24 Hours In Asheville, NC
- September 14, 2016 |
We at Mast General Store feel so lucky that many of our stores are located right in the middle of vibrant urban settings. There’s so much to do and see right outside our doors. We’re excited to share a selection of our favorites with you! This year, we’re offering a series that features a day’s worth of places to enjoy within walking distance of each of our urban Mast Store locations. Over the past few months, we’ve taken a stroll through Greenville, SC, Waynesville and Hendersonville, NC. This week, we’re exploring Asheville, NC. Won’t you join us?
Asheville, North Carolina has long been lauded as “The Paris of the South” and “The Land of Sky.” The city’s vibrant culture and natural beauty has garnered top spots on a wide variety of national and international “best of” lists for many years. In 2016 alone, Asheville has been named among the "2016 Friendliest Cities in the U.S.," "Most Beautiful Small Towns to Visit in the U.S.," "10 Small Cities with World Class Food Scenes," and also one of "7 Best Places to Hear Incredible Live Music."
With so much to enjoy, it can be a little daunting to know where to begin your Asheville excursion. While there are endless options for fun and relaxation outside of the city limits, below you’ll find a few of our favorite places to enjoy that are all within walking distance of Mast Store Asheville at 15 Biltmore Avenue.
Early Girl Eatery & Wall Street
Named after a variety of tomatoes called “Early Girl,” this local restaurant is open all three meals of the day and is a favorite with locals and visitors alike. They offer all manner of southern comfort foods using many organic and locally-sourced ingredients. Tables are lined with white paper for children of all ages to doodle. Early Girl is very accommodating of families and will take reservations for large groups during non-peak hours.
If there’s a wait for a table, Early Girl’s location at 8 Wall Street is ideal for exploring. The giant Flat Iron monument at the corner of Wall Street and Battery Park is a hot spot for local musicians to perform. The gorgeous gingko trees lining the sidewalks turn a brilliant shade of yellow in the fall. And don’t forget to look for the cat statues perched along the cobblestone street. The artisans at Purl’s Yarn Emporium at 10 Wall Street are known to knit whimsical scarves and sweaters on the cat statues (and the Flat Iron statue, too, as pictured above) when the weather gets chilly.
A couple of blocks from the Flat Iron at 55 Haywood Street, Malaprops Bookstore has been a cornerstone gathering place in Downtown Asheville for well over 30 years. In a time where many books are purchased online or at chain stores, this independent book seller is committed to the community and supports local authors (and big names, too) with an extensive calendar of book readings and special events. If you’re hankering for a new novel, a delicious pastry and cup of Joe, or a corner to duck into a children’s book with your little ones, this is the place for you. Malaprops also offers an eclectic variety of gifts from t-shirts and journals to cards and curiosities. Don’t miss this local treasure.
Asheville Pinball Museum
Visiting this pinball “museum” is a great way to beat the heat in the summer and warm yourself during the bitter cold days of winter. Pinball games range in age from brand new to 50-year-old vintage machines. More of an arcade than a museum, pay a flat $13 fee ($10 for kids 10 and under) and play as much as you like from their extensive collection. They also offer over 35 classic video games. Asheville Pinball Museum is located across from the historic Grove Park Arcade at 1 Battle Square, Suite 1B. Operating hours vary so you'll want to check the here before your visit.
White Duck Taco
Playing hours of pinball sure can work up an appetite! We suggest popping over to the White Duck Taco Shop at 12 Biltmore Avenue (directly across the street from Mast Store Asheville). Their unusual flavor combinations – from Crispy Chicken BLT to Korean Beef Bulgogi – are delicious, filling, and served a la carte. Chow down inside the colorful dining room or enjoy your meal outside in the tree-lined courtyard behind the restaurant. You may want to get your tacos to-go as you journey to our favorite outdoor recreation location in the center of the city. We suggest calling ahead, so you can skip the line.
Pack Square Park / Splashville
Over 10 years ago, the City of Asheville made the forward-thinking decision of creating a new outdoor gathering place in the heart of downtown. What was once a parking lot is now an expansive terraced 6.5-acre grassy knoll with a permanent pavilion that hosts a full schedule of outdoor concerts and festivals throughout the year. Located at 121 College Street, directly in front of City Hall and the County Building, Pack Square Park is the perfect place to lounge with your lunch under Carolina blue skies. You’ll find giggling adults and children enjoying Splashville, an interactive water fountain, directly in front of the Pack Square Pavilion. Splashville is open from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. 7 days a week during the warmer months.
Downtown After Five / North Lexington Avenue
You’ll find a vast selection of outdoor festivals in several locations downtown all year long. One of our favorites is Downtown After Five, which is held the third Thursday of every month from May through September. Thousands of people gather for this fantastic, free music event at the end of North Lexington Avenue. Food trucks offer tasty local eats and beverages. The final Downtown After Five concert is coming up this Friday, September 16th. There’s more information about the bands performing here. After the show, make time to pop into North Lexington Avenue’s eclectic selection of shops showcasing some of the best of Asheville’s eccentric and colorful personality.
Looking ahead, Mast Store Asheville is hosting their Outdoor Tent Sale the weekend of Friday, September 30th, through Sunday, October 2nd, in the parking lot directly behind the store. Offering amazing deals on brands like Marmot, Columbia, prAna, Sherpa, and Tasc, this tent sale will get you outfitted in style for fall and winter. There's more information here. Be sure to check back with our Mast Store Asheville Calendar of Events. In-store and community events are updated regularly.