The beautiful Montford Historic District in north Asheville offers residents and visitors alike many opportunities to Live the Life You Choose. For more than 120 years, the neighborhood’s wide throughway has pulled residents, businesses, and tourists from nearby downtown into its tight-knit community filled with beautiful public spaces and immaculately restored homes.
Whether you’re vacationing or stay-cationing, here’s a quick itinerary to build a dreamy weekend in Montford.
CHECK INTO YOUR B&B
A dozen charming Victorian bed and breakfasts are scattered throughout the Historic Montford neighborhood, housing more than 250 beds from which to choose. Whether you’re looking for period furnishings, gardens, or even waterfalls, there’s something for every taste. Many also offer complimentary breakfast during your stay.
COME TOGETHER OVER DINNER
Since 2008, Nine Mile (233 Montford Avenue) has offered a casual, Caribbean-inspired and eclectic menu in the heart of Montford. Many of their pasta and rice dishes are vegetarian friendly, and generous dinner portions are sure to satisfy—but don’t forget to save room for locally made desserts! Try the self-titled Nine Mile (grilled jerk chicken or tofu, fresh ginger, fire-roasted vegetables over linguine or basmati rice) and pair it with one of their custom Caribbean cocktails.
PICNIC IN THE PARK
A rose by any other name is not as fun as this! Don’t miss a performance of the Montford Park Players, North Carolina’s longest-running Shakespeare troupe. The Players hold performances in Montford’s Hazel Robinson Theater (92 Gay Street) on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays while in season. Bring your own bottle of wine, and enjoy a tradition that stretches back more than 40 years.
At the top of the Montford neighborhood sits the Asheville Visitor Center (36 Montford Avenue). It’s your go-to source for Asheville postcards, t-shirts, and gifts, as well as any information you could want about the city and surrounding region. Volunteers are on hand throughout the day to answer your questions about the city. You can also purchase Biltmore tickets, jump on one of several local tours (see below), or “power up” at their electric charging station.
Photo from ExploreAsheville.com
TAKE A TOUR
There are many ways to tour Montford and Asheville’s other interesting districts. The Gray Line Historic Trolley Tours of Asheville leaves directly from the visitor’s center. They offer riders the chance to jump off at any stop and jump back on later, giving you a great chance to explore the city. If you want to add a little boogie to your day, LaZoom Comedy Tours offer several opportunities to see the city—with a twist! There are also dozens of walking tours, segway tours, historic tours, haunted tours, brewery tours, and more. Here are a few of our favorites.
PULL UP FOR THE BEST WINGS IN ASHEVILLE
Opened in summer 2016, the Montford Pull Up (231 Montford Avenue) quickly made a name for itself as one of the best fast-casual joints in town. Their hot sandwiches, burgers and fries, and funnel cakes (!) are positively drool-worthy. But they’re known for their wings. They won People’s Choice in both categories of the 2017 Asheville Wing War.
Photo from Montford Pull Up
WALK TO WHERE THE ACTION IS
From the top of Montford avenue, it’s just a few steps to the heart of downtown Asheville, filled with shopping, entertainment, and many of the city’s 20+ independent microbreweries. Catch a show at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, see the latest exhibit at the Asheville Art Museum, or wander into one of the dozens of festivals that take place downtown every year. If it’s a good view that you seek, don’t leave the neighborhood—the Montford Rooftop Bar at the top of Hyatt Place Asheville/Downtown (199 Haywood Street) offers quality cocktails and apps that are rivaled only by the long-range views.
FEED YOUR SOUL
Meaning “church” in Italian, Chiesa (152 Montford Avenue) offers a menu of traditional and seasonal Italian dishes designed to feed your soul, as well as your belly. At one point in its history, the building was a Piggly Wiggly, but more recently it served as a neighborhood church. Now, the pews have been repurposed and diners say “Amen” over the desserts. For an Asheville-inspired meal, pair the Smiling Hara Tempeh and Portobello Ravioli with a glass of Biltmore wine.
Photo from Asheville Citizen-Times
HAVE A TASTY BRUNCH
For a casual brunch that’s sure to please, try Tod’s Tasties Cafe (102 Montford Avenue). They serve a variety of breakfast bowls, sandwiches, and plates. If you prefer lunch for brunch, try one of their signature sandwiches, pitas, or melts. We recommend the Montford (turkey, cheddar, apple butter, bacon on rye) with tater tots or sauteed kale. Yum!
Photo from Asheville Blog
WALK IT OFF
With a wide main thoroughfare, sidewalks, and its own selection of attractions and parks, Montford offers many walking opportunities. Learn about the district’s architectural history from History at Hand: Historic Montford Tours. Or stroll through Historic Riverside Cemetery (53 Birch Street), a Victorian rural garden cemetery that’s more moving than morbid. While you’re there, pay tribute to any of a number of Asheville celebs, including authors Thomas Wolfe and O. Henry, Confederate General Robert B. Vance, and North Carolina Governor Zebulon Vance.
TAKE A BREATHER
Originally home to the famous Highland Hospital, today Montford is still home to a number of local therapeutic clinics. Daoist Traditions College Acupuncture Clinic (382 Montford Avenue) offers sessions designed to be comfortable, safe, and effective. For something a little more hands-on, so to speak, book a session with Unity Healing Arts (15 Zillicoa Street). They offer a variety of massage, reiki, hot stone, and cupping services.
PLAN YOUR NEXT TRIP
Once you’ve seen Montford once, you’ll want to visit again—we guarantee it. Plan your next trip for May, when Montford residents come together for the Montford Music & Art Festival. This unique festival features more than 100 hyperlocal vendors, 20 groups performing across two stages, and a children’s area. If running is your passion, the Hot August Night 5K is also a great annual excuse to return.