changes names to Broadway, then Biltmore Avenue after it intersects with Patton Avenue at Pack Square, home to the Vance Monument, located directly in front of City-County Plaza.
Surrounding this area, Downtown, you will find many boutiques, cafes, museums, and interesting historical buildings. At the eastern end of downtown, The Beaucatcher Tunnel is carved directly into Sunset Mountain. The street leading out of downtown and into the mountain goes into the edifice as College Street and comes out as Asheville’s most celebrated shopping street, Tunnel Road.
Tunnel Road is very commercial and hosts mostly large corporate chains. Construction has boomed along this stretch, and reaching towards the skies above the restaurants and stores you will see some brand new hotels. Finally, Tunnel Road transitions into South Tunnel Road, which is home to the city’s main mall and smaller chain shopping centers. This area of town is not at all touristy, and prices are average and intended for locals.
At the end of South Tunnel Road there is a vast shopping center that extends across the Swannanoa River and up over the mountain, eventually overlooking the Industrial district, containing a relatively new and quite controversial shopping complex along the river, having the city’s Super Walmart as its flagstore. It was built upon the rubble of the abandoned Sayles-Biltmore Bleachery, which used to bleach paper for the US Treasury's currency manufacture.
From Pack Square going south (away from I 240), Biltmore Ave continues down past Biltmore Village and into South Asheville and Arden, with many chain stores and strip malls, from which one can access via NC 146 Long Shoals Rd, Biltmore Park an exurb with high end shopping around a reproduced downtown square.
Downtown Asheville is full of neat and quirky shops and prides itself on the lack of corporate chain stores. Spend some time exploring downtown (it's very walkable) and see what you can find. Here are some highlights:
- The Grove Arcade. A newly-restored and exquisite building built by E.W. Grove, who also designed the Grove Park Inn in the 1920s. It is filled with specialty food markets, restaurants, and local mountain craft stores.
- Malaprop's Bookstore & Cafe, 55 Haywood St. An independent bookstore with a good selection and an open mind. Great staff recommendations. Grab a book or bring your own and relax in the cafe with coffee and a pastry or bagel.
- French Broad Chocolate Lounge, 10 South Lexington Ave, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. An artisan, local chocolate shop owned and operated by Dan and Jael Rattigan, dedicated to using organic ingredients and buying fairly traded goods.
- The Chocolate Fetish, 36 Haywood St. A European-style chocolatier with some of the best truffles to be found anywhere. Although it's easy to spend a lot of money here, the pricing is quite reasonable given the quality and size of the chocolates.
- Mast General Store, 15 Biltmore Ave. Has an old-fashioned to modern day assortment of products. Old-time candy in barrels to hiking and camping equipment and apparel.
- Lexington Avenue is one of Asheville's hippest streets. For your music needs visit Static Age Records, specializing in vinyl, punk rock and heavy metal. Instant Karma and the Octopus Garden specialize in smoking accessories along with a wide variety of other products. Hip Replacements has some great vintage clothing, while up the block Spiritex offers a wide variety of sustainably produced clothing. Buy a used book or read the newspaper or a magazine at Downtown Books and News. Get a tattoo at Liquid Dragon, and stop by one of the many restaurants on Lexington for a quick bite. On the next block up is the Chevron Trading Post for all of your beading needs, and Tops for Shoes, the biggest shoe store in Asheville. While many wonderful stores and hot spots along this street are facing increasing pressure from landlords who want to "gentrify" the area, Lexington is still the best place to get a taste of Asheville's counterculture.
Biltmore Village Just South of Asheville's downtown, and right outside the gates of the Biltmore Estate is the quaint village built around the 1890s called Biltmore Village. It is easily accessed from I-40 (Exit 50). A number of small independently owned retail stores which have carved out specialty niches can be found intermingled with restaurants beneath the shade of the tree-lined streets. You'll find national specialty stores and a boutique notel have begun construction there. Of particular note are:
- New Morning Gallery. Probably the best collection of regional Arts and Crafts in Western North Carolina. The gallery features ceramics, glass, jewelry and furniture from local Appalachian artisans. It is in front of Bella Vista Art Gallery.
