Downtown Asheville's many restaurants and shops are all within reach

When you need an alternative to the chain store holiday shop-a-thon, head to Asheville. This is a surprisingly urban town yet it is comfortably artsy and has a vibrant community of locally owned shops, galleries, and cafes that providing a refreshing alternative to the usual holiday shopping.

You’ll meet  artisan chocolatiers Jael and Dan Rattigan, who learned their craft in Costa Rica before moving here to raise their family and open French Broad Chocolate Lounge. Their hangout—a heady mix of truffles, pastries, and drinks, all made from local ingredients when possible.

At Hip Replacements, you will find vintage-inspired fashions by independent designers are curated by owners Franzi Charen and Kip Veno, a duo with as much personality as their collection.

The people, the places, the pleasure of shopping local in a mountain town—it’s worth a trip to remember that the season of giving means so much more than a trip to the mall.

Learn more about shopping local by watching this short video.