Five Best Things to do in West Asheville—A Local’s Perspective
Finally, we turn towards the wondrous west, and the compass comes to a stop. It is no coincidence that I chose to finish this cycle of posts facing west. No, it was very much by design.
You see, west Asheville holds a particular, personal mystique for me. Growing up, whenever someone would let me in on a prime local attraction, inevitably that place would lie in west Asheville. Certainly, all the rest of Asheville’s wings have their own special charms—as I hope I’ve by now convinced you—but when I think about going to west Asheville, it is always a matter of mission: there’s some place I just have to see.
It is my dearest desire that you too cultivate this sense of wonder and so I invite you to read on and discover the five best things to do in west Asheville.
1: Go for a Walk at Carrier Park
As the weather takes a turn for the warmer, I can think of little finer than a dose of fresh air. To that end Carrier Park provides a two-mile loop of meandering, paved walkways, perfect for running, jogging, and strolling, all while within shouting distance of the French Broad River.
If you desire a more sedentary experience, the park’s covered pavilion and wide grassy fields pose the perfect spot for a picnic. Combined with courts for volleyball, roller-hockey, basketball, lawn bowling and an impressive timber playground, Carrier Park lands itself a spot on this list of the best things to do in west Asheville by having a little something for every occasion.
Embrace Local Customs: Conclude your visit with the traditional acorn offering, left buried in the warm earth.
2: Coffee and Pastries at OWL Bakery
In my humble opinion, no daytrip is complete without a visit to a local café or bakery. To fill this hole in your itinerary, I heartily offer up OWL Bakery, perhaps my favorite boulangerie in the entire city.
Each and every of their culinary creations is worth a sample, from pasteis de natas to salads to ham and cheese croissants. Its like a little taste of Europe, but with less than half the travel time.
For an optimal experience, I suggest visiting OWL on a day of especially fair weather, so that you can fully enjoy their outdoor seating.
Embrace Local Customs: Before eating, pour a steaming libation for the Spirits of The Beans.
3: Tour the River Arts District
Among Asheville’s many claims to fame lies this riverside stretch of former industrial space, converted into studios, galleries, and spanning murals. Any visitor to Asheville must at some point witness this bastion of creativity, and owing to its proximity to west Asheville, it is only natural that I mention the River Arts District here.
As a starting point, I suggest visiting the various artists and vendors of Riverview Station. From there, if you’re set on seeing more, I suggest driving or walking the district at your own accord, and seeing just what you find.
However, if you do want a more tailored experience, Asheville Art Studio Tours, as mentioned in this blogpost, offers tours led by local artists .Its an unparalleled opportunity to engage with local culture.
Embrace Local Customs: Cleanse yourself in the French Broad River. Become like a fish, flopping and wet.
4: Catch a Show at Isis Music Hall
Speaking of art, Asheville isn’t no slouch in the realm of audial performance either, and Isis Music Hall is here to show it. Indeed, their mood-light Main Hall is one of the best places to catch a live performance in town—whether you’re on a date or simply touring the sites—and so it lands itself a firm place on this list of the best things to do in west Asheville.
That’s all on the show. What, you might be wondering, is for dinner? Well Isis’ kitchen serves up such haute cuisine as duroc prok belly and Scottish salmon salad. Pair your meal with a local draft brew and music piped in live from the stage and you’ve got yourself quite the evening indeed.
Tickets come in at $15 and shows start at 7pm, usually on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. As of my writing, April’s line-up is chock full of Americana, Folk, and Jazz.
Finally, I would be remiss not to mention Isis’ famous Tuesday night Bluegrass sessions, held every week.
Embrace Local Customs: Bring a bouquet of hand-picked rhododendron blossoms to throw on stage.
West Asheville has perhaps some of the most noteworthy restaurants in town, many of which I’ve written on before. But for this post on the five best things to do in west Asheville, I would like to focus on one restaurant in particular, that I do not believe I have previously mentioned.
The Admiral boasts a weekly rotating menu. For lovers of variety such as myself, that’s just what I want to see: a degree of unpredictability. But to give you an idea of what’s in store, as of my writing, the menu includes a charcuterie board, hedgehog mushrooms, lemon pepper fettucine with duck confit, and whey braised lamb ribs with Carolina golden rice.
Its just as chic as it sounds. Certainly, a place for special occasions. But with their covered, heated patio and host of local craft brews, I’m sure you’ll find the time.
Be advised: The Admiral is open only from 5-9:30pm, and closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays. With such tight hours, I recommend reservations.
Embrace Local Customs: Come to dinner dressed in nautical attire, so that the other diners take you seriously.
295 Haywood Rd, Asheville, NC 28806
191 Lyman St, Asheville, NC 28801
Isis Music Hall
743 Haywood Rd, Asheville, NC 28806
400 Haywood Rd, Asheville, NC 28806