River Arts District Wrapped along the river, and visible from the bridge over the French Broad River (i.e. from I-240 or Patton Ave.) is an enclave of Art Studios, Galleries, and restaurants that is still not quite user-friendly but accessible to the adventurous. Some worthy points of interest are:
- Asheville Glass Center and Gallery. Glassblowing instruction and studio rentals and a glass gallery representing some of the regions finest glass artists.
- [dead link] The Phil Mechanic Building. Cutting-edge galleries, artists and a bio-diesel plant can be found if you wander around inside the old building. Jolene Mechanic, the owner, is a great resource for getting to know the area.
- 240 Clingman. This used to be warehouse. Right after the Katrina Hurricane it was turned into a gallery by the owners of Bella Vista Art Gallery. After they left, Jonas Gerard, from Miami, took over the space. He was featured on 20/20 and has some eye-popping art on display, and for sale.
- Hofman Studios (The Wedge), 111 Roberts St, ☏ . Filled with little art galleries, artists, a brewery, fine porcelain and mechanical dinosaurs is interesting but not for the timid.
Head away from downtown and visit the WNC Farmer's Market for a huge selection of locally grown and produced crops 'n' crafts. You could spend hours and still not see everything.
Asheville is well known for its delicious vegetarian restaurants. Vegetarian and vegan residents from other parts of North Carolina and even neighboring states sometimes drive over to enjoy them.
- Heiwa Shokudo, 87 N Lexington Ave, ☏ . M-Th 11:30AM-2:30PM & 5:30-9:30PM, Sa noon-3PM & 5:30-9:30PM. Traditional Japanese and sushi. $8-15.
- Mela, 70 N Lexington Ave, ☏ . Daily 11:30AM-2:30PM, 5:30-9:30PM. Authentic Indian food in a beautiful and exotic atmosphere. Full bar available. $9-17.
- Wasabi, 19 Broadway St, ☏ . Japanese restaurant and sushi bar. $8-26.
- The Market Place, 20 Wall St, ☏ . M-Sa 5:30-10PM. Innovative "farm to table" cuisine. $4-24.
- Table, 48 College St, ☏ . Closed Tuesdays. New-American cuisine with a daily written menu.
- Limones, 13 Eagle St, ☏ . Daily 5-10PM. Upscale fresh Mexican-Californian cuisine. Reservations recommended. $14-26.
- Mamacitas, 77A Biltmore Ave, ☏ . Fresh, made from scratch Mexican cuisine. $3-8.
- Salsa, 6 Patton Ave, ☏ . M-F 11:30AM-2:30PM, M-Th 5:30-9:30PM, Sa Su 12:30-3PM, F Sa 5:30-10PM. Mexican-Caribbean food.
- Bouchon, 62 N Lexington Ave, ☏ . M-Sa 5PM-. French comfort food of the Lyon area of France and wine bar. $10-20.
- Cucina 24, 24 Wall St, ☏ . Closed Mondays. Traditional Italian. Reservations recommended. Lunch $7-11, dinner $15-27.
- Zambra, 85 W Walnut St, ☏ . Tapas and Spanish cuisine in a very romantic atmosphere. $6-20.
- Early Girl Eatery, 8 Wall St, ☏ . M-F 7:30AM-3PM, Tu-Th 5-9PM, F Sa 5-10PM, Su 9AM-3PM. Made-from-scratch Southern regional cuisine using local organic produce and free-range meats. $4-15.
- Tupelo Honey Cafe, 12 College St, ☏ . Tu-Su 9AM-3PM, Tu-Th 5:30P-10PM, F Sa until midnight. Check this out for some delicious New Southern cuisine. $7-13.
