Asheville and its surrounding areas are naturally picturesque anytime of year. Throw in some holiday lights, cool, frosty mornings, the scent of gingerbread and it turns into pure, festive magic. As we roll into the holiday season consider different and unique ways to shop in and around Asheville this year. Bundle up in your warmest coat, grab your loved ones and head on out. A hot beverage in hand is highly encouraged for the optimal holiday experience. Here are just a few recommendations we think you’ll enjoy. Bonus! Amid the festive magic, it is always great to shop local!
1. The Grove Arcade
Looking for some Holiday spirit? Whimsical, historical and charming? Look no further than The Grove Arcade. This 1920’s architectural treasure gets dressed up and decked out for the holidays. It is definitely worth a visit to see this venue in all its holiday glory. Even better, starting Nov 18, 2021 the halls and their merchants will be primed and ready for Winter Wonderland. The best thing about shopping here is when you work up an appetite (or get thirsty), there are plenty of restaurants, sweet treats, and adult beverages available!
2. Shopping The Arts and Crafts in Asheville
The Show and Tell Pop-Up Market is a great one-stop-shop, one day event, showcasing many local artists and crafters. Be sure to “pop-in!” This event is hosted at Rabbit Rabbit in the heart of downtown Asheville. This makes it the perfect event to grab a beverage and browse the goods. Click here for details.
If you miss the Pop-Up Market, there are still several chances to shop wonderful artists in Asheville. Head down to the River Arts District where you can find local and internationally renowned artists keeping shop.
Another way to shop the arts this year is the annual UNC Asheville Holiday Student Art and Ceramic Sale. Head to campus to find a “wide variety of functional and decorative pottery and other artwork crafted by UNC Asheville students” Dates and times can be found here.
We haven’t even mentioned the numerous galleries that sprinkle downtown!
3. Biltmore Village
Biltmore Village, sitting at the gates of The Biltmore Estate, is known as one of the premier shopping destinations just south of Downtown Asheville. The Village was originally designed to resemble an English village. Those same architectural inspired touches can be seen today. When the holiday lights begin to sparkle, so do the sidewalks and storefronts. It’s as if you have stepped back in time to a quaint English village where the buildings seem to resemble delicious gingerbread, making it an ultimate shopping destination.
Some of our favorite shops here include:
4. Surrounding Buncombe County Farmers Markets
Buncombe County is lucky to have a strong local foods movement and the support of a community that makes a booming local food economy possible. Although the temperatures are dropping and the season is shifting, you can continue to find fresh local produce and goods. This year, surrounding farmers markets are hosting a holiday market to make these products even more accessible. There are several locations that will be hosting local food, farmers and artists, so be sure to check here for dates and times.
5. Downtown Asheville
We love to spend a leisurely Saturday shopping in downtown Asheville. Stop into Duncan & York for gifts for your friends, little ones, or even yourself. According to them, “Gift Giving Doesn’t Have to be a Snoozefest” and we have to agree. Just down the street, you’ll find the gift shop for the world-famous East Fork Pottery. The home chef in your life will certainly appreciate a piece of pottery, cookbook, or cutlery unique to Asheville.
This year, one of Asheville’s biggest events makes its return to downtown, The Big Crafty. According to their website,
“The Big Crafty is a hand-to-heart celebration of creative exuberance held twice annually in the heart of beautiful Asheville, NC. Our guiding principle is that supporting creative venturers makes for a stronger community, and our aim is to make doing so fun.”
We have to agree with this mission statement and can’t wait to stop in December 4-5th at Harrah’s Cherokee Center Asheville.
Some other stores we recommend downtown include: