Little Black Book

Asheville: A City of Superlatives

by Team Fathom
Gardener's Cottage. Photo by Team Fathom.

Presented in partnership with Explore Asheville.

In addition to laying claim to America’s largest home (the 175,000-square-foot Biltmore) and the farthest distance a coin has ever rolled (79 feet and four inches, in 2018, according to Guinness World Records), Asheville is a city full of best-ofs. Hit them all up in one superlative trip.

Chillest Check In to Check Out AVL
The Foundry Hotel
The old steel factory turned boutique hotel captures the energy of Asheville: vibrant, modern, artistic, eclectic. It’s as easy to stroll the streets downtown as it is to get on a nature path.

Coolest Outdoor Jam
Rabbit Rabbit
Bring your friends, bring your kids. See live music, watch movies, eat tacos, and have fun.

Citizen Vinyl. Photo courtesy of Explore Asheville.

Best Place to Work Hard (or Hardly Work)
Citizen Vinyl
A great place to go on a blind date, log on to your laptop, chit-chat with creative folks over coffee, or shop aggressively for records printed weekly on site.

Best Stroll Back in Time
Hood Huggers International Tours
The intimate and interactive walk-around will give you a new perspective on arts, environmentalism, social enterprise, and Affrilachia (look it up!) in the old mountain town.

Buzziest Book Nook
Battery Park Book Exchange and Champagne Bar
Spend a few hours among stacks and stacks of your favorite titles, then break for bubbles and bistro snacks.

Supreme Carb Agenda
OWL Bakery
Consult the weekly bread schedule (Friday for seeded whole, Saturday for deli rye, Sunday for porridge loaves, etc.) before heading over for artisan bread and handmade, European-style pastries.

Shoji Spa. Photo courtesy of Explore Asheville.

Easiest International Escape
Shoji Spa and Lodge
The Japanese-style hot tub retreat within the Blue Ridge Mountains feels a world away — even though it’s only eight minutes east of downtown.

Tastiest Lunch Box
Little Chango
The kitchen slings a variety of Latin American-inspired dishes infused with TLC, but the Puerto Rican lunch box — rice, beans, escabeche, vegetables (and a side sweet plantains) — will make you feel like abuela loves you.

Booziest Club Privileges
The Crow & Quill
A quick read of local law holds that if an establishment serves alcohol but not food, then it can only be open to members. We were only too happy to join (it took a second at the door) for access to the antique-filled space to taste the magic they mix with more than 1,000 spirits.

Greenest Goods
Gardener’s Cottage
Beyond the Biltmore gates, an English Tudor-style cottage overflows with plants, blooms, and branches tucked among the antiques, rustic tableware, and pretty things for the home.

Asheville Salt Cave. Photo courtesy of Explore Asheville.

Most Unexpected Use of a Condiment
Asheville Salt Cave
Spend 45 minutes relaxing, meditating, or napping in a zero-gravity chair while restoring your body’s trace minerals in a quiet room filled with 30 tons of pink salt from the Himalayas, Polish salt mines, and the Celtic and Dead Seas. They even carve out chill time for kids.

Ultimate Friend Getaway (With No Jet Lag)
Pleb Winery
Grab friends for an afternoon ordering flights of local North Carolina wines in a bright and airy industrial space. Just one great way to get a taste of the terroir.

Plan Your Trip

See all of the Fathom Favorites (hotels, restaurants, shops, sites, and more) on this handy map of Asheville.

We make every effort to ensure the information in our articles is accurate at the time of publication. But the world moves fast, and even we double-check important details before hitting the road.