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6 Fantastic Neighborhoods In Asheville For Living & Good Times

What are the best neighborhoods in Asheville, NC for living, playing, eating, and dreaming? As AVL locals, we are sharing the pros and cons of some of the coolest Asheville neighborhoods.

Full disclosure, first, that I am a little fluid on Asheville neighborhood lines. When making generalizations on the blog, I typically blend the River Arts District (RAD) into West Asheville, and Montford into North Asheville.

They are separate neighborhoods with stellar personalities. Don’t come for me.

But, for the sake of all that is holy and true, and the fact that I am not a realtor, these are what we consider to be the coolest neighborhoods in Asheville. ‘Best’ and ‘coolest’ is of course, subjective.

See which Asheville neighborhoods are filled with literary history, hide the best eats and brews, and showcase stunning eye candy.

This Asheville neighborhoods guide is for both visitors and people considering moving to Asheville. Let’s get started!

Thinking of moving to Asheville? Don’t miss this post.

Best Asheville Neighborhoods Pinterest Pin with images of West Asheville mural and Dolly Parton mural, sunset at Omni Grove Park Inn in North Asheville, and pleb urban winery red wine glasses in River Arts District (RAD)
Touring AVL soon? Save this post for later to visit the best neighborhoods in Asheville with all of their hidden treats.

This post may contain affiliate links for products and services I recommend. If you make a purchase through these links, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission. Read the full disclosure here.

6 Best Neighborhoods In Asheville, NC

1. Montford

Chiesa Restaurant Montford Neighborhood Asheville with grey house, red shutters and door, and plants & flowers
Montford, one of our favorite neighborhoods in Asheville, is home to the best Italian restaurant, Chiesa.

Montford sits between downtown Asheville and North Asheville. Parts of Montford are on the National Register of Historic Places.

Montford began to grow architecturally on the verge of Asheville’s big boom — think the construction of The Grove Park Inn and Biltmore.

Rich in history, Montford also housed Highland Hospital, one of the more progressive mental health institutions of its time. Zelda Fitzgerald along with 8 other people died in the Highland Hospital fire. Today, former Highland Hospital consists of commercial businesses.

While Montford is a mostly residential area, visitors will find a plethora of quaint Bed and Breakfasts, restaurants, and easy access to downtown.

Wondering where to stay in Asheville? Find out here.

For Living

One of the most diverse architectural areas across NC, find Neo-Classical apartment buildings, Victorians, Colonial Revivals, and bungalows.

This is an active Asheville neighborhood — you will always see people running, walking, and biking, even in the cemetery.

For Sight-Seeing, Sleeping, & Eating

Thomas Wolfe Gravestone Riverside Cemetery Montford Neighborhood Asheville
Don’t forget to pay tribute to Asheville’s most famous author, Thomas Wolfe, while you are in Asheville’s Montford neighborhood.
  • Riverside Cemetery – Thomas Wolfe and O. Henry are buried at the historic Riverside Cemetary.
  • 1900 Inn On Montford – There are no shortages of Inns and Bed and Breakfasts in Montford, especially with the luxurious 1900 Inn.
  • Chiesa – Don’t miss our favorite Italian restaurant in a converted old church.
  • Nine Mile – Another must-eat-at Montford area restaurant, enjoy Caribbean-inspired dishes. Nine Mile has multiple Asheville locations.
  • Shakespeare In The Park – Performed by a non-profit and North Carolina’s longest-running Shakespeare theatre company, Montford Park Players.

2. North Asheville

Omni Grove Park Inn North Asheville Neighborhood with large stone resort, orange roof, and patio
You cannot miss the historic Grove Park Inn or its famous sunsets while in North Asheville.

North Asheville is one of our favorite areas in Asheville to grab a bite to eat. Here, you’ll see fewer crowds than downtown. Find a ton of Asheville restaurants around Merrimon Ave.

Plus, you have the historic Grove Park Inn, beautiful old homes, and UNC-Asheville’s campus. Kimberley Ave. is full of gorgeous Tudor-style homes.

On the con side, Merrimon Ave. is a bit narrow and becomes a tad congested during rush hour — with some erratic drivers. Road rage is for real out here.

There’s been a lot of work on the older water pipes over the past few years, which, well — we’ll leave that up to your imagination.

For Living

North Asheville black bear
North Asheville is also one of the best Asheville neighborhoods for making furry friends.

North Asheville is known for having some pretty ritzy houses along with the Asheville Country Club — for golfers. You can still find some starter homes nearby along with those multi-million dollar mansions.

You’ll also find craftsman bungalows, Spanish-style villas, Colonials, and Tudor homes. A few North Asheville neighborhoods include Beaverdam, Lakeview Park, and Grove Park. North Asheville has more established neighborhoods.

