Find out which Asheville neighborhoods are perfect for both living and playing in 2024 from current residents (not realtors). From outdoor activities to local dining and entertainment, these areas have it all.
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6 Best Neighborhoods In Asheville
See which neighborhoods boast the strongest coffee, coolest breweries, historic homes, Shakespeare under the Stars, and Betty White, RuPaul, and Dolly murals. Vacation like F. Scott Fitzgerald, and catch breathtaking sunsets. If you subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on Facebook, you know we reside in one of these neighborhoods; read more about why we love living in Asheville, especially with those gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains.
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Located next to North Asheville and Downtown, Historic Montford is one of Asheville’s quaintest neighborhoods filled with private residences and low-key businesses, many of which land on the National Register of Historic Places. Find Neo-Classical apartment buildings, Victorians, Colonial Revivals, and bungalows, reminding us of our New England home.
As one of Asheville’s pricier neighborhoods, homes range from $400,000 to the millions. The area is a top choice for young professionals and families with active lifestyles seeking a vibrant community atmosphere. Residents and visitors can walk downtown and will never find a shortage of Bed & Breakfasts and Little Free Libraries. Plus, grab dinner at Nine Mile, one of our favorite Asheville restaurants.
We especially geek out over Montford for its literary history; Thomas Wolfe and O. Henry are buried at Riverside Cemetery and Zelda Fitzgerald perished in the Highlands Hospital fire. Learn more about the area’s ghosts on a LaZoom Bus Haunted Comedy Tour; you won’t miss that purple bus with eyelashes tearing down the road and people in costumes. It’s hilarious (and boozy!).
2. North Asheville/Grove Park
One of the best places to live in Asheville for people and black bears, North Asheville is a great option to escape Downtown’s crowds, tucked in between Downtown, Montford, and Weaverville. From the fall pumpkin patch at Grace Episcopal Church to one of Asheville’s top historic tourist attractions, The Omni Grove Park Inn, the area boasts ritzy houses along with the Asheville Country Club for golfers.
Find starter homes alongside multi-million-dollar mansions, including craftsman bungalows, Spanish-style villas, Colonials, and Tudor homes. Popular North Asheville neighborhoods include Beaverdam, Lakeview Park, and Grove Park, home to retirees, college students, families, and young professionals.
The area’s two main roads, Merrimon Ave. and Charlotte Street, grow a bit congested, and the old pipes will turn that water chocolate brown. We lovingly call it “Merrimon Mayhem,” as we head to doctor’s appointments and the plethora of specialty grocery stores like Trader Joe’s and Fresh Market.
Local Tip: North Asheville is full of delicious restaurants that stay just a tad quieter than Downtown. Bone & Broth is one of our favorites for date night, but we also frequent Jettie Rae’s, Cecilia’s Kitchen, Zen Sushi, Plant (vegan), Vinne’s Neighborhood Italian, and Luella’s (BBQ). Grab ice cream at The Hop, and stroll Beaver Lake after dinner at Rye Knot, a local distillery and brewpub.
3. River Arts District (RAD)
The River Arts District is one of the best neighborhoods in Asheville for art and culture along with hotly contested new construction. A new-build condominium runs anywhere from $350,000 to $800,000, especially around Craven Street. For residential homes, older properties start at $300,000+.
However, not all areas of the River Arts District are developed or desirable. Encounter abandoned buildings and warehouses filled with broken glass and garbage. There are active train tracks and some crime. However, the area houses younger families, digital nomads, and professionals. It’s quite hipster.
We head to the River Arts District frequently for shopping at Foundation Woodworks and Marquee, walking the RAD Riverwalk with a coffee from Summit, and brewery hopping at Wedge Brewing and Hi-Wire’s RAD Beer Garden. We watched Barbie at the Grail and Dispatch and O.A.R. at Salvage Station.
Our favorite spots to eat: Like North Asheville, RAD is filled with delicious restaurants. For fine dining, try The Bull & Beggar. Their sister restaurant, Baby Bull, has the best burgers in town. Or, grab burgers and hot dogs from The Chop Shop Food Truck with a beer from Wedge.
4. West Asheville
For top Asheville neighborhoods, West Asheville is one of the hippest and most laid-back. Many call it the “new Downtown Asheville” because there are so many breweries, stores, and murals. Unfortunately, also encounter traffic congestion along Haywood Road, a rise in crime, and inflated real estate prices that come with gentrification. It’s still one of our favorites for character and fun.
