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7 Must-See Asheville Neighborhoods and How to Visit


Must-See Asheville Neighborhoods and How to Visit
Hallo, mein Name ist Jacqueline!

Jacqueline Kehoe is a freelance writer and photographer with work seen in National Geographic, Thrillist, Travel + Leisure, and more. Find her out on the trails or at jacquelinekehoe.com.

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Hi, I'm Jacqueline!

Jacqueline Kehoe is a freelance writer and photographer with work seen in National Geographic, Thrillist, Travel + Leisure, and more. Find her out on the trails or at jacquelinekehoe.com.

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They call it the “Paris of the South,” but Paris doesn’t have much on Asheville—this North Carolina city even has its own castle. With forests in every direction, the Blue Ridge Parkway snaking up the mountains, and the French Broad River coursing through town, Asheville is a stunner on the outside. Scratch the surface and you’ll find ultra-artsy ‘hoods, architecture worth a second glance, a beer scene that barely has room for all its medals, and more. Here’s where.

Downtown

People explore Downtown Asheville and sit outside a cafe.
Downtown Asheville is an artistic oasis with shops, museums, and cafés. | Bildquelle: Nolichuckyjake / Shutterstock

The beating heart of Asheville.

Let’s start with Asheville’s compass: downtown. This is where Asheville’s renaissance grabbed hold, turning the city into the artistic oasis it is today. It hasn’t yet gone completely mainstream, though—think spoon-playing buskers, drum circles in Pritchard Park, art deco personality, and homegrown diners.

You’ll also find museums—Asheville Pinball Museum, Asheville Museum of Art, Asheville Museum of Science—and the much-beloved Mast General Store, a must-visit for any Asheville first-timer. That would be education enough, but you should also hop on downtown’s Urban Trail to see 30 stops detailing the city’s art and history, a sort-of self-guided walking tour of the district.

River Arts District

Street art on the walls of the River Arts District in Asheville.
The River Arts District is full of colorful street art. | Bildquelle: nowpacking / Tripadvisor

RAD by name, rad by nature.

The River Arts District—aka RAD—sits southwest of downtown, stretching out along the French Broad River (yes, that means patios). It’s got that warehouse-turned-art-studio vibe, and that’s exactly what happened: 200+ artists, painters, photographers, mixed-media gurus, and more have set up shop here in this old blue-collar district.

If you’re able, the greenway makes it easy enough to explore the whole thing on foot, wandering from New Belgium Brewing to 12 Bones Smokehouse to PennyCup Coffee to Hi-Wire Brewing and beyond. That being said, you might want a car to spend more of your time soaking in the RADness.

Insider tip: Expect art walks, live music, wine tastings, open-late art galleries, and more on the second Saturday of the month in RAD.

Montford

Montford play-goers watch a play at the Shakespeare Festival.
Montford sports an outdoor Shakespeare Festival. | Bildquelle: Montford Park Players / Tripadvisor

For retro inns and popular eats.

While you could sleep in downtown at one of several many-star hotels, for that Southern Victorian vibe and quiet mornings on your wrap-around porch, hit the pillow in Montford. Just north of downtown, this nationally registered historic district pops with exquisite Queen Anne, Arts and Crafts, and Colonial Revival houses, many of which double as B&Bs and cozy inns.

It’s also the kind of neighborhood that sports an outdoor Shakespeare Festival; has Thomas Wolfe and O. Henry buried in its cemetery; and is (mostly) within walking distance of downtown.

Insider tip: While not technically in Montford, Ginger’s Revenge and White Duck Taco Shop—two headline-making tasteries—are so close by that they might as well be.

West Asheville

Friends enjoy a bustling bar in West Asheville.
Mingle with the locals in West Asheville. | Bildquelle: Fotoluminate LLC / Shutterstock

A local favorite.

Situated across the river from downtown, West Asheville was the center’s less-cool sibling, up until locals started using it as a funky, eclectic outlet from the more-touristed downtown. A “hidden gem,” if you will.

You’ll still find notes of its hyper-local, hyper-modest past (think: barber shops and mechanics) but cozy cafés, breweries, alfresco bistros, and boutique shops are popping up like wildfire as the crowds grow and grow. The whole thing stretches down the one-and-only Haywood Rd—look to Sunny Point Café, BattleCat Coffee Bar, and Biscuit Head when morning hunger strikes, but head to The Odd for live music with the quintessential quirkiness of West Asheville.

South Slope

Friends share beers in South Slope in North Carolina.
South Slope is known for its breweries. | Bildquelle: DisobeyArt / Shutterstock

A must for craft beer fans.

Ah, Asheville’s brewing district. It’s actually called that. With microbreweries in the double digits, beer gardens, rooftop bars, taprooms galore, cocktail and sake joints, and live music nearly every night, South Slope is the place to party.

Most traveler’s lists include Wicked Weed’s Funkatorium, Burial, and Hi-Wire Brewing for pints; Buxton Hall comes James Beard–nommed when you’re ready for a seriously good meal (or Vortex Doughnuts when you’re ready for a seriously good carb); and the Orange Peel has long been a crowd favorite for indie and folk acts. Get here on the weekends, and you’ll never run out of sounds or suds.

Biltmore Village

Children enjoy the flower beds of South Asheville's Biltmore Estate.
Visitors can enjoy the gardens of Biltmore Estate. | Bildquelle: Joanne Dale / Shutterstock

Bad and boujee.

The local McDonald’s here has a baby grand piano, which pretty much sums up all you need to know about this Asheville hotspot. This neighborhood first sprung up around the Biltmore Estate, the largest private home in the country, originally home to the Vanderbilts. At 175,000 square feet (16,258 square meters), it steals the scene in French Châteauesque style, with 43 bathrooms and 65 fireplaces. The modern-day castle sits on 8,000 acres (3,237 hectares), which means visiting isn’t just a house tour; there are trails (Pisgah Forest), stables, and even a winery in which to while away the afternoon.

South Asheville

Friends enjoy Blue Ridge views in South Asheville.
South Asheville is home to Blue Ridge Parkway. | Bildquelle: AuntieM64 / Tripadvisor

Easy access to North Carolina highlights.

Beyond the Biltmore and its village, South Asheville’s also where you can hop on the Blue Ridge Parkway, kayak across from the majestic estate, or sneak in a visit to the North Carolina Arboretum. Plenty of restaurants and bars—including Wild Ginger and Rocky’s Hot Chicken Shack—are popping up down here too as Asheville explodes, so you won’t be completely left to your nature-and-chateau devices. Though that wouldn’t be so bad, eh?

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Sehen Sie sich alle Touren in Asheville an
Touren und Tickets in 103
Aktivitäten in Asheville
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Hidden Gems Around the World | Viator.com
Hidden Gems Around the World