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Where to Stay in Asheville, NC in 2024 | Best Areas

Where to Stay in Asheville, NC in 2024 | Best Areas

The question of where to stay in Asheville, NC is quite easy to answer due to the nature of the city itself.

It has an almost mathematically precise structure, as its neighborhoods are divided according to the sides of the world: North, South, East, and West Asheville, with the center (Downtown Asheville) in the middle of the city.

Every neighborhood has something different, and your choice will ultimately depend on your preferred attractions.

Also, Asheville is not a huge city. That means that you can visit and see almost everything with a good plan and organized time management. We hope that our guide will help you do precisely that.

The 5 Best Places to Stay in Asheville

Vector map of Asheville pictured with several of the best places to stay and attractions to visit

There are many places to stay in Asheville, but we think the best parts of town are these:

  • Downtown: The heart of the city, where you learn about Asheville’s history and do some mighty shopping
  • South Asheville: Vanderbilt’s Biltmore Estate, a posh, Versaille-like vibe
  • North Asheville: The quietest part of Asheville, full of parks, tree-lined streets, and a significant historic district
  • West Asheville: Best suited for the lovers of art or nature (or both)
  • East Asheville: The ultimate nature and farming experience — a place for hiking, driving, cycling, mountain climbing, and slow living

The Best Areas & Hotels in Asheville

If you’re predominantly a history buff or an architecture lover, the downtown area, the South, and the North are the places for you. If you’re an arts and crafts person, and especially if you’re an artist, the west, with its River Arts District, is definitely where you should settle.

But if you adore farms and outdoor activities, the east will offer itself splendidly to you. But these are all generalizations. You can do any of these things in almost every area of Asheville.

That being said, accommodation choice — whether it’s a hotel, a motel, or an inn — depends on your preferences.  If you’re a luxury type of person, downtown and the south are certainly where you should entertain yourself. The best and the most expensive places are there.

If you’re on a budget and looking for a cheaper place, the east is where you’ll mostly find them. For a combination of both, look in any other area of the city.

1. Best Area for Shopping: Downtown

Gorgeous view of downtown Asheville NC for a piece on where to stay when visiting

ASHEVILLE, NC, USA-13 MAY 2018:Diners relaxing on Page Ave. in downtown Asheville, NC, USA on a warm, sunny spring day/Nilichuckyjake/Shutterstock

Downtown Asheville is definitely the heart of the city, where you can find anything and everything. Due to its beautiful and richly ornamented architecture, lively culture, and artsy vibe, it’s the definitive Latin quarter of the “Paris of the South.”

The description is not far from the truth because the center of the city is both traditional and modern, full of museums, memorials, and traditional architecture. However, it also offers a plentiful variety of shops, restaurants, and festivals.

There are just too many things to do and places to see! Downtown Asheville is basically an outdoor museum. Its history is not in dusty and lifeless enclosures but written on the tissues of the buildings, squares, and parks themselves.

So, the first and maybe the best thing you should do is to take a walk through Asheville’s Urban Trail. The walk is 1.7 miles long, and it’s divided into five different areas and 30 stations, each representing some distinct part of Asheville’s history.

First come the buildings from the Gilded Age, then the O. Henry memorial statue and Tom Wolfe’s house. Later on, you can find a lot of more modern and contemporary stuff, such as a famous marketplace, a bookstore, and the Afro-American Center.

The Urban Trail begins and finishes at the beautiful Pack Square Park. The whole walk can be done in an hour, and the map of the tour can be downloaded for free.

After the history tour, you’d surely want to do some shopping — by that point, you’ve surely (and subconsciously) window-shopped the entire district! Downtown Asheville is a shoppers’ paradise for sure, with more than 200 shops, boutiques, bookstores, etc.

We recommend:

  • The Grove Arcade, which is both a historical marvel and a great place to shop;
  • Haywood Street, where you can find almost everything;
  • Wall Street, which offers a versatile blend of shops and restaurants;
  • The Broadway & Biltmore, full of galleries, shops, and restaurants;
  • Lexington Avenue, which boasts the motto “where world culture meets counter-culture,” the most versatile place in all of Asheville.

The downtown of Asheville, like most city centers of the world, is loud and expensive.

It offers the best connections and the best image of the city, but that comes with a price. For those who want to have a calmer and cheaper experience, they should take a look at the north, east, and west of the city.

Downtown Budget Hotels

  • Downtown Inn offers complimentary breakfast, a pool, rooms with refrigerators, a coffee maker, and cable TV.  
  • The Beaucatcher is located on Interstate 240, 5 minutes from downtown, and offers a complimentary breakfast and a respectable variety of craft bears.

