Haw Creek Neighborhood in Asheville
Imagine if you could live in a place where beauty is everywhere and the lines between work and play seem to blur. What if you could have mountains and nature intertwining with new and historic homes and have easy access to a charismatic and charming downtown? How about a choice of amazing food, great music, world class beer and outdoor activities that are only a stones throw away? Asheville is a place like that. So how does anyone decide where to live in a town with so many great neighborhoods? For most, lifestyle and proximity to work factor in largely. For my wife and I, we wanted a blend of great community as well as nature and privacy while still having quick access to all that we love downtown. That meant the Haw Creek neighborhood in Asheville.
Haw Creek is a beautiful valley on the east side of town that sees no thru traffic because of its natural mountain borders. The valley’s east ridge line is secured by the Blue Ridge Parkway. Piney Mountain, Cisco Mountain and Rich Knob separate it on the west and north sides while Tunnel Road creates a southern border and entrance.
There’s some great history with Haw Creek too. In 1902 F. A. Sondley, George Vanderbilt’s lawyer, built a beautiful stone house near the top of the valley. Back then the area was largely agricultural and, while over the years it has gradually been transformed to accommodate a growing number of families, there is still some of that same rural feel. In fact, we have neighbors who have horses and chickens. Yup, fresh eggs are good.
If you want nature just step outside and go for walk. There is a trail that leads up to the parkway from Haw Creek and if you cross the parkway you’ll run into the Mountains-to-Sea trail which blazes from Clingman’s Dome in the Smokey’s all the way to the Outer Banks. I can literally hike to the ocean from house. I haven’t found a weekend long enough to actually do that yet but it remains an option. In the meantime I like the views I’m afforded.
In addition to location, nature and accessibility, we’ve fallen in love with Haw Creek for so many other reasons. We’re minutes from multiple playgrounds and a library. I drive by our neighborhood restaurant and coffee shop every day as I leave the valley. There’s a rec center that includes a pool and tennis courts and the three baseball fields off of New Haw Creek Road always seem to be in use. The two elementary schools within the valley, one public and one a charter school, garner strong reviews.
Clementine Danielsen, the manager at Penny Cup Coffee, really loves their Haw Creek location as it’s supported almost entirely by locals. “We know 98% of our customers. It’s a very kid and family-centric space” she says. This is a tune you’ll hear from many who live or work in Haw Creek. A bartender at Creekside Taphouse named Luke Brown says he loves working there because of the “Cheers effect.” Many of you will remember the theme song of the 1980’s tv show Cheers… “Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name and they’re always glad you came…” To this point, a neighbor of mine, and a regular at Creekside, was in the hospital for surgery and after he was released it was a while before he could do much on his own. But he kept going to Creekside and they refused to charge him for the meals he ordered until he was healed and back to normal.
That story sounds just like Haw Creek and it makes me want to stay a while.