Asheville Art Galleries Walk
A fabulous collection of fun, funky and upscale Asheville art galleries, craft emporiums, antique stores and boutique shops provide endlessly intriguing selections for downtown shoppers.
With more than 200 shops in the core downtown area, the variety is dazzling. This city is so much
fun to walk around in, and has such a wealth of interesting shops to explore, that we've created this downtown Asheville art galleries and shopping walk to guide you along the streets with the best shopping. We've highlighted the best Asheville galleries and antiques shops, as well as some of the unique, colorful or interesting boutique shops. Since exploring is half the fun, step inside any shop that intrigues you as you walk by!
We'll also tell you about some great restaurants, coffee shops, bakeries and chocolate shops you'll pass along the way, so you will have plenty of opportunities to rest your feet and indulge your culinary whims as you shop and visit Asheville art galleries.
We'll begin our downtown Asheville art galleries walk in the city center, at the intersection where Patton Avenue meets Pack Square and Broadway becomes Biltmore Avenue. The north end of the street is called Broadway, and the south end Biltmore Ave. Start by heading south along Biltmore Ave, a busy section several blocks long that is home to more high end Asheville art galleries and shops than any other street downtown. This is the only street that we will walk in two directions, down and then back, so you might want to choose a side and stick with it to the end, and then cross the street and return.
Along Biltmore Avenue and just a few steps from Pack Square, the Asheville Art Council Gallery at 11 Biltmore is at the hub of the arts scene with its own art gallery for Asheville and surrounding Buncombe County artists. There are 3 galleries that display the work of noted and emerging artists. Shows change monthly and the gallery hosts an opening from 5:30 - 8pm on the first Friday of the month in addition to its normal Tuesday - Saturday daytime schedule.
Just a few steps farther on is Mast General Store at 15 Biltmore. If you love being outdoors in the mountains, you'll enjoy the great selection of comfortable and fashionable clothing, outdoor gear and supplies here. The store exudes country nostalgia, with warm fleeces, hiking shoes and stylish mountain wear as well as comfy at-home wear. You'll also find country toys, barrels filled with candy and personal items. Mast is a small local chain, and you'll find their stores in several towns across Western North Carolina.
Next door is one of our favorite Asheville art galleries, the Ariel Craft Gallery at 19 Biltmore offers a colorful, funky, lively and fun selection of unique and finely crafted decorative and fiber arts by 10 skilled Western North Carolina studio artists in a delightfully intimate gallery space. Exquisite jewelry, colorful glass and ceramics, crafted fiber and furniture are just a few of the crafts featured here. One of the artists is always in the gallery to answer questions.
You've just gotten started exploring Asheville art galleries, but you can take a break if you are ready and we know a great place to do it. On the corner, 41 Biltmore Ave, the bright red trolley bus is home to the Double Decker Coffee Company. Uniquely Asheville, the coffee, cappuccino and pastries served here are full flavored and the atmosphere is fun. Head upstairs for a birds-eye view down Biltmore Ave, but duck your head as the second floor ceiling of this classic British Bus is low.
Across the street at 38 Biltmore Ave is Blue Spiral 1, the largest and most diverse of the Asheville art galleries. Featuring 3 spacious floors of fine arts and crafts by southeastern artists, this gleaming space boasts an amazing selection of exceptional works in a multitude of styles and media. The gallery design and arrangement is outstanding, with paintings, sculpture and artistic objects on display by more than 100 regional artists. A celebrated venue among Asheville art galleries, Blue Spiral also presents more than 2 dozen themed exhibitions each year.
The Haen Gallery, down the street at 52 Biltmore Ave, presents regional contemporary landscapes, scenes and sculptures. This spacious Asheville art gallery, which recently doubled in size, presents the works of almost 2 dozen artists in monthly exhibitions. The gallerie's focus is on unique contemporary oils, acrylics and sculptures that capture the character and sense of the mountains.
Just next door, enter the fun, colorful world of American Folk Art at 64 Biltmore. A whimsical selection of paintings, pottery and sculpture by more than 50 contemporary Southern folk artists fills the gallery with a bright profusion of color. This art gallery showcases earthy, clever, rustic works by established artists on the national scene, regional folk artists and emerging talent.