Downtown Mid-Range Hotels

  • Hilton Garden Inn Asheville Downtown is a nice hotel, with air conditioning and flat-screen TVs in every room, free Wi-Fi, and a great location.
  • Haywood Park Hotel has a great location, located in the heart of Asheville’s downtown. The hotel offers free Wi-Fi and breakfast, and it has a gym that guests can visit at any time.  

Downtown Luxury Hotels

  • Kimpton – Hotel Arras, located near the basilica of St. Lawrence, offers a restaurant, a bar, and a gym, inside the hotel. Also, it provides evening entertainment and a shared lounge.
  • Cambria Hotel features a fitness center and a restaurant inside the hotel. The rooms have flat-screen TVs, a fridge, and a microwave. Everyone on the staff speaks both English and Spanish.

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2. Best Area for Dining: South Asheville

Gorgeous view of Biltmore Village in South Asheville, one of the best places to stay in the city

BILTMORE VILLAGE in ASHEVILLE, NC, USA-5 JUNE 2022: Grand Bohemian Hotel, showing entrance and chalet-style architecture/Nolichuckyjake/Shutterstock

When a Vanderbilt comes to settle in your town, nothing is ever the same, and when George Washington Vanderbilt II built Biltmore Estate just south of downtown, Asheville was never again the average North Carolina city.

If downtown is the Latin quarter of the Paris of the South, then Biltmore Estate is its Versailles. Biltmore Estate, built at the end of the 19th century, is a French Renaissance Castle in the middle of the American South. It has around 250 rooms, and the land attached to it amounts to 8,000 acres.

This monument of a building completely dominates South Asheville, and all the activities happening south of downtown are in some way connected to it. The castle and the estate are more than just visual spectacles — they offer plenty of activities.

There’s the house itself, the gardens, the ponds, the winery, the dining and shopping, and you can experience most of that by foot or while riding a horse!

Between Asheville and Biltmore Estate lies Biltmore Village, so you can’t have one without the other because most of the accommodations (but not all) are located in the village. It is basically modeled like an English village, just built by world-famous architects.

It’s full of restaurants, shops, and galleries, and it’s a great place for hunting antiques since it has more than 500 independent dealers. Biltmore Village is especially great during the spring and the winter while it hosts the Biltmore Blooms festival and the Christmas festival.

Also, don’t forget to visit the beautiful All Souls Cathedral. That being said, Southern Asheville is the most expensive and posh part of the city.

Finding cheap accommodation is practically impossible. If you’ve come to Asheville on a budget, stay in some of the other neighborhoods and come to visit Biltmore Estate and Biltmore village only once or twice.

South Asheville Budget Hotels

  • The Residences at Biltmore, located in Biltmore village, has an outdoor pool, hot tub, free Wi-Fi, and a great location, with all the memorials close by.
  • Clarion Inn’s biggest strength is its location because it’s about one kilometer away from Asheville Airport and a 20 minutes ride from Biltmore Estate. The rooms have satellite TV, a refrigerator, and a desk.

South Asheville Mid-Range Hotels

  • Village Hotel, located in in Antler Hill Village, is close to a famous winery. The guests can also enjoy a workout at the gym and a swim at the pool.
  • Hilton Garden Inn, part of the famous chain of Hilton Hotels, is six kilometers from the Biltmore Estate. The hotel has a restaurant and a 24-hour-open front desk.

South Asheville Luxury Hotels

  • The Inn, located on the historic ground of the Biltmore estate offers rooms with classically-inspired furnishings, a gym, a pool, and the best location available in this region.
  • Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds are luxuriously furnished cabins with a hot tub, individual patio, and children’s playground. The location is great for hiking and fishing, 12 kilometers from the central location of the area, Biltmore Estate.

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3. Most Historic Area: North Asheville

Patterned quilt flower bed in North Asheville pictured for a guide titled Where to Stay in Asheville with the garden under a blue sky

Jill Lang/Shutterstock

When you get tired of the expensive shops, ornamental architecture, and the general feeling of poshness that the downtown and Biltmore offer, switch to the other side of Asheville — go north.

Just a few miles up from the center of the city, North Asheville is in some ways their complete opposite. Quiet, full of trees, picturesque parks, local history, and restaurants, it offers a range of experiences much less intense than the other parts of the city but equally captivating.

The first area you should visit in North Asheville is Montford, the historic district. There’s plenty to see here since most of this neighborhood is full of different historically important buildings (mostly houses and residences) built between 1890 and 1920.

