- Neighborhood/Area Type
- 1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Read about how we rank Things to Do.
When artists came to Asheville to soak up the natural beauty and free-spirited atmosphere, they had to find large spaces to work. Enter the River Arts District. Comprising 22 former industrial and historical buildings – including a former tannery and a cotton mill – near the French Broad River, the area keeps the art scene alive in Asheville. Guests can stroll around the district to meet artists and enjoy works from more than 200 artists in various mediums like textiles, ceramics and paintings, as well as photography and jewelry. It's also a great place to pick up a unique souvenir from your time in the city.
Visitors to the district say local artists are always willing to chat, but the hotbed of creativity could use better signage as some galleries in old warehouses are difficult to distinguish.
Keep in mind that artists and studios generally keep individual hours; many are closed on Sundays. Twice a year (the third full weekend of May and the second full weekend of November) the district hosts Studio Strolls, where all studios are open and free trolley service allows visitors to navigate the mile-long stretch.
You'll find the River Arts District about 2 miles west of downtown Asheville. For more information or to find individual artists, check out the River Arts District website.
- Thing to Do