Enjoy Yourself in Asheville, North Carolina
Where to Shop, Eat & Stay (Healthfully) While Visiting Asheville, N.C.
Asheville, set in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina, is a charming small city, with a high consciousness about healthy lifestyle. If you are traveling to Asheville, take time to make plans for enjoying downtown or the surroundings. Downtown is filled with examples of fine and beautiful architecture, art and craft galleries, an eclectic array of shops and naturally, restaurants. Asheville is a casual town in terms of dress code. Bring comfortable shoes to explore downtown and good hiking shoes if you are inclined to get out on the many, beautiful nearby trails.
Plan ahead by getting a copy of Asheville: Official Visitor Guide. Go to www.exploreasheville.com; click on “Get the Visitors Guide Your Way” and fill out the required information. Or call the Chamber of Commerce at 828-258-6109. Request the Official Visitor Guide, also the Asheville Architectural Walking Tour brochure.
Please let us know your experiences, especially for accommodations, so that we can make best recommendations to others.
Health Food Stores
French Broad Food Co-Op: 828-255-7650, 90 Biltmore Avenue, A few blocks south of Pack Square. Some carry-out items and snacks, expanded selections and café by mid-2008.
Greenlife Grocery: 828-254-5440, 70 Merrimon Avenue, A couple of blocks from I-240 Exit #5-A. Deli, salad bar and modest selection of hot food. Eating area available.
Earth Fare: 828-253-7656, in Westgate Shopping Center, Exit #3-B. just across the bridge (I-240 & I-26) from downtown Asheville. Deli, salad bar, hot food and eating area. Second location several miles south of I-40, 1856 Hendersonville Road, 828-210-0010.
Farmers Tailgate Markets: from Mid-April until end of October, plus Holiday Markets with crafts in December. Plenty of organic produce; festive atmosphere; brick-oven baked bread and other treats; bedding plants early in the season; cut flowers later, and much more. Saturday mornings and Wednesday afternoons. Check the Asheville Citizen Times Wednesday edition for detailed information.
Many restaurants are closed on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday. Some restaurants open only for dinner, some are closed for lunch on Saturday.
Confirm a restaurant’s days and hours by phone or online.
*** Many other Asheville restaurants use local and good-quality ingredients and offer vegetarian and fish choices. Keep in mind that “southern cooking” sometimes uses liberal amounts of sugar and/or pork in vegetables.
Laughing Seed: 828-252-3445, www.laughingseed.com, 40 Wall Street. Completely vegetarian. From the large menu, a simple choice is the Harmony Bowl with optional additions. Another favorite is the Tempeh Ruben.
Heiwa Shokudo: 828-254-7761, 87 N. Lexington (edge of downtown, near I-240 Exit #5-A. Lexington is a main street, one block over from Broadway). Traditional Japanese with good quality ingredients, no food colorings or msg. Choice of brown or white rice, great noodle dishes with udon or soba, too. Vegetarian choices, also fish, including sushi.
The Marketplace: 828-252-4162, www.marketplace-restaurant.com, 20 Wall Street. Upscale, expensive. Chef-owner Mark Rosenstein, with a strong commitment to the Slow Food Movement, features local organic produce when available. Usually one vegetarian entrée as well as fish entrees. See the website for more information.
Sunnyside Café: 828-658-3338, 28 North Main Street in downtown Weaverville, ten-plus minutes north of Asheville, off of I-26. Open on limited days for dinner and weekdays for lunch. Several vegetarian and fish choices. Commitment to good-quality ingredients, local produce when in season.
Motels / Hotels
*Rates in the Asheville area can vary from week to week and season to season.
Make sure you confirm rates for the time you are traveling.
We’ve listed both local and toll-free numbers for accommodations near my office, which is close to downtown. Also listed are a couple of ideas for B&Bs and cottages. See www.exploreasheville.com for additional information.
Asheville Renaissance: 828-252-8211, 800-359-7951 www.ashevillerenaissance.com, Between downtown & M's office. Depending on weather conditions, it’s an easy walk of a few blocks to downtown. Ask for a view of the downtown buildings, beautiful examples of art deco style and more.
Homewood Suites by Hilton: 828-252-5400, 800-225-5466,88 Tunnel Road, www.ashevillehomewoodsuites.com Upscale, new building with excellent insulation against noise. The ‘one-bedroom king’ gives you a separate living room area plus small kitchen. Small swimming pool and exercise room. Very close to M’s office and to downtown.
Hampton Inn: 828-255-9220, 800-426-7866, 204 Tunnel Road, www.ashevillehamptoninns.com, near M’s office and downtown, set back from road. Or close to the Asheville Airport, try Hampton Inn Suites: 828-687-0806, choice of suites with separate living area and kitchen, as well as standard rooms.
Extended Stay: 828-253-3483, 800-298-7829, 6 Kenilworth Knoll, www.extendedstayhotels.com, just off of Tunnel Road. Efficiency studio suites with kitchen. Intended for stays of several days or weeks but available for shorter times.
Crowne Plaza: 828-254-3211, 800 733-3211, www.ashevillecp.com, I-240 Exit 3-B, One Resort Drive, just across the French Broad River from downtown, set apart from road noise, spacious rooms with balcony for fresh air and golf course views. Rates vary according to the resort’s activities as well as by season.
Bed & Breakfasts / Cottages
Asheville Green Cottage: 828-505-0816, 800-331-9707, www.ashevillegreencottage.com, 25 St. Dunstans Circle (between Biltmore Village area and downtown). Completely natural environment, organic cotton sheets and towels, chlorine filters on the showers and more. Four rooms, two downstairs and two spacious rooms with gas fireplaces upstairs. Innkeepers are happy to accommodate your breakfast requests. Lovely accommodation with view over rail road tracks and grounds of Biltmore Estate. You will need to walk up stone stairs to get to the cottage.
The Hawk and Ivy: 828-626-3486, 888-395-6254, www.hawkandivy.com, 133 North Fork Road in Barnardsville, Exit 15 off of I-26, twelve miles north of Asheville plus seven miles on Route 197. Heavenly setting, large property. Innkeepers Eve & James Davis are dedicated to a holistic, natural lifestyle and Eve is the biggest force in Asheville’s Slow Food group.
The Pines Cottages: 828-645-9661, 888-818-6477, www.ashevillepines.com, 346 Weaverville Highway, Exit 23 off of I-26, going north, between Asheville and Weaverville. If rustic and homey appeals to you, try these motor-court style cottages, recently renovated for comfort. Simple kitchen accommodations, a few with gas stoves. Many have a small porch or deck. Take a cell phone if you stay here. Cabins #5, 6 and 7 are especially good choices. Ask about kitchen equipment per your needs and expectations.