As Asheville grows and the landscape changes we are beginning to see distinct personalities pop up across the evolving community and neighborhoods. Each major neighborhood exudes its own style and culture with shopping, coveted farmers markets, music venues and restaurants to feed their spirits . Read through the top 5 urban neighborhoods and see which neighborhood resonates with you.
1. Central Business District, aka CBD or Downtown
No doubt that the CBD, better known as Downtown Asheville, is the heartbeat of the city and the main vein for the county. Awash in Art Deco buildings that give it extra charm, it’s the epicenter full of life, culture, and food. All within walking distance from many of the condo projects shaping the current cityscape. Don’t be fooled by its growth as Downtown still houses the deep rooted efforts of local entrepreneurs, james beard chefs and local artists. There are multiple opportunities to live in the CBD, mainly condominiums, new and old. Some projects available may provide investment potential, short term rentals or simply your respite from the hustle and bustle of this vibrant city.
“Stroll through a vibrant entertainment hub in the heart of Asheville, brimming with independent shops, farm-fresh eateries, and a remarkably distinctive mountain vibe.”
2. Montford, Historic District
“Asheville’s Historic Neighborhood”, this neighborhood is located just north of the CBD. Many homes in Montford can be found on the National Register Historic District with the architecture dating between 1890 and 1920. This historical neighborhood has seen a recent rebirth as homes are being fully renovated bringing its heritage back to life. You’ll find many of the larger homes are now Bed and Breakfasts, a few shops sprinkled among the residents and a few well known locals favorite restaurants. So, if you want to be tucked away yet as close as possible to the heartbeat this is your neighborhood. Downtown is an easy walking distance.
“Few neighborhoods express the rich architectural heritage and vitality of Asheville better than the Montford Historic District. Its rich history included being home to several boarding houses and sanitariums for tuberculosis, mental disorders and other ailments.”
3. River Arts District, aka R.A.D.
The River Arts District is the most recent and most up and coming urban Asheville neighborhood. A large part of this is due to the recent establishment of New Belgium Brewing. The R.A.D. is located on the French Broad river just south of the CBD, and below treny West Asheville. It is littered with funky art galleries that took up residence in the old warehouses that housed different types of factories such as meat packing facilities, tanneries, ag co-ops and the Standard Oil Co. This neighborhood is bright, colorful and scattered with locals basking in the river, and sunlight. Now with the recently added greenway it opens up a world of possibilities to connect with other urban communities, including the CBD. Housing is just beginning to pop up here with projections of future projects following suit.
“Millennial artsy zone.Cool hipster spot to spend a few hours. We had lunch at White Duck Taco on picnic tables by the river. Strolled the river path until it crossed the street and went over to Ultra Coffee and Wedge Brewery. Lots of dog walkers, bikers, runners. Historic warehouse buildings with murals, art shops and metal art in public spaces.”
-sunlovinmama; Trip Advisor
4. West Asheville, Hip and Vintage
West Asheville, the older sister neighborhood of the R.A.D., is chock full of character with bunglows spotting the streets that were built in the late 19 teens, early 1920’s to house the factory workers that held jobs down by the river. At one time West Asheville was derelict and run down. As Asheville started to gain popularity many young couples and small families started to buy on this side of the river simply because of its affordability. With all that youth moving into the neighborhood we see the hard work come to fruition and the west now reestablished as the most trendy neighborhood in urban Asheville. Living here provides a youthful neighborhood feel with many options to dine and drink in subtle settings yet with amazing world class fare.
“Known for its hip, vintage and laid-back vibe, the West Asheville neighborhood awaits, with local restaurants serving up comfort food, music venues booking up-and-coming acts and shops filled with yet-to-be-discovered treasures.”
5. North Asheville, University District
North Asheville, as you can imagine, is North of the CBD. An older, well established neighborhood that is home to the University of North Carolina-Asheville. Most well known for also being the home of the Grove Park Inn, this corridor has many niches to offer. Merrimon Ave is the main vein that connects the GPI and University district hosting several restaurants, pubs, taco joints and a few chain shops thrown in there. The GPI side boasts large, well established homes overlooking the golf course. The University side hosts slightly larger bungalows yet still full of charm. Living here will give you quick access to downtown, the highway, as well as to the beautiful botanical gardens and the northern part of the county where you can find a lot of outdoor activities.
Whether it’s the west side or in the heartbeat of downtown that has you swooning, I am confident you can find something in each territory that will have you wanting to come back for more. One thing is for sure, Asheville is growing. As it matures we are enjoying watching it form while it continues to identify with its own distinct personality that is still very much intact.