We have been visiting the Downtown Asheville Art District at least once a year for the past 6 years. This trip never gets old for us.
There are so many reasons to love this area! Some of which include the ambiance of an artful community, those beautiful rolling mountains, fresh air filling my lungs. And of course, the sweetness of personal touch found in so many of the small businesses.
Since this blog can’t go on forever, I’ll just elaborate on 5 reasons Asheville is so fabulous!
Reason number 1- Lots of local entrepreneurs
Asheville strongly supports their local entrepreneurs. This support helps cultivate culture and diversity in the community which creates a self supporting system which I admire.
At the end of this trip we found a cool catalog called GO LOCAL with a drawing of a rocked out bee on the cover. I am so glad I got to read this catalog to find yet another reason why I love Asheville! I can use the information found in Go LOCAL to shape our next trip to Asheville.
How to save money in local businesses
A GOLOCAL card can be purchased before you make your trip to Asheville or in various stores in Asheville for $16. You can make that money back in discounts around town.
The Go LOCAL card can be used for restaurants, boutiques, all types of entertainment venues. But wait,there’s more! Use the discount card on farms, at health and wellness salons, pet care, hotels, bed & breakfast or pretty much anything that you could possibly think of while you are there.
Support community small business entrepreneurs, local artists and children all while SAVING MONEY! GO LOCAL donates $8 of every card purchased to Asheville city schools and last year donated $18,500!
I found out after the fact that two of the businesses we patronized were on the GO LOCAL list of over 400 participating businesses. We could have gotten discounts with the GO LOCAL card.
Local entrepreneurs represent the underdog in our corporate, big business America and we always want to support the underdogs. We all deserve a chance to come up and live our dreams.
Reason number 2- Unique fashion finds
One of a kind Fashion! Can I live for a minute? Check out this post apocalyptic looking dress and horned crown (pictured above) we found in Royal Peasantry! This city has personality and lots of personal expression.
Creative style personality can be found here in Asheville’s boutiques- our favorite type of shopping. Our favorite boutiques in downtown Asheville are RoyalPeasantry, Lost and Found AVL, Hip Replacements Clothing and Spiritex . There were many others we just enjoyed browsing through because of their artistic appeal. It’s gonna be hard not to whip out that debit card!
Reason number 3- Music & Culture
Music and culture are vibrant and alive here in Asheville! There are people in the streets making music from the old timer right down to the young. We met this incredible father who has educated his sons in folk/ classic rock. His children play their instruments doing cover songs on the streets of Downtown Asheville. Community members looks for these sibling performers known as The Buskits because they are frequently performing.
Asheville is known for a strong heritage of blues, gospel, old-time, folk, early country and bluegrass music. You can also find night spots that play the latest radio tunes.
Reason number 4- The food!
The over indulgence of mouth watering food here is a special treat. We always find ourselves back at two popular spots in downtown Asheville. They have become traditions for us although there are countless reputable options in this area. The GO LOCAL catalog is an excellent resource for the many options available to you.
First we go to the Mexican & Caribbean restaurant Salsas for dinner every year. This restaurant is small with indoor and outdoor seating. There will probably be a wait time but the food is always full of flavor and the serving very generous.
If you are sit indoors, your eyes will scan large brightly colored murals on the walls. You will definitely project your voice as you speak with the waiter over fellow enthused patrons and music. Reasonably priced delicious entrees and great service has us returning every year!
We both felt like a tight balloon about to pop by the time we left Salsas so waited until much later in the evening to go for desert at French Broad Chocolate lounge. Get a 10% disc off your order at French Broad Chocolate with the GO LOCAL card.
Can you believe that you can actually order a cup of hot melted chocolate to drink here?!!! My favorite is Liquid Truffle sipping chocolate with rose, cardamom + pistachio – Incredible experience! There are also traditional deserts like gourmet cakes, ice cream, cookies and all kinds of treats.
Be prepared for an overwhelm of sugar options. There is usually a line outside to enter this establishment when we have gone in the evening. I doubt you will be bored during the wait time though. There will most likely be entertainment. There was a great guitar player setting a calm mood for all of us sugar fiends in line.
Still carrying a full belly from dinner, we decided to order cake slices and take them back to our Airbnb for a midnight snack!
Reason number 5-Nature
Hiking refreshes our spirits! In everyday life we are bombarded with constant stimulation from our daily responsibilities to social media, noisy neighbors, current events ect. Getting to Asheville is our break from everything and the element of nature takes this idea to the next level.
This is why we make sure to include mountain hiking at Dupont National Forest during our stay. Dupont is a very relaxing 1 hour ride from Asheville.
The Autumn is a very popular time of year to visit Asheville because of all the color. Visually striking Fall leaves rustle in the breeze. These shades of red, yellow, orange, browns and some greens sporadically rain down gently upon our heads keeping us in a peaceful trance.
We can be quiet. Listen for God’s good words filtering into our minds and hearts as we appreciate his grand masterpiece of creation. Our ears take in the trees applause of life when a breeze flows through and they embrace the sound of the waterfalls. This reminds us that nothing is more powerful than our creator and his divine plan. Although it may sometimes be a mystery to us- everything ultimately serves a purpose.
Our stay in the Airbnb dome pictured above is located in Weaverville, NC which is only a 10min drive from downtown Asheville. The view from this dome is immaculate mountains and trees that seem to go on forever. The evening sky is loaded with stars that seem so close you could touch them – for me, staying at the dome is magical. There is also a wood burning stove inside! We enjoyed learning how to use that stove to heat our space. Sometimes simple can be so heartwarming.
Overall this area of North Carolina has so much to offer. Asheville is popping with street art, galleries, great food and musicians. With that being said, you may notice as the evening rolls in that, like everywhere, there are people living on the fringes of society due to addiction, homelessness and those given over to drunkenness. Always be aware of your environment. I wouldn’t recommend walking around with lots of shopping bags after dark. We have never encountered trouble over the past 6 years but a friend of ours did have a dangerous encounter recently.
You will want to take your time in Asheville because there is lots to see and do. Make sure to try and stay for at least two days if you can!
Written By Nikia Knapp/Edit by Craig Greshaw
Photography By Colorful Life Productions unless otherwise noted.
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