Downtown Asheville Top 25

Downtown Asheville Top 25

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

LaZoom Tours
LaZoom Tours
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 culture and counterculture with their 90-minute interactive bus tours that depart from downtown. Haunted and beer tours, too!
Momentum Art Gallery, Asheville
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. 24 North Lexington
Drum Circle
Drum Circle
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 expereience.
The Adventure Center of Asheville
Adventure Center of Asheville
Tucked away a mile from downtown is an outdoor lover's playground. Fly on 11 ziplines through old growth trees with skyline and mountain views. Test your skills in a treetop playground. Climb trees or mountain bike. Plus, bring the kids for the first-ever Kid Zip course. See our feature.
North Carolina Stage Company
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 something happening almost every weekend.
Asheville Beer
Asheville Beer & Brewery Guide
Downtown Asheville is the epicenter of the local craft beer explosion. See a complete list of the craft breweries, pubs, taverns, taprooms, brewery tours and more in our Asheville Beer Guide.
Lexington Glassworks, Asheville
Lexington Glassworks
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. No glassblowing on Tuesdays. 81 South Lexington Avenue.  
Asheville Salt Cave
Asheville Salt Cave & Spa
Experience a unique oasis in downtown, a salt-enriched microclimate that allows the body and mind to gain relaxation and balance. The power of salt therapy has been known for centuries. Plus, get a hot salt stone massage and other spa treatments. Read more in our full page feature on the Salt Cave.
Farm-to-Table Dining
Favorite Restaurants
From casual to sophisticated, there are restaurants for all tastes. In downtown Asheville, find 70+ locally-owned restaurants with flavors from around the world. Plus, find many more award-winning chefs throughout the mountains. See our 40 favorite restaurants.
Art Galleries & Studios
Top 20 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 home to hundreds of world-class artists. Here are our favorite galleries to see the their creations.
Asheville Food Tour
Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours
Explore downtown Asheville's best restaurants on a walking food tour. Daytime tasting tours visit six restaurants and food shops for savory and sweet tastings. Learn about downtown along the way. Evening tasting tours feature bites from the city's best chefs, all paired with craft cocktails, wine and beer in some secret, speakeasy spaces.
Thomas Wolfe Memorial
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.
Asheville Urban Trail
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.
The Amazing Pubcycle
The Amazing Pubcycle
Ride through downtown on a wicked-cool 13-person pedal powered (motor-assisted) contraption like no other. Imagine riding your bike sideways, hanging out at your favorite pub on wheels. Pubcycle is a BYOB activity, so get your brew on!
Grove Arcade
Grove Arcade
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.
Live Music
Live Music & Dancing, Downtown Asheville
Asheville offers a mulitude of places to go for live music and dancing any day of the week.
Wine & Cocktail Bars
Wine & Cocktail Bars
Unwind at one of our favorite downtown Asheville wine bars and great places for cocktails.
South Slope Asheville
South Slope Brewing District
On the southside of downtown, explore the fast-growing "Brewery Distrtict" with eight breweries and a growing number of restaurants and shops, transitioning from sleepy industrial warehouses to a hip neighborhood. 
Bender Glass Gallery, Asheville
Bender Gallery
Visit western North Carolina's top contemporary fine art gallery specializing in museum quality glass sculpture by US and international artists. They curate an ever changing collection of exquisite glass sculpture as well as select works in other media. 29 Biltmore Ave, downtown Asheville
Asheville Wellness Tour
Asheville Wellness Tours
Discover a select collection of Asheville's holistic treasures on a 2-hour walking tour featuring an experiential journey. Possibilities include a tea ceremony, yoga in the park, crystal healing, honey tasting, sound healing, and essential oils. Hand crafted itineraries for groups too.
Susan Marie Designs
Susan Marie Designs
Award-winning jewelry designer and goldsmith Susan Marie Phipps works with the finest natural color gemstones, diamonds and pearls. Enjoy seeing Susan’s collection of elegant creations at her gallery/studio. 19 Biltmore Avenue in the heart of downtown Asheville.
French Broad Chocolate Lounge
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 + Milk features the best ice cream in town. Skip the long lines at the Lounge and pick up truffles there! 10 South Pack Square, downtown Asheville. 
Pack Square Park
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 the County Building, it's home to many festivals and free events.
Asheville Community Theatre
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 adventurous productions in their 50-seat black box theatre called 35below.
Basilica of St. Lawrence
Basilica of St. Lawrence
See one of Asheville's architectural treasures and spiritual anchors with the largest freestanding elliptical dome in the country.
Flying Bike Asheville
The Flying Bike - Electric Bike Tours & Rentals
See Asheville the best way possible - by electric bike! Get up close to the must-see spots, meander down beautiful greenways and catch stunning views. Electric-assist bikes make Asheville’s hills easy and fun. Tours daily, departing from their downtown location. Electric bike rentals also.
Conundrum
Conundrum Escape Adventures
Stop in for an intriguing Escape Adventure with local actors and imaginative worlds, and stay for a prohibition era cocktail at their underground Speakeasy under the old Battery Park Hotel in downtown Asheville. 
Dog City USA
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. 
Mast General Store, Asheville
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 great outdoors department with all the major brands. 15 Biltmore Avenue. 

Downtown Asheville

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.

Downtown Asheville Music

Parking in Downtown Asheville

Parking Garages
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)
  • New for 2018: 8-story county parking deck opened 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. 

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