Visitor's Guide

Asheville is nestled between the Blue Ridge Mountains and Great Smoky Mountains in Western North Carolina. Asheville boasts pleasant year-round weather and serves as the county seat of Buncombe County. The city has a population of approximately 75,000 and is the largest city in Western North Carolina, the ninth largest city in the State. Asheville is also part of the four-county Asheville metropolitan statistical area, the population of which was estimated by the Census Bureau in 2006 to be 398,009.

Climate



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 not uncommon. 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- usually the area receives multiple snow flurries averaging an inch or two at a time, normally melting off in a day or two.

Get in


Downtown Asheville

By plane

The Asheville Regional Airport (AVL), 8 miles from the cottages, offers jet and commuter service on Continental, Delta, DayJet, Northwest, and US Airways; direct flights are available from Atlanta, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Detroit, Houston, Minneapolis, and Newark. It is located fifteen miles 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) located in Greenville, South Carolina, Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) located in Charlotte, North Carolina, or McGhee Tyson Airport (TYS) located in Knoxville, Tennessee, are sometimes cheaper than flying directly to Asheville. Greenville is about a 1.5 hour drive, Charlotte and Knoxville are both about 2 hour drives.

By train

The closest Amtrak train station to Asheville is in Greenville, South Carolina or Spartanburg, South Carolina.

By car

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.

By bus

Asheville is serviced by Greyhound Bus, 2 Tunnel Rd, +1 828 253-8451. Daily 8AM-9PM.
 

Get around

By car

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 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, accessible 24 hours a day. Attendants are on duty 10AM–7PM Monday through Friday.
  • Civic Center Garage - First hour free & $0.50 per hour thereafter. Daily maximum $4. After hours rate is $1 per exit.
  • Rankin Avenue Garage - First hour free & $0.75 per hour thereafter. Daily maximum $6. After hours rate is $1 per exit.
  • Wall Street Garage - First hour free & $0.75 per hour thereafter. Daily maximum $6. After hours rate is $2 per exit.

By taxi

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 - $2.00; For each two minutes of waiting time or fraction thereof after the first two minutes - $0.40
  • Airport Limousine & Taxi Service, +1 828 253-3311.
  • Beaver Lake Cab Co, +1 828 252-1913.
  • Jolly Taxi, +1 828 253-1411.
  • Metro Cab, +1 828 254-1155.
  • New Blue Bird Taxi Co, +1 828 258-8331.
  • Red Cab Co, +1 828 232-1112.
  • Yellow Cab Co, +1 828 252-1913.
  • Your Cab, +1 828 259-9904.

By bike

Bike rentals are available at BioWheels, 81 Coxe Ave, +1 828 236-BIKE. 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.

All buses in the Asheville Transit System are equipped with bike racks.

By bus

Asheville Transit provides bus service that is regular but infrequent outside of downtown; inside downtown walking is almost always faster. Buses run from 6AM-11:30PM Monday through Saturday. Routes radiate from the Transit Center, located downtown at 49 Coxe Avenue next to the U.S. Post Office. Bus fare is $1 for adults and $0.50 for seniors and handicapped individuals. A "fare-free" zone exists in the downtown area containing almost all of the businesses, restaurants and attractions of downtown. Riders can take any bus in the system within the Free Zone at no charge.
 

See

Architecture

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 20's was saved from destruction. Therefore, today, Asheville boasts the nation's 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.

Buncombe County Courthouse
  • 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.
  • The Biltmore Estate, 1 Approach Rd, 1-800-624-1575. 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 $29-$49, Youth price half-admission, Children 9 and under are free.
  • 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.
  • 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.
Asheville City Hall
  • Drhumor Building. The Drhumor (pronounced "drummer") is a boldly detailed, Romanesque Revival style building constructed in 1895.
  • Flat Iron Building, 20 Battery Park Ave, +1 828 258-3999. 8AM-5:30PM. A uniquely triangular shaped building bordering Wall Street and Battery Park Avenue constructed in 1926.
  • Grove Arcade, 1 Page Ave. M-Sa 10AM-6PM, Su 12PM-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.
  • Grove Park Inn, 290 Macon Ave. Completed in 1913, this historic resort hotel is an important example of the Arts and Crafts style.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • S & W building, 52-58 Patton Ave. Another Art Deco masterpiece designed by architect Douglas Ellington.
  • Thomas Wolfe House, 48 Spruce St, +1 828 253-8304. Tu-Sa 9AM-12PM, Su 1PM-5PM. A sprawling frame Queen Anne-influenced house immortalized in the epic autobiographical novel Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolfe.
  • 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.
  • 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:


Basilica of St. Lawrence
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Art galleries

  • 16 Patton, 16 Patton Ave, +1 828 236-2889. Tu-Sa 10AM-6PM, Su (May-Oct) 1PM-6PM. Original contemporary fine art by southeastern artists including paintings, sculpture, glass, ceramics and fine craft.
  • American Folk Art & Framing, 64 Biltmore Ave, +1 828 281-2134. M-Sa 10AM-6PM, Su 12PM-5PM. Represents southern folk and visionary artists, as well as regional potters who adhere to the folk pottery traditions.
  • Appalachian Craft Center, 10 N Spruce St, +1 828 253-8499. M-Sa 10AM-5PM. Authentic mountain handicrafts including pottery, face jugs, quilts, mountain-made toys and handmade rugs.
  • Ariel Gallery, 46 Haywood St, +1 828 236-2660. Tu-Su 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, +1 828 258-0710. 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, +1 828 251-5796. M-Sa 10AM-5PM. A partnership of 29 professional, regional artists offering original two-dimensional works from representational to abstract.
  • Bella Vista Art Gallery, 14 Lodge St (in Biltmore Village), +1 828 768-0246. M-Sa 10AM-6PM, Su 12AM-3PM. Representing local, national, and international emerging artists. Focused on Art that will last for generations.
  • The Bender Gallery, 57 Haywood St, +1 828 225-6625. M-Sa 10:30AM-6PM, Su 12PM-5PM. Premier studio glass gallery featuring a variety of glass disciplines by regional and national artists.
  • Black Mountain College Museum & Art Center, 56 Broadway St, +1 828 350-8484, [28]. W-Sa 12PM-4PM. Explores the history and legacy of Black Mountain College.
  • Blue Spiral 1, 38 Biltmore Ave, +1 828 251-0202. M-Sa 10AM-6PM, Su (April-Oct) 12PM-5PM. Presents contemporary Southeastern fine art and crafts.
  • BoBo Gallery, 22 Lexington Ave, +1 828 254-3426.
  • Crucible Glassworks, 106 N Lexington Ave, +1 828 236-0920. Handmade glass art.
  • Fine Arts League of the Carolinas, 362 Depot St, +1 828 252-5050. M-F 10AM-5PM. Featuring art school students work.
  • Flood Gallery, 109 Roberts St. Seeks out art that is provocative, challenging, daring, relevant, and important.
  • Gallery Minerva, 12 Church St, +1 828 255-8850, [34]. M-Th 11AM-6PM, F-Sa 11AM-8PM, Su 1PM-5PM.
  • Grove Arcade Arts and Heritage Gallery, 1 Page Ave (in the Grove Arcade, Suite 115), +1 828 255-0775. M–Sa 10AM-6PM, Su 12PM-5PM. Features regional crafts with an emphasis on wood, jewelry, fiber and clay as well as a selection of Cherokee crafts.
  • The Haen Gallery, 52 Biltmore Ave, +1 828 254-8577. Daily 11AM-7PM.
  • Jewels That Dance, 63 Haywood St, +1 828 254-5088. M-Sa 10:30AM-6PM and Su in December 1PM-5PM. Premier jewelry gallery and working studio. Featuring contemporary and classic fine jewelry.
  • Kress Emporium, 19 Patton Ave, +1 828 281-2252. M-Th 11AM-6PM, F-Sa 11AM-7PM, and Su in season 12PM-5PM. Featuring more than 100 distinguished artists and craftspeople, all showcased in the historic Kress Building.
  • K2, 59 College St, +1 828 250-0500. M-Sa 11AM-6PM, Su 12PM-5PM. The Kress Emporium's sister gallery.
  • Larson Porcelain & Design, 1 Page Ave (in the Grove Arcade, Suite 140), +1 828 350-7707. Heirloom quality porcelain.
  • Merrimon Galleries, 365 Merrimon Ave, +1 828 252-6036. Classic and contemporary oils, photography and sculpture.
  • Mountain Made, 1 Page Ave (in the Grove Arcade, Suite 123), +1 828 350-0307. M-Sa 10AM-6PM, Su 12PM-5PM. Featuring the work of over 80 Western North Carolina artisans.
  • Odyssey Gallery, 238 Clingman Ave, +1 828 285-9700. F 10AM-4PM. Functional and sculptural work by national ceramic artists.
  • Olga Dorenko Fine Art Gallery, 1 Battle Sq, +1 828 225-4148. Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM. Features work from Russian born artist.
  • Overstrom Studio, 35 Wall St, +1 828 258-1761. Tu-Sa 10AM-6PM, Su 12PM-4PM. The working studio, gallery, and loft of internationally recognized jewelry designers Michael Overstrom and Susan Overstrom.
  • Pura Vida, 39-B Biltmore Ave, +1 828 439-5451. Offers a strong blend of local and regional artists.
  • Red Square Gallery of Russian Art & Culture, 7 Rankin Ave, +1 828 225-8777. Tu-Sa 11AM-7PM. Work by Russian artists.
  • Satellite Gallery, 55 Broadway St, +1 828 505-2225. Tu-Su 11AM-6PM. Contemporary artists with roots in urban and pop counter cultures.
  • Studio Chavarria, 84 Walnut St, +1 828 236-9191. Tu-Sa 9AM-6PM. An exclusive members-only salon and fine art gallery.
  • Vadim Bora Gallery & Studio, 30 1/2 Battery Park Ave, +1 828 254-7959. Tu-Sa 11AM-6PM. European salon style gallery features works from international artists hand-picked by painter, sculptor, and owner Vadim Bora.
  • Vitrum Gallerie, 10 Lodge St, +1 828 274-9900. M, W-Su 10AM-6PM, Su 1PM-5PM. Contemporary glass art.
  • Woolworth Walk, 25 Haywood St, +1 828 254-9234. 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.
  • YMI Cultural Center, 39 S Market St, +1 828 252-4614. Tu-F 10AM-5PM. Houses numerous exhibits, many dealing with the history of African Americans in Western North Carolina.

