Question: Why do so many folks that visit the Asheville area on vacation end up moving here? Answer: Once they visit, they love it so much they either stay, or make plans to move to the area in the future. A truly eclectic, comfy, and beautiful mountain city, Asheville is so inviting, you'll want to make it your home town! For those who love the outdoors, this area beckons your soul to explore Mother Nature and all her beauty. Whether you spend the day hiking on the Appalachian Trail or along the Blue Ridge Parkway , you will not be at a loss for magnificent views and crisp mountain air. But there are more than just mountains to discover in this breathtaking haven.
Smothered in a helping of southern charm and nostalgic buildings, downtown Asheville maintains the old and welcomes the new. Art galleries, restaurants, businesses and shops of all types make up the heart of Asheville. The Vance Monument stands proudly at center stage with many great places surrounding it, including Pack Place and The Fine Arts Theatre . The Thomas Wolfe Memorial can also be found just north of downtown as well.
A nice residential area with wonderful restaurants and businesses of all types make up West Asheville. The Famous Harbor Inn Seafood dishes out some tasty seafood in a relaxed, casual environment. If you're looking to satiate a more hearty appetite, check out 12 Bones Smokehouse for the smokiest meat in town.
Head east and you will discover the town of Black Mountain , smaller than Asheville, and truly quaint; do not overlook this small paradise. The fabulous bed and breakfast, Red Rocker Inn , sits along Main Street, where there is rich hunting for antique collectors. My Father's Pizza serves up fresh piping hot pizza with toppings of all kinds, including asparagus and artichoke hearts. Shop and nibble your way through a fun day in Black Mountain.
The Montford area of old homes is certainly worth a drive-through. Winding your way through this residential area is the perfect way to spend an afternoon. Tucked in the North side of Asheville is the magnificent Grove Park Inn Resort and Spa with its lovely golf course beckoning those who love the sport.
South Asheville holds a real jewel in the crown of attractions for this area. The Biltmore Estate is truly a must-see. Drive through the gates and wind back to this privately owned estate of elegance and magic. Biltmore Village offers unique shops and eateries of all types.
Western North Carolina Area
Small mountain towns surround Asheville, each with its own tourist attraction contribution. You do not have to venture far to see breathtaking beauty. Grandfather Mountain , Chimney Rock Park and Linville Cavern offer up outdoor adventure, while Connemara, Pack Place and Harrah's Cherokee Casino cater to indoor fun!
Everyone can have an inexpensive day out, too. Finding a great place to unpack your picnic basket is never hard to do. Many local parks offer trails, shade and picnic tables. Browsing the local Farmer's Market is also a nice way to spend an afternoon.
Night owls can find fun after dark, as many local pubs, bars and clubs keep Asheville hopping! Live music, dancing, pool and darts are just some of the attractions at many of these locations.
Children will never be bored with such an array of activities to see and do. The Western North Carolina Nature Center in East Asheville has a great curriculum of fun, as does The Health Adventure at Pack Place in downtown Asheville. Climbmax Indoor Climbing Center gives kids of all ages (and adults) an opportunity to learn rock climbing in an indoor area with experts there to help and guide.
Like to shop? Several art and craft galleries await you. Local artists show their wares in these shops located in downtown Asheville, Black Mountain and Weaverville.
Lets not forget the bevy of festivals this area offers up. Bele Chere is one of the biggest outdoor events in the Southeast. The entire downtown area of Asheville is blocked off with stages, food vendors, rides and more! This event goes for three solid days, with a hundred or more performances of many music genres on the eight to nine stages positioned throughout the city.
Free concerts can be heard in June and July during the University of North Carolina Concerts on the Quad series, held almost every Monday night in front of Lipinsky Auditorium. Folks and their families bring a blanket and some snack and enjoy all types of music from mountain music to jazz.
The beginning of summer is celebrated with “Moonlight Over Downtown,” and “Downtown After Five” directly follows. These events consist of free live concerts, with food and drinks available. Many have called these two events “city block parties.”
