Downtown Asheville is a great place to be! Our lively city center has gorgeous architecture, fantastic stores, a huge variety of 100 restaurants, interesting museums, fun street performers and many free festivals. The diverse mix of culture, music and art has led to our city center being dubbed by many as the "Paris of the South."
Downtown is a definitely a shopper's paradise with 200+ locally-owned stores and boutiques. You won't find tacky tourist shops. You could easily spend a day browsing the big variety of clothing, gifts, antiques and books. Find plenty of local and international creations in the many art galleries. Walk to many craft breweries, take a guided tour or picnic in the park. Pack Square is home to many of our favorite festivals for Spring, Summer and Fall.
See our favorite things to do and places to see below, along with parking tips.
Downtown Asheville Things to Do
Momentum Art Gallery
See spectacular contemporary art from artists in western North Carolina and throughout the United States - browsing is welcome in this downtown gallery. 52 Broadway.
This eclectic gift shop downtown on Wall Street features a variety of hand-crafted gifts, art, Asheville souvenirs and more by local makers, craftspeople and artists. Find t-shirts, magnets,… read more
Asheville Wellness Tours
Specializing in crafting custom itineraries with a variety of experiences like yoga hikes, private group yoga, forest bathing, tarot readings, mobile massage, essential oil blending, downtown… read more
Take the most fun city tour ever in a bright purple bus full of laughter! Through captivating stories, comedy skits, and an enthralling musical soundscape, experience Asheville's history, current… read more
Stroll through this beautiful historic "mall" in downtown Asheville with high quality specialty shops and local restaurants. See local art and craft at the outdoor market.
Watch glassblowers at work and see their amazing creations on display in their working studio in downtown Asheville. Their taproom features local beer in hand-blown glasses! Open 7 days. 81 South… read more
NC Stage Company
Enjoy professional theatre in the heart of downtown Asheville with world-class productions in a very intimate setting (only 127 seats!). They also host concerts and other events, so there's… read more
The Flying Bike - Electric Bike Tours & Rentals
See Asheville the best way possible - by electric bike! The Flying Bike provides unforgettable tours and rentals on their Pedego electric bikes. Join them on a tour and see Asheville’s noteworthy… read more
Asheville Rooftop Bar Tours
See the city’s scenic beauty and historic landmarks atop some of Asheville’s highly acclaimed rooftop bars! This fun guided tour in the heart of the city offers fascinating stories and photos from… read more
Asheville Community Theatre
For 70 years, our Community Theatre has been presenting outstanding musicals, comedies and dramas in downtown. Watch the "Mainstage" shows in the 400-seat theatre or a big variety of more… read more
Still Point Wellness Massage and Float Spa
Experience deep relaxation with Salt Water Floatation (sensory deprivation) and stress relief with Esalen Massage. Detoxify and destress with a Far Infrared sauna session, or explore how thoughts… read more
Thomas Wolfe Memorial
This is the novelist's boyhood home and setting for "Look Homeward, Angel." Tour the fascinating, rambling house located in downtown Asheville. 52 N. Market Street.
Mast General Store
This favorite stop for tourists and locals is an old-fashioned general store with the latest products, including clothing, fun gifts, cooking accessories and a huge candy section. Downstairs is a… read more
French Broad Chocolate Lounge
Savor hand-crafted, artisanal, organic chocolates and pastries in this extremely popular emporium, served with wine, beer, coffee or tea. Or sip liquid truffle chocolates. Next door, Chocolate +… read more
Adventure Center of Asheville
Open all year and just minutes from Downtown! This center for adventure offers something for everyone, whether you're 4 or 94! Zip on the Canopy Zipline Tour with two 1,200 foot lines, or make it… read more
South Slope Brewing District
On the southside of downtown, explore the fast-growing "Brewery District" with eight breweries and a growing number of restaurants and shops, transitioning from sleepy industrial warehouses to a… read more
Play, listen and dance at the Drum Circle every Friday night in Pritchard Park in downtown Asheville (except for winter months). All are welcome to one of the most diverse audiences you'll ever… read more
Dog City USA
See our top spots to visit in downtown Asheville on the Dog City USA trail, which includes the Doggie Welcome Center, a restaurant with a dog menu, a bakery and a hotel with rescue pooches.