Across the street, the Asheville Wine Market at 65 Biltmore Ave offers wine enthusiasts a fine selection of international wines by the bottle. They also have a nice selection of packaged specialty gourmet foods. If you're ready for prepared-fresh food satisfaction, Gourmet-to-Go is right next door at 67 Biltmore Ave. These friendly folks make everything from scratch to your order using fresh local ingredients whenever possible. With choices of salads, sandwiches, daily specials and pastries you can dine in the Garden Room, or take your selections along for later. This is a good place to turn around and check out more Asheville art galleries on your walk back to Pack Square at the intersection with Patton Ave.
At Pack Square, if you are hungry and ready to take a break from exploring Asheville art galleries, grab an outdoor table at Bistro 1896, Cafe on the Square or The Noodle Shop and enjoy the street scene as you dine. You will have a great view of the beautiful Art Deco City Hall, and in the evening street musicians and performers provide additional entertainment. If you prefer to sit indoors or want to indulge in excellent Mexican Caribbean food, walk around the corner to lively Salsa's at 6 Patton Ave.
Some of the best shopping for children's toys is found in the museum shops of Pack Place, at 2 Pack Square on the southeast corner of Biltmore and Patton Ave. The Explore Store in The Health Adventure Museum offers a fun selection of creative toys that spark the imagination, with colorful puppets, fine wooden toys and science toys that encourage learning. The Crystal Pocket Gift Shop in the Colburn Earth Science Museum offers a selection of mineral specimens, fossils, sharks teeth and earth science related toys. If you are looking for games, gifts, books or music with an arts theme, check out the Asheville Art Museum Gift Shop. You may want to visit the museum's art galleries as well.
Walk north along Broadway Street from Pack Square. This street boasts several of the best downtown Asheville antiques shops, and you will also find an eclectic mix of specialty stores, coffee shops and restaurants.
Another great place to rest your feet after roaming through Asheville art galleries is Green Sage Coffee House and Cafe at 5 Broadway. This is one of the city's newest hip gathering spots. Stop in and sip some free trade coffee, or order up organic and natural food. Local musicians often perform here, and experts in green and sustainable living occasionally give talks. If you want to tap into the local scene, this is one good place to do so.
Walk up to 52 Broadway where you will find 3 antique shops. Stuf Antiques is a unique and eclectic shop on the ground floor that specializes in antique lighting and has an amazing selection of period fixtures, lamps and accessories. Upstairs, the Asheville Antique Market Gallery offers about 50 booths with a broad assortment of functional antiques for the home, including decorative items, paintings and furnishings. Next door is Magnolia Beauregard's Antiques, presenting an upscale yet delightful selection of fine authentic American antiques and furniture.
Just across the street, 53 Broadway, the LOFT is one of Asheville's most colorful, innovative and fun shops for browsing. Aptly named Lost Objects Found Treasures, the merchandise is an eclectic mix of old favorites and contemporary items. Look for lots of interesting and colorful furnishings, decorative home decor, useful stuff and whimsical gifts.
If you like beer and ale be sure to stop in at Bruisin' Ales on the corner at 66 Broadway. This friendly boutique offers an amazing 700 varieties of beer selected from countries around the globe. Bruisin' Ales was recently named the #2 best beer retailer worldwide! The owners are very knowledgeable and helpful, so stop in and find an old favorite, or discover a new one.
Turn left on Woodfin St and walk to the corner of N Lexington Ave. Trendy Lexington Avenue is one of the most lively and eclectic shopping streets in the region, noted for its selection of funky, creative and alternative shops. Not much in the way of Asheville art galleries here, but if you are looking for cutting edge Asheville shopping, this is the street to explore. Shops here have names like Write On, Tops For Shoes, Mountain Lights, Funky Mutt, Natural Home and Nest Organics.
Walk south on Lexington to Downtown Books & News at 67 N Lexington. This shop carries the largest selection of newspapers in town as well as an interesting assortment of used books to browse. They've been here for a long time, and are affiliated with the city's exceptional independent bookstore, Malaprops on Haywood St.
Farther along is Chatworth Art & Antiques at 54 N Lexington. Don't let the smallish size fool you for there is a lot to discover here. With no furniture, the shop is packed with small items, including art, silver and jewelry.
At the corner of Walnut St turn left for a short distance to Lexington Park Antiques at 65 W Walnut St. The selection is large here, with numerous vendors offering a lot of variety. Look for china, vintage clothes, photographs and a lot more.