You can either walk the tour or take the LaZoom Comedy Bus Tour. The Riverside Cemetery is quite a big deal, especially for the lover of literature, since both Thomas Wolfe and O. Henry are buried here — a great place for a literary pilgrimage.

Finally, Montford holds the longest-running Shakespeare festival in North Carolina, so if you’re there during the summer, try not to miss that. After Montford, don’t miss Weaverville, a typical small American town that got incorporated in Asheville at the beginning of the 20th century.

It’s a great example of “slow living,” full of coffee and breakfast places decorated by local artisans. Also, there’s the historically important Dry Ridge Historical Museum, documenting the life of the early settlers.

Finally, don’t miss Woodfin with its unusual shops and nice restaurants. It’s a small place but full of life. You have to visit the Botanical Gardens at Asheville, but you also cannot miss the Thyme in the Garden in Woodfin, which serves both as a botanical garden and a shop.

For those who look for more dynamism, speed, and high-voltage adventure, North Asheville may be a bit bland or boring. It’s also more down-to-earth than its classier counterparts. But if you love a slow-tempo atmosphere, the North is the place for you.

North Asheville Budget Hotels

  • Albemarle Inn, located in a Greek Revival building, offers a famous three-course breakfast. It has magnificent gardens you can stroll through and a beautiful fireplace inside, perfect for reading a book or just chilling out.
  • Log Cabin Motor Court is also placed in a historic building from the 1930s. It offers cozy rooms with flat-screen TVs. It’s around nine kilometers away from downtown but closer to most places in North Asheville.

North Asheville Mid-Range Hotels

  • Beaufort House Inn is a great bed and breakfast which serves a traditional American Breakfast, air-conditioned rooms, a beautiful garden, and free Wi-Fi.
  • Princess Anne Boutique Hotel & Breakfast is another historic hotel from North Asheville, which serves gourmet breakfast but also offers afternoon wine and hors d’oeuvres.

North Asheville Luxury Hotels

  • The Blind Tiger Inn & Cottage, as the name suggests, is a historical place as well as a hotel. All the rooms are individually decorated, it has a beautiful garden, and breakfast is served in an especially decorated room on carved English tables.
  • Chestnut Street Inn is another hotel that is also a historical monument, this time from 1905 and the Colonial Revival. Breakfasts are usually composed of Monte Cristo sandwiches, waffles, and southern biscuits with gravy. Every room is individually decorated, and the hotel offers massages for its visitors.

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4. Most Artistic Area: West Asheville

Photo of a crossroads in the River and Arts District pictured for a guide titled Where to Stay in Asheville

Asheville, North Carolina USA – May 5, 2022: The River Arts District in this popular small town visitor destination in the Blue Ridge mountains/Fotoluminate LLC/Shutterstock

If you go a little from the west of downtown and you realize you’ve crossed the beautiful and mighty French Broad River, you’ve already set foot in West Asheville. There are two words that best describe this part of the city, and those are Nature and Art.

The native Ashevillians say that it’s the place “where anything goes, and everyone is welcome,” no less because the famous River Arts District is part of this neighborhood.

Also, the prices of accommodation are quite lower, so the welcoming slogan is not just tourist bait — it’s literally true. If you’re an artist and not just an art fan, this is the place for you. River Arts Districts (also known as “RAD”) is known as the creative center of Asheville.

It’s the most colorful part of the town, full of murals and decorations, and the place of residence for more than 270 working artists. Here, you can visit studios, talk with artists, and try different art forms and mediums.

There’s even a place for your kids to try to paint or sculpt something — the policy of RAD is that everyone can be an artist. Basically, it’s a great place to have an art adventure! The Asheville Arts Experience is a great website where you can find anything that interests you about this district.

If you’re more of a nature type, West Asheville is a place for you too. All of the outdoor activities are connected to the French Broad River (which, incidentally, is one of the oldest rivers in the world!). You can go canoeing, ride a bike or walk next to it, or just have a picnic with a magnificent view in front of you.

There’s the Amboy Road, also called the “Adventure Corridor,” the Carrier Park, which is the city’s largest park, and the French Broad River Dog Park if you want to bring your best friend. For more organized activities, visit the Asheville Outdoor Center and see what’s on schedule.

The western part of Asheville is the most “hip” and versatile part of the town, and it is completely opposite from the posh downtown and Biltmore. However, it’s also considerably different from the calm and quiet North.

It’s versatile, it’s different, and for some people, that may come as too much. Moreover, if you’re looking for luxury accommodation, the western part of Asheville is not a place for you.

