We’re already a week into the new decade, and Asheville has big things on the horizon for the year! Whether you’re a local, planning a day trip, or a weekend stay, here are 10 of our picks of what to do and where to go in Asheville in 2020:
1.) We live in a Mecca for music, and one thing that has us really excited is the opening of “75 Cox Avenue.” When this hot spot of real estate came up for sale it could have been swept up by a developer, but instead local hero Mike Rangel, owner of Asheville Brewing Company, grabbed it with visions of making it an outdoor downtown venue that local people could enjoy. He’s now formed an official partnership with The Orange Peel and they’ll be collaborating to bring Asheville it’s largest outdoor music venue appropriately named 75 Coxe Avenue. The former 1.25 acre Wells Fargo lot is slated to begin operations this spring. The venue will host not just concerts, but also movies, kid and family-friendly programs, and community and local non-profit events. Stay tuned for more details!
2.) Speaking of music… We know where we’ll be on Valentine’s 2020: catching New Orleans legends the Dirty Dozen Brass Band at The Grey Eagle! And another show that Russ and T.G.E. crew will be bringing in that we’re digging is Dan Deacon on February 29th.
3.) Nature loving friends, did you hear the good news that Buncombe County will get its first State Park? Governor Roy Cooper signed into law SB 535 on July 19th, which allows the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources to create the park in Candler. Named Pisgah View State Park, the 1,600 acre landscape will play an important role in wildlife conservation, and will also offer trails and other recreational opportunities. It will be the 40th park added in North Carolina, and the sixth in Western North Carolina, but the very first in our county.
4.) If art deco, great food and local brews is your jam, you’ll be equally as excited as us about the revamp of the historical S&W Cafeteria which will be welcoming Highland Brewing Company for a brand new taproom and dining hall with multiple restaurant partners! Scheduled for opening in March or April, the main floor of the building will have space for four restaurant stations, and the upper floor will host the taproom. There are also plans for an outdoor seating area in the works.
5.) If you haven’t been to the newly renovated Asheville Art Museum yet, you need to put it at the top of your Asheville bucket list in 2020. Heads up that the first Wednesday of each month admission is sliding scale/donation-based for WNC residents from 4-6pm (art for all!). The next one is happening on February 5th.
6.) We dig that Asheville is full of greenways, and the River to Ridge Greenway and Trail Network will be a brand new addition to the network! These 10.25 miles of handicap-accessible connected greenways and trails will expand in the downtown area to the River Arts District and French Broad River greenways, the South Slope Greenway Connector, Beaucatcher Greenway and the Urban Trail. It will also include a section of the greenway behind New Belgium Brewing Company, and will allow easier access for locals and tourists alike to the French Broad River and Blue Ridge Mountains.
7.) So y’all might know that Dig Local was an official launch partner of the 501(c)3 Food Connection. On April 16th, Food Connection will be having a celebration of 5 years and 250,000 fresh meals rescued and delivered to feed our less fortunate neighbors in WNC. This year’s “Chefs In Action” event will take place at Packs Tavern, where it all began and will be featuring 6 chefs who regularly donate their surplus food to feed those in need. Other events to put on your calendar include Asheville Restaurant Week (January 21-26), and Blue Horizons Beerfest (February 29).
8.) New breweries and brew launches are looked forward to just as much as new restaurants. The brand new Dssolvr brewery just recently opened its doors on North Lexington Avenue. Likewise, local favorite Green Man Brewery opened its new taproom below Polanco: The Dweller. Mountain Madre is also launching their own brand of tequila on January 15th, and Cultivated Cocktails has released H&H Distillery’s Steel Horse Whiskey, which is created with a rotating barrel-aging process on the wheels of a motorcycle skeleton. The distillery will also be releasing Crème De Cacao, which is made with French Broad Chocolate. Craft beverage lovers, rejoice!
9.) Y’all know we’re in the midst of a housing crisis, but we’ve got some positive news! Our friends at BeLoved Asheville are thinking outside the box with their newest project: the BeLoved Micro Home Village. The property located in East Asheville will offer deeply affordable housing in the form of twelve 440 square-foot micro homes. The project is entirely community-funded, and donations can be made on the BeLoved Village’s GoFundMe. The first home will be finished soon. Stay tuned as Dig Local announces a collaboration with local businesses to sponsor a house build in 2020! Details to come…
10.) And last but not least, in 2020 we’re looking forward to the return of Warren Haynes Christmas Jam. Please!
Be sure to keep an eye on Dig Local for further details on all of the fun upcoming events and other happenings in Asheville for the whole year. Cheers, friends!