Asheville parks

Rowdy to Relaxing: River Culture in Asheville

Tubing on the French Broad River

photo by JustinAsheville.com

The French Broad River flows through 25 municipalities in Western North Carolina, but it gets the most love in Asheville.  Over the past decade, a burgeoning river culture has emerged around the River Arts District in the center of town.  Passers-by can glimpse that love from the I-240 Smoky Park Bridge headed into downtown Asheville.  The river there is often teeming with river-lovers on a summer day.

Changes

What was once the distinctly industrial area of Asheville is now undergoing a sort of renaissance, spearheaded by artists a decade or more ago and carried along by restaurateurs, brewers and outdoor sports entrepreneurs.  The River Arts District is experiencing rapid changes to infrastructure amenities that will bring more access by road, bike and foot.

Food

Several stalwart eateries forged the way to a growing foodie scene along the river.  Clingman Cafe, overlooking the railroad tracks is a great spot to grab a coffee drink and pastry.  All Souls Pizza, known for their artisan crusts and farm fresh ingredients, was even featured in the New York Times.  

Fine dining establishments such as The Junction, Bull and Beggar and Smoky Park Supper Club are emerging from the rubble via reclaimed buildings and even reused shipping containers.

Asheville Food Park at the River is a shabby chic food truck heaven with new local and regional culinary artists rolling into town daily.  Visitors can sit by a creek, have a microbrew and throw cornhole while eating a delicious affordable meal.

Drink

The River district of Asheville does not lack for an opportunity to savor a craft cocktail or a microbrew.  The Wedge Brewery, long a staple of the area, sits at the epicenter of the river district, with its biergarten style tables overlooking the railroad tracks.  The Burger Bar, Bywater and the Salvation Station all provide riverside or riverview opportunities to get a great cocktail on a budget.  Some of the most delectable craft cocktails in the city can be found at the higher end restaurants mentioned above.

River Arts District train tracks

Adventure

Relaxing or rowdy, whatever your style of adventure can be accomplished along the French Broad through Asheville.  For those choosing not to voyage by vessel, the French Broad River Park now boasts about 5 miles of paved trails for bicyclists and pedestrians. A dog park is situated at one end of the long park and a sports complex rests at the other.   Across from the center of the park, you can find the Smoky Park Adventure Center, a hub for rock climbing, yoga, tai chi and more.  

Zen Tubing is the go-to company for renting tubes and running shuttles.  French Broad Outfitters can equip you for kayaking and paddle boarding.  Many anglers float the river for a day of fishing for smallmouth bass.

Entertainment

Asheville non-profit RiverLink sponsors a free community concert series called River Music on the banks of the French Broad River once a month during the warmer seasons.  Local and regional acts draw thousands of people to these shows.  They also spearhead River Festival and the Anything That Floats Parade in August.

Twice a year, the River Arts District holds an artist’s studio stroll where visitors can see almost 200 artists showcasing their art throughout historically industrial studios along the river.

River Living

The River Arts District is an increasingly popular place to live due to its convenience to downtown and its accessibility to Asheville’s greatest natural and designed outdoor play spaces.  Much of the housing in this area is either bungalow style homes, condos or studio apartments.  

Mosaic Realty would love to help you find your home in Asheville.  For more information on real estate in Asheville, please contact Mike Figura at mike@mymosaicrealty.com  or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

Search: View all homes for sale in Asheville

Search:  View all homes for sale in the River Arts District

 

Asheville Brims with Park Perks

Pack Square Park Downtown Asheville

Asheville is home to many parks large and small, some replete with sports fields, others boasting an abundance of green space, and a number perfect for playground time. Following, a few of the area’s popular parks – as well as some lesser-known gems. Many of these parks are located in wonderfully walkable Asheville neighborhoods.

Pack Square Park 

A major community gathering spot is the Pack Square Park in the heart of downtown Asheville. Surrounded by historic buildings, this park hosts many events and outdoor concerts. With landscaped, terraced lawns, an outdoor stage and Splashville water feature for children, it is a popular hub for many families.

