Get to know the many sides of Asheville with this blog series, which examines Asheville through its unique, colorful, spirited, and incredibly distinct neighborhoods. Next, we’re exploring North Asheville, which includes Montford, Weaverville, and Woodfin.
Montford Historic District
Once an incorporated community dating back to 1893 and within walking or biking distance to downtown Asheville, the Montford neighborhood holds more than 600 Victorian, Queen Anne, Arts and Crafts, and other historic home styles built between 1890 and 1920. The community itself is listed on the National Register of Historic Places! It also includes the graceful Riverside Cemetery, where the gravesites of famed authors Thomas Wolfe and William Sydney Porter (a.k.a. O. Henry) will interest library enthusiasts.
Merrimon Avenue marks the main artery of this Asheville neighborhood—a street rich in architectural heritage and interspersed with the occasional bar, restaurant, bed and breakfast, or park. Some local favorite spots include All Day Darling, an excellent cafe for breakfast and lunch; HomeGrown, an unpretentious eatery for slow food, right quick; and Nine Mile, a Carribean restaurant. For drinks, order your favorite at Little Jumbo, a fancy cocktail bar off the beaten path, or travel to the top of the DoubleTree by Hilton Asheville Downtown to The Montford Rooftop Bar, which offers truly stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
For shopping around the Montford area, you’ll find a few niche spots, like Hunter Banks Fly Fishing, which is the perfect place for beginners and experts of fly fishing alike. While you’re out for a lovely stroll on Montford Avenue, see if you can see Shakespeare in the Park from The Montford Park Players, a donations-encouraged Shakespeare performance at the Hazel Robinson Amphitheater in Montford Park.
Further north are the neighborhoods around UNC-Asheville, where students, professors, and residents take advantage of the beautiful Asheville Botanical Gardens to escape outdoors. To the east of Merrimon Avenue, you’ll find Asheville Yoga Center, a local staple for wellness that’s been around for over 20 years, Asheville Salt Cave, Asheville’s only salt cave that is sustainable and growing, along with various healthy cafes for the health-conscious traveler. Further east, you’ll hit Charlotte Street, which has many businesses and restaurants leading to the affluent neighborhoods around the historic Omni Grove Park Inn and Country Club of Asheville.
Situated about 15 minutes north of Asheville, the town of Weaverville is the quintessential definition of quaint. A handful of shops, galleries, and eateries line compact Main Street, while tidy bungalows fronted by flowering trees and gardens occupy quiet cross streets. The town is close enough for residents to enjoy the liveliness of Asheville but far enough away to retain a secluded vibe. Visitors who wander up this way, especially during one of the annual street festivals—like Weaverville Art Safari in the spring and Art in Autumn in September—will enjoy the many places to shop and dine.
For breakfast, choose from Yellow Mug Coffee Lounge, a local coffee shop that treats you like family, or the newly-renovated Well-Bred Bakery & Cafe, which makes a fabulous array of breakfast and lunch bites, pastries, and desserts.
For the artistically inclined, Mangum Pottery Studio & Gallery sells beautifully glazed dinnerware, ceramic banjos, and other ceramic instruments. Miya Gallery represents the creative work of more than 40 regional artists, with handcrafted jewelry being the primary focus. Other noteworthy shops include Curtis Wright Outfitters for gear and guided fishing services; Reems Creek Nursery for one of the most extensive offerings in WNC of plants, seedlings, flowers, trees, and more; and Honey and the Hive for all your beekeeping supply needs, including beeswax candles, raw honey, and other gifts.
If you happen to get thirsty after your studio and shopping tour, Weaverville has adorable mom-and-pop breweries and bars ready to serve you. Maggie B’s Wine & Speciality Store is one of the cutest, most down-to-earth wine bars and gourmet wine shops you’ll find, and it’s located right on Main Street in Weaverville. Hoppy Trees Beer & Spritz Bar is a newcomer to the scene, but they’re making a name for themselves with their selection of beer and wine. Eluvium Brewing Company is a small spot with a great outdoor area for guests to sample brews and tacos from their taco truck. Zebulon Artisan Ales is the definition of a neighborhood craft brewery, and while they’re only open Friday-Sunday, you won’t want to miss out on tasting their selections.
There are several standouts when it comes to the Weaverville food scene. Twisted Laurel presents a bountiful mix of American and Greek appetizers, salads, sandwiches, and entrees. Blue Mountain Pizza serves specialty pies and more in a lively setting, with live music nightly and local beers on tap. Stony Knob Cafe serves imaginative American fare with a Mediterranean twist among trendy and whimsical decor—but make sure to call for a reservation on the weekends! And Glass Onion serves locally sourced Italian plates and Sunday brunch in a cozy, casual environment.
On your way north to Weaverville, you’ll hit the small town of Woodfin, which borders a stretch of the French Broad River. Woodfin’s history is wrapped up in manufacturing, but its future is focused on outdoor escapes. The community hugs the French Broad River, giving residents and tourists access to everything from tubing to whitewater adventures. Take a breather from your travels at Woodfin River Park, which has picnic, fishing, and kayaking spots throughout. And stroll around Beaver Lake, which boasts a 2-mile loop trail and bird sanctuary!
You might pass the 1847 Colonial Revival-style Reynolds Mansion, an architectural landmark now a bed and breakfast. The grand old house sits in the center of four existing acres, inviting a new generation to step back into time and enjoy the experience and hospitality of a bygone era.
Explore specialty shops and secondhand stores scattered on and around Weaverville Road while dining at burger and BBQ joints, Mexican restaurants, and homey cafes. Stop in at Sanctuary of Stuff, a gift shop in Woodfin that carries locally-made art, jewelry, clothing, pottery, home and garden decor, bath products, baby gifts, and so much more. If you’re in the market for fabric, there’s no better place to check out than Dreaming of the Sea of Fabrics, which carries high-quality, designer cotton woven in various themes.
Grab a brisket sandwich at Moe’s Original BBQ, which has a great location in Woodfin; pretzel bites from The Village Porch, which is the staple sports bar in the area; or a sub sandwich from Bellagio Bistro, which is a Greek and Italian eatery locals and visitors frequent.
While there isn’t a huge bar or brewery scene in the Woodfin area, you can stop for a pint in a few places. The barrelhouse is a local pub with a late-night scratch kitchen that’s always open. Salt Face Mule is a unique brewpub and gathering space with mini-golf and remote-controlled cars. On the southern end of Woodfin, you’ll also find three breweries on Riverside Drive—Outsider Brewing, a newcomer to the scene; Riverside Rhapsody Beer Company, a local brewery with live music and a BBQ food truck; and Zillicoah Beer Co., a kid-free brewery with an expansive outdoor area right on the river.
There’s an incredible list of reasons to explore these North Asheville neighborhoods. Explore more things to do in North Asheville on our A Look at Asheville directory.