The sun’s out and so are 2020 bucket lists. If you’re looking to add some Carolina hidden gems to your list, there’s no better way to channel summer vibes than a day trip to the Asheville River Arts District. More than 200 artists have studio space in this artsy hub filled with coffee house nooks and mazes of graffiti art; all practically begging to be part of your Instagram feed.
What’s more, the River Arts District is a 6-minute drive from downtown Asheville and isn’t officially operating on “open hours.” That means you can visit local artists’ graffiti murals anytime and for free.
In 2016, Asheville approved a project called the Foundation Walls to create an inclusive and legal graffiti art experience. Today, 23 buildings are canvases for artists and the initiative draws tourists into the area.
Since there are nearly two-dozen buildings to see, wearing comfy shoes is a necessity if you want to hit up the most photo-worthy spots. For those not up to solo exploring, there are tours that guide you through the 13-acre area.
After finishing up your mural walk, you’ll want to be sure to check out some of the glass blowing studios, pottery shops, and local cafes.
You'll soon see why Asheville locals have a mantra that fits the city’s grungy aesthetic: “Stay Weird.”
There is no charge for parking and on the second Saturday of the month they run a free trolley service through the town in case your feet need a break.
The weekends are generally busier, so to avoid the crowds try going during the week.
When you arrive, you can find boxes along the studio buildings with paper maps. Super convenient for when you're trying to save your phone battery for pictures!
Show up to glow up because these backdrops pretty much do the Instagram editing for you.
But most importantly, do it from the #gram.
River Arts District
Address: 3 River Arts Pl, Asheville, NC 28801
Why You Need To Go: This free walking tour is a colorful dream for standout Instagram pictures.