Return to Lexington and continue south to the intersection of Patton Ave. We're going to get back to exploring Asheville art galleries, but before we do - if you love chocolate you really want to walk south of Patton Ave to the French Broad Chocolate Lounge at 10 S Lexington. This funky lounge offers a comfortable place to relax and indulge in hand crafted artisan chocolates and pastries. And to drink, choose from their signature liquid truffle hot sipping chocolate, local draught beer, small-production wine, locally roasted French press coffee, or organic loose-leaf teas. They also carry another of our favorites, the locally crafted Ultimate Ice Cream.
Back on Patton Avenue, turn east for a few steps into one of the foremost Asheville art galleries, 16 Patton. In this intimate, classic gallery you will find contemporary fine art by some of the southeast's finest artists. Changing exhibitions feature regional paintings, sculpture, glass and ceramics.
Next door is Studio Five Imports at 10 Patton Ave. The selection is intentionally eclectic and surprising, with historic memorabilia,antiques, art and collectibles from the 1900s, Depression Glass, 18th century Mongolian bronze, Moscow merchandise, Persian rugs and more, all housed in a classy 19th century historic building.
Now turn around and walk west on Patton Ave to the Kress Emporium at 19 Patton Ave for a fun selection of colorful regional arts and crafts. In this Asheville art galleries emporium, eighty artists display their work. This is a great place to find a gift or small item for your own home décor. The offerings include pottery, paintings, graphics, photography, textile arts and much more. There is even a coffee bar up-front.
Continue on to the corner of Church St. Our walk continues along Patton Ave, but serious art collectors may want to take a side trip south to 12 Church St and Gallery Minerva Fine Art to visit one of the best Asheville art galleries. Fine paintings, abstracts and sculpture are displayed in this exceptionally high quality contemporary art gallery.
On Patton Ave, walk past Pritchard Park, one of Asheville's popular gathering places. There are often street musicians performing here, and on Friday evenings the drummers circle always draws a crowd. Just past the park, turn right on College Street to #6 and enter the Aesthetics Art Gallery. One of the newest of Asheville art galleries, this space features Asheville and Westrn North Carolina landmarks rendered in the finely stitched silk needlework from Asia. Indigenous artwork from Africa and the South Pacific includes Aboriginal dream art, stone statues and colorful tapestries that provide an international flair that complements the local art.
Farther along at 16 College St, a co-operastive art gallery, Asheville Gallery of Art, showcases the work of two dozen regional professional artists. A fascinating variety of original 2-dimensional oils, watercolors, acrylics, lithographs, mixed media and etchings are displayed.
Continue to the corner of Haywood Street and turn left to the Woolworth Walk across the street at #25. This delightful 2-floor art gallery and craft emporium showcases the work of more than 150 talented exhibiting artists and artisans. The selection and quality of creativity and unique art displayed in one of the growing Asheville art galleries is impressive. Browse both floors and discover a delightful selection of jewelry, fine art, decorative art and crafts. Take a break and visit the Soda Fountain for an old-fashioned ice-cream soda, sandwich or cup of coffee.
Farther along is The Chocolate Fetish at 34 Haywood. The creamy rich handmade chocolate truffles are absolutely decadent. And once you savor one, you will know why locals vote this the best chocolate shop year after year. And if you become addicted, no problem, for these friendly folks cheerfully ship chocolates nationwide.
Continue walking north to Malaprop's Bookstore and Cafe at 55 Haywood. This independent bookstore offers an incredible selection of books, including special sections devoted to the arts, regional titles and one offering personal recommendations by the staff of artists, writers, activists and booklovers. Have a cup of coffee, browse the eclectic selection of books and meet the locals at this legendary Asheville shop and gathering place.
Next door at 57 Haywood is the Bender Gallery, one of the newest Asheville art galleries, offers a stunning collection of fine art glass. This is the regions largest fine art glass gallery, with 2-floors filled with high quality original one-of-a-kind glass designs by dozens of fine crafts artisans. Nationally renowned artists are displayed as well as the works of many of North Carolina's finest glass artists.
A few doors farther along, Jewels That Dance at 63 Haywood St, is a dazzling jewelry gallery and design studio. One of downtowns first art studios has developed into one of the areas most sought after jewelry stores with a stunning collection of handcrafted works in platinum, gold, titanium and sterling silver. Diamonds, pearls and a wide variety of colorful, sparkling gemstones in contemporary and classic designs are featured.
