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7 Best Neighborhoods in Asheville, NC

By: Susan Finch
August 3, 2021

Asheville, North Carolina, is known as the Paris of the South for its creative community, history, and gorgeous location among the Blue Ridge Mountains. Asheville is a hip and trendy city with craft breweries, galleries, artist spaces, and foodie-friendly restaurants. Of course, you're also never far from hiking and biking trails when you live in Asheville.

Ready to relocate to a creative, tight-knit community with an affordable cost of living? Discover some of the best neighborhoods in Asheville, North Carolina.

1. Downtown Asheville

Downtown Asheville is home to craft breweries, farmers' markets, museums, outdoor activities, live music, and vibrant street art. You're steps away from all of the amenities you want without leaving the neighborhood.

Despite Downtown’s walkability and bike-ability, you still need a car to make the most of Asheville and its surrounding mountains and green space. Public transportation is available by ART System, and the city offers rideshares and a historic trolley tour to get around.

Downtown Asheville is progressive and diverse but also retains its Southern charm. Over 200 shops are located in the Downtown Asheville area stocked with clothing, antiques, books, and international finds. The outdoor Grove Arcade mall features specialty shops and local restaurants. The Asheville Art Museum boasts world-class special exhibitions and museums with 20th and 21st-century art for a culture fix.

2. Five Points

Five Points is a beacon for college students and collegiate staff attending the University of North Carolina Asheville. The lively neighborhood is home to pubs, cafes, diners, and music shops. Students also have their pick of craft cocktail bars and live music. Whether you're a college student or not, the University of Asheville treats the public to concerts, movie screenings, lectures, and events that support the local community.

Renters have their choice of traditional apartment complexes around Five Points, as well as single-family homes for rent in pastel 1920s bungalows. For a nature stop, the Botanical Gardens at Asheville features creeks, wildflowers, and plants.

3. West Asheville

West Asheville is both walkable and bikeable, making visiting the numerous retail establishments, restaurants, and independent boutiques an absolute breeze. Live along Haywood Road near the main action and shops. Carrier Park is among the largest in Asheville for a quieter reprieve, with a track, sports area, roller hockey area, and castle-themed program. Locals also connect to French Broad River Park by following a paved greenway along the shores of the French Broad River.

West Asheville is ideal for creative types looking for a hip and trendy vibe and establishments that support the arts. Rents are climbing in West Asheville for its desirability, and new development is in the works.

4. Biltmore Village

You may not be able to live at the infamous Biltmore Estate, but you can settle into the Biltmore Village area. It was initially created to house George Vanderbilt's sprawling estate. Today, you'll find the Cathedral of All Souls, a Romanesque Revival landmark, shops, galleries, and boutiques. Casual dining and craft breweries are also available throughout the village. Even the McDonald's in Biltmore Village is distinctively upscale, with a grand piano and stone fireplace.

The holiday season is especially popular around Biltmore Village and the surrounding Biltmore Forestall. Christmas lights and decorations, festive decor, and specialty menus draw visitors to the area looking to get into the spirit of the holidays.

5. Montford

Well-heeled locals call Montford home, and it is perfect for those looking for a historical backdrop and cozy community. The architecture in this Asheville neighborhood is celebrated for its mix of Queen Anne, Arts & Crafts, and Colonial Revival Houses. It's easy to see why a portion of Montford is a National Register Historic District. Even the Riverside Cemetery is stunning, with flower gardens and mausoleums.

Montford is a desirable place to live for both professionals and families but doesn't boast the rest of Asheville's bustling amenities. Locals head into the Downtown area for dining and entertainment or join the Hazel Robinson Amphitheatre to hear the local Montford Park Players perform seasonally in their historic neighborhood.

6. River Arts District

The River Arts District in Asheville was once home to industrial buildings along the French Broad River. Artists and creatives moved into the area to find a place to work, live and play. Annual events include a Studio Stroll complete with free trolley rides between 22 buildings sprawled across the district. A glass center, studios, and galleries are scattered among pubs and coffee shops. In all, the River Arts District represents over 200 artists.

The River Arts District also draws locals to its antiques and pottery. Outfit your apartment in style, or pick up a gift for loved ones. Living in this Asheville neighborhood means crowded weekends with tourists and visitors, though it offers a powerful vibe to fuel your creative spirit.

7. Oakley

Oakley, Asheville is situated between the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Biltmore Village. You won't find scores of restaurants and pubs around Oakley, but locals are just minutes from Downtown and all of Asheville's attractions and job opportunities. The tight-knit community gathers at the community gardens, the Folk Art Center, and the local library for periodic events.

Renters primarily live in bungalows and newer craftsman-style homes. Whether you want to team up with roommates or enjoy more space for yourself, you can find what you're looking for in Oakley.

Want to consider other places to live in North Carolina? Read more about the Best Raleigh Neighborhoods, Moving to Charlotte, and the Cost of Living in Charlotte to make the best decision for your move.

Finding Your Ashville Apartment

Moving to Asheville and ready to start looking for your new home? Browse Apartment List to find that dream Asheville apartment.

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AUTHOR
Susan Finch is a freelance writer and content manager focusing on local experiences, travel, and anything relating to really good food and craft brews. Her work has appeared in travel guidebooks and national magazines and newspapers. Read More
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