Museums

  • Asheville Art Museum, 2 S Pack Sq, +1 828 253-3227. Tu-Th 10AM-5PM, F 10AM-8PM, Sa 10AM-5PM, Su 1PM-5PM. A collection of the very best of 20th and 21st century American art. Adults $6, Students/Seniors $5, Children under 4 are free. Free admission the first Wednesday of every month 3PM-5PM.
  • Colburn Gem and Mineral Museum, 2 S Pack Sq, +1 828 254-7162. Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su 1PM-5PM. Adult $4, Senior/Student/Child $3, Children under 4 are free.
  • The Health Adventure, 2 S Pack Sq, +1 828 254-6373. Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su 1PM-5PM. A health and science museum dedicated to improving health awareness, promoting wellness lifestyles, and increasing science literacy through programs and exhibits. Adult $7, Senior/Student/Child $5, Children 2 and under are free.
  • The Smith-McDowell House Museum, 283 Victoria Rd, +1 828 253-9231. Th-Sa 10AM-4PM, Su 12PM-4PM. Asheville's first mansion and oldest surviving structure. Adult $7, Child $3, Children under 5 are free.
  • WNC Nature Center, 75 Gashes Creek Rd, +1 828 298-5600. Daily 10AM-5PM. A living museum exhibiting plants and animals that are native to the Southern Appalachians. Adults $7, Seniors $4, Youth $3.

Do

Tours

  • Asheville Brews Cruise, +1 828 545-5181. 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. $39 per person, $74 per couple; inquire about Asheville locals discount.
  • Autorickshaw Tours, 235 Montford Ave, +1 828 777-1014. 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.
  • Haunted Ghost Tour, +1 828 355-5855. Adults $18, Children $10.
  • Historic Trolley Tours, 1-888-667-3600. 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), +1 828 225-6932. 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). $22.
  • 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.