Turn left at the intersection with Back Page Ave, and follow the street as it curves south and becomes Page Ave. If you enjoy colorful contemporary landscapes, turn right on Battle Square for a short distance to #1 and visit the Olga Dorenko Fine Art Gallery. This Asheville single-artist gallery is delightful, with an ever-changing display of brightly colored and graphically bold paintings that capture the beauty of nature.
Return to Page Avenue and turn right to the Captain's Bookshelf at 31 Page Ave, which specializes in fine, antique and rare books. The shelves are filled with signed books, first editions and quality second hand books.
For fine antiques and collectibles with a dramatic flair visit Kimmel Trading Co at 27 Page Ave. Art Deco and Moderne pieces are featured, with a diverse selection of quality furniture, art, lighting, glass and jewelry attractively displayed in a bright and spacious setting.
The Grove Arcade:
Across the street, the stunning Grove Arcade offers more than 50 boutique shops, Asheville art galleries and restaurants in a dramatically gorgeous 2-story arcade with a skylight-ceiling that is one of the city's finest architectural gems. The richly decorated interior of the arcade is fun to walk through just to admire the architecture, and it also houses a fascinating variety of fine craft galleries and interesting boutique shops.
The Grove Arcade Arts & Heritage Gallery is a welcoming, spacious gallery filled with one of the city's best selections of regional fine crafts produced by skilled mountain artisans. This is a wonderful place to experience the Blue Ridge Mountain culture with its fine craft tradition. Changing exhibitions feature hand-crafted ceramics, jewelry, wood carvings and musical instruments. There are also regional books, special craft exhibitions and demonstrations that add to the fun in this colorful Asheville art gallery.
If you are ready for a snack or are staying downtown and need grocery or gourmet supplies, there are several great food shops to choose from. An excellent selection of fresh fruits and vegetables is available at Fresh Quarter Produce, while next door the Red Bike offers sandwiches and salads to eat-in, take-out or call-in and they deliver. The Grove Corner Market is a grocery store with a deli, wine and gourmet products. You can call in an order and they will deliver to your door. The Big Cheese has a large selection of domestic and imported cheese, fresh bread and snack items. Stop by Oh! Chocolat for a selection of fine Belgium, French and Italian chocolates displayed in a charming European-style shop.
Mountain Made offers fine art and fine crafts produced in the mountains of North Carolina. At this most innovative of the Asheville art galleries, a portion of every sale supports the education and entrepreneurial development of regional artists. Look for a selection of beautiful pottery, jewelry, stained glass, textiles, glass and much more.
The Jazzy Giraffe is a forward thinking women's clothing boutique. This trendy, cutting edge shop is filled with edgy designer fashions, shoes and accessories that offers a fun shopping experience.
Asheville North Carolina Home Crafts is a charming and welcoming fiber-arts shop with local handmade hats, scarves, one-of-a-kind quilts and wearable art created by 70 local artisans. Knitting enthusiasts will find supplies and a delightful selection of locally designed handspun yarns of angora, alpaca, mohair, llama and wool.
Walk into Enter The Earth and marvel at the intriguing selection of rare gems, minerals and fossils from around the world. Specialties include fine fossils such as crinoids, trilobites and ammonites. Also look for the beautiful and unusual Ocean Jasper imported from the northwest coast of Madagascar. There is a fine assortment of jewelry and gift items as well as the exceptional collector mineral specimens.
Larson Porcelain & Design offers brilliant hand painted porcelain pieces with richly hued Italian designs, decorative etchings and designer art objects for the home.
Exit the Grove Arcade on the south side where local artists set-up and display their wares under the portico every weekend. You are now on Battery Park Ave, and you will turn left and walk to the intersection of Wall Street. Turn right and begin to explore one of Asheville's prettiest and most pedestrian-friendly streets. This narrow cobblestone street is lined with charming restaurants, cafes and boutique shops that range from fine jewelry to pet supplies.
Our downtown Asheville shopping and walking tour ends on Wall Street. And if you are ready for a meal after exploring Asheville art galleries, craft galleries, antique shops and boutique stores, there are several fine restaurants here. Try Early Girl Eatery for Southern comfort food, Laughing Seed Cafe for vegetarian, or sit outside at upscale Market Place on Wall Street.
When you are ready to head back to Pack Square where this walking tour of Asheville art galleries and shops began, return to the intersection with Battery Park Ave and turn right on Haywood after Pritchard Park. Turn left onto Patton Ave and walk to Pack Square.
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