Top Art Galleries
Visit a gallery to be amazed at a big variety of local art and craft, including glass, paintings, pottery and every other medium you can imagine. Asheville and the North Carolina mountains are… read more
Pack Square Park
Downtown Asheville's historic public square has been a central focal point since the city's creation in 1797. Spanning from the Vance Monument to the Roger McGuire Green in front of City Hall and… read more
Asheville Art Museum
Explore world-class special exhibitions and the museum's outstanding collection, showcasing the very best of 20th and 21st century American art in the heart of downtown Asheville.
Top Restaurants in & near Asheville
From casual to sophisticated, there are many restaurants for all tastes, with flavors from around the world. Plus, find many more award-winning chefs throughout the mountains. See our top picks… read more
Asheville Urban Trail
(1.7-mile loop, easy) This outdoors museum is a self-guided walking tour on the sidewalks of downtown Asheville, leading to 30 sculptures that depict local history.
Basilica of St. Lawrence
See one of Asheville's architectural treasures and spiritual anchors with the largest freestanding elliptical dome in the country.
Live Music & Dancing, Downtown Asheville
Asheville offers a multitude of places to go for live music and dancing any day of the week.
Wine & Cocktail Bars
Unwind at one of our favorite downtown Asheville wine bars and great places for cocktails.
Downtown Asheville Shopping Areas
- Grove Arcade: This renovated historic building is worth a visit to admire the architecture alone, but it's also a wonderful place to wander, shop or visit galleries. The dining options range from Chicago-style hot dogs to frozen custard, wine bars to coffee shops, upscale restaurants to sidewalk cafes.
- Haywood Street: From chocolate to contemporary furniture to wigs, you can find it all on Haywood. See the works of 150 artists at Woolworth Walk, browse Malaprops Bookstore and get your craft supplies at the Earth Guild.
- Wall Street: This picturesque side street features a mix of unique shops and some great restaurants like Early Girl and Market Place.
- Broadway & Biltmore: This street changes name at the monument, with Broadway to one side of Patton Avenue and Biltmore to the other. It is lined with local institutions like Mast General Store and Blue Sprial I gallery, along with many restaurants with outdoor dining.
- Lexington Avenue: It's described as "funky and eclectic" and "hip and happening." The street has adopted the motto "where world culture meets counter culture."
- See a map of downtown.
Parking in Downtown Asheville
The easiest solution to parking is using one of the five city & county parking decks. It's free for the first hour, then $1.50/hour. Get real time updates on spaces available in each deck!
- Civic Center Parking Deck is entered from Haywood or Rankin (550 spaces)
- Rankin Avenue Parking Deck is entered from Walnut or Rankin (262 spaces)
- Wall Street Parking Deck (adjacent to Grove Arcade) is entered from Otis Street near Patton Avenue (232 spaces) - usually the busiest
- Biltmore Public Parking Deck is at 51 Biltmore Avenue (412 spaces)
- Buncombe County Parking Deck at 164 College Street across from Pack Square Park (650 spaces)
- Sears Alley Public Parking Deck at 40 Coxe Avenue with 664 spots- great for after 5 PM M-F and all weekend (nearest South Slope). Enter from Sears Alley.
There are a couple of privately owned parking garages in Asheville downtown that are usually more expensive, but very convenient.
On-Street Parking - Free after 6 PM & Sundays
There are more than 700 on-street, metered spaces in downtown Asheville. All meters are for short term parking (two hours or less, as marked) at a cost of $1.50 per hour. All meters accept coins only or pay via the Passport Parking App. The metered spaces are enforced from 8 AM to 6 PM, Monday through Saturday. Parking is FREE each Sunday and city holidays: New Year's Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Friday after Thanksgiving and Christmas (3 days). So don't "feed the meters" on these days.