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Downtown Asheville

A Vacation Insiders Guide


This Insider Guide is brought to you by Lynne
& Steve, resident insiders of North Carolina's
Asheville, and owners of three vacation rentals
in and around this vibrant, hip city.

Contact Lynne & Steve:


Lynne Harty, originally from Atlanta, GA and

Steve Cohen, born and bred in New York City,
are in love with the town they now call home,
Asheville. Both said it took about 5 minutes to
adjust to the fresh mountain air, the friendly
people, the slower pace, and the small town feel!
Lynne is a commercial and fine art photographer. Steve is a musician
and manager of musicians. They operate their businesses out of their
new property, Drover's Way in downtown Asheville. Both are involved
in many parts of the community but particularly the restaurant, music
and art scene, so they are excited to share their favorites with you!


When I heard from Lynne about some of the guests
that have stayed at her vacation rentals I was hooked music legends! But more on that later in the guide.

Lynne even gives a cameo role to her daughter Jess,

who takes us on a millennial's tour!

Lynne and Steve are our 2nd insiders from the North
Carolina city of Asheville. Which made us think "isn't
having 2 insiders a little confusing?".

And don't forget Steve, the musical side of the

partnership! See if you can spot him in the "Dance"
video, produced by Lynne and set around the 5 Walnut
Bar, one of their favorite spots.

Quite the contrary, Lynne and Steve bring a different

perspective, being from artistic backgrounds. And yet,
at the same time, there's a consistent feel. One of a hip,
musical city, with restaurants and art to rival NYC, set
amongst North Carolina's beautiful mountains.

Speaking of music, it's arguably the soul of Asheville.

From simple street performers to world famous music
venues, this city is steeped in bluegrass and mountain
roots, but with a modern twist (go check out Underhill
Rose for a magical example). Happy reading!

Lynne and Steve have packed this guide full of ideas.

A weekend trip with the girls? A couple's retreat? Beer
tasting? A thriving art scene? Escape to nature? Heck,



Keeping up with the constantly changing face of downtown Asheville is a challenge these days, but it's
one that Steve and I do our best with, dining at the new restaurants, having cocktails at the new bars, and
checking out new venues (which also have opened in W. Asheville).
When we moved here, around 2000, there was nowhere near the selection of restaurants to choose from,
and the streets were empty late at night and during the winter. Not anymore! You'll find all kinds of street
performers year round now, playing bluegrass music, holding statuesque poses for extraordinarily long
periods of time, and throwing flames and batons.
Walk by 5 Walnut Wine Bar most nights and see the people standing on the sidewalk outside listening
to the music flowing out of the big windows, or walk by Pritchard Park to see the huge crowd of people
listening and playing in the weekly drum circle and you'll get a real sense of the energy that has taken over
downtown Asheville. See how the creativity plays out in the restaurants of renowned chefs such as John
Fleer at Rhubarb, Katie Button of Curate and Nightbell, or Duane Fernandes of Isa's Bistro.


Sampling our Legendary Beer...

A Picnic on Top of the World (Craggy Pinnacle)...

Asheville's Adventurous Side...

The Biltmore Estate...

Romantic Date Night...

Did you know Asheville has been a regular winner of the "Beer City USA"
award? Come and see what we're now famous for by touring the many
breweries (at least 17 at this count) and sampling locally brewed beer. A
great way is the self guided walking tour of Asheville's South Slope (the
Brewery District). You can navigate around with your phone. But take
care, the beer is very good - too much and no amount of technology can
help you! Is this option of getting the locals to drive you more sensible?!

Craggy Pinnacle is an all time favorite that we take almost every visitor
on. Breathtakingly gorgeous with many beautiful spots along the 1.4m
round trip hike. So beautiful that Lynne has scheduled numerous photo
shoots up here! And it's just 40 mins from downtown. Get picnic supplies
at Dough or Greenlife, and head up to the top to watch the sunrise - you
won't be sorry. Even on the warmest summer days it can be cool and
sometimes foggy so take a jacket and check the weather before leaving.

We're surrounded by nature in Asheville, so there's plenty of opportunity

for adventure! Try Navitat for some thrilling zip lining. The name is all
about navigating the forest habitat and you certainly do that - but up
high! Or how about tubing down the French Broad to the Bywater for
beer? Zen Tubing and Asheville Outdoor Center both run tubing trips.
Finally, try rafting at the NOC. The rapids are mostly gentle on the half
day trips (good for kids), or class IV rapids on a full day for extra fun!

Yes, you must see America's largest home! Many of us locals have annual
passes and the consistent attraction for us is the grounds, with acres to
explore - we love walking through the gardens, by the river, and biking
the paths, sometimes capping it off with a picnic or dining at Cedrics.
I (Lynne) have shot commercial photos for the Estate so have spent a
lot of time there. Still, I return time and time again because it's THAT
beautiful. If you're visiting during an evening concert on the patio, go!

