Exploring the River Arts District in Asheville, NC: Art Studios Open to Public on Second Saturdays

For the past decade, Asheville has been steadily gaining ground in the reader rankings of AmericanStyle magazine's Top 25 Small City Arts Destinations, finally achieving the number one spot in 2012. And it's no wonder - a sizable part of town known as the River Arts District (RAD) is dedicated to local arts and crafts (not to mention downtown's dozens of galleries). Formerly an industrial sector, the RAD is now an Asheville must-see in its new incarnation as a bustling hub for working artist studios and galleries.

Second Saturdays in the RAD
On the second Saturday of each month from May through December, The River Arts District fills up with folks anxious for a chance to get closer to the arts and crafts they love. These family-friendly days are organized each month around a particular spotlighted medium, and include artist demonstrations, classes, and open studios. Shopping from studio to studio, you'll discover creative works that are made on-site and displayed with pride by their creators. 

2013 Schedule for Second Saturdays (click for a list of available rentals that weekend!)

More Fun to Be Had in the RAD
The RAD experience doesn't end after you've taken a tour of the open studios. The district boasts several restaurants, such as President Barack Obama's favorite Asheville joint, 12 Bones Smokehouse. You might want to stay for a few meals - dining opportunities in the RAD are awesome, including the White Duck Taco Shop, Pizza Pura, and The Junction. You'll also want to try a Beer City USA staple at The Wedge, a popular microbrewery where locals enjoy hanging in the summer sun with furry friends - The Wedge is dog-friendly! 

Bonus: All-Inclusive Studio Stroll
Doors open wide on over 180 RAD studios for the Studio Stroll during the second weekend of June 2013. The "first, largest, and most walkable tour of working artists' studios in the region," the stroll is a wonderful opportunity to meet the people behind the creative works and support the Asheville arts movement. Artist demonstrations and hands-on activities will take place throughout the weekend. Art and craft aficionados take note: this event only happens twice each year, in June and November.  

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