West Asheville Budget Hotels

  • The Asheville Inn offers a 24-hour available front desk, free Wi-Fi throughout the property, air-conditioned rooms, and flat-screen TVs. A great place if you’ve come to Asheville on a budget.
  • Comfort Inn Asheville is especially suitable for business travelers due to three things: the location, the lightning-fast wireless, and the working desk available in every room. The Inn also serves great breakfast.

West Asheville Mid-Range Hotels

  • Comfort Suites Outlet Center offers free parking, an outdoor pool, a fitness center, and a breakfast buffet. Every room has a sitting and a sleeping area, channel TVs, and a microwave available.  
  • Country Inn & Suites is great both for business conferences and for couples. There’s a business center on the site for individual business travelers and groups and a gym to break a sweat after work. But also some rooms with spa baths and sofa beds, making them especially comfortable.

West Asheville Luxury Hotels

  • Crowne Plaza Resort Asheville guests will have access to a racquet club, both salt-water and heated outdoor pools, golf courts, tennis courts, a gym, and childcare services. The hotel’s restaurant cooks a great combination of American and Appalachian cuisine.
  • Holiday Inn Asheville can be considered the only luxury hotel in West Asheville. The hotel features a nice restaurant, a bar, an indoor pool, and a spa.

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5. Best Area for Outdoor Activities: East Asheville

Winding road of the Blue Ridge Parkway pictured on the side of the mountains in fall

Anton Ermachov/Shutterstock

East Asheville is a great place in itself, full of antique shops, restaurants, and accommodation options. It’s also a starting point for exploring the wider area near (or not so near) Asheville, such as the farming community of Fairview and one of America’s most famous scenic drives, the Blue Ridge Parkway.

If you want to stay or visit East Asheville and all its riches, it’s best done with a car. Having said that, there are a few important things to see in East Asheville before you start driving to its outskirts.

Maybe the biggest attraction is the WNC Nature Center, a place that serves to educate and connect people with the plants and animals of this Southern Appalachian Mountain region.

It’s home to more than 60 species, such as black bears, gray and red wolves, otters, cougars, two red pandas, and an Eastern Hellbender — a type of huge salamander. After the Nature Center, you should visit the Folk Art Center, which is the seat of the Southern Highland Craft Guild and represents the crafts and arts of Southern Appalachia.

It has a great collection of artifacts, but it’s also important for one more thing: the same building hosts both the Folk Center and one of the primary access points to Blue Ridge Parkway.

Blue Ridge Parkway is a 469-mile road that waves around the sublime Blue Ridge Mountains. Close to Asheville, the road offers one of the best views and hiking trails in all of America, so it’s an activity you have to do if you have a car.

But the Blue Ridge Parkway is also great for other things like cycling, hiking, and picnicking. If you’re a fan of farmers and farming tourism, just outside of Asheville is Fairview, the bucolic farming community.

Its beauty is in the serene hills, mountaintops, and the community of farmers, all of them living in harmony with the nature that surrounds them. East Asheville is the most rural and outdoorsy of all the Asheville neighborhoods.

People who like outdoor activities and adore nature and farm life will definitely love it. But, if you live for the hustle and bustle of the city and the variety of shops and luxury hotels, you won’t find any of that here.

East Asheville Budget Hotels

East Asheville Mid-Range Hotels

  • Comfort Inn Asheville offers breakfast and has a heated outdoor pool, and although it is located in East Asheville, it’s 10 minutes from downtown.
  • Country Inn & Suites by Radisson has traditionally decorated rooms, an indoor pool, and a gym. Guests can make their own waffles during breakfast using a common waffle machine.

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So, Where Should You Stay in Asheville, NC?

Gorgeous view of inside a shopping center in the suburbs, one of the best places to choose when considering where to stay in Asheville NC

ASHEVILLE, NC, USA-10 JUNE 2018: A hallway inside the Grove Arcade, featuring a variety of small shops/Nolichuckyjake/Shutterstock

Let’s recap the most best places to stay in Asheville so you can clearly see which one suits you the best:

🎁 Best Area for ShoppingDowntown
🍽️ Best for Shopping & DiningSouth Asheville
🏰 Most Historic AreaNorth Asheville
🎭 Most Artistic AreaWest Asheville
🌲 Best for Outdoor ActivitiesEast Asheville

Regardless of the place you stay, Asheville, North Carolina has something for every person and every budget. Just be sure to stay long enough to soak in all the sights — you’ll be glad you did!