“There’s nothing to do!” said no one, ever, about arts, culture and nightlife in Asheville.

Art is everywhere here. On the sides of buildings. On the street corners. On the undersides of bridges. In studios in the River Arts District, where more than 200 artists work in paint, pencil, pottery, metal, fiber, glass, wax, paper and other mediums in historical buildings along a one-mile stretch of the French Broad River. Want a little whimsy with your cultural pursuits? Only-in-Asheville museums spotlight pinball machines, aluminum Christmas trees and classic motorcycles.

Performing arts enthusiasts can choose from several theater companies, the Asheville Symphony, Lyric Opera, Flat Rock Playhouse or the free outdoor summer Shakespeare series provided by the Montford Park Players.

There’s plenty of sonic exploration to be done, from Appalachian ballads and old-time picking to fierce funk, sultry soul, edgy hip-hop and far-flung world music. Check out dozens of clubs that feature live music, ranging from blues to jazz to rock & roll to country. Join the Friday night Drum Circle, an Asheville tradition.

On weekends, outdoor festivals rule, celebrating Asheville’s vibrant mosaic of art, music, dance and food.