The profusion of merchants occupying those old buildings has turned downtown Asheville into a grand shopping experience. It's hard to imagine that those lucky enough to live downtown would ever need to venture out to the suburbs. You'll find everything from high-end boutiques to bookstores, antique shops to music shops. There are too many stores to list them all, so we suggested a few of the most popular ones from each category.
Tops for Shoes is a multi-leveled shoe store for women, men and children with everything from classy high heels to flip flops to hiking boots. Spiritex carries designer clothing made from organic cotton and other environmentally friendly fabrics.
Malaprop's has a great selection of bestsellers, local authors and specialty books the chain stores don't carry. Downtown Books and News sells used books and carries a most unusual selection of magazines.
Travel to Terra Nostra for worldly imports, or hit up Mobilia for post-modern designs.
The Asheville area is known for its antiquing hotspots, and downtown is no exception. The Asheville Antiques Mall on Lexington and Not Your Average Antiques, next to the Grove Arcade, are two of the best.