Asheville boasts a wide range of museums, including museums for science, history, and folk art. No matter your interests, there is a museum for you! Each museum highlighted here provides a unique perspective and a diverse line-up of community events.
Asheville Museum of Science
The Asheville Museum of Science, or AMOS, recently debuted its newly renovated space. The AMOS has a long history, tracing its start back to 1959, when the family of Burnham S. Colburn donated his large mineral collection to the Southern Appalachian Mineral Society. A year later, the SAMS opened the museum that started it all. The museum moved to downtown Asheville in 1972 and their new space is just blocks from the original location. Their new space offers special events and educational programs in addition to the Museum’s exhibits and displays. The entire family can learn and play as novice geologists, topographers, anthropologists, or ecologists throughout the interactive exhibits at AMOS.
Asheville Art Museum
The Asheville Art Museum is also undergoing renovations and their location on Pack Square is temporarily closed - but, do not worry, you can visit their South Slope pop-up location for exhibits and events. The Museum was founded by artists in 1948 and continues to deliver an exciting, inviting and active schedule of exhibitions and public programs based on its Permanent Collection of 20th and 21st century American art. The Museum offers programs for children, families, college students, and adults of all ages. Their adult programming includes artists’ talks, classes, concerts, film screenings, performances, workshops, and more.
The aSHEville Museum is dedicated to sharing the positive contributions of women and girls around the world to healthy societies. The Museum is also committed to addressing the ongoing issues of gender inequality. It is their vision to “contribute to the creation of a more just and equitable world by sharing engaging stories, facts, narratives, and visual imagery of the richly varied achievements and experiences of women and girls throughout the world.” Find the aSHEville Museum on Wall Street - close to two of my favorite local spots: Early Girl Eatery and Trade and Lore coffee.
Folk Art Center
The Folk Art Center is the home of the Southern Highland Craft Guild and the Center celebrates both traditional and contemporary crafts of the Southern Appalachians. There are three galleries, a bookstore, a Blue Ridge Parkway information desk, a library, and a craft shop on site. The Center is a five minute drive east out of downtown on the Blue Ridge Parkway- making this a wonderful way to experience the parkway and enjoy regional craft. From March to December, visitors can see live craft demonstrations daily in the Folk Art Center lobby.
Asheville Pinball Museum
The Asheville Pinball Museum is a fully interactive space with pinball machines dating back to the 1960s. And no, you don’t need a bag of tokens to play - your entry fee grants you access to all of the machines for unlimited play. The entire family will enjoy this pre-smart phone activity and dose of pinball history. In addition to their regular hours, the APM also hosts private after hours parties. The Museum is located in downtown Asheville across from the Grove Arcade. This puts it within walking distance of the aSHEville Museum, the Asheville Museum of Science, and the Asheville Museum of Art!
Asheville’s bright culture, rich history, and artistic vibe are what makes our mountain town a wonderful place to live, work, and play. In addition to these museums, Asheville also boasts historic houses turned museums, the most famous of which is the Biltmore Estate. Downtown Asheville is also a living museum of sorts for art deco architecture. No matter your interests, there is a museum or walking tour for you. Check out my other blog posts for my favorite activities, hikes, and restaurants!