Festivals

  • Asheville Fringe Arts Festival. Held annually at the end of January.
  • Jazz After Five, 1 Page Ave (in the Atrium of Historic Grove Arcade). 5PM-8PM. Held in the third Friday of each month from January through April.
  • 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.
  • Shindig on the Green, Martin Luther King Jr. Park. 7PM-10PM. Music and dance traditions of Southern Appalachia. Held from the end of June through the beginning of September. Free.
  • Bele Chere, Downtown Asheville. Bele Chere is touted as the largest street festival in the Southeast. Hundreds of artists, artisans, musicians, and performers come from all over the region to take part in the festivities. Held annually on the last weekend of July. 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. 12PM-7PM. Over 30 American breweries showcase more than 100 different beers, along with music from national and regional bluegrass musicians. Held each September. $30.
  • Fiesta Latina. A celebration of Latin American culture.
  • Asheville PrideFest. A forum for building community and to honor the many facets of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered family.
  • Asheville Film Festival. Held annually each November.

Live music

  • Asheville Civic Center, 87 Haywood St, +1 828 259-5544. The Arena has a capacity of 7,654.
  • Grey Eagle Tavern & Music Hall, 185 Clingman Ave, +1 828 232-5800. Has a capacity 550 and is a non-smoking venue.
  • The Orange Peel, 101 Biltmore Ave, +1 828 225-5851. Box office open W-Sa 12PM-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. Non-smoking.
  • The Emerald Lounge, 112 N Lexington Ave. A hot spot for live music and dancing.
  • The Rocket Club, 401 Haywood Rd, +1 828 505-2494. Daily 2PM-2AM. Capacity of 600, full liquor bar.
  • Stella Blue, 31 Patton Ave. An art bar featuring national and local acts.
  • Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, 87 Haywood St (at the Civic Center). Has a capacity of 2,431.
  • Tressa's Jazz & Blues, 28 Broadway St, +1 828 254-7072.

Theatre

  • 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.
  • enigmatic theatre company. Asheville's only theatre company dedicated exclusively to the production of new work. Typically produces two-three full length works or collections of one-acts per year.
  • 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, +1 828 350-9090. 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, now in its sixth season, has something either in rehearsal or performance 49 out of 52 weeks.

Outdoors

Hiking:


The Blue Ridge Parkway
  • Blue Ridge Parkway, +1 828 298-0398. 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, +1 828 665-2492. 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 $6 per personal motor vehicle.
  • Pisgah National Forest, +1 828 257-4200. 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.

Climbing:

  • Climbmax, 43 Wall St, +1 828 252-9996. Tu-F 11AM-10PM, Sa 10AM-10PM, Su 1PM-6PM. An indoor rock climbing gym in downtown Asheville. Bouldering $8.50, Rope Climbing $12.50, Staff Belay $17, Full Instruction $35.

Fishing:

  • Asheville Drifters Fly Fishing Adventures, 1-828-215-7379. $175-375. Rafting:
  • French Broad Rafting Expeditions, 1-800-570-7238.Adults $30-$45, Youth $25-$39.
  • Rock 'n' Water Adventure Outpost, +1 828' 689-3354. Offers whitewater rafting, guided "back country" waded fly fishing, mountain biking, hiking, and horseback riding.
  • Southern Waterways, +1 828 232-1970. Adults $30-$64, Youth $20-$44.
  • Lake Julian, off of Long Shoals Road in South Asheville, +1 828 684-0376. 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.

Riding:

  • Berry Patch Stables, 300 Baird Cove Rd, +1 828 645-7271. Riding and equestrian center. Trail rides & lessons.
  • Biltmore Estate Equestrian Center, +1 828 225-1454. Lessons, guided trail rides, shows, clinics, and camps.

Skateboarding:

  • Food Lion Skate Park, corner of Flint and Cherry Streets, +1 828 225-7184. M-F 12PM-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.

