Asheville North Carolina, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, is known for beautiful scenery, good food, lots of live music, and a vibrant arts scene. One of the largest arts events to come to Asheville each year is the Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands.
There are two editions of the Southern Highlands show, a summer show in July and a fall show in October. The shows are held at the U.S. Cellular Center in downtown Asheville and feature the wares of over 150 members of the Southern Highlands Craft Guild. The shows draw a large crowd and there is always an abundance of high quality crafts available for purchase. You’ll find both traditional and contemporary works in the clay, wood, glass, fiber, natural materials, paper, leather, mixed media, and jewelry categories.
The Southern Highlands Craft Guild, which puts on the show, is made up of about 900 craftspeople from 293 mountain counties in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. Member participation at the show is decided through a jury process.
The Guild’s Folk Art Center is open year-around and showcases the works of many Guild craftspeople. Beginning in March of each year, daily live craft demonstrations are featured at the center. The Folk Art Center is located on the Blue Ridge Parkway, about a five minute drive from downtown Asheville.
Other annual craft shows in and around Asheville include Art in the Park at downtown Asheville’s Pack Square three Saturdays in June and three Saturdays in October; the Village Art & Craft Fair, held each summer on the grounds of the Cathedral of All Souls at Biltmore Village; the Asheville Quilt Show at the Western North Carolina Agricultural Center; and the Western North Carolina Pottery Festival in Dillsboro.
And, of course, anyone visiting the Asheville area should consider at stop at the beautiful Biltmore Estate.
Places to Stay:
Downtown Asheville Hotels for the Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands – There are several downtown hotels located close to the US Cellular Center, where the Southern Highland Craft Show is held. The Hotel Indigo, Haywood Park Hotel (an interesting hotel located in what used to be a department store), Hyatt Place Asheville Downtown, and Four Points by Sheraton Asheville Downtown, and the Renaissance Asheville Hotel are all nearby. See a map of hotels near the US Cellular Center.
Hotels near the Biltmore Estate – The Biltimore Estate is such a large piece of property that when you look at a map, you won’t see hotels really close to the Biltmore’s location. There are, however, plenty of hotels that are located fairly close by. See a map of hotels closest to the Biltmore Estate.
Hotels near the Western North Carolina Agricultural Center – Also known by the abbreviated name of WNC Ag Center. This is where the Asheville Quilt Show is held, as well as the Mountain State Fair, several horse shows, and many other events. The Ag Center is located in Fletcher North Carolina, about a 30 minute drive from downtown Asheville. There are several hotels within a few miles of the Center, including the Fairfield Inn by Marriott Asheville, the Clarion Inn Airport, and the Hampton Inn and Suites Asheville I-26. See a map of hotels near the Western North Carolina Agricultural Center.
Dillsboro Hotels – The Western North Carolina Pottery Festival is held outdoors on Front Street in Dillsboro, NC. The closest hotels are the Best Western Plus River Escape Inn & Suites, the Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Dillsboro-Western Carolina, and the Microtel Suites by Wyndham Sylva Dillsboro Area. See a map of Dillsboro hotels.