Just west of downtown, along the French Broad River, is Asheville’s River Arts District. Here you will find more than 2oo artists working in 23 historic buildings that are filled with galleries and studios. You will see people working in jewelry, fiber, encaustic, oil painting, wood, ceramics and glass. The buildings stretch over several blocks. If you are in town on the second Saturday of every month, Second Saturdays, features open studios, events, classes and demonstrations. Studios are also open daily.
The area includes the Cotton Mill Studios at 122 Riverside Dr., Curve Studios at 3 River Arts Place, Odyssey Center for Ceramic Arts, Phil Mechanic Studios, Riverview Station, Wedge Studios, The Lift Studios, The Hatchery Studios, Warehouse Studios and Pink Dog Creative. I also enjoyed the North Carolina Glass Center at 140 C. Roberts St.
This area is well-worth spending half a day to wander and see the artists at work.
There are several restaurants in the area where you can break for lunch:
12 Bones Smokehouse: This is a well-known BBQ restaurant featuring a large menu of salads, soups, plates and sides. It is now located south of the River Arts District at 5 Foundry St. #10. They have another location in South Asheville, 15 minutes south of Biltmore Village.
White Duck Taco Shop: Located now in a bigger locaiton at 388 Riveside Dr., this is a casual taco spot that is great for lunch.
The Wedge Brewing Company: Known for its craft beers, it is located in the large Wedge Building at 37 Paynes Way. Also in the building the the popular Bull & Beggar at 37 Paynes Way which offers a modern take on rustic European cuisine.
Other options include Summit Coffee Co., Daidala Ciders cider bar, Bottle Riot wine bar plus food and New Belgium Brewing.