Sports

  • 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.

Yoga

  • Asheville Yoga Center, 239 S Liberty St. Offering all styles of Hatha yoga. Drop in rate is $11 for one hour classes, $14 for 1.5 hour classes.
  • Lighten Up Yoga, 60 Biltmore Ave. Classes in the style of Iyengar. Drop in rate is $15.
  • Namaste Yoga and Healing Center, 57 Broadway St. Drop in rate is $15.
  • One Center Yoga, 120 Coxe Ave, Suite 3A. Drop in rate is $12 for 1 hour classes, $15 for 1.5 hour classes.
  • South Asheville Yoga, 2 Town Square Blvd. Drop in rate is $11 for on hour classes, $14 for 1.5 hour classes.
  • West Asheville Yoga, 602 Haywood Rd. 1 hour classes are $6-$11, 1.5 hour classes are $9-$14.

Buy

Asheville does not necessarily have a specific commercial district but rather it resembles a long line, curving through the mountains. Beginning directly west 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 east towards the city-center, the modern Merrimon Avenue merges with Patton Avenue (which is considered the city's 'Main Street'), forming an immediate contrast between the old and the new. Patton Avenue then directly cuts through the center of downtown, ending at the city's heart, 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, a tunnel is carved directly into Sunset Mountain. The recently renovated 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. Recently, 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.

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 sandwich.
  • 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 1890's 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. Recently, National Specialty stores and a boutique Hotel have begun construction there. Of particular note are the following:
  • New Morning Gallery. Probably the best collection of regional Arts and Crafts in Western North Carolina. The gallery features ceramics, glass, jewelery and furniture from local Appalachian artisans. It is located 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:
  • The Old Cotton Mill Building Owned by Marty and Eileen Black and inhabited by a mixed group of artists and studios.
  • 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 was originally a 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.
  • The Wedge 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.

Eat

Budget

Downtown:
  • Barley's Taproom, 42 Biltmore Ave, +1 828 255-0504. Pizza (available by the slice), lasagna, and sandwiches; 52 beers on tap. $6-$15.
  • Doc Chey's Noodle House, 37 Biltmore Ave, +1 828 252-8220. Su-Tu 11:30AM-10PM, Th 11:30AM-10PM, F-Sa 11:30AM-11PM. Extremely affordable and consistently delicious Asian Fusion. Many vegetarian options. Don't forget to try some of their rice seasoning because you will probably only find it in an oriental market. $7-$9.
  • Izzy's Coffee Den, 74 N Lexington. Features a relaxed atmosphere and quick take out service.
  • Mamacitas, 77A Biltmore Ave, +1 828 255-8080. Fresh, made from scratch Mexican cuisine. $3-$8.
  • One Love II, 42 Market St. Tu-Su. Traditional Jamaican.
  • Rosetta's Kitchen, 116 N Lexington Ave, +1 828 232-07. Serves vegetarian/vegan (mostly organic) delicious 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. $3-$9.
  • Sisters McMullen Bakery, 22 Pack Place, +1 828 252-9380. M-F 7:30AM-3:30PM. Carries a variety of delectable pastries.
North:
  • Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company, 675 Merrimon Ave, +1 828 254-1281. Known to locals as the APBC or Brew n' View, is a good place to relax with a beer, have excellent pizza (available by the slice), and watch a movie for $2. No smoking indoors, and the front patio has little to no cover from the weather. $5-$7.
  • Circle in the Square, 640 Merrimon Ave, +1 828 254-5442.
  • The Hop, 640 Merrimon Ave, +1 828 252-8362. Serves acclaimed ice cream (vegan selections available) made on-site.
  • Marcos Pizzeria, 946 Merrimon Ave. $7-$13.
West:
  • Lucky Otter, 630 Haywood Rd, +1 828 253-9595. A great choice for your burrito fix.
South:
  • Tomato Jam Cafe, 379 Biltmore Ave, +1 828 253-0570, [135]. M-F 6:30AM-6PM. Great breakfast and lunch, sandwiches and salads. Unique biscuit combinations. $4-$7.

