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Asheville Neighborhoods

Downtown Asheville
Photo courtesy of exploreasheville.com

Downtown Asheville

An urban core dotted with stately structures from the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, downtown Asheville now serves as a backdrop for many of the city's quirky retailers, artisanal restaurants and open-air music festivals. Dominated by the art deco city hall (whose silhouette is used on Asheville's official seal), the area is a must for architecture buffs, featuring the neo-Gothic Jackson Building—at 15 stories the first skyscraper in Western North Carolina—as well as Rafael Guastavino’s Spanish baroque Basilica of Saint Lawrence and the floridly deco S&W Cafeteria. Meanwhile, literary fans make pilgrimages to sites associated with former residents O. Henry and Thomas Wolfe.

Hendersonville
Photo: Getty

Hendersonville

Located on a Blue Ridge plateau 22 miles south of Asheville, this quaint town revolves around a historic main street and its many agricultural pursuits, including wineries, breweries and cideries. More curious attractions include the Mineral and Lapidary Museum—which displays not only a meteorite but also a wooly mammoth leg bone—and, in Oakdale Cemetery, a massive marble angel reputedly carved by Thomas Wolfe's father that was memorialized in Look Homeward, Angel. Visceral pleasures range from quaffing a local apple cider at Appalachian Ridge Artisan Ciders to climbing to the top of Jump Off Rock to take in the breathtaking mountain vista.

Montford
Photo courtesy of Romantic Asheville

Montford

Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1977, the Montford Area Historic District is a leafy area just north of downtown. Ideal for strolling, it became a prime residential neighborhood in the early 20th Century for Asheville's city leaders, businesspeople and professionals, who built elaborate homes in the Victorian, Queen Anne and Arts and Crafts styles. Many of these are now particularly charming bed-and-breakfasts, ideal when attending spring's music, art and Shakespeare in the Park festivals.

West Asheville
Photo courtesy of Romantic Asheville

West Asheville

Deemed the Brooklyn of North Carolina, West Asheville is the city's hipster central, complete with idiosyncratic coffee bars decorated with toy action figures and vintage gas stations converted into after-dark haunts. Across the French Broad River from downtown, the neighborhood is a haven for trendsetters who pack the area's breweries, eateries, tattoo parlors and vintage shops, from BimBeriBon with its gluten-free "real feelgood food" to Instant Karma, which sells everything from Grateful Dead tapestries to cauldrons.

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