Shindig on the Green also provides fun and music on Saturday nights in the summer. Local Bluegrass and old-time musicians gather to supply foot stomping tunes. Folks gather bringing their lawn chairs and blankets and lay back and enjoy the sights and sounds.
Asheville has become such a melting pot for people of all ethnic backgrounds. With all these different cultures, as well as, the mountain folk of long ago—the food available is quite eclectic. Never dull, and always something new to find, Asheville gives visitors a chance to savor good food that is diverse and delicious.
Al fresco Dining
Seasonal weather allows for a lot of dining al fresco. Bistro 1896 , The Noodle Shop and La Caterina are also located downtown and offer outside seating.
Hannah Flanagan's Irish Pub & Restaurant located south on Biltmore Avenue features live music throughout the week in the spring and summer on their outdoor stage. Enjoy your delicious Irish style meal on the large porch with seating area while listening to the music. Want to eat somewhere unique? How about the Double Decker Coffee Company? Enjoy gourmet coffee and pastry from this “real” double decker bus establishment. Across the street, Blue Moon Bakery & Cafe has outdoor tables to savor something from their menu of coffees, pastries and sandwiches.
Magnolia's Raw Bar & Grille has a very unique covered patio. It has the openness of a regular patio, yet it is covered enough to shield diners from heat and rain.
Several other area restaurants and eateries offer outside dining for its patrons. Whichever place you choose, Asheville, with its mild year round temperatures, certainly has the weather in which to enjoy your meal inside or out.
Looking for elegant, upscale places to dine? Perhaps Page 23 will fit the bill. Located inside the Haywood Park Hotel on the lower level, this is truly a fine dining experience of continental cuisine. Deerpark Restaurant at Biltmore Estate is also a very nice restaurant to dine at with its open-air feel. Sunset Terrace at Grove Park Inn wraps you in the beauty of the mountains and all the elegance for which the Grove Park Inn Resort and Spa is famous. Gabrielle's at Richmond Hill Inn is an award-winning restaurant that surrounds its guests with Victorian elegance and ambience. The uniquely-named Flying Frog Cafe offers a truly unique, exquisite dining experience. The menu features Indian and other European specialties. Another restaurant that features European fare is The Windmill European Grill, one of Asheville's favorite places to dine. The Market Place has an ever-changing menu—but it is always something delicious made with the finest ingredients available. They have a large selection of award winning wines to accompany your meal.
Looking for good food and a variety of good brews? The Bier Garden has over 200 premier beers to choose from and a delicious American/Continental menu. Celtic influences are apparent at Jack of the Wood . This downtown pub offers a huge list of beer and spirits all handcrafted. Wine is available too. Popular with the college crowd, Asheville Pizza & Brewing Co. serves up a delicious pizza and subs with ice-cold beer. Barley's Taproom & Pizzeria is another pizza staple here in the city. Live music can be heard as well covering all types of music genres. Looking for something different? Try Perks At Night for some wine, cheese or scrumptious desserts. This is a great place to hit after dinner or a movie.
The Laughing Seed Cafe has long been a favorite with area vegetarians and meat lovers alike. Its menu features organic ingredients and fresh produce. Cafe Max & Rosie's is another vegetarian delight. Excellent veggie burgers can be found here, and they can be washed down with something from the juice bar. Earth Fare is no longer just a place to purchase health foods or organic produce; it now has a buffet bar for lunch or dinner that is certainly stocked with an array of healthy choices.
Pizza and Such
For more casual dining, try the Mellow Mushroom for out of this world oven fare. Their pizza crust and calzones are made with a secret recipe that includes fresh spring water. Outside seating is available on the patio in spring and summer. My Father's Pizza is another place to enjoy truly magnificent pizza. Always packed, this pizzeria has a menu that includes a vegetarian pizza with artichoke hearts and asparagus as two of its yummy toppings. There is also a patio for outside dining in the warmer months.
Whatever the food or drink of your choice, you will find something that pleases here in Asheville. Approach your dining experience like an adventure. You will not be disappointed in any that you choose.