Mid-range

Downtown:
  • Bouchon, 62 N Lexington Ave, +1 828 350-1140. M-Sa 5PM-. French comfort food of the Lyon area of France and wine bar. $10-$20.
  • Early Girl Eatery, 8 Wall St, +1 828 259-9292. M-F 7:30AM-3PM, Tue-Thu 5PM-9PM, F-Sa 5PM-10PM, Su 9AM-3PM. Made-from-scratch Southern regional cuisine using local organic produce and free-range meats. $4-$15.
  • Ed Boudreaux's Bayou Bar-B-Que, 48 Biltmore Ave, +1 828 296-0100. Daily 11:30AM-11PM. Bar-b-que with 14 in-house sauces, large vegetarian menu, and stocks 140 different beers. $4-$10.
  • Heiwa Shokudo, 87 N Lexington Ave, +1 828 254-7761. M-Th 11:30AM-2:30PM & 5:30PM-9:30PM, Sa 12PM-3PM & 5:30PM-9:30PM. Traditional Japanese and sushi. $8-$15.
  • Laughing Seed, 40 Wall St, +1 828 252-3445. 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.
  • Mela, 70 N Lexington Ave, +1 828 225-8880. Daily 11:30AM-2:30PM, 5:30PM-9:30PM. An authentic North and South Indian restaurant that consistently offers delicious food in a beautiful and exotic atmosphere. Full bar available. $9-$17.
  • Salsa, 6 Patton Ave, +1 828 252-9805. M-F 11:30AM-2:30PM, M-Th 5:30PM-9:30PM, Sa-Su 12:30PM-3PM, F-Sa 5:30PM-10PM. Mexican-Caribbean food.
  • Scratch, 109 Broadway St, +1 828 505-2152. M-Sa 11AM-3PM & 5:30PM-12AM, Su 9AM-3PM. Made-from-scratch philosophy. Lunch $7-11, Dinner small plates $6-12, Dinner entrees $20-26, Brunch $6-14, Bar Menu $3-9.
  • Tupelo Honey Cafe, 12 College St, +1 828 255-4863. Tu-Su 9AM-3PM, Tu-Th 5:30PM-10PM, F-Sa until 12AM. Check this out for some delicious New Southern cuisine. $7-13.
West:
  • The Admiral, 400 Haywood Rd, +1 828 252-2541. Daily 5PM-2AM (lunch 2PM-5PM, dinner 5PM-10PM). Menu changes daily. $16-28.
  • Sunny Point Cafe & Bakery, 626 Haywood Rd, +1 828 252-0055. Su-M 8:30AM-2:30PM, Tu-Sa 8:30AM-9:30PM. A great brunch spot. $7-10.
South:
  • 12 Bones, 5 Riverside Dr. M-F 11AM-4PM. Winner of ABC's Good Morning America "Best Bites Challenge" contest for its blueberry chipotle ribs. Get in line early! $4-18.
  • Rezaz Mediterranean Cuisine, 28 Hendersonville Rd, +1 828 277-1510. M-Sa 11:30AM-2:30PM, M-Th 5:30PM-9:30PM, F 5:30PM-10PM, Sa 5PM-10:30PM. A must-try, specializes in Mediterranean and Italian items, along with tapas and wines. Lunch $7-11, Dinner $16-24.