West Asheville Park/Gassaway Field

An 8-acre park tucked away on the Vermont Avenue extension in walkable West Asheville, West Asheville Park is home to Little League baseball’s Gassaway Field. There are also concessions, restrooms, a picnic shelter and a playground. Rhododendron Creek runs through the park grounds. 11 Vermont Ave. Ext.

Malvern Hills Park

Malvern Hills Park West AshevilleThe outdoor seasonal pool is the big draw of this popular West Asheville park. Nestled between the Horney Heights neighborhood and near the Malvern Hills neighborhood, the park also features a bathhouse, restrooms, concession area, lighted tennis courts, playground, walking trail and a picnic shelter with grills. 75 Rumbough Pl.

Montford Park

Montford Park is located in the heart of the Montford historic district, just outside of downtown Asheville. It features tennis courts, mature trees, benches and a short walking path. This park is an established gathering spot for Montford neighborhood families and has great access via sidewalk. A second small park in Montford features playground equipment, a covered pavilion and a small walking loop.

Murphy-Oakley Park

This 7.7-acre park is extremely convenient to surrounding East Asheville neighborhoods and includes a lighted ball field, three tennis courts, a playground, a picnic shelter, a concession and restrooms. 715 Fairview Rd.

Riverside Cemetery

Located in the Montford Historic District, this cemetery features more than 87 acres of landscaped grounds for strolling and is the final resting place for many of Asheville notables including writers Thomas Wolfe and O. Henry. 53 Birch St.

Martin Luther King Jr. Park

This 3.4-acre park features a lighted ballfield with scoreboard, concession stand, fitness court, picnic tables, playground, restrooms, open shelter, memorial statue, courtyard and grills. 50 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.

Kenilworth Park

Located in the heart of the Kenilworth neighborhood, this park includes 3 acres of ballfields, basketball courts, picnic tables, a playground, restrooms, tennis courts and grills. 79 Wyoming Rd.

Walton St. Pool and Park

A popular summer destination, the Walton St. Park features an outdoor swimming pool complete with a concession and bath house, as well as a softball field, basketball court, off-street paved parking, a picnic shelter and a playground. 570 Walton St.

Carrier Park

French Broad River Park AshevilleA former racetrack, West Asheville’s Carrier Park is one of area’s most unique parks. Circling Carrier is a recently renovated velodrome for cycling, in-line skating, scooting or simply strolling. The infield has volleyball courts, a giant playground, a roller-hockey rink and a basketball court. A lawn bowling court and multi-purpose fields, a picnic pavilion, river overlooks and wetland interpretive trails round out the offerings. The French Broad River Greenway, a 2.8-mile bicycle and pedestrian paved trail, connects Carrier Park to Hominy Creek Park and French Broad River Park – another West Asheville gem featuring open green space, a gazebo, picnic tables, and a large fenced-in dog park. 220 Amboy Rd.

Azalea Park

Perched beside the Swannanoa River in East Asheville, Azalea has soccer fields, a dog park, a large playground and a picnic shelter. 498 Azalea Rd.

Aston Park and Tennis Center

Featuring one of the top public clay court facilities in the country, Aston Park has 12 lighted courts open to the public. A small playground and rolling green hills surround the center. 336 Hilliard Ave.

Food Lion Skatepark

This park, located in downtown Asheville, features 17,000 square feet of skating surface. There’s a beginner bowl, intermediate street course and advanced vertical bowl. 50 Cherry St. North.

Richmond Hill Park

Richmond Hill Park boasts 183 forest-filled acres, making it Asheville’s largest wooded city park. There are a wide variety of activities available, including disc golf, mountain biking, hiking, jogging, dog-walking and bird-watching. The disc golf course, considered one of the most challenging woods courses in the country, is 18 holes and 6,093 feet long. 280 Richmond Hill Dr.

For a personally guided tour of Asheville neighborhoods near parks, or for more information on real estate anywhere in Asheville, please contact Mike Figura at Mike@MyMosaicRealty.com or call him anytime at (828) 337-8190.

Search: View All Homes for Sale in Asheville