Start at the Grove Park Inn with cocktails on the sunset patio, or at
Skybar, atop Asheville's Flat Iron Building. Try Limones downtown for a
dinner in a fun atmosphere (it's where Steve and I had our first date!).
Then head to the French Broad Chocolate Lounge for dessert. Still want
more? Try the Nightbell for an after dinner drink (New York comes to
Asheville), then walk it all off by going up the hill to Pack Square Park.
Staying at the Urban Nest or at Drover's Way? It's a short walk home!


Lynne and Steve have come up with 2 great day experiences, one explores a slice of Asheville
downtown culture, the other takes you out of town to explore the surrounding area. Both throw in
a good dose of culture, outdoors, and (of course) some legendary Asheville food!

A Feast for the Eyes, Belly and Soul...

First up, make a reservation ahead of time at Knife and Fork in Spruce Pine.
You'll need that later... Next, go by High 5 for a latte and breakfast goodie
to go, maybe run by Greenlife for snacks while you're near there.
Head north on 19/23 towards Burnsville (there is another coffee shop and
art gallery there), following directions to Roan Mtn. Hike the beautiful balds
for a few hours and enjoy your snacks on one of the many overlooks.
Then head to Bakersville - a one stop sign quaint town. Visit Jason Burnette's ceramic studio, get a cup of
coffee at Dot's, and explore the greatest ceramic studio I've come across, Crimson Laurel. If you want more,
visit nearby Penland School of Crafts to see the resident and student artists at work in the beautiful campus.
Finally, reward yourself with a gourmet meal in Spruce Pine at Knife and Fork. They fill up way ahead, so often
you can get that early dinner which works out well after your busy day, so that you can dine and head home
to Asheville on the early side (it's 45 minutes from Asheville).

The River Arts District...

The River Arts District is a little more than a mile from the Urban Nest, so
either a nice walk or short drive, and it's where most of the local artists'
studios are located.
We recommend lunch (only Mon - Fri) at the famous 12 Bones BBQ (Barack
and Michelle Obama have eaten there and they're often featured in foodie
articles) followed by a stop at Pink Dog Creative to peruse the galleries.
Then work your way around the many warehouses to see what the artists are making.
Next walk along the train track to the Wedge Brewery, where you'll often see hundreds of people outside
drinking beer, playing games and listening to music. Hungry? All you'll get at the Wedge is peanuts, so go a
few doors down to the Bull and Beggar for an interesting and yummy dinner. If their menu doesn't grab you,
or your wallet is feeling a little too thin, you'll be happy dining at White Duck Taco, The Junction, or All Souls
- you can't go wrong at any of them!
And finally, walk over to the Grey Eagle Music Hall to hear some music before heading home!


Jess is Lynne's 23 year old daughter. She tells us how she'd guide
her 20 and 30-something year old friends around Asheville.
Badged by Lynne the "millennial agenda"...
As I ease into a Saturday in Asheville, I typically do one of two things: head to
Izzy's for my favorite iced latte in town (and possibly ever) or to Over Easy on
Broadway for a delicious (but usually indulgent) breakfast. If for some reason
I'm feeling particularly ambitious, I love to go to the Chisel class at 9 am at
Clasique Pilates on Lexington and then I won't feel so bad about whatever choices I make for the rest of the day.
Be warned; it's tough.
If I have friends in town we may wander around downtown and do some shopping - Minx and Frock are two of
my favorites. I can also spend a lot of time perusing books and random knick knacks in Malaprops or the Battery
Park Book Exchange or scheme on my future super chic "grown up" home at Mobilia.
Depending on when you start your day (or your Friday night), this may carry you right into happy hour. If it's a
girls day and you want to fit in a pedicure or treatment, Spa Theology is great for more of a spa "experience". For
happy hour I have several suggestions, depending on how you're feeling. If you want some the best pomegranate

margarita you will ever have, hit up Limones (which is also great for dinner). For people watching and a classy
glass of wine go to 5 Walnut. If you are a beer aficionado and potentially want to meet some bros, walk down to
the Wicked Weed. Lastly, if you want to be hip and a "real Ashevillian" check out Ben's Tune Up (also great if it's
nice outside).
For a good dinner on a budget, I would suggest White Duck Taco or Doc Chey's (worth the wait). If you're willing
to ball out for ambiance and great food, I love Limones, Zambras, or Curate, all of which are walking distance
downtown. If you don't mind driving to West Asheville, the Admiral for dinner is amazing, despite the fact that
it looks like a hole in the wall on the inside and out. Also they clear the tables after dinner and it turns into a big
dance party if you're into that kind of thing.
Although the lines can be ridiculous, no night downtown is complete without a trip to the Chocolate Lounge (in
my humble opinion) so wherever you are, skip dessert. Post-chocolate lounge, I would suggest any of the bars I
mentioned for happy hour, with the addition of maybe the Southern on Lexington or SkyBar if you want a view/
roof experience. Enjoy!