North Asheville is home to retirees, college students, families, and young professionals. It used to be “old money,” but that is slowly changing.

People looking for homes here are driving up the price of houses here. What once sold for $200,000 may go for $500-$700,000+.

For Playing

North Asheville Neighborhood around Beaver Lake with pond, walking trail, and houses
North Asheville is home to beautiful Beaver Lake with a bird sanctuary and 2-mile walking trail.

Eating & Drinking

Sunset At Omni Grove Park Inn Asheville North Carolina
Nothing beats a North Asheville sunset at The Omni Grove Park Inn. For top neighborhoods in Asheville, find a bit of the mountains and city life.

Don’t miss Luella’s for BBQ, Vinnie’s for Italian, and Plant for vegan (our favorite).

Did we make you hungry? Don’t miss this Unforgettable Asheville Restaurant Guide.

3. River Arts District (RAD)

Asheville NC Silo with street art
One of the more hipster neighborhoods in Asheville, RAD greets visitors with endless street art, a riverwalk, and delicious beer.

Greeted by the infamous Asheville silo with its ever-changing slogan, the River Arts District is a vibrant artist community filled with endless street art, artists’ studios, and a newly renovated Riverwalk along the French Broad River.

If you are thinking of moving to Asheville, have all of your AVL FAQs Answered Here.

For Living

RAD is where you will find a lot of condos and apartments along with hotly contested new construction. Driving into RAD, you have to appreciate that hipster, warehouse vibe. RAD won’t appeal to everyone.

Younger families and professionals tend to reside here.

For Playing

Wedge Brewing At Foundation in River Arts District Asheville NC blue building covered with street art
Wedge is one of our favorite AVL breweries.
pleb urban winery in River Arts District (RAD Neighborhood) with street art of  woman blowing on dandelion
Don’t miss wine in the sea of beer at pleb urban winery.
Best Asheville Neighborhoods RAD Homer Simpson with donut Mural
Can you find Homer?
  • Wedge Brewing at Foundation – Another delicious Asheville brewery, there are two locations for Wedge. The one at Foundation is perfect for mural-spying.
  • pleb urban winery – A unique winery model with “minimal intervention wine-making,” pleb outsources grapes from local farms to create small-batch tapped and canned wines.
  • Roseabees – Delicious Hawaiian cuisine.
  • Murals & Studios – Don’t miss hopping between artists’ studios while spying beautiful street art. Can you find Homer Simpson?
  • RAD Riverwalk – Newly renovated, stroll down the riverwalk along the French Broad River. Brave people will tube down the river in the summer.

North of RAD and Montford, don’t miss the Woodfin area, too. Here, you’ll find Ginger’s Revenge and Zillicoah Brewing.

If pleb urban winery sounds delicious, don’t miss these other Fantastic Wineries Near Asheville.

4. West Asheville

Best Neighborhoods In Asheville West Asheville Mural with house with greetings from West Asheville mural with blue sky and sunflowers
You’ll know you are in one of the coolest Asheville neighborhoods when this West AVL mural greets you.

We love visiting West Asheville — even on a weekend. While Haywood Road is pretty busy and jumping, many of the breweries and surrounding areas remain quieter than downtown Asheville.

For Asheville neighborhoods, West Asheville is one of the hippest and most laid-back. You’ll find some of the best murals — like Dolly — and more of a GenX and Millennial population — although I am starting to feel that this is changing. West Asheville has a vibrant LGBQT+ community, too.

West Asheville is unique with its older buildings that house both new and generations-old establishments. You’ll find a lot of organic goods, too.

For Living

Development companies are building many new and contentious housing units in West Asheville, also driving up the price of real estate. It’s a double edge sword, and you’ll see gentrification across Asheville.

In West Asheville, you’ll find more fixer-uppers for families — with the costs increasing — and expensive gated communities. There are a lot of cottages and bungalows. Million-dollar properties exist here, too.

If you love street art, don’t miss the Best Murals In Asheville, NC.

For Playing

Dolly Parton Mural West Asheville Neighborhood with white  brunette woman running up to Dolly Parton face on a street mural
Can you find Dolly in West Asheville? I did…
Archetype Brewing West Asheville with white brunette female wearing flowered shirt, jeans, and sunglasses holding a white ale in front of street art on a rooftop seating area
We just love Archetype Brewing’s rooftop space overlooking downtown Asheville.

There are a ton of restaurants, cafes, and shops in West Asheville, which is why it is one of the best neighborhoods in Asheville. To name just a few notable places:

If you love Hole Doughnuts, don’t miss these Favorite Asheville Donut Shops.

5. Downtown Asheville

Best Asheville Neighborhoods Downtown cityscape at night
One of the most famous neighborhoods in Asheville, historic downtown is a must.

