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Asheville loves to party, as illustrated by the scores of great pubs, beer gardens, wine bars and upscale cocktail lounges dotting the city. Downtown Asheville, a safe and welcoming collection of walkable blocks, houses dozens of nightlife haunts, most serving an expansive collection of beers and spirits brewed and distilled locally. It’s also where you’ll find talented street musicians earning a buck by way of a guitar or harmonica. And at downtown’s Pritchard Park, the weekend officially kicks off every Friday around 6pm when the weekly Asheville Drum Circle gets the party started.
In the River Arts District, venue favorites include Grey Eagle and the Wedge Brewing Company. In West Asheville, you’ll find hipsters sipping beers along old timers at places like The Admiral and WALK, which stands for West Asheville Lounge and Kitchen. Whichever district you choose for your night out, you’ll find a social, laid-back vibe where anyone can get away with jeans and a t-shirt and everyone is open to making a new friend.
Besides the bursting-at-the-seems craft beer scene, live music is Asheville's other claim to fame, and the city gives up-and-coming musicians lots of places to test their talents. The Orange Peel is one of the most well-known venues for bigger-name bands to play, and good acoustics make any experience a memorable one, but most bars have some sort of live music scheduled throughout the week so it’s never difficult to find a good show.