The historic town of Marshall in Madison County is nestled between rocky cliffs and the scenic French Broad River, just 20 miles north of Asheville. This “one street wide and a mile long main street” town of 900 residents celebrates its colorful past while passionately embracing the contemporary with a recent “revival.” Main Street, lined with original buildings including the 100-year-old courthouse, is home to artists’ studios, galleries, music and dance venues, and eclectic shops. A quick walk or drive over the river takes you to Blannahassett Island, where you’ll find picnic areas, fishing, and the recently restored Marshall High Studios, home to many artists. Often, you will catch artists working and see their work.
Marshall has a unique geographic location situated in a ravine on the French Broad River with just main street and the railroad running between the river and the steep cliff on the blocks of the historic downtown. Stop by the old timey department store Penland & Sons with a variety of merchandise from fresh produce in season to men’s work boots. Zuma (7 N Main) is a cool hang-out with organic fair trade coffees, homemade desserts and creative, healthy comfort food. Check out their live music schedule. Up the street at Madison County Arts Center (90 S Main) is the home of concerts, exhibits, classes and lectures.
The Mad For Madison Arts & Crafts Gallery (31 N. Main St) showcases 30 local artists. It is also the home of Robin’s Handmades (area’s only gourd artist specializing in sculpture, lights, and lamps). You’ll find a wide range of mediums and prices, featuring gifts, jewelry, furniture, home decor and, of course, fine art.