Yoga at 1 Center Yoga on

Coxe Ave. or a jog through
the Victorian neighborhood
of Montford. Get a healthy,
organic lunch at Elements.

On the weekend you'll find a

great brunch served at two
of our favorites - try either
Limones or Curate.

Some pampering? Spa

Theology (next to Urban Nest),
Sensibilities, and Wake (for
foot soaks).

Post spa, how about some hair

styling for the day ahead? Lola
Salon is a short walk from the
Urban Nest; we recommend
asking for Hannah.

In need of a little culture?

Horse + Hero, Blue Spiral and
Woolworth Walk for gifts.

Looking for a good book? Don't

miss Malaprop's bookstore
or the used book store on

Shopping - my favorites for

fashion are Frock, Maison
Mary and Minx. Tops for
Shoes is a must!

For wine, we love 5 Walnut

Wine Bar and Battery Park
Book Exchange. The Imperial
Lounge is a fun spot for
cocktails too.

For some great restaurants

that are not located downtown
try Gan Shan Station, Plant, and

No visit is complete without

the French Broad Chocolate
Loungetheir brownies are
fantastic. Or go to the Blackbird
for their coconut cake.


How About Some Asheville Music...

The Grey Eagle...

Jack of the Wood...

Isis (in W. Asheville)...

Located in the River Arts

District, The Grey Eagle has a
great sound, and attracts singer
/ songwriter / acoustic acts. It
also carries a range of the local
beers for an authentic Asheville
experience. Check out their
calendar for more information
on upcoming shows.

A Celtic pub that features music

from good time local acts, along
with handcrafted ales. Jack of
the Wood always has a lively
atmosphere and you'll have
a good time no matter who
is playing. Underhill Rose, a
local trio sometimes play here
(featured on cover page).

The Isis mixes music & fine

dining. Try a Sunday jazz &
dinner for a lesser (secret)
known fun night

The Orange Peel...

An Asheville legend, The Orange

Peel is a great smoke free venue
featuring some larger acts.


Lynne's other great love is producing stop motion videos. She says "I think that you can create such great
energy with this medium...". We've selected 2 of Lynne's videos to give you a different kind of insight into
Asheville. Enjoy (and see if you can spot Steve and their dog, Charley)!


Lynne & Steves Very Own...

Originally an Army Navy department store back in the day, the

Urban Nest was renovated by Lynne in 2005. It's a 1 bedroom condo
on the 3rd floor of an historic building in the center of downtown.
Within a five minute walk are many of Asheville's best farm to table
restaurants, locally owned shops, Pack Square, art galleries and
the local fav, the Fine Arts Theatre. The condo has all the modern
amenities you will need, such as 40" smart HD TV, fully equipped
modern kitchen, washer/dryer, A/C, and more!

Lynne & Steves Very Own...

Drover's Way is an apartment located in an historic building where

Lynne & Steve have their offices, 5-10 mins on foot from downtown.
The property is located on what used to be the passageway for
drovers who were bringing their cattle and pigs to market and now
offers modern luxury. Available guest services include specialty
groceries and in-house massages. Not only is it a loving renovation
with all mod-cons, but it's also a very cool area, and a stone's throw
from Moog Music, Whole Foods, and High Five Coffee.

Lynne & Steve Suggest...

If any of their places are full, or if you prefer something different,

then Lynne and Steve would suggest the Haywood Park Hotel in the
heart of downtown Asheville. It's a 2014 Trip Advisor "Certificate of
Excellence" winner. Located just minutes from many of the city's
must see spots, it has well equipped rooms, free WiFi, a fitness
center, and more. The rooms are large, ranging from 475 to 1,200
square feet. It also houses Isa's Bistro, one of Lynne and Steve's

Lynne & Steve's NOTABLE GUESTS...

"I stayed in the Urban Nest for 2 weeks while I made my 11th record Fixin to Die with the Avett Brothers
right down the street at Echo Mountain Recording Studio. I loved the location and vibe of Lynne's spot and it
surely helped keep the creative juices flowing. Thanks Lynne!"
- G. Love
"The urban nest is a beautiful, well maintained and very comfy place to stay. The bedroom is fantastic very sound-proof. Great location. I highly recommend this place. The owner is a woman who could not be
sweeter. This one gets 5 stars."
- Brad Roberts, Crash Test Dummies
"I love the Urban Nest. It's a warm, comfortable space and perfectly located in the heart of downtown
Asheville, an easy walk to almost all of my favorite restaurants and shops. Highly recommended as an
alternative to staying in a hotel."
- Ashley Capps - founder of the Bonnaroo Festival and Moog Fest
"The Asheville downtown condo is the perfect place for me to host those of our clients who are looking for a
little something special, rather than yet another hotel."
- Jessica Tomasin - Echo Mountain Recording and Aaron Wood Management



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