The arrival of the Buncombe Turnpike and then later the railroad has long made downtown Asheville a bustling center, as reflected in its eclectic mix of Federal, Greek Revival, Queen Anne, Victorian, and Art Deco buildings.
Asheville’s downtown streets are of interest to more than armchair historians, however. The cool, hip, and vibrant area is full of energy and activity with trendy boutiques and sidewalk cafés contributing to the unique ambience found here. Walk the Broadway/Biltmore strip (the street changes names when it crosses Patton Avenue) for window-shopping and to check out the restaurants with everything from budget options, like noodles and pizzas, to fine dining ones. Head over to Lexington for both antique finds and new items from indie designers, and cobblestoned Wall Street, which fits an impressive amount of charm in about 500 feet. If you are there on a Friday night anytime from spring through fall, leave time to visit Pritchard Park where the drum circle gets visitors and locals alike on their feet.