Amongst the family fixer-uppers, cottages, bungalows, gated communities, and million-dollar homes, the median home price is around $400,000. Here, find more of a GenX and Millennial population, although the area appeals to retirees too, especially since restaurants and bars are within walking distance from homes. West Asheville also has a vibrant LGBTQ+ community.
West Asheville is where we head to eat. Healthy Haywood Common is one of our regular spots along with Green Tea Sushi, Mizu (pho and ramen), and Gypsy Queen Cuisine. Leo’s House of Thirst is our favorite wine bar, and you can even get married at Fleetwood’s. Everyone knows the famous Hole Doughnuts.
5. Downtown Asheville
Of course, for the best Asheville neighborhoods, the historic downtown is where it is at for all of the things to eat, see, and do. We love South Slope breweries like Wicked Weed and Green Man. Attend the VeganFest in Pack Square. Watch a show at the Orange Peel, and hear Asheville’s gossip at the Thomas Wolfe Memorial. On a rainy day, play arcade games at the Pinball Museum. I love a relaxing massage at Wake Foot Sanctuary.
If you are looking for where to live in Asheville, though, we would skip Downtown Asheville with its pricy apartments, luxury condos, and lofts with waitlists. There is a larger homeless and panhandling community here along with increased drugs and crime. (Beloved Asheville is a great organization that works with our homeless community members.)
Downtown Asheville is everything you’d expect from city life: historic Art Deco buildings, happy and disgruntled locals, and loads of tourists, transplants, and boho college students.
Local Tip: As Asheville locals, we visit downtown during non-peak times, such as Mondays and Tuesdays, and in the winter after holidays, to avoid crowds. Just keep an eye on seasonal and weekday business hours. For parking, your best bet is the garages and pay lots.
6. South Asheville & Historic Biltmore Village
We debated if South Asheville is one of the best neighborhoods in Asheville. It’s a bit of a homogenous suburb with tourist hot spots and chunks of strip malls along Hendersonville Road. The area houses wealthy older properties and slightly more affordable new builds for younger families and relocating millennials.
Find coveted inner neighborhoods like Biltmore Park and Biltmore Forest, which are expensive and in high demand (we looked at houses here once). You need a car to get around, and there is traffic congestion and accidents.
However, South Asheville is also full of hidden gems for outdoor enthusiasts and foodies. With the closest proximity to the Blue Ridge Parkway, enjoy easy access to hiking trails like Mount Pisgah and Black Balsam. Bent Creek Experimental Forest has the best mountain biking trails in the city. Locals flock here on weekends.
For attractions, visit The NC Arboretum, Biltmore Estate, and Biltmore Village. We are annual passholders at Biltmore for special exhibits, delicious restaurants, Biltmore at Christmas events, garden access, and hiking trails. Winter Lights at the NC Arboretum is one of our annual winter traditions, and we are also members here.
More Coveted Asheville Neighborhoods
A few more places that people move to in Asheville include:
- East Asheville – Find more rural areas and older homes and neighborhoods close to Downtown Asheville and parts of the Blue Ridge Parkway along with the WNC Nature Center. 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. Kenilworth is one of the more popular neighborhoods in Asheville for its 1920s architecture and bungalow and Spanish-style stucco homes. Enjoy easy access to Tunnel Road and plentiful chain stores and restaurants. Kenilworth is also close to Mission Hospital and has a park.
Favorite Asheville Suburbs & Nearby Cities
If you are thinking of moving to Asheville but it is out of your budget or too congested, try these great Western North Carolina suburbs and mountain towns near Asheville. For visitors, these also make great day trips:
Christine (pronouns: she/her) is the owner and lead writer of Uncorked Asheville. After falling in love with those gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains, Christine and her husband Tom decided to call Asheville, North Carolina home. When her pointy Italian nose isn’t stuck in a book, Christine is adopting all of the kitties, getting lost in the forest, and drinking an ESB. She has a BA in English and History from Smith College, her MLIS from USF-Tampa, and is a former U.S. Fulbright Scholar - Indonesia. Christine also owns The Uncorked Librarian LLC with books and movies to inspire travel.