Asheville COVID-19 Update: Please note that any mention of restaurants or local business here is not a recommendation to visit until it is safe to do so with precautions. This post is intended as a resource for future visitors and people considering moving to Asheville, with the goal being to help support the local small businesses that have reopened to continue operating and paying staff. Many if not all business have reduced or limited hours due to COVID. Call ahead to confirm openings and availability.
1. Best time to visit Asheville, NC
You can visit Asheville NC really any time of the year. Our winters are not Boston-level cold, and our summers aren’t Florida-level hot or humid. In general, the best time of year to visit Asheville is the end of March to early June, and September to November.
Some events that bring people to Asheville include:
- Asheville Restaurant Week – January
- Asheville Beer Week – May/June
- Leaf peeping – October
- Brewgrass – October
- Blue Ridge Pride – October
- Christmas at Biltmore – November– January
2. Getting around Asheville?
Asheville is in Uber’s service area. About 90% of your car trips will take you on the highway, because of the way Asheville is built. There are some pockets of Asheville where you won’t need a car, like West Asheville, Montford, North Asheville, and the Downtown area. Biltmore Part is in South Asheville is a planned development where a car is not necessary. But if you want to go from one side of town to the other, you’ll need a car.
Pro tip: One of my favorite areas is the River Arts District. There’s a beautiful, recently completed riverside trail, art galleries, studios, breweries, a winery, restaurants, and a couple great coffee spots. See homes available for sale near the River Arts District below.
3. Asheville Airport transportation
The Asheville airport is located 15 minutes from Downtown Asheville. You can take an Uber or Taxi service to or from the Asheville airport. The Asheville airport is super simple to navigate: it has one main terminal that handles all domestic flights.
AT THE AIRPORT: Once you’re on the terminal curbside, turn left and walk to the end, where you’ll see the Ride App Pickup Zone.
4. What are some of the well-known areas/neighborhoods?
I currently live in West Asheville and love being minutes to downtown, the French Broad River and Carrier Park, and a short drive to the Blue Ridge Parkway. The housing market in Asheville has exploded due to urban flight – more people are leaving cities and are coming to Asheville for the outdoors and space. As a result, the cost of living has gone up, and affordability has decreased. Some popular neighborhoods include:
- North Asheville & Grove Park (avg home price ~1.1 MM)
- Montford (avg home price ~729k)
- West Asheville / River Arts District (avg home price ~340-419k)
- Downtown (avg home price ~754k)
- Biltmore Forest Area (avg home price ~1.7 MM)
Despite COVID, Asheville continues to have a strong local economy, and there are still many things to see and do – especially if you like the outdoors. One of my favorite parts about being a Realtor in Asheville is helping people find a home that lets them do more of what they love outdoors. The main reason I left city life and traded it for eclectic, outdoorsy Asheville was so that it would be easier for my family (dog included) to make adventure a big part of our life. We love living near nature trails, the French Broad River, and minutes from once-in-a-lifetime views.
If you’re thinking about moving to Asheville, there are a few things that you should know before you make the journey here. Here’s my list of 7 reasons why Asheville is the best place to live.
A *short* list of things to do in Asheville, NC
Asheville is a mecca for outdoor lovers. And I’m cheating with the first item on this list. Because how can I stop at only 7 things?
- Float down the French Broad River
- Visit galleries and studios in the River Arts District
- Trails at Tsali
- Tour the Biltmore gardens (& homesite)
- Visit the WNC Farmer’s Market
- Watch the sunrise at Craggy Gardens
- Watch the sunrise from the Blue Ridge Parkway
- Watch the sunset from the Blue Ridge Parkway
- Get takeout or delivery from Asheville’s best local restaurants
- Try all the craft beer
We love our local food scene
If you’re like me, food is the key to my soul. Food defines a place and Asheville has a ton of options making it really easy to pair food with your favorite adventure. We’re super lucky to have a strong community of farmers, growers, and local restauranteurs in Asheville.
Unfortunately, our local restaurants have been hit hard by COVID-19. Many are doing take-out only and have reduced indoor seating capacity to 30% or less. I definitely recommend calling ahead if you plan to dine indoors or outdoors, and opt for take-out when possible.
As you probably already know, Asheville is well known for unique craft breweries and cideries. Because of COVID, many have amped up outdoor seating options, which means you can enjoy a nice craft beer in a relaxed patio atmosphere after a long day of exploring.
Pro Tip: Get fresh, made-to-order donuts at Hole Doughnuts.
Asheville is a nature lover’s paradise
There’s a reason so many people are moving to the hills of Western North Carolina and calling Asheville home – it’s beautiful.
Access to outdoor recreation opportunities & Western North Carolina’s natural resources is definitely a huge draw to the area. People spend thousands of dollars vacationing here every year, and us locals get to live here.
If you enjoy nature trails, waterfalls, rivers, or once-in-a-lifetime views, few places can compete with Western North Carolina.
Asheville is Dog City, USA
Asheville’s worst kept secret? Dogs love it here. Maybe it’s because we have the world’s only dog welcome center. Maybe it’s because the restaurants and breweries love dogs. Maybe it’s because we have some of the best hikes, trails and waterways in the country for getting out into nature with our dogs.
Whatever the reason, the moniker rings true: Asheville is a great place for dog owners.
Seasons bring about a certain dynamic flow to life, and Asheville offers four well-rounded seasons. If you’ve been following me for a while you know that Fall is one of my favorite seasons. The drama of the color change followed by the trees losing their leaves, exposing new, unadulterated views of the landscape is priceless. Don’t get me wrong, I love the return of summer and river swims, but Fall has my heart.
Small Local Businesses Rule Asheville NC
Asheville is unlike most other cities that have skyrocketed in popularity over the past decade (think: Austin TX). Asheville is unique because there are only a handful of large businesses in the area (Mercy Health, UNC Asheville). For the most part, Asheville has kept it’s business scene super local and super small.
In the past, this has definitely impacted the local job market. But with COVID, more people have the option to work remotely. So, Asheville is starting to pop back up onto people’s radars.
Asheville-ians are incredibly friendly
The first two things that I tell everyone about Asheville is 1) Asheville is easy and 2) Asheville is friendly.
In Asheville, get the tight-knit community feel of a small mountain town where 90%+ of the businesses are small and locally owned, but also have access to amenities typical of larger cities including a robust hospital system, lots of restaurants, music, and during non-COVID times, lots of great festivals nearby or within a short drive.
Asheville has the kind of community where neighbors will bring you a welcome basket if you’re new, invite you to backyard drink socials (socially distanced now), watch each other’s kids, and take day trips together. I’ve found the sense of community is strengthened because a lot of people here value wellness and active lifestyles and the mountains are a fabulous place to do that with friends and family.