- Chop House, 22 Woodfin St (adjacent to the Four Points by Sheraton), ☏ . 6:30AM–11AM, 5–10PM. Signature steakhouse.
- Laughing Seed, 40 Wall St, ☏ . M, W-Th 11:30AM-9PM, F Sa 11:30AM-10PM, Su 10AM-9PM. A vegetarian/vegan restaurant with a variety of international-inspired unique dishes. Jungle-themed elegant indoor dining or great outdoor dining on Wall Street, the heart of downtown. The bar Jack of the Wood is downstairs. $8-16.
- Rosetta's Kitchen, 116 N Lexington Ave, ☏ . Vegetarian/vegan (mostly organic) food in a very unique atmosphere. It's open until 3AM on most nights, and you're sure to find an assortment of interesting characters no matter the time of day. $8-12.
- Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company, 675 Merrimon Ave, ☏ . Known to locals as the APBC or Brew n' View, is a good place to relax with a beer, pizza (available by the slice), and watch a movie for $3. $5-17.
- Marcos Pizzeria, 946 Merrimon Ave. New York style pizza. $7-13.
- The Hop, 640 Merrimon Ave, ☏ . Serves acclaimed ice cream (vegan selections available) made on-site.
- Vinnie's Neighborhood Italian, 641 Merrimon Ave, ☏ .
- The Admiral, 400 Haywood Rd, ☏ . Daily 5PM-2AM (lunch 2-5PM, dinner 5-10PM). Menu changes daily. $16-28.
- Sunny Point Cafe & Bakery, 626 Haywood Rd, ☏ . Su-M 8:30AM-2:30PM, Tu-Sa 8:30AM-9:30PM. A great brunch spot. $7-10.
- Rocky's Hot Chicken Shack, 1455 Patton Ave, ☏ . Tu-Th 11AM-9PM, F Sa 11AM-10PM. Delicious fried chicken as hot as you want it. $7-12.
- Firestorm Cafe, 610 Haywood Street, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Employee-owned cafe with all vegan menu offering wraps, handmade pastries, and more exotic options. Unusual selection of progressive books, anarchist pamphlets, and free internet. Firestorms hosts community events and concerts on a regular basis. $2-8.
- 12 Bones, 5 Riverside Dr. M-F 11AM-4PM (closed in Jan). Winner of ABC’s Good Morning America “Best Bites Challenge” contest for its blueberry chipotle ribs. Get in line early! $4-18.
- Fig, 18 Brook St, ☏ . M-Sa 11AM-3PM, 5:30PM-9PM (until 10PM F Sa), Su 10:30AM-3PM. Reservations recommended.
- Rezaz Mediterranean Cuisine, 28 Hendersonville Rd, ☏ . M-Sa 11:30AM-2PM, M-F 5:30PM-late, Sa 5PM-late, Su 5:30PM-late. A must-try, specializes in Mediterranean and Italian items, along with tapas and wines. Lunch $6-12, Dinner $6-23.
Liquor is available by the drink in Asheville, but if you want to buy liquor by the bottle you must do it at state-run ABC (Alcoholic Beverage Commission) stores rather than at a traditional liquor store. These stores have limited exterior decorations so they can be difficult to find. If you plan to explore nearby counties keep in mind Madison County (to the north) and Yancey County (to the northwest) are "dry counties" and prohibit all alcoholic beverage sales. Open containers of alcohol are never permitted on the street; if you order a beverage you must finish it before leaving the restaurant or bar. Beer and wine are available for purchase at most markets, grocery stores and gas stations. The alcohol laws of the state prohibit the sale of alcohol after 2AM Monday through Saturday, and from 2AM until noon on Sundays. Pick up a copy or check the website of the local alternative newsweekly Mountain Xpress for an up-to-date, detailed guide for what is going on at each bar and club for the night.
- Asheville Brewing Company, 77 Coxe Ave. A brewpub with their own locally-brewed beers on tap and a full liquor bar, piles of board games, and a large outdoor covered patio with giant movie screen.
- Barley's Taproom, 42 Biltmore Ave, ☏ . A popular destination with an expansive variety of beers, local, regional, and continental. 52 beers on tap. Small stage with live music 3-4 nights a week, no cover charge. Upstairs Billiard Room with four tables available by the hour.
- Bier Garden, 46 Haywood St, ☏ . Daily 11AM-2AM. Over 200 beers from around the world and a full liquor bar. For the sports fans, they have 16 televisions including a 15-foot screen.
- Cinjades, 22 N Market St. A popular dance club playing the best of 1980s, 90s, and today.
- Club Hairspray, 38 N French Broad Ave. Daily. A gay/lesbian dancebar.
- Club Nashwa, 64 Carter St. A two level club playing Top 40 hits until 3AM on the weekends and live music during the week.
- Green Man Brewing & Tasting Room, 23 Buxton Ave, ☏ . M-F 5-10PM.
- The Hookah Bar, 38 N French Broad Ave, ☏ . Daily 6PM-2AM. Hookah bar with live music and bellydancing.
- Jack of the Wood, 95 Patton Ave. M-Sa 11:30AM-2AM, Su 3PM-close. Serves its own locally-brewed Green Man Ales on tap and a limited selection of bottled beers.
- Sazerac, 25 Broadway, ☏ . Daily 11AM-2AM. Classic Cocktails, Sumptuous Small Plates and Rooftop Revelry.
- Scandals, 11 Grove St. Th-Su 10PM-3AM. A huge gay-oriented nightclub with 3 dance floors and 4 bars.
- Scully’s Signature Dine and Drink, 13 Walnut St, ☏ . Serves pub fare and a good selection of beers. College crowds.
- Thirsty Monk, 92 Patton Ave, ☏ . M-Th 4PM-midnight, F 4PM-2AM, Sa 1PM-2AM, Su 3PM-11PM. Pub specializing in Belgian beers.
- Rankin Vault Cocktail Lounge, 7 Rankin Ave. Daily 3PM-2AM.
- World Coffee Cafe, 18 Battery Park Ave, ☏ . Three rooftop balconies where you can watch the sun set. Drink coffee.
- Yacht Club, 87 Patton Ave, ☏ . Daily 11:30AM-2AM. Tiki bar/restaurant serving lunch, dinner and a late night menu. Check out their specialty cocktails, particularly the 'Pain Killer', it's served on fire.
- Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company, 675 Merrimon Ave. Locally brewed beer at $3.75 a pint.
- French Broad Brewery Tasting Room, 101 Fairview Rd, ☏ . Until 8PM. Offers tastings, tours and live music five nights a week in a relaxed, intimate setting.
- Root Bar, 1410 Tunnel Rd, ☏ . Home of the original sport of rootball (a cross between horseshoes and bocce)! Beer only. $3-4.
- Westville Pub, 777 Haywood Rd. Daily 10:30AM-2AM. Family-oriented bar with pub grub and live music.
Bed and breakfasts
Asheville is rightfully well known for its many Bed and Breakfasts
Montford Historic District:
- 1899 Wright Inn & Carriage House, 235 Pearson Dr, toll-free: . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. Queen Ann style home, built in 1899 and authentically restored. It has ten rooms, a large three-bedroom carriage house, beautiful gardens and a much-photographed front porch. $115-360.
- Abbington Green Bed & Breakfast Inn, 46 & 48 Cumberland Ci, ☏ . Check-in: 4-7PM, check-out: 11AM. An English-themed Colonial Revival home, a half-mile walk to downtown. Five rooms and three suites. $150-395.
- AppleWood Manor Inn, 62 Cumberland Ci, ☏ . Check-in: 3-7PM, check-out: 11AM. Built in 1912. Four rooms plus a suite and a cottage. $145-230.
