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Explore Like a Local

Things to Do in Downtown Asheville

Our hotel near Biltmore and so much more

May we just say it? For a city with a population of around 90,000, Asheville has it going on. This modern-day boom town offers diversions for whatever mood you’re in. Be sure to speak to our concierge, who will enthusiastically curate an itinerary according to your wishes and interests. In the meantime, here are a few of our favorite ways to experience all that is Asheville.

Downtown’s Asheville Urban Trail is a walking tour of the past by way of public art sculptures. Look for the pocket watch and the comb from the short story The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry, who lived in Asheville for a time. Note the Art Deco, Beaux Arts and Neoclassical architectural masterpieces along the way.

Literally outside the back door of Kimpton Hotel Arras is a can’t-miss stop for cocoa connoisseurs: French Broad Chocolate Lounge. Founded by “self-ordained chocolate missionaries,” this charming cafe treats visitors to small-batch treats from truffles to cakes to a whole menu of drinking chocolates.

If you want to hear music in an intimate venue, Asheville obliges every night of the week. Stop by The Orange Peel on a night that your favorite band is making a stopover on their way to Atlanta, Nashville or Charlotte. Rather be outside? Stroll over to Friday evening Drum Circle at Pritchard Park, a weekly event that attracts all of Asheville’s characters together for the love of percussion.

Asheville is surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains, which has some of the highest peaks east of the Mississippi River. Hundreds of hiking trails, from easy to moderate to difficult, give you close-up views of some of nature’s most beautiful scenery, including wildflowers, waterfalls and 360-degree mountain vistas.