Splurge

Downtown:
  • Cucina 24, 24 Wall St, +1 828 254-6170. Closed Mondays. Traditional Italian. Reservations recommended. Lunch $7-11, Dinner $15-27.
  • The Flying Frog Cafe, 1 Battery Park Ave, +1 828 254-9411. W, Th & Su 5:30PM-9:30PM, F-Sa 5:30PM-11PM. Classical and innovative European and Indian cuisines. Reservations recommended. $17-33.
  • Limones, 13 Eagle St, +1 828 252-2327. Daily 5PM-10PM. Upscale fresh Mexican-Californian cuisine. Reservations recommended. $14-26.
  • The Lobster Trap, 35 Patton Ave, +1 828 350-0505. Daily 5PM-. Focus on fresh seafood. Full bar available. $10-47.
  • The Market Place, 20 Wall St, +1 828 252-4162. M-Sa, 5:30PM-9PM. A world-class restaurant, a seasonal menu based on local ingredients. $26-36.
  • S&W Steak & Wine, 56 Patton Ave. Steakhouse classics.
  • Table, 48 College St, +1 828 254-8980. New-American cuisine with a daily written menu.
  • Wasabi, 19 Broadway St, +1 828 225-2551. Japanese restaurant and sushi bar. $8-26.
  • Zambra, 85 W Walnut St, +1 828 232-1060. Tapas and Spanish cuisine in a very romantic atmosphere. $6-20.
North:
  • Gabrielle's, 87 Richmond Hill Dr, +1 828 252-7313, [156]. Recipient of the AAA Four-Diamond Award for 16 consecutive years. Reservations strongly recommended. Prix Fixe $65.
  • Horizons, 290 Macon Ave (at the Grove Park Inn), 1-800-438-5800. M-Th 6PM-9PM, F-Sa 6PM-9:30PM. A restaurant Frommer's hails as "the finest in the area" and a AAA Four-Diamond award winner for 10 years. Jackets required for gentlemen. Reservations recommended. Prix Fixe $75-120.
  • Savoy, 641 Merrimon Ave, +1 828 253-1077. Daily 5:30PM-until. High quality fine dining with a focus on fresh seafood, pastas, and prime meats. Extensive wine list. Well worth the splurge! Reservations highly recommended. $19-46, Tasting menu $65-95.
South:
  • Fig, 18 Brook St, +1 828 277-0889. M-Sa 11AM-3PM, 5:30PM-9PM (until 10PM F-Sa). Reservations recommended.
  • Southside Cafe, 1800 Hendersonville Road, +1 828 274-4413. M-Sa 11AM-2:30PM and 5:30PM-10PM, Su 9:30AM-2PM. Fine dining, reservations recommended. $21-27, Tasting menu $70.

Drink

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. 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.

