The River Arts District opens its studios to the public twice a year for its super-popular studio stroll. The fun is from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday (today) and tomorrow.
Here are a few off-the-top-of-my-head tips if you’re going:
Wear good shoes. You’ll be walking and climbing stairs (especially at the Phil Mechanic Building). It’s supposed to be hot both days, more cloudy today, more sunny tomorrow. If the sun comes out in full force, bring that hat. If you’re sitting outside at the Wedge or Clingman Cafe, you’ll want it.
Get in on the action. There are so many sweet demos and activities in a variety of media, whether you want to watch or give it a try, there’s bound to be something for ya.
Here’s a video from Pattiy Torno of Curve Studios & Garden that shows some of the action (from last year’s November stroll):
Think ahead. I’m definitely a last-minute gift shopper, but the stroll is such a cool opportunity to pick up gifts for people. I try to make a list of birthdays, weddings, special events and the like that are coming up, and consider those during the stroll. If you’re the type who gives host/hostess gifts, it’s a good place for that, too. You’re getting something unique and locally crafted, and helping support our local art-and-craft economy. Also, while you’re thinking ahead, download (or browse) the guide, which lists all the studios and has a handy map.
Take a break. The Asheville Historic Trolley plugs along between studios. Hop on for a free ride. Chill out with a pint at the Wedge. Grab a snack at the cafe (or a plate of ribs at 12 Bones, though take note: that spot is only open Saturday, not Sunday). The stroll can be crowded and hot, so drink water and take it easy.
Get off the beaten path. There’s the central area where many tend to congregate, around the Wedge and Phil Mechanic Buildings. But check out Cotton Mill Studios, Riverview Station and the other places that are out of the main zone.
Stick around. The Wedge hosts Dead Again as part of its outdoor cinema series. It starts 10 minutes after sunset. Almost always, there’s a local food vendor selling something good down there, along with the flipping fantastic beer.