- Asheville Seasons Bed & Breakfast, 43 Watauga St, ☏ . Check-in: 4-7PM, check-out: 11AM. Beautifully restored historic home, all rooms with private baths and most with working fireplaces. Your hosts will offer you wine or beer upon your arrival and in the morning will cook you a wonderful breakfast, served with organic coffee. A half-mile walk to downtown. $109-214.
- Black Walnut Bed & Breakfast Inn, 288 Montford Ave, toll-free: . Check-in: 3-6PM, check-out: 11AM. Six rooms and a carriage house. $180-325.
- Carolina Bed & Breakfast, 177 Cumberland Ave, toll-free: . Check-in: 4-7PM, check-out: 11AM. Beautifully maintained and decorated Arts & Crafts Home with 6 bedrooms and one cottage. Beautiful gardens, 1/2 mile from the center of Downtown Asheville. $135-220.
- 1 At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn, 254 Cumberland Ave (Three miles from the Biltmore Estate; Exit 4-C off I-240), ☏ , toll-free: . Check-in: 3-5PM, check-out: 11AM. A turn of the century home on the Register of Historic Places. Great amenities including fireplaces, in-room spa, off street parking, and free Wi-Fi.Five rooms and a Mini Suite. $125-260.
- The Lion and the Rose Bed & Breakfast Inn, 276 Montford Ave, toll-free: . Check-in: 3-7PM, check-out: 11AM. Georgian mansion. Five rooms. $140-225.
- Pinecrest Bed & Breakfast, 249 Cumberland Ave (One mile from downtown), toll-free: . Check-in: 3-6PM, check-out: 11AM. A 1905 English Tudor style home. Five rooms. $105-195.
Chestnut Hill Historic District:
- Beaufort House Victorian Inn, 61 N Liberty St (Half a mile from downtown), ☏ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. An historic Queen Anne Victorian built in 1894. Once the residence of Charlton Heston. Eleven rooms. Vegetarian & vegan friendly. $175-335.
- Chestnut Street Inn, 176 E Chestnut St (A quarter-mile from downtown), toll-free: . Check-in: 3-6PM, check-out: 11AM. A grand Colonial Revival home with eight rooms. $144-249.
- Princess Anne Hotel, 301 E Chestnut St, ☏ . Check-in: 3-9PM, check-out: noon. Very comfortable. Most suites include small kitchen. Sixteen rooms. Available for longer stays. $129-250.
- 2 1889 WhiteGate Inn & Cottage, 173 E Chestnut St (Downtown), ☏ , toll-free: , ✉ email@example.com. Check-in: 3-6PM, check-out: 11AM. Bed and breakfast. Pet friendly rooms available. $169-419.
- A Hill House Bed & Breakfast Inn, 120 Hillside St, ☏ . Check-in: 4-7PM, check-out: 11AM. Eight rooms and a cottage. $120-230.
- Aberdeen Inn, 64 Linden Ave (In the Grove Park neighborhood of North Asheville), ☏ . Check-in: 3-6PM, check-out: 11AM. Six rooms.
- Asheville Green Cottage, 25 Saint Dunstans Ci (a half-mile from the Biltmore Estate), ☏ , , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. True to its name, the cottage is very green, surrounded by a clean beautiful garden. Dog friendly.
- Blake House Inn, 150 Royal Pines Dr (Nine miles south of downtown), toll-free: . Check-in: 3-6PM, check-out: 11AM. An 1847 example of Italianate architecture with Gothic Revival influence. Five rooms and one suite. $100-185.
- Cedar Crest Victorian Inn, 674 Biltmore Ave (One and a half miles from downtown Asheville), ☏ . Check-in: 3-9PM, check-out: 11AM. Built in 1891, Queen Anne architecture. Ten rooms and two cottage rooms. $145-300.