Downtown:
  • 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, +1 828 255-0504. 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 where smoking is allowed after 10PM, with four tables available by the hour.
  • Bier Garden, 46 Haywood St, +1 828 285-0002. 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.
  • Blue Smoke Coffee, at Grove Corner Market and Red Bike Delivery, both located in the Grove Arcade, +1 865-963-1851. Locally hand-roasted coffee using green-renewable energy, organic, fair trade and shade grown beans. $6-$15.
  • BoBo Gallery, 22 N Lexington Ave. Club and dance music and a cutting edge underground art gallery.
  • Broadway's, 107 N Lexington Ave, +1 828 285-0400. Members-only. Smoking allowed inside and on the outdoor deck. 80's music Wednesday nights.
  • Cinjades, 22 N Market St. A popular dance club playing the best of 80's, 90's, and today.
  • College Street Pub, 4 College St, +1 828 232-0809.
  • Charlotte Street Pub, 157 Charlotte St. Daily until 2AM. Dark and smoky, with wooden furniture and customers that seem like they've been sitting the same spot for years. Cheap beer.
  • 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.
  • Fred's Speakeasy, 122 College St, +1 828 281-0920. Tu-Sa 4:30PM-2AM. A small club and cigar bar. Karaoke on Wednesdays. Live music Thursdays thru Saturdays.
  • The Frog Bar, 76 Haywood St (corner of Haywood St and Battery Park), +1 828 254-9411. Outdoor and indoor tables, house-made infused liquors. Infused cocktails $5.50.
  • Green Man Brewing & Tasting Room, 23 Buxton Ave, +1 828 252-5502. M-F 5PM-10PM.
  • Hannah Flanagan's Irish Pub, 27 Biltmore Ave, +1 828 252-1922. M-Sa 11:30AM-2AM, Su 12PM-2AM. 40 different beers on tap, 140 bottles and a full bar. Live music three nights a week and Sunday afternoons. Nice outdoor deck.
  • Hookah Joe's, 38 N French Broad Ave, +1 828 252-1522. 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.
  • New French Bar, 12 Biltmore Ave, +1 828 225-6445. Tu-F 3PM-2AM, Sa 11AM-2AM, Su 10:30AM-12AM. Good service, drinks, a fine courtyard and a view of the street.
  • 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, 71 Walnut St, +1 828 251-8880. Serves good pub fare and a good selection of beers.
  • Scratch, 109 Broadway St, +1 828 505-2152. M-Sa 11AM-3PM & 5:30PM-12AM, Su 9AM-3PM. Craft cocktails featuring house-made tonic, bitters, simple syrups and infused liquors. Also has a small bottled beer selection.
  • Thirsty Monk, 50 Commerce St, +1 828 254-5470. Pub specializing in Belgian beers.
  • Rankin Vault Cocktail Lounge, 7 Rankin Ave. 3PM-2AM.
  • World Coffee Cafe, 18 Battery Park Ave, +1 828 225-6998. Three rooftop balconies where you can watch the sun set.
  • Yacht Club, 87 Patton Ave, +1 828 255-TIKI. 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. Smoking allowed after 10PM.
North:
  • Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company, 675 Merrimon Ave. Locally brewed beer at $3.75 a pint.
  • Northside Bar & Grill, 853 Merrimon Ave, +1 828 254-2349. A classic sports bar.
  • Usual Suspects, 791 Merrimon Ave, +1 828 350-8181. Closed Sundays. A hotspot for many locals with a large crowd of 'regulars', featuring beer and cocktails, a comprehensive wine list full of boutique wines, and a menu ranging from simple pub to more exotic fare. Smoking is allowed, dartboards are in the back.
East:
  • French Broad Brewery Tasting Room, 101 Fairview Rd, +1 828 277-0222. Until 8PM. Offers tastings, tours and live music five nights a week in a relaxed, intimate setting.
  • Root Bar, 1410 Tunnel Rd, +1 828 299-7597, [180]. Home of the original sport of rootball (a cross between horseshoes and boccie)! A non-smoking bar. Beer only. $3-4.
West:
  • The Admiral, 400 Haywood Rd. A dive bar for the 'hipster' crowd. Smoking allowed after 10PM.
  • The Rocket Club, 401 Haywood Rd. Daily 2PM-2AM.
  • Tolliver's Crossing, 733 Haywood Rd, +1 828 505-2129. Irish pub.
  • Westville Pub, 777 Haywood Rd. Daily 12PM-2AM. Non-smoking family-oriented bar with pub grub and live music.

Contact

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, +1 828 255-4077.
  • Asheville Visitors Center, 36 Montford Ave. M-F 8:30AM-5:30PM, Sa-Su 9AM-5PM.
  • Buncombe County Courthouse area, in the City-County Plaza.
  • Caffiend, 120 Merrimon Ave. Open 24 hours.
  • Dripolator Coffeehouse, 144 Biltmore Ave, +1 828 252-0021. M-F 7AM-11PM, Sa-Su 7:30AM-11PM.
  • Grove Corner Market and Cafe, In the Grove Arcade, +1 828 225-4949. M-Sa 8:30AM-9PM, Su 11AM-7PM.
  • Malaprops Bookstore/Café, 51 Haywood St, +1 828 254-6734. M-Th 8AM-9PM, F-Sa 8AM-10PM, Su 8AM-7PM.
  • Mountain Java, 870 Merrimon Ave, +1 828 255-3881.
  • The New French Bar, 12 Biltmore Ave. Tu-F 3PM-2AM, Sa 11AM-2AM, Su 10:30AM-12AM.
  • True Confections, 1 Page Ave, Suite 147, +1 828 350-9478. 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), +1 828 258-1058. 8AM-10PM.
  • Asheville Pizza & Brewing Company, 675 Merrimon Ave, +1 828 254-1281.
  • Biltmore Coffee Traders, 518 Hendersonville Rd, +1 828 277-9227. M-F 7AM-6PM, Sa 9AM-5PM.
  • Ideal Market Cafe, 733 Haywood St, +1 828 258-5393. M-Sa 8:30AM-5PM.
  • 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.

Get out


View from Grandfather Mountain on the Blue Ridge Parkway

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 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 very 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 ($14 for adults as of 2005), 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 located 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.