#18 of 109 Asheville Things To Do

Pritchard Park

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Pritchard Park: Home of the Beloved Asheville Drum Circle
Written by: Vicky Reddish
Staff Score:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Embrace the best of the urban outdoor experience at Pritchard Park, where you can enjoy both fresh air and the vibrant atmosphere of Asheville. Home to the city's finest street performers, this park provides a unique experience you won't quickly find elsewhere in Asheville.

- The SmokyMountains.com Local Expert Team

Galleries, coffee shops, and breweries are nice, but sometimes, the best aspects of the Asheville experience involve the urban outdoors. This might seem like a misnomer, but Asheville offers plenty of public outdoor spaces that encourage both locals and tourists to relax and enjoy the city’s vibrant atmosphere. Nowhere is this more evident than at Pritchard Park, which brings beauty and leisure to Asheville’s downtown area.

The tree-lined park has recently undergone significant renovations, granting it expanded accessibility after dark and a fresher feel. Currently, the park is home to multiple walkways that pass large boulders and lovely landscaping. The park also offers plentiful amphitheater-style seating, which makes it an ideal setting for a variety of special events.

Pritchard Park is perhaps best known as the home of Asheville’s beloved drum circle. This weekly jam is open to the public and definitely worth attending if you have the time. Participation is actively encouraged. Simple spectating quickly turns into an involved experience, in which you and your loved ones feel compelled to move to the beat or make your own music. Just a few moments at the drum circle will make you feel as if you are part of a close-knit community.

The drum circle is just one example of the appeal that performers bring to a park that, on its own, might not be particularly interesting. If you aren’t able to stop by during the drum circle, you’re still likely to encounter live music or dancing. Street performers can regularly be spotted throughout the park, as can local artisans. The best activities often occur as part of the city’s Summer Series, which partners with Asheville Hoops and LEAF Community Arts to bring a variety of exciting opportunities to the park.

The people-watching opportunities are excellent at Pritchard Park; feel free to relax on a bench and take it all in. In general, the park boasts a welcoming vibe that celebrates the diversity of Asheville’s residents and visitors. You’ll arrive with a sense of curiosity and leave feeling socially and artistically fulfilled.

Enjoy a unique take on Asheville’s artistic scene at Pritchard Park, where you’ll gain a better sense of the city’s true diversity. Whether you stroll through quickly or spend several hours exploring the talent on display at this urban gem, you’ll be glad you stopped by.

Insider Tips:
– If you’re on the hunt for a public bathroom, you’ll have to look elsewhere. Pritchard Park does not offer restroom facilities. Instead, you’ll need to head for the restrooms at Pack Square or try your luck at the bars and restaurants that surround Pritchard Park.
– Panhandling occurs occasionally, but is more likely among visitors who settle into one location for a significant amount of time. Despite the occasional instance of panhandling, however, most visitors report feeling perfectly safe — perhaps because police officers regularly stroll through the park and interact with the public.
– Pritchard Park is decidedly dog-friendly, but you’re best off avoiding this park if your canine friend is not particularly well-trained; with so much activity and so many sources of stimulation present, many dogs may struggle to keep their cool.