Of course, for the best Asheville neighborhoods, historic downtown is where it is at for *all* of the things to eat, see, and do. Asheville is “Foodtopia,” after all. Personally, I’m not so sure I’d want to live there, but we do live pretty close.

Downtown Asheville is what you’d expect from city life. There are older buildings, both happy and disgruntled locals, loads of tourists in-season, and boho college students. As an Asheville local, we try to visit downtown during off times.

Parking gets a little tricky if you don’t know the lesser-used garages and lots. The city is extremely walkable and has some magnificent Art Deco buildings.

Grab our Asheville Brewery Guide Here.

For Living

Downtown Asheville has apartments, luxury condos, and lofts that vary in pricing. Of course, the closer you are to the fun and city, the more you will pay for it.

For Playing

Lager at Burial Brewing Co Asheville with Sloth and Tom Selleck mural
Grab a beer at one of Asheville’s famous downtown breweries like Burial.
Historic Grove Arcade Asheville North Carolina with white brunette female holding a map of NC
Don’t miss the beautiful Grove Arcade filled with goodies like the Battery Park Book Exchange and Asheville Proper.

The above Asheville ‘for playing’ list is truly endless. Uncover the Best Things To Do In Asheville.

6. South Asheville

Biltmore Estate Asheville NC house with green grass and people and shuttles out front
Welcome to my Asheville home. In my dreams… South Asheville is home to Asheville’s most famous legacy.

South Asheville has some pretty wealthy older properties and is, of course, home to Biltmore Estate. There are a lot of shopping centers out this way. Full disclosure: I debated if this was one of the ‘best’ or coolest neighborhoods in Asheville.

What we love about South Asheville is its proximity to the Blue Ridge Parkway — especially to the Mount Pisgah and Black Balsam area — and all of the hiking and biking trails. South Asheville is great for outdoor adventurers.

For Living

Lake Powhatan South Asheville
Lake Powhatan is a popular South Asheville recreational area.

South Asheville tends to get a reputation — somewhat like North Asheville — for old money and being an expensive area. For me, North and South Asheville are seeing younger families and millennials moving in, though. There are both new and old builds.

In South Asheville, you’ll find popular Biltmore Park and Forest, which are not cheap and are in high demand.

In fact, while we toured a home here, another real estate agent jumped in our touring time slot and put in an offer on the property for her clients while glaring us down.

The con of South Asheville and places like Biltmore Forest are that they lack diversity — just peruse the U.S. Census.

For Playing

Mountain Biking Bent Creek Experimental Forest South Asheville with mountain biker on a trail
We just love the Bent Creek Experimental Forest in South Asheville for hiking and mountain biking.
  • The NC Arboretum – We are annual passholders and love Winter Lights, all of the hiking trails, and the beautiful gardens.
  • Bent Creek Experimental Forest – Find hiking and mountain trails along with Lake Powhatan.
  • Biltmore Estate – Don’t miss touring America’s largest home, which was Edith and George Vanderbilt’s historic estate. Explore the beautiful gardens and hiking trails, grab a meal, and wine taste at Biltmore Winery.
  • Historic Biltmore Village – Another destination for shopping, food, and brews.
Hipster Asheville NC Neighborhoods Pinterest Pin with cityscape of Asheville
Searching for the best Asheville neighborhoods and find something you love? Save this post for later.

More Noteworthy Neighborhoods In Asheville (And Nearby Suburbs)

East Asheville – You’ll find more rural areas and older homes and neighborhoods close to downtown and parts of the BRP. The WNC Nature Center is out this way. Oakley is popular here — filled with bungalows and craftsmen-style homes.

Kenilworth – Kenilworth is just south of downtown (a 20-minute walk) — bordering South & East Asheville — and is one of the more popular neighborhoods in Asheville for its 1920s architecture and bungalow and Spanish-style stucco homes. You have access to Tunnel Road — full of *all* of the chain stores and restaurants. Kenilworth is also close to Mission Hospital and has a park.

Woodfin – I feel like Woodfin always gets left out of nearby Asheville neighborhoods, and I’m not a realtor so maybe there’s a reason?! Woodfin is home to Zillicoah and Riverside Rhapsody Breweries. There are burger joints, outdoor spaces, BBQ, and new bars. There’s been talk about new housing developments out this way.

A few favorite suburbs and neighborhoods around Asheville include Fletcher, Fairview, Arden, and Weaverville. People will go as far out to Henderson County and Hendersonville.

What are the best Asheville neighborhoods that you love?

Which neighborhoods in Asheville do you frequent and why? Which Asheville neighborhoods are the coolest? When considering moving to Asheville, which neighborhoods have you looked at? Which ones did you visit for fun? Let us know in the comments!

See our Top Places To Stay in Asheville.

Don’t miss out on these Asheville properties on, too.

Where To Head Next:

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Asheville Local Life & Resources
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