- Corner Oak Manor, 53 Saint Dunstans Rd (a half-mile from the Biltmore Estate), ☏ . Check-in: 4-8PM, check-out: 11AM. A 1920 English Tudor. Three rooms and a cottage. $135-150.
- North Lodge on Oakland, 84 Oakland Rd (One mile from downtown and a five minute drive to the Biltmore Estate), ☏ . Check-in: 4-7PM, check-out: 11AM. Six rooms. $135-180.
- Oakland Cottage B&B, 74 Oakland Rd (Exit #50 off I-40, stay on Biltmore Avenue for 1.5 miles, left on Victoria Road for 1/2 mile right on Oakland Road, 200 yards on right), toll-free: . Check-in: 4PM, check-out: 11AM. Bed and Breakfast, Circa 1910, 1.5 miles north of the Biltmore Estate, Biltmore Village and 2 miles south of Pack Square. Spacious, family friendly two-room suites with a bit more space than your average B&B room. Cyclists welcome. Wireless internet access, complimentary on-site laundry facilities, on-site massage available, full breakfast each morning. $80-150.
- Sourwood Inn, "810 Elk Mountain Scenic Hwy, ☏ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. B&B north of downtown Asheville and only two miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway. $155-205.
- Sweet Biscuit Inn, 77 Kenilworth Rd, ☏ . A 1915 Colonial Revival home in the Kenilworth neighborhood. Four rooms plus a suite and a carriage house. $125-255.
- Inn on Main Street, 88 S Main St (I-26 West from downtown Asheville to Exit 19B to Main Street. Right on Main to the corner of Main and East.), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. An eco-friendly Victorian B&B 10 minutes north of downtown Asheville in Weaverville. $125-165.
- The Albemarle Inn, 86 Edgemont Road (In the Grove Park neighborhood), ☏ . Check-in: 3-7PM, check-out: 11AM. Elegant 1907 Greek Revival mansion. This AAA four-diamond inn features exceptionally spacious guest rooms with period furnishings, fluffy robes, flat screen televisions, wireless internet, private baths and on-site parking. Full breakfast and afternoon refreshments included in room rate. $100-350/night.
- Bon Paul and Sharky's Hostel, 816 Haywood Rd (in West Asheville), ☏ . The most budget-friendly place to stay in the city. Has a hot tub and foosball table. $20 camping per person, $27 dorm bunk, $70 private room.
- Days Inn, 120 Patton Ave, ☏ . $69-90.
- Lovers Loop Retreat, Lovers Loop Rd (In southeastern Asheville, just off the Parkway), ☏ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. Private, comfortable, spacious, with kitchenette, PingPong. $75-90.
- The Mountaineer Inn, 155 Tunnel Rd (between downtown and the Asheville Mall), ☏ . $59-99.
- [dead link] The Rabbit Hole, 10 Alabama Ave (West Asheville), ☏ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. Studio. Two-night minimum stay. $95.
- [dead link] Rodeway Inn & Suites, West: 8 Crowell Rd South: 9 Wedgefield Dr. (West: Exit 44 from I40 in front of Cracker Barrel South: Exit 33 from I-26 (Biltmore Square Mall exit) behind Holiday Inn), ☏ (West), (South). Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 11AM. Cheapest chain option. Free Wi-Fi, HBO, coffee and doughnuts $49-79.
- Sweet Peas Hostel, 23 Rankin Ave (Downtown), ☏ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11:30AM. Prices range from $28/bunk to $60/private. An interesting option is a 'pod,' which is basically a privatized bunk for $35. There is no lock out and the staff is knowledgeable. $28-60.
- 3 Brookstone Lodge, 4 Roberts Rd (Exit 51 off I-40), ☏ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. Complimentary full breakfast, heated indoor pool.
- Comfort Suites, 890 Brevard Road, ☏ , fax: . Offers guests free breakfast and free wireless high-speed Internet access.
- Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Asheville at Asheville Outlet Mall, NC, 845 Brevard Road (off I-26 and about two miles from I-40, across the street from the Asheville Outlets mall), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Free hot breakfast, free Wi-Fi, fitness center, outdoor pool, free parking, free weekday newspaper, and free cookies and coffee in the lobby.
- Courtyard Asheville, 1 Buckstone Pl, ☏ , fax: . Forty restaurants within four blocks, full breakfast buffet, indoor pool, hot tub and fitness center.
- Crowne Plaza Tennis & Golf Resort, One Resort Dr (Exit 3B on I-240 (1 mile from downtown)), ☏ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. 125 acre year-round resort. Amenities include a newly redesigned 9-hole golf course, 14 indoor and outdoor tennis courts, two outdoor swimming pools, 34,000 sq ft of meeting space, and a dining room/lounge on property. $89-189.
- Doubletree Hotel, 115 Hendersonville Rd (Next to Biltmore entrance and Biltmore Village), ☏ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. $125-300.
- Four Points by Sheraton Asheville Downtown, 22 Woodfin St (Downtown Asheville), ☏ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. Large outdoor pool, full service restaurant and bar. 2,400 sq ft of meeting space. $189-249.
- Holiday Inn Asheville Airport, 550 Airport Rd (off of I-26), ☏ . Check-in: 4PM, check-out: noon. Free airport shuttle and on-site car rental desk, Christy's Cafe restaurant in lobby, and 2,400 sq ft of meeting space. $69-149.
- Renaissance Asheville Hotel, 31 Woodfin St (Downtown), ☏ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. $169-209.
- SpringHill Suites, 2 Buckstone Pl, ☏ , fax: . Complimentary breakfast, heated indoor pool and hot tub, free high speed internet.
- ASIA Bed & Spa (A Spa Inn Asheville), 128 Hillside St, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Check-in: 3-6PM, check-out: 11AM. Boutique Bed & Breakfast Spa. Breakfast served where and when you want it. 5 rooms: fireplaces, 2-person jacuzzi tubs, king beds. Finnish sauna, steam room, Massage Suite, Facial Suite with Eminence Organic skin products. Massages, facials, body wraps. From $479.
- 4 The Omni Grove Park Inn, 290 Macon Ave, toll-free: . Probably the most famous hotel in Western North Carolina. It has a spa, several restaurants, a sports complex with weight rooms and fitness classes, indoor and outdoor pools, and two 2 retail promenades. In the winter months it houses the National Gingerbread House Competition & Display and entries range from the heartfelt efforts of elementary age children to fantastic creations that must have taken months to prepare. The hotel has its own ghost, the Pink Lady. Even if you don't stay here, stop by the bar and lounge for a cocktail or, in the winter, some delicious hot cocoa by the roaring fireplace. Wander outside for some of the finest views in Asheville. From $290 double up to $670 for a suite.
- Inn on Biltmore Estate, 1 Antler Hill Rd, toll-free: . Check-in: 4PM, check-out: 11AM. Lavish rooms set on the grounds of the 8,000-acre Biltmore Estate. The inn also offers Land Rover excursions, horseback riding and fly-fishing. $299-2,000.
The area code for Asheville is 828. For calls within the US or Canada, dial 1+area code+number. There are some public pay phones scattered around the city, but they are becoming increasingly rare with the predominance of cell phones. It is not safe to assume you will be able to find a pay phone at any given time. All ZIP codes in the city of Asheville begin with 288. The ZIP code of the downtown area is 28801.
Free wireless hotspots:
- Asheville Brewing Company, 77 Coxe Ave, ☏ .
- Asheville Pizza & Brewing Company, 675 Merrimon Ave, ☏ .
- Asheville Visitors Center, 36 Montford Ave. M-F 8:30AM-5:30PM, Sa Su 9AM-5PM.
- Biltmore Coffee Roasters, 518 Hendersonville Rd, ☏ . M-F 8AM-5PM, Sa 9AM-5PM.
- Buncombe County Courthouse area, in the City-County Plaza.
- High Five Coffee, 190 Broadway, ☏ . Daily 7AM-8PM.
- Malaprops Bookstore/Café, 51 Haywood St, ☏ . M-Sa 9AM-9PM, Su 9AM-7PM.
- Mountain Java, 870 Merrimon Ave, ☏ .
- True Confections, 1 Page Ave, Suite 147, ☏ . M-Th 8AM-9PM, F 8AM-11:30PM, Sa 9AM-11:30PM, Su 11AM-5PM.
- World Coffee Cafe, 18 Battery Park Ave (next to the Grove Arcade), ☏ . 8AM-10PM.
US Post Offices:
- Downtown: 33 Coxe Ave. M-F 7:30AM-5PM, Sa 9AM-1PM.
- North: 725 Merrimon Ave. M-F 8AM-5PM, Sa 9M-1PM.
- South: 780 Hendersonville Rd (Suite 7). 8AM-5:30PM, Sa 9M-1PM.
- East: 1141 Tunnel Rd (Suite C). M-F 8AM-5:30PM, Sa 9AM-1PM.
- West: 1302 Patton Ave. M-F 8AM-5PM, Sa 9M-1PM.
A thirty-mile drive south to Flat Rock will bring you to the Flatrock Playhouse where dramas, comedies, and musicals are shown April through December. Also in Flat Rock is the Carl Sandburg Home. This historic site consists of a 22 room house, barns, sheds, rolling pastures, walking trails, two small lakes, ponds, flower and vegetable gardens, and an orchard.
A thirty-mile drive west to Waynesville during the last weeks of July will bring you to Folkmoot, a festival of song and dance staged by performance groups from around the world.
The town of Brevard, an hour drive southwest, hosts the Brevard Music Festival each summer. Lasting almost two months, a variety of musical events ranging from grand operas and symphony orchestras to Broadway musicals and pop concerts as well as renowned guest artists are featured.
A 45 minute drive north brings you to the Hot Springs Resort and Spa. Reserve the jacuzzi-style tub of your choice, all individually enclosed and private. Bring a bottle of champagne and spend an hour or two. Hot Springs also has a few campgrounds and is passed through by the Appalachian Trail.
The Cradle of Forestry is located about 20 miles southwest of Asheville off U.S. Highway 276 in the Pisgah National Forest in Transylvania County. Visitors will find a number of hiking trails in the area. Open 9AM-5PM, mid April through the end of October. $5 for adults, 16 and under free.
A popular tourist attraction is Chimney Rock Park, located 25 miles (about a 30 minute drive) southeast of Asheville in scenic Hickory Nut Gorge. It's a privately owned park (not part of the US system) with a fairly high admission fee ($17 for adults), but the views are incredible and there are six different hiking trails, ranging in difficulty from easy-to-moderate to moderate-to-strenuous. Open all year.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is on the border of North Carolina and Tennessee and is the country's most visited national park. A variety of trails for hikers of any age or skill level are available.
Gorges State Park is approximately 45 miles southwest of Asheville, located in Transylvania County and joins the North Carolina/South Carolina state line. Gorges State Park has over 80 inches of rain a year making it a temperate rain forest. The plunging waterfalls, rugged river gorges, sheer rock walls, and concentration of rare and unique species makes this a wonderful park to visit.
|Routes through Asheville|
|Kingsport ← Weaverville ←||N S||→ Hendersonville → Spartanburg|
|Knoxville ← Newport ←||W E||→ Black Mountain → Winston-Salem|
|Kingsport ← Weaverville ←||N S||→ Clayton → Atlanta|
|Knoxville ← Weaverville ←||N S||→ Hendersonville → Greenville|
|Knoxville ← Weaverville ←||W E||→ Black Mountain → Lexington|
|Chattanooga ← Waynesville ←||W E||→ Hendersonville → Charlotte|