The River Arts District consists of a vast array of artists and working studios in 23 former industrial and historical buildings spread out along a one mile stretch of the French Broad River. This eclectic area is an exciting exploration of arts, food and exercise. Plan on spending a day or more visiting artists working in their studios, grabbing a bite of local cuisine or a brew and taking time to find art that’s perfect for your world. More than 200 artists work in paint, pencil, pottery, metal, fiber, glass, wax, paper and more. As unique and individual as their art, so too are their schedules. There are no official “Open Hours” for the River Arts District, but at any given time throughout the year, you will find a plethora of open studios and galleries. If you are coming to see someone in particular, your best bet is to check in with them before your visit. Do it here, online via our search feature, or check the Studio Guide. Come be inspired, shop, meet the artists and watch live demonstrations! Some studios also offer classes and internships. See the individual studio websites for more information.
Getting to the River Arts District is easy (Here’s a map!) Also, the pole banners you’ll see along the roads have background colors (red, green, purple, blue, orange) that correspond with the interactive map on this site, and also with the building colors and page headers in the printed Studio Guide.
Take advantage of ample parking and hop aboard one of our free trolleys running on Second Saturdays and throughout the Studio Stroll Weekend. Well-behaved dogs are welcome, as well, in most studios and even on the Saturday trolleys! Come for the opportunity to take home that special artistic treasure made and sold by the artists you meet here. Start your collection today!
The River Arts District is a neighborhood of historic industrial buildings now converted to an art paradise. Winding along the French Broad River, the “RAD” is within a short drive to all points in Asheville. Minutes from downtown, Biltmore Village and even the Blue Ridge Parkway, accommodations can be found close by in all directions. You may choose an upscale hotel in bustling downtown Asheville or Biltmore Village or find a comfy Airbnb either in town or one with a country setting. Check out Explore Asheville and Romantic Asheville for many recommendations around the area. There is something for everyone.
You will find something to tempt every palate in the River Arts District. Check out the Studio Guide map and find the knife and fork symbol to guide you to great places to eat and sip craft beer and wine. You can visit Guajirio, pleb urban winery, Bottle Riot and New Belgium Brewery to name a few. Check out this foodtopia guide to find many more places to enjoy some delightful and tasty meals. We are a foodie heaven!
Meet hundreds of artists, see work in many mediums, see artists at work demonstrating and exhibiting their work every single day. Find hands-on workshops of all kinds and you can even schedule a private experience working with a professional artist. The Village Potters and 310 ART for fine painting and drawing are among many studios and artists who will help you get your hands into art. In addition the area offers exciting cultural events and destinations including live music at the Asheville Guitar Bar and original stage works at The Magnetic Theatre. There are so many events and fun things to do.. Check out more HERE and HERE.